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.”



Is there such a thing as dirty meat?

We are starting with meat and why grass-fed beef is cleaner and healthier for you. Cows, biologically, are created to graze on grass – not feast on nutrient-poor, genetically modified grains.  Grain-fed beef is the result of large agribusinesses wanting to fatten up cows as quickly as possible, regardless of the harm it does to their health (not to mention how grain diminishes the nutritional quality of the meat consumers wind up eating!). Another reason I love grass-fed beef is that it’s simply cleaner.

Feedlot cattle stand all day long in dirt and manure. You can imagine how much harder it is to remove all the fecal contamination given that scenario. They are literally hip deep in their own dung until they are taken to slaughter. That is just NOT RIGHT.  Pasture-raised animals are much easier to clean because they come from small herds raised in relatively clean pastures.

Then there is the issue of the cattle being given rBST and rBGH shots. The rBGH stand for recombinant growth hormone and causes the cattle to grow quickly, not naturally,,just quickly. The rBST is recombinant bovine somatotropin and is used interchangably with rBGH. Both of these hormones have been found in the end product of meat that you buy at the store and both of these are not healthy for either the cow to be given or us to be eating.

Look closely in the dairy aisle and you will inevitably see cartons of milk labeled “contains no rBGH” or “contains no rBST,” often followed by the disclaimer “no significant difference has been shown between milk derived from rBST-supplemented and non-rBST-supplemented cows.” Seems pretty bizarre to market the fact that your milk doesn’t contain rBGH and then go on to state that there’s no empirical difference between it and rBGH treated milk. It may interest you to learn that the latter disclaimer–that there’s no proven difference between rBST and non-rBST treated cow milk–is the result of lawsuits brought by agricultural industry giant Monsanto against dairy farmers who make a point of marketing their non-rBGH treated dairy products as such. So why all the hubbub and litigation?

In 1991, a non-profit farm advocacy group reported that cows treated with rBGH in a Monsanto-commissioned study at the University of Vermont were showing an unusually high rate of birth defects in their calves, as well as an increased incidence of mastitis–a bacterial infection of the udder.

The symptoms of mastitis include inflammation and the secretion of pus and blood into the milk. To avoid contamination and ensure the health of their cows, Monsanto began treating their cows with antibiotics. Antibiotics are also secreted into milk and may pose health risks to humans. FDA regulations rely on pasteurization to remove hormones, antibiotics, and bacteria from milk, but many critics allege that the FDA’s testing standards for hormonal and antibiotic content are inadequate.

To this day, the safety of rBGH in cows and humans remains a controversial matter. However, it has already been banned in every country of the European Union, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan–and many major American retailers are heeding consumer concerns as well. Safeway, Kroger, Walmart, and Starbucks have all stopped selling rBGH-treated milk.

Detoxing can feel like the cold I just had.

So this week I have literally been ‘seeking health’ whilst fighting a cold, and a summer cold at that. Colds are bad at any time, but summer colds just seem exceptionally uncomfortable. Hot weather and a stuffy nose, not good. Do I put the fan on because it’s hot, or turn it off because I just got some chills? Soup?, in the summer? All of that is just not fun and I am glad to say that I am feeling much better.

I am going to pass on a bit of medical advice I received from the Nutritionist that actually had me and my husband do the detox and started us on this journey. He was kind enough, after I had posted a question on his Facebook page about “what was the benefit of gargling with salt water anyway?” He could not give me medical advice on Facebook and I understand the implications to that, all I wanted to know was “why did my mother always tell me to do it?” Was this an old-wives tale or was it the salt water really helping my adrenal glands and the gargling that helped stimulate my vagus nerve? I wanted some logical, hard evidence for doing this vile action since I really didn’t like it. He was kind enough to call and, while I was taking a nap, and give my husband this little advice for a sore throat. He said to get sea-salt, and baking soda (aluminum free), then the hottest water I could possible gargle with and mix them together. He didn’t give exact amounts so I used 1/4 tsp of the salt, 1/4 tsp of the baking soda and 8 oz of water. First you gargle with this concoction and then right after quickly drink some iced water. * I love ice water and my husband had been forbidding me to drink it with my sore throat, but ha, ha, I got my iced-water*. I followed the instructions he gave and TA-DA,,no kidding my throat felt so much better. Almost scary miraculous. He had given the explanation of “something or another canceling out the pH of something”,,but my husband does what most men do, they don’t get DETAILS. I may have to ask for a formal reason later on, but for now this helped immensely and I thought I should pass this on to anyone who might have the need. 

Back to detoxing…”ah do we have to?”,,yes we do because really it’s such a good thing to do for your body. We are inundated with toxins from our foods, air, water, environment etc. Detoxing takes a stress off our internal organs and gives us a chance to clean out and start fresh. My husband and I headed into our detox with hopefulness and a cleaned out kitchen to avoid cheating. Cleaning out my kitchen was harder than I thought. I had stock piled all this food to be a good wife, buying mass quantities of on-sale processed foods that would keep for years and years in cans and boxes, not really thinking that if these foods could keep that long, there must be a ton of preservatives in them and were preservatives really healthy for me? So after jumping over that mental hurdle, I ran into another one. How many of you stock pile to feel a sense of comfort that you will always have food? It wasn’t until I was asked to give up my stock pile that I realized how much dependence I had in it. This, for me, was an ah-ha moment and spiritual question. Did I place my security for the things that I NEED, (food, shelter, clothing) on my “pile” versus a faithful God that had always supplied over and above what I needed? My mind went to those in other countries who live from day to day not knowing if they will eat at all and to my life of never missing a day without food. Now, I have had some lean days when rice was the whole menu, but NEVER,, did I not eat. So with renewed faith in my Father who has never let me down since the day I placed my life in His hands, I got down to business and cleared out my kitchen of food-like products that were doing more damage than good. It feel like a relief, because I am always asking for Jesus to show me anything that I need to let go of in the flesh in order to cling more tightly to Him and He did and it was all wrapped up in me seeking health at any cost.  Image