I am. My own worst enemy. The word autoimmunity has caught my attention. I hear it everywhere. New buzz word. Probably not new but gaining popularity. I don’t understand the word. It is when our bodies turn on ourselves. ugh. That is not nice. That is what I read. But I read further. I will try to make sense of it here in a very simple way, as that will be the only way I will be able to understand it. As it relates to “crhonic illness”, many of us might find some interesting findings here that relate to our own health. I was nudged to look this up when my big toes became excruciating painful in bed the other night. Gout? Too much beef? Uh-oh. Sounds horrible, eh? Nuts have made moving my joints almost impossible at times this past year. I realize I am a lost cause but we all suffer from chronic something or other whether it be allergies, colds regularly, arthritis, digestive disorders, headaches, sinus problems, etc.
How can all this have anything to do with Autoimmune disorder??? Are they it related? Weeeeellllll. …… This is what I uncovered in my very brief stint on the subject. And I’m thinkin’ it may be good for me to know. INFLAMMATION. It is connected to cancer. Diabetes. Autism. Depression. Thyroid disease. Asthma. Celiac. And all that I listed above. Most all of these chronic conditions are treated with power drugs that are IMMUNE SUPPRESSING and the root of the cause is not addressed. The source of inflammation in our bodies must be found and treated.
The following definition is one I can most understand:
Autoimmune conditions are connected by one central biochemical process: A runaway immune response also known as systemic inflammation that results in your body attacking its own tissues.
Autoimmunity happens when your immune system gets confused and your body cannot differentiate between healthy body tissue and foreign unhealthy tissue. The immune system is fighting an allergy, toxin, food, stress and it directs its attack on your joints, brain, skin, gut, your hormones, etc. Stress is a very familiar example that helps me understand this concept. As we try to manage our stress, sometimes we can take on physical symtpotms as a result of the stress. Heart disease, tummy problems, headaches, etc. In the case of the heart, our immune system attacks our heart in its effort to manage the stress. The result is heart disease. In my research, I have read that many of the medications and over the counter drugs only exacerbate the chronic illness. They can be used to cool the inflammation short term but would be advisable to get to the root of the problem and correct it. Antibiotics IS NOT the solution. Makes sense to me.
In my case, it is becoming blaringly clear that my immune system attacks vehemently when it detects inflammation. Like my big toes screaming the other night. Or my joints making a cripple of me. But always, always, always when I remove what I think is the culprit from my diet, it immediately goes away. Luckily, I dont run to the doctor to get a prescription filled. I would be on a tremendous amount of medicine.
My problem is that I choose not to eat perfect 100 percent of the time. When I dont, I suffer. I ride a fine line though. I play Russian Roulette with my health. Eat well most of the time and let myself slip to a breaking point then climb back on the train. Correcting the diet heals me without taking medication. If I dont watch out, one of these days I will not be so lucky.
Now that I feel a teensy weensy more knowledgeable on this subject, and not really that much, I am concerned that this is a real dilemma in our western culture. I found a super article that helped me with this post and it has 9 steps to treating autoimmune issues. I will post them next time. Until then,