Stephen Lau's website to help you get the wisdom to live as if everything is a miracle.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Understanding Autoimmune Diseases

Understanding Autoimmune Diseases

There are more than 80 types of autoimmune disease, including the more common ones, such as multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes mellitus, rheumatoid arthritis, and myasthenia gravis, among others.

The immune system is your body’s most specialized defense mechanism to protect you from any foreign invaders, such as bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Because it protects you from diseases and infections, and keeps you in optimum health, the immune system requires an intricate network of optimum functioning of many different cells and organs in your body. To boost immune system, you must keep your cells and organs healthy. Cells make up your body organs. When cells die, your organs fail, disease sets in and health deteriorates, and you age and die.

As you age, your immune system also becomes weaker, as evidenced by the high incidence of influenza and pneumonia after age 25, not to mention among the elderly.

What is autoimmunity?

The immune system is created to protect you from diseases and infections. Unfortunately, sometimes the immune system may go awry and attack the body itself, instead of protecting it. These misdirected immune responses are referred to as autoimmunity. In other words, the immune system attacks itself in the form of autoimmune disease, which can affect many parts of the body, including the nerves, muscles, endocrine system (controlling the body’s hormones and other chemicals), and the digestive system. Essentially, autoimmunity can affect almost any organ or part of the body system. The exact type of autoimmune disease one may have as one continues to age depends on which body tissues that are being targeted by the immune system. For example, if the joints are attacked, severe joint pain, stiffness, and loss of joint function may occur.

Many of the diseases associated with autoimmunity are often chronic, requiring lifelong care and monitoring, and they tend to develop as aging continues. Therefore, it is important to enhance immune system against autoimmunity at any age.

Autoimmunity symptoms may vary according to the types of autoimmune disease. In addition, many autoimmune diseases do not show a clear pattern of disease symptoms. Furthermore, autoimmunity symptoms may also come and go. For these reasons, it is sometimes difficult to diagnose the type of autoimmune disease. Diagnosis, however, can usually be made by using medical history (the genetic factor), physical examination (obvious signs of physical and muscular weaknesses), and medical tests (blood sample for autoimmunity antibodies).

Who are at risk for autoimmunity?

As with any disease, there are risk factors associated with autoimmunity, as well as triggers of the development of an autoimmune disease.

Women are more susceptible to autoimmunity than men are. Autoimmune disease strikes women more than it strikes men, particularly women of working age and during their child-bearing years.

The genes of parents who have developed an autoimmune disease may increase the risk factor for autoimmunity.

Viruses, due to a weakened or compromised immune system, may also contribute to the development of an autoimmune disease.

What are the autoimmunity triggers?

The No.1 autoimmunity trigger is stress. Emotional stress, mental stress, and physical stress may trigger autoimmunity, in particular when the immune system is weak.

Other autoimmunity triggers may include behavior and wayward lifestyle, such as alcohol addiction and nicotine consumption.

How to enhance immune system?

Scientists have discovered that the healthy functioning of the immune system is dependent on your own behavior. In other words, the efficiency of your immune system depends on how well you live. More specifically, foods, herbs, and lifestyle factors all play a pivotal part in the health of your immune system. Therefore, only YOU can enhance immune system because only YOU are responsible for your own health.

We are living in a culture that relies on external means for healing, such as the use of pills, potions, and surgeries. What is missing in the Western medical system is the philosophy that the body is capable of protecting itself against any illness, as well as healing itself of the illness, and that the role of the physician is to promote the self-healing process of the patient to re-establish health and wellness. Without this missing link, the immune system becomes compromised and vulnerable.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© 2018 by Stephen Lau

Monday, March 19, 2018

My Newly Published Book: The Happiness Wisdom

I have just published my book: “The Happiness Wisdom”, which is a 161-page book on human wisdom based on ancient wisdom from the East and the West, conventional wisdom, and spiritual wisdom, which may all provide guidelines for choosing the happiness ingredients for your own happiness recipe. In addition, the book also provides real examples taken from real life, illustrating how these real people perceive their realities, and thus leading to their happiness or unhappiness.

Human happiness or unhappiness is no more than a perception of the human mind, based on an individual's own life experiences. You think, and your perceptions then become your "realities"; with profound wisdom, you can change how your mind processes your perceptions. Change your mind to change your realities, and live your life as if everything is a miracle! Your life journey is uniquely yours. Make your own happiness recipe from the happiness ingredients of ancient wisdom, conventional wisdom, and spiritual wisdom. Continue your life journey with your own happiness recipe.

Click here to find out more about the book.

Click here to get your digital copy, and here to get your paperback copy.

Stephen Lau

Thursday, March 15, 2018

The Importance of Natural Health

The Importance of Natural Health

If an individual is diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, most probably that individual will turn to Western medicine for help. Well, medicine is a broad term that includes different medical systems that have different approaches to human health, as well as diseases and disorders.

One of the most sophisticated medical systems in the world is Chinese medicine, which has been enhanced through thousands of years of experience and research. Its unique difference from Western medicine is that it focuses on "natural health" rather than on "healing" because Chinese medicine promotes natural health and overall wellness of an individual, as opposed to the focused approach of Western medicine in treating disease symptoms.

Undoubtedly, modern medicine is advanced in technologies and procedures in diagnosing diseases and disorders, as well as in treating their symptoms. However, modern medicine may not be efficacious in removing the causes of diseases and disorders, specially autoimmune diseases, such as myasthenia gravis. The explanation is that they do not have a natural approach to natural health, as evidenced by the overuse of chemicals in modern medicine.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), which has been around for thousands of years, has a more natural approach to health and healing. Unlike Western medicine, which focuses almost exclusively on specific organs, tissues, and body parts, Chinese medicine is holistic in that it focuses on balance and harmony of the body, the mind, and the spirit or soul. Accordingly, it does not treat just the disease symptoms, but also the underlying causes as well. To illustrate, Chinese medicine focuses on natural health, such as correct breathing to enhance and promote heart health and overall wellness.  In Western medicine, doctors will not tell you to breathe correctly unless you have respiratory problems.

As another illustration of the approach to natural health, according to Traditional Chinese Medicine, sunlight nourishes the brain because it not only gives you solar energy, but also heals and purifies your brain, as well as balances your whole body system. Western doctors, on the other hand, may probably ask you to pop in a vitamin D pill if you have calcium deficiency due to lack of sunlight.

Chinese medicine emphasizes the importance of using diet to promote natural health, in particular, the use of herbs as foods, such as the use of garlic and ginger to control blood pressure and cholesterol, to heal arthritis, to overcome nausea and chest congestion. Herbs are also used in tea, such as dried chamomile flowers to heal insomnia. Furthermore, herbs in the form of sensual herbal remedies, such as aromatherapy or hydrotherapy, can be inhaled through steam, hot baths, and foot soaks to relax the mind. The use of herbs as remedies attests to the holistic approach of Chinese medicine to natural health and healing.

The bottom line: given that there is no cure for autoimmune diseases, including myasthenia gravis, do have an empty mindset that there are natural cures, but they would take time and effort. Remember, nothing is set in stone.

Stephen Lau 
Copyright© 2018 by Stephen Lau

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Acidity and Human Diseases

Throughout your lifespan, your body cells replicate and rejuvenate for cellular health. However, cell replication and rejuvenation require an optimum environment, which is a balance of acid and alkaline in your body. When your body is too acidic, the tissues of your cells are forced to give up their alkaline reserves, and thus depleting them of alkaline minerals, which are the components of the tissues themselves.

Where does the acid come from?

Acidification may come from taking too much food that contains great amounts of acid, such as animal proteins and sugars. The sources of acidity from drinks are alcohol, coffee, sodas, and tea. Even tobacco smoke can cause acidification in the respiratory system.

How do foods cause acidification?

Your digestion of animal proteins, such as meat, eggs, and cheese, produces amino acids (containing acid minerals, such as phosphorus and sulphur) during digestion process, and uric acids during acidic degradation.

Your digestion of glucose may be adversely affected by poor metabolism, and thus turning originally alkaline foods into acidic ones.

Acid foods are citrus fruits and berries, unripe fruits, and acidic vegetables (such as tomato and watercress), honey, and vinegar. However, acidic foods may be alkalizing, if your body metabolism is efficient and capale of metabolizing and oxidizing the acid.

Remember, always eat the fruit, instead of drinking its juice. The reason is that alkaline minerals are present in the pulp, and the juice without the pulp is therefore more acidic.

Alkalizing foods include green vegetables, potato, and dried fruits. Dried fruits are alkalizing because much of the acid has been removed through the drying process.

For optimum health and wellness, you need to eat a well balanced diet. Too much acid, in particular, is a cause of disease for the following reasons:

(1) The corrosive nature of acid irritates your body organs, causing inflammation, which is often a source of pain, and hardening of tissues, such as your arteries.

(2) Acidic sweat may cause skin allergy, especially in areas where sweat seems to accumulate, such as your armpits.

(3) Acidic urine may also cause infection and inflammation in the urinary tract, resulting in bladder problems.

(4) Acidification produces free radicals, affecting your immune system.

(5) Too much acid reduces the activity of enzymes in your body, and thus resulting in improper digestion and poor assimilation of nutrients.

The optimum acid and alkaline levels (known as the pH scale, which is between one and fourteen, with seven being neutral) should be between 7.30 and 7.40. Deviations above or below this range can signal potentially disease symptoms.

Just remember that cancer cells are acidic. Read my book: Congratulations. You've Got Cancer. It will change the way you look at cancer.

Acid Alkaline Diet provides excellent information on how to maintain a balance of acid and alkaline in your blood, body tissues, and body fluids for optimum health and wellness.

Stephen Lau
Copyright © 2018 by Stephen Lau

Monday, March 5, 2018

Walk to De-Stress

To be diagnosed with an autoimmune diseases is not only devastating but also stressful, especially if the doctor tells you that there is no cure, except controlling the disease symptoms with steroid medications.

The first and foremost thing to do is to de-stress yourself so that you will have clarity of mind to deal with the health issue and its related implications in your life.

Walk to de-stress as if everything is a miracle. Yes, walking can de-stress you, provided you are mindful of how you walk.

Walking is one of the most common exercises because it is simple and easy to do—you just walk. You may walk to your workplace or any destination, or you simply walk as a physical exercise. But walking is more than a physical activity that promotes your physical health; walking can enhance your mind power to help you cope with your everyday stress—if you have the know-how.

Most of us just walk with our feet, but without fully utilizing the exercise of walking to benefit the mind, because walking is so automatic and mechanical that we no longer pay any attention to our walking. In other words, we don’t concentrate when we are walking or doing the exercise of walking. We are so caught up with our destination—such as attending a meeting, or going shopping—that we have no awareness of the process of walking. Many of us have put our feet on automatic pilot, and we just walk like robots.

The human brain is the hardware of your whole being. Your brain is responsible for your stress. It is all in your mind. You are what you think, and you have become what you think—or the realities you have created for yourself. Stress is all in your perceptions; what is stress to you may not be stress to others. Therefore, manage your stress through you mind. You control your own thinking, and your brain creates your own world: how you live your life, and how happy you are, and how you see your everyday stress. And you are responsible for how you feel—even the stresses in life.

This is what happens when stress occurs. You have a thought (usually a negative one) about the stressful event or situation. Your thought sends electrical signals to your brain, which releases chemicals, and you become aware of your own thinking. No matter what you think, your thought is real to you, and must be treated as real. The goal is not to discard that thought or to distract yourself from that thought, but to change your perception of that thought.

So, how to walk to de-stress?

When walking, first and foremost, pay attention to your breaths: your breathing in and breathing out, as well as the intensity of your breaths. Next, pay attention to the sensations of your body, such as the feelings of your soles and toes as your shoes touch the ground. Also, pay attention to the shifting of your body weight as you move from your right foot to the left foot. Just be mindful of what is happening to your body as you are walking. The objective of mindfulness walking is to stop your thinking mind for deep relaxation to de-stress yourself. It is like walking meditation

All in all, use meditation to give clarity of mind, and use mindfulness to enhance your walking exercise/

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Beware of Your Medications

According to the Western medicine, there is no known cure for myasthenia gravis, or any autoimmune disease, for that matter. That is not surprising, given the complexity of autoimmunity and the approach of conventional medicine to disease treatment with drugs. Western medicine uses pharmaceutical drugs to deal with the various symptoms of different autoimmune diseases by suppressing the overactive immune system. But an autoimmune disease involves not just the mind, but also many different organs of the body—in fact, the whole body, or the personality of the individual afflicted with myasthenia gravis.

Albert Einstein once said: "There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle." Believing that you can cure your myasthenia gravis is living your life as if everything is a miracle. Yes, self-healing of myasthenia gravis is a miracle of life. Even Western doctors are taught in medical schools that illnesses are self-limiting—that is to say, we can get better on our own. If that is the case, then self-healing is not a myth, but a reality—and a miracle at that.

Steroid therapy is the use of steroid medications, also known as corticosteroids, to treat many types of autoimmune disease, including myasthenia gravis, lupus, and multiple sclerosis, and other disorders, such as asthma. Steroid medications include medications like prednisone and cortisone. Corticosteroids can be taken orally or in other ways, such as by inhalation.

According to Western medicine, steroid medications are medically necessary to treat many conditions and diseases. But steroid medications have many major effects on the metabolism of calcium and bone, which may lead to severe bone loss, osteoporosis, and bone fractures. As a matter of fact, high dosage of steroid medications can cause rapid bone loss, up to as much as 15 percent per year.

If you are on steroids, you are more than twice as likely to have a fracture on the spine or the ribs as compared to a person not taking steroids. In addition, there are even different rates of bone loss among individuals on corticosteroids. Bone loss occurs most rapidly in the first six months after starting oral steroid medications. After 12 months of chronic steroid use, there is a slower rate of bone loss. Fracture risk generally increases as the daily doses of steroid medications increase, although not all patients who take steroid medications experience bone loss.

Other adverse side effects of steroid medications are elevation of blood pressure, weight gain, decreased resistance to infection, indigestion, thinning of skin, and potential development of cataracts and glaucoma.

Prior to the use of steroid medications, you should consider, especially if your myasthenia gravis is related only to ocular muscles:
  • Can steroids improve or eradicate your symptoms?
  • Are there other safer forms of therapy to treat your myasthenia gravis?
  • Does the severity of the symptoms warrant the risk of steroid adverse effects?
  • Do steroids reduce the chance of a relapse?
It stands to reason that the high risk of taking pharmaceutical drugs to treat only the symptoms without producing a cure may not warrant the continuation of the medications over a long period.

The bottom line: Set your goal to ultimately stop all medications. It may take weeks, months, or even years, but that should be your ultimate goal in your health pursuit.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© 2018 by Stephen Lau