autoimmune diseasesAutoimmune diseases and attacks happen when our body is unable to tell the difference between its own cells and foreign cells. The immune system begins attacking the body thinking it is an invader. Normally the immune system is there to protect against disease and infection, but in autoimmune diseases it will even attack healthy cells. Some of the things we have seen that are triggering these auto immune attacks are genetics, stress, pregnancy, infection and other health challenges.

There are more than eighty different autoimmune diseases that exist, and they all affect the body in different ways. This can make them difficult to diagnose. Generally though, symptoms begin as fatigue, inflammation, low fever, skin eruptions, stomach aches, joint pains and muscle aches. Symptoms generally come and go as flare-ups depending on which disease you have and which environmental, health or stress triggers affect it, if any. There is no 100% cure for autoimmune diseases but diet changes, such as avoiding foods you are intolerant to, can help with autoimmune symptoms and improve your quality of life. For example, our practitioner, Alane, has Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and has had it more many years. With nutrition adjustments she has easily been able to keep the symptoms to a minimal. Autoimmune diseases generally have various forms of inflammation in common, and eating a food you are intolerant to can lead to more inflammation which can then stress any other symptoms you currently have.

A simple example to this is Celiac disease, which is an autoimmune response triggered by gluten. When gluten is eaten, it can break down the stomach lining and enter the bloodstream, which then causes the body to follow it and attack whatever parts of the body it is traveling to. Thus, avoiding gluten entirely is the simple way to help Celiac disease symptoms improve. For other autoimmune diseases, simply avoiding foods you are naturally intolerant of and maintaining a healthy diet can help with symptoms.

Questions about autoimmune diseases and nutrition? Contact our office today! 678-372-2913.

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Medical disclaimer: Testing cannot be used to diagnose, treat or cure any disease. All test results are to be used as educational materials and as a guide to help support your overall health and wellness. Always discuss health concerns with your medical doctor.

“Autoimmune Diseases: Medlineplus” N.p., 2016. Web. 13 Apr. 2016. Barton, Susan H., and Joseph A. Murray. “Celiac Disease And Autoimmunity In The Gut And Elsewhere”.Gastroenterology Clinics of North America37.2 (2008): 411-428. Web. 13 Apr. 2016.

By Alane Palmer, ND, CNC and Russell Shein