Ever see someone in the grocery store wiping “germs” off their shopping cart handle? I often wonder if those antibacterial wipes do little more than offer shoppers a false sense of security. Why?
Think about it, unless they are going to wipe the whole store down then where’s the cutoff point? Does the farmer who picks the lettuce need to wipe down his hands? How about the guy loading the soda onto the truck? And the person cutting down bananas? How about the teen on summer break stocking shelves? If this is about “controlling” germs why don’t the supermarkets offer wipes next to the credit card machine at the checkout?
Can you see where I’m going with this?
Unless we live inside a bubble it’s impossible to control the environment around us. If the goal is not to get sick then we have to control the environment within us.
For all my germaphobe homies out there, let’s take this a step further. Many of those bacteria that freak you out so much are already living inside you. No really, it’s true. Some estimates suggest they outnumber your cells by at least ten to one. Do the math, that makes us only ten percent human!
The trick to not getting sick is giving the immune system exactly what it needs. But there’s more to boosting the immune system than meets the eye. If we look at the immune system under a microscope (these days that’s pretty easy to do), we quickly realize that this system, above all others, is truly mind-blowing. Once fired up, the immune system is an equal match for a wide range of would-be enemies.
This formidable system can defend itself from multiple foreign invaders while at the same time, launching a counter-attack with deadly precision. To be clear — your immune system comes well-equipped to deal with high-level threats on a minute-to-minute basis.
But there is a problem, can you see it?
To keep your immune system running at optimal levels the body requires fuel in the form of key nutrients. Once found in abundance, many of these key nutrients are today missing from our food. In some cases, these nutrients have been replaced with toxic products in the form of processed foods sold to us by non-other than …. the same supermarket handing out those wipes! I know right, you couldn’t make this stuff up.
For some of us, the immune system has now become a nutritionally downgraded version of its former self. Correcting the underlying nutritional deficiency would seem like a logical first step in the right direction. But that’s not what many of us do.
Thinking is difficult, that’s why most people judge.
– C.G. Jung
Rather than boosting the immune system with those missing key nutrients, we humans have taken this a step further by propping up a nutritionally downgraded immune system (AKA a weakened immune system) with pharmaceutical products.
For the past 100+ years, science has, with limited success, been locked in a bitter battle trying to rid the world of all infectious diseases. For the past fifteen years, that goal has somewhat intensified. And yet rates of serious illness continue to rise and nobody seems to know why. But there’s another problem...
Trying to control infectious diseases this way is like trying to squish a balloon. We eradicate one disease but then another pops up of greater magnitude. Autoimmune conditions can range from ALS to MS, from Type 1 diabetes to Rheumatoid arthritis, the list goes on and on and on. To date, a“confused” immune system can display itself in more than a hundred different ways! So with autoimmune conditions and counting, it begs the question … Why?
Why are rates of autoimmune conditions now skyrocketing? Could it be, in our relentless push to control “germs’ we have reduced the risk of one illness but increased the risk of another? When the immune system is forced to deal with multiple weakened strains of diseases in one sitting are we running the risk of the immune system becoming hypersensitive or “confused”?
Perhaps this is the clearest signal yet that the man has underestimated the complexity of the immune system. I suspect there is more to this debate than meets the eye. But when the only tool being used is a hammer, everything begins to look like a nail.
This isn’t a question of being for or against any particular ideology or practice. But when science tells us it doesn’t know the reason behind autoimmune conditions then the door needs to open for debate.
Rather than becoming involved in a heated pro/anti debate, I’m simply suggesting we need to explore other pathways to fight disease. I believe one of those pathways is to remove anything of a toxic nature from the body (including excess sugar) and then flooding the cells with cutting-edge nutrition.
There’s more than one way to skin a cat.
But from the cat’s perspective, they all suck.
When the nutritional demands of the immune system are ignored, our quest to be disease-free has the potential to become a double-edged sword. As it stands, autoimmune conditions cost the economy billions of dollars each year, the cost in human suffering is incalculable.
The definition of an autoimmune condition is a system that has become confused to the point where it now fails to recognize the difference between itself and extensions of itself.
Once triggered, a confused immune system can launch an attack anywhere within. Having an autoimmune condition can be like having an octopus on your back. Its long tentacles reaching into every part of your body. Whatever it comes in contact with, it then attacks!
But the immune system is anything but dumb. When we treat it with respect it becomes a formidable ally. Treat it wrong and you now have a highly complex problem that few understand.
Make no mistake, autoimmune conditions are notoriously difficult to treat and just as tricky to diagnose. The moment your immune system turns rogue on you, doctors have little to offer in the way of permanent solutions. So how do you know if you have an autoimmune condition? That’s easy, just answer yes to the six questions below.
1: Is your medical file as thick as the US tax code?
2: Have you seen three or more doctors in the last two years and yet you remain undiagnosed?
3: Do you have a cupboard full of medicine, but still feel ill?
4: Have you been told your bloodwork tests are “fine”?
5: Do you have a second cupboard full of natural supplements that appear to make things worse?
6: Adding insult to injury, somewhere along the way was it suggested that your suffering is all in your head?
If this is you, welcome to the perplexing world of autoimmunity!
It’s widely believed that once you have one autoimmune condition the chances of getting a second begin to escalate. So, that’s the good news out of the way. And now for the bad.
Once you have an autoimmune condition there is no cure for it; once the gene has been switched on it can’t be switched off. However, before you throw yourself under a Number 52 bus, let me throw you a helpful lifeline. With the right tools, autoimmune conditions can be managed.
Food plays a huge role in this. No really, it’s true. This would include restricting foods collectively known as lectins. A lectin-free diet was recently brought into the mainstream by Dr. Gundy, a world-renowned heart surgeon. Dr. Gundy decided to switch gears and began using food as medicine. Hmm, I see.
Anyone with an autoimmune condition might find it helpful to excludes all grains, dairy (didn’t we already cover these?), legumes, and foods belonging to the nightshade family. This would include foods like peppers, potatoes, and tomatoes. One way to reduce the lectin content of food is to cook those types of vegetables with a pressure cooker. The good news is, reducing lectins reduces symptoms.
Yup, it all takes effort, but once the immune system is brought back into balance symptoms can become minimal.
What did we learn from this?
Modern medicine is quick to point out that it doesn’t have an answer for this upsurge in autoimmune self-hacks, which in turn opens the door for intelligent debate. The immune system is arguably the most complex, impressive, and effective system of all; it was put there to protect us. Let’s work with it, not against it.
Homework: Check out this book