View from the top of Snow Basin, Utah.

The number of people who get an autoimmune disease (AD) in the United states is increasing dramatically every year. But not just in the US. This is also happening around the world.

The increase is most dramatic in westernized, more developed nations. But, as the so called “developing nations” around the world develop, their rates of autoimmune disease are rising faster and faster.

Let’s review the highlights of the article “The World Incidence and Prevalence of Autoimmune Disease is Increasing.” This was published in the International Journal of Celiac Disease in 2015. Volume 3, No. 4, pages 151-155.

The authors were Aaron Lerner, Patricia Jeremias and Torsten Matthias. This article is available online at http://pubs.sciepub.com/ijcd/3/4/8

“Among many others, three major environmental factors, strongly related to socioeconomic status are suspected to drive these phenomenon: infections, ecology and nutrition.”

The fastest growing AD category around the world are the rheumatologic autoimmune diseases. These include rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematous and other subsets of lupus as well as Sjogren’s syndrome. The number of people in the world who have these is increasing by over 7% a year.

The next fastest growing AD category are the endocrine such as Type 1 diabetes and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. They are growing at 6.3% per year.

Followed closely by the gastrointestinal ADs at 6.2% per year. These include celiac disease, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease and autoimmune hepatitis.

The neurologic ADs follow at almost 4% per year. These include multiple sclerosis and myasthenia gravis.

The increase in the frequency of ADs is growing faster in some countries than others. From highest % increase per year to the lowest: Israel, Netherlands, USA, Sweden, United Kingdom, Finland, Canada and Denmark with 12.9%, 10.0%, 8.8%, 8.4%, 7.8%, 7.6%, 7.3% and 6.3% respectively.

Children are getting more and more ADS each year at the same rate as the adults around the world!!!

There is a considerable difference in what ADs are increasing in which countries. In Canada for example, celiac disease rates are increasing by almost 35% per year compared with less than 10% in the other westernized nations.

Type 1 diabetes is increasing by about 17% per year in Israel while in Europe and Canada this increase is only 5-6% per year.

Quoting from this very nicely done article, “The recent outbreak of autoimmune diseases in industrialized countries has brought into question the factors contributing to this increased incidence.” ” …growing attention has focused on environmental factors and in particular, the western lifestyle. Indeed, over the last few decades significant changes in western dietary habits, environmental surroundings and pollution exposure, infectious habitat and stress load, have led to a parallel rise in autoimmune diseases.”

Knowing this information. Knowing, from our previous blog posts, what are the factors which drive the development of the ADs. Knowing what advanced testing needs to be done to see the ADs coming long before they are full blown. Everyone would do well to have some simple testing done and then make a few changes based on the results. This would go a long way in preventing these diseases before they even start.

Now is the time to turn these trends of increasing numbers of people with an AD around. Now is the time to reverse and potentially get rid of the 1st AD someone gets so they don’t get a 2nd, 3rd, 4th or 5th AD.

“Got a revolution. Got to revolution.”