What is Autoimmune Disease? A Radical Proposal.

In the last 6 years spent researching my autoimmune disease and others, I have learned that what is known as autoimmune disease is not well understood by capitalistic patriarchal medicine.  Just saying those words puts a shiver down my spine because since when does capitalism and patriarchy tell the truth about anything, especially anything that regular people could use to better understand their world and their station, and especially any information that regular people, especially women, could potentially use to better their own lives?  They say they don’t understand the cause of autoimmune disease, and that that’s why they also can’t seem to find a cure; they also can’t offer any advice for what to avoid that may potentially cause or trigger it, things you shouldn’t be exposed to, conditions you should never endure, but “stopping doing” or “not doing” or “avoiding doing” is anti-capitalist and anti-consumerist at base.  Of course they would never tell us what to avoid doing so that we were never struck down by a crippling incurable progressive disease, and definitely not one that’s so, so profitable.

Whether they know or not really isn’t my point or my concern since there’s nothing we can do to find out if they don’t want us to, but it does make room, I think, to think outside the box and consider more radical possibilities when in fact all possibilities remain on the table.  Big Pharma and Big Medicine playing dumb or being dumb opens doors to radical theorizing about the possible origins and causes of our diseases because we know we need to start from the beginning.  Anymore, I just naturally assume everything we “know” and don’t know about disease is a lie.  And in the case of autoimmune disease, Big Medicine likes to say that it’s a dysfunction or misfiring of the immune system — that “for some reason” the immune response “mistakes” healthy and native tissue for diseased tissue or pathogens and starts erroneously attacking it with white blood cells, fever, inflammation and the like, in order to kill it.

In the case of Crohn’s disease, “something” is indeed seriously damaging if not killing my tissues and this has been demonstrated on scopes where I have been found to be housing countless aphthous ulcers in my small intestine and ileum as well as chronic inflammation (as far as I know there is no necrosis, and I assume I would know if there were).  But I think the claim that my or anyone’s immune system, which have evolved over millenia and seem to have been successful to date have made a mistake carries a large burden of proof, and so far I have not seen the proof.  And particularly in the case of women, who comprise the majority of autoimmune disease patients, and where capitalistic patriarchal medicine has long assumed that female bodies were defective and “doing ‘body’ wrong” as compared to men and male bodies, the suggestion that it is our female bodies which are defective and mistaken is absolutely suspect.

An alternative to the mistake theory in all cases of autoimmune disease, which is just a theory because as they say they don’t really know, is that the immune system is not making a mistake and is in fact rightly attacking unhealthy or foreign tissue in order to kill it.  Basically, in the case of systemic autoimmune conditions like Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis, to name but three, this would mean that humans themselves (or some humans anyway) have become foreign or diseased and our immune systems are trying to kill us and if this is the case our immune systems are doing a damn fine job indeed.

It is women, afterall, who comprise the majority of autoimmune sufferers, and it is also women, not men, who are routinely exposed to the worst capitalism and patriarchy have to offer including toxic environmental exposures due to both relatively low economic class as compared to men and due to our sex.  For example, work-related exposures like toxic cleaning products, degreasers and the like, as well as living next to toxic Superfund sites that are often located in the most impoverished areas, and the medication and over-medication of girls and women with toxic Big Pharma poisons for both sexless issues (meaning, the ones we share with men) and for “women’s issues” that do not plague men including everything having to do with reproduction and childbirth.  And considering the extremely polluted condition of our environment including industrial and nuclear waste, and considering that everything that goes into our bodies including air, food and water is likewise heavily contaminated, with things that we know about and with things about which we have never been and may never be told, could our bodies be becoming essentially foreign tissue that our immune systems have every reason in the world to attack?  Are we what we eat, drink and breathe?

Of course men are exposed to toxic environmental pollution too, whereupon they go home and ejaculate their toxic bodily fluids into women’s bodies during intercourse.  Women truly get it coming and going and our immune systems are known to be stronger than men’s as well, so even if we were exposed to the same amount of environmental toxins our immune response would be expected to be stronger.  Honestly, the assumption that any modern person’s tissue is “healthy” native tissue considering the extreme environmental pollution we are exposed to including our air, food and water seems rather baseless, but especially in women’s case, it seems likely that our bodies have simply become too polluted for our immune systems to ignore.

I also think it’s interesting that so many autoimmune sufferers say that they no longer feel like themselves, and I myself haven’t felt like “me” for many years since I have become chronically ill.  I have heard Crohn’s sufferers in particular say that they do not even feel human anymore, and I have to concur with that assessment because I don’t feel quite human either and I haven’t for a long time.  Of course these are euphemisms for feeling and being ill, but the language women with autoimmune disease are using to describe their realities and their new normals is interesting to me in light of this idea that we have somehow now become something else due to extreme environmental pollution, including man-made ionizing radiation that does not exist in nature and is in fact quite foreign to this world and to this very universe as I understand it.  Man made nuclear isotopes are not native to this world and yet we are exposed to — and assimilate — them every day in our air, water and food.  In that sense, in the sense that we are what we eat, drink, and breathe, we must be becoming nonnative to this world too.

Not to belabor this point because there is no way to prove it, but there is a massive pro-nuclear propaganda campaign especially in American popular culture that for the last 60 years — almost from the beginning of the nuclear industry — has normalized both nuclear exposure and the known physical changes to human beings who are exposed to it and literally become “something else”.  Spiderman, The Incredible Hulk, and the Fantastic Four are the ones that immediately come to mind.  And here are 15 more I had never even heard of until I searched for it, but they are there, and I can’t help but notice that these old-school and primitive superheroes and superhero culture itself are becoming extremely and increasingly popular in the last 5 to 10 years.  We are all being asked nicely and then forced to accept — to the extent that we accept or participate in popular culture — that exposure to radiation including man-made ionizing radiation is unavoidable and that it changes you, for the better and often in the case of the tragic superhero whose lives are affected both positively and negatively, also for the worse.  I do not think our immune systems are designed to react to man-made radiation itself because it is not native to this planet and we are rather without defenses against it, but if our tissues become toxic, nonnative or are otherwise changed by it, that would seem to be another matter.

This is what I am thinking at the moment, and while it may or may not be more plausible than the “mistaken immune response” theory, it is certainly less offensive politically as it assumes women’s responses and women’s immune systems are working as designed.  And frankly, I am very inclined to believe that that’s the case — that we and our human and female immune systems are not wrong — regardless of what is really causing us to attack our own tissues and destroy our own bodies and our own lives.

9 thoughts on “What is Autoimmune Disease? A Radical Proposal.

  1. Something definitely linked up today with both of our posts for sure. The moon is full and currently under the sign of Scorpio – the keeper of secrets, the transformer, the great revealer of hidden darkness. It must be something in the air as they say (ha). I’d much absorb moon beams than disgusting nuclear waste, toxic carbon monoxide and vile scented detergents in every bit of air.

    We’re sick. We were made sick by the environment, which is also sick. We were unlucky to have been exposed. More will join our ranks. If we’re lucky we can keep our wits about us through the excruciating torture of living with an immune system that no longer recognizes us.

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  2. Hi nuclearnight, thanks for your comment! I wonder what my exposure was that caused me to be so sick and why not everyone is sick at this point. Of course I was subclinical but still having Crohn’s symptoms for 20 years before my diagnosis. I am sure there are millions of people who are subclinical and still trying to manage their escalating symptoms with diet and supplements just like I did. You are right that at some point they will have to admit that they are ill. That day will probably come soon for a lot of them by the look of things.

    In my case, my “middle class” or trying to be middle class family owns “real estate” but they were only able to afford defective properties that were not health-supporting like those wealthy people are able to afford. My dad bought his dream property, a rural 70 acres that was immediately adjacent to a toll road and surrounded by farm land so we were literally swimming in a pond full of toxic runoff from the toll road and the fields as well as breathing the fumes from hundreds of thousands of cars going by each day or week or whatever. After her divorce, my mom purchased her dream home, a shiny looking new construction POS with a multi-story electrical pylon literally in the backyard which was surely dousing us all with electrical and magnetic pollution. My ex-partner’s mother’s home where we lived for 2 years right after school and then for another 3 years after we lost my apartment in the hurricane was immediately adjacent to a diesel (not electric) commuter railroad and sat between 2 major freeways in an area that was known to have nuclear releases (contamination) in the 1980s.

    These middle class properties are toxic death traps and these barely middle class people feel so accomplished to be able to have something to “call their own” that they don’t even consider whether the properties are polluted or not or whether they will be life sustaining or not. It’s just such a scam. Obviously, the additional costs of sickness makes these properties not the “affordable” deal they seem to be, but my middle class family was apparently too stupid or ignorant to care about that and I get to suffer the consequences of the stupidity, ignorance and sickening class-signaling of people who truly could not afford middle class so had to enter through the back door of buying defective properties that “looked” good superficially because that’s what’s important.

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  3. I have interstitial cystitis, mild so far with some work, nothing at all compared to what you are going through, but yes, it is an autoimmune disease and I also have gluten intolerance and multiple food sensitivities, potentially fatal allergies, etc. And when the epi-pen cost skyrocketed it was a shock. More crap from big pharma.

    I grew up in the inner city around lots of toxicity, which has only gotten much worse with each decade. Later my parents “moved up” to a house adjacent to a gas station, the first house they ever owned, though I had grown up and moved away by then.

    Both my parents died of cancer. My mother worked in a chemical plant, electronics, and had a miscarriage during that time. She talked about how they were supposed to use “hoods” for ventilation that often didn’t work.

    When my dad had cancer, a family member got marijuana for him, I don’t know how or where, but it was the only thing that gave him comfort. This was before it was legal anywhere. It’s insane that anyone should have to take the risk of getting convicted of a crime to help someone suffering as much as he was.

    Thank you for writing this blog. It’s good to hear the truth instead of all the myths. I have little hope, actually no hope that anything can be done about the ruination of the environment and climate change. Yet our very lives depend on a clean environment. Insane!

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  4. Hi Bluejay, thank you for reading and for your comment. I am sorry to hear that you too suffer from an autoimmune disease. I do not know much about interstitial cystitis but it seems like all autoimmune diseases are incurable and progressive, is that correct in your case? If so, it’s likely to get progressively worse. I now know I was having Crohn’s symptoms for 20 years before my diagnosis and was mostly able to control it with diet and supplements (and some Rx meds for my stomach) but after 20 years it just became uncontrollable. I hope you have many good years ahead. Maybe you’ll get lucky and the world will end before your disease spins out of control. We can only hope right. :/

    It sounds like the “moving on up” into toxic middle class homes is a thing. I’m sorry to hear that your parents suffered that way. As far as I know, I am the only one in my family that’s gotten sick but my best childhood friend and her brother both have MS and there are kids on both sides of my family (my entire family actually including aunts and uncles in their 60s) who seem autistic. One uncle on my dad’s side has always been very disabled from it although it didn’t have a name back then. My maternal grandfather was in the Navy in the 40s and probably had his gonads nuked and my dad’s dad was a steel worker so was probably exposed to toxic industrial waste. That would probably explain that. Who knows what my grandmothers were exposed to in addition to their husbands toxic bodily fluids.

    I think nuclear was probably the beginning of the end really and that genetic mutations started then and have been subclinical until the autism ADHD shit started hitting the fan. The current generation is called “generation Z” as in, the last one. Considering all the fertility and birth defect problems we are having now, not to mention autoimmune diseases and cancer, this really could be the end. If it’s not I don’t know why not, or how this could possibly continue. Thanks for reading and commenting, I am glad this material is speaking to you. It’s been a long time coming and I am glad I’ve finally been able to organize my thoughts enough to write about it. I think most people are just too sick to write about it and the meds scramble your brain so that doesn’t help. There is very little out there that is critical of Western medicine’s treatment of autoimmune disease but there should be a LOT judging from people’s experiences which are largely negative (not to mention heinous). It really is criminal how the truth is getting buried. I had no traffic whatsoever on this blog for the first couple weeks it was open, I think it’s because the “market” is flooded by corporate astroturf “blogs” for both Crohn’s and cannabis and my little unsponsored nothing blog was just invisible. So again thanks for reading and commenting. This conversation is the real deal and real is always helpful. 🙂

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  5. When I look back I realize the symptoms of interstitial cystitis (a bladder disease) were there from young adulthood at least. It has slowly progressed, but not aggressively, so I’m lucky. I knew someone with it who was in excruciating pain and used some of the worst painkillers, often took more than she was supposed to, which itself could be life threatening. I think it was because she was emotionally blackmailed to have sex with the man she lived with, which is extremely painful with IC. I’ve always tried to handle all my various disorders with food, supplements, lifestyle change and rarely, pharmaceuticals, but only ones without terrible side effects. Eating low acid foods can help a lot with IC. For a long time I thought it was a series of bladder infections and used cranberry capsules, which made it worse. In any case i’m lucky, with this and other problems. All this is nothing at all compared to hell you have been describing.

    Seems like a whole bunch of people, especially women, are living with low-level autoimmune conditions and don’t know it. It’s so common, it just seems normal.My best childhood friend is in hospice care right now after fighting aggressive cancers. What used to be rare, pancreatic cancer, is now expected to become one of the two most common. Both my friend and mother had this cancer.

    The corporate astroturf blogs never seemed to make much sense. It’s as if they are just parroting the party line. You can tell if you read a few in succession.

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  6. Oh no, how cruel that the treatment for bladder infections was actually making your condition worse. I bet that happens alot since women are the ones getting the UTIs from intercourse and they are also the ones getting autoimmune diseases like IC. How would they ever know the difference? Before I had Crohn’s I had so little knowledge about autoimmune diseases and even after my diagnosis it took years of research before I even began to understand what it meant and I am still learning. It’s because everything out there is Big Pharma propaganda and lies. I know many women who are celiac and I thought I was for awhile until I tested negative, but I had no idea celiac was an autoimmune disease! I just thought it was like a food intolerance and that it was no big deal. I wonder if any of these celiac women have come down with full blown Crohn’s and really what the difference is. For me, my symptoms got a LOT better for several years when I went gluten free, which isn’t supposed to affect Crohn’s at all. Celiac almost seems like early Crohn’s and I know a LOT of women have it. The wheels are truly coming off it seems.

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  7. I was blood-tested early on for gluten and did have the antibodies to it, so went gluten free. Here is an excellent website where the woman went through tons of research studies on it. https://sites.google.com/site/jccglutenfree/
    This site shows associations with many, many, many other conditions, crohns is one of them. Finding this was like finding gold at the time, since back then no one knew much about gluten. When I went off gluten some other conditions cleared up. Lifelong migraines for one.

    Wheat has been bred to be high-gluten, nothing like the wheat our ancestors used. Not to mention poor soil, chemicals and more.

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  8. Here’s another site and article about autoimmune disease and it’s relation to zonulin.
    https://www.celiac.com/forums/topic/121080-tight-junction-function-and-the-immune-system-why-your-cant-eat-list-keeps-growing/?tab=comments#comment-989683

    from the quoted article “Some industrial food additives are also zonulin triggers. They include nanoparticles (such as titanium dioxide – check your toothpaste and chewing gum ingredients), microbial transglutaminase (“meat glue”), salt nanowires, organic solvents, and emulsifiers. These new ingredients are increasingly common in the U.S. food supply. ”
    “Elevated zonulin levels and TJ permeability are associated with Celiac disease and Type 1 Diabetes. (A drug that reduces zonulin production also protects against damage to insulin-producing cells in Type 1 Diabetes patients.) Overproduction of zonulin is also found in those with Crohn’s disease, schizophrenia, and chronic kidney disease, and other disorders.”

    Celiac.com is also a decent website. Plenty of alternative health information on the forums, not just astroturf.

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  9. God what they have done to our food makes me so angry. And it was a revelation when I first heard that diabetes is an autoimmune disease! EVERYONE that has diabetes is 100% blamed for their condition which as far as I had ever heard until recently was only associated with “lifestyle choices” and was 100% preventable. My maternal grandmother died of diabetes and her (our) family treated her like shit. They put her in assisted living and sicced a psychiatrist on her who made her put on lipstick everyday to prove she was well. But she wasn’t well! She was sick with an autoimmune disease. One day she up and died and I have always thought she somehow did it on purpose because she would not tolerate being treated that way and especially not by her own children. People with autoimmune disease need pure healthy organic food but like everyone else end up eating nanoparticles and meat glue unless they actively seek not to. What honestly have they done to us.

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