When you no longer want what you thought you did..........

I have had several friendships over the years. Some rewarding and some toxic. One must stop and look and say Why Do I have so much Drama in my life? In my case I am in recovery. Yes I looked at why I had so much stress and so much Drama and it was not only because I invited it in but I participated in it.  I agree. What I used to relish in and participate it now is something I can not tolerate. It is that simple. I am sick of it. I am tired of it and I do not claim to have answers to the problems of others but I do have the answers to mine.  I would rather be alone in my own beliefs than in the company of hundreds that claim to love me and bring me drama.   I like getting along with others, I like letting go of anger, I like looking to the future and I like simple things. I despise drinking or being around those that abuse it, I do not want to hear about someones problems that they themselves brought on. I am a firm believer in a few things, Reincarnation, Karma, and Self Love. I never thought I would ever fall in love truly. I did with myself. How Do I know this? Well I am easily irritated with takers and emotional vampires and I no longer feel I have a debt to pay by being everyone's mother. I find I am a bit more selfish. I am still stuck in a less than desirable situation of course. It takes five minutes to get into it and years to get out of it. But....... I know what brings me peace and I know that after years of toxic female relationships the last of which I just ended this last week and the other last year and my toxic male relationships, I have come to the conclusion I do not need one at all. I have a few good friends who are female that just complete me, comfort me and is built on true respect for one another. I have had relationships with Men that have done nothing more than leave me a better person and I still hold those men as dear friends.  So this tells me that if my long term friendships are far more fulfilling than new ones the fact is it is not my issue I do not own the fact that two of the worst decisions of my life are now history.

Karma: You get in what you put out. You put out Good you will get good. When I say Good I do not mean open a door for someone or give someone money. I mean respect them, do unto them as you would have done unto you. If you put out bad your going to have a future of suffering. I speak to someone with kindness and respect I will get that back, If I speak the truth to you even when you do not want to hear it I am being a good friend. When I forgive those that have done me wrong and move forward with indifference to them instead of hatred I practice self love.  I have been studying Buddhism and Hinduism. Beautiful things they are. I am not a Buddhist I am not going to give up all my worldly possessions and go pray on the mountains of Tibet but I am not so focused on the material things, I am not longer afraid of burning in hell for my mistakes. After all Every religion is simply a path to the same mountain top and the only one wasting its time on the journey is the one complaining all the other paths are wrong.

As I grow older life becomes more complicated and this is common in the early moments of impending empty nest. I notice my need to spend time with certain people has declined. I still  love and care for them, but for many reasons, those individuals and people have become too complicated or too negative to be worth my time and effort to keep them going.
I see no reason to keep a  friendship that is critical. Friends are supposed to be there for us. why have them If they do not do that?  Also why Burden them with demons of your own creating.  We can do better.  Yet having a friend who is gently and bluntly honest with us is healthy.  It is not wise to have critical people in our daily lives. People who consistently criticize us hurt our Souls. From time to time we can be served well by a friend not afraid to tell us where we are wrong but every day and constantly is not healthy. Karma you get what you put out! You choose!

Befriend only people with good energy that don’t promote or create drama. ~Carmen Portela

I find such peace in thinking I have lived before. If I have lived before than this old soul has another one waiting for me when She sheds this body. i find peace in being peaceful. I find happiness in such simple things. I do not need much to be happy. I do not question my choices anymore. I have sad situations, stress and bills. I have other less than great things going on that bring me tears. Yet even as I cry I am happy with who I am. I am Happy to have life, the sun, the wind, the birds. I am Happy in spite of the constant every day crap.  I do have a plan and that is a plan to build a reputation not to participate in dramatics, help others that do not help themselves or to ever tolerate being disrespected. It does not mean I have to argue or fight it just means be Indifferent. Say nothing and move forward.

What I learned in 45 years

February 24, 1969 I was born. Is it History? No one thing I learned over the years is that a birthday is not a true indicator of your age.  I believe our souls are much older than our chronological age. The history of the day of my birth is pretty interesting. I share a Birthday with a pretty famous singer of course and like any other day in the year we have had milestones met, death and birth, good and bad on this day.   On Feb, 24, 1836 in San Antonia Texas Colonel William Travis issued a call for help on behalf of Texan troops Defending the Alamo, 1950 George Thorogood was born, in 1971 Algeria nationalized French oil companies,and in 1970 29 Swiss Army officers died in a Avalanche in Reckingen Switzerland.  That is history. My Birth was a Journey in the wee stages. I have learned so much over the years and only recently really started to become comfortable with things that are a matter of life. Some things we can not and will never control. The road to hell is paved with good intentions my daughter said and the stairway to heaven was not. I have learned a Animal is a far better friend than a human and I have learned you can grow up with someone or be raised by someone that will never love you and you have to accept that. People will only talk down to or look down on you because you allow the opportunity and I have learned I am human with human needs, wants and desires. If some view my choices as mistakes I guess they can but for me I regret nothing and no one. I can not do that they were all part of a growing process and a great memory or two.  I learned that nothing can prepare you for seeing a child in a casket and no matter how hard you are it will affect you. I have learned that once a person is hooked into the concept of  a religion that instills fear with the idea of fellowhip if you do not share the same views your pretty much doomed and they are convinced they wont see you in Heaven. I have learned not to mix bleach with dish soap to try to get the sulfur stains off of the tub,   Another important factor is never try to bleach black hair blonde.  Holding in anger gives you indigestion and headaches and indifference is much more effective. I have learned that Bullies have been around since hundreds of years and people have been spreading rumors and speculating since the Salem Witch trials. I have learned that parents can not give advise on marriage when they have been married multiple times and I have learned that no man is void from temptation.
No women can live her life as if she is running a corporation and neg neg people make beautiful children. Milkshakes make you fat if you eat them every night and color has no bearing on a persons character. Some of the coolest, kindest people I have ever met were Gay and some of the nicest men were only of average looks. A addict or a drunk is always a addict or a drunk and they may stop one addiction only to trade it off for something else. I have learned no matter how you raise your kids they all turn out the way they choose.  I have learned to be pro choice and very liberal in my thoughts and I find if you register as a republican more opportunities come your way. I have learned  not to substitute butter when the recipe calls for Margarine and I have learned that a dog needs no water after seven at night or they will have a accident at night. 45 years taught me a lot and one of the biggest lessons was not to throw up out of a moving car when the back window is open and more important not to have your window down when someone is throwing up in the front seat of a moving car. One lesson I learned was if you forget to pay for something and walk out of the store go back in and admit your forgetfulness and make it right or you will be ridden with guilt. I found over the years that the best mud pies are made after a summer rain and cool whip container makes them the perfect size. I learned the best smell you will ever breath in is the smell of a horses coat and the best eyes you will ever look into are that of a cat. I have learned Lust is more powerful than love and does not last nearly as long. I have learned I like sleeping alone sometimes. Reading and a cup of tea or listening to Mozart on a rainy day is the only way to go and I have learned that some of the most Christian like people I know do not go to church. Hypocrisy runs rampant in families as does Jealousy. I also found after 45 years that you can not count on anyone but yourself. I learned that Ivory soap smells like my Grandma and Crows are interesting Birds. I have learned some really good friendships come from the most unlikely people and I learned sometimes just because someone looks grumpy they aren't. I have learned that pickles are great with anything and french fries are amazing with Tartar Sauce. I have learned that one kind deed comes back two fold and I have learned that our parents issues do not have to fall onto us. I have learned Blood is not thicker than water and family comes in all shapes and sizes. Puppy breath smells good to me and I never had a problem with the smell of a skunk. I have learned you never forget your grandmothers scent or the smell of her face powder and you never forget your grandfathers voice long after they are gone. I have learned that ducks make great pets. I also learned rumors hurt. I have learned everyone has told a lie and everyone has regretted it. I have learned that soft ice cream is better in a waffle cone. I have learned that Rubbing alcohol makes a good bathroom cleaner when you don't wanna run down street and I learned not to spray the dust mop with furniture polish. I have learned that bees are ok if you leave them alone they wont bother you and I have learned to never leave a baby bird on the ground chances are they will die. Expect nothing and never be disappointed. People are going to talk and half the time it will be ignorant. Ignorance is bliss and sometimes people play dumb so they don't have to do as much. I have learned you have to be proactive and fight through life and that the simplest pleasures such as ice cream on a hot day, a cool breeze or the sound of the wind in the leaves are true gifts. Be nice to everyone you never know who was sent here as a angel to test if your worthy. Make a bed your comfortable to sleep on for eternity and at the end of the Game the king and pawn all go back in the same box. At the end of life all of our graves are the same size. Lessons well learned! I look forward to the next 45 years and God Willing I will see it.  I love you all! See you this Saturday!

A daily struggle

Today was Brain FOG day for me and body aches with a side of sadness. It comes and Goes ! No it is not Bi Polar it is that little Bow tie shaped gland called a Thyroid. I ate Chocolate today and it made me feel better. It was not that good milk chocolate with caramel it was extra dark chocolate because our thyroid does not like Milk chocolate. Gluten free foods can help our inflamed immune systems so I am told. It can also make you loose a little wieght ............On PMS week it can make you want to fade away from cravings for salt and for chocolate and for Donuts. Oh how I miss Donuts!  I miss my hair too. I had pretty good hair a few years ago. Extensions got me by for a while and now it is so dry and broken it feels to me a extension would have to be hammered into my head to stay. Yup Today I feel frustrated and feel pretty shitty but I have made a decision to  have a blog that not only helps others with auto immune disease, heart issues, PMDD and Depression but I hope to put up recipies and photos that can bring others information, laughter or just a diversion from the things that all too often out husbands, Family, friends never understand but somehow our dogs know we feel like poop!  Welcome to my world!


Hi. My name is Hashimoto's, and I'm an invisible autoimmune disease that attacks your thyroid gland.
I am now velcroed to you for life.
Others around you can't see me or hear me, but YOUR body feels me.
I can attack you anywhere and anyhow I please.
I can cause severe pain or, if I'm in a good mood, I can just cause you to ache all over.
Remember when you and energy ran around together and had fun?
I took energy from you, and gave you exhaustion. Try to have fun now!
I can take good sleep from you and in its place, give you brain fog and lack of concentration.
I can make you want to sleep 24/7, and I can also cause insomnia.
I can make you tremble internally or make you feel cold or hot when everyone else feels normal.
I can also give you swollen hands and feet, swollen face and eyelids, swollen everything!
Oh, yeah, I can make you feel very anxious or very depressed, too. I can also cause other mental health problems.
I can make your hair fall out, become dry and brittle, cause acne, cause dry skin, the sky is the limit with me!
I can make you gain weight and no matter what you eat or how much you exercise, I can keep that weight on you. I can also make you loose weight. I don't discriminate.
Some of my other autoimmune disease friends often join me, giving you even more to deal with.
If you have something planned, or are looking forward to a great day, I can take that away from you. You didn't ask for me. I chose you for various reasons:
That virus or viruses you had that you never really recovered from, or that car accident, or maybe it was the years of abuse and trauma (I thrive on stress.) You could have a family history of me. Whatever the cause, I'm here to stay.
I hear you're going to see a doctor to try and get rid of me. That makes me laugh! Just try. You will have to go to many, many doctors until you find one who can help you
You will be put on the wrong thyroid meds for you, pain pills, sleeping pills, energy pills, told you are suffering from anxiety or depression, given anti-anxiety pills and antidepressants.
There are so many other ways I can make you sick and miserable, the list is endless - that high cholesterol, gall bladder issue, blood pressure issue, blood sugar issue, heart issue among others? That's probably me.
Can't get pregnant, or have had a miscarriage?
That's probably me too.
Teeth and gum problems? TMJ? I told you the list was endless.
You may be given a TENs unit, get massaged, told if you just sleep and exercise properly I will go away.
You'll be told to think positively, you'll be poked, prodded, and MOST OF ALL, not taken seriously when you try to explain to the doctor how debilitating I am and how sick you really feel. In all probability you will get a referral from the 'understanding' (clueless) doctor, to see a psychiatrist.
Your family, friends and co-workers will all listen to you until they just get tired of hearing about how I make you feel, and just how debilitating I can be.
Some of them will say things like "Oh, you are just having a bad day" or "Well, remember, you can't do the things you use to do 20 YEARS ago", not hearing that you said 20 DAYS ago.
They'll also say things like, "if you just get up and move, get outside and do things, you'll feel better." They won't understand that I take away the 'gas' that powers your body and mind to ENABLE you to do those things.
Some will start talking behind your back, they'll call you a hypochondriac, while you slowly feel that you are losing your dignity trying to make them understand, especially when you are in the middle of a conversation with a "normal" person, and can't remember what you were going to say next. You'll be told things like, "Oh, my grandmother had that, and she's fine on her thyroid pill" when you desperately want to explain that I don't impose myself upon everyone in the exact same way, and just because that grandmother is fine on the medication SHE'S taking, doesn't mean it will work for you.
I've been trying to keep this next part quiet, but since you're reading this you already know.
The only place you will get the kind of support and understanding in dealing with me, is with other people that have me. They are really the only ones who can truly understand.
I am Hashimoto's Disease.

Why I prefer dogs over people!

The fact is I prefer any animal over human beings when it comes to a friend. Why? Well for the simple fact they are often accused of being mean and humans are a far meaner species. You never see a Tiger in the wild drag out a kill. Humans will torture, rape and drag out such things for personal power and control issues they have. I see no loyalty in families that even come close to the loyalty in a pack of wolves. I see women give birth to child after child and take it for granted and abuse, neglect, walk away and end up dismissing the children they give birth too. Not all women please know that I have known and do know some amazing moms in this world. I do know that all animals build a den or nest, give birth, nurture and teach before they send the small extensions of themselves out into the world.  I know they have no organized religion telling them they can or can not love another animal for it is not the same color, nor do I ever see or hear of a animal being told eating pork is a sin. They do not have sabbath, days of rest, hypocritical personalities either. I am angry some will say and I can not agree with that. I am realistic!  I am finally seeing what the world is and what family really means. I think of the day  when I loose a parent and I dread it not just for the fact I want them to live forever but for the fact family falls to the wayside and I am sure I will never see nor hear from one sibling once that happens again. The image of the Waltons and The Ingalls is just that! A image!  It used to be so different I hear people say. Oh Bull shit my Grandfather suffered abuse at the hands of a horrible women and ended up in the system at a young age. Fighting and bickering between my parents and them was a constant. I do not see how today is any different from a hundred years ago. I am all for freedom of beliefs and religion, I am pro same sex marriage, I am against animal testing, animal cruelty and I am pro choice. I believe a womens body is her choice and having survived rape twice in my lifetime had I been inpregnated I would have terminated that. Does that change the fact I find it sad that many people out there have no chance of creating a child and I believe adoption is a much better option? No I do believe Adoption is the first choice and life is the first choice.  I see animals on TV, I read articles about  cheetas nursing baby antelopes, Dogs nursing kittens, Other animals mothering anothers young. Too bad not more humans saw this and did not take note. I see step children sitting off to the side feeling unloved and unfavored because mom or dad remarried and I think it is disgusting because most of the time if they feel favoritism it is happening.  I see men take up with women and use them up financially and emotionally and move onto the next. Isee women spoiled rotten using up a man until he is living pay check to paycheck and leave him. I see some animals like Geese who mate for life and stay that way.  I teach my children to be good people, give to people less fortunate, honor children and if you do not think you can be nice in your words shut up! I teach them that drinking large amounts of booze and beer are stupid, unhealthy, and I teach them that they are going to try all things once in most cases. This I can not control. Knowing they can rely on me at any hour is something I can control!
Another thing Humans are the only species that can go off of brain power, animals well they  go with instinct.  You are not going to tell an animal that they are going to go to hell and can not go to heaven. I get sick of being feb bull shit! A animal does not even entertain bull shit.  So do I prefer animals over people yeah pretty much!  I do not hate the human species I happen to love a really great bunch of humans. I have friends I care about deeply and strangers who have treated me better than family. I have had a few friends I have never met actually, pen pals that have made such a huge impact on my life. they are all hig quality people. I prefer them over most but atthe end of the day when I was a girl my best friend was a horse who carried me away from drama and stress and loved me with no conditions. Today as a adult my best friend happens to be a dog!  Why? She loves me with no conditions and she does not care if I am Catholic, Baptist, methodist, wiccan or a Buddhist! All she knows is that well we have been together for 13 years and we have secrets that she never repeats.  I guess I was venting today and I feel so much better. This wont make sense to some it is the ramblings of a animal lover but regardless of my view on human nature I am a people lover as well.
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Should you follow a Paleo gluten-free diet or a vegan diet? Should you pop omega-3 or turmeric supplements? About 23 million people in the United States who suffer from autoimmune diseases face these questions every day. The Internet is teeming with books, websites, and blogs offering advice on how to eat to prevent or treat autoimmune conditions. Unfortunately, much of it is based on hype and hope instead of solid scientific evidence.

What Is Autoimmune Disease?
Autoimmunity is the No. 2 cause of chronic illness, according to the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA), a nonprofit health agency dedicated to increasing awareness of autoimmune diseases. About 5% of the U.S. population has been diagnosed and treated for an autoimmune disease, and another 10% to 20% have early-stage autoimmune symptoms and imbalances, reports Paula H. Mendlsohn, MPH, RD, LD, CCN, a Florida-based dietitian who specializes in treating autoimmune diseases. About 75% of these cases occur in women, most frequently during the childbearing years.

When everything goes right, your body’s immune response is a marvelous defense system, protecting against foreign invaders, injury, and infection through a complex communication system between your body’s cells and the chemical signals they produce. In a healthy immune system, this communication is clear and specific; the body can tell the difference between a foreigner and itself. But in autoimmune disease, the immune response is flawed, and the communication system breaks down. The body’s immune system takes aim at its own tissues. Either the immune system can’t distinguish the body’s tissues from foreign cells and begins to attack itself, or it’s unable to regulate the intensity of the immune response. Regardless, the result is damage to the body’s tissues and the development of an autoimmune disease.

Autoimmune diseases can affect nearly every part of the body. Scientists have identified more than 80 clinically distinct autoimmune diseases, including systemic lupus erythematosus, type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, Sjögren’s syndrome, multiple sclerosis, and chronic inflammatory bowel disease. For example, in Sjögren’s syndrome, your white blood cells attack moisture-producing glands, causing symptoms like dry eyes and dry mouth. And in type 1 diabetes, the immune system attacks the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. People who suffer from autoimmune diseases often experience loss of function, disability, increased hospitalizations and outpatient visits, decreased productivity, and impaired quality of life.

Looking for Answers
Despite its prevalence, the level of basic autoimmune research funding is below 3% of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) total budget, which may explain why we understand so little about the roots of these diseases. Indeed, AARDA reports that the whole arena of autoimmune research is in its infancy. Though there are many theories about the origins of autoimmune diseases—such as the hygiene hypothesis theory, which suggests that the rise of such diseases in industrialized nations may be linked to cleanliness, vaccines, and decreased exposure to bacteria—scientists don’t fully understand why the immune system is unable to recognize its own cells or regulate its response; thus there are no sure cures or prevention strategies as of yet. We do know there are factors at the root of autoimmune disease development, which include both genetic and environmental components.

Currently, researchers are beginning to understand that autoimmunity may play an important role in many chronic conditions, such as cardiovascular disease. In fact, the NIH established the Autoimmunity Centers of Excellence to promote research in areas such as lupus, multiple sclerosis, pemphigus vulgaris, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, and Sjögren’s syndrome. The goal is to foster collaborative research across scientific disciplines and medical specialties to find effective treatments and prevention approaches.

Role of Inflammation
A hot topic on the autoimmune disease front is the role that chronic inflammation—present in many autoimmune diseases—plays in its development. In rheumatoid arthritis, the damage to tissues is caused by an inflammatory reaction to the presence of antigens. Which brings to mind the old “chicken and the egg” question: Which comes first, inflammation or autoimmunity? “In rheumatoid arthritis, is it caused by inflammation and autoimmune disease comes secondarily, or is it caused by autoimmunity? The evidence is unclear,” says Noel R. Rose, MD, PhD, a professor of molecular microbiology and immunology and director of the Johns Hopkins Autoimmune Disease Research Center.

According to researchers, examples of autoimmune disease exist in the absence of overt inflammation and inflammation exists in the absence of autoimmunity. “Most autoimmune diseases aren’t caused by inflammation, although many autoimmune diseases cause inflammation,” Rose explains. “Some inflammatory processes may enhance the possibility of autoimmune disease in individuals with a genetic predisposition. Having inflammation may raise the likelihood of a subclinical autoimmune response reaching clinical thresholds. For example, this may occur in thyroiditis. We know that inflammation is caused by the same mediators often involved in the autoimmune process.”

The Autoimmune Disease Specialty
Your clients may be hard-pressed to find a dietitian—or even a doctor, for that matter—specializing in autoimmune disease. AARDA reports that modern medicine is organized on the basis of the anatomy of disease or in what part of the body disease occurs. There’s no specialty that focuses on autoimmunity; instead, an autoimmune disease is treated by the medical specialty that covers the particular anatomical part involved. Thus, dermatologists typically treat dermatological autoimmune diseases and gastroenterologists treat inflammatory bowel disease. But autoimmune diseases aren’t always neat and precisely limited to one body part or system—crossovers occur all the time.

It’s been established that if you have one autoimmune disease, you’re at higher risk for developing others. For example, in celiac disease, which is an immune-mediated enteropathy triggered by the ingestion of gluten-containing grains in genetically susceptible persons, the comorbidity between other autoimmune diseases has been documented. “There’s a correlation between celiac disease and other autoimmune diseases, such as type 1 diabetes, autoimmune thyroid disease, Sjögren’s syndrome, autoimmune liver disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and Addison’s disease,” says Shelley Case, RD, a celiac disease diet expert and author of Gluten-Free Diet: A Comprehensive Resource Guide. “For example, the prevalence of celiac disease in type 1 diabetes is between 5% and 15%,” she says.

Case asserts that dietitians need to be aware of these connections and that patients with these autoimmune diseases should be screened for celiac disease if they present with any symptoms related to gluten sensitivity. Case adds, “Dietitians need to specialize in autoimmune diseases such as celiac disease, as they are very complex conditions. Dietitians can do more harm than good if they just dabble in it. If dietitians don’t know this area well, they should refer a patient to a dietitian specializing in the specific autoimmune disease. That’s why family physicians frequently refer [patients] to specialists; we should have dietitian specialists, too.”

Dearth of Dietary Treatment Strategies
One thing most people in the autoimmunity field agree on is that there’s a lack of evidence-based information about dietary treatments for autoimmune diseases. “We don’t have any good evidence that an immunologically healthy diet is any different from any other diet. The best we can suggest is to follow the same good diet and exercise program to attain general health,” Rose says.

It’s important, however, to consider nutritional red flags that may arise during the management of autoimmune conditions. Typical drugs used in treatment, such as analgesics and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, corticosteroids, disease-modifying drugs, and biologic response modifiers, may cause side effects such as nausea and vomiting, stomach pains, mouth sores, and decreased appetite. And some drugs can interact with specific nutrients, such as folic acid and vitamin B12. In addition, alterations in energy and protein metabolism that lead to muscle loss and wasting may occur in some autoimmune diseases.

The nutritional management of autoimmune diseases usually emphasizes controlling pain and inflammation, slowing the progression of the disease, and boosting the immune system. And a few promising foods and nutrients are emerging as potentially beneficial.

Let in the Sunshine Vitamin
Perhaps the most intriguing area of nutrition research involves vitamin D. For decades, researchers have noticed a relationship between sunlight exposure and vitamin D intake and autoimmune disease risk. “Some studies have found that people with autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis are more likely to have lower levels of vitamin D than other people,” Rose says. “Many autoimmune diseases are more common if you live further from the equator. This is true for both multiple sclerosis and type 1 diabetes and probably for lupus.”

Many studies have explored the association between vitamin D and autoimmune disease. A November 2001 study published in The Lancet that followed participants for 30 years revealed that children born in Finland in 1966 who received supplemental vitamin D during the first year of life had a significantly lower risk for developing type 1 diabetes, while children with vitamin D deficiency during the first year of life had a significantly higher risk for developing type 1 diabetes. The Iowa Women’s Health Study found a lower risk of rheumatoid arthritis associated with higher vitamin D intake, according to the January 2004 issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.

Several studies suggest that vitamin D may lower the risk of developing multiple sclerosis, as well as lessen the frequency and severity of symptoms. According to Michael Holick, PhD, MD, director of the Vitamin D, Skin, and Bone Research Laboratory at Boston University School of Medicine, if you’re born below 35˚ latitude, located approximately at Atlanta and live at this latitude for the first 10 years of your life, you have a 50% reduced risk of developing multiple sclerosis. In addition, he reports that women and men who increase their vitamin D intake to more than 400 IUs per day reduce the risk of developing multiple sclerosis by approximately 40%. The Nurse’s Health Study also found a protective relationship between vitamin D supplements and multiple sclerosis risk, as was reported in Neurology in January 2004. And in a new study published in September in Neuroepidemiology, data from participants enrolled in the Multiple Sclerosis Surveillance Registry suggested that exposure to vitamin D before multiple sclerosis onset may slow disease-related neurodegeneration and delay progression to disability.

How does vitamin D work in the immune system? In the 1970s, researchers discovered vitamin D receptors in many of the body’s cells, including islet cells of the pancreas, lymphocytes, and colon enterocytes. This led to the revelation that vitamin D helps keep the immune system functioning properly by inhibiting the proliferation of T cells and decreasing the production of proinflammatory cytokines.

“Vitamin D deficiency may be more common in this country than we assumed,” Rose says. “There seems to be suggestive evidence on the role of vitamin D, but we have much to learn. There are no clinical studies yet showing that giving large doses of vitamin D benefits autoimmune disease. The level that we need to prevent disease and maintain health may not be the same.”

The Microbiome and Autoimmunity
An up-and-coming area of human health research focuses on the impact of balancing the gut microbiota. Disruption of the intestinal ecosystem equilibrium has been linked with many diseases, including autoimmune disorders; thus prebiotics and probiotics have been called the “next frontier” in therapeutics by health researchers. Animal and some human studies have shown that probiotic cultures can enhance levels of immunoreactive cells, regulate immune factors, modulate immune dysregulation, and promote gut barrier function and anti-inflammatory responses.

Recently, the effects of probiotics on various autoimmune disorders have been investigated. Scientists are exploring how the microbiome (microbes, their genetic elements, and environmental interactions) may be different in children with type 1 diabetes compared with healthy children. In a January 2010 pilot study published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, a probiotic treatment resulted in improvement in pain and self-assessed disability in 45 adults with rheumatoid arthritis. And in a June 2006 review published in Postgraduate Medical Journal, Chinese researchers reported that preliminary studies suggest probiotics may be of benefit for colitis and inflammatory bowel disease because they may balance aberrant enteric microflora and reinforce the intestinal defense system.

To be sure, the research in the field of probiotics and autoimmunity is still preliminary. “Probiotics are more popular than they’ve ever been, but there are several things that we don’t know yet. If you add relatively minor numbers of bacteria, can you actually change the balance of bacteria normally inhabiting the gut? Is it always a good thing to change the balance in the gut?” Rose asks. Look for future studies to answer some of these questions.

Gluten Autoimmune Triggers
When it comes to celiac disease, the treatment is simple: Follow a gluten-free diet for life. “Other autoimmune diseases have no proven cause or cure, but we know that three factors play a major role in the development of celiac disease: Specific genetic markers HLA DQ2 and DQ8, consuming gluten, and certain environmental factors,” Case says. Recent studies have revealed that the bacterial composition of the gut may be one of the possible environmental factors behind celiac disease. Although more research is needed, we do know that if individuals are diagnosed early and follow a healthful gluten-free diet, the risk for complications such as osteoporosis, gastrointestinal cancer, and the development of other autoimmune diseases can be greatly reduced.

Today, going gluten free is a popular treatment for many other autoimmune diseases outside of celiac disease, including lupus, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis. But is there proof that this approach works? “There’s no evidence that gluten-free diets will help all autoimmune diseases. But I do believe that many people with certain autoimmune diseases may have undiagnosed celiac disease. Should you tell everyone to follow a gluten-free diet? No. First, they should get tested if they have symptoms of a gluten sensitivity because if someone already is on a gluten-free diet, the celiac tests can be falsely negative,” Case says.

Power of Omega-3 Fatty Acids
The potential benefits of omega-3 fatty acids in autoimmune disease also have attracted the attention of researchers. Omega-3 fatty acids, particularly those from fish oil—EPA and DHA—possess potent immunomodulatory activities, according to a 2002 review published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition. The anti-inflammatory properties might make them useful in the management of autoimmune diseases; thus they’ve been investigated in conditions such as arthritis, Crohn’s disease, lupus erythematosus, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis—the latter being one of the most widely studied areas. In a May 2010 review published in Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, researchers from the Rheumatology Unit of Royal Adelaide Hospital in Australia reported that meta- and mega-analyses of randomized, controlled trials indicate reduction in tender joints and decreased use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs with fish oil supplementation in long-standing rheumatoid arthritis. Other studies have found improvements in time to fatigue and grip strength related to fish oil consumption.

The evidence on using omega-3 fatty acids in the treatment of chronic inflammatory bowel disease has been mixed. While some studies found a decrease in proinflammatory cytokines, a January 2009 review in Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews determined that the existing data indicate omega-3 fatty acids are safe but probably ineffective for maintaining the remission of Crohn’s disease. In an August 2004 double-blind, placebo-controlled trial published in the Journal of Rheumatology, omega-3 fish oils improved symptomatic disease activity in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus.

Anti-Inflammatory Eating
One approach dietitians can support is an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant eating strategy aimed at decreasing inflammation and oxidative stress and promoting a healthy immune balance. We know that inflammation goes hand in hand with autoimmune disease, but don’t underestimate the significance of oxidative stress. During an immune response, there’s an increase in the production of free radicals, which can result in oxidative stress—a process marked by a negative shift in the natural balance between pro-oxidants and antioxidants that results in biological damage. In fact, much of the damage in autoimmune disease can be linked to free radical damage to cell membranes and tissues. Studies have documented that oxidative stress and low antioxidant activity occur in autoimmune disease. The antioxidant vitamin E is deficient in 50% to 60% of patients with rheumatoid arthritis. And in a February study published in the Bosnian Journal of Basic Medical Sciences, multiple sclerosis patients were found to have a significantly lower antioxidant capacity compared with control subjects. While not many studies have examined the effects of eating a diet rich in anti-inflammatory, antioxidant foods and nutrients, most experts believe this approach is worth trying.

“Antioxidants play a role in autoimmune disease. Celiac disease is an inflammatory disease. We’re finding that long after people are diagnosed and are following a gluten-free diet, their guts aren’t healed yet. It can’t hurt for people to eat more antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables,” Case says.

Donna Sigmond, MS, RD, a Colorado-based dietitian specializing in autoimmune diseases, enthusiastically recommends an anti-inflammatory diet to her patients. “I encourage green leafy veggies and other foods that can reduce inflammation, such as high-fat fish that contains fish oils. Seed oil from flax also can be beneficial. The focus should be to identify and eliminate inflammatory foods and nourish with real foods that deliver vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants,” Sigmond says.

In a study published August 15, 2006, in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, researchers found that diets high in refined starches, sugar, saturated fats, and trans fats and low in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and omega-3 fatty acids appeared to turn on the inflammatory response. However, a diet rich in whole foods, including healthful carbohydrates, fats, and protein sources, cooled it down. There’s no harm in supporting a diet—optimal for just about everyone—that’s rich in whole plant foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds; is rich in healthful fat sources such as extra-virgin olive oil, avocado, nuts, and fish; and includes foods such as tea, dark chocolate, spices and herbs, and red wine in moderation.

— Sharon Palmer, RD, is a contributing editor at Today’s Dietitian and a freelance food and nutrition writer in southern California.

  • Current Mood

Dear Me!

I was thinking alot over the past few days about blogging but my attention span and interest level seems a bit compromised. You know something is wrong when your camera feels to heavy to hold and the voice on the other end of the phone seems to blur into those sounds that  all the adults made in the Charlie Brown movies. You know something is wrong when the thought of bed time on a Sunday night brings you dread and nausea.  I have known for years something was wrong. We have called it Lyme Disease syndrome, We have called it Depression and anxiety.  You see all the stuff they say about some day you will realize what is petty and what is not is true. It all too often has to come with a smack to the head. Not literally! A big moment when everything petty fades away and your in that moment when you say, " Ok this is bigger than everything?"
I have a diagnosis and thanks to the wonderful world of health insurance or the lack of I will wait a couple months for the second one. Although we are pretty sure Lupus is my other demon. Hoshimotos is my first. Auto immune system disease. I sat  as he talked about the advanced damage that has been done thus far and I looked at my boots. My Cowboy boots!  As he talked I thought I do not have this I wear cowboy boots and I feel good today and I have kids and I have dreams. I think he should look at the test results again to be sure. He is  forced then to be graphic and say, " Look your thyroid looks like a wet kitchen sponge thrown in a blender with some peanuts and ketchup thrown in for good measure." Your Thyroid is being attacked by your own immune system and you have anti bodies that leave you open for Lupus and a whole bunch more auto immune diseases." So you accept it, you smooth out your skirt, you listen to your heels click down the hall to the exit, you make your appointment and you hear a gluten free diet is great for auto immune diseases.  You step out into the sun212 and watch your mom who is with you struggle to the car because she shakes, her knees are bad and she forgets shit and you say, " Life is about to become difficult, How do I take care of her, kids, Jim, dogs, bills, ect and now throw myself into the mix?" I do not take care of me! No one does! It is not needed. Well now it is!

So I start to research both Lupus and Hoshimotos and I find that Gluten Free and a really healthy diet seems to be the first thing you need to do.  So this is where I start! Gluten Free.  No cheating no thinking I feel good I can have this or that. It is a commitment. Shit I have never been good with commitment it scares me . I guess I need to get over that.
I thought about many people these past few days two people in particular that had hurt me horribly in my life. I always let them back in or wish them back in my life and they do it to me over and over again. When I can not provide something they need for them they move on to the next one. When that does not work they step back in. I closed the door on them. I do not miss them! I do not want them! I like my life with out them! They are a petty little thing in my past. My future is big! My quality of life is big, My heart is Big, I want to set a goal and by 2/24/13 I want to have lost a few pounds, have my meds stable, my diet set and feel what 45 is supposed to feel like. My goal is set. Feel better for my Birthday!

  • Current Mood
    scared scared

(no subject)

236I love my Boots! It had been over 24 years since a pair of these had graced my feet! I go where they carry me!
243Saw this old truck and had to photograph it. History in that truck I am sure.
275Me with all my hair extensions thinking I am all that! Was in a grumpy mood this day it shows!
306This is my Janet and Me photo! Wine by the fire!