Is Autoimmune Disease Slowly Killing You? Get Tested!
What is Autoimmune Disease?
What’s the third leading cause of death in the U.S.? Hint: It’s not what you think. Most of us know that heart disease leads the list at number 1 and cancer is number 2 but autoimmune disease, when taken as a whole, is number 3.
Autoimmune disease encompasses a group of over 100 diseases including type II diabetes, M.S., rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid disease, eczema, psoriasis, celiac disease, etc. What they all have in common is that the immune system in these patients, regardless of which autoimmune disease they have, begins to attack the body itself instead of a foreign invader as it was designed.
Key Facts that should get your Attention:
- The incidence of autoimmune disease is on a dangerous upswing; it’s been doubling every 15 years for the past 75 years.
- You could have the beginnings of autoimmune disease and not know it for 5 to 15 + years because traditional testing is not very sensitive.
- When you have one autoimmune disease you a more likely to develop more.
- If there are any autoimmune diseases in your family you are also more likely to develop one as there is a genetic component.
Why is the Incidence of Autoimmune Disease Escalating?
Autoimmune disease has risen from all but obscurity to the number 3 leading cause of death. We mentioned that there is a genetic component but we know that genes do not alter themselves that quickly. The meteoric rise in autoimmune disease cannot be explained by genetic change. Rather, it is strongly suspected that environment is the actual cause. What about our environment is causing the radical increase?
The health of the digestive tract, specifically the small intestine is the culprit according to research findings. We mentioned earlier that in autoimmune disease the immune system gets confused somehow and starts to attack the body instead of a foreign invader. Why would that occur? The mechanism begins in the gut because that’s where 70% of the immune system is housed.
It is believed that the immune system gets overwhelmed by the presence of food sensitivities such as gluten intolerance or chronic infections and literally begins to make mistakes due to the abundant stress that it thrown at it.
‘Red Hat’ Mechanism Explained
The best way to explain what happens is with an analogy. Imagine every time you saw a red hat it meant that was an enemy and you needed to attack it. And let’s say there were a lot of red hats and you were very busy attacking them most of the day. In fact it seemed that every time you turned around there was another red hat. After a while you would be primed to see red hats and attack them and you would be in an ‘attack mode’ most of the time therefore.
Now imagine one day you saw an orange-red hat. It wasn’t pure red, it was a little different. But you are in attack mode and you think, “close enough to red, I’m going to attack it”.
This is what occurs in the body and the scientific name for it is molecular mimicy. The immune system is in a chronic attack mode due to the presence of a food sensitivity or infection, then one day something similar runs across its path and it is so close to what the immune system ‘knows’ to be bad that it attacks it as well. The problem was that is the ‘thing that looked like the bad guy’ was actually an innocent body part like the heart, thyroid, pancreas, brain, skin, etc.
Unfortunately, however, once the immune system starts attacking the body part, it continues. The good news is that it can, most likely, be stopped. The bad news is that traditional testing is so insensitive for autoimmune disease that the diseases can literally be ‘brewing’ for over a decade before the first test shows positive.
As you can imagine, a full decade or more of the immune system attacking a body part has takes quite a toll on the body.
What’s the Answer?
There are actually several. We are fortunate enough, here at HealthNOW Medical Center, to have a team in our clinical nutrition department that understands how to address autoimmune disease from the inside out and at its root cause level. We have had excellent success in this area.
We are also fortunate enough to have out our disposal a brand new lab test that is a much more sensitive in determining if autoimmune tendencies are occurring and where precisely in the body they are happening. Trust me, this is a big breakthrough.
A Program that Works
So in addition to utilizing the above new test we would follow this program:
• First, you need to ensure that there are no chronic stressors burdening your immune system. This would consist of chronic food sensitivities such as gluten intolerance or infections.
• Second you need to heal any damage that occurred to your small intestine, the organ that houses the vast bulk of your immune system – this is known as a leaky gut.
• Third you will need to determine if any autoimmune tendencies are occurring and in which parts of the body so they can be monitored.
• Fourth, you need to remove any other potential stressors to your immune system from such things as toxicities or hormonal imbalance.
That might sound like a lot but it’s not really. Plus, understand that a program like the above can not only prevent you from developing autoimmune disease but it can reverse any that you do have, plus prevent the development of future disease – no small feat!
Mainstream Medicine Offers only Drugs to Mask the Symptoms
You should also understand that there is, according to mainstream medicine, no ‘cure’ for autoimmune disease. The treatment is suppression of the immune system with drugs and the ingestion of other medications with extremely dangerous side effects. And no cure is offered. The only things that the drug therapies offer is a slowing of a disease which is thought to be unstoppable.
The fact that autoimmune disease is increasing dramatically is a dangerous sign. But the good news is that we have tools to detect it, prevent it potentially, and treat it with good success. And isn’t it interesting that it mostly comes down to the health of your digestive tract?!
If you or someone you care about has an autoimmune disease or has a family history of autoimmune disease, you can really help. Show them this post and encourage them to contact us for more information.
Autoimmune diseases are ‘going viral’ but they don’t need to. Some basic changes in diet and lifestyle can impact them in a big way and our clinical nutrition department works with such patients regularly. Plus our new lab test will give us tremendous insight into where such changes may be occurring.
Please call us if you’re interested in a free health analysis. We are here to help and would be delighted to do so. Our destination clinic treats patients from across the country and internationally so you don’t need to live locally to receive help.
Do You Have Any of the Above Symptoms?
If you are suffering from any of the problems listed above—contact us for a FREE CONSULTATION. Call (408) 733-0400 to schedule. Our medical center is located in Sunnyvale, CA. If you are not local to us, our DESTINATION CLINIC treats patients from across the country and internationally. We will help you find the underlying root cause!
To your health,
Dr. Vikki Petersen
IFM Certified Practitioner
Founder of HealthNOW Medical Center
Author of “The Gluten Effect”
Author of eBook: “Gluten Intolerance – What You Don’t Know May Be Killing You!”