Is What Started Out As An “Annoying Health Problem” Turning Into An Autoimmune Problem?
Your immune system is designed to strategically locate harmful bacteria and viruses and then destroy them. The system is amazing and complex. But on occasion, the immune system can “misfire,” and when that happens, serious health problems can result. Individuals suffering from autoimmune diseases have immune systems that cannot properly differentiate between normal cells, bacteria and viruses. The end result is the immune system begins attacking normal cells. Disease and illness ensue.
As many as 32 million people in the United States have autoantibodies in their system. Autoantibodies are proteins made by the immune system that work to target the body’s tissues; however, autoantibodies don’t necessarily mean that one has an autoimmune disease. As it turns out, cancer, infections and other factors can cause autoantibodies.
Autoimmune disease can be very serious and even life threatening. Unfortunately, autoimmune diseases are far from being rare, as it is estimated that approximately 3% to 5% of people in the United Stated suffer from some kind of autoimmune disease. Rather surprisingly, about 75% of sufferers are women. In fact, some statistics indicate that up to 10% of deaths in women 64 years and younger may be attributable to autoimmune diseases.
One Day You Feel Stable & The Next You Feel As Though You’re Headed For A Fall?
There are a variety of different autoimmune diseases so symptoms can vary. Inflammation is a key symptom and should be treated seriously, as inflammation is very often a symptom of either injury or disease. Fatigue, mood disorders and issues and digestive health issues are a few other frequently cited symptoms. Changes in blood pressure, swollen glands, painful joints, allergies, muscle weakness, sleep problems and the loss or gain of a significant amount of weight can all be indicators of an autoimmune disease. However, it should be noted that just because you have any, or even all, of these symptoms, it does not necessarily mean that you have an autoimmune disease.
What Are Some Examples Of Autoimmune Disease?
Autoimmune diseases attack the body in a range of different and painful ways. Some of the more widely known autoimmune diseases include Crohn’s diseases and ulcerative colitis, multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis and thyroid disease (Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Grave’s disease). Each of these autoimmune diseases impacts a different system of the body.
Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis- result in inflammation in the digestive system. Absorption of vital nutrients are lost and the body begins to waste away due to insufficient nutrition.
Multiple sclerosis- involves the immune system attacking the nervous system; this condition can extremely painful and life threatening as the nerves begins to degenerate.
Rheumatoid arthritis-Impacting joint health, in its most severe form rheumatoid arthritis can be more than painful, it can be crippling.
Thyroid disease-Hormones govern everything that the body does, which is what makes thyroid disease so problematic. In thyroid disease, normal hormone regulation is disrupted. The entire endocrine system as well as the organs and glands the regulate hormones are under attack.
Psoriasis- red and itchy patches of skin can be highly disruptive to daily life and personal appearance.
Do You Remember How It all Began? What Can Cause Autoimmune Disease?
A great deal of research is currently being conducted in a quest to achieve greater understanding into the root causes of autoimmune diseases. Currently, it is believed that everything from genetics and exposure to toxic compounds in air, water, food and the environment, to stress and physical trauma may all play a part in autoimmune diseases.
Stress triggers the release of stress hormones, which, in turn, cause inflammation in the body. Almost every ailment (including autoimmune diseases and cancer) uses inflammation as a way to spread. This also means that anything that causes inflammation may play a role in autoimmune diseases and the severity of their symptoms.
Don’t Write Yourself Off Yet. Failure is Not An Option. Success Is. What Toxins Should You Avoid?
There are many factors that may be contributing to autoimmune disease issues. Chemicals, toxic food choices, heavy metals and other factors all may play a role. Foods, such as fast food and processed foods, which are loaded with chemicals, preservatives, food dyes and additives, artificial sweeteners, DNA damaging sugar, high levels of sodium, trans fats and other harmful compounds can all trigger inflammation. Poor food choices also mean inadequate nutrition, which impacts the body’s ability to repair and function properly.
Additionally, there are tens of thousands of chemicals present in the environment. Many of these chemicals are known to damage human health, increase the risk of disease and cause inflammation. Other candidates for triggering or worsening autoimmune diseases include infections, injuries and potentially even the aluminum in vaccinations. This is not a discussion of whether or not to vaccinate, only a point to the inclusion of aluminum in vaccines.
Some experts have pointed out that aluminum is a neurotoxin, which can cause brain inflammation and autoimmune disorders. Aluminum is present in most cookware.
There are a wide variety of other cited potential causes of autoimmune disease, which include exposure to heavy metals, such as mercury, lead, cadmium and arsenic, blood transfusions, chronic stress, toxic work environments, hair dyes, antiperspirants, EMF exposure, cell phone use, Teflon and aluminum cookware, flu shots, phthalates, chemicals and heavy metals used in cosmetics, antibiotics and more. In short, the causes of autoimmune diseases are uniquely complex.
Do Heavy Metals Play A Role In Your Ability To Heal?
Heavy metal exposure is not good for the body. This factor is really not a matter of debate. Heavy metal exposure in the form of lead, mercury, cadmium and aluminum are difficult to avoid, as these materials are used in a variety of ways in manufactured goods. Aluminum is often found in both cookware and vaccines. Mercury, a known neurotoxin, is often found in large concentrations in seafood. If you have amalgam “silver” fillings, you have been exposed to mercury. Lead paint remains a persistent source of lead exposure. Cadmium is unique problematic, as it interferes with the body’s natural DNA repair mechanisms.
It is important to note that these compounds will damage your health. Higher levels of exposure can cause an array of problems, trigger inflammation throughout the body and contribute to a range of diseases
Can I Reduce My Chances Of Developing An Autoimmune Issue Or Reduce The Symptoms?
Again, it is important to note that what causes and triggers autoimmune diseases is complicated. Eliminating toxic compounds, such as heavy metals, will serve to help improve your overall health. There are other concrete steps that you can take as well. Improving your diet by eliminating fast food, junk food and processed food and consuming more fresh fruits and vegetables is an key way to improve your health.
Are Your Healthy Days Gone? What Steps Can You take?
There are three dimensions of care from autoimmune disease, and they are the biochemistry, energetic, and structural. Within the biochemistry dimension, it is important to take a look at which toxins might be impacting the body as well as the type of essential nutrients that might be lacking. Lab testing is the most efficient way to know which supplementation will be needed. Infrared detoxification, which removes toxins at a cellular level is used frequently. Make sure the wood used in the sauna is free of preservatives.
When it comes to the energetic dimension, we are referring to the meridian system used in Asian medicine. The structural dimension refers to the nervous system and its trillions of cells and the muscular system and joints throughout the body. Re-establishing structural integrity is the foundation of health. Many conditions improve when the structure of the body is properly re-established to allow a free flow of vital nerve energy.
Our immune system can only optimally function when the spine and nerves are running smoothly. That’s why that so many people who heal from autoimmune disease seek out the assistance of doctors that integrate treatment of the structural dimension.
Taking steps to reduce your stress level is an important part of addressing autoimmune disease. Meditation and yoga have both been scientifically proven to reduce stress hormones, such as cortisol, and that translates to less inflammation throughout the body.
Added to the long list of exercise’s benefits, we can now add its ability to help reduce the risk and impact of autoimmune disease. Moderate exercise helps remove toxic compounds from the body while at the same time lowering stress levels. Exercise is also a strong anti-inflammatory, meaning that exercise truly is one of the single best steps anyone can take to improve overall health.
No One Can Stop You Now. What Are The “Hidden” Dangers?
Some of the more hidden potential dangers are substances that could be harboring toxins. Cosmetics, dental amalgam, which contains mercury, hair dyes, furniture cushions, which contain harmful chemicals and flame retardants, and cleaning products are all significant potential dangers.
Another potentially significant danger is one of the easiest to overlook: water. Purifying one’s water is essential. After all, tap water can often harbor bacteria and viruses that put stress on the immune system. It can also contain heavy metals, such as mercury, as well as thousands of chemicals that have not been properly tested for their impact on human health. Clean water can boost your health and reduce inflammation. Reducing these compounds in your home can reduce your risk of disease.
Everyone Needs A Second Chance. What Foods Can Help Reduce The Severity Of Symptoms Of Autoimmune Disorders?
Some foods have strong anti-inflammatory properties. These foods include: purified fish oils, the spices turmeric and ginger, green tea, pineapple and the pineapple derived enzyme bromelain, berries such as blueberries, raw and cooked garlic and probiotics. Probiotics may also work to remove impurities from the digestive system and work to promote good overall gut health. Some foods such as diary, nightshades like eggplant, tomato and peppers, GMO foods, dairy and gluten containing wheat may all trigger an inflammatory response. Opting for organic foods will also reduce your exposure to pesticides.
Omega-3 rich foods are another very good idea, as they reduce inflammation. Studies have shown that omega-3 rich foods are excellent for both brain and heart health as well.
- Here are some of the best omega-3 foods:
- Wild caught salmon
- Grass fed, organic beef
- Omega-3 enriched eggs
- Flax seeds
- Chia seeds
Food allergies can be a source of inflammation. Find out what foods you are allergic to and then eliminate them; doing so will significantly boost your overall health.