The immune system is supposed to be the protector of the body. It protects the body from exterior and interior threats and keeps a person healthy and functioning correctly. However, sometimes, like many movies like to say, the greatest threat “comes from within”. When the immune system functions incorrectly, it can do great damage to the body.
These issues are called autoimmune disease. With these, the immune system incorrectly diagnoses something within the body as a danger. It then attacks the healthy parts of the body when it should not. One of the main causes of autoimmune problems is the role that genes and genetics play.
The Role of Genes
Research on the genetic code continues to increase. The role that genes play in people’s health continues to be better understood by the day. When a person has a defect in a specific gene, they are more likely to develop the corresponding autoimmune disease. This issue is further exacerbated by research suggesting the immune system may be overtaxed. It’s capable of fighting off some cancerous cells and severe pathogens, but is more likely to develop autoimmune diseases because of that. Therefore any gene that is causing a problem the immune system is fighting is in part responsible for autoimmune conditions.
Many people are choosing to get their DNA tested through home kits. These kits take a look at your DNA and let you know which genes you may have or have issues with. This can sometimes give a hint as to predisposition to disorders. These shouldn’t be taken as pure medical advice, but they can provide some hints and suggestions as to disorders to be on the lookout for.
Which Autoimmune Disorders Are Linked to Genes?
There are many disorders and common problems that are now linked to genes, or at least vastly increase the risk of these autoimmune disorders. The link between genes and some of these has been clearly shown, while others are unknown.
- Celiac Disease - Many people are well aware of celiac disease and the “gluten intolerance” that so many people have developed. While many people may be exaggerating, celiac disease is very real and is an autoimmune disorder. In fact, people with celiac disease diagnosed early are far more likely to get other autoimmune disorders as they go through life. The genes responsible for celiac
- Rheumatoid Arthritis - This common type of arthritis is an autoimmune disease which will affect the joints. The body attacks the areas surrounding the joints causing painful and strong inflammation. Currently, the link between rheumatoid arthritis and genetics is not as established as other autoimmune diseases. Research is ongoing.
- Multiple Sclerosis - With multiple sclerosis, the body attacks the coating around a person’s nerves. These nerves become damaged and can’t properly function like they would otherwise. MS has no cure and is incredibly damaging.
- Anemia - Anemia is caused when red blood cells are deficient in the body. They can either be too small or they can be normal sized and there not be enough of them. The iron deficiency that’s the most common cause is linked with a person’s genes.
- Cold Agglutinin - This is a very rare type of anemia where the immune system has chosen to attack the red blood cells within a person’s body. This disease becomes an issue when people enter areas with very low temperatures.
The articles on this website should not be used to start the use of dietary supplements or vitamins, natural or herbal products, homeopathic medicine or other mentioned products prior to a proper consultation with a doctor or certified health provider.