I realize I am not an "Einstein", but I have never been able to accept the autoimmune theory in that: You went to bed last night and when you woke up this morning, your immune system decided to attack you but we have no clue why." (And I am referring to ALL autoimmune diseases, 3 of which I have.)
We've got a lot of smart people here but only when one of them cures MS will I consider them an Einstein
I've never noticed that it really matters whether or not MS is autoimmune.....one of the most widespread misconceptions regarding "inflammatory" diseases is that the first symptom or the diagnosis has some direct relationship with the actual inception of the disease process. Most researchers AND logic seem to agree that the disease process begins many years before symptoms leading to diagnosis. Despite seeming that way, it isn't an overnight situation.
For me, there has to be a reason why this happens for EACH disease and research should be focusing on why and exactly what is happening.
As a person with three "inflammatory" diseases you, more than most, should be considering the fact that most people in the general population don't have ANY diseases and that the odds are astronomically against you getting plastered with three completely unrelated diseases. The odds are that they're closely related and involve the same underlying process expressing different outward symptoms. Your daughter having an "inflammatory disease, but not one that you have, is another strong clue in that it shows the familial link to inflammatory disease, yet she didn't get one that you have.
One of the biggest roadblocks to progress are the remaining misconceptions from early researchers. Because these diseases were discovered separately before awareness of the immune system, because medical specialty is divided into affected body parts, the assumption has always been that these are separate diseases affecting separate body parts rather than one disease of the immune system which expresses different outward symptoms in different people.
As we all know when we read the very fine print, those in the know "think" MS is an autoimmune disease--and all meds treat that way, but there has never been any proof that that is the cause.
You're giving our state of medical advancement FAR too much credit. If we really could design drugs to do exactly what we want, to the degree that we want, I would wholeheartedly agree with you. MS treatment failures could just as easily be owed to the misdirection and ineffectiveness of our treatments which doesn't necessarily prove that MS is, or isn't autoimmune.
Multiple sclerosis has been around for long before antibiotics were developed and was first described in the 19th century. Hence I don't buy the theory that antibiotics are the cause of auto-immunity. However you might think I'm prejudiced because I've been taking antibiotics to treat my MS.
Yours is a valid thought process but I would argue that there is a lot more to the "hygiene hypothesis/loss of evolutionary normal conditions" situation than just that.
The idea behind the hygiene hypothesis is that the human immune system evolved experiencing all these parasitic pathogens (protozoans, viruses, bacteria and helminth parasites) in our youth so that by about the age of fourteen, with or without continued exposure to them we had a "mature" immune system capable of correctly directing its actions.
In articles you'll often see vaccines and antibiotics quoted as playing a part, and to a degree they probably did, but the strength of this effect likely is based on the size of the pathogen and time in the system. A two week stint with head lice or the bacteria in our stomachs seems to have shown not to have given our immune systems enough experience in the developed populations and as the largest of the human parasites that is why recent research has been focused on the helminth parasites.
One helminth has the surface area to "hide" from the immune system which would equal millions of bacteria. With that in mind, in undeveloped populations helminth infections can range from thousands and in the worse cases up to a million.
It might seem that the use of abx towards MS is contrary to the hygiene hypothesis and might reflect on the validity of the hygiene hypothesis, under the current conditions the two don't reflect on each other at all.
Because there has always been pampered royalty and wealthy people who didn't have to walk barefoot through the "poo" of others and who probably demanded (and sometimes found available) higher quality food and water than the general population, I think there have been scattered cases of MS through the history of humanity.