Autoimmune Disease and How YOU can reverse the Growing Epidemic.
Autoimmune Disease and How YOU can reverse the Growing Epidemic.
Part one of two.
Autoimmune disease is spreading in all industrialized nations around the world at an accelerating rate, researchers and scientists agree it is not better diagnosis of the disease – it is rather environmental factors that are responsible for the alarming and accelerating “Epidemic” growth of autoimmune disease in the past 4 – 5 decades.
The figures are staggering and while I am unable to get direct figures for how we fare in New Zealand, American statistics show a very gloomy picture which correlates with figures in all industrialised countries around the world.
Autoimmune disease also affects women far more often than men. Approximately 75% of those affected by an autoimmune disease is female.
“Approximately 50 million Americans, 20 percent of the population or one in five people, suffer from autoimmune diseases. Women are more likely than men to be affected; some estimates say that 75 percent of those affected–some 30 million people–are women. Still, with these statistics, autoimmunity is rarely discussed as a women’s health issue”.
Only 30% of autoimmune diseases are attributed to a genetic link and the number 1 biggest culprit is… Click To Tweet
Between 2001 -2009 the incidence of type 1 diabetes increased by 23% according to the American Diabetes Association Finland.
Scientists agree this increase cannot be genetic factors which would take much longer to increase in numbers, it is clearly environmental factors, which means there is plenty we can do to ensure we take control of our surroundings to minimise our risk of exposure to harmful immune system antagonists.
And if you have already been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease then you are more likely to develop at least 7 more autoimmune diseases in your lifetime according to Dr Gerald Mullin MD, associate professor at John Hopkins Hospital Baltimore USA.
Scientists the world over have dubbed it:
“The Western Disease”.
What is autoimmune disease?
Our bodies are losing the ability to distinguish “self” from a foreign invader. Click To Tweet
Autoimmune disease develops when your immune system, which defends your body against disease, decides your healthy cells are foreign.
There are as many as 80 – 100 different types of autoimmune disease, and as diagnostics get better many diseases such as Parkinson’s disease and type 1 diabetes can be added to the growing list.
Infact the top two diseases of western society Cancer by its very nature and Heart disease in some cases are attributed to the body attacking itself.
The Problem with Making a Diagnoses
When a patient first presents themselves to their doctor with the mysterious symptoms of unexplained constipation or tingling fingers and toes, your doctor is most likely going to deal with the symptoms that present themselves and look no further until much longer down the road for the patient when those symptoms have not been resolved by the medications prescribed.
(In fact some medications prescribed can actually exacerbate the disease, but more about that later in part two).
In the meantime the patient is suffering until a diagnosis is made and the way that diagnosis is confirmed is by antibody blood tests.
Our bodies can carry identifiable antibodies in our blood to an autoimmune disease years and even decades before any symptoms of disease manifest themselves.
Yet most GP’s fail to recognise autoimmune symptoms in their patients when they do present with the first identifiable signs, often misdiagnosing it for a number of other disorders or even in some cases putting it down to hypochondriac neurotic problems.
One patient reports that her doctor said to her “I have tested you for everything known to man and we can’t find any problem, there is only one more thing we can do – an autopsy – do you want one?”
According to Ahmet Hoke, MD, PhD, Director, Neuromuscular Division, John Hopkins Medical Institutions.
“Most of the autoimmune patients we see have already been to several doctors and often have been struggling for a diagnosis for years. We see those patients who have slipped through their doctors’ diagnostic fingers.”
Often when a correct diagnosis has been made by your GP they are using those exact same antibodies in the blood that may have been there for 10 – 15 years.
The message is clear – autoimmune disease is on the rise accelerating at an alarming rate -1 in 5 people have an autoimmune disease, therefore it is about time your GP eliminated an autoimmune disease first before looking for any other clues as to the mystery of their patient’s disease – when the tell-tale signs could already be circulating in their blood.
However the very nature of the modern day busy medical practice and the time spent with each patient (in the busy practice I worked in, the average time spent with a patient was 4.5 minutes) does not allow the comprehensive diagnosis required to identify a possible autoimmune reaction.
Especially when you are focused on the varying minor symptoms of “constipation” and relieving those symptoms with a prescription for a laxative.
When 5 to 10 years down the track that patient battling with bouts of constipation for years is finally diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
A full differential diagnoses and full patient history, considering every illness they have had in their entire life, any family history of disease, and detailed dietary history needs to be considered as well as the environmental factors, any specific stressors identified including trauma to discover an in depth picture of the patients personal health history.
A full differential diagnosis would take at least an hour or hour half to find any pattern or provide any clues as to why this patient is constipated and to uncover a possible autoimmune connection.
That just doesn’t happen in common medical practice today.
THE MEDIA IS MUTE.
You would think this would be top news yet media around the world are mute.
You have to research online before you find any information – and it is disturbing reading.
Auto immune disease is on the rise, documented acceleration is in every industrial nation around the world.
Perhaps the problem also lies with the fact that autoimmune disease does not make headlines.
Nobody is really talking about it and the message is not getting through to alert us.
When statistics show us that 1 in 5 people are going to be affected by an autoimmune disease in their lifetime you would think the media would be all over it?
Why is that?
Some say pharmaceutical companies own the media and are quashing any advertising?
I say that’s just paranoia.
However who stands to lose when we eliminate type 1 diabetes from the planet?
“The estimated cost for a New Zealander with type 1 diabetes is 1 million dollars per person per lifetime and it is not very successful long-term as it tends to lead to complications,” says Professor Elliot Medical Director for Living Cells Technologies Ltd. Auckland New Zealand.
LCT’s technology enables healthy living cells to be injected into patients to replace or repair damaged tissue without requiring the use of immunosuppressive drugs to prevent rejection.
This technology could reduce costs by as much as 95% per patient per lifetime.
Or Dr Faustman’s work at Massachusetts General Hospital, she has long been studying something called BCG (Bacillus Calmette Guerin), a generic vaccine that’s been around for almost a century and was originally designed to combat tuberculosis (TB).
This simple vaccine that has been around for almost 100 years and has been proven in trial to CURE type 1 diabetes in mice.
Stage 2 of her study is about to begin which will fine tune the quantity required to keep type 1 diabetes in remission.
The estimated cost of this vaccine is outweighed by the cost of workplace illness by an estimated 5-1. For every $5.00 lost in work place illness alone to just $1.00 spent on the vaccination.
No explanation for the vaccine shortage is given except to say a number of manufacturing issues have affected vaccine supplies and the vaccine supplier, has been unable to provide a date for when resumption of supplies will be possible?
A bit of a surprise just when so much progress is being made with the BCG vaccination and curing type 1 diabetes.
But this is a fight we can win with more Education.
What we do have is the power to reduce our exposure to environmental toxins which constitutes 70% of our chances of getting an autoimmune disease.
A TOXIC ENVIRONMENT IS IMPLICATED AS THE NUMBER 1 CAUSE OF AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE
So we can do plenty to make sure we end this epidemic.
It is clear that the incidence of autoimmune disease has been growing since the 1950’s and this is not because of better diagnosis of the disease, increasingly environmental toxins are implicated.
According to Ahmet Hoke, MD, PhD, Director, Neuromuscular Division, John Hopkins Medical Institutions.
“It takes the human body thousands of years to adapt to new environmental stresses – yet in 100 years we’ve dumped so many toxic substances into our environment that our immune system is being asked to differentiate between our own body and unrecognisable invaders nonstop. Which makes our body much more likely to make a mistake than it was, say, a century ago. There are just so many more opportunities to make mistakes”.
Experts agree most of the risk of autoimmune disease comes from environmental exposures rather than from… Click To Tweet
A 2005 study found 287 industrial chemicals, including pesticides, phthalates, dioxins, flame retardants, and the breakdown of chemicals from Teflon, in Fetal cord blood from 10 New-born Infants from around America – transmitted to the infants by their mother’s exposures before and during pregnancy.
This type of toxin exposure in an unborn child let alone the child’s mother could NOT have happened a century ago! Flame retardants in the clothes we wear and the furniture we sit on just weren’t around back then and as for “Teflon” it hadn’t even been invented.
And just as a matter of interest a new “chemical” released onto the market in the United States has to be proven unsafe before it is taken off the market.
These chemicals lurk in everyday items: furniture, cosmetics, household cleaners, toys, even food. NRDC is pushing Congress to reform outdated chemical-safety laws and close loopholes exploited by the chemical industry. We use the legal process to pressure the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and state governments to act on the latest science and take the lead on restricting dangerous chemicals.
Whereas a new “chemical” in Europe has to be proven safe before it is put on the market.
The Autoimmunity Epidemic needs to be fought on several levels: more extensive research, development of better therapies that more effectively treat these diseases, and actions to decrease the environmental exposures. The last action will require personal responsibility, political action, and corporate accountability.
As with all autoimmune patients, they are statistically three times more likely to others to be struck down with more autoimmune diseases down the road.
So what can we do about it?
How can we reduce the risk of an autoimmune disease?
We vote with our feet and the first step is to reduce our exposure to the most common chemicals used in the home after all we spend almost half our life there.
We have to:
GO GREEN GET CLEAN AND START TALKING
In a way is wonderful news because it allows us, YOU and me, to have control over our own environment, make changes and take charge of our wellness.
We have options galore in reducing our risk of an autoimmune disease. And the first thing we can do is to clean up our environment.
Follow these 5 golden rules and significantly reduce your risk of an autoimmune disease affecting YOU.
1/ Preservatives in food have proven to be harmful to humans especially to susceptible individuals and the cause of many autoimmune diseases in today’s Western Society, from Diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, Lupus, Contact Dermatitis to Asthma, Celiacs disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Crohn’s disease.
Answer: Choose to buy organic food only, which is proven free from harmful chemicals. Or grow your own fresh fruit and vegetables, every little bit helps. Choose environmentally friendly gardening products or make your own compost and fertilizers with the herbs in your garden.
REDUCING THE CHEMICALS IN OUR FOOD
By reducing our exposure to chemicals in food we can achieve a lot and the easiest way to do this is to only shop around the outside isles in the supermarket and only go down the inside isles for what’s absolutely necessary.
All supermarkets are set up in the same way.
You will find that most of the essential items are found near or around the isles that are around the edges of the supermarket, while most processed foods are in the interior isles.
FRESH IS BEST
Try a fresh is best approach when buying your groceries. Choose whole meats and vegetables over processed foods to avoid unnecessary additives that may trigger an immune response. You will also find that you save some money (because it is often these very packaged foods that turn out to be the most expensive) and at the same time reduce unnecessary packaging of foods which has also been implicated in autoimmune disease.
2/ Household cleansers and garden chemicals carry a skull and crossbones to prove they are harmful substances. Or they have warnings: “keep out of the reach of children”.
Answer: Removing all harmful cleaning products from the home and only buy environmentally friendly house hold cleansers or better still make your own, which are very inexpensive, safe and effective.
3/Many of the cosmetics and creams we adorn our bodies with are also full of harmful chemicals – from hair dyes to lipstick to under arm deodorant and even the sunblock we put on our children.
Answer: Buy organic cosmetics and allow 10 to 15 minutes exposure to the sun every day before you put on an organic sunblock. Because vitamin D is power house in supporting a strong healthy immune system. (Sun exposure for a white person is approximately 10-15 minutes per day, brown person 30 – 40 minutes per day and black person up to 120 minutes per day before applying sunblock).
4/ Ban Teflon pans from the home.
Answer: Choose stainless steel and glass ceramics or the green non – stick cookware without PFCs or other types of toxic coatings.
5/ Get that plastic toy out of baby’s mouth.
Answer: Choose wooden toys instead.
FOR MORE TIPS – RECIPES – AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Visit my ABOUT page scroll down and you will find “Astar” our very own guru of the healthy home domain.
Astar shares in some very short 3-4 minute videos, easy to make, home demonstrations of natural deodorant and a natural toothpaste.
Then go to my Healthy Homes page, scroll down and you will find an extensive catalogue of natural and safe home products and appliances to help clean and “green” up your home, along with more of “Astar’s” video’s demonstrating, a natural window cleaner, cream cleaner and a cleaning spray.
From these tips you will make a great start on getting your home clean and green. You can visit my site again and again to learn more about a natural, safe home for you and your family absolutely FREE.
We have the power to control both our inner and outer environment.
And to take care of the healthier Inner YOU go over to my healthy living page.
NOTE: these essential oils are of Medicinal Grade and the best place to find a Medicinal Grade essential oil is in your health food shop or online.
‘PLEASE DO NOT USE JUST ANY ESSENTIAL OIL FOR INTERNAL USE IT MUST BE MEDICINAL GRADE’.
By choosing to go green in your home by removing all toxic cleaners, cosmetics, toys, cookware and the foods you consume daily you are reducing the toxic load on your over stressed immune system and allowing it to get on with the job of protecting YOU.
In part two we examine in more depth how YOU can put your autoimmune disease into remission without any prescription medication and why prescription medication can make things worse and is not the answer to regaining lasting good health.
Also we will look at Vitamin D and the important role it plays in boosting a healthy and strong immune system.
And when things are really bad for you, what you can do to get back to optimum health.
If you have any comments or would like to find out more please, do not hesitate and make a comment below.
If you have a friend who suffers from an autoimmune disease please share this article with them.
In closing, the following inspiring video gives us a view of the future of medicine research and somewhere along the way we will approach autoimmune disease in a different way.
Soon we’ll cure disease with a Cell, not a Pill.