The Mysterious Disease
Every day there seems to be some news report about how we may have gotten one (or more) autoimmune diseases. The latest report says that mononucleosis (the “kissing” disease), which is caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) has been associated with subsequent development of systemic lupus erythematosus and other chronic autoimmune illnesses.
A computational method shows that a viral protein found in EBV-infected human cells activate genes associated with increased risk for autoimmunity.
What we do for sure is that are MANY triggers for an autoimmune disease. Stress and trauma, nutrition, decisions made for us when we were in utero, pollution, chemicals in skincare products and so on.
The three biggest triggers are STRESS, CRAP FOOD and TOXINS.
Toxins come in the form of viruses, bacteria, and other foreign invaders.
The National Institutes of Health estimates that 23.5 million Americans are affected by an autoimmune disease, while the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association quotes 50 million. One reason for the different statistics is how many types of diseases are included in the data counts. There are more than 80 autoimmune diseases, some of the most common being rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes, lupus, celiac, Hashimoto’s, and multiple sclerosis.
This category of diseases impacts a lot of people and it’s why I’m devoting the last half of my career and working-life to helping individuals with autoimmune.
There are a lot of people to help.
There are many ways to help . . . and heal!
So what exactly is an autoimmune disease? The immune system is a network of special cells and organs that protect the body from disease and infection. With an autoimmune disease, there’s a glitch and your body can’t tell the difference between what’s foreign and what’s your body. Your body sends out fighter cells and it makes antibodies that attack healthy cells by mistake.
Autoimmune diseases affect almost every part of the body, and symptoms vary, ranging from fatigue, muscle aches, and fever to depression, anxiety, and inflammation. Advanced multiple sclerosis can include symptoms such as blurred vision and even paralysis.
You may have been told that there is no cure for autoimmune diseases – and that’s where I call BS. Is there one magic pill you can take to erase autoimmune? No, there isn’t.
Is a pill, infusion, or injection the only modality that we consider a “cure?”
However, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a way to reduce the inflammation in your body, heal your gut and tap into the inherent healing nature of your own body. It’s a total mind, body and spirit process and it can be done!
The cure isn’t sexy. It can’t be labeled with some made-up pharmaceutical name, have a fancy label and it can’t be sold. It won’t make money on Wall Street either.
So while doctors and researchers are working on treatments (typically a form of biologics, anti-inflammatory drugs, corticosteroids, antimalarials, and immunosuppressives, which stop the immune system from attacking itself).
These “treatments” are not cures and they come with their own downstream side effects.
If we can focus on responding differently to stress, if we learn to find, prepare and eat nutrient dense food and if we learn how to limit the barrage of toxins that assault us every day – yes we CAN be cured.
My guess is that you had to visit several doctors (rheumatologist, neurologist, dermatologist, and gastroenterologist) to find an answer and be given a diagnosis.
My guess is that each physician works with you on that one body part. Dermatology addresses your eczema (but doesn’t talk about your stomach aches). Gastroenterology will scope you and give you something for your unrelenting acid production (but doesn’t talk to you about the harm that taking long-term proton pump inhibitors will to you.) Your Primary Care may think you are depressed and therapy (or an SSRI) might be worth trying.
All of these decisions may set your autoimmune back further.
Until you put out the fire in your body, your autoimmune will creep up insidiously in another part of your body. Working with a qualified practitioner in the fundamentals of root cause and lifestyle health can give you back your life. It requires immense dedication on your part and the compassion and relentlessness of your practitioner partner.