Are you silently suffering...?
Jan 27, 2014
Pay attention to the latest news on health and what's trending when it comes to our overall health. Yeah, we already know that as a population we are overweight, obese, have an overwhelming amount of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. But, if you listen closely enough, you'll find that more and more researchers are focusing on an area of health and disease related to our immune system health. By immune system, I'm not simply referring to our health as it relates to fighting off the flu. Yes, that's the correct system. But, this same system in our bodies is far more complex than that and is responsible for taking care of so much more. In fact, when left to it's own devices in some cases, it can really work against you...literally!
This has been an important topic in my life. Not only am I fascinated by the body's immune system and all that's it is responsible for, BUT I have specifically been affected by an immune system gone haywire. This is essentially what prompted me to become more educated. As I always say, you are your number one advocate when it comes to your health!
Here are the nuts and bolts: Your immune system is centered in your gut (intestines). Factors like diet, stress, exercise (or lack of) and your environment all determine the health of the gut. When there's any degree of stress (physical or mental), the lining of the intestinal system can become compromised and cracks form to expose the contents of the gut to the rest of our bodies by way of our blood. These contents or "foreign invaders" cause our immune systems to fire off, and in some cases cause these defense mechanisms to destroy perfectly normal functioning parts of us...like organs, for example.
With my experience, I thought being fatigued, lethargic, hungry all of the time and irritable was just part of my “normal.” For the longest time I had no clue that there was something lurking beneath the surface! It wasn’t until the straw that broke this camel’s back (my hair falling out by the handful) that I sought treatment. It was truly a relief to know that this “normal” was anything but that…I had a screwed up immune system that was attacking otherwise perfectly healthy parts of me and, thus, causing a host of symptoms.
So, how do you know if you may be quietly suffering from an undiagnosed autoimmune condition? Below is a list of symptoms that you may or may not experience on a regular basis. If you feel that some of these ring a bell for you, please take the liberty to stand up for yourself and confront your doctor immediately!
- You are susceptible to infections, have digestive issues, allergies or have been diagnosed with one or more “syndromes” like irritable bowel syndrome, premenstrual syndrome, or polycystic ovarian syndrome.
- You have, or have been diagnosed with in the past, metabolic syndrome—high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high blood sugar, and weight loss resistance.
- You often feel depressed, hopeless, anxious, brain fog, or suffer from memory problems and are having a problem getting restful sleep.
- Daily stressors and hormone fluctuations make your symptoms worse.
- Sugary food and beverage choices make your symptoms worse.
- There is a family history or your symptoms, conditions and unexplained illnesses.
- You may experience a period of relapse in your symptoms—one day you feel fine and then you’re back to feeling poorly for no obvious reason.
- You suffer from some form of (or multiple forms of) inflammation—joints, intestines and colon, nerves, migraines.
- Your primary care doctor has often given no diagnosis and has said that your symptoms are “unexplained,” “chronic,” or (worse) “in your head.” Standard rounds of antibiotics and other treatments have failed to help.
- Your symptoms seem to not resolve no matter the changes you make to your diet and lifestyle. They may be less frequent and less painful, but they still appear on occasion.
By all means, if you feel that any of these things sound familiar to you on a regular basis. Feel free to make a note and take with you to discuss them with your doctor. There are nonwestern treatments with diet and lifestyle that can attack the root cause of your condition(s) without it further attacking you! If you have any other questions regarding your immune system health, symptoms and treatments, please feel free to contact me anytime. I can either answer them for you or point you in the right direction.