AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE

Found that autoimmune disease often strikes after a period of intense stress, such as a death in the family, a painful divorce, job loss, or car accident. That being said, do all we can do to manage stress no matter what life may bring.But the good news here is that you can turn it around. You must do the work, and it will not happen overnight.

Functional medicine experts have linked the increase in autoimmune diseases to four main triggers:
• Food sensitivities (especially gluten, which is connected to leaky gut)
• Stress
• Hidden infection
• Genetics

In response to one or more of these triggers, the immune system may begin producing antibodies that attack the body instead of helping it.

Types of autoimmune disease
Do you have an autoimmune disease? Let’s look at the common types of autoimmune disease and how they develop.

Rheumatoid arthritis
Negative antibodies attach to the joint lining, then attacking the joints,causing intense pain, swelling, and inflammation. Over time this can lead to permanent joint damage.

Lupus
In the case of lupus, negative antibodies attach to tissues throughout the body, affecting joints, lungs, kidneys, blood cells, and nerves.

Inflammatory bowel disease
With this autoimmune disease, the lining of the intestines is attacked,leading to diarrhea, rectal bleeding, urgent bowel movements, abdominal pain, fever, and weight loss. Two common forms of inflammatory bowel disease are ulcerative colitis and Chrohn’s disease.

Multiple sclerosis
The nerve cells serve as the target of attack with multiple sclerosis.Symptoms include pain, blindness, muscle spasms, poor coordination, and weakness.

Type 1 diabetes
Type 1 diabetes, previously known as juvenile diabetes, emerges early in life. It develops when immune system antibodies attack insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. Insulin becomes necessary for survival.

Guillain-Barré syndrome
With this illness, the body’s immune system attacks the peripheral nervous system—namely, the nerves connected to the legs, arms, and upper body—leading to weakness.

Psoriasis
Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease connected to the skin. It is identifiable by silvery, scaly patches on the skin and results from an overproduction of skin cells.

Graves’ disease
When the immune system stimulates an excessive release of thyroid hormone, Graves’ disease is the result. It is identifiable often by bulging eyes but can also include weight loss, nervousness, irritability, rapid heart rate, weakness, and brittle hair.

Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
This is another autoimmune disease connected to the thyroid in which the cells that produce thyroid hormone are slowly destroyed. The development of hypothyroidism can take months to years. Symptoms include fatigue, constipation, weight gain, depression, dry skin, and cold sensitivity.

Myasthenia gravis
This autoimmune disease affects the nerves and impairs movement,creating increased weakness with continued activity.

Vasculitis
In the case of this autoimmune disease, the immune system attacks and damages blood vessels. It can affect any organ, causing symptoms to vary.

Functional medicine
If you have an autoimmune disease, it is time to think about using a functional medicine approach, which is a new way of thinking about the underlying causes and imbalances in chronic disease. You begin by asking your doctor to help you hunt for toxins, allergens, and infections—all common causes of inflammation to help find the real cause of your symptoms.

Many people with autoimmune disease have taken so many antibiotics in their lifetime that they have altered their gut flora. Another impact of so many antibiotics is that bacteria in the body has promoted yeast overgrowth. Fungus and yeast then are allowed to flourish in the body.

Helicobacter pylori bacteria in the gut is a common finding in autoimmunity, as well as leaky gut, which will make you react to many foods, including dairy and gluten. People with autoimmune disease are commonly exposed to toxins either at their job or home and may have high levels of mercury. Chronic sinus infections are also a huge tip that the immune system is struggling.

Dietary considerations
Avoid sugars and refined foods to eliminate yeast from the body. Also work to identify food allergies. You may need to eliminate gluten and dairy to repair the gut. Drink bone broth—at least two to three cups daily.