I’m in a Facebook group for people with Graves’ disease. I stay in it for answering the odd question, but there are sooooooo many people who are anti-vaccination, anti-medication, pro-supplements, pro-“anti-inflammatory”-diet that it drives me crazy. People will claim that diet and supplements put them into remisson, but Graves’ is known to sometimes go into spontaneous remission (especially for those diagnosed beyond young adulthood) without taking any particular actions… So how do they know it’s their diet and supplements and wouldn’t just have happened anyway?!
Against my better judgement, I commented on someone’s comment about not getting the flu shot because those of us with Graves’ already produce too many antibodies. I replied with my understanding of how autoimmune conditions work, and that we don’t produce “too many” antibodies. The response I got back was basically that I was wrong and that we do in fact produce too many antibodies. Instead of engaging more and making myself crazy, I’m coming here. I know there are people here who understand way more about science and physiology than I do. So, I want to know if my understanding of “what goes wrong” in a high-level sense is correct.
My understanding is that antibodies are produced both upon exposure to foreign substances, but also produced at random, and that this is how we’re protected from bacteria and viruses we may have never encountered before. My understanding is that everyone, at some point, probably produces some autoantibodies thorugh the random-generation method of producing antibodies, but that the body quickly realizes that these antibodies are to tissues within our body and halts the process of them being produced before they can do any damage. My understanding is that autoimmune diseases are, in part, when this mechanism breaks down and these autoantibodies are allowed to move into full production, and the rest we all know.
Is this general understanding correct? Do we all produce autoantibodies, and it’s just something about the regulation mechanism that breaks down in autoimmune diseases? Or do those of us with autoimmune diseases product “too many” antibodies (in other words, produce antibodies that those without autoimmune diseases never produce)?
If my understanding is wrong, does anyone have any links to simple material that explains autoantibodies?