I can’t tell you how many times I have said that every time I heard about some poor child being afflicted by some illness or disease. Both my kids were healthy. Sure, we had the occasional cold or bout with the stomach flu but I can count on one hand the number of times either kid had been on antibiotics. Nick did have seasonal allergies but in this day and age who doesn’t? I was not one of those moms that kept the house in pristine condition either. My kids were quite familiar with dust bunnies and probably had names for them too! There goes the hygiene theory. So how does a normal, healthy 14 year old boy end up with an autoimmune disease? First let’s look at some statistics:
Per the American Autoimmune Association, more Americans are affected by autoimmune disease (24 million and rising) than cancer (9 million) or heart disease (22 million).
Per “The Autoimmune Epidemic” by Donna Jackson Nakazawa, “The Mayo Clinic has reported the incidence of lupus has nearly tripled in the US over the past four decades, rising even more quickly in the African American population.” Lupus affects 1.5 million Americans.
“Type 1 Diabetes has increased five-fold over the last 40 years. The incidence of childhood-onset type 1 diabetes is increasing at an alarming rate, increasing 6% a year in kids four and under and 4% in kids aged 10-14.”
From the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center, Celiac Disease strikes 1 in 133 healthy people affecting at least 3 million Americans (97% are undiagnosed). 60% of children and 41% of adults in a landmark prevalence study were asymptomatic.
Other autoimmune diseases include; Crohn’s disease 500,000 people, Rheumatiod Arthritis-2.1 million and Multiple Sclerosis-400,000 people with 200 new cases being reported each week.
There are at least 100 different autoimmune diseases and at least 40 more that have an autoimmune basis. For a complete list, go to www.aarda.org.
I could go on and on, but you get the idea. Autoimmune diseases are on the rise at an alarming rate. Why? What can I do to protect myself and my family?
Most people have a genetic predisposition to something (i.e. autoimmune, cancer, heart disease, etc.)
Having a predisposition does not mean you will get the disease; only that you are more susceptible.
According to the Autoimmune Epidemic, genetics only plays about a 30% role in actually getting the disease. Seventy percent is based on environmental factors such as diet and exposure to chemicals.
One of the biggest things you can do to prevent you or someone you love from becoming one of these statistics is to have your Vitamin D levels checked!!!! Call your Doctor right now!!
There are literally hundreds of studies showing a link to autoimmune diseases and low vitamin D levels. There is also a link to heart disease and cancer as well. In an article in the July 2009 issue in the Annals of Epidemiology, scientists predicted that we could reduce some cancer deaths by 50%.