Real Success Stories.
Real Costco® Members.
San Antonio, TX
Member since 2004
I want my 5-year-old son to see his mom set good examples through his life – facing challenges instead of hiding in comfort food, making ood decisions and understanding that what you choose in one moment has effects for years to come.
With alli®, I am seeing that it is not so much
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I’ve been reading the serving sizes on
packages and trying to follow them.
Sometimes, it is alarming how much I was
exceeding the suggested size.
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Featured member is provided alli product, retail value of $70, online
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68 ;e Costco Connection MARCH 2011
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 67
ponents,” says Finger, “a genetic predisposition and a trigger [something that activates
“I guess I get it [RA] from both sides of
my family,” says Di Sante. Her maternal and
paternal aunts both had RA, and her grandfather had Type 1 diabetes—the autoimmune
form of diabetes.
“Autoimmune diseases often run in families,” explains Costco member Betty
Diamond, M.D., head of the Center for
Autoimmune and Musculoskeletal Disease at
the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research,
North Shore–Long Island Jewish Health
System Foundation in Manhasset, New York.
They might cluster—one family member
could have lupus (a systemic autoimmune
disease that affects many parts of the body),
another might have RA and still another
could have Crohn’s (an autoimmune inflammatory bowel disease).
Having one autoimmune disease also
increases the risk that a person will develop
more, adds Diamond: “Genetics play a role,
but they’re not the only player.”
“Autoimmune diseases are polygenic,”
meaning it usually takes a combination of sev-
eral genes to develop an autoimmune disease,
explains Noel R. Rose, M.D., professor of
pathology, molecular microbiology and immu-
nology at the Johns Hopkins Medical
Institutions and director of the Johns Hopkins
Autoimmune Disease Research Center in
Baltimore. “The more [genes predisposed to
autoimmune disease] you have, the more likely
you are to develop an autoimmune disease.”
Research is helping scientists to sort them
out. Rose says family history is the “poor
man’s human genome project.” “It’s the kind
of evidence we started with years ago, to see
who might have an inherited risk,” he explains.
What exactly triggers the disease seems
to be different for everyone, although there is
some relationship between stress or lack of
sleep and onset of a disease or flare-ups.
While there’s no evidence to suggest that
stress causes autoimmune disease, or is a trigger of autoimmune disease, stress can exacerbate flares (symptoms running amuck).
“Stress makes the body go into fight-or-flight
mode, which revs up your immune system,”
Finger explains. Not good for an immune system already in overdrive.
An invisible illness
“Because these diseases develop slowly
and are so diverse, it’s hard to put all the symptoms together,” says Rose. The symptoms
aren’t clear-cut. “And the concept of autoimmune disease is fairly recent,” he explains.
“Physicians used to be taught that auto-
immune diseases were rare,” says Finger. So,
historically, they didn’t go looking for one.
Jacqueline M. Duda, a Washington, D.C.–
based health writer, has been diagnosed
with several autoimmune diseases. She is
working to connect the dots in her own
family medical history.