Hypersensitivities For Dummies
[I am the Hypersensitivity Lady, not a doctor. If you would like the medical details about hypersensitivities, just type their names into Google or follow the link at the bottom of this post.]
This is the basic (Coombs and Gell) classification for hypersensitivities:
Type I Asthma, allergies (to pollen), eczema
Type II Graves’ Disease, Rheumatic Heart Disease, Guillain Barre Syndrome
Type III Immune Complex Disease, e.g., Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis
Type IV Multiple Sclerosis, Celiac Disease, Type I Diabetes, Stevens Johnson Syndrome (There seems to be some confusion about where to place Stevens Johnson Syndrome. Some doctors believe that it doesn’t fit in any category.)
Some hypersensitivity reactions act alone, and some operate as part of the autoimmune diseases:
Type I hypersensitivities are all hypersensitivity reactions. The immune system perceives something entering your body as foreign matter and attacks it, hurting your body as well. These are relatively simple mechanisms.
Types II to IV contain the autoimmune diseases. The hypersensitivity reactions mentioned in Types II to IV are the ones that play a role in the autoimmune diseases. The autoimmune diseases are not simple. For some complex reason, your body starts attacking itself, that is, you have a hypersensitivity reaction to something in your own body.
In the next Hypersensitivities Are Real post, my pot-smoking, map-making, gourmet cook friend, Michelle Lewis, will give you a harrowing and very graphic description of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Michelle and I are both Hypersensitives, but I have Type I allergies and hypersensitivities, and Michelle has RA, a cruel Type III autoimmune hypersensitivity disease.