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Thursday, April 12, 2018

Autoimmunity and Stress

There are more than 100 types of autoimmune diseases, including myasthenia gravis. These diseases are devastating in that they can attack anyone at any age, although the vulnerability to these autoimmune diseases increases with age; worse, there is no known cure, at least according to conventional medicine.

Knowing the causes of autoimmune diseases may help you prevent and fight against them.

The healthy human body is equipped with immunity to fight against viruses, bacteria, and parasites—in short, diseases. Unfortunately, this immunity, known as the immune system, may become compromised such that, instead of attacking the unwelcome foreign invaders to the body, it begins to attack the cells and tissues in the body itself. In a healthy individual, the immune defenses protect the cells from outside invaders. However, when a person develops autoimmunity, the immune system mistakenly attacks the body's own cells instead of protecting them.

The good news is that autoimmunity is present in everyone to some extent. The bad news is that autoimmunity can be triggered by many environmental, physical, as well as emotional factors, such that it can cause a broad spectrum of human illnesses, known as autoimmune diseases, which, according to modern medicine, has no cure.

Essentially, autoimmunity can affect almost any organ or body system. The exact problem you may have with autoimmunity depends on which body tissues are targeted by your immune system. For example, if your skin is targeted, you may have skin rashes, blisters, or color changes; if your thyroid gland is affected, you may feel extremely tired, sensitive to cold, and muscle aches; if your joints are attacked, you may have severe joint pain, stiffness, and loss of function, known as rheumatoid arthritis.

Stress plays a pivotal role in a compromised immune system. If you are living in a stressful environment, you may be at a high risk for developing an autoimmune disease down the road. As a matter of fact, stress is the underlying cause of many diseases, including cancer. The bottom line, try to live a stress-free life. It is not easy, but it is doable if you have the wisdom to let go of all your attachments to this material world. Surely, it is easier said than done, because we all have an ego that we want to enhance and protect. However, the reality is that our ego-self is not our real self; it is someone we wish we were, and in the process of expanding the ego, we create the stress that may lead to the development of an autoimmune disease.

Stephen Lau 
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