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Rates of this disease are exploding—but no one’s talking about it!

I just did a search on the CDC’s website for disease statistics and noticed a huge gaping hole in their disease statistic reporting. 

As you would expect, heart disease continues to claim its top spot on the mortality chart, with about 650,000 deaths in 2017 (the most recent data year).  Cancer remains number two, with 600,000 deaths.

The list continues with accidents at 170,000 and lower respiratory diseases causing 160,000 deaths.

But there is another classification of diseases that, incredibly, the CDC is pretty much mum on.

Autoimmune diseases!

Although autoimmune diseases don’t necessarily mean an immediate death sentence, they cause a whole lot of misery as they slowly rob your body of its normal functioning, severely impact your quality of life and eventually take it.

Here’s the latest on this category of diseases that EVERYONE should be talking about!

Strength in numbers

It is currently estimated that heart disease affects about 22 million Americans and cancer about nine million.

But autoimmune diseases have them both beat at about 23.5 people in the US!  And get this—that number is suspected to be a low estimate due to limited epidemiology studies, and could be more like 50 million!

So why aren’t we hearing about this life-stealing monster and instead are INUNDATED with stories about a few hundred cases of measles, mumps or whooping cough?

I’ll let you ponder that for a while we take a look at what autoimmunity is…

Autoimmunity—attacking the good guys

Your immune system is everywhere in your body.  Although the majority of it (about 70-80 percent) is located in your gut, your immune cells cruise ALL through your body, looking for “invaders” such as a virus, infection or even cancer cells!

When your immune system detects an invader, it launches an attack and destroys it—thereby protecting you and helping to keep you healthy!

Well, with autoimmune diseases,  your immune cells get mixed up.  They start to see your normal, healthy functioning cells, tissues and organs as a dangerous invader and launch their attack.

As this continues over and over, chronic inflammation is created.  Eventually this causes great harm to your cells and organs, and leads to impairment or loss of normal bodily functioning.

It’s all fair game

Since your immune system is everywhere in your body, autoimmune diseases can literally affect you from head to toe.  Here are some examples:

  • IBD (inflammatory bowel disease, including Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis)
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Lupus
  • Scleroderma (thickening and hardening of the skin)
  • Sjogren's syndrome (chronic dry eyes)
  • Graves' disease (overproduction of thyroid hormones)
  • Hashimoto's disease (underproduction of thyroid hormones)
  • Glomerulonephritis (kidney inflammation that can lead to kidney failure)
  • Guillain-Barre' syndrome (weakness, numbness and paralysis)
  • Psoriasis

Researchers have identified between 80-100 different autoimmune diseases so far, and at least another 40 conditions are suspected as having an autoimmune component.

Once you have an autoimmune disease, you are very likely to get another one—which is just your immune system continuing on its rampage in another one of your body’s systems.

Why would this happen?

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 should not.

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
  • Trauma
  • Aging
  • Stress
  • Harmful bacteria, parasites and yeast overgrowth

3) Dysbiosis

Dysbiosis is an intestinal environment where dangerous bacteria have the “upper hand” over the friendly, helpful bacteria in your gut microbiome.

Numerous studies link dysbiosis to autoimmune diseases.

4) Vaccines

The theory behind vaccines is to give you a small dose of a virus to “fool” your immune system into thinking you’re sick, and trick it into developing antibodies to that virus.  This allegedly means you are then immune 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.   

With vaccines, viruses are injected into muscle tissue and make their way to the bloodstream—nowhere in Nature does this occur.  Instead viruses are contracted through the eyes, skin, nose, mouth and bodily fluids and are acted upon through a complex multi-step process to create immunity.  It’s not unreasonable to expect that something could go wrong when we try to outsmart Nature.

In addition, current research by Israeli clinician Yehuda Shoenfeld points fingers toward the contaminants in vaccines—especially the toxic metal aluminum—as being a likely triggering factor behind autoimmunity.    

There has been a concurrent rise in autoimmune disease rates and the number of mandated vaccines and that’s no 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, we are not exposing our immune systems to microbes and allowing them to develop natural immunity.

Instead we are 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) you can encourage your immune system to stay strong AND act appropriately by giving it help in these ways:

Support a healthy gut microbiome

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 and grains, as they feed the harmful microbes in your gut. 

Plus, probiotic supplementation with a full-spectrum 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.

One of Super Shield's strains, Lactobacillus Rhamnosus, helps to strengthen gut-barrier function and has been shown to have a beneficial impact on autoimmune diseases as well as constipation, diarrhea and IBS symptoms.

Additionally, Super Shield's 12 other potent, well-studied strains will help keep your microbiome in proper balance, encouraging the formation of more anti-inflammatory immune cells.

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 stuff 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, acid reducers and antibiotics, can affect your gut health and immune function.  Read package inserts for all drugs and vaccines, use medications only if 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,

Sherry Brescia


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9 comments


  • Hi Eileen!

    Yes, prebiotics assist with delivery and absorption of probiotics and act as nourishment for the healthy bacteria. We do include prebiotics (25mg per capsule) in our Super Shield, so you’re covered!

    We hope this helps!

    Melanie at Holistic Blends on

  • Hi Sherry, I’m writing to ask a question that many people who I have turned on to your GTNP are asking me and I want to say the answer is NO, but I don’t want to answer this until you give me a true answer. The question is, should you be taking a PREbiotic in order for Supershield to be its most effective? I say no, but you’re the expert! What the heck is a prebiotic anyway???? Fondly, Eileen

    Eileen Linnell on

  • Hi Rachel!

    Sherry has not yet discussed dry eye in depth, but we are happy to share the suggestion. We’re thrilled that you take probiotics!

    Sherry did discuss eye health here:
    https://www.holisticblends.com/blogs/holistic-blends-blog/important-tips-for-better-eye-health?pos=1&_sid=85ad84743&ss=r

    We hope this helps!

    Melanie at Holistic Blends on

  • Hi Ann,

    Thank you for your inquiry! Sherry would not personally take the shingles vaccine, but each person must decide what is right for them. She prefers to prevent illness wherever possible by keeping her immune system strong and healthy through diet and probiotic supplementation, instead of being injected with a dose of a virus which can turn into the full-blown thing. You may wish to research online for the effectiveness of the shingles and pneumonia vaccines.
    To get you started, here are some links showing the CDC published effectiveness rates:

    Pneumonia vaccine: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd-vac/pneumo/vacc-in-short.htm
    Shingles vaccine: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd/shingles/public/zostavax/index.html

    We hope this helps! Have a wonderful day!

    Melanie at Holistic Blends on

  • Would you personally take the 2-part Shingles vaccine? I took the first one and ran a fever and my arm swelled and got very red. Is it necessary to take the 2nd shot? Thank you.

    Ann Webb on


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