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Autoimmunity Demystified (Part 2)

Monday, November 21, 2016

Apparently there is a limit for how long a blog post can be, and I reached it with my last post, LOL!

My notes for the first part of the following series can be found here

It's been a long time since I've felt so EMPOWERED to take even further control of my own life/health, and the lives/health of those I love. This is so very worth your time!

"This documentary is crucial for you if you know someone with autoimmune disease, have it yourself or simply want to be proactive and prevent it. Do you have someone in your life that is suffering with rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, lupus, celiac disease, thyroid disease such as Hashimoto's, dementia and Alzheimer's? Or are you yourself facing a life-debilitating disease? This project leaves Dr. Tom O'Bryan's hands after 30 years of clinical research, patient care and relationships and it goes out to the world at large to change the face of autoimmunity."

Here're each of the breath-taking episodes you have the opportunity to watch:

Nov 14/16: Episode 1 - The Autoimmune Epidemic: Root Causes and Solutions

Nov 15/16: Episode 2 - Intestinal Permeability: The Gateway to Autoimmunity

Nov 18/16: Episode 3 - The Microbiome: Where Health and Disease Begin and End

Nov 19/16: Episode 4 - Autoimmune Diseases of the Gut: The Role of Food and Digestion

My notes for the first four episodes of this series can be found here:

Nov 20/16: Episode 5 - Environmental Toxins: The Hidden Drivers of Disease
(2 versions)
#1 - www.youtube.com/w

#2 - www.youtube.com/w

Toxins exist everywhere in our world (fire retardants, plastic, mold, chemicals in our food, heavy metals, BPS, BSA, data frequency exposures: the younger you are the more penetration into the body, personal hygiene products & cosmetics, air/water pollution, pesticides), and they are autoimmune triggers!

Unlike in, Europe, in Canada and the US toxic chemicals are released into the environment without testing. In Europe it must be proven a chemical is NOT TOXIC (more rigorous standard... a chemical has to be completely safe to humans) before it is introduced into common usage. Here we have to prove that they are NOT SAFE (which means every chemical is allowed up to the point at which obvious harm is proven).

today has, on average, over 280 toxic chemicals in their system at birth!

The truth is that you are exposed to approximately 250 lbs. per person per day of toxic chemicals in the US! The human cell takes these chemicals signals from the environment and turns them into biology. This changes the shape of our cells, and invites autoimmunity.

Our air, soil, food and water are saturated with chemicals. This is why your immune system is so over-active.... the constant bombardment of toxic exposure.

What if autoimmune disease is simply an adaptation to our changing environment?

In the "good old days" it was easy to understand why a particular patient was toxic (toxicity was very specific and directly traceable to a specific exposure). Now we see toxicity in the very young, living in supposedly clean, pristine environments, with no obvious exposures.

~~~~~~~~~~~ Toxicity has become more dangerous than we understand. ~~~~~~~~~~~

~~ Methods that previously worked to reduce toxicity in patients are no longer working. ~~

The Centers for Disease Control are doing on-going screening. They've tested for 250 specific chemicals and toxins (heavy metals), and have found that 108 are found in everybody... in every.single.person... many of them not even on the planet more than 50-70 years ago.

GMO: a plant or animal that has been genetically modified through the addition of a small amount of genetic material from other organisms through molecular techniques.

Agricultural, edible GMOs (specifically soy & corn, otherwise known as sponges for Round-Up): have been modified to produce their own insecticides/toxins inside their cells. 80% of GMO's are modified in order to absorb and hold Round-Up inside without dying (hence the term Round-Up ready), so as to not be damaged by spraying. The weeds are killed, while the crops stand ominous and growing... and we get to consume the Round-Up.

Mercury is fairly common, even in careful individuals.

Organotoxins, plasticizers, pesticides, herbicides, things in our food/water... these are really bad actors, and we just cannot underestimate their impact on disease.

Aflatoxin (any of a class of toxin compounds produced by certain fungi/molds that are found on agricultural crops such as maize (corn), peanuts, cottonseed, coffee, legumes, and tree nuts; and can cause liver damage and cancer) ADAPTS!

Glutathione (produced in the liver) is the master antioxidant and detoxifier! Aflatoxin attacks the liver, and thus destroys your body's ability to detoxify your body. Our ability to resist toxicity is much lower than in years past.

Flame retardants are hormone disruptors. A hormone disruptor is a chemical that alters the function of hormone pathways in your body. They are autoimmune instigators. If you're going to spend money to clean up your environment spend it where you spend the moist time: drinking water, the food you eat, where you sleep (organic cotton), the air quality in your home. Make your bedroom a toxin-free zone.

BPA is found in the urine of 90% of us. BPS is an endocrine (hormone) disruptor. it is a compound that can actually bind to a hormone receptor... which then invites your immune system to attack those receptors, which then cannot receive the appropriate messages to function properly. Your body can believe that you have a whole lot more estrogen/ progesterone/testosterone than you really do and respond accordingly, throwing your whole hormonal system into crisis. It can also bind to your own protein, creating yet another trigger for autoimmunity. BPA is bine phased out, but is being replaced with BSA, which is... wait for it... MORE TOXIC. Plastic is plastic.

* leave plastic water bottles in the sun (warming plastic released BPA).
* switch to glass or steel water bottles.
* if you're drinking soda/pop (don't... but if you are) don't buy it in plastic bottles (acid releases BPA).
* use glass containers to store food.
* don't use non-stick (teflon) cookware... use cast iron, stainless steel, enamel coated.

Again, detective work is necessary. The greatest difficulty is in figuring out what your triggers are so you can get out of an autoimmune cascade.

Phenomena called "Dirty Electricity": The electrical wiring in your home can act like a large antenna, pulling electromagnetic radiation into your home out of the air. You shouldn't be using wireless anything, you should be using cables. Avoid talking with your cel phone right next to your ear... get headsets. The younger you are, the more readily susceptible to the negative effects.

We can never get to the point where we completely eliminate our exposures to toxicity. The only chance we have is reduce the exposure we can control, and in trying to improve our own tolerance by:
* raising antioxidant levels
* raising glutathione levels (TAKE CARE OF YOUR LIVER)
* targeted supplementation
* clean up your food source and remove all gut-damaging elements
* don't ignore signs of potential autoimmunity (intolerances)... be vigilant
* get a high-quality air purifier for your home, one that filters the air through a series of HEPA/charcoal filters... about $1000.00
* practice dust control in your home (vacuum out duct work, install pleated HEPA air filters into your vents)... environmental contaminants are not free-floating they bind to dust
* get a systemic water purifier for your home
* get rid of carpeting
* don't wear shoes in the house

Vehicular exhaust is one of the most toxic substances. You can make lab rats obese and diabetic by simply exposing them to vehicle exhaust. Children in Mexico City have been found to have early signs of Alzheimer's Disease due to air pollution. The highest risk factor for giving birth to an autistic child is living in close proximity to a busy roadway.

There is a direct correlation between urine toxicity and belt size... the greater the toxicity, the greater the belt size. Fat/obesity develops from a protective mechanism in the body. If your body cannot rid it itself of toxicity, it stores it in your fat stores in an attempt to protect you. Impurities in the your body encourage obesity.

Hotels (if you travel a lot):
* ask for a hypoallergenic room
* don't allow cleaning staff in for the duration of your stay
* travel with an air filter, or ask the hotel to make one available to you (They have them! Who knew!)

The alveoli in your lungs are receptors that communicate when foreign bodies have entered the body. Cigarette smoke and VAPING, bind to the alveoli and disrupt this communication.... one of the mechanisms by which smoking causes cancer, heart disease, stroke... a gateway defense is completely shut down.

STOP SMOKING!!! Seriously. Just stop. Avoid people who smoke.

Nov 21/16: Episode 6 - Autoimmune Diseases of the Brain: A New Approach to Neurology
(2 versions)
#1 - www.youtube.com/w

#2 - www.youtube.com/w

Autoimmunity has a huge role to play when it comes to brain health. Most people don't understand the massive role the immune system plays when it comes to brain function.

Many of our degenerative brain diseases/function have a partial contribution from autoimmunity. Autoimmunity is a co-morbid factor when it comes to the functioning of the brain. Predictive antibody testing can be helpful in identifying at-risk brain function.

When you are experiencing inflammation, blood glucose dysregulation, autoimmunity in other areas of the body, be aware your brain is shrinking, too. Brian fog is one of the first symptoms. When executive brain function slows down (memory, cognition, plasticity, anxiety, depression) autoimmunity is already affecting the brain.

Doing the right things (nutrition, fitness, sleep, stress reduction) improves cognitive function.

Inflammatory antibodies caused by wheat have a directly correlational impact on the brain, brain health and neurodegeneration.

TRANSGLUTAMINASE 6 - specific to brain degeneration. Through eliminating wheat (adopting an anti-inflammatory diet) these antibodies in the brain return to normal within 2 weeks. There is a point of no return, but THE BRAIN CAN HEAL.

Greater issues occur once you lose your blood/brain barrier (prevents things that should not be in the brain from getting there)... similar to leaky gut syndrome. The blood/brain barrier can be broken down by :
* certain medications
* stress
* drug abuse
* smoking
* alcohol abuse
* severe inflammation
* traumatic brain injury
* impaired immune function
...at which point autoimmune antibodies begin to interact with the glial cells (immune cells in the brain which surround neurons and provide support and insulation between them), turning on an inflammatory cascade which, in turn, turns on brain autoimmunity... which will accelerate brain deterioration.

If you've lost your tolerance, the smallest chemical exposures (toxicity) can be devastating.

Example of the blood/brain barrier breach:
The MAD HATTER is not an Alice in Wonderland joke: in the 1800's inorganic mercury in the form of mercuric nitrate was used to treat the fur of small animals for the manufacture of felt hats (stabilized the wool). Mad hatter disease, or mad hatter syndrome, was an occupational disease among hatmakers, caused by chronic mercury poisoning. It affected those whose felting work involved prolonged exposure to mercury vapors. The neurotoxic effects included tremor, pathological shyness and irritability/anxiety. This practice was abolished in Europe by 1889, but continued in the United States until 1941 (any idea why it took the US another 50+ years to get on board?)!

Not everyone who is exposed to damaging chemicals will be acutely affected. A lot depends on how we're designed for detoxification... why being proactive is so very important.

Landscapers/farmers tend to have a higher predisposition to Parkinson's disease because the chemicals they're exposed to breach the blood/barrier and damage the brain in that particular area (dopamine centres). When people are first diagnosed with Parkinson's there is a hesitancy to prescribe drugs because the drugs only work for a small window of time before they actually exacerbate the condition (the treatment is also toxic), so the motivation is to delay medication for as long as possible. Parkinson's patients, for years before they are diagnosed, are chronically constipated. Also, the more antibiotics a patient received over the time they were constipated, the faster their Parkinson's would progress. Parkinson's begins in the gut (GUT-BRAIN AXIS/ LIVER... like our food, the body/mind connection is either healing, or damaging).

In 1980, Autism occurred in 1 out of 4000 children. Now it occurs in 1 out of 63 (or likely less)! Kids with Autism also often have profound immune and brain dysfunction.

Decline in functional neurology is often a sign of brain autoimmunity. People need to be identified early before degeneration occurs and changes can be made to slow down the progression into full-blown disease. A lot of what we see as simple aging is really neurodegeneration... and most people ignore the early warning signs. You can actually age with increasing brain function (plasticity can INCREASE as we age)!

There is an intimate relationship between the psycho(mind)-neuro(brain) immunology system! This has been studied for years, and is connected to our memory and emotions. We can use our minds to change our immune systems. Negative emotions damage your immune system.

BODY-MIND-SPIRIT! This is where healing happens. Minor interventions in your life can generate huge improvements. There is so much we can do! For the brain it is really simply to figure out... whatever you're bad at becomes your exercise or path to healing. You are looking to activate the brain in new ways, and make it connect. You have trouble with certain things because your brain is not integrating properly... it doesn't have to stay that way. Be observant. Challenge yourself!

From a random sampling of people who where already creating antibodies against gluten exposure (IGG antibodies... not Celiac IGA, but non-celiac gluten sensitivity), 63% of them were also attacking their own tissues. In order of prevalence of attack:
1. neurological tissue (4 different ones)
2. adrenal tissue
3. heart tissue (...and who says heart disease isn't autoimmune)

There is a lot of mysterious interplay between our environment and our brain, and certainly much of this seems to have a connection to our immune function. SYMPTOMS MATTER (early warning signs that there is damage happening)... especially with regard to neurological symptoms... this is YOUR BRAIN we're talking about... it determines your quality of life. Lose neurologic capacity and, by definition, you are less of who you could be!

CROSS-REACTIVITY: Different foods have different autoimmune potentials based on their amino acid sequence to different tissue target sites (where the antibodies are attacking). Certain amino acids in the body are very similar to the amino acid structures of certain foods. If you are sensitive to those foods, and you make antibodies against them, you will also be making antibodies against our own tissues. EVERY TIME you eat something to which you are sensitive, you push yourself further up the Autoimmune spectrum and closer to full-blown disease.

This is exceptionally true of the brain. 220 foods were tested for cross-reactivity with the cerebellum (we know it's more than gluten). 25 new proteins were found to be cross-reactive (mimicry) with the brain. Next to gluten, the highest among those foods includes YEAST, RICE, PEANUTS.

When you have inflammation or autoimmunity, the widely accepted 80/20 rule (80% avoidance of potentially damaging foods, while indulging in them 20% of the time) doesn't work. EVERY EXPOSURE does damage, and you have no way of knowing which of those exposures will push you across to the point of full-blown disease... or even which exposure will tip you over into the beginnings of an autoimmune cascade.

HA! A psychiatrist (functional medicine) who treats with DIET! How refreshing! She states that, "treating psychiatric symptoms in isolation of the body is just not a good way to practice medicine... Psychiatric medications are fraught with problems, and we get better, faster results with diet/supplements. I don't have to turn to medication much of the time." HA, again!

Autoimmune Disease: BODY ATTACKING SELF.


CREATE a LIFE YOU LOVE (dream, thought, choices, observe, adjust).
This can have an incredible impact on your health and well-being.
Live a connected life... connected to self, connected to others, connected to nature.
Live a life of gratitude... look for the gift in all circumstances.

Vaccines, in and of themselves, are not necessarily problematic, but the ADJUVANTS can be... by their very nature, their job is to ignite, accelerate and stimulate the immune system... which is a problem for anyone prone to autoimmune disease. There are 80 autoimmune/inflammatory syndromes potentially introduced by adjuvants (many vaccines contains aluminum - Macrophagic myofasciitis). We need to ask more questions about how/why we vaccinate... we need to do a better job of rigorously testing and proving safe before use.

Autoimmune Disorders Caused by Vaccines

Clinical features in patients with long-lasting macrophagic myofasciitis

Some people should not be vaccinated... but we really don't know yet how to discern those better off not vaccinated:
* children with a family history of autoimmune disease perhaps?
* better to vaccinate early while the immune system is still developing
* adults are another story... once the immune system has been established you have to be more careful... greater risk of triggering autoimmunity

The Divine Miss O is struggling anew... coincidence that it follows having been vaccinated this past Spring? Coincidence that her initial health crisis was preceded by a vaccination event by 4 months (even though we asked the question then, and were told this was impossible)?

Nov 22/16: Episode 7 - Case Studies: Bringing it All Together

The truth about the cause and treatment of disease is being suppressed every day right before your very eyes. There is no profit in changing your diet to address your diseases.

Any of the following alone, or in combination, can be a sign/symptom of autoimmunity:

* bowel dysfunction (IBS, Crohn's, Colitis, constipation, flatulence, bloating)
* migraines
* foot pain
* neurological issues (tingling, involuntary ticks, brain fog, memory loss, tremors, balance issues, falling, confusion, stuttering, dropping things, handwriting changes )
* choking
* unusual/debilitating fatigue
* anemia
* other blood imbalances/deficiencies
* Celiac Disease
* inflammation
* sudden onset mobility issues
* rashes (eczema, welts, hives, puffiness, itching)
* unhealthy skin/nails/hair (overly-dry, peeling, cracking: hands/feet/creases, acne, texture changes, pigment changes)
* chronic pain
* edema
* neuropathy (loss of sensation anywhere on the body)
* eye issues
* brain lesions
* asthma
* dizziness
* obesity
* intermittent symptomology of any kind (fevers, headaches, blurred vision)
* inability to gain/lose weight
* inability to build muscle
* elevated liver enzymes
* sinusitis
* chronic infections (yeast, bladder, skin)
* specifically diagnosed autoimmunity
* slow wound healing
* poor immune function (lost of colds, infections)
* daily functioning is diminished
* insomnia
* hair loss
* blood sugar dysregulation
* blood pressure dyregulation
* hormonal issues (PCOS, menstrual irregularities, libido issues)
* mood swings
* depression
* anxiety
* phobic
* joint pain/swelling
* Bell's Palsy
* signs of premature aging
* non-productive coughing
* nail biting
* hyper-sensitivity to environmental things (light, heat, sun, cold, odors)

If you feel like you're not well, or functioning at our optimum and you're not achieving what you want every day because you're either too tired, or you don't feel well, or you're in pain, or you just don't feel 'right' refuse to be fobbed off by the medical establishment. It's NOT all in your head! You are really encouraged to at least research health... make the effort on your own behalf... ask the questions that can give you back your life, one hour at a time. Put some life back into those hours.

An autoimmune journey can be tough, but it doesn't have to be discouraging. This autoimmune mechanism, unrecognized by almost all medical professionals, can be arrested... stopped in its tracks. Be a part of the movement that reverses this devastating disease.

Dr. Seuss: "You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go."

Use that brain in your head, and let your shoes take you to a healthy life!

When you've had some of these things for 10, 15, 20 years... all your life... you don't even think it's unusual. They simply become part of who you are and, after a point, you don't spend much time thinking about them. You've learned to live with them, and you move on as best you can. But they continue to steal your life away from you, bit by bit.

Additionally, many of these things are related, but it's difficult to see the interconnectedness, because we isolate symptoms instead of looking for patterns. If you do notice patterns, it's usually because someone else in your family has similar symptoms, and you write it off as genetics.. your lot in life... and stop expecting or looking for a remedy.

...BUT, THERE IS A REMEDY... and within a month your life can be radically different!
* Start with the GUT (Paleo, FODMAPS, GAPS, SCD, Keto)!
* Be open-minded and accepting of the possibilities, do your research, be consistent.
* look for functional medicine practitioners who can help you toward healing.
* Pay it forward!

The Kindle version is ONLY $2!

"The FBI doesn't do research like a worried mother."
I was willing to accept a smaller life (lived this way so long, it was just the way it was for me), but there is no way I would accept that for my daughter if there is anything I can do about it... and now that it's worked for her, there is no way I'll accept less for myself.

The hard work to every day pursue and maintain wellness is worth it!

"Heaven is cheap enough!"

Again, my notes for the first four episodes of this series can be found here:

There is a Spark Discussion Thread here:

To purchase the series:

"A portion of proceeds are being donated to charities that help families battling autoimmune disease, particularly young children and teens facing social challenges."

5 Common Prescriptions That Should Require Nutritional Counseling
(really interesting... and important... read)

Why I'm STILL here... my SparkJourney Saga

No more Mrs. Doubtfire... or Picture UPDATE at nearly 100 lbs. ELIMINATED!

What I Wish Someone Had Told Me About Losing a Lot of Weight

How I Am Eliminating 'EXCESS Weight'

(ponder this some and you come to see this SPARKjourney in a whole new light)

I'm still 155.0 pounds, today! I've been maintaining for the last 12 weeks... too busy to actively focus on fat elimination. However, having learned to maintain BEFORE Getting to goal weight just may the be the greatest gift I've ever given myself!

(I started my journey at 250 lbs. & over 50% BMI... Obese Class III)

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Thank you for giving us such detailed information!
    1119 days ago
    I'm reading Dr Perlmutter's "Brain Maker" right now. fascinating. I have MS and I have had over half of my colon removed, fighting not to lose the rest.
    Thank You for these links.
    1152 days ago
    yes agree . I have a lot of autoimmune issues ....... eating keto/paleo is helping a lot .. off diabetic meds and have lowered thyroid meds 4xs - get bloodwork done monday to see whats going on - weight is up & down .. but down more than anything else I have done in 3 years ....... great blog
    1152 days ago
    As always, a very impressive blog and an amazing recap of such an important topic!
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1154 days ago
    12 weeks maintainance is seriously awesome...something I've never achieved am still yet to work out how to.

    Your summary is fascinating and so thorough. I wish it didn't all feel so helpless; it's like it doesn't matter how much we try to avoid putting toxins into our bodies there's not a lot we can do to avoid it anyway emoticon
    1154 days ago
    I have been watching the episodes -- very interesting...

    I have always thought I wanted to control "THE CAUSE" of my symptoms... not just mask the symptoms themselves... figuring if I controlled the the cause; the symptoms would disappear... to me just ordinary logic.

    Thanks for sharing.

    1154 days ago
    That is a very good article.
    1154 days ago
    this is information that is so important.

    1155 days ago
    Fantastic summary Ramona! emoticon

    I've listened to all of the episodes thus far and am looking forward to listening to episode 6. A bit of synchronicity? I suspect the current eye flare I'm experiencing may be chemically triggered by some new bedding. Will not be sleeping on those sheets tonight!

    I've been well aware of my chemical sensitivities for decades. So, this is not a new experience for me. But, to the best of my knowledge, I've not reacted to bedding before.

    1155 days ago
    Thank you so much for this
    1155 days ago
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