Auto-immune disease is the name given to the process whereby the body begins to produce antibodies against its own tissues. This constitutes over-sensitivity and erratic behavior of the immune system taken to the nth degree, as under normal conditions the immune system recognises the body’s own tissues as OK and not a threat.
This antigen-antibody reaction usually attacks the joints (rheumatoid arthritis), the joints and heart combined (rheumatic fever), the skin and blood vessels (systemic lupus erythematosis) or the muscles and joints of the lower back (ankylosing spondylitis). Sometimes it attacks the thyroid gland (acute thyroiditis), causing it to be either over- or under-active. A disrupted thyroid gland further unbalances the metabolism.
Because allergies are carried in the blood they can, and often do, migrate around the body. The random coming and going of symptoms that is so confusing to both patient and physician can be caused by this. Many people are deluded into thinking they have outgrown their allergies when their symptoms disappear in this way. They seldom equate the development of new symptoms with the allergy that caused their old symptoms. As whacky and variable as this process is there are some common patterns.
Those who mysteriously lose (grow out of) their asthma frequently develop eczema and those who had itchy skin and hayfever as children frequently develop acne as adults. Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security if, without treatment, your symptoms suddenly disappear. The probability of your untreated allergy emerging somewhere else, as something else, is very high.