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American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA) · ·

Many of you viewed Fox News "Autoimmune Disease" segment that was broadcast on Sunday. This is AARDA's response.

"This past Sunday’s “House Call” on FOX News Channel (December 8, 2013) underscores just how little the medical community knows about autoimmune diseases – and how much they could benefit from ongoing physician education. With all due respect to FOX and the show’s co-hosts, Dr. David Samadi and Dr. Marc Siegel, the segment was full of misinformation.

First, we at AARDA (American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association Inc.) and the many autoimmune disease patients who have posted comments on AARDA’s Facebook page, were shocked to hear the doctors discussing diet as the cause of autoimmune diseases.

There is no credible medical research of which I or a member of AARDA’s Scientific Advisory Board are aware that verifies Dr. Samadi’s claims that sugar, milk, meat, trans fats or processed foods cause autoimmune diseases. None of these have been shown to prompt the autoimmune response. The one exception is gluten in people who suffer from autoimmune celiac disease.
Sugar, it has been suggested, may increase the inflammation associated with autoimmunity but has not been proven to cause autoimmunity. Eating fruits and vegetables that contain anti-oxidants can help to reduce inflammation, but doing so does not prevent the inflammation from occurring – again, that is a result of an autoimmune response.

However, to suggest that diet causes autoimmune disease was erroneous and misleading and a real disservice to the millions of Americans living and coping with diseases that are serious and, in some instances, life-threatening illnesses. To suggest to a young, female lupus patient who has lost a kidney that it was her fault because she ate too much sugar is irresponsible. We imagine FOX’s own broadcast anchor, Neil Cavuto, who suffers from multiple sclerosis, would be surprised to learn his disease is his own fault because he eats meat.
Also misleading was the co-mingling of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is not an autoimmune disease and while diet certainly does play a role in its onset, the intake of sugar has never been shown to cause Type 1, the autoimmune version of the disease.
There are more than 100 known autoimmune diseases that are classified as rheumatologic, dermatologic, neurologic, gastroenterologic, endocrinologic, multi-system, etc. For physicians to take this umbrella category of disease and term it a “syndrome” on national television again demonstrates the need for increased physician education which is becoming an increased focus for AARDA.

Autoimmune diseases are wide-ranging and complex. They require care by skilled, experienced physicians. Improving the American diet is an important, laudable goal, but no substitute for the tested and proven treatments increasingly available for many of the autoimmune disorders.

Thank you for following up misinformation with FACTS!

'm so sick of the ridiculous theories out there about various diseases.