Is Your Immune System Attacking You?

Thyroid Word CloudDo you have days when your body seems like a bit of a drama queen?

Perhaps you were sick with the flu, you’ve been fighting a migraine, or you’re feeling sore and achy all over for no particular reason. Other days, it might seem that you’re no longer able to tolerate the foods you used to eat with abandon – you’re dealing with a major case of indigestion and you’re carrying around an extra twenty pounds (that you can’t seem to lose, no matter what you eat).

Does any of this sound familiar?

I call these on-going annoyances “mimics, marauders and masqueraders” – because that’s basically what they are – but what I’d really like you to take away from this, is that it’s an important part of your immune system and how it functions.

The good news is that your immune system is beautifully designed to deal with these pranksters at a moment’s notice, and it’s exactly that on your behalf so 24/7 – even though it might seem at times that your body is working against you.

Sometimes your immune system DOES get confused. However, even though you might think it’s making a mistake, the reality is that it’s simply doing what it’s designed to do – protect you. Consider too, that 70% of your immune system is in your gutBut because it’s inside, and you can’t see it, and you can’t necessarily feel it – you’re not at all aware that anything is wrong.

The symptoms are often subtle.

What’s really happening, though, is that some of these invaders are actually very clever,  mimicking or masquerading as something other than what they really are.

Let me explain.

 

Cross-Reactivity

As you may already know, gluten is a family of proteins found in wheat and is therefore present in any foods that are made from wheat – although it can sometimes appear in other guises, as well.

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Autoimmune Disease & You

ImpressionDid you know that Celiac disease is an autoimmune condition?

Did you also know that autoimmune diseases are on the rise?

In fact, statistically, if you’ve already been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, your chance of acquiring two or three more is extremely high.

Kind of sobering, isn’t it?

By its very definition, autoimmune disease means that your body – specifically your immune system – is attacking YOU.

It isn’t something that’s supposed to happen.

(And doesn’t, as long as your immune system is functioning properly).

But right now, we’re actually in the midst of an autoimmune epidemic – that’s how common autoimmune diseases have become.

Yet, here’s something else that might surprise you:

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Why Is Gluten Such a Big Deal?

Gluten free words - tag cloud illustrationHave you seen all the gluten-free foods these days?

It seems like a brand new thing but really, gluten-free foods have been around for while. Go into any grocery store today and you’ll see whole sections dedicated to shelf after shelf of gluten-free breads, cookies, cereals and lots more.

It’s literally an explosion of products, the majority of which didn’t exist five or ten years ago.

So what gives?

Is this gluten-free trend just another fad? And why should you even consider taking gluten out to begin with?

 

What’s the big deal?

Gluten is a unique protein, which can be broken down further into smaller proteins, or peptides. The most common of these proteins is referred to as alpha gliadin – or gliadin, for short. But there are many others!

Sidenote: This happens to be one of the BIGGEST problems when it comes to accurate testing, the issue being that most labs are ONLY looking at gliadin – when there are hundreds of other peptides you could be reacting to. That’s why Wheat Zoomer has become my go-to test for accurate results!

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Is Removing Gluten Always The Answer?

Celiac Disease concept. Book with stethoscope and pills.Should you remove gluten from your diet? (I get asked this question a lot).

The short answer is “It depends”.

What do I mean by this? In a nutshell, it depends on what’s going on in your body.

It depends on the signs and symptoms you’re experiencing.

And it also depends on your test results!

Of course, if your tests come back negative, then you’re in the clear – at least for the time being – more on that later.

But it’s super important that you get the RIGHT tests!

You don’t want to stop there, either.

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Do You Have Street Smarts?

Always Seek Knowledge AcronymWhen it comes to managing your special diet – do you have “Street Smarts”?

You might be wondering what I mean by this.

While not always easy to come by, Street Smarts means knowing how to handle just about any situation that comes along – especially when you find yourself tempted to stray.

It means knowing that when you’re harried and frustrated by circumstances beyond your control – or, well meaning folks who don’t seem to understand or care – you’re able to make an informed choice because you understand the long-term damage that can result from that one exposure, however small.

My newly released video series A Gluten Primer – Everything You Wanted to Know From A-Z explains well, literally everything – in a collection of 26-videos plus a 2-hour tutorial.

In a nutshell, though, here’s what it ultimately comes down to:

 

Knowing what foods are safe to eat

It all starts here.

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Your Body’s Wisdom – Invitation or Threat?

Woman having migraine headache.“Symptoms are a signal from the body that it is imbalanced, in distress, or in need of support.” 

Kelly Brogan, MD

Your body has it’s own innate inner wisdom.

In other words, with a little help from you – it has the ability to heal (you just need to give it what it needs).

How do you know what your body needs most?

You listen!

What signs and symptoms are your experiencing? How debilitating are they? Are you in pain, or is it more of a nagging discomfort that keeps you from enjoying your life to it’s fullest?

[Read more…]

Mimics, Marauders & Masqueraders

Comedy and tragedyEver feel like there’s a lot of drama happening in your body?

I call these mimics, marauders and masqueraders. They’re present 24/7. The good news is that your immune system is beautifully designed to deal with these pranksters at a moment’s notice, through the.

However, sometimes your immune system gets confused. You might think it’s making a mistake, but the reality is that it’s simply doing what it’s designed to do – protect you. What’s really happening here is that some of these invaders are actually very clever,  mimicking or masquerading as something other than what they really are.

Let me explain.

 

Cross-Reactivity

As you may already know, gluten is a family of proteins found in wheat and is therefore present in any foods that are made from wheat – although it can sometimes appear in other guises, as well.

[Read more…]

3 More Environmental Toxin Myths Debunked

Composition with plastic bottles of mineral waterThere are lots of myths circulating about environmental toxicants, detoxing, and whether or not it’s even a necessary thing to worry about.

You can read Part I of this conversation here.

I like to be thorough, if nothing else – leaving no stone unturned!

 

 

MYTH #4 – I’ve Already Switched to BPA-Free Plastic

That’s wonderful – you’re already ahead of the curve!

Unfortunately, I fell for the exact same marketing spin when I first learned about BPA in plastic.

I went out and bought all new plastic containers – looking for the tell-tale stickers that said “BPA-Free”.

I thought I was safe.

But guess what?

Manufacturers are smart. They know to replace BPA with something else – other chemicals with names like BPF, or BPS.

[Read more…]

Your Body’s Wisdom – Invitation or Threat?

Woman having migraine headache.“Symptoms are a signal from the body that it is imbalanced, in distress, or in need of support.”

Kelly Brogan, MD

 

Your body has it’s own innate inner wisdom.

In other words, with a little help from you – it has the ability to heal (you just need to give it what it needs).

How do you know what your body needs most?

You listen!

What signs and symptoms are your experiencing? How debilitating are they? Are you in pain, or is it more of a nagging discomfort that keeps you from enjoying your life to it’s fullest?

[Read more…]

Mimics, Marauders & Masqueraders

Tragicomic Theater Masks. Sad and Smile masksDo you sometimes feel like there’s a lot of drama going on in your body?

With Halloween just two weeks away, it seems like the perfect time to explore this drama in greater depth, since these so-called mimics, marauders and masqueraders are present 24/7.

Yes, you read that correctly.

You see, even though your body is beautifully designed to deal with these pranksters at a moment’s notice, sometimes your immune system does make mistakes.

Or rather, we think of them as mistakes, but in all actuality, your immune system is simply doing what it’s designed to do.

And that is to protect you.

So, what’s really happening here is that some of these invaders are actually very clever,  mimicking or masquerading as something other than what they really are.

And the immune system gets confused.

Let me explain.

[Read more…]