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.