Take Your Life Back: Where are you in Your Journey with Autoimmunity ?
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It affects 8% of our population—the problem is that less than a third are diagnosed. So we’ve got 17 million people maybe who actually have it. And it affects hundreds of millions worldwide, rates are increasing dramatically. There’s a latent period of 7-14 years where it’s not even diagnosedand it’s sort of “pre-autoimmunity.” And often it’s only diagnosed after there’s tissue destruction instead of when there are imbalances that can be picked up early.
There are 24 million people with autoimmune disease, and it’s on the rise. So when you take it as a collective problem and you look at them together, there are 80 autoimmune diseases. It’s a huge issue. Whether it’s arthritis, lupus, inflammatory bowel, MS, Sjögren’s, or vitiligo, or all sorts of autoimmune things… psoriasis. It’s such a huge problem that people haven’t seen it as one problem. And there’s no sort of autoimmune society, there’s no autoimmune institute. There’s like all these different pieces that are treated and looked at by different people, and nobody’s looking at the problem as one whole continuing issue.
Symptoms of Autoimmunity : Use this checklist to see if any of the symptoms you are facing relate. If you know for sure you have Autoimmunity then please read our treatment for Autoimmunity.
What is autoimmune disease? It’s an inflammatory disease. And the question then becomes not “How do I shut off inflammation?” but “How do I find the root cause of inflammation? Why is the immune system so pissed off?” That’s a question that most doctors don’t ask, so what we do in conventional care is we block, antagonize, suppress, and inhibit the immune system. We use anti-inflammatory drugs like nonsteroidals whether it’s Aleve or Advil. We use steroids, we use drugs called TNF-Alpha Blockers which are called disease modifying drugs that suppress immunity and cause cancer, or an overwhelming infection. We’ll use chemo drugs—methotrexate, Imuran, cyclosporine—we’ve been using bone marrow transplants for some people. So these are extremely aggressive, extremely intense drugs with tons of side effects.
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We say, “What is it that could be bugging you that’s triggering inflammation?” And we need to get rid of that. And “What is it that you need for your immune system to work properly, for your body to work properly?” And we try to give you those things. So we get rid of the bad stuff, and we put in the good stuff. The bad stuff is a short list, and I think it’s really important to understand what those causes are, and they’re different for different people, so you can have 10 people with exactly the same autoimmune disease, and each one of those 10 people might have a different set of causes. So you can’t treat them all the same, right? And that’s really important. One person might have an autoimmune disease from eating gluten, and another person might be from mercury, and another p erson might be from a parasite in their gut, and the list goes on and on.
And I think the things we really think about are: what are the toxins? Like this woman I mentioned: she had high levels of mercury, there was immunotoxin that caused inflammation, we measured how her cells—her lymphocytes—were responding to mercury, and we saw that they were really upset that the mercury was around. They were creating a trigger. But there are also other toxins, all the chemicals and pesticides, the plastics we’re exposed to—they’re what we call autogens. They’re triggers that are chemicals that cause an autoimmune response. They’re called autogens. They’re also called obesogens because they cause obesity, too. They do everything. And then there are allergens we’re exposed to. They can be things we’re eating, and that’s the biggest source. Gluten, dairy, grains, are often a big trigger. Mold, environmental allergens, even chemical allergens can trigger a problem. Microbes, bugs—not just bugs in your gut, abnormal gut flora, which we have: parasites, yeast, bad bugs—but also things like tick-borne diseases and other weird viruses and chronic viral infections. These are things that your immune system starts reacting to. So there’s a process called molecular mimicry where our bodies start to react to these various triggers that are infectious. And then of course there’s stress. Both physical and psychological stress will trigger inflammation and autoimmunity. And poor diet. When you eat a bad diet, you’re actually affecting your gut flora. You’re creating inflammation just from the sugar. So there are a lot of things in your diet that can actually change the equation and push you toward autoimmunity.
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