Autoimmune diseases on the rise rapidly. No one seems to know why and CFSAC meetings…

Reports have been bandied around for some time now showing that autoimmune diseases such as type 1 diabetes, Lupus,  and celiac are on the increase across the globe. Type 1 diabetes has increaed by 23% between 2001 and 2009.

Asthma is another disease that has not only increased rapidly over the last 30 years but according to Dr Gailen D. Marshall of CFSAC the complications of asthma are increasing. I am now one of those patients with steroid resistant asthma.  Those of us with this form of asthma are supposed to be rare, but “rare” is becoming common it seems. I have IST which is supposed to be “rare” but there’s a lot of us out there.

The usual “blame the patient” stuff is rolled out as “high salt diet” and “junk food” and “alcohol abuse” etc. gets bandied about, but this falls flat when you realise the increase is global and so that includes areas where such diets and lifestyles either aren’t there or aren’t even available. Not to mention the fact that most of us don’t tick those boxes anyway. It is a cause of irritation for me that when a history is taken and I don’t smoke, eat junk or abuse alcohol the view is that I can’t be ill then.

This goes along with the number of research outcomes that show an autoimmune aspect to ME. Whether ME is purely autoimmune or a nasty mix of stuff isn’t clear. It won’t be made clear in the foreseeable future thanks to the shameful lack of research funding but the clues are there.

I’ve been watching last years Youtube vids of the CFSAC meeting 2012 with a growing sense of despondency.  I am awaiting this years meeting vids to go up but going by some of the reports from those who attended, it may be better if I never watch them.

I am saddened by the same stories from patients told over and over which seem to be words aimed at walls not people. But the news that Dr Unger believes that the Canadian Definition of ME is too complicated for poor doctors who are “frightened by it’s complexity!” Seriously!!!

The call for the Canadian and International criteria to be made the criteria for the disease goes on.  It needs to happen. Thankfully the biomedical research is showing promise. It shows that excellent results can come even where there is so little funding.

6 responses to “Autoimmune diseases on the rise rapidly. No one seems to know why and CFSAC meetings…

  1. Expressing the Silence of Pain

    Fibromyalgia is an auto-immune disease I thought. However, just last week my doctor told me that it is not. I do not understand.

    • I was told the same as you by the rheumi who dx me with FMS. However the truthful answer to “Is FMS autoimmune?” is “We don’t know yet.”
      There is research (2004) suggesting that FMS is autoimmune. It’s symptoms certainly overlap many recognised and much better research autoimmune diseases such as MS and SLE. (I tick just about every SLE box there is but as there’s a big silence from the GP I assume my ANAs were neg).
      It seems to me that less money is spent on researching FMS than even ME.
      However, recent breakthroughs show more promise that FMS is in fact a form of hyperadrenergic POTS which puts in in the dysautonomia basket. Could it be both? Possibly.
      As I have dx of FMS, ME and Dysautonomia in the form of IST it’s difficult for me to differentiate. I do know my immunity does some very strange things.

      Doctors should not give black and white answers to questions for which the answers don’t exist. So far we don’t know. But yes, FMS could be autoimmune.

      • Hi, I am trying to get more LIKES on my Facebook Page, The Painful Reality of Fibromyalgia, could you please be so kind to LIKE my page? It is on my blog and it says Follow Me On Facebook. Thank you so much. Barbara

  2. Yes, immunity does some very strange things indeed. I believe that it is an autoimmune disease. What is Dysautonomia?

    • Dysautonomia is a group of problems caused by the breakdown of the autonomic nervous system. As the ANS runs all the bits of the body just about anything can play up. In my case it’s heart and lungs mainly with brain being part of the shambles.
      It is estimated that 96% of ME people have some form of dysautonomia and if the work of Patrick Woods et al is anything to go by then FMS is a form of dysautonomia being hyperPOTS.
      I am still awaiting tests for hyper POTS – though going by the way my BP leaps about I more likely have “combo” POTS.
      I have a dx of Inappropriate Sinus Tachycardia which is rare. There is still no concensus over whether IST is a separate heart problem or whether it is a form of POTS. I certainly have for more problems when I’m upright.

      • There are so many diseases in the world that our physical bodies have to contend with. None of us asked for what happens to us in our lifetime; we had no knowledge of what our next chapter in the pages of our lives would consist of. As we live, move, and have our being everyday, we learn, we see, and most times do not understand — yet, we learn to accept. Just hang in there as we all must. My heart goes out to all of physically challenged individuals.

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