Monday, July 18, 2011

The Case Of The Backward Immune System

As any Type 1 Diabetic would know, this disease is not, as previously stated, a result of an unhealthy lifestyle. It is an auto-immune disease that attacks the islet cells inside the pancreas and stop them from producing the insulin that is necessary for sugar distribution throughout the body. I am living and breathing the consequences of a screwed up auto-immune system. In more ways than one.

I have another condition that ails me that I have not yet mentioned. I have a skin condition called Psoriasis. I have had this awful disease since the ripe age of sixteen. It is genetic, so my mother has it, and so did her mother. My children (who are not yet in existence yet) will most likely have it as well. It is actually common for diabetics to have Psoriasis, come to find out, since it is another outcome from a confused immune system. For those of you who aren't familiar with Psoriasis, let me explain just a little. When you get a cut on your skin, a message is sent from your brain to your immune system to heal the skin. When you have Psoriasis, there is no cut on the skin, but the auto immune reacts anyway, building up more and more skin resulting in ugly scales.

I have it on my legs. They tell me the best thing for it is the sun and to go out in it. Ha! I find it hard to even wear shorts out in the summer. The stares and the comments are more than I can take sometimes. I have been known to wear jeans all summer long. I hate it. People think I have something that is contagious. People are ignorant. People are hurtful.

That said, I have come to the conclusion that I have an immune system that is completely backwards. Now that I have Type 1 Diabetes and Psoriasis, I have come up with an analogy. My immune system is like a country who attacks its allies and gives aid to other countries that are thriving. It is a complete waste of resources! Wow.

While research is being done for a cure to both these diseases, everyone is focusing on the symptoms, and results from the initial problem. The Dermatologist gives me ointments for my skin and tells me to soak in the sun. My other doctors give my insulin to cover what my pancreas can't. It works, but it doesn't cure it. It just helps me live from day to day. The underlying problem is my immune system and I think there needs to be more focus on trying to fix that problem. My two diseases aren't the only auto-immune diseases. There are plenty more where that came from. If they could just develop a cure for that, I think that many of us would be A-OK.

Could be me just dreaming, though.

Thanks for reading!


  1. Our bodies can be so annoying! I say embrace your legs! I bet they are fantastic and who cares what anyone says!

  2. Hi Mary, I can't believe I just read that you also have psoriasis! I have type 1 and psoriasis too! I've had the psoriasis since I was 7 yrs old and have had type 1 since I was 12. While they are not directly connected, there is definitely a link. My sister doesn't have type 1 or psoriasis, but she has Chron's disease, another autoimmune disease. I completely understand about the embarrassment and the desire to keep yourself covered. I used to have it on my knees, elboww and hips as well as my scalp. I now just have it on my scalp. However, about 15 yrs ago I developed psoriatic arthritis. Not sure if you've heard of it, but basically it's when the psoriasis affects your joints, causing very painful inflammation. Basically, it can suck, especially when I get a bad flare up. But, thankfully, I'm on a medication that keeps it under pretty good control most of the time. Ironically, that medication is also self-injected. ~Michele