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What is wrong with white blood cells [0] and T cells [1] and the already existing immune system?

This is the equivalent of "roll your own encryption" in the computer security world.

The number of real world cases where people have no or little immune system is likely minuscule (real numbers?) compared to the number of people that destroy their immune system through poor life and health choices. (obviously high number)

Eat better, exercise some (any?) and let your immune system take care of this stuff. That is what it's there for. Introducing _another_ foreign substance that will need to be fought off later is a recipe for disaster.[2]

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_blood_cell

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T_cell

[2] https://www.amazon.com/King-Mice-Cheese-Nancy-Gurney/dp/0394...

...you are aware that infectious diseases sometimes defeat your immune system, yes?

Of course "sometimes", but consider how serious this is. As far as I know people with completely depleted immune systems either die or live in a bubble. No vaccination, no antibiotics help them.

People with perfectly healthy immune systems often require medical intervention to help them fight off disease too, sorry to say.

You don't need to "completely deplete your immune system" to get sick with a bacterial infection.

My original argument was related to creating a system that does the work of a current system. This kind of thread gets side tracked easily.

The CDC provides this page, which seems like it may be useful to you as an overview: https://www.cdc.gov/drugresistance/index.html

Slide 3 shows washing hands, a behavior meant to defeat infection. A section caled "Healthy Habits".


I'm wondering now, what makes immune systems fail? In other words, if our only option were to help immune cells do their job (instead of doing it for them), where would we start?

I mean, we do have active research and treatment vectors involving this, but it's tricky for a few reasons.

One of the nasty ones is that accidentally teaching the immune system to attack the wrong thing is catastrophic, and we don't really have good general ways to undo learned response once present. (Exposure/desensitization therapy works for some things, but is still relatively early in its refinement.) Just look at the fun with the lone star tick and induced red meat allergies, and that's apparently a purely incidental outcome (e.g. it's not obviously a beneficial part of the tick's outcomes from biting things, just a quirk of primate biology not possessing a protein that every other mammal does, and getting upset when it finds it in the bloodstream).

Another example that comes to mind of when this doesn't "just work" is culturing uninfected immune cells from HIV+ patients, teaching them to kill HIV, and then putting them back.

AIUI, this works for a little while, but then it just shows back up again, like it never left. As it turns out, T cells happily share information between each other by making a happy little bridge between the two cells, and HIV is perfectly capable of spreading that way. Womp womp.

If you want to see a really strange immune outcome, go read the recent experiments about graft-versus-host disease potentially wiping out HIV in patients. (It didn't work for two patients in one experiment, so not extremely hopeful about the outcome, but it's a fascinating complex interaction. [1] [2]

[1] - https://www.nature.com/news/hopes-of-hiv-cure-in-boston-pati...

[2] - https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg23431244-400-immune-w...

What do I know? I am a random person voicing my opinion on the internet. Read my other comments, I will freely admit when I am wrong.

If they make something that helps you, I think that would be great.

error: the parent comment was for a previous post... oops.

A lot of people I have talked with look at health from the perspective of "strengthen the immune system".

Why not consider "stop weakening the immune system" first?

No one supports giving a lung transplant to a persistent smoker. This extreme example demonstrates that damaging life choices _need_ to be addressed to actually help people heal.

What is wrong with white blood cells [0] and T cells [1] and the already existing immune system?

It isn't flashy. It doesn't make headlines. Doctors and scientists can't get rich off it.

It's also incredibly hard to explain the point of view you have.

I'm actually very sympathetic to your position, having pursued diet and lifestyle changes to manage a dread disease. But I will say that your comments here read as rather snarky, not good faith efforts to explain.

Edit: Having read through more of the article, it is (at least in part) research into helping patients with cystic fibrosis, who actually have a seriously impaired immune system.

It's actually what I have. And I'm quite sure you are wholly unqualified to tell people with CF what they need to eat to restore the functioning of their immune system in spite of a defective cell channel permanently impairing their functioning at the cellular level in all systems, but especially so in epithelial tissues, which includes both the lungs and gut.

What do I know? I am a random person voicing my opinion on the internet. Read my other comments, I will freely admit when I am wrong.

If they make something that helps you, I think that would be great.

Note: I accidentally posted this comment further down. More proof of fallibility.

Your use of sourcing gives your comment a seemingly higher level of stature but the sources are unnecessary and silly.

You source simple concepts and then use a children's book to back up your final claim?

Oh please...

Yes, your immune system is a wonderful defense that you can damage or improve based on lifestyle but medical advances are often necessary to assist the immune system.

>You source simple concepts and then use a children's book to back up your final claim?

Yes, because the concepts of healthcare in the US are absurd, and it's easily illustrated through a children's story book. In the US diabetes (1 version of it) has no known cause or cure, but in other countries (where there is free health care) it has a known cause and cure.

>...medical advances are often necessary...

Again, in countries with government supported healthcare they recognize that lifestyle choices are the number 1 cause of preventable disease. Number 1. What is "often necessary" in the US is in reality a rare exception.

Consider smoking, alcohol and drug abuse, junk food diets, no exercise, etc... these all are widely _known_ to deplete the immune system. So the only argument left for hacked viruses is for people with auto-immune diseases or other serious compromised systems, which is in fact rare.

> So the only argument left for hacked viruses is for people with auto-immune diseases or other serious compromised systems, which is in fact rare.

"The only"

You start off making good points then you take this giant leap to absurdity. It's beyond hyperbole.

Can you offer an example of when it would be required (or useful) to replace the bodies immune system with an alternative?

Any foreign substance added to the body (even if it's fighting an infection) still needs to be cleaned out by the immune system. So adding viruses that attack bacteria isn't a zero sum game.

I too enjoy letting my immune system take care of the gangrene that developed after minor surgery.

I am pretty certain gangrene is easily defeated by modern antibiotics. (is there some evidence to suggest otherwise?)

For which many bacteria are already becoming resistant to, thanks to overuse or misuse.

Please explain how you'll handle infection by a resistant strain.

A quick look online showed me that there are 2 kinds of gangrene (which I didn't know until today).

One kind is caused by alcohol abuse, tobacco use and diabetes, (or frostbite, trauma, etc..) all treatable with life style changes (according to healthcare in other countries, not in necessarily in the US)

The other kind is "caused by infection", so you seem to be misunderstanding what gangrene is. It's a symptom/end result from something else.

It seems once it's gets to gangrene the flesh is already dead, so removal is the only option, not antibiotics. It's too late for that.

Replace gangrene with whatever bacterial infection you want.

You've been infected with an antibiotic resistant strain - of tuberculosis for example. Please explain how you'll resolve the situation.

Note that I'm not arguing lifestyle changes aren't important; I agree with parts of your other comments on that issue. I just don't understand why you think that pursuing other research avenues into defeating antibiotic resistant bacteria, that can cause a resurgence in plagues that were previously under control, is a bad or unimportant thing.

I'd very much like to not go back to the days when people died from Consumption left and right.

Gangrene isn't an infection [0] tuberculosis (consumption) is caused by a virus and isn't cured by antibiotics.[1]

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gangrene

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuberculosis#Prevention

Ehm, the Wikipedia article you link to for Tuberculosis directly contradicts your statement. Some quotes from that very page:

"Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease usually caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB)."

"Treatment of TB uses antibiotics to kill the bacteria."

I misunderstood the article (I did not read it thoroughly). I jumped to a conclusion in haste.

In the very same wikipedia article you linked:


Please read it. And also:


Lastly, TB is caused by a bacteria, not a virus. Again, it's right there in the wikipedia page you linked.

Could you please answer the question then? How do you go about treating an antibiotic resistant TB infection you've acquired?

Yep, I didn't read it thoroughly, I replied in haste with wrong information done with poorly executed research.

>"How do you go about treating an antibiotic resistant TB infection you've acquired?"

I am not a doctor, but I found out 20 years ago the University of Oregon had done research on bacteria and showed that anti-bacterial soap did no better than regular soap at killing bacteria.

What this tells me is there is some logical problems with our general perspective on health and bacteria. There was a time when the medical industry believed "bad air" (miasma) was the cause of disease. And before that some other explanation.

There was a time when doctors recommended certain brands of cigarettes and leaded gasoline additives was considered safe enough to eat. To believe that we understand everything about disease today (even in face of the fact that we are losing the battle against it) is the height of hubris.

Do I have my own experience and beliefs about fighting sickness and disease? Yes, but I am learning to not bother discussing it online, the attacks for daring to question the established authorities is exhausting.

I was sick constantly as a child, ear aches, migraines, severe athletes foot, pink eye, sore throats, flu, diarrhoea, intolerable gas pains, delusional sleep episodes, pnuemonia (sick 3 months one summer), colds every winter, tooth decay. When I got older, all I did was change my diet. And I haven't been sick in twenty years. (to be accurate I was sick a few times when I didn't sleep for days and lived off coffee, but this was my choice)

My kids are almost never sick. They get a runny nose when they don't dress properly, or don't get enough sleep. All my friends kids are out of school every winter with flu and colds, vomiting and horrible coughs.

One simple rule I live by, don't put crap in my body, or my kids' bodies. (or at least as much as I can manage) No magic there. I've only taken one child to the emergency room for being sick, she had a fever and since I so rarely dealt with sickness, I didn't know what it was. The nurse recognized it while we were in the waiting room, I could have just gone home right then.

What would I do if I got TB? I'd remove every single obstacle in my body's immune system to fight it off.In fact, that is pretty much what all medicine does anyways (look up how vaccines work, they don't kill anything, and if antibiotics don't work, what choice do you have?), and try and provide my body with anything that is missing that it needs (nutrition perhaps? don't know...). No doctor would argue about these basic concepts. In fact the doctor told me I could have just put my daughter in a cold bath to deal with fever, would have been just as effective as bringing her into the hospital. All they gave her was tylenol and advil. (rotating doses) Fever broke in minutes.

Look up recent "discoveries" about effective hand washing, even soap isn't effective, but scrubbing with water is. Just water and scrubbing kills bacteria better than antibiotic hand soap, and antibiotics are failing. There's some missing knowledge, and maybe some old knowledge that's been lost that needs to be found again.

Edit: Most people who die from TB (quick look on google) seem to have auto-immune disease (ie, immune system doesn't work), I think with modern nutrition and cleanliness in society TB isn't even an issue anymore. If your immune system doesn't work, then my very first comment applies, create your own custom immune system is maybe your last resort. (ie, hacked viruses) But I am a total ignoramus, all I have are google searches to base my opinion on. I am not a doctor, nor a scientist to prove anything.

> The main cause of TB is Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB), a small, aerobic, nonmotile bacillus.

You also evade the point that many people used to die from infections that can now be cured by antibiotics and for which we have no backup plan once the bacteria have evolved resistance.

You are bringing up one of the biggest holes in modern understanding of history, lack of data.

For example, tuberculosis was on the decline for a very, very long time before any medical solution was found, and it was nearly irradiated before there was a vaccine. [0] The vaccine had almost no effect on TB's decline in society.

This graph is nearly identical to all diseases that I looked up. Good housing, nutrition, cleanliness are the biggest cures for disease.

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Tuberculosis_in_the_USA_1...

neither of the links you supply support your point.

> Gangrene is caused by a critically insufficient blood supply (e.g., peripheral vascular disease) or infection.

There are two types of gangrene wet and dry. But both are just "dead tissue". Dead tissue can't be cured.

The link that you provided says: "Treatment may involve surgery to remove the dead tissue, antibiotics to treat any infection,"

Infection already present or infection from surgery. But gangrene is not an infection itself.

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