Here’s something for you to ponder today.
Three out of the top four best-selling drugs of 2015 were medications that treat autoimmune conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, ankylosing spondylitis, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
The three drugs are Humira, Enbrel, and Remicade, and between all three we’re talking about sales exceeding $31 BILLION dollars.
We’re also talking about frightening side effects—let’s face it, you can’t suppress your immune system and not expect to pay the price, including fatal infections.
But what boggles my mind more than how hard it’s raining money at AbbVie, Amgen/Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson/Merck is the fact that SO MANY of us have autoimmune diseases, to begin with.
Why in the name of heaven do so many people have immune systems that are attacking their healthy organs, leading to pain, loss of normal function and frequently death?
Well here are some possibilities…
Autoimmune diseases—why in the world?
You may wonder why someone’s immune system starts going haywire and attacking healthy cells.
Well, because it’s taunted into doing so.
When your immune system is “aggravated” and exposed to things that are or could be mistaken for a dangerous invader, it can be triggered into going overboard and launching an inflammatory reaction when it shouldn't.
Here are some factors that could be stirring up your immune system:
1) Reduced natural barriers
Your body has many natural barriers that prevent dangerous molecules from seeping into your bloodstream.
These include your saliva, stomach acid, bile, mucus and your friendly gut flora.
Lacking in any of these can open the door for real or perceived antigens to sneak through, get into your bloodstream and clang your immune system alarm.
Think about this: Considering the staggering number of people who regularly use antacids or acid reducers, that's a whole lot of people disabling one of their body's most important barriers and opening the door for immune system problems.
2) Leaky gut
Having a gut wall that’s too porous (known as leaky gut or intestinal hyper-permeability) can allow harmful substances to enter your bloodstream and provoke your immune system.
Leaky gut is commonly the result of poor digestion but it can also be caused by:
- Intestinal infections
- Medications—especially NSAIDS, which are commonly prescribed for autoimmune disease pain!
- Excessive alcohol use
- Harmful bacteria, parasites, and yeast overgrowth
Dysbiosis is an intestinal environment where your harmful bacteria outnumber the friendly ones...and since this is where 70 percent of your immune system resides, that's not good.
Numerous published studies link dysbiosis to autoimmune diseases.
Vaccines are designed to work by giving you a small dose of a virus and fooling your immune system into thinking you’re sick, and as a result, trick it into developing antibodies to that virus.
But everyone’s system is different, and it’s not out of the realm of possibility that certain people’s immune systems might not react as expected, and/or may overreact.
There has been a concurrent rise in autoimmune diseases and the number of recommended vaccines and I don’t think that’s a coincidence.
5) Widespread vitamin D deficiency
Vitamin D deficiency has now reached epidemic proportions, thanks to our exaggerated fears of the sun and slathering on sunscreen whenever we walk out the door.
Vitamin D helps calm excessive inflammatory actions of your immune system, so without its protective efforts, your immune system is more likely to “misbehave.”
6) Our obsession with antibacterial products
By trying to germ-proof our world with antibacterial products that run the gamut, we are not exposing our immune systems to foreign microbes and allowing them to develop natural immunity.
Instead, we are in effect encasing our immune systems in a sort of “plastic bubble,” preventing them from functioning as they were designed to.
Help smarten up your immune system
To help minimize your chances of facing autoimmune disease (or help fight back if you’ve got one or more) you can encourage your immune system to stay strong AND act appropriately by giving it help in these ways:
Support a healthy gut environment
Concentrate on gut-friendly foods like fresh vegetables and fermented foods like yogurt and sauerkraut.
At the same time, stay away from processed and fast foods and especially refined sugars, as they feed the harmful microbes in your gut.
Keep meals simpler to promote better digestion—either a protein and veggie meal or a starch and veggie meal. Avoid combining proteins and starches.
Plus probiotic supplementation with a multi-strain formula like Super Shield can help repopulate your supply of friendly intestinal microbes and help support a healthier flora balance that can protect you as well as be a good home to your immune system.
Ease inflammatory actions with vitamin D
Supplementation with a quality vitamin D formula like Optimum DK Formula with FruiteX-B can go a long way in helping to counteract the overzealous inflammatory responses seen with autoimmune conditions.
Also, reasonable (not excessive) exposure to sunlight without sunscreen will help your body naturally produce vitamin D. Just 20 minutes is all it usually takes. Make sure you never get a sunburn, and if you are going to be in the sun for longer than 20 minutes, then it’s time to apply a safe, natural sunscreen (like Badger).
Use good old-fashioned soap and water
Ditch the antibacterial garbage and use regular soap and water for washing your hands and body.
Carefully weigh the risks and benefits all medications, including vaccines
Most medications, including vaccines and especially antibiotics, can affect your gut health and immune function. Read package inserts for all drugs, use medications only if absolutely necessary, and talk to your doctor about alternatives. If he or she is unwilling to discuss the matter with you, find another who will.
Treat your immune system like the precious gold that it is and support its proper functioning.
To your health,