August is Auto-Inflammatory Awareness Month. That makes this a good time to ask the question: Why we are seeing such an epidemic of autoimmune illness and excess inflammation? There are several reasons:
1. Immune and Inflammatory Systems on Overdrive
Several factors of common daily life in the U.S. are putting our immune and inflammatory systems on high overdrive:
- The high amounts of sugar, white flour, and grain fed beef typical in today's diet.
- Decreased intakes of omega-3 fish oils in our diets.
- The current vogue in media and government to scare everyone to death and make us all hate each other. Unfortunately, this also keeps our immune systems on high alert and exhausted.
2. Today's Environment
Changes occurring in our modern environment are challenging our immune systems' ability to tell friend from foe.
- 85,000 new chemicals have been added to the environment that humans have never seen before in history.
- "Leaky gut" syndrome is becoming more prevalent due to causes such as: 1) Medications such as arthritis meds called NSAIDs, and 2) Candida overgrowth in the gut driven by high sugar intakes. Suspect this if you have chronic sinusitis/nasal congestion or irritable bowel syndrome.
CDC Discusses Similarities Between Long COVID and CFS
As featured on the CDC’s website, parallels between the post-viral syndrome long COVID and chronic fatigue syndrome are undeniably close. Both conditions share many of the same symptoms:
- Debilitating fatigue
- Disordered sleep and insomnia
- Difficulty thinking or concentrating ('brain fog')
- Joint or muscle pain
"The symptoms are similar to those reported by people with ME/CFS (myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome) and other poorly understood chronic illnesses that may occur after other infections. People with these unexplained symptoms may be misunderstood by their healthcare providers, which can result in a long time for them to get a diagnosis and receive appropriate care or treatment," says the CDC report. And, like CFS, "some people with post-COVID conditions have symptoms that are not explained by tests."
CDC Says About 20% Get Long COVID
More and more reports are emerging of patients who experience persistent symptoms or organ dysfunction after acute COVID-19, and the numbers of those who develop post-COVID conditions have increased. These survivors have twice the risk for developing pulmonary embolism or respiratory conditions. One in five survivors aged 18–64 years and one in four 65 and over experienced at least one condition that might be attributable to their previous COVID infection.
The CDC report assessed the absolute risk difference between patients who had been infected and those who hadn't but had developed one of the conditions, and found a 21% difference for those 18-64, and a 27% difference for those 65 and over.
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Time for Some Corny Jokes
My friend’s bakery burnt down yesterday. Now his business is toast.
The other day, my wife asked me to pass her lipstick, but I accidentally passed her a glue stick. She still isn't talking to me.
I couldn't figure out why the baseball kept getting larger. Then it hit me.
Why did it take so long for the pirates to learn the Alphabet? They got stuck at C.
My boss told me to have a good day, so I went home.
Someone stole my mood ring yesterday. I still don’t know how I feel about that.
Why did the golfer bring two pairs of pants? In case he got a hole in one.
I don't want to brag, but I finished the puzzle in under a week and it said 2-4 years on the box.
Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D. is one of the world's leading integrative medical authorities on fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. He is the lead author of eight research studies on their effective treatments, and has published numerous health & wellness books, including the bestseller on fibromyalgia From Fatigued to Fantastic! and The Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Solution. Dr. Teitelbaum is one of the most frequently quoted fibromyalgia experts in the world and appears often as a guest on news and talk shows nationwide including Good Morning America, The Dr. Oz Show, Oprah & Friends, CNN, and Fox News Health.