Autoimmune disease is not only scary but, in a sense, a prison. Those reading this are nodding right now. It's like a victim of your exact essence.
Every day is a challenge. What's next? Can I make it work? What about my medications for autoimmune disease? Is my Doctor even right? I could go on and on. Listening to your voice is one of the many reasons we started this company.
And even though the business model pivoted, we stuck with the same idea - graph and benchmark personal blood data.
Love started pouring in. One man in the Philippines, an ex-pat, contacted us through our website, telling us his story about autoimmune disease.
He had been diagnosed with an autoimmune skin disease and wasn't sure how to combat it. However, this guy was proactive and forward-thinking and he took autoimmune disease lightly. He started an excel spreadsheet (yes, our biggest competitor) and started tracking his basic biomarkers monthly.
Let me explain. He started adjusting things like high protein vs.. high fat, sleep cycles, sprint vs. walking, strength vs. high intensity, and so on.
The result? He started to figure out, using data, what was shifting the curve toward the positive. Off normal biomarkers? You bet.
Remember that blood is our front-line diagnostics, and just like most things in life - the more complicated we make things, the more we hide from the truth, the basics. The basics tell us what we need to know.
But when the Doctor is taking a snapshot of your bloodwork, telling you what's up from that snapshot, would you bet the farm? Imagine for two seconds, you are an investor, and I say the DJI is down -%200 points. What's your first decision? Sell.
Yet, if you have a graph showing that it's up +5000% and this is just a dip due to some negative news from Trump being Trump - well then - we have a different story.
Autoimmune Disease in Brief
Autoimmune disorders affect millions of Americans every year. These illnesses can cause severe damage to internal organs such as the heart, lungs, joints, skin, eyes, kidneys, blood vessels, nerves, and the digestive tract. They also increase the risk of cancer, diabetes, stroke, osteoporosis, depression, anxiety, infertility, and premature death.
Autoimmune diseases are caused by an overactive immune system that attacks the body’s tissues. The most common autoimmune disorder is rheumatoid arthritis (RA). It affects about 1% of people worldwide. RA causes inflammation in the lining of the joints, which leads to pain, stiffness, swelling, and loss of function. Other autoimmune disorders include systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), multiple sclerosis (MS), scleroderma, Sjögren syndrome, thyroiditis, type I diabetes, celiac disease, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, psoriatic arthritis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and dermatomyositis.
The exact cause of autoimmune disorders remains unknown. However, scientists believe they may be triggered by a combination of genetic factors and environmental triggers. Some researchers think certain infections or other health problems may trigger the development of autoimmunity. For example, some studies have found that infection with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) increases the risk for MS. Researchers suspect that this virus may trigger the immune response that results in MS. Another possible link between EBV and MS is that both viruses infect B cells. Scientists theorize that when these two viruses infect the same cell, it may lead to an abnormal immune response that damages the brain and spinal cord.
There are several known risk factors for developing an autoimmune condition. People with one or more family members with an autoimmune disorder are at greater risk than those without any family history. In addition, women are twice as likely as men to develop an autoimmune disease. This could be because women produce higher antibodies against their tissue than men.
Genetic factors may also contribute to the development of autoimmune conditions. A person’s genes influence how their immune system responds to foreign substances. Therefore, if someone has inherited a gene mutation that makes them more susceptible to an autoimmune disorder, they will be more likely to develop the illness.
Other risk factors include:
• Being female
• Having a first-degree relative—parent, sibling, or child—with an autoimmune disorder
• Exposure to tobacco smoke
• Infection with hepatitis C virus
• Chronic stress
• Certain medications
• Hormonal changes during pregnancy or after menopause
People with autoimmune disorders often experience symptoms before the diagnosis is made. Symptoms vary depending on the specific organ affected. Common signs and symptoms of autoimmune diseases include:
• Joint pain, especially in the morning
• Swelling of the hands, feet, ankles, knees, elbows, or fingers
• Muscle weakness
• Numbness or tingling in the arms or legs
• Skin rash
• Hair loss
• Eye irritation
• Abdominal pain
• Shortness of breath
• Heart palpitations
• Chest pains
• Loss of appetite
• Weight gain
The symptoms of autoimmune disorders vary from person to person. Some people have no symptoms, while others may experience joint pain, fatigue, fever, weight loss, or other problems. Talk with your doctor if you think you are suffering from an autoimmune disorder. They will perform a physical exam and ask questions about your health history. Your doctor may recommend lab tests to determine if you have any underlying conditions. For example, they may order blood work to check for antibodies against certain proteins that indicate whether you have an autoimmune disease.
A doctor can diagnose autoimmune disorders based on your medical history, physical examination, laboratory tests, and imaging studies. Your doctor will ask you questions about your symptoms and perform a complete physical exam. They will look for joint damage, muscle weakness, skin lesions, and other abnormalities. Laboratory tests may show high levels of antibodies in the blood. Imaging studies such as X-rays, CT scans, MRI scans, ultrasound exams, and bone scans may reveal evidence of inflammation.
Once diagnosed, treatment depends on the type of autoimmune disorder. Treatment options include:
• Diet modification
• Physical therapy
• Support groups
The most common treatments for autoimmune disorders involve taking medication. Many people use anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce swelling and relieve pain. Other medicines used to treat autoimmune diseases include:
In some cases, surgery may help control symptoms and improve quality of life. Examples include:
• Removal of inflamed tissues from joints
• Removing lymph nodes
• Repairing damaged nerves
Some people find relief through diet modifications. These include:
• Eliminating foods that trigger allergic reactions
• Avoiding certain types of fats
Therapy can help restore strength and mobility to muscles and joints. It can also help prevent further injury. For example, physical therapists can teach you exercises to strengthen weak muscles and improve flexibility. They can also teach you ways to avoid injuries while performing daily activities.
Many people find support from others who share similar experiences. You can join support groups online, by phone, or in person. The American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (www.aarda.org) offers information about many autoimmune disorders.
Over time, he managed to dial in his diet, training, and lifestyle and started winning the battle. His kids, wife, and family benefit. He kept his job he went on to be quite successful. From dirt to dollars, he was using excel and regular blood testing.
Lab Me lets you do that, minus all the extra work without the waiting room. Imagine everything you hate about the Lab, reverse it, and start with Lab Me today.
Heck, write me back and tell me your own kick-ass story like this,, and I'll make sure you are taken care of.
Oh, and PS, don't believe me - contact him yourself by commenting - #labme
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