The bottom line: Autoimmune diseases in Canada and is there hope for you?
I recently attended a workshop about autoimmune (AI) disease and I was blown away by the statistics I heard and so I would like to share a a bit about autoimmune diseases because people need to know! Why? Because the struggles faced by those suffering from autoimmune diseases and those struggling to get a diagnosis are massive and the numbers keep increasing!
At a very basic level an AI disease is when your own immune system goes haywire and starts to attack itself. Autoimmune diseases include endometriosis, celiac, hashimoto’s, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis (MS), lupus, crohn’s diseases, type 1 diabetes, scleroderma, pemphigus, bipolar disorder, depression, sarcoidosis, chronic fatigue syndrome, myasthenia gravis and Lyme’s, to name just a few. In fact, there are way more autoimmune diseases that are still not fully ‘recognized’ because they are just not understood or are very rare.
The hard part is that the treatment of these diseases by conventional medicine is very hard on the body and is quite limited in scope because doctors just don’t understand them! In addition, our health care system is not organized in such a way to deal with the complexity of autoimmune diseases. What this means is that if you have an AI disease that spans multiple areas you are forced to see different specialists (e.g. your eyes and with your skin you must see an eye specialist AND and dermatologist). From the get-go, your health concerns are not seen holistically but as separate entities. THIS IS NOT HELPFUL because your body functions as a unit and separating it from each other can be very confusing, frustrating and disheartening and lead to a very disjointed treatment experience which really affects your ability to manage and treat AI diseases effectively!
Statistics show that AI diseases are on the increase and women have it the worst: 80% of those diagnosed with autoimmune diseases are females in their childbearing years. In addition, most people suffering with AI diseases often develop several autoimmune diseases in the long-term. As per the Canadian Journal of Public Health, there was found a 900-percent increase from 1996 to 2010 in female Ontarians aged 25 to 34 with RA. Canada has the world’s highest rates of MS. These statistics are very disheartening and indicate a real need for our health care system to make some decisions! Currently most people are familiar with treating AI diseases using conventional medicine (your family doctor and specialists) and possibly adding in some dietary changes. However, there is a wealth of other effective treatment modalities that are used by AI sufferers that are available on your own doorstep. Not only that, but these therapies are safe and may even allow you to experience a drug-free life with the potential of long-term cure!
It has been shown that genetics and environment play the biggest role in the development of AI diseases. What does this mean for you? Just because AI disease runs in your family DOES NOT mean that you will get an AI disease or even the same type of disease as your family member. Lifestyle, nutrition and environment seem to have a large impact on your tendency to develop an AI disease. In addition, it is possible to address the underlying triggers and causes of an AI even when those root causes remain unclear. You may wonder how this is possible?! READ ON!
Did you know that it generally takes 4.6 years and 5 doctors to get diagnosed with an AI disease? I recently wrote an article about receiving treatment without a diagnosis. My hope is that those who are dealing with undiagnosed (and diagnosed!) AI diseases realize that there are health professionals out there who are equipped to deal with the complex web of AI in a holistic way with or without a diagnosis. My own health issues and inability to get a diagnosis led me to seek out alternative treatment and it has given me results and hope for a better future (read my bio). If you are in the midst of the struggle of getting diagnosed or have been diagnosed with an AI disease there is hope for you!
If you are interested in learning more or setting up a consultation with me don’t hesitate to contact me!