Are You Gaining Weight, Losing Weight, Fatigued, Too Much Energy, Diminished Sex Drive, Severe PMS, Losing Hair, Sleeping Too Much, Insomnia, Brittle Nails? Could it be an Autoimmune Disease is Attacking Your Thyroid?
The title of this article has a lot of contradictory symptoms in it; well thyroid disease is very contradictory in this modern unhealthy world. Thyroid diseases are actually very rare but they have reached epidemic numbers; there I go again a contradiction but it is true. Why because autoimmune diseases are involved here and autoimmune diseases are a total contradiction when you look closely.
Medical science has identified 80-100 different autoimmune diseases at this point and suspects at least an additional 40 exist, unnamed. Here are some examples of well known and dangerous autoimmune diseases; muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, Lou Gehrig’s (ALS) Disease, Parkinson’s, Crohns disease, Ulcerative Colitis, Hepatitis C, Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. And though they have been with us for a long time medical science cannot explain why and has not found a cure for even one.
I know you are thinking the same thoughts that I did when I discovered I had cancer. I take good care of myself, I eat good food, I only have fast food once or twice a week; I am like everyone else, why me? Well, why not you, especially if you are like everyone else. Because just about everyone else is also having some kind of health problem in this unhealthy world of ours. Try this; write down 6 diseases you can think of, then one at a time do a search on the web of that disease and add the word epidemic to it. You will find that more then half of them have reached the epidemic numbers of 1 out of every 4 people getting that disease. Oh, and do not bother putting cancer, heart disease or thyroid disease because they are epidemics. That is why if you are like everyone else then you are sick and you will soon have a disease. I am sorry, this is how bad things have gotten but there are some positive proactive answers so please read on.
The thyroid disease epidemic is an excellent example of one of those many autoimmune diseases running amok in the world. The first recognized autoimmune disease was Hashimoto’s disease; it is an autoimmune disease where the body’s own T-cells attack the cells of the thyroid causing less hormones to be released (recognized as the leading cause of hypothyroid disease). Graves’ disease, an autoimmune disease, is an abnormal immune system response that attacks the thyroid gland, and causes an over production of thyroid hormones (recognized as the leading cause of 95% of hyperthyroid disease). Notice that both of these autoimmune diseases are respectively the leading cause of hypothyroid and hyperthyroid diseases. And you thought that thyroid disease was simply hyper or hypo thyroid disease and who would suspect that an autoimmune disease had anything to do with the thyroid or maybe you did.
Now here is a shocking revelation. This is how easy you can catch an autoimmune disease today like Hashimoto’s or Graves’; after food poisoning, exposure to chemicals, a vaccination, an injury (such as in an auto accident), severe exercise, exposure to mold, and even minor stretching of unused muscles. It can happen to a woman after a cesarean section. The continual and persistent use of over the counter nonsteroidal pain killers (NSAIDs) such as aspirin is suspected as autoimmune disease triggers. Also it seems that our liberal use of the vaccinations we are giving our children (they are now receiving up to 30 of them) can lead to autoimmune diseases. The overuse of antibiotics, and exposure to septic environments is also known to be directly responsible for the increased incidence of the many autoimmune disorders and even a stressful situation such as losing your job can trigger one. One good note here; you cannot catch an autoimmune disease from someone else but you begin to wonder, “Is it OK to sneeze?”
Here is a medical definition of autoimmune disease “A process in which the body’s immune system causes illness by mistakenly attacking healthy cells, organs, or tissues in the body that are essential for good health. Multiple sclerosis is believed to be an autoimmune disease, along with systematic lupis erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, and many others. The precise origin and pathophysiologic processes of these diseases are unknown” World of MS website, www.msif.org, 2003.
Symptoms of Graves’ Disease:
All right you have done something to start Graves’ disease; what do you feel, what are your symptoms? If you have Graves’ disease, of course you have an autoimmune disease which usually arises after an infection or physical or emotional stress as I said before. Symptoms include an enlarged thyroid gland (goiter), nervousness, heat intolerance, weight loss, sweating, diarrhea, tremors, palpitations and exophthalmos (swelling of the tissue behind the eyeballs causing protrusion of the eyeball).
Other Symptoms of Graves’ Disease:
Shortness of breath, Weakness, Fatigue, Pretibial myxedema (lumpy, reddish-colored thickening of the skin, usually on the shins), Double vision, Muscle wasting, Increased eye tearing, Infrequent or absent menstrual periods, Abnormal breast enlargement (men), Increased hair loss, Diminished sex drive, Brittle nails. The body’s processes, including digestion, speed up with this disorder. A speeding up of digestion can cause the malabsorption of nutrients, so a nutritionally complete diet is crucial.
Graves’ Disease Thyroid Storm:
Graves’ disease, may lead to life-threatening heart, liver, or kidney failure. Thyroid storm begins suddenly and may be caused by a stressful event.
Symptoms of Thyroid Storm:
Extreme irritability, high blood pressure, rapid heart rate, vomiting, high fever, delirium and coma. Left untreated, it can be fatal.
Symptoms of Hashimoto’s Disease:
Symptoms of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis might include symptoms of hyperthyroidism in the early stage of the disease, and then hypothyroidism. Weight gain, anxiety, depression, mania, bipolar, fatigue, panic attacks, bradycardia, tachycardia, high cholesterol, reactive hypoglycemia, constipation, migraines, memory loss, infertility and hair loss are a few possible symptoms.
Below is the Long List for Hashimoto’s Symptoms:
Anemia, Brain fog, Chest pains, Cold intolerance plus cold hands and feet, Constipation, Depression, Difficulty recovering from infections, Dry skin, Early graying of hair, Exhaustion after exercise, Frequent colds and flu, Headaches and/or Migraines, Infertility and/or Miscarriage, Low basal temperature, Low libido, Muscle cramps Tender muscles, Hair loss, Restless leg syndrome, Cold weather exacerbation of symptoms, Severe PMS, Sleep disturbances, Slowed speech and ankle reflexes, Tender, Tired, aching muscles, Weak, brittle nails, Weight gain
OK, Now We are Getting into the Good News:
This is my Naturopathic definition, origin and answer to autoimmune disease, “Your immune system has stopped recognizing you and is now attacking you as though some part of you was a foreign substance. The origin of the disease is an inadequate diet (American), exposure to toxins and pollutants, toxic body from poor elimination, lack of exercise, too much stress and a poor spiritual base.” The answer to autoimmune diseases is just simple common sense, “proper diet, reduce exposure to toxins and pollutants then eliminate those your body has through cleansing and detoxing, get into a reasonable exercise program, weed the stress out of your life, and seriously search for your spiritual base.” I recognize that you may have some of these under control such as exercise or spiritual base but what about the others. Read below to understand what you must do today to undo the problems your body is facing.
Enzymes, the Absorption of Nutrition and Disease Prevention
You can eat, and take the best multi-Vitamins, and it will do you absolutely no good if there are no enzymes to digest it. The information about enzymes is getting out but you may not have heard about them yet; here is a thumbnail sketch. Almost everyone thinks that it is stomach acid that digests your food; not true. Stomach acid helps digest your food, the real digestion is done by enzymes. Enzymes break the food down to the molecule level so assimilation of nutrients can take place. There are many different kinds of enzymes the ones we are interested in are digestive enzymes.
There are three types of digestive enzymes; amylase, protease and lipase. Amylase breaks down carbohydrates, protease digests proteins and lipase breaks down fats. Our body can produce enzymes, we can get enzymes when we eat uncooked, unprocessed and irradiated foods and we can take enzyme supplements. We produce less of these enzymes as we get older. This is why it is so important that we eat a diet that contains 75% fruit and vegetables (the majority of these should be raw) and about 25% high protein meat, dairy, and whole grain products. Whether you are young or old, these enzymes are crucial to you; without enough of these enzymes you will have a poor level of health, you will have a number of diseases and you will be on many medications. I have personally seen people with four different diseases (thyroid is always one of them) taking 20 different medications, totally nuts. One of them told me, “I am afraid that I will not live to see my son graduate from high school”.
Diet and Autoimmune Thyroid Diseases
Why change your diet when you just want your thyroid disease to go away? The answer to this question is that the physical foundation of your body depends on your nutrition. It is exactly like the old saying, “you are what you eat.” You cannot avoid it because you are exactly what you eat. So if you do not like what you see or what you are feeling, neither does your immune system; you better take a close look at what you are bringing home from the market.
You just have to look around you today to notice something is wrong; thyroid disease along with many other diseases has reached epidemic numbers (1 in 4 people have thyroid disease in the U.S.). So many people are overweight (see my article “America Is Number One, The Fattest Industrialized Country In The World, With 74% Of Our People Overweight And 25% Obese”), it is obvious that something is wrong with the nutrition they are putting in their bodies. They are not just overweight they are also sick. About 80% of Americans are on medication and so are most kids over 12 years of age. This is somewhat like watching a group of people going over a cliff right in front of you and you can’t do a thing to stop it, just watch. So if you do not want to be one of them and you want your health and your body to come out the way you want it; you need to change the nutritional materials you are using.
Medical fact; your body is constantly being rebuilt and over a seven year period every cell has been replaced, you are a new person including your thyroid glands. Your thyroid requires proper nutrition to function optimally and certain Vitamins and minerals are essential to the thyroid glands health (see the list of whole food Vitamins and minerals below, those in bold are directly specific to the thyroid gland)
How to change the nutritional materials you are eating in our modern world is not easy. The easy part is telling you what you should be bringing into your body to do the construction, but where do you get the right materials. Your average grocery store is a nutritional disaster; loaded with refined garbage and irradiated produce. They worry more about shelf life then what happens to you when you eat their stuff. Health food stores can help; they carry organic vegetables, fruit and whole food products. But it is expensive and they also have a hard time keeping organic produce on their shelves.
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