What’s the matter with me?
I have several friends who are going through unexplained “episodes” of flaring autoimmune disorders right now. One has psoriasis, one has a doctor that thinks it might be Crohn’s, another with eczema, one diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, one can’t seem to lose weight even though she’s a dedicated whole food vegan – even a few with rheumatory arthritis. Many of us have chronic conditions that we now just associate with day to day life and stop paying attention when the body is truly trying to send us signals. Do you run or hide or try to fix it with little changes that “should” work?
Our immune system is at the very core of basically all our body systems and irregular symptoms are a clue to what is happening in our bodies. Now, I’m not going to jump on the bandwagon that all medical doctors are bad but I will say, for the most part, instead of getting to the root of the problem, many want to write a prescription for the symptoms. About 8 years ago, I was seeing my doctor, and had a list of items I wanted to discuss with him. After my yearly checkup, we met in his office and I went through about 7 different issues that were currently bothering me, or just things on my mind. Dagumit if I didn’t walk out of there **in shock** at having him prescribe a medication for every. single. one! It took him 9 minutes (yes, I timed him) and as I went through the list, he was like, ok, this medicine will help this, and you need this lotion for that . . . it was pretty mindless too. He reached around into his pocket and pulled out his RX pad and just started writing as I was going through my list! Don’t get me wrong, I loved this doctor – he was the guy who remembered your name – even when you ran into him at the grocery store, he knew my history without looking at my chart, he had a picture on his wall of a surgeon in surgery and Jesus was there with his hands on the surgeon’s hands. But I thought, holy stink in’ macaroni, how many people came in and complained about things not really going on, just to get a prescription?? There’s something wrong with this picture.
For this reason alone, I tell folks who come to me with questions about healing through nutrition, to always be your own advocate. Do your research, ask the right questions to get to the root of your problem, not to pacify the symptoms. If you have diarrhea, don’t take medicine for diarrhea, find out why you have diarrhea! If you can’t poop, don’t go sticking things in places you don’t want them or taking laxatives that will cause more symptoms, such as sudden onset of the opposite reaction in a less than convenient place, i.e. your fiancé’s brother’s house or at the dentist – find out why your digestive system isn’t working.
If you are struggling with chronic symptoms and you just can’t pinpoint why – – – then you need this information.
Antibodies belong to a group of proteins called immunoglobulin. There are 5 major classes of immunoglobulin (Ig): G, A, M, D and E, from largest to smallest. Without going into lots of detail, each one is composed of 2 heavy chains (H) and 2 light chains (L). Each one is important to maintaining stability of the molecules that make up the immunoglobulin. Everyone is predisposed to more on one side or the other. Balance is key to stabilizing the immune system. During prenatal stages, the mother provides antibodies to the infant. The ability for the infant’s immune system to independently develop antibodies usually develops through the first one or 2 years of life. Your body is amazing, and can create about 10 billion different kinds of antibodies, primarily by varying the amino acid composition of the protein molecule. The immune system also produces natural antibodies that travel through the blood and start an immune response without having been activated by immunization or vaccination.
Antibodies function in 3 different ways: 1 – binding directly to antigens (bad guys ingested by the body) to coat the surface of the invader or to prevent pathogens from entering or damaging healthy cells . . . 2 – stimulate other parts of the immune system to destroy pathogens . . . 3 – identify pathogens so they can be neutralized by other immune cells.
Sometimes, the immune system mistakenly recognizes the body’s own healthy tissues as harmful substances and produces antibodies in response. These antibodies, known as autoantibodies, have been implicated in a number of autoimmune disorders including lupus, Grave’s disease, and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, among others and even a precursor in several types of cancer.
If you have been diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder, this is how it works!
Chemicals in the food you eat can disrupt the digestive system if you are sensitive or allergic. Seemingly healthy foods – spinach, broccoli, oats, cauliflower, parsnip, cinnamon – to name a few that are no-no’s for me – can cause an immune response in our bodies. Eating these foods, even in healthy portions, on a daily basis, keeps my body chronically engaged. Doing this creates an imbalance in the endocrine (hormones) system –> which disturbs the nervous system –> which causes an unstable immune system. You mess with the nervous system –> messes with the brain –> creates miscommunication in the body –> then you don’t get enough nutrients and oxygen into the cells. In essence, you flare up the GUT –> you flare up the BRAIN.
Your body will produce antibodies because certain foods are toxic to your body specifically. You can have symptoms like fever (feels like hot flashes), unexplained rashes and swelling in the joints (arthritis is commonly misdiagnosed), weight gain, headaches, diarrhea/constipation, lack of energy, insomnia, lethargy — much of what is diagnosed as “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome” can easily be linked to poor diet — based on food sensitivity and allergic immune response alone, much less the obvious. And so much more.
Watch how your body responds when you eat something – you can tell a response in as early as 15 minutes with some foods, or better yet, get tested. If you think you eat healthy, and can’t seem to make progress, whether it is in losing weight, or gaining strength, or mental capacity – whatever! . . . either you aren’t eating as healthy as you tell yourself you are or you may be eating a seemingly healthy food that is not healthy FOR YOU!