Autoimmune

Autoimmune Diseases are Western Diseases

Autoimmune diseases, specifically, now affect close to 50 million people and include rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, celiac, scleroderma, multiple sclerosis, Hashimoto’s thyroid disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and more.

Your immune system is your defense against invading pathogens. It is your internal army and has to distinguish friend from foe — or self from other. Autoimmunity occurs when your immune system gets confused and your own tissues get mistakenly seen as the enemy.

Surprisingly, autoimmune conditions are almost unheard of in non-western countries like Africa. Why is that? A cluster of diseases that are the 8th leading cause of death for women and short the lifespan an average of 8 years are truly a disease of affluence. The mechanism of action in autoimmunity is complex and varied but can be reversed with functional medicine principles.

In functional medicine we see that the root action is that the body is fighting something — a bacteria or virus, a toxin, an allergen, a food or the stress response. In the process, the immune system redirects its attack on your gut, skin, joints, your brain, your thyroid or sometimes your whole body.This immune confusion results from a process called molecular mimicry. Your body mistakes a tissue for something foreign – an infection, allergen or toxin.

Unfortunately, many of the conventional options focus on suppressing the symptoms or even worse suppressing the immune system leaving you at greater risk for cancer and infections. These drugs in acute situations are lifesavers and can help people get their lives back. But they are not a long-term solution. They shouldn’t be the end of treatment, but a bridge to cool off inflammation while we treat the root cause of the disease.

Autoimmune conditions at their core are signs of an out of balance body and especially a out of whack digestive system. This is where functional nutrition comes in. Cleaning up the diet, improving gut function, applying proper probiotic therapy and creating a healthy lifestyle are all required for someone to recover from autoimmune conditions.

Immune Causes

Out of Balance Gut

An out of balance microbiome, food allergies, leaky gut, gluten, infections, digestive insufficiencies, antibiotic overuse and bad diet can lead to the ground zero starting point for autoimmunity.

Chronic Infections

Infections, especially gut infections like Candida yeast, bacteria such as Klesiella and Bacillus species as well as Epstein-Barr and Lyme’s can lead to a overburdened and malfuncitioning immune system leading to autoimmunity.

Food Reactions

Leaky gut, gluten reactions, conventional farming, GMO foods and molecular mimicry can all lead the immune system to go haywire. Often one of the most valuable changes you can make to quench inflammation is removing reactive foods.

Loss of Bacterial Diversity

The Standard American Diet is calorie dense, nutrient poor and kills our good probiotics and grows disease causing bacteria in our gut. Restoring gut bacteria diversity can restore balance to the digestive tract.

Out of Control Stress

Stress and stressful events often precede onset of an autoimmune condition. The stress-response hormones intimately interact with the other body systems wearing them down and setting up the inflammatory response that leads to immune dysregulation.

Toxic Exposure

Autoimmune conditions cluster around toxic storage zones called “super fund sites”. The burden of toxins the body cannot detox increase the chance for autoimmune reactions