The Epidemic of Chronic Illness

The Epidemic of Chronic Illness

More than 54% of American children are suffering from one or more chronic illnesses. Autism, ADHD, asthma, and allergies have doubled with the late 1980s and 1990s. Mounting evidence indicates environmental toxins such as heavy metals, pesticides, and herbicides as the principal culprits, while studies link vaccines and toxic vaccine ingredients to a wide range of adverse health outcomes including seizures, neurodevelopmental disorders, and infant death according to Children's Health Defense. The number one disease affecting children is autoimmune disease. We must understand why our bodies are attacking ourselves when they are not inherently faulty. Autoimmune Disease has become an epidemic that over 50 million Americans live with every day. An autoimmune disease is a condition in which your immune system mistakenly attacks your body. Our immune system is designed to protect us and mounts a response to fight germs and illnesses. A normally functioning immune system can tell the difference between foreign cells and our own cells. But with autoimmune disease, the immune system is unable to separate self from non-self. The inflammation process is in overdrive because of the body fighting itself. People frequently ask what the factors are at play when someone gets the autoimmune disease and what someone can do in order to treat the disease. The answer is more complicated than it might seem as there is no "one size fits all" approach.

People with autoimmune disease can take steps in order to aid their body's healing. They can find ways to minimize inflammation and heal the immune system. Talking with a physician or healer can help a person identify the cause of how to best heal on an individual basis. There are many factors that can contribute to autoimmunity such as:

  • Environmental Toxins
  • Pathogens
  • Diet And Food Choices
  • Allergies
  • Lifestyle Choices
  • Relationships
  • Family History
  • Gut Health
  • Mental And Emotional Health

Over half of millennials surveyed reported having been diagnosed with a chronic illness according to a report published by Children's Health Defense. There have been studies like 1990s Adverse Childhood Experiences which show the connection of trauma and stress from in one's childhood to developing a health disorders as adults. A big part in preventing autoimmune disease from developing in children is by reducing stress. Stress hormones increase inflammation which eventually becomes hazardous when the disease is developed. Daily stressors are inevitable but to consistently aggrevate one's self with chronic stress can feed into the inflammatory system in the body and weaken the immune system. Trauma can also have a big impact in autoimmune diseases. Your stress cycle is off balance, and your body might not know the difference between when you are safe or in danger. Stress hormones will keep pumping as if the traumatic experience is currently happening. This increases inflammation and susceptibility to infection. The trauma can range and triggering by a variety of different sources.

Holistic methods can be useful to autoimmune sufferers as they need to focus on the body as a whole. Conventional medical models often continue to separate physical from emotional health. Some alternative ways to lessen the stress that impacts autoimmune disease would be to work with a licensed mental therapist, somatic therapists, building a support system, and mind/body approaches.

Common Autoimmune Diseases

Crohn's Disease

an inflammatory autoimmune bowel disease characterized by severe and persistent inflammation of the lining or wall of the gastrointestinal tract. Crohn’s is sometimes referred to as chronic ileitis, regional enteritis, or granulomatous colitis. The part of the gastrointestinal tract most commonly affected is the segment between the ileum and the rectum. Although Crohn’s disease can be difficult to manage and live with, it is usually not life-threatening. It is one of the top four physical conditions impacting millennials.

How do Naturopathic Doctors Diagnose and Treat Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis?

  • Elimination/challenge diets or other approaches to reducing food triggers (including elemental diets) to prevent or curtail flare-ups
  • Curcumin in tincture, capsule, or whole turmeric powder form to reduce inflammation. However, there are contraindications to the use of turmeric. For instance, turmeric should be avoided in patients who readily form calcium oxalate kidney stones.
  • Probiotics to modulate the immune system and prevent flare-ups
  • Stress reduction by various techniques
  • Artemisia absinthium (wormwood) capsules
  • Read more:

    Rheumatoid arthritis

    is a form of arthritis that causes pain, swelling, stiffness and loss of function in your joints. It can affect any joint but is common in the wrist and fingers. More women than men get rheumatoid arthritis. It often starts in middle age and is most common in older people. But children and young adults can also get it. You might have the disease for only a short time, or symptoms might come and go. The severe form can last a lifetime. Rheumatoid arthritis is different from osteoarthritis, the common arthritis that often comes with older age. RA can affect body parts besides joints, such as your eyes, mouth and lungs. RA is an autoimmune disease, which means the arthritis results from your immune system attacking your body’s own tissues. No one knows what causes rheumatoid arthritis. Genes, environment and hormones might contribute. Treatments include medicine, lifestyle changes and surgery. These can slow or stop joint damage and reduce pain and swelling.

    How do Naturopathic Doctors Diagnose and Treat Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis?

  • Essential oils.
  • Floating
  • Cryotherapy
  • Herbal tea
  • Acupuncture
  • Acupuncture
  • Chiropractic
  • Physical therapy (PT)
  • Massage.
  • Read more:

    Graves’ disease

    an autoimmune thyroid disease which causes the thyroid gland to produce excessive hormones. Symptoms may include nervousness, weight loss, heart palpitations and intolerance to heat. Women are affected seven times more often than men and are predominantly diagnosed between 20-40 years of age. A distinguishing characteristic of Graves’ is an eye condition causing inflamed eye muscles with accompanying bulging of the eyes (exophthalmos). Approximately 30-50% of Graves’ patients develop this condition in its mild form and about 5% develop the severe form. Although rare, “thyroid storm” can occur. Symptoms of this thyroid crisis include fever, vomiting, elevated heart rate, confusion and profuse sweating and requires immediate emergency attention.

    Articles on holistic methods to treat Graves disease:

    Multiple sclerosis

    a nervous system disease that affects your brain and spinal cord. It damages the myelin sheath, the material that surrounds and protects your nerve cells. This damage slows down or blocks messages between your brain and your body, leading to the symptoms of MS. They can include visual disturbances, muscle weakness, trouble with coordination and balance, sensations such as numbness, prickling, or “pins and needles”, and thinking and memory problems. No one knows what causes MS. It may be an autoimmune disease, which happens when your immune system attacks healthy cells in your body by mistake. Multiple sclerosis affects women more than men. It often begins between the ages of 20 and 40. Usually, the disease is mild, but some people lose the ability to write, speak, or walk. There is no single test for MS. Doctors use a medical history, physical exam, neurological exam, MRI, and other tests to diagnose it. There is no cure for MS, but medicines may slow it down and help control symptoms. Physical and occupational therapy may also help.

    Articles on holistic methods to treat multiple sclerosis

    More Than 100 Diseases

    There are more than 100 autoimmune diseases according to the AARDA.
    For a full list of Autoimmune Diseases, click HERE

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