Treating disease. Drugs and Environmental Factors (diet and lifestyle)
A fantastic article from Dr. Terry Wahls, she is a clinical professor of medicine at the University of Iowa. She is the author of Minding My Mitochondria: How I Defeated Secondary Progressive MS and Got Out of the Wheelchair and the new book that just came out The Wahls Protocol: How I Beat Progressive MS Using Paleo Principles and Functional Medicine.
It is a short article and very much to the point, so I recommend you read the original. For those pressed for time, as well as for my own quick reference later, I did take down some bullet points:
- Most doctors will try very hard to convince you to take a disease-modifying drug to control your symptoms. They want to stop the progression of the disease and reduce your symptoms. These drugs treat the autoimmune disease by suppressing the immune system so that your disease is less active. But since your immune system is a vital part of regulating your body, your overall health declines and the risk of infection increases.
- Instead of addressing the underlying environmental factors that contribute to disease severity, most physicians focus on pushing their patients to take very potent disease-modifying drugs. They don’t explore these environmental factors that we know contribute to either greater health or greater disease. Many physicians tell their patients that diet has nothing to do with disease activity!
- What doctors don’t tell their patients is that hundreds, perhaps thousands, of studies have shown that all autoimmune conditions are a complex interaction of a person’s genes–that is, their DNA–and the environment, which means diet and lifestyle. Each individual gene known to increase the risk of an autoimmune condition increases that risk by only 1 to 2%. The rest of the risk comes from the interaction between those the genes and the environment.
- Environmental factors that relate to increased risk include:
- Diet, including deficiencies in vitamins, minerals, or essential fats
- Food sensitivities, often an unrecognized gluten and dairy sensitivity
- Toxins stored in the fat, such as heavy metals like mercury and lead or other toxins from plastics and solvents
- Chronic elevation of stress hormones
- Weak social networks and lack of meaningful relationships that make us happy and healthy
- Unrecognized chronic infections, such as Lyme disease
- Unrecognized fungal problems, such as a Candida overgrowth
Right to the point of everything I stand for. Nothing more to add!
To your health,