Between 2001 and 2009, the prevalence of type 1 diabetes increased by 23%, according to The American Diabetes Association. Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body’s own immune system destroys the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas, while Type 2 diabetes, the most common form of diabetes, occurs when the body does not produce enough. So, the big question is, WHY is this happening, why are the numbers increasing…???
Donna Jackson Nakazawa, award winning researcher, writer,public speaker on health issues, says in her new book, The Autoimmune Epidemic, that something in our environment is creating this crisis.
Donna Jackson Nakazawa is an award-winning science journalist interested in exploring the studies of neuroscience, immunology, and the deepest inner workings of the human heart. She has written numerous books which all somewhat offers readers suffering from chronic conditions a window to healing.
I believe, as does Donna, the best way or the first step in most cases is to GET EDUCATED. In order to combat the rise in autoimmune diseases we need to do research to understand the risk factors for them, so that those who are at highest risk for developing disease can try to prevent.
“In all likelihood, much of the reason for this often catastrophic mistake of the immune system comes from the countless environmental toxins to which we are currently exposed—toxins that interfere with the way the immune system communicates with the rest of the body.”
“The numbers are staggering: one in twelve Americans—and one in nine women—will develop an autoimmune disorder. And since it is clear that not every patient with an autoimmune disease is correctly diagnosed, the prevalence is certainly higher than that. The American Heart Association estimates that by comparison, only one in twenty Americans will have coronary heart disease.” I want to say these numbers surprised me, but they did not at all.
If you ask me if i believe there is detection of this disease…like Nakazawa stated, not every patient is even directly diagnosed, I would tell you that is not the problem. I would say EARLY detection is not happening and that is the root of the bigger problem. When we go about our everyday, busy, crazy lives we don’t stop to research that headache were having everyday, or that rash that keep appearing after we eat our dinner. Therefore, we are only seeking help and answers after the problem has aroused and could be severe or too late.
It is almost a blatant fact at this point that the environmental toxins and chemicals we are breathing in on an everyday basis are interfering with our immune systems ability to function. So, then some of us would ask…have those environmental exposures changed over time? The answer, according to this authors years of research..is yes.
Nakazawa mentions two different study in her excerpt. The first one was done in 2003, consisting of measuring the blood and urine samples from Americans and then testing them for 210 different substances. These substances included industrial compounds, pollutants, PCBs, insecticides, dioxins, mercury, cadmium and benzene. The participants in the study came back with levels of 91 of these. Meaning, these randomly selected participants were walking around with numerous toxins in their body from ordinary exposure to their everyday life.
Again, I want to say when I read this I was shocked, but in fact I was not, I was actually excited that we are making this data public because knowledge is the first step to a healthier life!
In a 2005, another study was done. ” Researchers found 287 industrial chemicals, including pesticides, phthalates, dioxins, flame-retardants, and the breakdown chemicals of Teflon, in the fetal cord blood of ten newborn infants from around the country—transmitted to the infants by their mothers’ exposures before and during pregnancy.” I think when many people read this second study it will hit home for them. That means we are exposing our little ones to these harsh chemicals, which could be disrupting their brain /cell growth and function.
Autoimmune diseases are not just very common, but are often, isolating and debilitating, and in many cases are life-shortening. Nakazawa writes:
Each of these nearly one hundred autoimmune diseases derails lives. Taken collectively, these diseases, which also include type 1 diabetes, Graves’ disease, vasculitis, myasthenia gravis, connective tissue diseases, autoimmune Addison’s disease, vitiligo, rheumatoid arthritis, hemolytic anemia, celiac disease, and scleroderma…are now the number-two cause of chronic illness in America and the third leading cause of Social Security disability behind heart disease and cancer…Autoimmune diseases are the eighth leading cause of death among women, shortening the average person’s lifespan by fifteen years.
“The Autoimmune Epidemic ends with a logical and empowering solution to protect yourself and your family and, in so doing, to begin the process of cleaning up our environment in order to help reestablish a balanced immune system in our bodies.”