Epstein-Barr virus protein can “switch on” risk genes for autoimmune diseases

I just wanted to share with you this new piece of research that I have come across….

Basically, it is saying that if you carry the genes for autoimmune diseases (and many of them – celiac disease for example) are genetic, then if you contract Epstein-Barr (also known as the kissing disease, mononucleosis or glandular fever) the virus can “turn on” those autoimmune disease genes and result in the development of an autoimmune disease.  This “turning on” of genes is called Epigenetics which is a new and emerging branch of science.  Basically certain environmental conditions (could be external environment or internal environment) can trigger the genes to start expressing whatever they are coded to express.  This can result in disease states such as the autoimmune diseases.

Well I guess that this explains why I developed celiac disease. I am heterozygous for all of the celiac genes (this means I have a copy of them each of my chromosomes), and I had EBV as a young adult when I was in my very early 20’s… Interestingly, I started developing the symptoms of a gluten sensitivity in my early 20’s as well, a couple of years after my EBV Dx…. but it was not diagnosed as full celiac disease until I was in my 40’s. That means I was probably suffering from it for a good 20 years as an undiagnosed celiac, which explains the extensive gut-damage that they found at the biopsy.

“the researchers found that EBNA2 [a protein produced by EBV] and its related transcription factors activate some of the human genes associated with the risk for lupus and several other autoimmune diseases, including multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, type 1 diabetes, juvenile idiopathic arthritis and celiac disease.”

In other words for me, celiac disease was a foregone conclusion….

And it was probably the damage to my gut-lining that resulted from the Celiac diseases, that lead to my development of the dairy (Casein) allergy in my mid 30’s. Not only is casein cross-reactive with gluten, but the damage to my gut lining would have lead to the partially digested casein molecules leaking into my blood triggering the autoimmune response. And it is probably also responsible for my sensitivity to nightshades as those proteins will also leak through the damaged gut lining.

Now it all makes sense.

But this also demonstrates the importance of a few things:

  1. if you have a close family member with Celiac disease or another autoimmune disease, get genetically tested. .A close family member is defined as a sister, a brother, a child or a parent.  (Please my children take NOTE of this!  I have celiac disease which increases your susceptibility to getting it yourself!).  These tests are non-invasive, they are a simple blood test that can be ordered at the same time that you have blood taken at your annual health check – just ask your doctor to include them.  For the genetic testing you can also use companies as simple as 23-and-me or Ancestry genetics that use saliva or mouth scrapings, and then run the results through a program like genetic genie (there are others too).
  2. if you find that you have the genes for any autoimmune disease (this includes celiac disease) get regular blood tests (best done at the time of your annual bloodwork) to test for autoimmune antibodies specific to the AI disease that you carry the genes for.  If you test positive for the autoimmune antibodies, it means you have developed the autoimmune disease and then you can get treatment for it before it becomes problematic.  In the case of Celiac disease, this would mean eliminating all gluten in everything you eat to avoid further gut-lining damage.
  3. If you have the genes for an AI disease but not the antibodies, get tested regularly for the antibodies (at your annual blood check) to monitor if you develop the antibodies which would signify that you have an AI disease.
  4. If you develop EBV (Epstein-Barr) in any of its forms (kissing disease, Mononucleosis, Glandular Fever etc,) even if it was in the past, get tested for autoimmune antibodies in your blood work.

And if you test positive for all of the above, consider AIP (the Autoimmune Protocol) to help control the development of the symptoms and manage it.   The best jThs would be in addition to any recommendations that your doctor makes.   AIP is not an “instead of what the doctor says” kind of protocol, it is an “in addition to what your doctor says” protocol.

Canada Health Regulation of Natural Health Products

This is a VERY important post for ALL of my Canadian followers, and even for those of you who have Canadian friends and family members.

Health Canada is proposing to regulate “Natural Health Products” in much the same way that they regulate drugs.  But the big problem is that natural health products are NOT drugs!

What they are proposing is a 3 stage regulation process with any products that have not undergone rigorous scientific testing to prove their effectiveness being relegated to the highest category, where they need to be prescribed by a medical doctor.

This will affect a very wide range of natural health products from vitamin and mineral supplements, other dietary supplements (probiotics, fish-oils, digestive enzymes and more), homeopathic remedies, herbal remedies, traditional Chinese remedies and even Essential Oils.

So what this means to us, as the consumer is that a very large number of these products will disappear from the shelves and we will not be able to purchase them.  Some will remain (if they do the expensive testing that Health Canada  requires – costs that they will pass on to us, the consumer), so the cost of the product will rise astronomically.  Others will only be available with a Dr’s prescription – can you imagine going to your already overworked Dr to get a prescription to buy fish-oil supplements?

What this is going to achieve is to take away our rights as a Canadian citizen to decide on our own health matters, to make decisions as to what supplements we want to take, what route we want to take with our health.  It will reduce our options leaving us no choice but to buy what “Big Pharma” produces in the way of drugs, because there will be no natural options available to us.

And for those of you who love essential oils (as I do!), you may well find that you cannot buy your essential oils – they are not specifically mentioned in this proposal, but they are just as “unproven” as homeopathy and many of the other products that are specifically mentioned.  Can you imagine going to your Dr and saying “I want you to prescribe me Lavender Essential Oil to help me sleep?”…  First of all, he/she is most likely not going to know what Lavender Essential Oil is, he/she will not know the appropriate dosage of it (so how will it be prescribed!) and then you would have to find a pharmacy that carries it…  That is just NOT going to happen!  What the Dr will do instead is write you a prescription for one of “Big Pharma’s” sleeping meds…  because that is what they are taught about in med school.

Should Canada’s already overworked Dr’s really have this kind of workload put on them in addition to dealing with already sick people?  NO!

So, what can we do?  Well first of all, there is a simple way to send a letter to your MP expressing your concern about this.  Go to THIS link.  All you have to do is follow the simple instructions and the letter will be automatically be sent to your MP.

Then, if you are Canadian, PLEASE share this on your Facebook feed and tell all your friends and family.  And if you are not Canadian, please share this with all your Canadian friends!

For the few of you who actually live in Calgary, you can also visit Community Natural Foods as they have a TON of information about this and postcards that you can fill in that will be sent to Parliment at no cost to you.

This is the only way we can protect our rights to be able to make decisions about what health care products we use and what we put in our bodies.

If enough people send letters to their MP’s saying that they do not agree, this will not go through.

We can stop this happening!

A Colouring Book For Children

I have written in the past about colouring books for adults, but I wanted to share with you this post that I have found about an innovative, new colouring book aimed at children.

supestrong1

Created by a Swedish Mom, this colouring book is loosely based on Disney’s Princesses.  But instead of conforming to the “normal” gender stereotypes where the female characters are beautiful and the male characters are strong and heroic, she decided to take a new approach.

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These Princesses are all strong, “kick-ass” females.

The artwork is fun and modern, and the message is one of empowerment and gender equality.

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This colouring book is not just for girls though.  The creator hopes that it will be enjoyed by girls, boys and even adults.

And the best bit is that it is free to download from her website!

 

Only 1 More Day To Go – Autoimmune Wellness Bundle

There is only one more day left on this fantastic offer…. so if you have not yet taken a look and have not bought your bundle do so NOW!

This fantastic deal is only available until May 25th, 2015, but it is one that you simply do not want to miss…

AIPbundle1

Over 40 AIP resources, coupons and deals for only $39 (Total value is $500+)

Included in this bundle:

15 AIP Cookbooks and Meal Plans (total value $188)

15 Lifestyle and Exercise Guides (total value $207)

15 Beyond the Basics e-books (total value $136)

9 Brand-new e-books

Best of AIP Cookbook, exclusive to this bundle!

26 Discount Codes for AIP-friendly vendors and products

It doesn’t matter if you are new to the AIP lifestyle or if you are an “old-hand” – there is something in this bundle for everyone.

If you are not familiar with e-book bundles, they typically include an assortment of related e-books as well as discount codes, all for a huge discount and sold for a limited time. This is the very first bundle to focus on exclusively autoimmune protocol-friendly resources. And it contains every single one that you will need.

Click here to view more details

But what ever you do, don’t delay as this bundle is only available until midnight on the 25th May 2015…

You know you will regret it if you don’t take advantage of this amazing deal!

The Autoimmune Wellness Bundle – Fantastic Resource!

I am really excited to share this amazing deal with you – A bundle of Autoimmune (AIP) ebooks and other resources.

This fantastic deal is only available until May 25th, 2015, but it is one that you simply do not want to miss…

AIPbundle1

Over 40 AIP resources, coupons and deals for only $39 (Total value is $500+)

Included in this bundle:

  • 15 AIP Cookbooks and Meal Plans (total value $188)
  • 15 Lifestyle and Exercise Guides (total value $207)
  • 15 Beyond the Basics e-books (total value $136)
  • 9 Brand-new e-books
  • Best of AIP Cookbook, exclusive to this bundle!
  • 26 Discount Codes for AIP-friendly vendors and products

It doesn’t matter if you are new to the AIP lifestyle or if you are an “old-hand” – there is something in this bundle for everyone.

If you are not familiar with e-book bundles, they typically include an assortment of related e-books as well as discount codes, all for a huge discount and sold for a limited time. This is the very first bundle to focus on exclusively autoimmune protocol-friendly resources. And it contains every single one that you will need.

Click here to view more details

But what ever you do, don’t delay as this bundle is only available until midnight on the 25th May 2015…

You know you will regret it if you don’t take advantage of this amazing deal!

Wild And Raw – Calgary

I went down to Wild and Raw in Kensington (Calgary) today because I had to meet someone.

I had never been there before, but I knew that they at least served bone broth (because the person I was meeting was the person who supplies their grass-fed beef bones that they use in the broth (Rachel from Trail’s End Beef).

When I walked in to Wild and Raw, the first thing they did was ask how they could help me.  I asked for advice, explaining that I could not have anything with dairy, gluten, soy, seeds or nuts (I forgot to mention nightshades)…  and they came up with a few recommendations.

They have a pretty extensive menu – lots of juices, lots of smoothies (that they call shakes), their “Euphoric Elixirs” (this category includes Bulletproof Coffee, Bone Broth and Veggie Broth among others), and even Kombucha “on-tap”.

But by this time, I had already decided that I was going to try the bone broth despite the fact that it contained “spices” (which almost certainly included nightshades).  And as I have never reacted to nightshade spices in the past, I decided to heck with it…  even if I am supposed to be doing an AIP-exclusion “reset”, I was still having that broth!

And let me tell you that broth was delicious!  Gingery, spicy, and you could just tell that it was doing you good!

I would recommend it to anyone unless they really do react to nightshade spices…

Wild and Raw is quite a small place – only half a dozen tables or so (I did not count them), and it had only been open less than 30 minutes when I walked in, so it was empty…  but after about 5 minutes Rachel, her husband Tyler, her 2 children and a friend all came in….

It was a really friendly place and I will most definitely be going back!

And I would recommend it to anyone, whether they are Paleo, AIP or whatever they eat.  This is a really nice place that has something for everyone.  (They even do a vegetarian broth for the non-meat-eaters…)

Next time, I want to try their Kombucha…

Paleo TV

The Paleo Mom (Dr Sarah Ballantyne) has just announced that she has been making a piolot for a TV show – Paleo Bites.

She is asking everyone to contact their TV networks with the aim of getting this really exciting show on mainstream TV…

Call To Action: Let’s get Paleo Bites on TV!

I am super excited about this…  Wonder if it will be shown in Canada…

Paleo Autoimmune Protocol

For the last few months, I have had some stubborn patches of eczema on my face that were refusing to clear up.  They were not too bad – mostly on my forehead where they were hidden by my hair, so I was not too bothered about them.

But over the Christmas break, it flared up in a BIG way.  I suspect it was as a result of a combination of stress (because lets face it, Christmas is a stressful time) and not eating a perfectly Paleo diet.

I ended up with really sore, itchy, scaley and red patches not only on my face, but on other parts of my body as well.  My entire forehead was affected, there was one on the right side of my nose, and two patches on either side of my chin.  the back of my neck was affected, and there were several patches on my torso as well.  All of them were (are!) maddeningly itchy and they look AWFUL!

As a result of this, I decided to try the autoimmune protocol in an attempt to clear it up (eczema can be considered a symptom of autoimmune disease).

So  what is the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol?

The Paleo Autoimmune Protocol is a variant of the Paleo diet designed to combat autoimmune diseases and disorders.  It takes the basic Paleo diet and goes one step further, cutting out anything that can cause gut irritation and inflammation in your body.

In a nutshell, you permanently eliminate

  • all processed foods
  • all refined oils
  • all refined/processed sugars
  • all grains
  • all legumes
  • soy

The in addition to that, for 30 days you eliminate

  • eggs
  • all nightshades including nightshade spices
  • nuts
  • seeds (including spices that are seeds)
  • dairy
  • coffee
  • chocolate
  • alcohol

The foods in this last group are eliminated for 30 days and then gradually reintroduced.  All the foods in the second group are common allergens, and are often foods that will either irritate the gut or cause inflammation in the body.  In addition, some of them can have a cross-reaction with gluten, so if you are gluten intolerant, you can also be intolerant to these foods as well (this is especially true of coffee and chocolate).

So essentially, the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) is an elimination diet.  The purpose of eliminating those foods in the second group is to allow your body to clear them out of your system.  That way, when you reintroduce them your body will react if you have an intolerance, and then you can permanently eliminate them from your diet.  It is rare that someone is intolerant to everything in the second group.

In addition to cutting out the above foods, you should also include foods that will help heal your gut (leaky gut is a common problem for people with autoimmune diseases).  These foods include:

  • pastured meats (beef, chicken, turkey, duck, bison) and wild meats such as venison
  • organ meats from pastured animals
  • bone broth
  • wild caught fish and shellfish
  • healthy fats (animal fats from pastured animals, coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil)
  • organic fruits and vegetables
  • fermented foods (sauerkraut, kombucha, water kefir, apple cider vinegar)

More information on the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol can be found on these sites

There are a lot more links than these if you put “Paleo Autoimmune Protocol” into Google, but those above should get you started.

 

Useful links

For the ladies I was talking to last night who asked me for a bunch of links (you know who you are!)….

These are all the ones I remember saying I would post.  If I have missed any and you remember please let me know.  Also, I will add any I remember later on.

F.lux – the program/app that reduces blue light emissions from your electronics (this does not work on android phones btw…  search for an app called “Good Sleep” if you have a samsung phone… other androids you may need to search for a different app that does the same thing)

Marks Daily Apple – great paleo/primal site.  regular updates and some really informative forums

IMPG forum on facebook  – I am a member here, very useful.

100 days of real food – not paleo, but is real food…  take one of their pledges…

Food babe – if this site does not put you off eating processed food I would be very surprised!

WAPF – the site inspired by Weston A Prices’s research and the Nourishing Traditions cookbook…  real, traditional food.  Not paleo, but still good!

I am sure there are more but I cannot remember them right now…  lmk if there are any other links I should have posted and I will update the post with them.

 

HTH ladies 🙂