This page is all about how to best take care of ourselves. A part of self care is self reliance and responsibility. Of course we need others for a myriad of things, from socializing and emotional support to affection. But it is equally important to know ourselves and know at least a few ways in which we can sustain a healthy mind and body. Not everything requires a doctor or a prescription. Some topics I will share links and others I will write and others I will post a video. It's been two years of COVID. I haven't heard very much from the media on supporting our immune system. I've been thinking a great deal about behaviors that do just that. Here are some links I've found on the topic.
From the Food Revolution Network: 6 Foods to Eat and 3 Foods to Avoid to Help Your Body Fight Autoimmune Disease and Excessive Inflammation. Once you've opened the link, scroll to the bottom for research links on the topic.
Role of “Western Diet” in Inflammatory Autoimmune Diseases
Arndt Manzel,1 Dominik N. Muller,2 David A. Hafler,3,4 Susan E. Erdman,5 Ralf A. Linker,1 and Markus Kleinewietfeld3,4,6
Developed societies, although having successfully reduced the burden of infectious disease, constitute an environment where metabolic, cardiovascular, and autoimmune diseases thrive. Living in westernized countries has not fundamentally changed the genetic basis on which these diseases emerge, but has strong impact on lifestyle and pathogen exposure. In particular, nutritional patterns collectively termed the “Western diet”, including high-fat and cholesterol, high-protein, high-sugar, and excess salt intake, as well as frequent consumption of processed and ‘fast foods’, promote obesity, metabolic syndrome, and cardiovascular disease. These factors have also gained high interest as possible promoters of autoimmune diseases. Underlying metabolic and immunologic mechanisms are currently being intensively explored. This review discusses the current knowledge relative to the association of “Western diet” with autoimmunity, and highlights the role of T cells as central players linking dietary influences to autoimmune pathology.
Autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), type 1 diabetes (T1D), and psoriasis (Ps) are a heterogeneous set of diseases that share common hallmarks including multifactorial aetiologies, involvement of T cell-mediated autoimmune pathomechanisms, and a chronic clinical course that often requires life-long disease management. Genetic factors clearly predispose to the development of inflammatory autoimmune diseases [1, 2], but a relatively low concordance rate for most of the diseases between monozygotic twins  suggests environmental factors as important triggers of disease. This view is corroborated by the striking increase of autoimmune diseases in recent decades, whereas the genetic basis in affected populations has remained arguably constant . Notably, there is a high prevalence in Western societies and established market economies as opposed to a lower prevalence in the Eastern world and developing countries [4, 5]. It is of interest that there are also some high prevalence areas today that display a stable or even slightly declining occurrence of some autoimmune diseases [6, 7], while there is certainly a steep incline in former low prevalence regions [8–11]. The trend towards a higher prevalence often coincides with a high pace of socio-economic improvement and westernization in these countries [4, 5]. There are multiple explanations of how the “Western lifestyle” favors the development of autoimmunity. The hygiene hypothesis states that high standards of hygiene and good health care reduce the burden of infections, but can also limit exposure to pathogens that are potentially beneficial for proper function of the immune system [4, 5, 12]. Psychosocial stress generated by high demands on productivity, as well as smoking and alcohol consumption, may be additional lifestyle-associated risk and severity factors for autoimmune diseases [13–15]. Finally, lack of physical activity in combination with excess calorie intake and frequent consumption of ‘fast food’ causes a high prevalence of obesity in developed societies . Obesity in turn predisposes to metabolic and cardiovascular disease , and it is becoming increasingly clear that the dietary habits in Western societies (“too much”, “too fatty”, “too salty”) and a high body mass index (BMI) also constitute risk factors for autoimmune diseases . In this review, we briefly summarize the evidence provided by epidemiological and experimental studies linking nutrition to autoimmunity. Exploring possible mechanisms, we then discuss the nexus of nutrition, gut mucosal immunity, and systemic autoimmune responses. Here, T helper cells emerge as central players linking dietary perturbations to the modulation of autoimmune pathology.
The rest of this publication and references can be found at the link below.
Future topics: Sleep; time and position, how much water do we need, the benefits of stretching, relieving stress, exercise, diet, joy.