We all ask questions. It’s what makes us human. As humans, we have the ability and reasoning to search for answers to our questions. It’s how we have evolved and created practically everything in our environment. Look around you this very moment. Do you see anything that was not created by a human? Probably not, unless you are outside!
I refuse to just accept that I have a rare disease with no known cause or cure. How did this happen? Why me? What could I have done to prevent it? Most importantly…What can I do to make myself better? These are just some of the questions that I ask myself, as I’m sure do a lot of other people out there with any kind of health issue. I may never find answers, but I will die trying.
As I mentioned in previous posts, autoimmune disease are when the body’s immune system overreacts and attacks healthy tissue (your own body.) Allergies are essentially the same thing, except the immune system reaction is causing more of an inconvenience rather than doing actual damage. Usually with allergies, it’s a stuffy nose, itchy eyes, asthma, rash, etc. In the case of autoimmune diseases, the immune system actually does damage to the body and in some cases can lead to death if enough damage is done to critical organs. Since the two seem to be very closely related, I wonder if there is some kind of correlation???
After I got over the initial shock of my diagnosis I began to question…what could have caused this??? I believe it had something to do with the environment and/or foods. The result of something that has gotten into my body and over time brought my immune system to its breaking point. My body just couldn’t take it anymore and thought it needed to send out all the troops to attack an invading enemy. But who? What? Why? And, how can I stop it? One theoretical conclusion, that I share with many other out there, is that autoimmune diseases are related to chemicals, food, or something else that we shouldn’t be putting into our bodies. These things could cause allergic reactions (mainly inflammation) or some kind of toxicity in our tissue. My theories focus around these two things, and how the body is just trying to do its job and rid itself of something that shouldn’t belong there.
One theory I have is that my autoimmune disease is just a buildup of constant allergic reactions in my body. Maybe my immune system has just been so heightened over the years that it’s going haywire??? In my case, I have had a life long battle with ever-increasing allergies. It all started with allergic asthma reactions to dogs (which is why I wrote about that in a previous post.) Over the years, I experienced increasing allergic reactions from stuffy nose, itchy eyes, rashes, to more frequent asthma attacks. I have been tested for allergies multiple times (which if you have been through you know what a fun process that is) and every time the list of positive allergic reactions grows. Last year was the most recent test I had and I found out that I am allergic to bees and wasps. I have never been stung, so now I carry an epi pen just in case! Dogs, cats, trees of all kinds, grasses, dust, mold, you name it and I am probably allergic to it. Food is the only thing that I have not tested positive for, but I have only been tested for certain food allergies, so who knows! However, I did have an odd reaction to alcohol and it has yet to be determined why. I was tested for allergies to different grains and yeast. I was told that I was possibly allergic to yeast, and tried a no yeast diet very briefly (which includes way more than you would think), but results were inconclusive. Since then I drank alcohol without a reaction, so it’s still a mystery. (I may cover yeast “allergies” in a separate post in the future.)
Another theory is that it has to do with exposure to everyday chemicals. Many people with asthma have sensitivities to chemicals. The introduction of anti-bacterial chemicals, and other harsh chemicals in everything, has been suspected in the creation of super-bug viruses and antibiotic resistant bacteria. Maybe some of these harsh chemicals have caused a malfunction in my immune system???
Yet another theory I have relates to food. This theory somewhat encompasses both of the previously mentioned theories. With the use of pesticides and other chemicals on our foods, that can’t be good. There have been studies that show over time chemicals build up in our system. That means these chemicals are in my tissues, possibly causing my immune system to think the tissue is not healthy or not supposed to be there, so it attacks it! Another part of this theory has to do with allergic reactions, in the form of inflammation. With most, if not all autoimmune diseases, there is inflammation in the body. One reason why prednisone helps us so much is that it reduces inflammation. I have done a lot of reading about certain foods that cause inflammation in the body. I have read that some everyday foods could be causing inflammation in our bodies. These include a wide range of things from nightshade vegetables, processed foods, sugar of any kind, and grains. If this is true, the inflammation could be a result of an immune system response. In that case, why have I been able to consume these foods for most of my life without a problem??? There may be another component here, or maybe it’s just a case of constant exposure over time that has pushed my body to the breaking point.
Based on these theories I have decided to make changes in my life to eliminate some of these harmful things from my environment. I try to use all natural products for cleaning, skin care, and anything else that goes in and on my body. I have also changed most of my food storage, and anything else my food and drink comes in contact with, to glass and other non-BPA containing products. I eat organic foods as much as possible, and will be starting my own garden this year. I have more recently starting changing my diet to remove some of the common inflammation causing foods.
I will chronicle these changes, among other things, in my blog. If I notice positive changes in my health, then maybe this will encourage you to try these things. I don’t know that I will find a fix for any of my health problems, or answer any of my questions, but I do know that if I continue without making changes that I am not going to get better. I really believe that there is something I can do that will positively affect my health. Who knows…maybe along the way I will find answers to some of my questions.
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