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Today’s blog entry is all about a group of health conditions known as “Autoimmune Disease”. If you or anyone you care about has an autoimmune disease, then you know they can be quite confusing and overwhelming. There are many questions yet to be answered.
What causes autoimmune disease?
Is there a way to prevent it?
Can you do anything to prevent your kids from getting this if you have an autoimmune disease?
Is there anything you can do to slow down the disease?
These questions, and more, will be addressed in today’s video. Enjoy!
If you prefer to read the contents of the video, click here: What Is Autoimmune Disease
What Is Autoimmune Disease?
To those outside the medical field, the word ‘autoimmune’ may not cause much alarm. However, if you are someone who suffers from an autoimmune disease, you know all too well how serious this can be.
If you are not familiar with autoimmune disorders, a clear definition may be helpful. The simplest definition of autoimmune disease is that it is a disease where the body attacks itself. Our bodies defensive systems, which are normally guarding us against invaders, suddenly loses the ability to differentiate friend from foe. The tenacity of our immune system actually turns against our own organs. The ultimate result may lead to a devastating loss of an organ’s function, which could lead further to severe debilitation or death. A scary situation, indeed!
Now that you understand the concept, let’s go deeper into which diseases fall into the category of ‘autoimmune disorders’. Some of the more common types of autoimmune diseases include: type I diabetes, rheumatic heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, lupus, and Parkinson’s disease. There are many more autoimmune disorders, however these are the most common. If you are familiar with any of these, you understand that these can indeed lead to serious life-threatening conditions.
There are many aspects of autoimmune disorders that are unknown at this time, but one thing that is clear to researchers and scientists is that one of the basic mechanisms behind the self-destructive behavior of the body is a process called ‘molecular mimicry’. To put it simply, molecular mimicry is what happens when some of the foreign cells (that invade the body) look so much like our own cells that the immune system mistakenly assumes that our own cells are foreign cells. Somehow the body becomes confused and can no longer tell the difference between the invaders and its own cells. So, it attacks all cells.
What is becoming increasingly clear in all the studies made about autoimmune disorders is that there is a dietary component which sets off the whole process. One particular element of the diet that has been implicated is cow’s milk. Studies have shown that some of the undigested proteins from cow’s milk enter the bloodstream and set in motion our bodies defensive systems because they are identified as foreign invaders. Everything would have been fine at this point except for the fact that the cow’s milk proteins end up mimicking our own proteins. Under normal circumstances, the body is still able to tell the difference between the two, but through some complex process, it becomes confusing, and the problem of differentiation self from invader gradually increases in magnitude.
Cow’s milk is just one of the many dietary components that have been implicated in autoimmune disorders. While there are some aspects of the disorders mechanism that have yet to be established conclusively, researchers do know that there are pretty strong links between various autoimmune disorders and some dietary components. The biggest link is specifically to animal protein. By addressing the implications of these links, substantial progress has already been made in reducing autoimmune disease to a treatable diagnosis, which hopefully can even someday be prevented.