Autoimmune diseases

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by usanagirl, May 27, 2006.

  1. usanagirl

    usanagirl New Member

    I read your post about magnesium and migraines. I just want to be sure I'm correct on are aware that you have a primary immune deficiency that is the underlying cause of your symptoms? I have some information that you MUST read!!! Info is from Dr. Ray Strand's book called What Your Doctor Doesn't Know About Nutritional Medicine May be Killing You....great book with over 1000 case studies he has done throughout his practice.

    He writes...

    Since specializing in Nutritional Medicine, I have seen amazing results in my patients with autoimmune diseases who are using an aggressive nutritional supplementation program. My only explanation for such unbelievable results in my patients is the fact that they are not dealing with an overactive immune system, but rather a confused immune system.

    The immune system is intended to be our reliable protector. It is always checking for self (one’s own body) while it is looking for non-self (any foreign substance or abnormal cell). When the immune system finds a virus, bacteria, or foreign body it destroys and eliminates it from the body. However, in autoimmune diseases the immune system actually attacks itself rather than a foreign substance. If it attacks the joint space, a person is diagnosed as having rheumatoid arthritis. If it attacks the bowels, it manifests as Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis. When the connective tissue is attacked, a person might end up with scleraderma or lupus. If the myelin sheath around the nerve is the target, multiple sclerosis (MS) ensues.

    In the case of autoimmune diseases, I believe one’s immune system is not able to distinguish self from non-self. Being confused, the body is essentially destroying itself. I will encourage all of my patients with an autoimmune disease to begin an aggressive nutritional supplement program along with any medication they are already taking. In doing so, I am not only building up their NATURAL antioxidant defense systems, but also I am building up their own NATURAL immune system. I find this helps my patients on both sides of the disease.

    I believe their immune system becomes less confused and begins to recognize “self” again. This means the immune system more readily identifies outside invaders--not attacking “self” as much. In addition, my patients’ antioxidant defense system is also built up to balance out the tremendous number of free radicals being produced. This brings the root cause of the damage--oxidative stress--back under control. Therefore, it is absolutely critical that I place my patients on the most potent antioxidant combination available.

    Am I promoting alternative medicine? Absolutely not. I never take my patients off of their medications until they’ve experienced significant improvement. Nutritional supplementation is always used in tandem with their present medical regimen. They not only tolerate their medications better, but I believe the nutritional supplements actually enhance the pharmaceutical effect of the drugs.

    This Doc has helped me TREMENDOUSLY!!!

    Take care

    [This Message was Edited on 05/28/2006]
  2. elliespad

    elliespad Member

    And even the Mayo Clinic in August 2000 published this.

    Study May Force Re-Think on Rheumatoid Arthritis Updated 1:28 PM ET August 1, 2000
    By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Correspondent

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The idea that patients with rheumatoid arthritis have overactive immune systems could be completely backward, researchers said on Tuesday -- something that would force a re-think of how the condition is treated.

    A team at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, found that patients with rheumatoid arthritis in fact have damaged immune systems.

    "What this study has shown for the first time is that patients with rheumatoid arthritis have prematurely aged immune systems," Dr. Cornelia Weyand, a rheumatologist who led the study, said in a statement.

    "Until now we have thought that these patients had overactive immune systems, which is why we have aggressively treated the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis with medications that suppress the immune system," said Weyand, whose findings were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

    "While this practice offers relief of the painful symptoms, it also puts patients at greater risk for infections and cardiovascular disease -- the two leading causes of death among these patients."

    Scientists estimate about 2.1 million Americans, nearly 1 percent of the population, have rheumatoid arthritis -- most of them women.

    The disease is marked by pain, swelling, stiffness, and loss of function in the joints, and patients may also complain of fatigue, occasional fever and a general malaise.

    It is classified as an autoimmune disease -- one in which the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue. In this case it is the joints.

    Weyand and colleagues studied the immune systems of 51 patients with rheumatoid arthritis and compared them to 47 people of similar age who did not have the condition.

    They found that the T-cells -- the immune cells that are programd to recognize and attack invaders such as bacteria and viruses -- were worn out.

    One of the strengths of the human immune system is the large repertoire of so-called memory T-cells, which can recognize hundreds of different strains of cold viruses, streptococcal bacteria, and thousands of other microbes that would make us sick daily were it not for the T-cells.

    As people age, this repertoire gets smaller, which is one reason why older people are more at risk from diseases such as influenza.


    Weyand's team found that young rheumatoid arthritis patients had many fewer different T-cells than they should have. Patients 20 to 30 years old had a collection of T-cells that looked like they belonged to 50- to 60-year olds.

    And the chromosomes in the cells, which are the structures that carry the genetic material, were frayed. Chromosomes are capped with parts called telomeres, which get a little worn with each cell division. Weyand's team said the telomeres on the T-cells were worn away.

    She said it will take more research to show which came first, the rheumatoid arthritis or the exhausted immune system. "When we learn this, we can determine if regenerating the immune system will prevent or alleviate problems associated with rheumatoid arthritis," she said.

    "This study shows that physicians need to evaluate the status of a patient's immune system before choosing a medication and dosage. By doing this, we can suppress the immune system as little as possible and protect the patient's ability to respond to infections as much as possible."

    Another study in the same journal offered a potential new treatment for rheumatoid arthritis.

    Marc Feldmann at the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology in London and colleagues found that a natural constituent of marijuana, cannabidiol, helped mice they had caused to have a disease resembling rheumatoid arthritis.

    Working with a team in Israel, Feldmann's team said they found cannabidiol blocked the progression of disease by suppressing both the immune system and the body's inflammatory response.


  3. Tantallon

    Tantallon New Member

    I have resisted taking any supplement to boost the immune system because I didn't want to overstimulate it, perhaps after reading this I should now do a rethink.

    Interesting post and I'm going to ask the library if they have this book so I can read deeper into it.

  4. mimilove

    mimilove New Member

    Thank you so much for this post and all of the comments; very interesting reading.

    Because the immune system is so worn out, would that be reason enough: why maybe someone who is so ill but yet the WBC stays normal? I read somewhere that even in critically ill/terminally ill patients where they have have to inject them with some kind of radioactive whatever just so what is failing can actually be seen on scans, because through normal blood work their WBC show as normal and that their bodies are not fighting anything and obviously that wasn't the case!?

    Because that has been my case now for the longest time, I am and have been obviously very sick, but my WBC refuses to budge, same with my temperature. etc.

    I was just wondering if that could be maybe be a reason or a link there?! Please advise if you know of any. Again thank you so much for all the info, very informative.

    I know Autoimmune disorders fall into two general types: those that damage many organs (systemic) and those where only a single organ or tissue is directly damaged (localized). The effect however of localized autoimmune disorders, however can be systemic as they frequently have an indirect effect on other body organs and systems. I have Ulcerative Colitis; and they are now also thinking Hyperthyroidism amongst so many other things :(

  5. elliespad

    elliespad Member

    I have learned a lot from reading at rhealiving website, by Donna Fezler. I found her website about 3 or 4 years ago and she talks a lot about Autoimmune Disease. She also has me convinced, FOR YEARS, that Autoimmune Disease and Fibro And CFS are ATP Deficiency States, caused by toxins. The body is using whatever means necessary to get the ATP it needs. Tendons, cartilage, muscle use a LOT of ATP and the body is doing whatever it has to, to get it. I obviously can't give her website, but you can find it by doing a search for Donna Fezler or entering rhealiving with the appropriate suffix.

    Energy and Autoimmune Disorders
    News: WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The idea that patients with rheumatoid arthritis have overactive immune systems could be completely backward, researchers said on Tuesday -- something that would force a re-think of how the condition is treated.

    Autoimmune Disorders: An ATP Deficiency?
    Why is it that science can't figure out fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome or other autoimmune diseases?
    Simple, they are trying to fix the wrong part. It is something akin to your car mechanic standing over your car with an IV bag of gasoline additives running into the carburetor when the transmission is broken. Yes, the engine will run differently (and not necessarily better) but your car is still not going anywhere! Forget about adding more additives to the carburetor, just pay attention to the transmission. Your body is the same way. Medicine has been trying to treat autoimmune symptoms through the flow of fuel path when the problem
    is in the flow of work pathway.

    Any first year engineering student knows this!
    So, increase your energy and detoxify and you'll run better with less pain.

    Be aware that people suffering from autoimmune disorders may have intestinal tract problems, so increasing absorption is a critical piece. All the supplements in the world can't help if they are not properly absorbed.

    Glucose in your body is like gas in your car:
    FUEL gets converted into movement

    Your car: Gas fuel is used to spark ignition to create piston movement.

    Your Body: Food is converted into glucose. Special pathways move the glucose sugar into the energy powerhouse (mitochondria). The powerhouse is like the spark plug and converts the glucose fuel into ATP energy. Glucose is like gas that fuels the explosions that push the pistons up and down. Glucose is often used as a measure of bodily function, especially in diabetes.

    But, as any engineer will tell you, just because the gas is getting to the engine does not mean the car will move.

    The pistons have to send the energy through a flywheel to the transmission and finally to the wheels. It is this flow of energy that actually moves the car. In the body this flow of energy is called ATP and if anything interferes with this flow of ATP you will physically slow down. Just like when your car A/C is on, your car has less pick-up, and you will too, if something is draining your ATP.

    Energy flow is the flow of work in your car

    In the car the pistons go up and down and the flywheel converts it into rotary motion. The transmission moves this power, or flow of work to the wheels which move the car. The more energy the faster the car goes.

    ATP Energy flow is the flow of work in your body-
    and autoimmune disorders develop when there isn't enough to detoxify and rebuild.

    In the body, ATP:

    moves substances into and out of the cell
    moves muscles
    opens and closes channels
    produces signals that stimulate hormones
    detoxifies the body
    teams up with sulfate to become a sulfate donor for renewal and repair.

    The Body needs ATP to Repair and Renew the same parts the deteriorate and cause pain in autoimmune disorders:
    Chondroitin sulfate: cartilage, bone, skin, cornea, arteries
    Dermatan sulfate: skin, blood vessels, heart
    Heparan sulfate: lungs, arteries, basement membranes
    Heparin: lung, liver, skin, mast cell granules
    Keratan Sulfate: cartilage, cornea, vertebral discs
    Each of us is an individual, and the sicker one is, the more energy one needs. Illness robs our bodies of ATP. Finding an optimum level of rhea extract, or one of the other extracts, takes some experimentation. Rhea Extract is made from meat and is considered a food as a dietary supplement.
    Why is the Rhea so Special?
    The rhea is a type of ostrich native to South America. This high energy skittish bird can run 40 miles per hour with no hesitation, darting from side to side like a slalom skier.
    In order to perform this Herculean feat the bird must have an incredible store of available energy ready to be tapped at any time. The energy the Rhea uses to fuel its high speed antics is called ATP (Adenosine TriPhosphate). Our bodies use the same ATP as vital energy!

    ATP doesn't just fuel the body, it gives the body the energy to combat stress or to detoxify, and that can be a problem if we don't make enough ATP to meet our body's needs.

    ATP Boost overview

    To Order

    How it was discovered

    Where you can find evidence of an ATP Deficiency
    Sore joints (Arthritis)
    Muscle wasting (Lupus, Dermatomyositis)
    Fatigue (Chronic Fatigue Syndromes)
    Membrane Breakdown (Crohn's, IBD, Kidney Protein Loss, Asthma)
    Hypersensitivity (Allergies)
    Skin problems (Psoriasis)
    Autoimmune disorders
    ATP's Many Roles
    The body cannot produce an unlimited supply of ATP; it is limited by several factors including:
    nutrition (hydrogenated fats, fast food, low vitamin intake)
    stress (job, family, noise, weather)
    environmental toxins (air pollution, water, cleaning and lawn chemicals, petroleum products, certain medications)
    ATP is like money in your checkbook: there are so many things that you have to pay and so little extra money to just have fun. That is what is happening in autoimmune disorders--you are bouncing ATP checks at your body bank.

    In order to repair each particular part of the body that is affected, the body needs ample ATP and a sulfate donor to complete the normal breakdown and repair cycle.

    In autoimmune disorders, the body doesn't have enough ATP and the sulfate donor to keep up with repair due to competition from another ATP user, stress factors, which are like the "budget busters" in your life. (ATP'S MANY ROLES) You know budget busters: auto repairs, broken water heaters, surprise dental surgery. Well, the body also has them and we call them stress and environmental toxins worsened by poor nutrition!

    Environmental Toxins, Stress, and Your ATP Energy Level
    You know those high energy types: thin, lithe, muscular? They have incredible stores of ATP energy available for them. A healthy diet, exercise, and sunshine enable the body to combat stress and toxins. However, even with the best intentions, some of us may be more sensitive to environmental toxins.
    The body makes a choice: die of the poison or run slightly impaired but without the poison.
    Or, if our lifestyle is sedentary we don't have the large stores of energy that active people have in their muscles.
    Or, our diets are deficient in the very foods that supply us with nutrients to make ATP without stressing our body to digest: grains, fruits, and vegetables.
    All these things add up to a drain on our available ATP energy, so the body compromises and we end up with pain; allergies; sore joints and muscles; asthma; Crohn's; or Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Colitis.
    What about vitamins and other supplements?
  6. lenasvn

    lenasvn New Member

    I totally believe what you posted!! I took medication for RA, and I was sick as a dog for those 6 months! Chronic fevers, severe joint pain, extreme fatigue, the list goes on and on!! I was SICK.

    Then I (against my docs recommendation) stopped the meds, and I slowly got better, no more CFS flue like problems. Now I am back at square one, but that is a better place than with the meds I took.

    I have an elevated Rheumatoid factor, around 278 each time, but I am pretty sure I don't have RA. I have a chronic inflammation or inbalance in my immune system, but not RA.

    Either way, if my Immune system was OVERactive, I wouldn't have felt like it totally failed me when taking those meds.
    Another thing about RF factor, older people often have an increased level because of AGE, it makes sense in your post then, that the Imm.syst. as it said was "older than the person".

    I feel so clued in! It gives me the tools to battle my care. Thanks!

  7. mimilove

    mimilove New Member

    Thank you so much for your reply. I have posted it to my desktop so I can digest it tomorrow.

    It seems from what I have read briefly it's what I have been afraid of all this time that I have been ill....something to do with my environments while being fine for others my immune system not tough enough to take it especially all the bad air, all the silica dust that gets ruffled around over here with all the new construction going on.

    I have been told by a very top Neurosurgeon last week, who I went to see on my own without my Dr referring me that, it's going to take a top internal medicine Dr at probably UCLA to figure out what is wrong with me. Basically one who's doing his/her job, he mentioned a couple of diseases and then said to give him time he will read my letter more in depth and give me a call cause I caught him off guard. He did not even make me pay. Some of the diseases he mentioned to have my PP test me for are pretty scarry!!!

    Finally Elliespad, I have been wanting to post you since reading one of your post a long time ago and reading your bio......we have the same birthdates!!! Are you like a "Will Absolutely Quit At Nothing" kind of person too? like very investigative? The kind of person who questions "why is it negative?"

    Glad to meet you, thank you again and everyone who shared on this post...really informative.

    Oh just wanted to add Neurosurgeon too doesn't believe I only have Fibromyalgia like my HMO wants me so desperately to believe and go home and die!!!! They hate me because I keep pushing them and insist that I don't only have Fibro; he told me to insist and don't be happy with just that diagnosis because there is more. He kept asking me if I ever had a hobby working with fine particles....I then thought of silica dust, wasn't a hobby. I used to be a Dental Rep, they used Silica Dust and they blew air on us for the whole 8 hrs I was there, I remember complaining how cold I was.

    And here where I live, you can see what you breathe....I have to get out it's gonna kill me and my husband both. I totally believe what you say.[This Message was Edited on 05/28/2006]
  8. elliespad

    elliespad Member

    You asked, Are you like a "Will Absolutely Quit At Nothing" kind of person too? like very investigative? The kind of person who questions "why is it negative?"

    You hit the nail on the proverbial head! I have a lot of nicknames for my self.

    1. Doubting Thomas
    2. Stupidly Optimistic
    3. Never say die
    4. Super sleuth

    For YEARS, I HAD to know WHY. Why was I SO gifted academiclly and physiclaly as a kid, and turned into such CRAP as an adult?

    My relatives ALL turned into CRAP, but at an older age. Docs said it was due to age and genetics. I turned to CRAP by age 22. Aaaah, later they were ALL diagnosed with Occular Pharngyl Muscular Dystrophy. When I was with Geneticist at Muscular Dyrstophy Clinic, even he said that this form of MD does NOT run in families, should be less than 50% of the sibling afflicted. My mother was one of 6 siblings, ALL afflicted, and much like all of us too.

    NOW, knowing what I know about Pesticides, and their mutagenic, carcinogenic properties, their endocrine dysruption, their enzyme disabling, their prevention of energy, I had ALL my answers. Every single symptom can be explained, when you thoroughly understand each of the five classes of pesticides.

    So yes, my undying nature to HAVE TO UNDERSTAND, finally led me to UNDERSTAND WHY. Now, I have been concentrating on figuring out how to OVERCOME this. The key is DETOXIFYING. But, is easier said than done. But, this is the basis of all my treatments for past several years, to continually detoxify.

    Now, that is WAY more than you asked for itsn't it? Sorry to ramble on. And, very nice to meet YOU, mimilove. And, I don't know what Silica Dust is, but am going to read up on it.
    [This Message was Edited on 05/28/2006]
  9. Scapper

    Scapper New Member

    Thanks for taking the time to post this information -- good read!!

    And Storm for the reminder on the green food -- why I find it so hard to stay vigilant with good solid nutrition is beyond me -- thanks :)

  10. victoria

    victoria New Member

    RA can be caused by Lyme... one of the reasons they scrapped the first vaccine is because too many people got RA... something to consider.

    I think they will find 'autoimmune diseases' are caused by stealth pathogesn of one kind or another.


    [This Message was Edited on 05/28/2006]
  11. elliespad

    elliespad Member

    You said you have Colitis. Do you have a history with Petrochemical exposure? OR,,,did your mother, while she was pregnant with you. Maybe you dad was a mechanic and she watched him a lot in the garage, or you worked in a body shop, or around combustible engines?

    I have a theory that people with IBS and COLITIS have a SIGNIFICANT Petrochemical exposure.
  12. hugs4evry1

    hugs4evry1 New Member

    I just put the book in my shopping cart...thanks for sharing this information.

    I've just come to the conclusion that hubby and I need better supplements. It's so hard watching him go down hill day by day.

    I had posted a question about ProHealth's supplements and my confusion in trying to get the right stuff to help us on our way but it was quickly pushed back due to some other "things" going on here at the same time.

    I hope others have a chance to read this thread.

    Nancy B.

  13. usanagirl

    usanagirl New Member

    That is wonderful that you do your research, and I encourage you to continue.

    I wanted to address this particular comment that you wrote:
    Be aware that people suffering from autoimmune disorders may have intestinal tract problems, so increasing absorption is a critical piece. All the supplements in the world can't help if they are not properly absorbed.

    He also writes:

    Medical literature documents that in the case of this disease, the mucosal lining of the small bowel is very depleted in antioxidants. The inflammatory response created by the body's own immune system causes one to use up all the natural antioxidants in an attempt to offset the tremendous number of free radicals that are being produced. Since this disease involves the gastrointestinal tract, there is also a malabsorption of nutrients. When the depletion of nutrients caused by the inflammatory response is combined with the poor absorption of nutrients from one’s diet, one can clearly see why these patients need a nutritional supplement program.

    My mom has had RA for 25 yrs (her entire spine has been fused) taking med after med with no relief and is now following and has responded to Dr. Strand's program. Thankfully, she has a much better quality of life.

  14. usanagirl

    usanagirl New Member

  15. elliespad

    elliespad Member

    How WONDERFUL for your mother, finally getting some relief after SO MANY YEARS OF SUFFERING. Is there a short list of supplements your mom used to rebuild her gastrointestinal and immune system.

    Let's try to keep this thread going, as there are lot of people on on here facing these and other Autoimmune challenges who might not take the time to read up on Dr. Strands' recommendations. Maybe if you could share a few of her supplements, it might give others a starting point.

    Drugs are not the way to rebuild health. Sometimes they are necessary to deal with a crisis situation, when no other known avenue exits, but,,,,,they do not rebuild health. If we are taking 4 or more prescription drugs, then we are actually CAUSING toxicity, as the Livers' Cytochrome P450 detox pathways are being blocked. So, any supplements your mom used?

  16. usanagirl

    usanagirl New Member

    My mom takes USANA...

    Mega Antioxidants
    Chelated Mineral
    Proflavanol-another powerful antioxidant
    Active calcium and magnesium

    She has been able to build up her immune system to the point where she has significantly less pain, has more energy and manages to sleep better. From taking all kinds of medication, she was so oxidized and it took her awhile to detox.

    Hope that helps!

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