Autoimmune diseases,,”what are those anyway”.

The 2 words, “autoimmune disease” can be intimidating and foreign to some but for others the phrase “autoimmune disease” is a relentless attack of the most debilitating kind. You probably know someone with an autoimmune disorder because they are very common in society now, and there are commercials galore promoting the latest pill that will give people their life back. Let’s look at a few of the most common autoimmune disorders.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that can cause chronic inflammation of the joints and other areas of the body. Rheumatoid arthritis can affect people of all ages. The cause of rheumatoid arthritis is not known. Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic disease, characterized by periods of disease flares and remissions. In rheumatoid arthritis, multiple joints are usually, but not always, affected in a symmetrical pattern. Chronic inflammation of rheumatoid arthritis can cause permanent joint destruction and deformity. Damage to joints can occur early and does not correlate with the severity of symptoms. There is no known cure for rheumatoid arthritis. The treatment of rheumatoid arthritis optimally involves a combination of patient education, rest and exercise joint protection, medications, and occasionally surgery.

Lupus is an autoimmune disorder that causes chronic inflammation throughout your body. It can affect any or all of your organs, resulting in dozens of physical symptoms ranging from headaches to irregular heartbeats. Most of us are protected by an immune system that attacks invading bacteria and infections. If you have lupus however, your immune system can’t tell the difference between foreign cells and your body’s natural cells and tissues. As a result, inflammation starts to build throughout your body, causing many physical problems, such as joint pain, muscle aches, fatigue, rash, sensitivity to sunlight, Raynaud’s phenomenon.

Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, or Hashimoto’s disease, is a chronic autoimmune disease also known as chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis. The name Hashimoto’s thyroiditis comes from the pathologist who in 1912 first described the microscopic features of the disease. In general, there is a gradual loss of thyroid function, often accompanied by enlargement of the thyroid gland, also known as a goiter.  Some of the symptoms of Hashi’s are fatigue,  mental fogginess and forgetfulness, feeling excessively cold, constipation, dry skin, fluid retention, muscle aches pains and stiffness in joints, depression.

Keep in mind that these disorders have been on a steady rise in the United States and are being diagnosed in younger and younger people. Many young children suffer with these disorders now that literally have them living in a physical life of what was once thought to only happen in the very aged. These “unseen” disorders are misunderstood by most and have devastating effects on people’s lives. Marriages break up, jobs are lost and sometimes the sufferers of these illnesses can be overcome with depression due to the relentless exacerbation of symptoms. Why are these illnesses on the rise and what can we do to help ourselves, friends and loved ones who suffer from these type of illnesses? The medical establishment would say that they have a pill or a shot for those things, but in reality these do not treat WHY a person gets an autoimmune disease in the first place. They simply mask the symptoms. Really,,if you had cancer would you be happy if the doctor came up to you with a Band-aid and said,,”here ya go, now your better.”

 

Organics and how they really do your body good.

Last time I wrote about the issues with meat and what clean meat actually is, and what it is not. This time I thought I should follow-up with a very popular subject lately, Organic foods. The meaning of organic as it pertains to the FDA is, “What makes organic food different is the way it’s grown and produced. For example, only fertilizers like compost or manure can be used; chemical fertilizers are out, as are most synthetic herbicides, pesticides and antibiotics. Animals must be raised on organic feed and have access to the outdoors.” The importance of organic food was lost on me. I saw them as a means of making ones food bill higher than it needed to be and considered myself a savvy shopper for finding the cheapest food out there. I found out that the “cheap food” I was eating and feeding to my family was contributing to “cheap health”. I could kick myself, HARD, every time I think about the lost years spent eating and feeding my family unhealthy foods that I thought were healthy. I also get upset to think that all the effort I put into my diets, buying fat-free, low-fat, etc. etc…only to find out that these foods were detrimental to my health all along and actually promoted my body to stay in the state of obesity that I was in. Back to organics…

Organic vegetables and fruits are grown the way God intended them to be grown, free of poison and thereby not polluting the soil as well. When we started eating organic foods I was at the point in my health where I was willing to try ANYTHING to see even a step in a positive direction. My weight was packing on no matter what I tried, my mood was horrible and the phrase “People will not change until it’s too painful not to” fit the bill here. It was too painful to not try whatever it took.

Oh and yes the mean doctor was such a horrible man,,prescribing REAL food. Organic, fresh foods. Not processed foods. Not “artificial food product”, but honest to goodness FOOD. Now you would think to yourself right about now,,”big deal, it’s just switching foods, right?”, and you would be right to a point. I have learned by experience and by time that food is extremely important to people. We identify foods with different memories, people, and we definitely can become emotional eaters. To my surprise the organic foods not only tasted better but they reminded me of something, oh yes it was “real food”. I had remembered the taste of fruits from when I was young but had not tasted the real flavor of fruits in so long. I honestly stopped eating most fruit because as a professional dieter I figured “well they don’t taste good and that’s just fewer calories in my day”. The real problem was that the conventional fruits and veggies didn’t taste good because they weren’t good. They were laced with pesticides and chemical fertilizers. They gave me heartburn, gas and bloating. At one point I thought about giving up on salads,,(a dieters staple) because it was so painful to eat them.

Imagine my pleasure when after a few weeks of eating clean and detoxing my body from all the filth that I had been consuming by way of processed foods and unclean foods, my taste buds had a rebirth. Food tasted ,,,good! No , not good great! I could taste the flavors of the fruits that I remembered and salads were not only my friend again, but my palate had widened and I was craving all kinds of vegetables now that I would have never even thought to eat before. I say that if you want to get someone to understand how much better organic foods are for them, feed them organic. Once their body feels the difference they will be sold; and another “foodie” is born.