Maladaptive Responses to Immune Disorders Essay

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Autoimmune Disorders

Maladaptive Responses to Immune Disorders

Autoimmune disorders: The influence of genetics in contracting systemic lupus (SLE) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)

Lupus is a little-understood illness and few fully effective treatments exist to deal with its consequences. "Lupus is a chronic (long-term) disease that causes inflammation -- pain and swelling. It can affect the skin, joints, kidneys, lungs, nervous system and other organs of the body. Most patients feel fatigue and have rashes, arthritis (painful and swollen joints) and fever" (Lupus, 2013, American College of Rheumatology). Lupus is caused by a misfiring of the body's immune system. Usually, the body reacts to foreign bodies such as germs or cancer by making antibodies. In the case of lupus, instead of attacking these negative outside forces, the body attacks its own tissues, leading to inflammation. "As the attack goes on, other immune cells join the fight. This leads to inflammation and abnormal blood vessels (vasculitis). These antibodies then end up in cells in organs, where they damage those tissues" (Lupus, 2013, American College of Rheumatology).

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The cause of lupus is as-yet undetermined, but it has a clear genetic component. African-Americans and Asians are far more likely to exhibit symptoms. There also may be a hormonal component, given that women are ten times more likely to be affected than men. However, genetics alone cannot explain the disorder and various environmental triggers seem to bring on attacks, including "viruses, sunlight and drug allergies. People with lupus may also have an impaired process for clearing old and damaged cells from the body, which causes an abnormal immune response" (Lupus, 2013, American College of Rheumatology). Further complicating the study of lupus is that the symptoms tend to wax and wane, and vary considerably in severity from person to person: some patients' symptoms can be managed by standard NSAID (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories) while others may require more intensive treatment with corticosteroids. Lupus cannot be cured: it can only be managed.

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Likewise, inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) are a little-understood condition which can be understood as a misfiring of the body's immune system,… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/maladaptive-responses-immune-disorders/6051001.