Essential Oils’ and Hydrosol’s Organ of the Month (October Slash November): Autoimmune System
“Cooking is love made visible.” – Unknown
Without much surprise, we will be spending today discussing autoimmune disorders per the schedule articulated the week before last. There’s a lot of information to swallow up which is why, yet again, we find ourselves behind. Not to fret! We will have plenty of time in the future to continue talking about various essential oils and fun facts. Getting into specifics, the focus of this blog post will be directed towards Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyalgia. These two, which last post highlighted, can be assisted with our very own essential oils, Ginger and Sweet Marjoram. Oh! And don’t forget our new(er) topic, H-Y-D-R-O-S-O-L-S. Rosemary hydrosol is also a helper in calming the side effects of these coupled disorders! Now, let’s get to it! To avoid being too redundant, we will spend time discussing these disorders so that I can offer other reasons towards becoming a more holistic foodie, and in turn, help you cultivate a better understanding of how to nourish your body with simple essential oils and hydrosols.
So, question Suzy, “What is an autoimmune disorder?”
Autoimmune disorders are diseases resulting from a faulty immune reaction where, generally speaking, antibodies are produced and act against the body’s various tissues. The most common of these disorders are as follows: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Fibromyalgia, Lupus, Celiac, Sjogren’s Syndrome, Polymyalgia Rheumatica, Multiple Sclerosis, Ankylosing Spondylitis, Type 1 Diabetes, Alopecia Areata, Vasculitis, Temporal Arthritis. We don’t have nearly enough time to go over all of these. So, like I mentioned before, we are going to focus on a couple and go forward from there.
So, again, another question Suzy, “What is Rheumatoid Arthritis, and what in the world is Fibromyalgia?”
Rheumatoid Arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disorder affecting many joints, including the hands and feet. In severe cases it may attack internal organs, but it tends to target joint tissue. Symptoms of this disorder include joint pain, swollen joints, fever, limping, polyarthritis, loss of range of motion, tenderness in joints, stiffness in joints, fatigue, redness at joints, nodules or other deformity, joint warmth, and anemia.
Fibromyalgia is a common chronic disorder defined by its extensive pain with circulated tenderness. Hey, look to the roots of the word! F-I-B-R-O is latin for fibrous tissue, M-Y-O is Greek for muscle, and A-L-G-I-A is greek for pain. Sounds like a basket of fun! Ha, not. That said, many people wonder whether or not Fibromyalgia is really an autoimmune disorder. In that line, it is considered an arthritis-related condition. It DOES NOT cause damage to the joints, muscles, or other tissues. It DOES cause inflammation in the areas affected. It CAN cause significant pain and fatigue. This inevitably interferes with a person’s ability to complete daily tasks, and with that said, because it is thereby a rheumatic condition, it does impair the joints, muscles, and surrounding tissues.
Despite paralleling qualities, these two disorders remain different. Let’s delve a little deeper into that statement. While inflammation may be present with both disorders, Fibromyalgia DOES NOT show inflammation in your joints, muscles, and/or tissues, and results in NO damage to joints, muscles, and/or tissues. On the other hand, Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) DOES damage your joints, muscles, and/or tissues because there is inflammation present in those areas. That being said, while RA does cause damage, its pain characteristics ebb and flow while Fibromyalgia results in chronic pain if rheumatic qualities appear. RA is also a progressive disorder whereas Fibromyalgia is episodic. If you’re not already confused, I am, ha! Regardless, there are some more quirks about both.
Fibromyalgia is inflammation that results from an abnormal immune system response. This is why I placed it amongst other autoimmune disorders. However, Fibromyalgia has no test to determine its presence. The only way to diagnose this disorder is if RA has been ruled out. RA on the other hand can be detected by way of a doctor checking for swelling, redness, and warmth in the joints. Furthermore, blood tests that detect elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rates or C-reactive proteins can point towards rheumatoid factors and anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide antibodies. X-rays can also track progression of the disorder while MRI’s and ultrasounds are able to test its severity.
So now with all this information at our fingertips, the remaining question is, “Suzy, can these conditions be cured?”
Unfortunately, according to multiple sites and sources, no, they cannot be cured. Rather, they can only be treated. There is extensive evidence suggesting that Fibromyalgia can be placed in a remission state through a clean diet. HEY-OOO. You’ve come to the right place! The trick? Change your diet towards building food intake as to help boost and build up the system while simultaneously applying a balanced diet program. Concentrate on a lifestyle primarily built on 90% plant based with lean/clean organic animal proteins and you’ve set yourself up for success! As for RA, following this same diet direction and working with one’s doctor can assist a person in going longer without flare-ups and reduce their pain.
There you go! That’s about all the information I have to impart on you today. As a wrap up, check back on previous posts and continue to find ways to incorporate some daily essential oils into your diet and continue fighting to eat cleaner! I can say without hesitation that these two in tandem will make you feel as if you can conquer anything!
Oh, I lied, last statement: I’ll be taking the time this week, or at least by next Wednesday to delve into our next topic “Balancing Blood Sugar.” There’s going to be a lot of goodies, so don’t miss out and tune in.
~ Suzy Brown, Personal Chef & Nutrition Consultant ~