Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, Celiac Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Type 1 Diabetes, Vasculitis, etc. What do all of these conditions have in common? They are all AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES.
There are more than 100 known autoimmune diseases that can effect one, ten, a thousand, a million or more people worldwide. Being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease meant that it was a lifelong condition, and once the process was turned on, it could not be turned off. If you have been told that you have an autoimmune disease, chances are that you have way more questions than your doctor has answers. Most doctors can tell you how the autoimmune condition usually presents, but the one thing that they are missing is offering ways that you can be proactive in alleviating symptoms outside of medication use.
Fortunately, thanks to some new research on the gut and its role in the development of autoimmunity, we now have a better understanding of what factors are in our control. In order for an autoimmune condition to actually surface, 3 conditions must typically coexist:
- An Environmental trigger (ex. Poor diet, lack of sleep, toxins, etc.)
- A Leaky Gut
This means that there are 2 factors that we can actually have some control over, and that is GOOD news.
Below are my tips and strategies for tackling autoimmune conditions
- Eat a whole food, anti-inflammatory diet. Focus on anti-inflammatory foods including wild fish and other sources of omega-3 fats; red and purple berries (these are rich in polyphenols); dark green leafy vegetables; orange sweet potatoes; and nuts. Add anti-inflammatory herbs, including turmeric (a source of curcumin), ginger and rosemary, to your daily diet. Eliminate inflammatory foods such as refined, omega-6 and inflammatory oils, including corn, soy and safflower oils.
- Check for hidden infections. These include yeast, viruses, bacteria and Lyme. At Stanly Wellness Center, we can help to identify and eliminate these infections.
- Check for hidden food allergies as well as for nutritional deficiencies such as low vitamin D.
- Test for heavy metal toxicity. Mercury and other metals can cause autoimmunity.
- Fix your gut. About 60 percent of your immune system lies in your gut. If your gut surface breaks down, your immune system will get activated and start reacting to foods, toxins and the good bugs in your gut. The easiest way to begin healing your gut involves eating a whole food, anti-inflammatory diet (see tip 1 above) and removing gluten and other foods that cause sensitivities – including corn, dairy, sugar, wheat, & soy.
- Exercise regularly. Regular exercise is a natural anti-inflammatory. You don’t have to go to the gym, run on a treadmill and pump iron to stay in shape. Just start moving around more. Go for walks with your friends or family. Go out and do some gardening. Play Frisbee in the park with your kids. Pick up a tennis racket and just knock a tennis ball around. Anything you can do to get out and move your body can be considered exercise. So don’t think that you absolutely have to go to the gym to get fit. Just use your body more.
- Practice deep relaxation. Stress amps up your immune system worsening the symptoms of autoimmunity. Incorporate calming techniques, such as yoga, deep breathing, biofeedback, or massage, daily to relax.
- Sleep for 8 hours every night. The research is clear: Lack of sleep, or even poor-quality sleep damages your metabolism, causes cravings for sugar and carbs, makes you eat more and drives up your risk of numerous conditions from diabetes to autoimmune disease. Getting enough sleep and sleeping well are essential for vibrant health and reversing inflammation.
At Stanly Wellness Center, we are here to help you with your health goals. We offer FREE 15 minute consultations to determine if you are a good candidate for our care. All you need to do is call 980-355-7600 to schedule your FREE consultation. We look forward to helping you and your family.