50 million Americans suffer from an autoimmune disease. That’s more people than those who suffer from cancer and heart disease combined. Some say 75% of those Americans suffering from autoimmune disease are women. We aren’t talking about it enough and when we are we are talking about it we are talking about it wrong. All of these people are being misled on their thinking and unless we change our thinking, the autoimmune disease numbers are going to continue to skyrocket. Autoimmune disease is not an immune issue.

There is nothing wrong with your immune system. There are over 100 autoimmune diseases that we hear about every day and these people are told their immune system is turning on their healthy cells. Does that make any sense? They are told their bodies are broken. They aren’t broken.

Do you have one of these autoimmune conditions? Or any of the other many autoimmune conditions?

These bodies aren’t broken and that’s not all they have in common. These conditions are all the same. They just impact different parts of the body. The commonality that they do have is that there has been a change to the immune system. Our bodies all have an immune system which is a special network of cells and functions to protect the body from foreign invaders. If your body is going after its own cells there is something wrong. Your body doesn’t make mistakes.

Your Immune System is Doing Its Job

What can be wrong? There are a lot of toxins and stresses that are inflicted on the body because of modern day life. It can be your food allergies, the GMOs that you eat, chemicals you put on your body from your beauty products, it can be mold in your house, and it can also be this big one- vaccines. All of these can damage, or change, the cells in your body causing the immune system to look at it as foreign invader.

Let’s take a look at celiac disease. Nobody’s immune system is meant to tolerate gluten. It causes damage and inflammation. When you have celiac it causes a trigger to the immune system when you eat gluten. When gluten-based products go into the stomach what happens? The tissue is damaged, and the body identifies it as a foreign invader. It goes, “holy mackerel you don’t belong here anymore.” The body didn’t make a mistake. The person who ate gluten did.

Stop Triggering the Immune System

Ingesting something you shouldn’t have triggers an immune response. If you stop eating gluten, then it will stop the damage and healing can happen. You don’t have to change the body. There is no magic medication that stops the damage or reverses celiac. You have to change what you are doing and stop beating up your body. All you have to do to stop the immune system from reacting is to remove the thing that is changing the cellular matrix of the GI tract. Guess what happens. Your immune system doesn’t go and attack the tissue.

This is the same for all autoimmune disease and it’s a different way of looking at supporting your body. A way of thinking that doesn’t just try to change the body with drugs because it thinks the body is making a mistake. You need to change what you are doing and remove the toxicity, so the body stops attacking.

The Typical Medical Approach Leaves You Sick

They say there is no cure for autoimmune but in my practice, we test people and remove the stresses that are damaging their body. I have seen those autoimmune markers go down. Their bodies start to heal! That isn’t the ending the majority of people get though. Do you know what the typical medical professional tells people who have autoimmune disease? That they have to be on medication for the rest of their life because there is no cure. Do you know what the drugs they give people for autoimmune disease do? The medications are drugs, like steroids, that suppress the immune system.

Does that sound good to suppress your immune system? Do you remember how we talked about your immune system protects your body from foreign invaders? Steroids suppress your immune system and one of the risks of continued use of steroids is cancer. Your body’s ability to fight foreign invaders has been removed. When you take steroids, you aren’t removing what is causing your body’s damage. You aren’t addressing what is causing a toxic response in your body and then you are disabling your body’s defense. That is not a long-term plan that leads to a quality life.

You Don’t Need to Change the Body

Autoimmune disease is not an immune issue. Your immune system is doing exactly what it is supposed to do. The body is designed to go after foreign invaders. Your thyroid can become a foreign invader. The Epstein-Barr virus can go into your healthy cells and change them. If that cell is now different then the body says that thyroid is not supposed to be there. It’s not an immune issue because it’s not attacking healthy tissue. Its attacking what’s not supposed to be there. Your body is smart. Do you think it is attacking cells to hurt you or to protect you? The immune system is working to protect your body! It is programmed for survival. It’s the same for all autoimmune diseases. As soon as you start to remove those stresses, toxins and triggers do you think your body will stop attacking? It sure will.

You need to take steps to remove the toxins that are changing your body and causing the immune response. So, the immune system can continue to protect you from foreign invaders. So while all autoimmune diseases are the same in the change in the immune system and trying to remove foreign invaders, not everyone or every autoimmune disease is the same. There are different toxins that alter the cells and different triggers for different people. You need to get tested by a proficient health care provider to get to the cause of what is triggering your immune system. It can be mold, food allergies, vaccines and other toxins.

Autoimmune Disease is Not and Immune Issue

Autoimmune disease is not an immune issue and yeah it gets me triggered. If we don’t change our thinking, autoimmune disease is going to continue to skyrocket. Because the thinking is flawed. When you see these people suffering like crazy and their doctors are giving them bad advice it is rally hard not to get triggered. We have heart enough to say enough is enough. I don’t want to see people managing their illness because that sets you up for a lifetime of illness. Change your results with a different approach.

Written by Dr. Patrick Flynn

To learn more check out Dr. Patrick Flynn’s Quick Tip on Autoimmune Disease:

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A study from Rice University predicts the flu vaccine for 2018- 2019 will have only a 20% effective rate. (1) That means if 10 people were going to get the flu and they were all vaccinated the number would be reduced to 8 people. How do you feel about them odds when stacked up against the contraindications and additives that you find in the flu vaccine? That flu shot effectiveness is not worth it!

Have you read our article on 5 research-based reasons not to get the flu shot? There are numerous reasons not to get the flu shot. When you get the flu shot they’re potentially injecting cell DNA, formaldehyde, and thimerosal (mercury) right into your blood along with egg proteins. I hope you aren’t allergic to eggs! You should also know some of the additives can attack your immune system and mess with your gut, leaving you at risk for a wide range of illnesses. But maybe you will be one of the 2 people out of 10 people who were going to get the flu who don’t get the flu. Does it seem worth it?

Why Is the Predicted Flu Shot Effectiveness So Low?

Why aren’t they getting better at making a flu shot that works? Well, you have to understand how they mass produce the flu shot to understand what could go wrong. The majority of flu vaccines are made using an egg-based manufacturing process. The vaccine virus is injected into fertilized hen’s eggs and then they incubate for several days so the virus can replicate. (2) While the virus is being produced in the eggs it must adapt to the environment it is growing in which can result in mutations that lower their effectiveness in humans.

A virus is very adaptable that’s why it can spread so fast. So, it grows different in eggs than it would in a human. The recent study found that changes in just two amino acids out of 300 could result in reducing the effectiveness of a vaccine by 50%. That can happen a lot in the days those vaccines are growing in eggs and happens to some strains of flu more than others. The study found those mutations impacted a strain of influenza that has reduced the vaccine’s effectiveness and is predicted to be circulating again this year which leads to their prediction of only a 20% flu shot effectiveness rate. (1)

Vaccines are horrible for your immune system and your neurology. With what we know, and their low efficacy, why would people continue to go get the shot? Don’t be fooled by how easy it is to access. It doesn’t mean you should take the risk, especially, when there are easier and safer ways to reduce your risk of getting the flu!

Choices for a Better Defense and Better Percentages

1 – Vitamin D Supplementation

It’s no coincidence that flu season hits when we are getting less sun because it means we are getting less Vitamin D, a hormone the body critically needs. Yeah, not many people know it’s a hormone not a vitamin! You can learn more in our article on Vitamin D. 75% of Americans are Vitamin D deficient because of all the time we spend inside. (3) One study found giving school children 1,200 IUs of Vitamin D3 reduced their risk of getting the flu by 42% compared to a placebo group. (4) Get outside and take a good supplement to really lower your risk!

2 – Power of Green Tea

Green tea is full of antioxidants and has been shown to kill the flu virus on skin. They also found drinking green tea can help prevent influenza. A study followed Japanese school children and found drinking 1-5 cups of green tea daily could reduce the incidence of flu by 40%. (5) Tea sounds better than a shot! Children who drank more tea were the least likely to come down with the flu. Drink up the tea!

3 – Regularly Seeing Your Chiropractor

Getting an adjustment is proactive support for your immune system. It helps to reduce stress by removing interference in the nervous system. Your immune system is directly connected to your nervous system, so making sure there is no interference is crucial to a strong defense to illness.

If your body has stress it’s fighting that instead of the virus you’re exposed to. Studies show that just 15 minutes after an adjustment white blood cells are increased. One study showed patients who received regular chiropractic treatments had a 200% immune aptitude over those who had never had chiropractic care. (6)

4 – Good Sleep

If you’re not getting enough sleep, you are increasing your chances for getting the flu. Those aren’t odds you want to increase! When you you’re sleep-deprived your t-cells go down and your cytokines go up setting the stage for you to be more susceptible to getting sick. Luckily, some people were willing to go the extra mile to show how this works.  153 men and women volunteered to participate in a unique sleep study that tells us a lot about the importance of sleep. For 14 days they reported their sleep patterns and then they were administered nasal drops containing the rhinovirus. Yeah, who signed up for that study!?! Participants who got less than 7 hours of sleep were almost 3 times more likely to come down with a cold than those who got 8 or more hours! (7)

5 – Try Echinacea

Echinacea doesn’t taste very good but it’s great at reducing symptoms and preventing flus and colds. One study analyzed 401 children who had an upper respiratory infection who were then treated with echinacea or a placebo over a 4-month period. The children who were treated with echinacea had a 28% reduced risk for another upper respiratory infection. (8)

6 – Cut the Sugar

The average American consumes 126 grams of sugar daily which is way more than the recommended cap of 25 grams. Why is this important? Sugar greatly suppresses your immune system by keeping white blood cells from doing their job. It has been shown that ingesting 100 grams of sugar (or a 1-liter bottle of soda) can reduce the ability of the white blood cells to kill germs by 40%. Sugar is everywhere, and it can help you get sick. To reduce your risk of getting sick find some tips to avoid sugar in our article, Sugar’s Bitter Aftertaste.

More Effective than Flu Shot and Less Risk

Are you still thinking of getting a flu shot this year? The risks associated with the flu shot don’t make it worth it. It’s not good when it’s really effective at 46% and it sure isn’t good with an effectiveness rate of 20%!

There are more effective ways to prevent the flu this year than the flu shot. This is just a sample of some of the ways you can boost your immune system. I also like medicinal mushrooms, garlic, silver hydrosol, essential oils, washing hands, and avoiding inflammatory foods. These are easy ways and washing your hands doesn’t even cost you anything!

There are many ways you can support your immune system to reduce illness. Adding 2.5 hours of vigorous exercise will reduce your chances of getting flu by another 10% according to an online poll. (9) Taking good care of yourself to avoid the flu and that doesn’t mean getting a flu shot. It’s not worth getting stabbed for a flu shot!

Written by Dr. Patrick Flynn

Resources

  1. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/04/180419131015.htm
  2. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/vaccine/how-fluvaccine-made.htm
  3. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/vitamin-d-deficiency-united-states/
  4. https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/91/5/1255/4597253
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21832025
  6. https://www.chiropracticcare.today/how-chiropractic-care-boosts-your-immunity/
  7. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/414701
  8. https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/acm.2005.11.1021
  9. https://www.womenshealthmag.com/fitness/a19941879/flu-prevention-workout/

This superfood is accustomed to adversity and is ready to take on your body’s stresses. Where other plants shy away from growing in difficult conditions, Maca does its best. It keeps growing in conditions with hail, frost, high altitudes, and prolonged droughts. This hardy root vegetable has grown high in the Andes Mountains under harsh growing conditions to become rich in nutrients and antioxidants that can help your body.

Peruvians have used it as food and medicine for thousands of years. They found it has many benefits and now the health world is catching on too. Maca is proving itself to all to be an amazing adaptogen. Adaptogens are herbs that help the body respond to stresses and support proper physiological function.  There are so many reasons to incorporate this amazing superfood into your diet, but we narrowed it down to five.

Want to know how it can help you get your maca on? Read on.

5 Awesome Maca Benefits

1 -Packed with Nutrients and Antioxidants

The best maca has lots of nutrients and antioxidants from growing in the hardy soil of the Andes mountains. It contains significant amounts of easily absorbable forms of calcium, potassium, and phosphorous. It contains a variety of 31 different trace minerals including iron, zinc, magnesium, manganese, sodium, and iodine.

There are almost 60 phytonutrients that help maca grow into a superfood that brings you amazing health benefits! (1) Maca has 20 amino acids including 8 essential amino acids. These amino acids help boost antioxidants glutathione and superoxide dismutase that fight free radicals and prevent cell damage. This comes in handy for the Maca Smoothie Bowlother amazing benefits! Read on to find out.

2- Boosts the Immune System

All those antioxidants and complex mineral compositions make maca a superfood powerhouse that has shown a great capacity for supporting the immune system. Maca increases white blood cells that are your protectors against foreign invaders. (2)

Research showed in test tubes that maca has antiviral capacity that can provide protection against the flu (3) It has great potential as a nutraceutical in the prevention of several diseases. (4) Already great reasons to have it in your diet! It’s also an anti-inflammatory food that also has been shown in studies to help in the prevention of cancer. (5) (6)

Those taking the Health-Related Quality of Life Questionnaire in Central Peruvian Highlands and ate maca had higher scores that those who didn’t eat maca. (7) Seems like an easy add for health.

3- Alleviates Menstrual Issues and Menopause

Maca has been used for thousands of years by Peruvians to help women with menstrual issues, hormonal imbalances, and menopausal symptoms. This great adaptogen helps women adapt to the monthly changes in their hormones and contains no plant hormones that can have damaging results. According to one study that looked at symptoms of menopause, after using maca for two months women reported a reduction in symptoms. (8) Check out this recipe for the Happy Hormone Chunky Monkey Smoothie.

4-Increased Fertility and Aphrodisiac

Maca has been called the Peruvian ginseng for good reason. Getting your maca on can be potent. When your hormones are supported so is your fertility, and maca can help with libido too! It’s been shown to increase libido by 180% and sperm count by 200%. (9) If your hoping for a baby, that libido will help you because it’s easier to get pregnant if you are in the mood for some lovin’. A review of 20 studies found that:

“Maca has high effectiveness in improving sexual function, increasing libido and improving erectile dysfunction; also helps reproductive health, increasing sperm count and sperm motility, enhances the anticancer action, favorable affects on menopause symptoms and improves inflammatory responses.” (10)

5- EnergyMore energy from maca

Incorporating maca into your diet has had immediate effects of increased energy for many. Legends say Incan warriors found the impacts on strength and endurance very useful. They ate it before battle. Later the Spanish Conquistadors found it so useful they demanded it as payment instead of gold. That makes the best maca powder today seem pretty inexpensive! Considering a pound of gold today is worth nearly $20,000. Now you can get maca shipped to you in two days for less than $20! It’s a deal.

A modern experiment tested rats given black maca and found that there was a delay in fatigue in forced swimming tests. Another investigation looked at trained cyclists over 14 days of maca supplementation and found improved performance (and self-reported increase in sexual desire!). (11) Go get it! See for yourself!

Get Your Maca On

Who wouldn’t be happier with more energy, supported hormones and more desire? It’s easy to incorporate into your diet to see how it can support your health. It has a mild nutty flavor that’s been described as earthy, malty or butterscotch. You can add this superfood to a smoothie, smoothie bowl, salad or this banana bread recipe.

This amazing superfood grows strong in a harsh environment to help you, and your body, handle stresses. Be sure you are getting it from a source that comes from the Andes Mountains. As demand has grown it has been produced in other locations but doesn’t have the same potential. Here’s our favorite.  Growing in harsh conditions makes the maca strong and helps you conquer the world.

Written By Dr. Patrick Flynn

Don’t worry the good stuff isn’t over. We have more! Check out Dr. Patrick Flynn’s Quick Tip and article on another favorite superfood, Goji Berries:

 

Resources:

(1) https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=-_etK2PJlkwC&oi=fnd&pg=PA4&dq=maca+nutrients&ots=pIOuSDaknJ&sig=BjTk5Y3GznLerrxX9Da5lbiaSGg#v=onepage&q=maca%20nutrients&f=false

(2)  https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S096399690700035X

(3) https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1995764514602686

(4)https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2012/193496/abs/

(5) https://pubs.acs.org/doi/full/10.1021/acs.jafc.5b00219

(6) http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/ben/acamc/2006/00000006/00000005/art00003

(7)https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=nVa9DgAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PA373&dq=maca+peruvian&ots=4r_ySJMlhL&sig=y9QO_FYlcabO12culcUD7gPAFlY#v=onepage&q=maca%20quality&f=false

(8) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3614596/

(9) https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=-_etK2PJlkwC&oi=fnd&pg=PA4&dq=maca+nutrients&ots=pIOuSDaknJ&sig=BjTk5Y3GznLerrxX9Da5lbiaSGg#v=onepage&q=maca%20nutrients&f=false

(10) https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/f150/36db1fe717ba337a59625e44c6be5b12602a.pdf

(11) https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378874109005728

Let’s talk poop! I know you all hate talking about poop. You will talk some crazy stuff but get all prissy when we get near the topic of poop. What!?!! I’m not going to make you touch it! The average daily poop is just under a pound. Not everyone poops everyday even though they should! So, that average means there are some big poopers out there. It all adds up to over 1 million tons of poop a day! With all this poop, we need to talk about it because it’s a big indicator of health.

A good poop is a sign of healthy digestive system and microbiome of gut bacteria and flora. Many of our health concerns start in our gut. 80% of your immune system is in your gastrointestinal tract. If you have a problem with inflammation, hormones, stress and many other concerns we are going to see signs of it in your gut. That’s why an allergy test and a stool test are some of the first tests I recommend to my patients.

What is poop?

First, we need to get something straight. Poop isn’t just what you ate today. Less than 10% of your poop is indigestible food matter like that corn you see in your poop. Overall, 75% of your poop is water and the other 25% is indigestible food, dead bacteria, fats, inorganic substances and proteins.

If it were just what you ate today- it wouldn’t tell us a whole lot, except what you ate. It would be easier to write a food diary than to watch the toilet. Poop is more than that! It’s the stuff left over from the digestive process and that’s why we can tell so much from it.

There are times when our poop speaks to us loudly. If we eat something we shouldn’t… then we feel the gurgle and we make a run for the toilet. A study found that “normal” poops aren’t all that common and that nearly half of the participants had less than optimal bathroom trips. (1) That means poop problems are all too common and we aren’t talking about it.

Sometimes these changes happen overtime and become our new “normal.” Just because something is common doesn’t mean it’s normal. So, you should always check the toilet bowl to see what your poop is trying to tell you.

You might know the basics of what’s going on with your poop long before we talk about it! There’s a lot your daily poop check can tell you. Take a look at the color, shape, frequency, smell, and buoyancy to learn a lot about your poop. Then follow up with a good stool test to learn even more. Keep me posted! I like poop talk.

Poop Check: What Does My Poop’s Color Tell Me?

Poop can come in lots of colors. It could be as simple as something we ate or something more serious. If you don’t think its something you ate, and rainbow poop is a regular occurrence, make sure to get yourself tested.

Brown: Brown poop is pretty standard for the world of poop. If your poop is a shade of brown you are doing good. The brown color comes from bilirubin, a substance from your liver, mixing with bile.

Green: Green is another common poop color. It can come from eating lots of veggies, chron’s disease and/or antibiotics. It also happens if your poop moves through the digestive tract too quickly. The bilirubin and bile didn’t have time to mix together so you get green.

Yellow: You are not pooping sunshine, and this could be a problem you should look into soon. It could mean you have a gallbladder problem, chronic pancreatitis, or celiac disease. Or you had too much Kool-aid. Lay off the artificial yellow foods and keep an eye on it.

Red: This can be an alarming shade to look at as you frantically try to remember if you had any beets or tomatoes. Blood in your stool is a reason to talk to your doctor, no matter how much you don’t want to talk about poop. It can be a sign of hemorrhoids, ulcerative colitis, inflammation, cancer and gastrointestinal bleeding. That doesn’t sound like something to ignore, does it?

Black: This color is also a sign of potential bleeding. It could mean bleeding in the upper gastrointestinal tract. It can also be from iron supplements, medicines, or foods like meat, blue berries and black licorice.

White or Grey: It can be surprising if your poop looks like a peeled banana! It’s not normal for poop to not have color! It can be from medications like anti-diarrheal medicine or it means there is a lack of bile in your poop which could mean a more serious problem.

Poop Check: What Does My Poop Shape and Consistency Tell Me?

Tiny Hard Lumps: This poop shape probably means you haven’t pooped in a while and have severe constipation. This is one of the most common poop problems. This isn’t good. Your poop is all dried up because its been sitting in your digestive tract too long. Talk to your doctor to make sure there are no underlying problems.

Lumpy, Compact Sausage: This is also the poop of a constipated individual. Keep an eye on your poop and make sure this isn’t your “regular.” Make sure you are getting enough fiber, exercise and water.

Cracked Snake: This is what a doctor likes to hear about. This is the kind of poop I would hope my patients have. Keep drinking water and getting exercise.

Smooth Torpedo: This is the perfect poop. This poop appears soft and smooth. Don’t touch it! Take a picture and be proud! You are eating well, exercising, drinking lots of water, taking care of your digestive tract and this poop is your trophy.

Soft lumps: You have some diarrhea. It could be a sign of inflammation, allergies or irritable bowel syndrome.

Very Soft with Jagged Edges: This is mild diarrhea and if it is constant could be a sign of a bigger problem.

All liquid: You have full blown diarrhea and your body is trying to evacuate something out. It could be a parasite, bacteria, or some sort of infection. If it is happening regularly, something is going on that you want to get checked out.

It could also be that you ate something you shouldn’t have, lactose intolerance or maybe that expiration date wasn’t as flexible as you thought. Make sure you are getting plenty of fluids.

Pencil Thin: This poop could be sign of a blockage or inflammation in your intestines. If this happens a lot get it checked out as it could be a tumor or other serious blockage.

Poop Check: What is My Poop Frequency Telling Me?

I want to hear my patients are pooping 2-3 times a day to know they have healthy guts. It is common for women to poop every other day. Common is not normal.

Imagine the fermentation that is happening as your poop is hanging around in your gut. Aloe, magnesium and diuretics can help alleviate the problem in the short term. That’s not the answer. You need to do a test to get to the bottom of it. Not doing anything can cause your gastrointestinal tracts to get worse over time because you are not addressing the cause. It could be infection or allergies. Stress can also contribute to constipation. Cortisol and adrenaline slow down digestions when you are in fight or flight mode. You won’t know what is impacting your bathroom frequency unless you get tested.

Poop Check: What Does My Poop Smell Tell Me?

It’s poop, it smells! That’s normal. Nobody has poop that smells like roses. If it starts to smell really, really rancid then that could be a severe gall bladder issue. It smells because you’re not breaking down the fat. It can also be a sign of infection like giardia. If your poop gets a really strong odor, tell your doctor your poop really stinks!

Poop Check: What Does My Poop Buoyancy Tell Me?

Poop should sink. Like a smooth torpedo ready to take off when you flush. If its not sinking that might mean you have too much gas in your digestive tract from some of the foods you ate. If it is happening often it could mean your body is not producing enough enzymes or it might mean something is causing your digestive tract inflammation. You need to get your allergies and stool tested.

Poop Check: Healthy Pooping for All

If everybody got an allergy and stool test it would bring them good poops and good health. Some of the greatest information comes from testing the stool because it tells us how the immune system is doing, and how your gut bacteria is performing its vital role in your immune system function. It also tells us how to deal with different infections.

Getting help for your gut will help your immune system, food digestion, and nutrition absorption which leads to optimal health. Not having a good gut can lead to inflammation, hormone problems, auto-immune disease and a host of other problems. Everybody should have healthy poops every day. So, do your poop check and don’t be afraid to talk poop!

By Dr. Patrick Flynn

Resources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1379343/pdf/gut00573-0122.pdf