The Autoimmune Epidemic

There are over eighty identified autoimmune diseases. Some of the most common ones are: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Diabetes Type 1, MS (Multiple Sclerosis), Lupus, SLE (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus), IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease), Graves’ Disease (Hyperthyroidism), Hashimoto’s Disease (Hypothyroidism), Crohn’s, Ulcerative Colitis,
and Psoriasis. For a complete list, you can visit autoimmune-information/list-of-diseases/.

While all these diseases seem to be unrelated, and are typically treated by specialists for each disease, the root cause of autoimmunity is the same for all—a confused immune system that begins to attack your own tissues, causing inflammation, cellular damage and disease. This book will address the many reasons that happens, beginning with one of the main causes outside of genetics (now estimated to be only twenty-five to thirty percent responsible for autoimmunity), which is your diet—yes, the foods you eat are the main culprit in autoimmune diseases. What you eat or don’t eat determines the health of all your cells, your body ecology, and eventually intestinal permeability, or what is more commonly referred to as “leaky gut.”

It is estimated by some that ninety percent of all Americans have a leaky gut, and it is widely agreed by functional medicine health care providers that a leaky gut is one of the primary causes of autoimmune disease.

While genetics play an important role in the development of autoimmunity, and poor diet and leaky gut syndrome are considered my many to be the major root causes, there are many other pieces to the autoimmune puzzle. This book aims to educate and enlighten you about the mental, emotional, relational, and spiritual roots of autoimmune disease that also impact autoimmunity. Most books on reversing autoimmunity focus on diet, toxins, stress, and infections (all crucial pieces of reversing autoimmunity), but do not address the mental, emotional, relational, and spiritual causes in any detail, if at all. Rebuild Your Immune System in 10 Minutes a Day not only explains them, but also gives you a daily ten-minute tool you can put into practice easily and immediately to prevent and remedy these sources of autoimmunity.

It has struck me over the years that most chronic illnesses are described as “no known cause, no cure.” This pervasive lack of a “known cause” has been at the heart of my passion to understand “the cause” (or causes) of disease.

It has been my experience, and science supports this, that the mind, emotions, relationship issues, and spiritual voids have as much to do with the development of autoimmune disease, as the full recovery from it; and that failing to address these issues along with genes, diet, stress, toxins, and infections falls short of offering a complete approach to the prevention and reversal of autoimmune diseases.

Autoimmune disease does not typically develop overnight. Symptoms begin to manifest over time, and if not addressed appropriately through proper testing—or addressing nutritional, infectious, and toxicological issues, as well as other lifestyle habits like you’ll find in this book—then you can easily miss the signs and symptoms and continue developing more and more symptoms, until you develop a full-blown autoimmune disease.

Failing to address these issues along with genes, diet, stress, toxins, and infections falls short of offering a complete approach to the prevention and reversal of autoimmune diseases. Failing to address these areas of your life fail to bring about healing and wholeness, the ultimate goal of health.

What are the Symptoms of Autoimmune Disease?

This is not an exhaustive list of symptoms to look for if you suspect you or someone close to you may have an autoimmune disorder, but the most common symptoms are listed below. If you have been experiencing any of these warning signs, or, particularly a combination of several of them, you may have an autoimmune or an autoimmune-related disease.

  1. Feeling more tired than usual or fatigued
  2. Problems with focusing or concentration
  3. Weight gain or weight loss
  4. Joint pain and/or swelling
  5. Muscle pain/weakness/twitching/tremor
  6. Anxiety and/or depression
  7. Digestive problems such as diarrhoea, constipation, pain, gas, bloating, blood or mucous in stool
  8. Dry eyes, mouth, or skin
  9. Numbness or tingling in hands or feet
  10. Hair loss, rashes, or hives
  11. White patches on skin or inside mouth
  12. Headaches or dizziness/vertigo
  13. Sensitivity to cold or heat
  14. Periodic fevers
  15. Vision Changes

The Autoimmune Spectrum

As I mentioned earlier, autoimmune diseases do not typically develop overnight. They come on gradually, wearing down and damaging the body’s cells, tissues, and organs until symptoms begin to manifest. Depending on the number and frequency of symptoms, you will be somewhere along the continuum of autoimmune disease, with the inflammatory disorders showing up somewhere in the middle. While having two to three symptoms does not necessarily mean that you will develop an autoimmune disease, having several chronic symptoms is something you need to look into to find the underlying cause/s and to explore where you might need to make some lifestyle changes.

None—No Inflammation
Some—1 symptom* 1-2 times per month
Mild—1-2 symptoms* 1-2 times per week
Moderate—2-3 symptoms* most days
Severe—3+ symptoms* every day
Diagnosis of Autoimmune Disease

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