I saw this somewhere in the midst of the virus outbreak and have wondered about it ever since. If I have an overactive immune system why am I in such a quarantine from this virus? According to my neurologist, it is because of Rituxan. I take a medication that wipes out a strain of my white blood cells. I can understand that. It makes sense. It was another blogger who made the comment that they very rarely get sick. It was this statement that rang true. Even with taking Rituxan or Ocrevus for the last 3+ years, I’ve been sick once. ONCE!!!! How is that possible?
So I started looking. First what is an overactive immune system. It turns out in the simplest for, an overactive immune system is a reaction to normally harmless things. Allergic reactions are a prime example like a peanut allergy or even hay fever. For people with autoimmune disease the body is reacting to our healthy cells that are harmless. Depending on what is being attacked depends on the type of autoimmune disease.
Multiple sclerosis is considered to be an immune-mediated disease in which the body’s immune system attacks the central nervous system (CNS). Most MS experts believe it to be an autoimmune disease, although no specific antigens (proteins that stimulate the immune system) have been identified in MS. https://www.nationalmssociety.org/What-is-MS/Definition-of-MS/Immune-mediated-disease
That explains that MS is thought to be autoimmune which is considered an overactive immune system. So does that mean having an overactive immune system means I stay healthier? Then I found this relating specifically to the coronavirus:
1. DOES HAVING AN AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE INCREASE MY RISK OF GETTING COVID-19?
There is no clear connection so far between autoimmunity and COVID-19. Autoimmunity is different from immunodeficiency (in which the immune system is too weak to fight off infections). If anything, autoimmunity makes the immune system relatively over-active, often causing it to attack the body. That doesn’t mean an autoimmune patient is necessarily better at fighting infections. An over-active immune system could help fight off the virus, but it also could cause unneeded inflammation.
The truth is, I have no idea. If we have an overactive immune system I don’t believe that makes us any stronger health wise than the next person. What I do believe is we’ve become much more conscientious about being around people that are sick. On a happy note, I did find this final article that talks about autoimmune diseases protecting us from other more dangerous diseases in the future. It was a very interesting read. https://www.newscientist.com/article/2099313-autoimmune-diseases-may-be-side-effect-of-a-strong-immune-system/
Evolution could be to blame for our autoimmune diseases, such as lupus, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. For the first time, we have evidence that people who are more susceptible to disorders of this kind are that way because their immune system is better equipped to combat dangerous infections, enabling them to live longer.