I’m taking part in WEGO Health’s Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge
Day 8 #HAWMC – If your health condition (or the health condition of a loved one!) was an animal, what would it be? Is it a real animal or make believe?
If either Sjogren’s or depression were an animal, I think they would be a canary in a coal mine. Throughout much of the 20th century, canaries were used in coal mines to warn miners of an overload of toxic gases like carbon monoxide and methane. The canaries were more sensitive to the presence of these gases and when the birds showed distress, the miners knew it was time to get out!
I think a lot of invisible illnesses like Sjogren’s and other autoimmune diseases, and also depression and anxiety are like the canary. Those who have these illnesses are sensitive to the increased overload of the toxins in our environment: in our food, water, air, and in the stress that permeates most aspects of our lives.
The prevalence of autoimmune diseases is increasing according to the U.S. National Institute of Health. This should be a cause for concern for all of us. If people are getting ill with Sjogren’s or any of the other dozens of autoimmune diseases in increasing numbers, it might be time to look at the unsustainable nature of our life on Earth.
Like the canary in the coal mine, perhaps the people with autoimmune diseases are just the most sensitive among us: the first to detect the toxic overload. Perhaps we’re the early warning sign that things need to change for all of us.