Heidi Stevenson is also the editor of Gaia Health, where health and the environment are seen a little differently. They're intertwined, one with the other. We cannot be healthy if the world isn't, and with so many of us in existence, the world cannot be healthy if we aren't. Thus, the name is taken from the image of the earth as a living organism: "Gaia Health." Please visit the author's website at : http://gaia-health.com
We now have a new horrible disease brought by the same insane meat-raising industry that brought Mad Cow Disease and Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, both implicated from the brains of sheep and cattle. It's known by two terms, Progressive Inflammatory Neuropathy and Immune Polyradiculoneuropathy (IPR). Neither is really a name, but more of a description. They indicate that the disease involves inflammation of the spinal cord, has multiple neurological symptoms, gets worse, and affects the immune system.
Symptoms are remarkably similar to multiple sclerosis and arachnoiditis. They include pain, especially in the legs, weakness, fatigue, and sensory disturbances.
All of the victims are employees in pork slaughtering plants. They harvest pig brains by blowing them out of the heads with compressed-air guns. Yes, harvest is the term used. It's believed that aerosolized pig brains, which are breathed in by the workers, are the cause.
At this point, there is no explanation of what it is in pig's brains that cause such symptoms. In Mad Cow Disease, the cause is likely prions, which are protein particles that have no material associated with cell nuclei. There is no known treatment for prion-caused diseases, and they are consistently degenerative and fatal.
The Brief History of IPR
IPR's history is very short, going back, at most, to 2004. The first possible case was seen then, but was identified only as having symptoms of neurological damage, as the patient wisely* refused to have cerebrospinal fluid tapped for further testing.
The disease came to light just last year, in September 2007, when the nursing staff of an Austin, Minnesota pork processing facility and a Spanish interpreter reported 12 cases to a family physician, who in turn contacted neurologist Dr. Lachance of the Mayo Clinic. Since then, a total of 18 cases have been confirmed.
All IPR's victims have a previously unknown antibody, which indicates that the disease is caused by an infectious agent in the pig's brains. Most, if not all, of the subjects have thickened spinal nerve roots. Protein levels in their cerebrospinal fluid are elevated, which is typical of meningitis and other neurological disorders involving inflammation.
A significant point that seems not to be discussed by the allopathic medical system is that no one knows how long it takes to develop symptoms of IPR. In the case of Creutzfeldt-Jakob, it can take decades. Thus, we have no idea how many people have been affected, nor do we know whether the disease is transmissible from human-to-human once it has crossed the species barrier from pig to human.
To this point, allopathic medicine is painting a positive picture for IPR's victims, saying that all of its victims have either improved or stabilized. In saying this, they fail to point out that they've received suppressive treatments, most notably methylprednisolone, which carries extremely serious risks, including diabetes, hypercortisolism (another name for Cushing's syndrome, which leads to heart attacks), psychoses, and a host of other serious disorders. They do note that victims who are "less severely affected" (as described by Medscape) are treated with pain relievers and gabapentin, another drug with potentially severe effects.
What is not noted is that symptoms like those described in IPR victims indicate permanent, and usually degenerative, debility and pain. The allopathic medical system can provide only palliative care for such patients, care that carries its own range of severe risks.
The bottom line for the patients is that the outlook cannot be good. For those who have been exposed to the same conditions, hundreds or thousands of workers, no one knows the likelihood of them developing IPR. The rest of us have no way of knowing whether the disease can be transmitted from human to human.
Once again, the evils of agribusiness, which sees crops as nothing but potential profits, not as food, and animals as products, not as feeling beings, are coming back to haunt us. We are now losing our bees and bats. People have been falling ill from terrible diseases transmitted by the victims of our animal exploitation. The masses of humans in so-called advanced societies, like our own, are suffering from malnutrition and obesity as the result of mass production in both food growing and processing.
If diseases like IPR, Immune Polyradiculoneuropathy, are to be ended, then the only solution is to humanize our food system.
*To see why it was wise for the patient to refuse this test, see the article published in Natural News, "Arachnoiditis - The Risk You Take When Opting for Spinal Surgery" (http://www.naturalnews.com/022353.html)
MedPage Today, "AAN: Pork Worker Nerve Illness Has Autoimmune Cause", ((http://www.medpagetoday.com/MeetingCove...)
American Academy of Neurology News Alert, "New details presented in outbreak in pork processing plant workers", ((http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/...)
About the author
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Fellow, British Institute of Homeopathy
Gaia Therapy (http://www.gaia-therapy.com/)
The author is a homeopath who became concerned with medically-induced harm as a result of her own experiences and those of family members. She says that allopathic medicine is the arena that best describes the motto, "Buyer beware."
Iatrogenic disease is illness, disability, and death caused by medical practice. It is common, resulting in huge costs to society and individuals. It's possible - even common - to suffer an iatrogenic illness without realizing its source. Heidi Stevenson provides information about medically-induced disease and disability so members of the public can protect themselves.