HealthLeader

An Online Wellness Magazine produced by The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth)

Fighting Back

What happens when your body turns against you

Fighting Back

Watch a scary movie and your heart races. That’s not the only time your body overreacts. 

Despite the good life of modern times, our immune system can pounce on every perceived physical assault as if we were living the TV show Survivor instead of watching it. 

“The genes we’re born with helped our ancestors prevail in a much more hostile environment,” says John D. Reveille, M.D., director of the Division of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunogenetics at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) Medical School. “Essentially, we have a bunch of immune genes that are all dressed up with nowhere to go.” 

As a result, our bodies may attack bug bites as if they were coyotes shredding our limbs and colds as if they were typhoid. Even when we’re healthy our genes are armed for, if not engaged in, battle.

Read More »