Tuesday, December 5, 2017

10 Health Benefits of Green Tea

Why should you drink green tea?
I only drink water and green tea. I love a cup of warm tea. I don’t add any sweeteners or any other flavors to it.
Green tea is loaded with antioxidants and nutrients that have powerful effects on the body. This includes improved brain function, fat loss, a lower risk of cancer and many other incredible benefits.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

5 Reasons Why You Should be Eating Potatoes


I have fallen in love with the potato! I don’t know how many years it has been that I have been avoiding thing wonderful starch, but I’m glad I have changed and added it back into my diet.
I have been eating at least two potatoes everyday for the last four weeks. Guess what? I haven’t gained any weight. I thought for sure that I would because in the past I have, but not any more.
Today I want to learn more about these tasty spuds and see why they are so good for us.

What is Inflammation?

After being diagnosed with autoimmune disorders there were buzz words I started hearing. As time has gone by I hear them more and more often and one word stands out: inflammation. Today I want to talk about what that word means, how it affects us and how do we eliminate it or reduce it.

To get your free copy of my "Inflammation Fact Sheets", click here.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

What is Myasthenia Gravis?

Myasthenia Gravis an autoimmune disease that causes weakness in the muscles under your control. It happens because of a problem in communication between the nerves and muscles. The body’s own immune system makes antibodies that block or change some of the nerve signals to your muscles. This makes the muscles weaker.

Thankful Declarations

“I am thankful that this will be a great day. I am thankful that I have God’s favor. I am thankful that He is directing my steps. I am thankful that I will succeed in all that I do today and I will have peace.” - Brenda Mueller

Friday, December 1, 2017

December 1st - 7th is Crohn's Disease Awareness

Are You Choosing to Worry?

Are You Choosing to Worry?

December is Crohn's Awareness

December 1st - 7th is Crohn's Disease Awareness #autoimmunediseases #autoimmunedisorders #crohnsdisease #brendamueller.comUnderstanding Crohn's

Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) characterized by inflammation of the digestive, or gastrointestinal (GI) tract. In fact, Crohn’s can affect any part of the GI tract, from the mouth to the anus, but it is more commonly found at the end of the small intestine where it joins the beginning of the large intestine (or colon). It can also affect the skin, eyes and joints.
  What is Crohn's Disease - #autoimmunedisorders #brendamueller.com #crohnsdisease #decemberawareness

What Causes Crohn's?

Researchers are still not sure what causes Crohn's disease. Earlier diet and stress were considered, but now doctors know that diet and stress may aggravate but don't cause Crohn's disease. A number of factors, such as heredity and a malfunctioning immune system, likely play a role in its development.
  • Immune system. It's possible that a virus or bacterium may trigger Crohn's disease. When your immune system tries to fight off the invading microorganism, an abnormal immune response causes the immune system to attack the cells in the digestive tract, too.
  • Heredity. Crohn's is more common in people who have family members with the disease, so genes may play a role in making people more susceptible. However, most people with Crohn's disease don't have a family history of the disease.

Risk factors for Crohn's disease may include:

  • Age. Crohn's disease can occur at any age, but you're likely to develop the condition when you're young. Most people who develop Crohn's disease are diagnosed before they're 30 years old.
  • Ethnicity. Although Crohn's disease can affect any ethnic group, whites and people of Eastern European (Ashkenazi) Jewish descent have the highest risk.
  • Family history. You're at higher risk if you have a close relative, such as a parent, sibling or child, with the disease. As many as 1 in 5 people with Crohn's disease has a family member with the disease.
  • Cigarette smoking. Cigarette smoking is the most important controllable risk factor for developing Crohn's disease. Smoking also leads to more severe disease and a greater risk of having surgery. If you smoke, it's important to stop.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications. These include ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others), naproxen sodium (Aleve, Anaprox), diclofenac sodium (Voltaren, Solaraze) and others. While they do not cause Crohn's disease, they can lead to inflammation of the bowel that makes Crohn's disease worse.
  • Where you live. If you live in an urban area or in an industrialized country, you're more likely to develop Crohn's disease. This suggests that environmental factors, including a diet high in fat or refined foods, play a role in Crohn's disease. People living in northern climates also seem to be at greater risk.

Crohn's disease may lead to one or more of the following complications:

  • Inflammation. Inflammation may be confined to the bowel wall, which can lead to scarring and narrowing (stenosis), or may spread through the bowel wall (fistula).
  • Bowel obstruction. Crohn's disease affects the thickness of the intestinal wall. Over time, parts of the bowel can thicken and narrow, which may block the flow of digestive contents. You may require surgery to remove the diseased portion of your bowel.
  • Ulcers. Chronic inflammation can lead to open sores (ulcers) anywhere in your digestive tract, including your mouth and anus, and in the genital area (perineum).
  • Fistulas. Sometimes ulcers can extend completely through the intestinal wall, creating a fistula — an abnormal connection between different body parts. Fistulas can develop between your intestine and skin, or between your intestine and another organ. Fistulas near or around the anal area (perianal) are the most common kind.
    When fistulas develop in the abdomen, food may bypass areas of the bowel that are necessary for absorption. Fistulas may occur between loops of bowel, into the bladder or vagina, or out through the skin, causing continuous drainage of bowel contents to your skin.
    In some cases, a fistula may become infected and form an abscess, which can be life-threatening if not treated.
  •

Related topics:

7 Autoimmune Disorders that Affect the Digestive Tract

Great resources from the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation

  • https://www.crohnsandcolitis.com/crohns
  • http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/crohns-disease/basics/causes/con-20032061
  • http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/crohns-disease/basics/risk-factors/con-20032061
  • http://www.crohnscolitisfoundation.org/resources/

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Be Generous and Willing to Share

This Thanksgiving season things are a bit different for me and my husband and it is making things more relaxed and enjoyable.

A Change of Plans

Thanksgiving is on Thursday, but my husband and I decided to have our Thanksgiving yesterday, on Sunday. Even though it is just the two of us and we weren't planning on having any company over, we decided on Saturday to move our Thanksgiving to Sunday.

I have mentioned before that I am a list maker, so I had already started the menu and shopping list for Thursday, and I had already made a to-do list for getting out all of our Christmas decorations, and where I wanted everything to go. I am working on Thursday, so I was planning out the timing of everything too.

What a relief it was when I suggested to my husband that if the turkey had unthawed by Sunday morning, I would fix it and then he would have all the food he wanted for the week. He agreed and so that became our new plan for the holiday.

On Sunday, by the time my husband was ready for breakfast, I had already started getting the decorations out, organizing them and decorating. I made him his favorite breakfast and we watched Andy Stanley's Sunday morning service.

This Sunday Andy's presentation was on the subject of showing people in our communities that God loves them, and not missing out on the opportunity to be extraordinarily generous. Jeff Foxworthy is the guest during this service and it was the perfect topic for our "Thanksgiving Day."

After the Sunday morning service, my husband and I started talking about a time when we had served people in our community in the past and how we had gotten lazy and stopped. We talked about how our service benefited those we served. We also discussed how serving others made us feel. The feeling of peace and joy that we have both felt when we served others is wonderful and it is a feeling that lasts for more than an hour or two.

We made the decision to start budgeting our time and resources and get back to the business of serving others.  

The rest of our day was very relaxed and enjoyable. I made lunch with all of Mark's favorites. He brought out the Christmas tree and put it up at a leisurely pace and put the lights on it. We watched, "The Town that Christmas Forgot", "The Tree that Saved Christmas", "Elf", and "Coming Home for Christmas". I ended the day talking with my parents for about two hours.

Be Generous and Willing to Share - #brendamueller.com #autoimmunedisorders #autoimmunediseases

Changing Your Mindset

Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth . . . . Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 1 Timothy 6:17a, 18
Living with one or more autoimmune disorders can cause us to turn our focus inward instead of outward. My challenge to myself is to turn my focus to the part of my community where I feel I can do the most good and it won't burden me physically. I don't think that will be a problem, because I'm getting energy from thinking and planning out what it is we are going to do as a couple. Getting a boost of emotional energy will sustain me and give what I need to move forward.

7 Ways to Serve - #brendamueller.com #autoimmunedisorders #autoimmunediseases #servingothers

7 Ways to Serve Your Community

  1. Serve at a local soup kitchen or food bank.
  2. Volunteer at the local animal shelter, rescue group, or humane society.
  3. Create care packages. Visit the Dollar Tree for great ideas.
  4. Visit people you don't know in the hospital with a balloon and flower.
  5. Provide the music for a Sunday service in the chapel of a retirement home.
  6. Reach out to a neighbor in need.
  7. Crochet baby caps for newborn babies at the local hospital. Here is the pattern I use for this project.


    R1: ch 3; 10 dc in the 3rd chain from the hook; sl st to the 1st dc of the round to join [10] R2: ch 2, 2 dc in each st around, sl st to the 1st dc of the round to join [20] R3: ch 2, (2 dc in the first st, 1 dc in the next st) 10 x, sl st to the 1st dc of the round to join [30] R4: ch 2, 1 dc in each st around, sl st to the 1st dc of the round to join [30] R5-R8: repeat R4 [30] R9: 1 sl st (loosely as this is a decorative edge) in each st around, finish off and weave in ends [30]


    R1: ch 3; 10 dc in the 3rd chain from the hook; sl st to the 1st dc of the round to join [10] R2: ch 2, 2 dc in each st around, sl st to the 1st dc of the round to join [20] R3: ch 2, (2 dc in the first st, 1 dc in the next st) 10 x, sl st to the 1st dc of the round to join [30] R4: ch 2, (2 dc in the first st, 1 dc in each of the next 2 sts) 5 x, 1 dc in each remaining st around; sl st to the 1st dc of the round to join [35] R5: ch 2, 1 dc in each st around, sl st to the 1st dc of the round to join [35] R6-R9: repeat R5 [35] R10: 1 sl st (loosely as this is a decorative edge) in each st around, finish off and weave in ends [30] Click here to watch a tutorial.

Action Steps:

When you serve, you can influence your community in positive ways. Get ready, because serving will have an even bigger influence on you. What can you do to serve others? Think about your:
  • abilities
  • skills
  • talents
  • resources
  • experiences
  • and temperament
Share your ideas in the comment section.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Thankful Declarations

This is a new twist on an older post of mine. I wanted to take these statements and the declaration and make them thankful ones. So let's start our day in a thankful way!


I have been studying how positive thinking and speaking relieves stress and gives us peace. I have been putting the things that I am learning into practice and I am seeing a change in myself. Those changes are creating a more peaceful home for me and my husband. I’m sleeping better. My days are more productive. I’m paying attention to the blessings that have been coming my way because of it. 

Thinking and speaking positive words and affirmations is nothing new. I’ve heard it all before, but I’ve never really put it into practice. I’ve always told myself, “You’re a positive person, you’re always upbeat, and you don’t let things get you down.” However true that is there is a difference of being those things naturally and putting these things into practice every day.

At the beginning of the day I am choosing to start my day off with this declaration:

“I am thankful that this will be a great day. I am thankful that I have God’s favor. I am thankful that He is directing my steps. I am thankful that I will succeed in all that I do today and I will have peace.” 

That statement alone gives me energy. Let’s break this down.
  3 Thankful Statements = 1 Thankful Declaration - brendamueller.com - autoimmune disorders/diseases

I am thankful that this will be a great day! This is a choice. From the moment we get up we can decide whether or not today is going to be a great day or a bad day. We can choose to be happy in all the things that are going to happen in our lives today, or we can dwell on everything that may not go right during the day. We can choose to focus on our problems and not count our blessings. And don’t forget the people around us will know what kind of day we are having. It will show on our face in our body language and in our speech.

I am thankful that I have God’s favor. How awesome is this? Say that again, “I have God’s favor!” What does that mean? The favor of God can be described as “tangible evidence that a person has the approval of the Lord.” What does it mean when you favor someone? You want to spend time with that person. You want to see them succeed. You enjoy their company. That is how God feels about you and me! Favor is closely related to grace in the Bible. Those who have received Jesus as their Savior are saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8–9). They know the favor of God. Without faith, it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6), but those who have saving faith in God’s Son are declared righteous (Romans 4:5; Philippians 3:9) and live in God’s favor. The most basic answer to “how can I get God’s favor” is “believe in the Lord Jesus.”

I am thankful that God is directing my steps. Proverbs 16:9 says that we can make our plans, but God will direct our steps. I love knowing that he can see what lies ahead. God loves us and is wise. As a loving teacher he will give us the instruction we need. If we are open he will teach us the best way to accomplish our goals.

I am thankful that I will succeed in all that I do today and I will have peace. God wants us to be a success. He doesn’t want to watch us struggle and feel defeated. One of my favorite verses in the Bible is Jeremiah 29:11. I know the plans I have in mind for you, declares the Lord; they are plans for peace, not disaster, to give you a future filled with hope. (CEB)

While you are going about your business today, I want you to keep this verse in mind. Remind yourself throughout the day that God is thinking about you. He is rooting for you to succeed during your day. He wants you to have a day that is peaceful when everything feels like it is melting down around you. He gives us peace that passes all understanding. He will give you hope for today and tomorrow.


An Instruction and Promise - brendamueller.com - autoimmune disorders/diseases Philippians 4:6-7 (KJ21) Fret not about anything, but in everything, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

The instruction: Don’t get stressed out. Give thanks to God for everything that is going on your life. He knows what is happening in your life, but he wants you to come to him and tell him.

The promise: God will give you peace. This is a peace that we don’t understand. This is the peace that a person who has a terminal illness but still has peace about their situation. The peace that comes from being in a right relationship with God is not the peace of this world. The world’s peace depends on having favorable circumstances: if things are going well, then we feel peaceful; when things go awry, the peace quickly dissipates. Jesus made the distinction between His peace and the world’s vacillating peace: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives” (John 14:27).


My thankful declaration for you - brendamueller.com - autoimmune disorders/diseases

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Are You Choosing to Worry?

Will the holidays bring you worry or joy?

Deck the halls with boughs of holly and tis the season to be jolly are familiar lyrics to a favorite Christmas carol that we are hearing in the stores as we head into the Thanksgiving and Christmas season and this can be a season of worry and stress. Look at the lyrics to "Deck the Halls": "Deck the halls with boughs of holly". Are you worrying over your house being decorated for the holidays? "'Tis the season to be jolly". Are you jolly when you think about the family members that will be arriving to eat at your table? Does it make you jolly thinking of those loved ones or are you picturing the Griswold's Christmas vacation? I have good news for you! “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7 NIV) Verse 6 tells what we are to do: Be anxious for nothing. With thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Tell him what is causing you stress and worry with a thankful heart. Be grateful that he is there listening, he understands and he has the answer you are looking for. Verse 7 gives us a promise: The peace of God, will guard your heart and your mind in Christ Jesus. We all have choices when it comes to handling stress in our life. We can:
  • Worry
  • Choose to ignore it
  • Relax and trust God
The Bible says in Matthew 11:28, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” How can we trust God and worry at the same time? We can’t! If we say that we trust God and then go about the business of worrying about everything, then we aren’t telling the truth. By worrying we are saying that we don’t believe that God will do what he says. The Affects of Stress on the Body - brendamueller.com - autoimmune disorders/diseasesBy making the choice to worry we are asking for trouble when it comes to our health. Worry will fan the flames of inflammation when we are living with autoimmune disorders. If you choose to worry this is how the stress can affect your body when it doesn’t have an autoimmune disorder:
  • Headache
  • High blood pressure
  • Stomachache
  • Insomnia
  • Heartburn
  • Tense muscles
  • Depression
When we are living with autoimmune we can have these flares brought on by stress:
  • Decreased energy
  • Decreased physical stamina
  • Brain fog
  • Swollen glands
  • Fever and chills
  • Feeling lightheaded
  • Muscle aches, pains, or stiffness
Along with eating a healthy diet, we need to make sure that worry and stress isn’t eating us. If you are worrying about tomorrow, you will feel it in your body. We are reminded in Matthew 6:34, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Isn’t that the truth? 10 Things Most of Us Worry About - brendamueller.com - autoimmune disorders/diseases Most of us worry about these things:
  1. Money
  2. Health
  3. Getting older
  4. Work stress
  5. Gaining weight
  6. I need to find a new job
  7. Paying rent/mortgage
  8. Worried about my physique
  9. Wrinkles or ageing appearance
  10. Financial/credit card debts
Matthew 6:25-34 tells us why we do not need to worry. 25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? 28“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. The next time thoughts of worry start to creep in and you feel your stress level start to rise, remember to worry is a choice and you can control it. Living with autoimmune disorders will give you enough things that you cannot control that will affect your health. Here is the good news: You can control the amount you worry! Control the amount of worry in this blessed holiday season, and you will have a wonderful time with family and friends.

Action Steps:

  • How have you seen worry impact your physical health?
  • What area in your life is causing you worry and you are struggling to trust God?
  • Do you have a favorite promise from God that you declare to help you trust him more and worry less?

Monday, September 25, 2017

Make it Happen Monday! Focus Your Thoughts on These Things

Philippians 4:8
From now on, brothers and sisters, if anything is excellent and if anything is admirable, focus your thoughts on these things: all that is true, all that is holy, all that is just, all that is pure, all that is lovely, and all that is worthy of praise.

Philipians 4:8 brendamueller.com - autoimmune disorders/diseases

A positive mindset really is a choice and it is something that I believe has to be renewed every day.

It is so easy to get caught up in the negative thoughts when things aren't going our way. Getting an autoimmune diagnosis is one of the things that I could choose to spend my time thinking about in a negative way. It can be very easy to get depressed with thoughts about living with an autoimmune disorder. I could choose to spend my time thinking about these things:
  • What will my life look like five or ten years from now?
  • Is my health going to deteriorate rapidly or slowly?
  • Will I be able to continue doing all of things I can do right now?
  • Is there really no cure for what I have?
  • How will this affect my husband and family?
You get the picture.

I do not believe we are to bury our head in the sand and live like nothing has changed. Autoimmune disorders are serious and they should be looked at in a serious way. Once you have asked yourself questions like the ones I have listed above, and thought them through, don't dwell on them.

The scriptures tell us: Therefore, stop worrying about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34 Ain't that the truth? Today will have it's own set of challenges, so we should not add to them by dwelling on the negative. 

When you have a negative thought come into your mind, ask yourself these three questions:

  1. Where does this thought come from?
  2. Where will this thought lead me?
  3. Will this thought get me to where I want to go?
Here is a change-your-mindset-worksheet to help you work through those negative thoughts and change your focus.

  3 Questions to Ask Yourself When You Have Negative Thoughts - brendamueller.com - autoimmune disorders/diseases

These are the things that I have chosen to focus on:

  • I am blessed to work with horses.
  • I am blessed to work outside where I can view the beauty of the mornings with God's favorite colors lighting up the sky.
  • I am determined to do everything I can to live a healthy and productive life.
  • I will always be truthful with my husband about how my body is being affected by my autoimmune disorders.
  • I will answer honestly when I am asked about my health in an upbeat way. I will never have a "woe is me" attitude.
  • I am bless to have a husband who loves me and accepts me with all of my flaws and disorders.
  • I'm going to remember that my flares come to pass they do not come to stay.
  • I'm gonna dwell on everything good!
This is one of my all time favorite songs: "Everything Good" let this be your theme song today.

When do negative thoughts enter in?

There are certain times of the day when negative thoughts enter my mind. They are always when I'm alone and when I am not distracted. I find the best defense is to listen to music that is uplifting and audio books that are on topics that interest me. These two things can keep my mind working in an effective way so that my thoughts are focused on the positive.

When is my best time to dwell on the positive?

I have mentioned in other posts that I have horses. I have two of the most beautiful draft horses. Their names are April and May. They are half sisters. These two girls are a great source of joy to me. It's because of them that I believe that I am so healthy.

One thing you don't know is that my work at the ranch consists of shoveling horse poop! I shovel a lot of it. I shovel enough each year to fill ten to twenty semi-trucks. I have the arms and the shoulders to prove it. While I'm shoveling this is the best time to work on my mindset and to listen to great books and music. Not only do they help pass the time, but I find that my attitude is so much better. I have a better outlook on everything when I can think things through with clarity and without distraction.

Action step: When do you find the negative thoughts creeping in and when is the best time for you to focus on changing your mindset. Please leave your comments below.

Related articles:

Monday, September 18, 2017

Make it Happen Monday! Get Rid of the Clutter

My husband is home on vacation this week, so we are cleaning the house and getting rid of the clutter. I'm actually excited for this stay-cation. I have things that I have been holding on to for far too long. Since I have changed my diet, exercise, career and now it is time to dump the junk! I'm planning on a yard sale, too!

I like going to yard sales, but I do not like having them. I am looking forward to getting a little pocket change for the things I am going to sell.

I found this pricing guide from Pinterest and myfrugalhome.com has a wonderful blog post on organizing a yard sale. I'm going to be using this information.

This de-cluttering is going to make my life less stressful. I hate looking in a room or a closet and seeing it a mess. I'm one of those that will close the door until I'm in the mood. This time of year has put me in the mood!

Here is another checklist I found! This is from nogettingoffthistrain.com. 5 Health Benefits of Getting Rid of the Clutter - brendamueller.com - autoimmune disorders/diseases

Here are 5 healthy benefits of being organized and getting rid of clutter.

Reduce Stress. Stress is a major health factor when we are living with autoimmune disorders. When we eliminate the clutter, we feel more in control and better able to handle the challenges that our body gives us.

Increase Energy. When your environment is organized and free from clutter, you physically feel lighter and you are more able to focus on other meaningful areas of your life.

Lose Weight. Who would have thought having clutter would cause you to gain weight? Having a cluttered unorganized kitchen and pantry, will cause you to want to eat out. Who wants to deal with trying to put together a meal in the middle of a mess, right? Eating out will be so much easier, faster and you can throw everything away or if you are at a restaurant, someone else will clean up. We all know that eating out is usually unhealthy. The portions are too large and everything is cooked in oil and has a lot of salt.
"Changing your physical environment goes a long way toward changing your state of mind in a positive way."  - Monica Ricci - Catalyst Organizing Solutions
Save money. If there is a place for everything and everything has a place then you know how many things you have in your inventory. You will save money because you will not be buying duplicates of things you already have. Money problems are a huge stressor, so if being organized will save money and relieve stress, I'm in!

Visitors are welcome. If you are organized and your home is clutter free, then you won't mind someone dropping in to visit unannounced. Your home will be inviting and clean. You will not have an ounce of stress because of how your home looks. That will make the visit much more enjoyable.

This kit will make preparing for a grage sale so much easier!

Monday, August 21, 2017

Make it Happen Monday

Some people dream of success, while other people get up every morning and make it happen. Wayne Huizenga
Today is Monday. The day of the week that everyone uses to make a new start. Choose today to make something happen!
  Make it Happen Monday - brendamueller.com - autoimmune disorder/disease

I'm choosing to make my body in the body I have always wanted. It's taking me 52 years to do it, but better late than never! I'm starting to do a new exercise routine of the Supreme 90 Day challenge and my Walk Away the Pounds Miracle Miles.
  Leslie Sansones - Miracle Miles - brendamueller.com

I walk Miracle Miles everyday, but I am pumping up the muscle with the Supreme 90 Day strength training. I'm starting my workout with one Miracle Mile and then switching to the supreme workout and finishing with one or two more Miracle Miles. The walks are great for warming up before and cooling down after the supreme workout.
  Supreme 90 Day System - brendamueller.com

I have used the supreme system a few years ago and it really worked. Now that I'm feeling so much better since I switched my diet to "The Starch Solution" by Dr. McDougall I'm looking forward to the workouts. I have so much energy that I feel lazy if I don't exercise.
  She believed she could so she did - brendamueller.com

Now it is your turn. What is something that you are going to make happen starting today? Please leave your comment below and I will cheer you on in your endeavor!  

Saturday, August 12, 2017

August is Psoriasis Awareness Month

In a recent post I discussed autoimmune disorders that affect the skin. I have heard the word psoriasis for many years, but I don’t know anything about it except that it affects the skin. I want to learn more about the five types of psoriasis, so I'm sharing the information I have found with you. First let's take a look at the financial burden psoriasis has on the individual and the nation.

The Economic Impact of Psoriasis - August is Psoriasis Awareness Month - brendamueller.com - autoimmune disorders/diseasesPsoriasis Stats

More than 3 million US cases per year

A new study on the economic burden of psoriasis found that the estimated annual expenses of psoriasis can be as high as $25,796 per person—or $135 billion for everyone with psoriasis in the United States.

Direct costs came with the highest price tag, which researchers estimated could be upwards of $8,000 annually per person.

Indirect costs, which take into account absences from work, or lost productivity on the job, due to psoriasis, were estimated to be upwards of $4,000 per person annually—or as much as $35.4 billion for the nation as a whole, according to the findings.

Researchers tallied intangible costs—which measure the toll that psoriasis takes on a patient’s quality of life—by looking at studies that asked patients what they would be willing to pay for relief from their disease.

Over the course of a lifetime, patients would pay up to $11,498 to be rid of the physical discomfort and negative emotional impact of psoriasis, researchers reported.

5 Types of Psoriasis - August is Psoriasis Awareness Month - brendamueller.com - autoimmune disorders/diseasesPsoriasis

Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune disorder that manifests as skin redness and irritation. There are five different types of psoriasis: guttate, plaque, inverse, erythrodermic, and pustular. The most common is plaque psoriasis, in which raised, red skin patches are covered by flaky, silver-white patches of dead skin, known as scales. The autoimmune disease most strongly associated with psoriasis was rheumatoid arthritis (RA). If you have psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, your risk for an additional autoimmune disease increases even more.  


Guttate psoriasis is a type of psoriasis that shows up on your skin as red, scaly, small, teardrop-shaped spots. It doesn’t normally leave a scar. You usually get it as a child or young adult. Up to 10% of people with psoriasis have this type. Guttate psoriasis causes small, pink-red spots on your skin. They often appear on your:
  • Trunk
  • Upper arms
  • Thighs
  • Scalp
Guttate psoriasis often comes on quite suddenly. There are a variety of known triggers, including:
  • Upper respiratory infections
  • Streptococcal infections
  • Tonsillitis
  • Stress
  • Injury to the skin
  • Certain drugs (including antimalarials and beta blockers)

Plaque Psoriasis

Plaque psoriasis causes raised, inflamed, red skin covered with silvery, white scales. These patches may itch and burn. It can appear anywhere on your body, but often pops up in these areas:
  • Elbows
  • Knees
  • Scalp
  • Lower back

Inverse Psoriasis

This type shows up as areas that are bright red, smooth, and shiny, but don't have scales. It's usually found in these locations:
  • Armpits
  • Groin
  • Under thebreasts
  • Skin folds around the genitals and buttocks
Inverse psoriasis may worsen with sweating and rubbing. A buildup of yeast may trigger it.

Pustular Psoriasis

This kind of psoriasis is uncommon and mostly appears in adults. It causes pus-filled bumps (pustules) surrounded by red skin. These may look infectious, but are not. This type may show up on one area of your body, such as the hands and feet. Sometimes it covers most of your body, which is called "generalized" pustular psoriasis. When this happens it can be very serious, so get immediate medical attention.


  • Internal medications
  • Irritating topical agents
  • Overexposure to UV light
  • Pregnancy
  • Systemic steroids
  • Infections
  • Emotional stress
  • Sudden withdrawal of systemic medications or potent topical steroids

Erythrodermic Psoriasis

Erythrodermic psoriasis "throws off" the body's chemistry. This causes protein and fluid loss that can lead to severe illness. Edema (swelling from fluid retention), especially around the ankles, may develop, along with infection. The body may not be able to maintain its temperature. This can produce shivering episodes. Erythrodermic psoriasis also can bring on pneumonia and congestive heart failure. People with severe cases often require hospitalization. Erythrodermic psoriasis can occur abruptly at the first signs of psoriasis or it can come on gradually in people with plaque psoriasis. The reason erythrodermic psoriasis appears is not understood. However, there are some known triggers. This type is the least common, but it's very serious. It affects most of your body and causes widespread, fiery skin that appears burned. You might also have:
  • Severe itching, burning, or peeling
  • A faster heart rate
  • Changes in body temperature


  • Abrupt withdrawal of systemic treatment
  • Severe sunburn
  • Allergic, drug-induced rash that brings on the Koebner phenomenon (a tendency for psoriasis to appear on the site of skin injuries)
  • Use of systemic steroids (cortisone)
  • Infection
  • Emotional stress
  • Alcoholism
If you have these symptoms, see your doctor right away. You may need to get treated in a hospital. This type of psoriasis can cause severe illness from protein and fluid loss. You may also develop an infection, pneumonia, or congestive heart failure. Psoriasis More than Just a Rash - brendamueller.com - autoimmune disorders/diseases

Check out the top eight products on amazon.com for psoriasis. 

Action Step: It is great when we can all learn something new and help each other out, so if you have psoriasis and you have found a great remedy, please share it with us. Leave your comment below.           Source:

Thursday, August 10, 2017

"No Vacancy" for Negative Thoughts

How many times during the day do we let thoughts of negativity come into our mind? Once, twice, three times? Staying positive is something that we all need to work on. Some of us have a great outlook on life and everything is coming up roses. There are others who are like Glum from Gulliver's Travels where everything that can go wrong will go wrong. Picture your mind like it is a hotel. All of the rooms are filled with negative thoughts. By all the rooms being occupied with negativity there is no vacancy for any good and positive thoughts. I think we need to fill our hotel with all positive thoughts. Then we have no vacancy for the negative.

Paul wrote in, Philippians 4:8 Brothers and sisters, continue to think about what is good and worthy of praise. Think about what is true and honorable and right and pure and beautiful and respected.   We can use negative words to describe how we are. We can say,
  • "I am sick."
  • "I am weak."
  • "I am exhausted."
  • "I can't do anything right."
  • "I'm not as talented as, Jane."
Use positive words to describe how you want to be! - brendamueller,com - autoimmune disorders/diseases

How different we could be if we started using positive words to describe how we want to be! What if we said,
  • "I am conquering my illness; I am defeating it steadily each day.
  • "Today, I am brimming with energy and overflowing with joy."
  • "I wake up today with strength in my heart and clarity in my mind."
  • "I have been given endless talents which I begin to utilize today."
  • "I possess the qualities needed to be extremely successful."
So clear out those visitors in your hotel of negativity and make way for the new occupants of positive thought!

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-carmen-harra/affirmations_b_3527028.html

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

5 Reason You Should be Eating Potatoes

I Love a Potato!

I have fallen in love with the potato! I don't know how many years it has been that I have been avoiding thing wonderful starch, but I'm glad I have changed and added it back into my diet. I have been eating at least two potatoes everyday for the last four weeks. Guess what? I haven't gained any weight. I thought for sure that I would because in the past I have, but not any more. Today I want to learn more about these tasty spuds and see why they are so good for us.
  Fun Facts about Potatoes - brendamueller.com - autoimmune disorders/diseases

Potatoes are...

– An excellent source of vitamin C – A good source of potassium (more than a banana!) – A good source of vitamin B6 – Fat-, sodium- and cholesterol-free – Only 110 calories per serving

Sweet Potatoes vs. white potatoes

  • They are similar in their calorie content as well as the amount of fiber, protein and vitamin B6.
  • White potatoes pack the greater potassium punch (620 mg vs 440 mg) whereas sweet potatoes definitely lead the way in vitamin A (120% of the daily value).
  • Both potatoes provide an excellent source of vitamin C (45% of the daily value for white potatoes and 30% of the daily value for sweet potatoes).

5 Benefits of Eating Potatoes

5 Benefits of Eating Potatoes - brendamueller.com - autoimmune disorders/diseases

Reduce Inflammation I have found that a lot of my inflammation has subsided since I've been eating potatoes. I also am not having the constant pain of indigestion. Both rice and potatoes are very soothing to my digestive tract. This may be one of the reasons. Potatoes are very effective in reducing inflammation, both internal and external. Since it is soft, easily digested and has a lot of vitamin-C (a very good antioxidant that repairs tissue wear and tear), potassium and vitamin-B6, it can relieve any inflammation of the intestines and the digestive system.

Increase Immunity Vitamin C can help prevent everything from scurvy to the common cold, and potatoes are full of this nutrient, with about 45 percent of the daily recommended intake per medium baked potato, according to the Washington State Potato Commission. Potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C (45% of the DV), which is more vitamin C than one medium tomato (40% DV) or sweet potato (30% DV).

Vitamin C aids in:
  • collagen production
  • assists with iron absorption
  • and helps heal wounds and keep your gums healthy
  • may help support the body’s immune system.

Maintain blood pressure Bananas are often suggested when people need to maintain their blood pressure because of their potassium. But did you know that while a banana has nine percent of your daily needs, a baked regular potato has twice as much-20 percent-and a sweet one has 12 percent.

Improve Gut Health A single baked potato will provide nearly 12% of the daily recommended amount of fiber. High levels of dietary fiber and 'bulking agents' support healthy digestion and regular bowel movements, while giving a protective effect from colon cancer. If you suffer from slow bowel movements, eat cooked potatoes that have been cooled. The cooling process increases the amount of indigestible starch from 7% to 13%. I have found that for me, eating the potatoes cause regular elimination. Potatoes are much tastier than a magnesium tablet.

Reduce Your Stress Potatoes are exceedingly rich in Vitamin B6, a vitamin needed for a balanced mood. Just  1/2 a cup of a baked potato contains 21 per cent of the daily value of the vitamin. Vitamin B6 is needed for normal brain development and function, and helps the body make the hormones serotonin and norepinephrine, which influence mood, and melatonin, which helps regulate the body clock.

Baked Russet Potato 4 Oz

Calories 110 Sodium 9 mg
Total Fat 0 g Potassium 624 mg
Saturated 0 g Total Carbs 24 g
Polyunsaturated 0 g Dietary Fiber 3 g
Monounsaturated 0 g Sugars 1 g
Trans 0 g Protein 3 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Vitamin A 0% Calcium 2%
Vitamin C 24% Iron 7%

The Baby Reds 1 Cup

Calories 110 Sodium 0 mg
Total Fat 0 g Potassium 620 mg
Saturated 0 g Total Carbs 26 g
Polyunsaturated 0 g Dietary Fiber 2 g
Monounsaturated 0 g Sugars 1 g
Trans 0 g Protein 3 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Vitamin A 0% Calcium 2%
Vitamin C 45% Iron 6%

The Yukon Golds 1/2 Medium Potato

Calories 77 Sodium 6 mg
Total Fat 0 g Potassium 421 mg
Saturated 0 g Total Carbs 25 g
Polyunsaturated 0 g Dietary Fiber 2 g
Monounsaturated 0 g Sugars 1 g
Trans 0 g Protein 2 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Vitamin A 0% Calcium 1%
Vitamin C 26% Iron 4%

The Yam 6 oz

Calories 150 Sodium 230 mg
Total Fat 2 g Potassium 0 mg
Saturated 1 g Total Carbs 30 g
Polyunsaturated 1 g Dietary Fiber 2 g
Monounsaturated 0 g Sugars 4 g
Trans 0 g Protein 5 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Vitamin A 0% Calcium 25%
Vitamin C 0% Iron 10%
Percentages are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


  • https://www.potatogoodness.com/nutrition/
  • http://www.myfitnesspal.com/food/calories/
  • https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/vegetable/health-benefits-of-potato.html
  • https://www.livescience.com/45838-potato-nutrition.html
  • http://www.besthealthmag.ca/best-eats/healthy-eating/6-health-benefits-of-potatoes/
  • http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1206765/Why-potatoes-suprising-health-benefit-key-lasting-weight-loss.html

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Lupus and the Heart

I learned a lot preparing for this post. I have been writing about how autoimmune disorders affect different parts of the body, but I didn't realize how lupus affects the heart. Most of know by now that heart disease can be linked with a diet high in processed foods, sugars and refined carbohydrates, lack of activity, and obesity. This is good news! With proper diet and exercise those who make the effort can make this bad situation better or reverse their condition. When an autoimmune reaction is part of the heart disease picture, the approach is more complicated. If the autoimmunity has destroyed enough tissue, it can be too late to reverse the condition and its symptoms. More and more people are being diagnosed with autoimmune disorders, so it is to be hoped that more doctors will screen for autoimmunity so an autoimmune heart condition can be caught in time to manage it.

What is heart autoimmunity?

The symptoms of an autoimmune reaction against the heart mimic heart disease symptoms. They include:
  • cardiomegaly (enlarged heart)
  • fluid retention
  • tiring easily
  • chest pain
  • breathlessness
  • palpitations
  • edema with exercise
  • and difficulty breathing.
An unmanaged autoimmune reaction to the heart can cause inflammation, scarring, and, in rare cases, sudden death. Also, poor heart function affects the lungs, liver, and other organs and systems in the body. Did you know that doctors in the standard health care model do not screen for autoimmunity until the end stages of disease when symptoms are severe. Fortunately, you can identify an autoimmune reaction before it's too late with a blood serum antibody panel.

What is a blood serum antibody panel?

This panel screens for autoimmunity against heart tissue by checking for myocardial (a protein the heart releases in response to stress) or alpha-myosin (cardiac tissue) antibodies. If these come back positive it's an indication the immune system is attacking heart tissue. If the condition is more advanced, you may be given a diagnosis of cardiomyopathy, or disease of the heart muscle. Be in control. If you know you have an autoimmune condition, share this with your doctor right away. You can take the steps to potentially slow or halt its progression through proven diet, lifestyle, and nutritional therapy strategies. You should also regularly monitor your heart health. 4 Ways Lupus can Affect Your Heart - brendamueller.com - autoimmune disorders/diseases Lupus Lupus can cause inflammation of the myocardium, the muscle tissue of your heart. The symptoms are:
  • chest pain
  • an unexplained rapid or irregular heart beat
  • shortness of breath
Myocarditis is often seen when there is inflammation in other muscles in the body.
Myocarditis is usually caused by a viral infection. A severe case can weaken the heart, which can lead to heart failure, abnormal heartbeat, and sudden death.
Symptoms include chest pain, abnormal heartbeat, and shortness of breath.
Treatment may include medication to regulate the heartbeat and improve heart function. In rare but severe cases, a device may be needed to help the heart function.
However, myocarditis can be caused by viral, bacterial, and fungal infections. Because lupus itself creates an added risk for developing infections -- especially if you are taking certain immunosuppressive drugs -- you are at increased risk for this type of myocarditis.
Immunosuppressive drugs or immunosuppressive agents or antirejection medications are drugs that inhibit or prevent activity of the immune system.
Though serious heart muscle disease is not commonly caused by lupus, heart failure can occur if our heart does not have the strength to pump enough blood to the different tissues and organs. The most common way that lupus affects the heart is through inflammation of the pericardium, the sac that surrounds our heart. The symptoms of pericarditis that you may experience are:
  • sharp pain in your chest
  • occasionally, shortness of breath.
Pericarditis usually does not damage our heart’s ability to function because it does not directly involve the heart tissue. However, inflammation that is chronic (long-lasting) can scar the heart tissue, which can interfere with the heart’s ability to pump blood.
Pericarditis may be caused by a viral infection or heart attack. In many cases, the cause is unknown.
The most common symptom is sharp, stabbing chest pain that may travel to the left shoulder and neck. Pericarditis usually begins suddenly but doesn't last long.
Most cases are mild and usually improve on their own. Treatment for more severe cases may include medications and, rarely, surgery.


The endocardium is the tissue that lines the inner walls of our heart and the valves that separate the heart’s different chambers. Lupus can cause inflammation of the endocardium. Lupus endocarditis usually causes the surfaces of the heart valve to thicken or develop wart-like growths (lesions). These lesions can become infected, a condition called bacterial endocarditis. A lesion also could break off and travel to the brain to form a blood clot. Both of these possibilities are potentially very dangerous.

Coronary Artery Disease

The usual cause is the buildup of plaque. This causes coronary arteries to narrow, limiting blood flow to the heart.
Coronary artery disease can range from no symptoms, to chest pain, to a heart attack.
Treatments include lifestyle changes, medications, angioplasty, and surgery.
When we have lupus, we are at increased risk for coronary artery disease. This is partly because those of us with lupus have more risk factors, which may include:
  • Hypertension from kidney disease or corticosteroid use
  • Elevated cholesterol levels from corticosteroid use
  • Type 2 diabetes from corticosteroid use
  • An inactive, sedentary lifestyle due to fatigue, joint problems, and/or muscle pain
However, even after taking these risk factors into account, those of us with lupus are more likely to develop atherosclerosis. We can help reduce our chances of heart attacks and other complications from coronary artery disease in several ways:
  • Control the risk factors
  • Control the lupus disease activity
  • Talking with our doctor about reducing or stopping corticosteroid use
A build up of cholesterol plaque in the walls of arteries causing obstruction of blood flow. Plaques may rupture causing acute occlusion of the artery by clot.
Atherosclerosis often has no symptoms until a plaque ruptures or the buildup is severe enough to block blood flow.
A healthy diet and exercise can help. Treatments include medications, procedures to open blocked arteries and surgery.
Lupus and the Heart - brendamueller.com - autoimmune disorders/diseases Source: http://www.resources.lupus.org/entry/heart-and-circulation

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

8 Autoimmune Disorders That Affecting Multiple Organs including the Musculoskeletal System

8 autoimmune disorders affecting multiple organs including the musculoskeletal system - brendamueller.com - autoimmune disorders/diseasesIn my previous post I talked about autoimmune disorders that affect the hair and skin. Many of the autoimmune disorders affect multiple organs and the musculoskeletal system. The musculoskeletal system provides form, support, stability, and movement to the body. It is made up of the bones of the skeleton, muscles, cartilage, tendons, ligaments, joints, and other connective tissue that supports and binds tissues and organs together. Some of these autoimmune disorders are new to me and I want to learn more about them.

AI disorders affecting multiple organs including the musculoskeletal system

  • Lupus affects connective tissue and can strike any organ system of the body. Symptoms include joint inflammation, fever, weight loss and a characteristic facial rash.
  • Scleroderma affects the skin and other structures, causing the formation of scar tissue. Features include thickening of the skin, skin ulcers and stiff joints. Swelling of the fingers, intermittent coolness and blue discoloration of the fingers, joints freezing in permanent (usually flexed) positions (contractures), and damage to the gastrointestinal system, lungs, heart, or kidneys may develop.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis. Affects the joints. Symptoms include swollen and deformed joints. The eyes, lungs and heart may also be targeted.
  • Polymyositis is one of the inflammatory myopathies, a group of muscle diseases that involves inflammation of the muscles or associated tissues, such as the blood vessels that supply the muscles. Polymyositis usually does not affect most internal organs other than the throat and esophagus. However, the lungs and heart may be affected, causing abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias), shortness of breath, and a cough.
  • Dermatomyositis Muscle weakness at the shoulders or hips.
  • Sjogren's Syndrome white blood cells can infiltrate and damage glands that secrete fluids, and sometimes other organs can be damaged. Sjögren's syndrome can dry out the mucous membranes lining the nose, throat, digestive tract, voice box (larynx), windpipe (trachea), airways of the lungs, vulva, and vagina. Dryness of the vulva and vagina can make sexual intercourse painful. Dryness of the trachea can cause cough. Nerve, lung, and other tissues may be damaged by the inflammation.
  • Relapsing Polychondritis is a rare disorder characterized by episodes of painful, destructive inflammation of the cartilage and other connective tissues in many organs. The ears or nose may become inflamed and tender. Other cartilage in the body can be damaged, leading to various symptoms, such as red or painful eyes, hoarseness, cough, difficulty breathing, rashes, and pain around the breastbone.
  • Eosinophilic Fasciitis  is a rare disorder in which the skin and tissue that lies beneath the skin become painfully inflamed and swollen and gradually harden in the arms and legs.

Populations Affected by AI Disorders affecting multiple organs including the musculoskeletal system

Populations affected by AI Disorders affecting multiple organs including the musculoskeletal system - brendamueller.com - autoimmune disorders/diseases

Lupus According to the Lupus Foundation of America, approximately 1.5 million people in the U.S. have lupus. People of African, Asian, and Native American descent are more likely to develop lupus than are Caucasians. Although it can occur in both men and women, 90% of people diagnosed with the disease are women.

Sjogren's Syndrome More than 200,000 US cases per year of Sjogren’s Syndrome. Sjögren’s syndrome can affect people of either sex and of any age, but most cases occur in women. The average age for onset is late forties, but in rare cases, Sjögren’s syndrome is diagnosed in children.

Rheumatoid arthritis About 1.5 million people in the United States have rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Nearly three times as many women have the disease as men. In women, RA most commonly begins between ages 30 and 60. In men, it often occurs later in life.

Scleroderma The systemic form of scleroderma is thought to affect from 40,000 to 165,000 people in the United States. The disease is three to four times more common in females than in males. Scleroderma may occur at any age but the symptoms most frequently begin during midlife.

Dermatomyositis occurs in adults from the late 40s to early 60s, but can also occur in children. Females are most affected. Fewer than 200,000 US cases per year

Polymyositis (PM) is rare. Incidence is estimated to be somewhere between 1-8 cases per million people. Women are twice more likely to be affected than men. PM typically occurs during middle age and is rarely seen in people younger than 30 years.

Relapsing polychondritis occurs as often in men as in women. In a Mayo Clinic series, the annual incidence was about 3.5 cases per million.

Source: http://www.merckmanuals.com

Sunday, July 16, 2017

7 Autoimmune Disorders that Affect the Digestive Tract

Give me good digestion, Lord, And also something to digest; but where and how that something comes I leave to Thee, who knoweth best.                                                      Mary Webb
I hate it when any part of my digestive system isn't working properly. With Sjogren's I don't have saliva, so I have to drink large amounts of water with every bite. Sometimes I will drink two quarts of water just to make it through breakfast.

This also causes problems with swallowing. I will get food caught in my esophagus and it will try to come back up. The pain is excruciating when this happens. My chest, back, jaw, head hurt from the pain. I had to be hospitalized for a day. That was the most expensive piece of chicken I have ever eaten.

After I eat, sometimes my stomach will hurt because I had to drink so much water with my meal.
Enough about me. Let's look at the digestive system and the autoimmune disorders that affect the digestive track.
7 Autoimmune Disorders that Affect the Digestive Tract - brendamueller.com - autoimmune disorders/diseases

The major parts of the digestive system:

  • Salivary glands.
  • Pharynx.
  • Esophagus.
  • Stomach.
  • Small Intestine.
  • Large Intestine.
  • Rectum.
  • Accessory digestive organs: liver, gallbladder, pancreas.
Parts of the Digestive Tract - brendamueller.com - autoimmune disorders/diseases

7 Autoimmune Disorders that Affect the Digestive Tract

7 Autoimmune Disorders that Affect the Digestive Tract - brendamueller.com - autoimmune disorders/diseases

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus The digestive system is responsible for extracting nutrients from the food you eat and ridding your body of waste products. Lupus can affect the entire digestive system, beginning with the mouth. People with lupus are prone to lesions on the inside of the cheeks, the lower lip, or the roof of the mouth. Certain medications prescribed to treat lupus can increase your risk for oral lesions. When the esophagus is inflamed, stomach acid can be forced back into the esophagus (acid reflux), causing heartburn and gas. It can also make swallowing difficult (dysphagia). 

Some people with lupus take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). This can increase risk of bleeding ulcers in the stomach lining or where the stomach meets the bile duct, pancreatic duct, and small intestine (duodenum). Helicobacter pylori bacterium also can cause ulcers, a common problem for people with lupus. 

Inflammation can cause fluids to build up in the lining on the inside of the abdomen (peritoneum). Symptoms include abdominal pain, nausea, fever, and constipation. Lupus patients are at increased risk for inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis). Use of diuretics, immunosuppressants, or corticosteroids increases this risk. Digestive symptoms include constipation, diarrhea, and nausea. These problems can be aggravated by the use of corticosteroids or NSAIDs. Ulcers that form in the colon and rectum may cause bloody diarrhea. 

Polyarteritis Nodosa PAN is a multisystem disease that may present with fever, sweats, weight loss, and severe muscle and joint aches/pains. The disease can affect nearly any site in the body, but it has a predisposition for organs such as the skin, kidney, nerves, and gastrointestinal tract. 

Celiac disease Affects about 1 person in 200, occurs when a person becomes intolerant to gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley products. In people with celiac disease, the ingestion of gluten causes the immune system to attack villi, the tiny structures lining the small intestine. 

Crohn's Disease This condition occurs when the immune system attacks parts of the digestive tract, causing inflammation, swelling, and even scarring. 

Ulcerative Colitis the "cousin" of Crohn's disease, and explains that it happens when the immune system attacks the lining of the rectum and colon, causing ulcers. The ulcers can then bleed and produce pus. 

Autoimmune Hepatitis Unlike most types of hepatitis, which are caused by viruses, autoimmune hepatitis happens when the body's immune system attacks liver cells, causing inflammation. 

Diabetes The partial paralysis of the stomach, which causes delayed gastric emptying. This delayed emptying is most often associated with poorly controlled diabetes.   


Friday, July 14, 2017

July is National Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month

Each year at this time, we commemorate the estimated 300,000 children and their families in the United States who face the everyday challenges of living with juvenile arthritis (JA) and related diseases. Juvenile arthritis is an umbrella term used to describe the many autoimmune and inflammatory conditions or pediatric rheumatic diseases that can develop in children and teens.

The various types of juvenile arthritis share many common symptoms, like pain, joint swelling, redness and warmth, but each type of JA is distinct and has its own unique characteristics and how it affects the body.

7 Common Types of Juvenile Arthritis - brendamueller.com - autoimmune disorders/diseases  

We need to remember that arthritis isn't only for adults. The young people in our community are living with autoimmune disorders, too.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Autoimmune Disorders that Affect the Hair and Skin

I was listening to an audio book by Dr. Don Colbert and he was grouping autoimmune disorders together by the part of the body they affected. I decided I wanted to continue that learning experience with a series of posts. Autoimmune disorders are broadly grouped into two categories –
  • “organ-specific” means one organ is affected,
  • “non-organ-specific” disorders, multiple organs or body systems may be affected.
Here are some examples of organ-specific and non-organ-specific:
  • Diabetes (Type I)– affects the pancreas. Symptoms include thirst, frequent urination, weight loss and an increased susceptibility to infection. (Organ specific)
  • Graves' disease– affects the thyroid gland. Symptoms include weight loss, elevated heart rate, anxiety and diarrhea. (Organ specific)
  • Inflammatory bowel disease– includes ulcerative colitis and possibly, Crohn's disease. Symptoms include diarrhea and abdominal pain. (Organ specific)
  • Psoriasis– affects the skin. Features include the development of thick, reddened skin scales. (Organ specific)
  • Rheumatoid arthritis– affects the joints. Symptoms include swollen and deformed joints. The eyes, lungs and heart may also be targeted. (Non-organ-specific)
  • Scleroderma– affects the skin and other structures, causing the formation of scar tissue. Features include thickening of the skin, skin ulcers and stiff joints. (Non-organ-specific)
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus– affects connective tissue and can strike any organ system of the body. Symptoms include joint inflammation, fever, weight loss and a characteristic facial rash. (Non-organ-specific)
  • Multiple sclerosis– affects the nervous system. Depending on which part of the nervous system is affected, symptoms can include numbness, paralysis and vision impairment. (Non-organ-specific)
With so many autoimmune disorders being “non-organ-specific” we will probably see the different disorders showing up in other groupings.

Autoimmune Disorders that Affect…

Autoimmune Disorders that Affect Hair and Skin - brendamueller.com - autoimmune disorder/disease

The Hair

  • Lupus. Lupus can cause the hair on your scalp to gradually thin out, although a few people lose clumps of hair. Loss of eyebrow, eyelash, and beard and body hair also is possible. In most cases, your hair will grow back when your lupus is treated. But some people with lupus develop round (discoid) lesions on the scalp.
  • Hashimoto's Disease. Hair loss is a distressing symptom experienced by women with Hashimoto’s. For women, our hair represents our femininity, and losing our hair is a constant reminder that something is off and that we are not well. Iron deficiency is one of the most common reasons for hair loss in pre-menopausal women. People with Hashimoto’s often have poor levels of stomach acid, which is required to extract iron from foods.
  • Alopecia Areata describes an autoimmune disease caused by the body's immune system attacking the hair follicles. When white blood cells attack hair follicles, they interrupt hair growth leading to small round patches of hair loss.

The Skin

  • Scleroderma. The skin is just one area that is affected by scleroderma, which is actually a widespread condition that affects all of the body’s connective tissue. Since this autoimmune disorder extends throughout the body, patients can experience not only skin changes, but also symptoms in blood vessels, muscles, and organs. A localized form of scleroderma results in patches of thickened skin, while systemic scleroderma is the form that has the greatest impact on people’s lives.
  • Psoriasis. This is a chronic autoimmune disorder that manifests as skin redness and irritation. There are five different types of psoriasis: guttate, plaque, inverse, erythrodermic, and pustular. The most common is plaque psoriasis, in which raised, red skin patches are covered by flaky, silver-white patches of dead skin, known as scales.
  • Dermatomyositis.This autoimmune disorder is primarily muscular in nature, but because dermatomyositis also affects the skin, it is sometimes categorized with skin-related autoimmune conditions.
  • Epidermolysis Bullosa. There are many forms of epidermolysis bullosa, but only one, epidermolysis bullosa acquisita, is considered autoimmune in nature. All forms of epidermolysis bullosa causes fluid-filled skin blisters to develop in response to injuries that don’t normally warrant that type of reaction. For example, gentle rubbing of the skin or even an increase in room temperature can cause blisters to form.
  • Bullous Pemphigoid. This chronic autoimmune disorder involves skin blisters that range in severity. In some cases, the patient may experience only mild redness or irritation of the skin, while other, more severe cases involve multiple blisters that can break open and form ulcers.
  • Polyarteritis Nodosa. PAN is a multisystem disease that may present with fever, sweats, weight loss, and severe muscle and joint aches/pains. The disease can affect nearly any site in the body, but it has a predisposition for organs such as the skin, kidney, nerves, and gastrointestinal tract.
  • Lichen’s Sclerosis. This autoimmune disorder can affect the skin on any part of the body.
Action Step: Many of these autoimmune disorders in this post are new to me and probably new to many of my followers. Please share your experience with how your hair and skin are affected in the comment section below.