What is Allergic Rhinitis? Why Can’t Millions of People Breathe Without Nasal Spray? Is Ricky an Autoimmune Patient?

Guess what y’all!  Allergic rhinitis aka. chronic stuffiness is an autoimmune condition!  Who knew!  I didn’t until I started seeing the autoimmune patients talking about it on an autoimmune message board.  I had no idea this was the case, but apparently like the situation with acne, chronic nasal stuffiness is a fucking autoimmune disease.  Just like literally anything and everything else that implicates chronic inflammation — it’s not a small deal, it’s not an inconvenience or a quirk, in reality, whenever you experience inappropriate inflammation anywhere in your body, it’s your defective immune system wildly attacking you.  This also includes “stuffiness” of tear ducts, salivary glands and probably a hundred more things I can’t even currently think of or have yet to come across and I have had reason to intensively investigate autoimmune conditions for 6 years now.

So congratulations sufferers of dry eye, dry mouth, and a million other tiny annoyances you probably never thought were actually extremely, extremely serious: you are now a member of a club you’ve never even heard of and definitely do not want to join.  The “club” of autoimmune patients who are incurably, progressively ill who will only get worse over time and who can therefore reliably watch their quality of life and their “lives” — meaning their social and financial presence — degrade and disappear like a fart in the wind.  So now considering everyone with the biggies like MS, Crohn’s, RA and other very disabling (yet still maddeningly invisible) autoimmune diseases as well as everyone with the unacknowledged ones like acne, allergic rhinitis and even autism, does anyone have an appropriately functioning immune system anymore?  Do they?  This is frightening.

Here is a vid that has gotten a stunning number of views on YouTube considering it’s just some dude talking for 12 minutes about how to wean yourself off of over the counter nasal spray.  Of course this only begs the question, why can’t so many people breathe through their noses? Why are people losing sleep — and having full-blown panic attacks — because they can’t breathe normally anymore if they ever could?  What the fuck is going on with widespread chronic “inflammation” aka. people’s immune systems?

I have been “addicted” to nasal spray on and off for a decade (and have taken Benadryl every night to help me sleep and to alleviate nighttime stuffiness for probably 2 decades by now) and every time I do the squirt-n-sniff I remind myself of Ricky from Better off Dead.  You know, the neighbor’s creepy “reptilian son” who “sits in the house crocheting all day and snorting nasal spray.”  Leave it to an 80s teen comedy to make fun of a chronically ill teenager, but to be fair, Ricky’s character is unsympathetic as a relentless sexual predator and no one has really called attention to the apparent fact that chronic stuffiness is an indicator of autoimmune disease (if not a discrete autoimmune condition in and of itself).  And by the by, obesity is probably an autoimmune condition too, where doctors and Western medicine as a whole are too incompetent and above all too woman-hating to distinguish body fat from systemic chronic inflammation.  So yeah, Ricky from Better off Dead is “comically fat” but so is his mother, where autoimmune disease (and obesity) tends to run in families, is largely untreatable and is impossible to cure.  Sound familiar?  It does to me.

12 thoughts on “What is Allergic Rhinitis? Why Can’t Millions of People Breathe Without Nasal Spray? Is Ricky an Autoimmune Patient?

  1. Last November I was in the ER and I had mentioned to the doctor that I had been stuffy quite a lot. She told me it was just a cold because one was going around. Almost a year later and all I can say is this is the longest cold I have ever had in my life! I make my own saline solution instead purchasing any type of spray. I am beginning to believe that there are more people suffering with autoimmune disease then there are that are not. But let us still insist there is nothing wrong with the environment. You said chronic illness is progressive yet when I was diagnosed I was told that I would be better in five years. It is now over five years later and I am much more ill.

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  2. I do wonder whether doctors really don’t know these things are autoimmune defects or if they are lying? And if they are lying, who told them to lie? I can absolutely imagine a formal policy and practice in place to lie to everyone about how prevalent and insidious autoimmune diseases are in order to keep people “productive” and not letting their “minds” make them even more sick and disabled than they already are by knowing the truth. The wheels are falling off this whole capitalism/forced labor thing it seems because as you say, it seems like there are more sick people than there are healthy anymore. I would add that the “healthy” people are all in their 80s by now and are dying. Those were the last generation to not be effected their entire lives by nuclear, GMOs and other environmental shit the rest of us have been dealing with for all or a large percentage of our lives. And I have seen absolutely nothing to support your doc’s insistence that you would be better in 5 years, why is that the magic number? I’m going on 6 years and I still have to medicate daily with MMJ or I will become seriously ill with GI symptoms within a matter of days (but I am still seriously ill with other symptoms whether I medicate or not such as with chronic fatigue and inability to handle stress and those seem to be getting worse regardless). Realizing that all these allegedly minor annoyances are really autoimmune conditions has been eye opening to say the least. Although I’m not exactly sure what I’m seeing except a nightmare with major society-wide consequences right around the corner.

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  3. I think an overzealous autoimmune response isn’t the body attacking itself, it’s actually trying to attack assimilated toxins and foreign substance invaders, i.e. all the fake food and pollution but sadly it attacks the body too since it’s already absorbed. I think most ppl are addicted to sugar, especially fake gmo kinds like corn syrup which cause systemic inflammation and histamine fluctuations.–Histamine in the body is produced in *mast cells as a local immune response to foreign materials. It’s also produced in the brain where it acts as a neurotransmitter. Another place where histamine can be stored and released is within the enterochromaffin-like cells in the stomach.

    When histamine is released, it makes capillaries more permeable to white blood cells and proteins. This gives rise to the runny nose and watery eyes so familiar in allergies. When foreign antigens bind to mast cells in mucous membranes, sneezing follows as a way to expel them from the body, (ew).

    In the brain, the histamine neurons in the posterior hypothalamus affect wakefulness and prevent sleep. Histamines located in the stomach stimulate the parietal cells there to secrete the gastric fluids needed for digestion.

    Just something to think about since benadryl is an anti-histamine…. now i gotta see what the connection between histamine and endocannabinoid system is…

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  4. Yes I think you are talking about the theoretical difference between autoimmune and immune mediated diseases and that in practice there is little or no difference at all, just as you say. IOW is the immune malfunction actually causing it to attack the host or to “inappropriately” (appropriately) attack everything else and the host just gets in the way? It’s confusing the way they talk about it, that’s probably not an accident. That’s interesting that histamines are necessary for digestion (?) and I and many others are taking daily antihistamines. Of course, if I didn’t have the chronic stuffiness I don’t think I would ever need Benadryl although now that you mention it, I can’t recall if I originally started taking Benadryl for sleep or stuffiness or whether in my case the insomnia was stuffiness related? It’s been so long I can’t even remember. I’ve always been a night person and I always had to conform to the normal day-person schedule so I always needed something to help me fall asleep when it was completely unnatural for me. Or was it just the autism that made me a night owl? I’m so fucking sick of this shit. There were a million things conspiring against me to get me sick. Me and everyone else.

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  5. Really great info, Lady Love. I had never heard of “mast cells” until this year, now I think they are probably the key to my illness. I sent this video to CR earlier, but I’m gonna link it here:

    Please do post any info on the connection between histamines and cannabinoids. I’ve been on benedryl my entire life, and was able to give it up a few months ago when I started CBD.

    Super interesting that histamines are released in the stomach and brain as well. To me, that explains the connection with depression and also may explain why different people are effected in different parts of the body. (as in, crohns vs. rheumatoid arthritis vs. whatever me and the girl in the video have)

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  6. Thanks for the vid Nat. How odd that someone whose immune system attacks “everything” is still so functional!? I wonder if she has any specific symptoms like joint or GI symptoms or if it’s basically everything and nothing at the same time? Does she still feel like “herself” only she’s in constant or intermittent pain? I have questions! It helps that from what we are shown, apparently her only “worry” in life besides the disease itself is can she do her fun hobby as much as or “how” she wants to because her parents support her and her medicine works. Of course, we aren’t shown or told about all the side effects of her meds (or other troubles) but it must be a completely different experience when the medicine does what its supposed to and she doesn’t “feel” traumatized from the medicine and doctors who are literally saving her life albeit over and over again. It’s quite another story when the meds don’t work (yet have side effects anyway) and when you “feel” victimized and traumatized by Western medicine and when you have no social, familial or financial support and have to worry about being sick and homeless at the same time. I am learning that many people are in that position (including myself), but those stories are never told except by the patients themselves on dank, depressing message boards or private blogs and never in a shiny production on the BBC or anywhere. I know you weren’t commenting on any of that and that the vid isn’t about that, but therein lies the rub. They never fucking are. When will the BBC or anyone explore how the social and financial aspects of chronic and autoimmune disease are actually the worst part? Oh that’s right, those things aren’t pretty and sexy and won’t fund medical research. I won’t ask when anyone will address the horrors of Western medicine including medical trauma and medical PTSD because the answer to that seems to be LOL AS IF. And yes, mast cells are interesting, as is a possible connection between histamines and cannabinoids but how much of that implicates animal experiments? How many people can actually afford the treatment long term or at all assuming it’s even available and assuming it even works? I’m fucking exhausted of all of it. Or is it “just” the Benadryl talking lol.

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  7. I’m a little taken aback about your questions, maybe because I can “read between the lines” of this vid the same way you can understand a vid about crohns. I mean, you know the symptoms (the reality) without them having to spell it out. To me, it’s clear she’d be in extreme intermittent pain (the kind of allergic reaction that sends you to the hospital is extremely painful, and somehow terrifying even if you don’t care whether you live or die). This ‘sunshine and rainbows’ video was a way to make some money, to offset the cost of her parents caring for her, which they will not be able to do forever. (Though she is fortunate that they are willing at all)

    She is “functional” because she is young and the meds are still kinda working (though not totally or else she’d… have hair.) Gradually, they will become less effective and the side effects will begin to take their toll on her body. She definitely has GI issues, hence the limited diet. I’m sure she has joint pain and tendinitis as well as the ‘numbness in the extremities’ which she describes. Plus the kind of brain fog that leaves you walking around your own kitchen looking for the fork drawer. Plus many other symptoms which do not seem to have names. (sensation of ice picks in your ears? etc.) So, everything and NOT nothing, lol.

    Anyway, yes the way these illnesses are shown is so deceitful. Only showing the most privileged, and even then editing their truth until it’s unrecognizable. Re your point about animal testing- UUGGGHHH. There is NO REASON to torture animals, (just simply grow cannabis and make it cheap! as if) but that won’t stop them.

    You have every right to be exhausted. We all do.

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  8. Ok yes that makes more sense. I was hesitant to assume her symptoms and presentation were the same as or similar to my own or to any autoimmune patient but that’s just more individualist crap isn’t it? Although there does seem to be some room for variation so it’s a little more complicated than that. You once commented that we only have one immune system and one body for it to attack, meaning, it’s systemic, and when a known autoimmune patient “develops” additional autoimmune diseases, that is actually irrational/patriarchal compartmentalizing, highly suspect and a reason to justify literally neverending tests, evaluations and medical contact (and meds) for the rest of your life rather than anything designed to actually help the patient get better. I still don’t understand why some autoimmune patients have primarily gut symptoms (Crohn’s and UC) while others have primarily nerve/neurological symptoms, or primarily joint symptoms etc. but maybe that’s just an issue of triage (addressing the most pressing thing first) and not enough time passing. AI patients also tend to die early so there’s that as well. I actually think some of (all?) of these AI conditions are fatal, but the extremely high occurrence of serious, life-threatening “side effects” and complications of treatment that more obviously kill us obscures the likely terminal reality of the disease(s) themselves. I really think anything that prevents you from eating and assimilating food (for example) is clearly and undeniably fatal. And I didn’t assume that the woman’s restricted diet was due to GI issues but it probably at least partly is. Of course.

    I also notice there are a lot of messages out there about not making assumptions about disabled people, but the message is always the same: we can do a lot MORE than you think! Haha! Where are the PSAs announcing that most of us are way sicker than anyone would ever believe and can actually do a lot LESS than anyone thinks because when we are at our worst we go “underground” and literally can’t even talk about it so how would anyone ever know? Based on what you said, maybe we can assume that all AI patients do NOT feel like themselves anymore, because systemic, and are actually a lot worse off than they appear. It never occurred to me that this young woman and her family were being paid to participate in this extremely odd PSA but that’s certainly possible. And about her family supporting her, I have had the thought a few times that people who have supportive families have the added stress of feeling guilty about being a burden (and as you say, the terror in knowing that their support probably cannot go on forever, even if the family has money, no one can be paid to do the same kind of job as a loving family would, and no one lives forever). So who really has it worse? I don’t know. Stress is not good for us but we all end up in stressful situations anyway no matter what, even if it’s “just” feeling like a burden, or being terrified for our futures. Thanks for your comments.

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  9. interesting conversation. I’ll add: H2 blockers like tagamet and zantac work on the stomach to reduce acid, also they work for interstitial cystitis, an autoimmune disease that is triggered by (though not caused by) acidic foods.

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  10. I have ASD and am a night owl. I think it’s a sensory thing: night feels quiet, dark and peaceful and all the stressful human energy is temporarily subdued. I can’t breathe or think properly during the day. I don’t feel ALIVE then

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