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What is the point of an immune system?

Talk about Stomach Cancer diagnosis, treatment and prognosis

What is the point of an immune system?

Postby kelley » Thu Jan 17, 2013 12:53 am

Honestly i don't know. To me it seems like the immune system is 99% waste. Look at all the diseases we get as humans: cancer, the flu, heart attacks/stroke, pneumonia. In fact, some people get all of those during their lifetime! I had pneumonia when i was 5 years old for crying out loud! This is when your immune system should be at it's strongest- before numerous infections have worn it down over the course of your life. Really it seems like the immune system prevents at most 1/10 of all sicknesses you get. Think how often you get a sore throat. If the immune system was doing it's job, you would get at most one sore throat (streptococcus pneumoniae) per year. Now consider this: each time you get an illness, your body expends white-blood cells in order to fight it off. I think this is why most old people get terrible diseases such as Cancer, liver failure, prostate cancer, AIDS, etc.. Deadly diseases like the ones i listed would obvioiusly take a lot more WBC's (white blood cells) to fight off than your average case of diarrhoea (Andrographis Paniculata) or say dengue fever or the flu. This also explains why people who exercise more live longer: they get sick less and would clearly have a much greater percentage of white blood cells left when they're 80 years old and have to fight off traumatic diseases such as Cancer, HIV, or heart disease. Can a doctor (preferably one from North america or Europe) please confirm/explain this? thanks in advance :)
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What is the point of an immune system?

Postby darnall52 » Thu Jan 17, 2013 12:54 am

Without an immune system, you would be dead long before adulthood...

People who exercise don't have 'more white blood cells'. You get a high white cell count when you are fighting an infection. It's one of the things doctors look for in your blood tests to indicate you have an infection... AND have a functioning immune system. If you have something like AIDS, your one particular type of white cells is very low on a count and this is why someone with AIDS gets all sorts of 'funky' unusual or particularly severe infections... the ones the rest of us don't get because we have a decent immune system e.g. cryptococcal meningitis, pneumocystis jerovecii pneumonia, recurrent tuberculosis.

You get a fever when you have the flu because your immune system is reacting, not because of the flu itself... have a google for 'inflammatory cytokines'. Immunosuppression increases your risk of serious and unusual infections as well as cancer, because a functioning immune system is constantly fighting against these... if you get a solid organ transplant and need immunosuppressive therapy to prevent rejection, you will be at increased risk of infections as well as various cancers.
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What is the point of an immune system?

Postby ruadhagan » Thu Jan 17, 2013 12:59 am

Look up how easily immunodeficient (like AIDS or SCID) patients get ill and die . That might give you an idea what it means to have 99% wasted immune system.
It because of your lymph nodes rich in macrophages that you get a sore throat or runny nose and NOT a life-threatening fever. Inflammation is a protective response.
Of the diseases that you list - Cancer , Liver Failure, Prostate cancer, Heart disease- can not really be sent away with a better immunity or drinking pom. Free Radical theory of aging suggests that Reactive oxygen intermediates like superoxides and hydrogen peroxide that are normally generated during mitochondrial electron transfer, cause micro-level damages. These accumulate over time and ultimately cause organs to degrade and fail or in case of cancer causes metastasis. All this may not be preventable (e.g eating or drinking antioxidants may or may not work). However, Exercise has a ton of beneficial effects. There is no doubt about that. Its just that specific mechanisms aren't clear.
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What is the point of an immune system?

Postby bittor70 » Thu Jan 17, 2013 1:00 am

Without an immune system you would probably die. The immune system helps us get further infection if we got one. It would just be pointless if we didn't have one. And its not always the case that when people exercise longer they live longer. I don't know where you got that but it isn't entirely true. It actually isn't too healthy too work out in your 60's or 70's. It can be bad for your bones but for the immune system it is good. So does having cold showers. It increases your immunity and will help you. Hope that helped :)
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What is the point of an immune system?

Postby jerrel82 » Thu Jan 17, 2013 1:12 am

Did you look up into Google to find the names of the pathogens you named here?

Anyways..without immune system in your body you wouldn't survive even a few weeks out of your mother's womb. If you didn't have an immune system you would have died when you got pneumonia at 5.

You say you get sore throat so often despite having an immune system, well if you didn't have it sore throat would progress to lower respiratory tract infection basically pneumonia and you die..
explaining all this is pain..

if you have time to look up for the microorganisms then do some research about immune system as well.
i'm a medical student, and immune system so wonderful, makes me think that there's no way that only evolution designed all these, makes me wanna believe in some superior being--- that's how complex immune system is.... be thankful for it, for without it you would be long dead!!
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What is the point of an immune system?

Postby carrick » Thu Jan 17, 2013 1:13 am

I'm no doctor, but there is one thing I know for sure which is you really have done no research on what the immune system is or what it does for you. Example: When you get a flu shot to help prevent the flu from being so bad should you get it, they actually give you a dead virus in which your immune system responds and builds up immunities to the flu. That means that should you get the flu, then it won't be so bad at the worst or you may not get it at all at it's best because your immune system has built up an immunity to it already. Babies are not the strongest. People being exposed to things actually builds up immunities in us all the time. I think you better do some more research on the subject to understand exactly what you are talking about. If it weren't for your immune system even the slightest illness could kill you since infection would take over your body in no time and you would die since you have nothing to fight it off. What you said makes no medical sense at all.
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