Global spread of autoimmune disease blamed on western diet

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My father died of transverse myelitis in his late 60’s… For those who don’t know it is an autoimmune disease where your own body sees the myelin sheaths surrounding your nerves in your spinal cord as a foreign body. Basically it paralyzes you while making you feel like your nerves are on fire until it eventually shuts down your ability to tell your organs to keep doing things like, you know, breathe. My father went from traveling around the world to loss of anything below his ribcage in a year and a half… Then 3 years of pain in remission before it came back and he gave up. There is nothing worse than an OVER-reactive immune system. It is basically shitty suicide.


There’s also a lot of studies about gut bacteria and it’s effects on autoimmune diseases and also mental illness. Fascinating stuff. I’ve always had stomach issues my whole life, have struggled with depression and anxiety and was diagnosed with RA in 2018. I wish there was more research done on the subject.


These auto-immune diseases are invisible disabilities, too. If you have severe symptoms you can’t work, can’t do your hobbies, can’t clean your apartment. Hell, taking a shower is major effort when it’s bad. People who don’t have these diseases often scoff at them. But they are absolutely real. It’s like a switch gets flipped and your life is messed up forever.


Diet may have something to do with this. So might changes in diagnostic abilities and reporting. Many autoimmune diseases were often reported as something else in the past.


Autoimmune diseases range from type 1 diabetes to rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease and multiple sclerosis. In each case, the immune system gets its wires crossed and turns on healthy tissue instead of infectious agents.