After Venus announced her diagnosis and that she was leaving the US Open, I’m sure that many folks googled Sjögren’s Syndrome to learn more about what Venus was facing. Here is what I found on the Sjorgren’s Syndrome Foundation site in an article titled About Sjögren’s Syndrome.
Although the hallmark symptoms are dry eyes and dry mouth, Sjögren’s may also cause dysfunction of other organs such as the kidneys, gastrointestinal system, blood vessels, lungs, liver, pancreas, and the central nervous system. Patients may also experience extreme fatigue and joint pain and have a higher risk of developing lymphoma.
Here is what I learned: Sjögren’s is pronounced “SHOW-grins.” There are about 4 million in the USA with this syndrome. It is an autoimmune problem where white corpuscles are attacking healthy parts of the body. There is no treatment nor cure for Sjögren’s Syndrome, but there are treatments for some of the symptoms.
Immune disorders are very common these days. You have been hearing about them for many years. Allergy, Lupus, Fibromyalgia, Crohns Disease, Eczema, Graves’ Disease, Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, and more than 100 more separate diagnoses are listed as “Immune Disorders” when you search Wiki for that term.
What is important for us to understand is that all immune disorders have no cure and there are only treatments for the symptoms. What this means to me is that medical researchers and other professionals are able to document what is happening, but not able to determine why it is happening, nor what to do about it.
I suspect that all these immune disorder diagnoses are simply clusters of documented symptoms. Our modern medical model is based on having clear sets of symptoms for performing diagnosis. If there is a cluster of symptoms the current model permits researchers to agree that this is some syndrome and they can name it after the person who noticed the cluster.
Why Is The Immune System Reacting Like This?
I think this is the key to understanding what we can do about the immune disorder we have. If we understand why our immune system is acting this way, we can take precautions and stop our symptoms.
Our immune system was developed in the world where we were molded and developed. Our bodies were made of the same stuff as everything that was around us. Our immune system’s purpose is to protect us from things it knows are harmful to us or which it thinks might be harmful to us.
But, now our world has changed. Many of the things around us (for instance, modern chemicals) are not part of that mix of things from which we were molded and developed. Our immune systems are not tuned to many of the things we consume, breathe, and touch. So, I think our immune system is reacting to that pervasive cloud of unknown stimuli and doing the only thing it knows how to do. It doesn’t have a simple LCD display it can use to inform us that it is getting confused by all of the foreign stimuli. The display systems it does have at its disposal are mechanisms which give us symptoms. So, I think “immune disorders” are signals that our immune system is under stress and it trying to get our attention.
What Would Make The Immune System Calm Down And Stop These Symptom Displays?
First I want to explain that I have Multiple Chemical Sensitivity. I react to many things in my environment. My symptoms include a rash on my legs, a non-productive cough, fatigue, and arrhythmia. I am able to control these symptoms by not coming in contact with those things to which my immune system reacts.
But, I also work with children with Developmental Disorders (ADHD, Dyslexia, Failure To Thrive, Auditory Processing Disorder, Autism, etc. . .). Each of these disorders also has no cure, and there are some treatments for some symptoms. What is rarely focused on is that these children all have one significant thing in common: their developmental process has been blocked and their symptoms are signals that this process has stopped. When we determine what each of these children are reacting to in their environment and coach them and their families about how to eliminate contact with those things to which they react, their developmental process re-engages and they get back on track. Their immune system was blocking their developmental process as part of its reaction to various things in their environment.
Let me give you an example. Most of the children with whom we work react to the laundry soap used in their home. This means that the residue from those chemicals are in their clothes and is touching their skin 24/7 (as well as the vapor being breathed in). This means that their immune system never gets a break, and their developmental process never gets to re-engage. We have discovered that running the child’s laundry (clothes, sheets, towels, etc. .) a complete extra cycle without any soap being used will get much more of that residue out of the child’s environment.
So, when I hear that Venus Williams has an immune disorder, I think I understand what she is facing. I also know that many millions of children with developmental disorders are stuck as far as their developmental process goes, and our modern medical approach is to give these child medications to stop the symptoms. BTW: The immune systems of the children we work with tend to react to the medications they are given by the medical profession and this helps them stay with a stuck developmental process.
Certainly, Venus should see her doctors and follow their advice and their treatments. But, she should also find out what she reacts to and then eliminate those things from her environment. This can be done by blood tests or a variety of alternative testing methods (we can chat about these methods in the Comments).
From our experience, when she gets everything she reacts to out of her environment, her symptoms will stop because her immune system will stop reacting.