Autoimmune conditions develop when a person’s immune system gets confused and unfortunately attacks cells in the body. Depending on timing and your genetic predisposition autoimmunity can manifest as:
- Crohn’s disease
- Celiac disease
- Hashimotos thyroiditis
- Graves disease
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Multiple sclerosis
- And many more ways, as we have many vulnerable body systems!
Autoimmunity occurs when our immune system inadvertently tags one of our cells like it would normally tag an intruding bacteria, virus, fungus, parasite, or other uninvited guest. Once tagged the cell is treated like any other trespasser and is attacked by our immune cells.
To resolve this confusion we must re-educate the body about what is self, what is foreign, what is benign and what must be eliminated. We do this through laboratory testing, herbs, supplements, and stress reduction.
Healing the gut | autoimmune conditions
Gut health is the cornerstone of balancing the immune system, as the majority of our immune cells interact with our gut. When a patient presents with an autoimmune condition step one is cleaning up the diet, balancing the gut bacteria, healing the gut lining, and boosting the natural digestive juices so that we can extract all of the nutrients from our food to speed healing of our tissues.
Diet is HUGE for resolving autoimmune conditions. Online resources like The Paleo Mom are invaluable for crafting a new diet founded in immune-balancing nutrients.
Stress reduction | autoimmune conditions
Stress is also a significant contributor to autoimmune flares. It is very important for a person either with autoimmunity or predisposed to autoimmunity to focus on self-care in order to keep stress levels low. Receiving a new diagnosis of an autoimmune condition is not a prognosis; the symptoms may progress rapidly and be devastating, but I have also seen so many autoimmune patients bring their condition into remission. That’s the incredible thing about our immune response! If we are able to rein in our immune system early in the disease, little damage is done to our cells and tissues and the patient lives a long healthy life just as if they never received the diagnosis. Sometimes it almost appears that an initial autoimmune flare is good news as it serves as a wake-up call inspiring the patient to make the necessary changes towards a healthier happier life.
Herbs, supplements, and more | autoimmune conditions
Diet, gut health, life balance including low stress, good sleep and general contentment are foundational for healing all autoimmune conditions. However, almost always, due to the seriousness of these conditions, we are required to treat with herbs, supplements and/or medications to achieve remission. These interventions vary based on the illness, and address both the underlying mechanism as well as the symptoms themselves.