autoimmune disease Autoimmune Disorder

Dr. Jonathan Perlin: 270,000 Americans Die Annually from this Strange Disease – Here’s how to Protect Yourself  

Over a quarter million Americans die annually from a medical condition called sepsis. This strange disease is more frequently seen in young children, adults, and patients with severely compromised immune systems. However, sepsis also claims the lives of healthy adults and can come on suddenly. Detecting this strange disease in time is critical to saving a patient’s life and preventing the need for amputations.

What Happens to Patients with Sepsis?

When your body becomes very sick from a virus, infection, fungus, or even parasites, your immune system may kick into overdrive to ward off the invaders. However, when the war gets intense enough, your body’s immune fighters may become hypercritical of any cells that they encounter. Instead of succumbing to death by intruders, they will go into Kamikaze mode and destroy everything around.

This ultimately leads to self-destruction if nothing is done to snap your immune system out of Doomsday Mode. Sepsis is usually triggered by a severe infection such as an abscessed tooth. When a tooth forms an abscess full of toxic bacteria and pus below it, the abscess can then burst and poison the blood with overwhelming volumes of bacteria. It can also happen if you go swimming in certain lakes that harbor deadly parasites or flesh-eating bacteria.

Once the sepsis becomes severe, it will cause breathing difficulties, organ dysfunction, and a loss of mental clarity. Liver tests and a lack of urine can often confirm severe sepsis cases. Sepsis often causes a loss of blood circulation to limbs, which, in turn, leads to gangrene. Once the necrosis of tissue sets in, it will spread unless the limbs or digits are amputated. Septic shock is the most critical phase when blood pressure drops to unsustainable levels.

Even if you recover from sepsis, you run a high risk (50 percent chance) of suffering from post-sepsis syndrome. This may be related to lengthy stays in hospital intensive care units (ICU) because the symptoms are similar to post-traumatic stress (PTSD). Some symptoms are caused by the original lack of blood flow to organs or viral respiratory infections.

You may experience:

  • Nightmares
  • Hallucinations
  • Insomnia
  • Crippling joint pain
  • ADHD-like symptoms
  • Panic attack
  • Depression
  • Loss of cognitive capacity

Because so many Americans die annually from sepsis, the costs of healthcare in the ICU reaches $27 billion a year. Almost 30 percent of those Americans die even with life-saving treatments. More Americans die each year from sepsis than AIDS, prostate cancer, and breast cancer combined. This is partly because only a small percentage know how to recognize the symptoms. In order to spread awareness, the Sepsis Alliance has created a profound acronym: TIME.

T – Temperature may be either too high or too low

I – Infection symptoms are present

M – Mental decline is apparent (confusion, drowsiness, apathy)

E – Extreme illness is marked by severe pain and total-body exhaustion

Sepsis death rates are declining as doctors implement SPOT (Sepsis Prediction and Optimization of Therapy) technology to detect the early signs of sepsis in a hospital environment using computer algorithms. But you can still help by spreading awareness because knowing is half the battle.

autoimmune disease Gastrointestinal Health

It’s Fructan, Not Gluten, That’s Causing Stomach Woes

There is a possibility that fructan is the cause of gastrointestinal problems and there you may not have to cut gluten at all. This is especially to people who are suffering gluten insensitivity.

A new study has shown that chances are that your stomach may not to tolerating fructan.
According to a report, fructan can trigger similar symptoms to those in people experiencing gluten insensitivity. This is in reference to a study conducted at the University of Oslo in Norway and at Monash University in Australia which was published in Gastroenterology.

It’s Fructan, Not Gluten, That’s Causing Stomach Woes.

What is Fructan?

Fructan refers to a carbohydrate commonly found in wheat and a few vegebtables.
Fructan and gluten are usually confused and most sufferers are not properly diagnosed or treated.

The Study

During the study, a team of researchers examined 59 people who were on a gluten-free diet and who did not have celiac disease. They randomly gave the participants diets containing fructan, or a placebo for one week.
The researchers then used a gastrointestinal rating scale to examine the participant. Those who consumed fructan scored higher on the scale compared to those who ate placebos and gluten diets.
Unlike the other diets, participants who took fructan reported bloating and stomach pain.

Fructan vs. Gluten

According to this research, there are certain people who don’t deserve to be on a gluten-free diet.
Dietary analysis and manipulation were used in performing the diagnosis.
According to Dr. Amy Burkhart, RD, a medical expert from California, tests for gluten sensitivity or fructan intolerance are currently not in existence.

Dr. Amy noted that celiac disease should first be ruled out before the pathway to determine fructan versus gluten. This is mainly because it requires the removal of gluten before the diagnosis. The physician also said that if gluten is eliminated from the diet, testing for celiac disease was invalid. He added that if the symptoms resolved with a gluten-free diet, the majority of people will decline to reintroduce gluten once it has been removed. Differentiation is important because the diet, treatments, and follow-up are different.

Related Link: Symptoms of Gluten Sensitivity You Probably Don’t Know About

According to Dr. Benjamin Lebwohl, MS, the head of clinical research at the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University in New York, people can undergo antibody tests to diagnose celiac disease. An intestinal biopsy can also be used to perform the diagnosis.

Lebwohl added that there is no readily available method that can differentiate gluten from fructan because the culprit ingredient in people who are not suffering from celiac disease.

Necessary Steps

Because fructan sensitivity can imitate a number of other conditions, you are supposed to visit your primary healthcare provider. This will help to rule out other conditions if you suspect sensitivity.
In the event your doctor considers gluten/wheat sensitivity as the cause, you should look for someone who specializes in celiac disease/non-celiac wheat sensitivity. This is according to Burkhart.

She added that most people may think that GI specialists are familiar with this but the most are not.
She recently saw a patient who was most likely to have the same issue and had been to three different gastroenterologists. All the three had not mentioned it. Burkhart added that the symptoms can mimic colitis or IBS, and thus proper evaluation was very important.

This is according to Lebwohl explanation. Suppose you test negative for celiac disease and you have a partial response to a gluten-free diet. If you have fructan sensitivity after you exclude high-fructan diets, you may notice some improvements.

She added that this should only be performed with the guidance of a registered dietitian as addition of other dietary restrictions comes with its downsides. It can trigger disordered eating, nutritional deficiencies, and diminished quality of life.

Food Sensitivities in the Future

According to Burkhart, the medical community is considering to change the name of non-celiac gluten sensitivity. It will be referred to as non-celiac wheat sensitivity.

The main reason behind this is that fermentable oligo-, di-, monosaccharides, and polyol (FODMAP) sugar intolerance was discovered and a cause of gluten sensitivity.

It was then determined that there are other components of wheat that are challenging for some people and that it is not gluten once celiac disease becomes ruled out.

Burkhart noted that there are other components of wheat which appear to be the reason behind gluten sensitivity. They include fructans and amylase-trypsin inhibitors (ATI) proteins that are found in wheat. She also added that other components of wheat are under investigation.

autoimmune disease Dermatology

10 Early Warning Signs of Lupus You Need to Know

Recently, the actress and singer Selena Gomez had to receive a kidney transplant. Her best friend, Francia Raisa, donated the kidney. Selena Gomez needed a kidney transplant because she has lupus, and this disease had destroyed her kidney. What exactly is lupus? How can the average person spot the early warning signs of lupus before it causes medical problems such as this?

10 Early Warning Signs of Lupus You Need to Know

Lupus is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation throughout the body. An autoimmune disease means that the body’s immune system attacks the body’s own tissues. Lupus is notorious for being very hard to diagnose because each person who has it can have a very different set of symptoms. The early signs of lupus generally start in early adulthood. Being educated about the symptoms of this disorder can help people who have it receive the proper treatment early on so that dangerous complications such as loss of a kidney do not occur.

The exact cause of lupus is unknown. Experts believe it may be a combination of genetics, environment, and hormones. Women are 9 times more likely to have lupus than men. African Americans are 3 to 4 times more likely to have lupus than Caucasians.

Related Link: A Tea That Helps With Fibromyalgia, Hashimoto’s, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus and Multiple Sclerosis

1. Digestive problems.

People with lupus often suffer from problems of the digestive system. This includes mild problems like heartburn and acid reflux.

2. Dry mouth and eyes.

Sometimes, lupus can cause another autoimmune disorder known as Sjogren’s disease. People who have developed this disease often suffer from dryness of the eyes and mouth.

3. Fatigue.

Up to 90% of people who have lupus have fatigue as a symptom. This tiredness might also come with dizziness, trouble concentrating, or a headache.


Fever caused by lupus is usually a low fever, with no other apparent cause.

5. Hair loss.

The hair of people with lupus may become thinner, or it may fall out in clumps. Hair also usually becomes brittle and unhealthy-looking.

6. Kidney problems.

Specifically, lupus can cause a kidney condition known as nephritis. Symptoms of nephritis include blood in the urine, dark urine, frequent urination, high blood pressure, pain in the side, and swelling in the lower legs and feet.

7. Lung problems.

Some people with lupus have lung and breathing problems like shortness of breath and pain when breathing in.

8. Rash.

About half of people who have lupus have a very characteristic rash. The rash is a butterfly-shaped red rash that spreads over the cheeks and the bridge of the nose. Lupus can also make skin sensitive to sunlight.

9. Swollen joints.

Swollen joints are frequently accompanied by pain and stiffness. This lupus symptom is usually worse in the morning.

10. Thyroid problems.

Lupus can cause both under-active and over-active thyroid.

1.4 million people in the United States alone have lupus. When lupus is not treated properly, severe complicationscan happen. These may include blood problems, blood vessel problems, high-risk pregnancy, infections, kidney problems, lung problems, miscarriage, nervous system problems, tissue death, and trouble conceiving.

These complications can be extremely dangerous or even fatal. Although there is no way to cure lupus, there are ways to control the disease. Everyone should watch out for the early warning signs of lupus.

autoimmune disease health Symptoms

Early Warning Signs Your Body Has Too Much Estrogen

Early Warning Signs Your Body Has Too Much Estrogen

There is a hidden enemy lurking in our environment and our bodies, and most of us don’t even know it’s there. Worse, most doctors don’t properly test the levels of this substance. What is this hidden enemy? Excess estrogen. Estrogen is necessary for the healthy function of both males and females, but too much of a good thing can make us sick, or worse.

Estrogen Dominance

The disorder that we are referring to is called estrogen dominance, meaning that too much estrogen is present and active in the tissues of our bodies. Estrogen dominance can be a confusing condition to diagnose, though. This is because levels of stored estrogen in our tissues, especially fat cells, can be up to 50 times higher than blood levels. In fact, it’s possible to have very low levels of estrogen in our blood, and extremely high levels of estrogen in our tissues.

Unfortunately, most doctors only test for estrogen blood levels. Many even mistakenly diagnose a patient with low estrogen despite the massive levels stored in tissues. This can lead to a dangerous misdiagnosis and treatment that adds even more unwanted estrogen to our taxed systems.

What Causes Estrogen Dominance?

Estrogen does not just leave our bodies like other chemicals. It is stored in our fat. The more fat we have, the more estrogen we can store. The more estrogen we store, the more fat we gain. It’s a vicious cycle.

Additionally, the modern chemical toxins we are exposed to can both mimic the effects of estrogen and cause us to produce more estrogen than we need. One of the worst chemicals is BPA, which is present in canned food linings, hard plastics from soda bottles and even our water. Roughly six billion pounds of BPA are produced every year and this is just one of the thousands of pollutants that act as endocrine disrupters to our systems.

RELATED ARTICLE: Early Warning Signs Of Estrogen Dominance That Millions Of Women Don’t Realize

What Are the Symptoms of Estrogen Dominance?

Mild initial symptoms of estrogen dominance might include but aren’t limited to:
Breast tenderness
Fluid retention
Weight gain
Mood swings
Heavier menstrual cycles
Muscle and joint pain
Lower libido
Prostate problems

By the late 30’s, the condition can become more serious and include additional symptoms such as:
Hair loss
Anxiety and panic attacks
Estrogen-related cancers

Once the condition becomes severe, we can suffer from:
Polycystic ovary syndrome
Fibroid tumors
Fibrocystic breasts

READ ALSO: 12 Estrogen-Rich Foods That Help You Balance Your Hormones

These symptoms often lead doctors to test for estrogen deficiency. Unfortunately, since most doctors only test for estrogen levels in our blood, they may miss the highly elevated levels of estrogen stored in our fat cells. This can lead to the misdiagnosis and mistreatment of the underlying condition, especially if they prescribe artificial hormone replacements.

If we are suffering from estrogen dominance instead of low estrogen, these supplements will add to the estrogen load and make the illness worse. The tragic result is a patient with thyroid disorders such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, autoimmune disorders such as diabetes and lupus, or even severe, crippling obesity.

How to Treat Estrogen Dominance Naturally

A simple 3-Step Plan, combined with healthy dietary changes and exercise can help to clear up the symptoms of estrogen dominance and reverse the damage to our bodies. This plan works for both woman and men, whether the signs are just beginning or are very severe. The key to treating these problems is to end the overproduction of estrogen and help the body to clear the excess. This will help us return to our natural estrogen levels both in blood and in the tissues, restoring a healthier and more youthful state of well-being.

These steps are simple. Anyone can incorporate them into their daily routine:

Clear Excess Estrogen

Estrogen is removed from our bodies through the liver. The liver attaches glucuronic acid to the excess estrogen and excretes it through the kidneys. Carbohydrate deficiencies can make excretion more difficult as well because glucuronic acid is produced from glucose. This is not to say that sugar should be indiscriminately eaten. Carbohydrates must be from high-quality sources such as fruits, vegetables, and legumes. Additionally, boosting the active thyroid hormone, T3, with a quality supplement can help to jump-start our systems.

End Estrogen Overproduction

When a person becomes estrogen dominant, the aromatase enzyme over-produces estrogen. Aromatase is stored in fat cells and the levels increase because of age, cortisol from stress, and excess consumption of polyunsaturated fats. Alcohol abuse can also lead to higher levels of aromatase. Even if ovaries produce small amounts of estrogen, our bodies are still capable of producing large amounts through the hormones and aromatase stored in fat cells.

Aromatase inhibitors such as progesterone oil and Vitamin E can help to decrease these levels dramatically.

Dietary sources of aromatase inhibitors include:

Naturally fermented foods such as kimchi and sauerkraut
Antioxidant-rich herbs such as turmeric and sage
Flavonones from citrus fruits
Healthy Omega-3 and saturated fats from coconut oil and salmon
Cruciferous vegetables such as brussels sprouts, and cabbage

Reduce Hormone Cycle Interference and Block Excess Estrogen Receptors

No matter our current estrogen levels, if estrogen activity in our bodies is too high, then the damage will ensue. When it comes to reducing this damage, the adage “first do no harm” comes to mind. This requires not letting the process get out of control in the first place. Inflammation reduces the ability of the glucuronic acid to clear excess estrogen.

Excess polyunsaturated fats in the diet bind to $ex hormone-binding globulin and keeps it from deactivating estrogen that isn’t needed. Lastly, if we have too many estrogen receptors, as is the case with Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism, increasing natural estrogen blockers will decrease estrogen activity. Vitamin E, zinc and grape seed oil extract all act as natural estrogen blockers our bodies.

These three simple steps to reduce estrogen dominance do require some discipline and effort. They can prove much safer than hormone replacement therapy, however, especially if hidden estrogen levels are much higher than they should be. Our bodies know how to heal themselves given the proper nutritional tools and care.

autoimmune disease health

12 Surprising Factors That Increase Your Risk Of Multiple Sclerosis

12 Surprising Factors That Increase Your Risk Of Multiple Sclerosis

Now found in more than 400,000 Americans, one thing is agreed on by medical experts: Multiple sclerosis typically causes the immune system to attack itself, in other words, it is an auto-immune disease.

Research Studies

Studies were undertaken by Dr. Jennifer Linden, a microbiologist at Weill Cornell Medical College, who presented research indicating that multiple sclerosis results as genetically susceptible individuals are exposed to environmental triggers such as certain strains of food bacteria and soil samples.

Another paper described a prospective study undertaken at the UBC MS Clinic, evaluated the impacts of infection, emotional stress, and physical trauma in over 50 relapsing-remitting patients.

Multiple sclerosis Risk Triggers And The Factors That May Increase The Likelihood Of Getting The Disease

1- Stress:
The number one trigger found by all research studies suggested that prolonged intense stress, in either emotional or physical form, is the culprit common denominator factor in MS.

2- Sleep Deprivation:
Not having consistently good or enough uninterrupted sleep often leads to Multiple sclerosis.

3- Environmental Factors:
Commonly occurring in areas furthermost from the equator, scientists also are looking at general geography, demographics, genetics, infectious causes, and migration patterns.

4- Smoking:
Not a good thing in fighting any disease-cut it out immediately!

RELATED ARTICLE:  Effects of Cigarette Smoking on the Whole Body

5- Heat:
Living in warm temperatures seem to trigger MS in many cases and symptoms become more pronounced during the summer.

6- Infections:
More than 80 percent of flare-ups are caused by some sort of infection such as when a cold or flu infection weakens the immune system.

7- Certain Medications Or Taking Too Many Medications:
Medications, especially for rheumatoid arthritis or Crohn’s disease need to be checked for interaction and side-effects.

8- Stopping MS Medicines:
Some MS medications are meant to stop relapses and new lesions.

9- Over Work And Fatigue:
Eating a good nutritious diet, taking an occasional break from work, engaging in some low-impact exercises such as Tai Chi Chuan or yoga, and getting plenty of sleep help to counter any MS possibility or advances.

10- Vaccinations:
Adverse reactions to some vaccinations can also trigger MS symptoms.

11- Vitamin D:
According to some MS research studies, a lack of Vitamin D, mostly acquired through the rays of the sun, is another dominant culprit.

RELATED ARTICLE:   This Vitamin Deficiency Increases The Risk of Alzheimer’s or Dementia

12- Pre-exposure To Viruses And Bacteria During Childhood:
Measles, canine distemper, and Epstein-Barr are currently being investigated as to their role in the development of MS.

Alternative MS Treatments:

Adequate Vitamin D supplementation is one of the more intensely studied issues in MS treatments. Eating pure, unprocessed foods and more fruit and vegetables, with a sizable portion of grass-fed beef or other protein meats, is essential. The Paleo Diet is one such popular trending diet.

According to one nutritionist who reversed her own MS by changing her diet, 70 percent of Americans don’t get enough iodine, and 80 percent do not get enough omega-3 fat in their diet.

Typically, there is one good diet for MS sufferers and for the rest of us too:

3-cups of green leaves, such as kale, cruciferous vegetables, mushrooms and asparagus
3-cups brightly colored vegetables, fruits, and/or berries
Wild fish for animal-based omega-3s and grass-fed meat
Seaweed for iodine

Are any of the above that you may be engaging in that may trigger this unfortunate disease? These are lifestyle changes: are you willing to make them?

autoimmune disease

How to Stop Your Body from Attacking Yourself:

How to Stop Your Body from Attacking Yourself:

How to Stop Your Body from Attacking Yourself:

The human immune system is a master defense system. It protects your body against viruses, bacteria and other foreign invaders. A critical part of the immune system is the ability to distinguish between normal cells and invaders. This function relies on the ability to identify certain proteins called antigens.

Before you were born, immune cells that may have recognized body tissues were destroyed to prevent tissue damage later. The lack of reaction to your own body cells is called tolerance. Autoimmune disease causes immune cells to mistake normal cells for invaders. As a result, your immune system attacks your own body.

How to Stop Your Body from Attacking Yourself

A virus or other infectious organism can also fool your immune system into thinking that part of your body is foreign. This breaks tolerance and causes the immune cells to attack your body instead of the infection. A loss of tolerance is likely due to genetics.

Examples of Autoimmune Disease

According to health writers at the Mayo Clinic, 80 percent of people affected by autoimmune disease are women. Some disorders are more prevalent in women, while others affect women exclusively. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) calls autoimmunity a major health issue that is responsible for many chronic conditions.

Immune deficiencies decrease the body’s ability to fight infection. An unknown trigger can stimulate the production of antibodies that attack normal cells instead of foreigners. Grave’s disease, Hashimoto’s disease, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), lupus, multiple sclerosis (MS), psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and Type 1 diabetes are examples of autoimmune disorders.

Healing for Autoimmune Disease

If you suffer from immune deficiency, you are not alone. According to NIH estimates, 23.5 million Americans have autoimmune disorders. The American Autoimmune Related Disease Association (AARDA) thinks the number may be as high as 50 million. Symptoms can affect all parts of your body and may require treatment by a specialist.

Treatments generally focus on ways to relieve symptoms and reduce immune system activity. Dr. Mark Hyman, writing for the “Elephant” health journal, suggests several ways to heal autoimmune disease. Here are 9 things to consider:

1. Ask your doctor to check for Lyme disease, yeast infections or other hidden infections.
2. Ask your doctor to check for hidden food allergies, or try a diet designed to eliminate allergens.
3. Request a blood test to check for celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.
4. Certain metals can cause autoimmunity, so request a test for heavy metal toxicity.
5. Heal your gut to cure irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
6. Calm your immune system with vitamins C and D, fish oil, probiotics and other nutrients.
7. Follow a regular exercise schedule to reduce inflammation.
8. Practice deep breathing, massage, yoga and other stress-relieving techniques.
9. Discuss Functional Medicine with your doctor and encourage a therapeutic partnership.

Alternative Medicine autoimmune disease Chronic disease Fatigue Fibromyalgia Symptoms

A Beginner’s Guide to Fibromyalgia Signs

[nextpage title=”…”]

If this is the first fibromyalgia signs article you have read of mine, welcome, I am so happy you are here! All of my articles about fibro are written like blogs, because I have it, but there are sources because I like to show that what I am saying is correct. I am also a nurse and self-taught fibromyalgia expert, having a disease that so many people know so little about may I want to spread knowledge, hope, and hopefully a little help.

A Beginner's Guide to Fibromyalgia Signs

Having my own fibro group, fibro FB page, and of course being part of the Positive Med family, this is the thing I am asked about most often. I also see it asked in other groups. I want to remind you of two important things here and now– 1) there is a lot of bad information out there, be cautious and 2) when in doubt, check it out.

You can always ask your healthcare professional if something is fibro related, be aware, they may not know. I started educating about fibro because of the lack of good information easily available, and I educate many of my own doctors. The information I give you is readily available, I just went through the trouble to find it and present it, so you don’t have to. Never put off seeing a doctor for something serious thinking it’s just your fibro, maybe it is, it does cause problems everywhere, but it MIGHT be something else.

What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is primarily a musculoskeletal disorder that can affect any part of your body where there are nerves and muscles, so, everywhere. We all know about the chronic pain and widespread debilitating fatigue, we also know that we get sick more than other people, although it is not classified as an autoimmune disease, there is a link, some people with AI also get fibro, some with fibro also acquire an AI.

Some doctors believe that if you had a sudden onset of fibro post-trauma, like me, it weakens the AI link. Since I also have an AI, I am waiting for more research, as we all are, because there is no cure, just symptom management. I cannot say this enough times, be wary of anyone who tells you they were cured of their fibro or promises to cure you. If there is ever a cure I personally will shout it to the rooftops to all of you, right now there is not, and I do a lot of research, this is my job now, and I do not take it lightly.

[/nextpage][nextpage title=”…”]

Signs and Symptoms of Fibromyalgia

Skin rashes and lipomas. Lipomas are fatty tumors, sometimes painful, sometimes not. Skin rashes can be itchy and painful, or red and sensitive. Look for natural detergents and soaps, naturally soft fibers for clothing and bedding, be careful of what you use for sunscreen and lotion, and keep this to a minimum. Lipomas, while a nuisance and not pretty, are usually harmless. They might go away in time, or your doctor may cut it out if it causes problems

Vision and eyes. You can suffer from floaters, blurred vision, excess tears, inability to wear contacts, frequent lens changes, light sensitivity, eye pain, dizziness, and it can be hard to shift focus, to state a few, all from fibro.

Teeth and mouth. this was a new one for me, but anytime a disease affects your whole body, like fibro, it can also cause more frequent mouth infections, things to taste weird or ‘off’ and compromise oral tissue health, including more rapidly eroding tooth enamel… gross… and TMJ, or jaw pain, which can make it harder to eat and talk, I sometimes get too tired to even chew, I’m sure you do too

Sensitivity to noises, smells, and other normal life things. Does anyone hate to watch TV with you around? do you always want less volume, or need more? probably your fibro… can’t stand someone’s new cologne or perfume? probably fibro

Allodynia. This is the ridiculous amount of pain you experience from a gentle touch on the shoulder, leg, or anywhere else… it’s also when you think ‘wow did I pull a muscle and forget?’ and actually look for a bruise or sprain, it’s fibro, sorry.

Numbness and tingling in legs, arms, or hands. Commonly called neuropathy, you may experience sudden numbness or tingling, or feeling like a limb ‘went to sleep’… there are medications for this, and natural supplements that can help, if you remember when we talked about warming spices, anything that improves circulation will help alleviate this symptom.

Excessive sweat. I noticed this more when I switched to a natural deodorant, if you go natural, and you want to smell nice, apply it more often on hot days when you exercise, and when you are actively (inactively?) sick with cold or flu.

• Sensory overload. If you are anywhere that there is a crowd- a mall, sporting event, concert- you may start to feel like you are going to scream or explode… too much noise, too many people. If you know how to meditate do some deep breathing right away, and walk away to a quiet place for a bit if you can. Don’t let fibro stop your life completely


Most importantly, you are never alone, there are a lot of us battling this disease every day. I answer email on the PosMed page every day, and I love hearing from you, there is no such thing as a dumb question, I cannot guarantee I can answer everything, but I can certainly try. We are our best resource, and working together, we can at least improve understanding and awareness. With awareness comes more money for funding and testing, and maybe, someday, a cure.

Love, peace & hugs…


Edited by: Jessa (Feb. 28, 2019)


all positive experiences autoimmune disease Chronic disease Fatigue Fibromyalgia health men's health Pain women's health

Guilt and Chronic Illness

Guilt and Chronic Illness

For those of us who have been struck, often in the prime of life, with a chronic, invisible illness, the guilt we carry can be almost as bad as the disease itself. Guilt for not being the parent we wanted to be. Guilt for not being able to go to parties, weddings, birthdays. Guilt for not keeping our houses clean, for not being able to work full-time or half-time or maybe not even long enough to cook dinner, for not being as FUN as we used to be. I have sometimes wondered if I would feel this guilty if I had a more visible disease, and being a mother, grandmother, sister, daughter, aunt, employee, and friend, I kinda think I would.

doubting yourself

In my own fibro group I often tell others to give up the concept of Supermom, learn to relax and love yourself anyway, I know as well as anyone that it’s much easier said than done. Many of us are raised by hard-working parents, and we have been hard workers ourselves. It’s common to hear from teachers and parents, work hard and you can achieve anything you want. Then you can’t work hard. Sometimes taking a shower is a successful day. Not long ago my son called and asked if I could babysit for an hour while he ran errands, it was hot, and rather than drag 2 toddlers in and out of the car it’s much easier to bring them to me, next door. I said of course, then remarked I was glad he called because I was about to get in the shower, he said, “take your shower mama, I’m not in a hurry,” which made me a little sad… after all this time he still thinks I can take a shower AND babysit, in the same day, once in a while I can, but it’s rare… so rare.

We have to figure out a way to help others understand our limits to keep us healthy as possible, when we don’t always understand them ourselves, not as easy task. You may often hear others say how they felt terrible when they had flu, but they got up, got dressed, and enjoyed the day. You know what? Good for them. It doesn’t work that way for us. When I say I cannot get up, I cannot get up. I have forced myself, or tried to, sure. Who hasn’t? Fall down enough times when you’re pushing yourself and you will learn to listen to your body a little more.


Instead of continuing to make excuses we sometimes push ourselves, to give someone we love a perfect holiday, or a great birthday, or an awesome vacation. When we have good days we may do way too much, to make up for the days we can’t do anything. Here’s something new loves, you can’t make up for that… and this may completely blow your mind, but … YOU DO NOT HAVE TO!

Work on this with me, if all of us, with chronic and autoimmune illness, learn to respect our bodies and their new limits, and unite in our brokenness, and say enough, stop making me apologize for something I cannot help being. You did not become sick because you wanted to. You do not miss school plays because you want to. You do not call in to work because you are lazy. You’re sick. Acknowledge it, bless it, and move on. Yes, bless it. Love it. It has taught you that you are stronger than you ever believed you could be. Every day that you are alive you are an incredibly strong FIGHTER! People still love you, even if you can no longer do the things that you have always done. Work around it, because you deserve the best you can get. Here are a few tips to get you through:

  • Make friends with fast, easy, healthy recipes. Keep ingredients on hand, teach someone else in your house to cook them. If you live alone it’s okay to eat fruit and yogurt or cheese and crackers, I promise.
  • Occasional take-out will not hurt anyone
  • Let someone younger and stronger take over hosting holidays and birthdays, contribute however you are able
  • Invest in a video camera, or use the one built-in on many phones, tape school programs and sporting events, watch them with your child when you feel up to it, make it a fun, bonding experience
  • Treasure every moment that you are alive, even the days that you’re in too much pain to do anything, baby yourself on those days, watch a movie you love, read a book, play games on your computer, eat some chocolate, and allow yourself to be sick without worrying about the world
  • Tell everyone you love how much you love them, then show them this, buy them a book about your disease so they know how they can help
  • Love yourself, it’s okay, you are beautiful and strong in your brokenness

Love & Hugs… Mama Steph


autoimmune disease

10 Warning Signs of Autoimmune Disease

10 Warning Signs of Autoimmune Disease

10 Warning Signs of Autoimmune Disease

Autoimmune diseases impact more than 50 million Americans so you may be wondering if you have one. For women under the age of 65, it ranks among the top 10 causes of death.

What Are Autoimmune Diseases?

Maybe you have heard about autoimmune diseases but never quite understood what they really are. Autoimmune diseases affect different organs but the common factor is that they all cause the body to begin attacking itself. Indeed, there is a genetic component to autoimmune disease, so check your family’s medical history.

Signs of Autoimmune Disease

10 Warning Signs of Autoimmune Diseases

If you think you have an autoimmune disease, it is important to know the warning signs. Here is a list of things to look for, particularly if you have a combination of the following:

1. Rapid, unexplained weight loss
One of the first signs of trouble. Although many would like to lose weight, rapid weight loss without dieting or exercise can be a sign of a problem.

2. Rapid, unexplained weight gain
Another sign. Just like unexplained, rapid weight loss, rapid weight can also be a sign of something going wrong inside, like an autoimmune disease.

3. Dry eyes or dry mouth.
Some medications can leave the mouth dry. But, if your dryness in the eyes or mouth cannot be attributed to medication, there could be a problem.

4. Decrease ability to focus.
If all of a sudden, you cannot stay focused on daily tasks, there might be a problem like an autoimmune disease.

5. Joint pain that is abnormal.
If all of a sudden, you notice pain in joints that you did not know you had, it might be a good idea to get checked out.

6. Frequent rashes.
Rashes are the body’s way of showing that something is wrong.

7. Numb hands and feet.
Numbness and loss of feeling in your extremities can mean that the body is fighting itself and you should see your healthcare provider.

8. Extreme fatigue and feeling tired all the time.
Yes, everyone has moments of feeling tired and even fatigue. But if the two become your norm, the body might be using all of its energy to fight itself.

9. Unexplained abdominal pain.
Pain in the abdomen usually means there is a problem. If the pain is accompanied by changes in stool, too, an autoimmune disease could be to blame.

10. Hair loss.
Hair loss that cannot be explained alone or in combination with any of the above systems could signal an autoimmune disease, too

It is important to understand what autoimmune diseases are and the warning signs. Given that so many suffer from autoimmune diseases, increasing your knowledge could help you seek treatment sooner and it may be more effective.

autoimmune disease Symptoms Thyroid

Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis: All You Need to Know

Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis: All You Need to Know

Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis: All You Need to Know

Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, also known as Hashimoto’s Disease, is an autoimmune disorder in which our immune system attacks our body tissues and damages our thyroid. The thyroid is a small gland in our neck, it produces hormones that control metabolism, including heart rate and our body’s capability of to use calories from food. In the United States it’s the most common cause of hypothyroidism, or low levels of thyroid hormones. Hashimoto’s disease was named for Dr. Hakaru Hashimoto who explained it 1912.

Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis Causes:
The exact causes of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis are unknown, but there are some factors known to contribute to the disease:

• Excess iodine
Excess iodine and certain drugs may lead to thyroid disease in susceptible people. Iodine is necessary to produce thyroid hormones.

• Hormones
This disorder affects 7 seven times more women than men, so $e* hormones may trigger Hashimoto’s. Some women suffer from thyroid problems within one year of pregnancy, it usually goes away but 20% of these women develop Hashimoto’s years later.

• Genes
Those who suffer from Hashimoto’s often have a family member with thyroid disorder or autoimmune disease, suggesting that genetics play an important role.

• Exposure to radiation
Hashimoto’s is observed more often in people exposed to radiation.

Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis Symptoms:
Symptoms of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis often go unnoticed initially. Swelling in the front of your throat called a goiter may appear. The symptoms usually occur gradually as the disease gets more intense over the years and causes more damage to your thyroid. The signs are often the same as those of underactive thyroid or hypothyroidism and are:

• Fatigue
• Depression
• Intolerance to cold
• Dry skin and hair or hair loss
• Constipation
• Increased cholesterol
• Muscle cramps
• Vague aches and pains
• Swelling in legs and knees, stiffness and pain in joints
• Lack of concentration
• Modest weight gain
• Hoarse voice
• Weakness in muscles
• Excess menstrual bleeding


Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis Treatment:
Unfortunately there is currently no cure for Hashimoto’s. You can replace hormones with medication which can reset your normal metabolism.

• Diet Changes
The first step to treating Hashimoto’s is changing your eating habits, eliminate caffeine, sugar, and white-flour carbohydrates. Eat products with starch. Here is a complete guide to the Thyroid Diet.

• Healthy Fats
Lack of sufficient fats and cholesterol may lead to hormonal imbalances in your thyroid. Eat healthy fats found in olive oil, ghee, avocados, nuts, nut butter, flax seeds, yogurt, and cheese.

• Avoid gluten
The molecular composition of gluten is similar to that of thyroid tissue so a troubled thyroid does not know how to handle it. A gluten-free diet can eliminate many of your symptoms and is worth a try.

• Reduce stress
Practice meditation and/or deep breathing, use a stress ball, whatever you need to stay relaxed. The thyroid gland is sensitive and can react adversely to stress.

• Thyroid collar
Overexposure to radiation may trigger thyroid disease, so next time you need an X-ray from your dentist ask for a thyroid collar to protect the sensitive gland, you can do this even if you have a healthy thyroid as a precautionary measure.



autoimmune disease Chronic disease health

How Did I Develop a Thyroid Disorder?

How Did I Develop a Thyroid Disorder?

How Did I Develop a Thyroid Disorder?

–by Dr. Michael L. Johnson,

Board Certified Chiropractic Neurologist

In 1998, the Journal of Endocrine and Metabolic Disorders stated that 90% of hypothyroidism is caused by an autoimmune thyroid.This means that the patient’s immune system is attacking the thyroid.

Thyroid disorders are a chronic illness! Your body has been sick for years and now you have a new diagnosis…you have a THYROID DISORDER, whether it’s hypothyroid, hyperthyroid or Hashimoto’s!

But…what causes hypothyroid, hyperthyroid or Hashimoto’s? 

Did you ever wonder WHY your body developed a thyroid disorder?

Did you ever wonder WHY you were “healthy” and the next thing that you know, you started getting fatigued, your hair started falling out, you couldn’t lose weight, you were depressed, your skin was dry, you couldn’t sleep or you started to suffer from any of the other multitude of thyroid symptoms? Thyroid disorders don’t fall out of the sky and hit a patient on the head! There has to be a cause, there has to be a reason! 

I will tell you why your body developed a thyroid disorder and it is my opinion, why the body develops ANY chronic health condition.

The answer is MUTATED GENES! You expressed a mutated gene! In the vast majority of cases, your body expressed an autoimmune gene, your immune system started attacking your thyroid and you were diagnosed with a thyroid disorder. 

How do you express “mutated genes” like an “autoimmune gene?” You express “mutated genes” by depleting your methyl groups. A methyl group is a hydrocarbon group that allows the cells of your body to use the food or nutrients that you consume on a daily basis. So you had depleted your methyl groups and you eventually had a toxin, strong EMF, hormone replacement therapy (estrogen in females and testosterone in men) or extremely stressful situation trigger the gene mutation. 

What helps create methyl groups? Hydrochloric acid (HCL) or stomach acid allows your body to create methyl groups. HCL breaks food down but by itself, it cannot methylate a cell. HCL needs a buffer in the form of potassium.

Potassium added to HCL creates tri-methyl glycine and it is the tri-methyl glycine that adds three methyl groups to each cell. Eighty percent of your immune system is in your gut which is WHY it is VITAL for you to have proper amounts of stomach acid or HCL!

Methyl groups are extremely important for normal cell replication at the level of the DNA. They repair damaged DNA or fix mutations that occur in genes which help to prevent serious illnesses like cancer. Yes, I will tell you that there is a lot more to genetic expression but I am not going to bore you to death with a lecture on genetics! Just realize that methyl groups are extremely important for your good thyroid health!

Methyl groups are also vital for liver detoxification, your body’s ability to use protein (aka. Protein synthesis), decreasing inflammation by controlling homocysteine metabolism, and good mental health via neurotransmitter synthesis (especially the “feel good” neurotransmitter, dopamine).

Inadequate methylation capacity can lead to birth defects, depression, cognitive decline, a host of other diseases including an autoimmune condition like Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and….CANCER!
We will get into the details of methyl groups and methylation in a future chapter, but the bottom line…you NEED an abundance of methyl groups to be healthy! THAT is a must!!


Whenever I think of the “BIG THREE,” I always think of the big three automakers…Ford, GM and Chrysler. 

When it comes to your health, there is an entirely different “big three” and they are EXTREMELY IMPORTANT in your thyroid battle! I call them the “BIG THREE HEALTH THIEVES!”

Decreased immune response! 

If you are going to get healthy and live a long and happy life, you NEED to address these three health thieves IMMEDIATELY!
What causes massive inflammation, toxicity and a decreased immune response? There are four components and ALL FOUR SUPPRESS the immune system, cause toxicity and inflammation…

The four components are acidity, free radicals and excitotoxins, infections and autoimmunity. You need to address these four components in order to achieve thyroid health! 

You can beat thyroid disorders…NATURALLY!

Every thyroid disorder patient is different.
Therefore, every thyroid protocol must be different!
You are as unique as the marks on your thumb print; the genes that complete your DNA picture or the optic biometrics that identify you!
Forensic science has been using this knowledge for years. Biotechnology also talks about cellular medicine.
It’s time for doctors to apply the same principles of uniqueness of personalized health care to thyroid care.
You can beat thyroid disorders using natural protocols – at an individual level! I have personally done it!


drjohnsonDr. Michael L. Johnson is a Board-Certified Chiropractic Neurologist and has been in private practice in Appleton, WI since 1983. He is the author of seven books which can be found at Dr. Johnson’s latest book, “You Can Beat Thyroid Disorders Naturally” is available at and his YouTube channel with over 90,000 views on his thyroid video alone is “Dr. Michael Johnson.” Dr. Johnson’s Facebook page is 
“Dr. Michael L. Johnson’s Natural Thyroid Solutions.”


© 2014 Dr. Michael L. Johnson

Alternative Medicine autoimmune disease Chronic disease

Decrease Inflammation (The Silent Killer) Naturally

Decrease Inflammation (The Silent Killer) Naturally

Inflammation – The Silent Killer


Inflammation in your body is like taking a blowtorch to your to the organs of your body!  Inflammation destroys the normal function of the body and leads to a slow, miserable death.

Causes of chronic inflammation can be a diet loaded with junk food (a high intake of salt, sugar, and hydrogenated fats), chronic stress, lack of sleep, lack of exercise, smoking and an overall sedentary life-style.

Inflammation in your body can be measured in the blood by checking C-Reactive Protein (C-RP) levels, homocysteine levels, uric acid levels and cortisol levels.

When the inflammation markers are increased in the blood, they are linked to massive neurodegeneration, meaning that your brain and nerves start to degenerate.  In Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders, there is a significant increase in inflammation marker levels in the body.  Inflammation has also been linked to heart disease, diabetes, and autoimmune disorders where the patient’s immune system attacks their body to name a few.

Since C-RP, homocysteine, uric acid and cortisol are powerful excitotoxins, elevated levels have been found to make symptoms of Alzheimer’s diabetes, heart disease and autoimmune disorders worse!  The metabolic breakdown components of these inflammation markers alter the NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate) receptor sites, leading to multiple negative effects which include free radicals and an inflammatory cascade.


Decrease Inflammation Naturally !

Decrease Inflammation Naturally!


Here is how to decrease the silent killer of inflammation naturally:


1: Change your diet!  Get off of all junk food!  Eliminate sugar, caffeine, alcohol and trans-fats from your diet immediately.  This is a must if you are serious about your health!

 2: Remove gluten, dairy and soy from your diet because these three foods are the biggest cause of inflammation in the body.

3: Eat for energy!  Consume a paleo-type diet of meat, fish, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds.

4: Increase your stomach acid by taking HCL supplements after each meal.  HCL or hydrochloric acid is vital to form methyl groups and methyl groups are very important for keeping inflammation marker levels low in the body! Numerous scientific studies have shown that when there is inflammation in the gut, there is inflammation in the brain.

Decrease Inflammation Naturally

that have been proven to work like turmeric or curcumin, and green tea.  In my 31+ years of practice, there are three products that I have found to be very effective in eliminating inflammation naturally. They are CoCucumin by Ayush Herbs, and Deltanol and Green Tea-ND by Premier Research Labs.

Start decreasing inflammation in your body now so that you can live a long, healthy and happy life!



drjohnsonDr. Michael L. Johnson is a Board-Certified Chiropractic Neurologist and he has been in private practice in Appleton, WI since 1983.  Dr. Johnson spends many hours each week answering questions from patients all over the world at no charge.  He is the author of seven books which can be found at   Dr. Johnson’s thyroid book, “You Can Beat Thyroid Disorders Naturally” is available at and his thyroid website is  Dr. Johnson’s YouTube channel is “Dr. Michael Johnson” and his Facebook page is “Dr. Michael L. Johnson’s Natural Thyroid Solutions.”  Dr. Johnson spends many hours each week answering questions from patients all over the world at no charge.

autoimmune disease health

Top 10 Most Common Genetic Disorders

Top 10 Most Common Genetic Disorders

Top 10 Most Common Genetic Disorders

A genetic disorder is caused by abnormalities in an individual’s genetic material (the DNA, or the genome). There are four different types of genetic disorders. They are as follows: a single-gene is mutated; multiple genes are mutated; mitochondrial, the maternal genetic material in mitochondria is mutated; chromosomal changes-entire areas of the chromosome can be missing or misplaced.

A genetic disease is a terrible thing – an illness that is written into one’s very biological code so that it can be very difficult to avoid or, sometimes, even impossible. For parents, this can mean giving birth to someone who will never be ‘well’ in the traditional sense, and no amount of exercise or healthy living can change that.

The fortunate news is that genetic disorders are relatively uncommon, but that said, they are still a real danger and some are certainly more common than others. Here we will look at some of the most common genetic diseases, in no particular order.

Cystic Fibrosis

1. Cystic Fibrosis

Cystic Fibrosis is one of the most widespread inherited genetic disorders. It most often affects Caucasians who are Ashkenazi Jews. It occurs only when both parents are carriers, which gives their children a 1 in 4 chance of contracting the disease. Cystic Fibrosis results when lack of a certain protein is present and the balance of chloride in the body isn’t restricted. Symptoms include difficulty breathing, recurrent lung infections, digestive, and reproductive issues.

Severe Combined Immunodeficiency Disorder (SCID)

2. Severe Combined Immunodeficiency Disorder (SCID)

As its name suggests, this disorder affects immune system functioning. An SCID baby’s life expectancy is short, and whatever time they have left is spent, for the most part, in a “bubble” completely cut off from the world. This disorder is caused by the mutation of more than one gene and renders a person unable to fight off any kind of germs. It is believed to be caused by the absence of, or a lack of Adenosine Deaminase (ADA), as well as notable defects in T and B cell responses.


3. Tay-Sachs

Tay-Sachs causes death at any early age, usually around five years old, because of a missing enzyme called Hex-A. Tay-Sachs causes progressive destruction of the nervous system and brain. There is no treatment for the disorder. There is only management of the symptoms.


4. Jackson-Weiss Syndrome

This syndrome is caused by a premature fusion of the skull bones, which leads to a deformity of the head and face. Jackson-Weiss Syndrome or JWS also causes mental retardation and crossed eyes. This disorder is a very rare one and therefore its occurrence has not been regularly noted. The syndrome, which is caused by a mutation in the FGFR2 gene, presents itself by such symptomatology as an irregularly shaped skull, abnormal placement of the eyes, a bulging forehead, and foot abnormalities. Anyone with the disorder usually lives a normal lifespan.

Fragile X

5. Fragile X

Fragile X, a group of genetic conditions, affects families differently. The Fragile X syndrome causes inherited mental disabilities. Fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome affects those with high testosterone, and Fragile X-associated primary ovarian insufficiency affects those with ovaries. The disorder causes a range of developmental problems including cognitive impairment and learning disabilities. Males are more severely affected by this disorder than females.


6. Ectrodactyly

Also known as Lobster Claw Hand, Ectrodactyly is marked by one or more missing digits on either the foot or hand. Individuals with the condition usually have a cleft where their middle digits should be. People with the condition can suffer from hearing loss as well. Ectrodactyly can be treated, to a certain extent, with corrective surgery.


7. Huntington’s disease

This is an inherited disease which causes certain nerve cells in the brain and central nervous system to degenerate. Loss of these nerve cells causes symptoms such as behavioral changes, unusual snake-like movements (chorea), uncontrolled movement, difficulty walking, loss of memory, speech and cognitive functions and difficulty in swallowing. Treatment aims to limit the course of the disease. There is an adult-onset Huntington’s Disease (HD), which is most common and usually develops when a person is in the 30’s and 40’s. There is also an early-onset form which begins in childhood. HD is an autosomal dominant disorder, meaning that if one parent has HD, you have a 50% chance of having the disease—and if you inherited the gene, you will develop the disease and can pass it on to your own children.


8. Neurofibromatosis

Neurofibromatosis (NF), a nervous system disorder, causes tumors to form on nerves. Neurofibromatosis, Inc. reports NF as one of the most common genetic disorders in America, affecting one of every 3,000 to 4,000 births. About one-half of neurofibromatosis cases are inherited and the other half result from spontaneous genetic mutation. A common finding of this disorder is multiple cafe-au-lait spots (brown spots) on the skin all over the body.

Sickle Cell Disease

9. Sickle Cell Disease

Having the single expression of the gene for sickle cell does not cause the disease. The gene evolved to protect people from malaria. However, getting the gene from both parents, a double dose causes the red blood cells to “sickle” spontaneously during a stress crisis. The sickled cells get stuck in small capillaries and destroy joints and organs. Eventually, the victim will die of organ failure.


10. Thalassemias

The thalassemias (beta-thalassemia is the most common, alpha-thalassemia is less common) is a group of inherited blood disorders where hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying molecule, is not properly synthesized by the red blood cells. This results in an anemia—where the usual symptoms are fatigue, an enlarged spleen, easily broken bones, bone pain and shortness of breath. People with thalassemia may also have poor appetite, darkened urine and jaundice (a yellowish discoloration of the skin or the white parts of the eyes—jaundice is a signal for liver dysfunction). Infections are common in people with thalassemia.

Most Common Genetic Diseases; LiveStrong

Ten Most Common Genetics Disorders; Active Beat

16 Most Common Genetic Diseases; Steady Health

autoimmune disease Gastrointestinal Health Health Videos Symptoms

10 Signs You are Gluten Intolerant

10 Signs You are Gluten Intolerant

Gluten sensitivity, also called gluten intolerance, should be checked to know if you should modify your diet. About 15% of US population is gluten intolerant. There are more than 55 diseases associated with gluten. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. We have a list of symptoms to help you know if you are gluten intolerant. If you are experiencing at least 4 of these symptoms after eating products that contain gluten, you may want to modify your diet:

1. Digestion problems

The most common symptoms of gluten intolerance are digestive problems like gas, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea which are often experienced after eating foods that contain gluten. The symptom common in children is constipation. Many diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) feel better when they stop eating foods with gluten.

2. Mood

Problems associated with mood can signify you are gluten intolerant. These problems involve anxiety, depression, ADHD, and mood swings. You can alleviate some of these psychological issues by eliminating gluten from your diet.

3. Skin rashes

Skin conditions like keratosis pilaris and dermatitis herpetiformis are directly linked to gluten consumption. These skin conditions involve highly itchy rashes that usually appear on your arms, torso, face, buttocks, hairline, and elbows. Other skin problems that mimic eczema also show gluten contamination.

4. Migraine

Migraines or headaches that occur with diarrhea are different, but if a migraine starts an hour or two after eating foods containing gluten this shows you are gluten sensitive.

10 Signs You are Gluten Intolerant

5. Fatigue

Chronic fatigue when combined with gastrointestinal problems, especially diarrhea, indicates gluten sensitivity. This happens when your body is incapable of absorbing essential nutrients and vitamins from the food you eat.

6. Joint pain

Foods that contain gluten cause inflammation in the body. This inflammation causes joint pain which is sometimes misdiagnosed as rheumatoid arthritis and is a common symptom of gluten insensitivity. Eliminate gluten from your diet and your joint pain will be reduced drastically.

7. Lactose intolerance

If you are having problems digesting foods that contain lactose then you are likely to have problems with gluten too. If the stomach lining and lactase is being compromised by gluten, you will also experience symptoms associated with lactose intolerance. It is advised to exclude gluten from your diet if you are already lactose intolerant.

8. Problems absorbing vitamins

This is a common symptom of gluten intolerance. If your stomach lining is unable to absorb essential vitamins and minerals from food it can indicate gluten sensitivity. Low iron is also a common indicator of gluten intolerance.

9. Hormone imbalance

Hormonal imbalance problems like infertility, PCOS, and irregular menstrual cycles are linked to gluten intolerance. Gluten causes inflammation which puts excess pressure on the adrenal glands which upset the balance of the entire body and endocrine system.

10. Neurological symptoms

Neurological symptoms include dizziness, poor balance, feeling off-balance, vertigo, numbness, and tingling which indicate inflammation in the nervous system caused by gluten.
There are other symptoms which are not obvious signs of gluten intolerance including adult acne and diagnosis of an autoimmune disease.

Signs you are gluten intolerant

10 Signs You are Gluten Intolerant
By Positivemed-Team
Edited By Stephanie Dawson
[Last Updated on June 5th 2014]

autoimmune disease natural remedies Skin Care

9 Natural Treatments for Psoriasis

9 Natural Treatments for Psoriasis

Home Treatments for Psoriasis

By Khrystyana Kirton
Edited by Stephanie Dawson
Reviewed by Nima Shei MD

Although self-help measures won’t cure psoriasis, nothing will, they may help improve the appearance and feel of damaged skin. These measures may be of some benefit:

natural treatments for psoriasis

  1. Take daily baths. Bathing daily helps remove scales and calm inflamed skin. Add bath oil, colloidal oatmeal, Epsom salts, or Dead Sea salts to the water and soak for at least 15 minutes. Avoid hot water and harsh soaps, which can worsen symptoms; use lukewarm water and mild soaps, like Castile soap, that have added oils and fats.
  2. Use moisturizer. Blot skin after bathing, then immediately apply a heavy, ointment-based moisturizer while your skin is still moist. For very dry skin, oils may be preferable — they have more staying power than creams or lotions do and are more effective at preventing water from evaporating from your skin. During cold, dry weather, you may need to apply a moisturizer several times a day.
  3. Cover the affected areas overnight. To help improve redness and scaling, apply an ointment-based moisturizer to skin and wrap with plastic wrap overnight. In the morning, remove the covering and wash away the scales with a bath or a shower.
  4. Expose skin to small amounts of sunlight. A controlled amount of sunlight can significantly improve lesions, but too much sun can trigger or worsen outbreaks and increase the risk of skin cancer. If sunbathing, it’s best to try short sessions three or more times a week. Keep a record of when and how long you’ve been in the sun to help avoid overexposure, and be sure to protect healthy skin with a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15. Apply sunscreen generously, and reapply every two hours — or more often if swimming or perspiring. Before beginning any sunbathing program, ask a doctor about the best way to use natural sunlight to treat the skin.
  5. psoriasis-causes-symptoms-treatments-s5-illustration-of-psoriasis

  6. Apply medicated cream or ointment. Apply an over-the-counter cream or ointment containing hydrocortisone or salicylic acid to reduce itching and scaling. If there’s scalp psoriasis, try a medicated shampoo that contains coal tar. For best results, follow label directions.
  7. Avoid psoriasis triggers, if possible. Find out what triggers, if any, worsen your particular psoriasis and take steps to prevent or avoid them. Infections, injuries to the skin, stress, smoking, and intense sun exposure can all worsen psoriasis.
  8. Avoid drinking alcohol. Alcohol consumption may decrease the effectiveness of some psoriasis treatments.
  9. Eat a healthy diet. Although there’s no evidence that certain foods will either improve or aggravate psoriasis, it’s important to eat a healthy diet, particularly when you have a chronic disease. A healthy diet includes eating a variety fruits and vegetables of all colors and whole grains. If you eat meat, focus on lean cuts and fish. If you think certain foods make your symptoms better or worse, keep a food diary to see what effect different foods have.

9. Alternative medicine
Many alternative therapies are available to ease the symptoms of psoriasis, including special diets, creams, dietary supplements and herbs. Some alternative therapies are deemed generally safe, and they may be helpful to some people in reducing signs and symptoms, such as itching and scaling.

  1. Aloe vera. Taken from the leaves of the aloe vera plant, aloe extract cream may reduce redness, scaling, itching and inflammation. You may need to use the cream several times a day for a month or more to see any improvements in your skin.
  2. Fish oil. Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil supplements may reduce inflammation associated with psoriasis, although results from studies are mixed. Taking 3 grams or less of fish oil daily is generally recognized as safe, and you may find it beneficial.
  3. Coconut oil. Coconut oil is a powerful moisturizer that is beneficial to restoring dry or flaking skin. Unlike the average moisturizer that contains a lot of water and likely synthetic ingredients, coconut oil helps to strengthen skin tissue more deeply and eliminate dead skin cells while absorbing quickly into the skin.

If considering dietary supplements or other alternative therapy to ease the symptoms of psoriasis, consult a doctor. They can help weigh the pros and cons of specific alternative therapies.

Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.


Skin Benefits of Coconut Oil, LiveStrong
Psoriasis, MedlinePlus
Psoriasis, WebMD
Psoriasis, National Library of Medicine

autoimmune disease Chronic disease Skin Care Symptoms

6 Signs that May Indicate Psoriasis Symptoms

6 Signs that May Indicate Psoriasis Symptoms

What You Should Know About Psoriasis Symptoms
By Khrystyana Kirton
Edited by Stephanie Dawson

Psoriasis is a common skin disease that affects the life cycle of skin cells. Psoriasis causes cells to build up rapidly on the surface of the skin, forming thick silvery scales and itchy, dry, red patches that are sometimes painful. This is a persistent, long-lasting (chronic) disease. There may be periods when the psoriasis symptoms improve or go into remission alternating with times it worsens. For some people, psoriasis is just a nuisance. For others, it’s disabling, especially when associated with arthritis. There’s no cure, but psoriasis treatments may offer significant relief. Lifestyle measures, such as using nonprescription cortisone cream and exposing skin to small amounts of natural sunlight, can improve psoriasis symptoms.

Psoriasis Symptoms

Psoriasis signs and symptoms can vary from person to person but may include one or more of the following:

  • Red patches of skin covered with silvery scales
  • Small scaling spots (commonly seen in children)
  • Dry, cracked skin that may bleed
  • Itching, burning or soreness
  • Thickened, pitted or ridged nails
  • Swollen and stiff joints

Psoriasis patches can range from a few spots of dandruff-like scaling to major eruptions that cover large areas. Mild cases of psoriasis may be a nuisance; more severe cases can be painful, disfiguring, and disabling.


Most types of psoriasis go through cycles, flaring for a few weeks or months, then subsiding for a time or even going into complete remission. In most cases, however, the disease eventually returns.

Several types of psoriasis exist. These include:

    • Plaque psoriasis. The most common form, this type causes dry, raised, red skin lesions (plaques) covered with silvery scales. The plaques itch or may be painful and can occur anywhere on the body, including genitals and the soft tissue inside of the mouth. There may be a few plaques or many and, in severe cases, the skin around the joints may crack and bleed.

nail psoriasis

    • Nail psoriasis. Psoriasis can affect fingernails and toenails, causing pitting, abnormal nail growth, and discoloration. Psoriatic nails may become loose and separate from the nail bed (onycholysis). Severe cases may cause the nail to crumble.
    • Scalp psoriasis. Psoriasis on the scalp appears as red, itchy areas with silvery-white scales. This is usually noticed when flakes of dead skin appear in the hair or on the shoulders, especially after scratching the scalp.
    • Guttate psoriasis. This primarily affects people younger than 30 and is usually triggered by a bacterial infection such as strep throat. It’s marked by small, water-drop-shaped sores on one’s abdomen, arms, legs, and scalp. The sores are covered by a fine scale and aren’t as thick as typical plaques are. One may have a single outbreak that goes away on its own, or there may be repeated episodes, especially if there are ongoing respiratory infections.
  • Inverse psoriasis. Mainly affecting the skin in the armpits, in the groin, under the breasts and around the genitals, inverse psoriasis causes smooth patches of red, inflamed skin. It’s more common in overweight people and is worsened by friction and sweating.
  • Pustular psoriasis. This uncommon form of psoriasis can occur in widespread patches (generalized pustular psoriasis) or in smaller areas on hands, feet or fingertips. It generally develops quickly, with pus-filled blisters appearing just hours after the skin becomes red and tender. The blisters dry within a day or two but may reappear every few days or weeks. Generalized pustular psoriasis can also cause fever, chills, severe itching, and fatigue.
  • Erythrodermic psoriasis. The least common type of psoriasis, erythrodermic psoriasis can cover the entire body with a red, peeling rash that can itch or burn intensely. It may be triggered by severe sunburn, by corticosteroids and other medications, or by another type of psoriasis that’s poorly controlled.


  • Psoriatic arthritis. In addition to inflamed, scaly skin, psoriatic arthritis causes pitted discolored nails and the swollen, painful joints that are typical of arthritis. It can also lead to inflammatory eye conditions, such as conjunctivitis. Symptoms range from mild to severe, and psoriatic arthritis can affect any joint. Although the disease usually isn’t as crippling as other forms of arthritis, it can cause stiffness and progressive joint damage that in the most serious cases may lead to permanent deformity.

A variety of factors — ranging from emotional stress and trauma to streptococcal infection — can cause an episode of psoriasis. Recent research indicates that some abnormality in the immune system is the key cause of psoriasis. As many as 80% of people having flare-ups report a recent emotional trauma, such as a new job or the death of a loved one. Most doctors believe such external stressors serve as triggers for an inherited defect in immune function. Injured skin and certain drugs can aggravate psoriasis, including certain types of blood pressure medications (like beta-blockers), the anti-malarial medication hydroxychloroquine, and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, etc.)

psoriasis symptoms

Psoriasis tends to run in families, but it may skip generations, for example, a grandfather and his grandson may be affected, but the child’s mother never develops the disease. Although psoriasis may be stressful and embarrassing, most outbreaks are relatively harmless. With appropriate treatment, symptoms generally subside within a few months.

autoimmune disease Chronic disease Pain

What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

First of all, Rheumatoid Arthritis, or RA, is chronic inflammation of the joints, characterized by redness, swelling, and pain. With rheumatoid arthritis the inflammation generally affects both sides of the body, such as knees, wrists, hips, or hands. This symmetry helps to differentiate from other types of arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis can also affect the skin, nerves, eyes, lungs, heart, and blood.


What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that affects about 1% of the population. Symptoms include, but are not limited to: joint stiffness, swelling, pain, fatigue, redness and warmth, feeling ill, loss of appetite, muscle aches, rheumatoid nodules (bumps under the skin, typically on elbows) voice hoarseness, shortness of breath or chest pain (with heart involvement) and red, painful, or dry eyes. The hands are almost always involved, and it can affect any joint in your body.

For a proper diagnosis your doctor will need an accurate assessment of all symptoms, as well as x-rays and blood tests. The sooner a diagnosis occurs the better off you will be as rheumatoid arthritis requires aggressive treatment to prevent joint damage. Symptoms can come and go but are usually persistent, x-rays and blood tests will help to determine if it is rheumatoid arthritis or another disease with some similar symptoms such as lupus, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, and gout.

signs of rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment:

The main goal of rheumatoid arthritis treatment is to ease pain and stop progression of joint damage, in severe cases surgery may be necessary to correct joint damage already there. Your doctor will usually prescribe a course of NSAID’s (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aleve or ibuprofen) DMARD’s (disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs like methotrexate) or biologics, which are genetically engineered proteins which can slow or even stop progression of the disease. Physical and occupational therapy are very helpful, and steroids are often utilized, in injections or orally.

Other things you can do on your own, or as part of a non-traditional approach include exercise, which is essential for your joints and sense of well being, hot/cold therapy, acupuncture, mind/body therapy such as meditation, biofeedback, and supplements. Omega 3‘s and Vitamin E are highly beneficial to those with rheumatoid arthritis, as well as borage seed oil, which are shown to reduce inflammation and morning stiffness.

foods for pain relief

If you have rheumatoid arthritis, or think you have rheumatoid arthritis, it’s best to work closely with your doctor to determine what is right for you. Medication regimens are not cookie cutters unfortunately, not everything works the same for each person, the same goes for other remedies. It’s a trial and error process that is ongoing, what works for you today may not be as effective next year.

[Last Updated on May 20th 2014]
By Stephanie Dawson
Reviewed By Nima Shei, MD