The definition of Autoimmune Disease as stated by Healthline.com – “An autoimmune disease develops when your immune system, which defends your body against disease, decides your healthy cells are foreign. As a result, your immune system attacks healthy cells. Depending on the type, an autoimmune disease can affect one or many different types of body tissue.
There are as many as 80 types of autoimmune diseases. Many of them have similar symptoms, which makes them very difficult to diagnose. It’s also possible to have more than one at the same time. Autoimmune diseases usually fluctuate between periods of remission (little or no symptoms) and flare-ups (worsening symptoms). Currently, treatment for autoimmune diseases focuses on relieving symptoms because there is no curative therapy.
Autoimmune diseases often run in families, and 75 percent of those affected are women, according to AARDA. African Americans, Hispanics, and Native Americans also have an increased risk of developing an autoimmune disease.”
Once someone has developed an autoimmune disease like Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis (as with me), you are three times more likely to develop a second, and perhaps a third. Why, because your immune system is compromised and therefore leaves your body open to more diseases.
What are autoimmune diseases? Just to note that women are more susceptible to them, but men are also at risk. The ratio of women to men in autoimmune disease is about 9:1 that women are more likely to develop one or more diseases than men. A few of these diseases are listed here (Sources for the following information are WedMD, Healthline, Mayo Clinic and the Marshall Protocol):
Asthma – inflammatory disease of the airways of the lungs
Hepatitis – inflammation of liver tissue
Rheumatoid Arthritis – inflammation of joints and surrounding tissue
Reactive Arthritis – inflammation of joints, urethra, and eyes; may cause sores on the skin and mucus membranes
Fibromyalgia – widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues
Hashtimoto’s Thyroiditis – inflammation and destruction of the thyroid gland
Graves Disease – overactive thyroid gland
Autism – a mental condition, present from early childhood, characterized by difficulty in communicating and forming relationships with other people and in using language and abstract concepts
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus – affects skin, joints, brain, kidney and other organs
Chron’s Disease – inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that may affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract from mouth to anus
Inflammatory Bowel Disease – inflammatory diseases of the small bowel and colon
Multiple Sclerosis – attacks nerve cells causing pain, blindness, weakness, poor coordination, and muscle spasms
Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus – destruction of insulin producing cells in the pancreas
Guillain-Barre syndrome – affects nerves controlling muscles in the legs and sometimes arms and upper body
Chronic inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy (similar to Guillain Barre)
Psoriasis – a skin condition that causes redness and irritation as well as thick, flaky, silver-white patches
Myasthenia Gravis – nerves are unable to stimulate muscles causing weakness
Vasculitis – damages blood vessels in organs in different parts of the body
Addison’s Disease – adrenal hormone deficiency
Celiac Sprue Disease or just Celiac Disease– reaction to gluten that destroys the villa in the intestines
Pernicious Anemia – inability to absorb B12 causing a decrease in red blood cells
Vitiligo – white patches on the skin caused by lack of pigmentation
Scleroderma – connective tissue disease causing changes in skin, blood vessels, muscles and internal organs
Sjögren’s Syndrome – destroys the glands that produce tears and saliva causing dry eyes and mouth; may affect kidneys and lungs
Behçet’s Disease – an autoimmune disease that results from damage to blood vessels throughout the body, particularly veins
Alopecia Areata – spot baldness – hair is lost from various parts of the body – mostly the head
Autoimmune Inner Ear Disease – inflammatory condition of the inner ear
Encephalitis – acute inflammation of the brain
Again, this list is just a few of the 80 (or more) autoimmune diseases out there and some of them may be very surprising! The medical/scientific community is working at uncovering more all the time. This means we have a world epidemic going on that really needs help. I know this and I’m no scientist!
Unfortunately, what the medical community offers to help us with autoimmune disorders doesn’t always help, but makes our bodies more susceptible to more of the same. As the medications they prescribe only help to destroy our immune systems even further! And don’t get me started on the side effects of these drugs! Can you believe some of the advertisements on television that tell you all the side effects of some of the medications they promote? Well, they are the main reason I have decided I won’t be taking anything more at the moment. I think I can live with what I have, even with the pain and discomfort (and other effects).
If you know me at all, you will surely realize that I’m not one to simply accept a diagnosis and not do some digging to find out as much about it as I can. If there is a chance I can do something to help myself get better, as quickly as I can, I will at least try it out. There’s a lot of investigating done ahead of my trying anything, including medications.
[At little bit of history – So, when I was 2 years old I had a tonsillectomy and had my adenoids removed – first off I wasn’t old enough to know or do anything about it, but it certainly changed my entire life. At about age 6 I was diagnosed with multiple allergies and asthma, had numerous bouts of antibiotics and allergy shots. In my teens I had my first “reaction” to sulpha drugs and in my mid-20’s had an anaphylactic shock reaction to sulpha drugs – no more of them!. As time went by I learned the hard way how much my body hates chemicals of any kind. WOW, how about my odds of NOT getting an autoimmune disease as I got older!? When I look back, I now know just where most of my problems stemmed from, but what to do about it now? When I hear people say their children/grandchildren are going to have their tonsils out! What, NO! Find out what is causing the strep throat (allergens whether seasonal or not, food intolerances, etc.), but don’t remove your first line of defense! That just sets the body up for destroying itself and at such an early age, they will have no front line immune defense to help them as they age.]
What I spend a lot of time doing is researching different modalities of treatment that can/will help. One such investigation has just recently revealed a protocol – called the Marshall Protocol (an antimicrobial treatment for chronic inflammatory diseases) – that has uncovered a lot of information about disease and what this protocol does to help reverse it. There are some very interesting testimonials about how long it takes (2-3 years), what types of things you are supposed to take (antibiotics and another medication) that eradicates viral, bacteria and other infections that are supposed to be causing these diseases. I think I’ll continue to research as this information hits on some very probable “causes” (the medical community doesn’t believe) of autoimmune diseases. These diseases don’t just come up, they take years in the making and there has to be a “root cause” [read mine above] for everything that goes wrong in the body. That’s my take, by the way. So, you know I’ll be doing a lot more research on the Marshall Protocol and will report on it should I decide to take action on it.
With autoimmune disease, unfortunately, mortality is a serious issue. I know we are all going to die eventually, but I certainly don’t want to be cutting my life short because I didn’t do everything in my power to prevent an early demise. Considering I am living with at least 2 autoimmune diseases (RA and Hashimoto’s), I have changed my diet 3 times in the past 3 years, have lost 45 lbs. since the beginning (bonus), am taking very little medication because it has adverse effects that I am constantly fighting, and have given up some of my beloved activities due to pain and inflammation. So I have every intention to do my best to make my life with autoimmune disease better, and hopefully will find the right method to help reverse it if I can. Currently, I am in less pain than I was when I first began this journey, which makes me very happy, so I must be doing something right!
I know this information is a bit daunting, but thought it was worthy of sharing. I’ll continue to enlighten you with my findings.
Have a wonderful day and week ahead.