How Genetics Effect Autoimmune Disease By Alane Palmer, ND, CNC

Several factors lead up to a person coming down with an autoimmune disease. Genetics does cause this in about 1/3 of the population. Why is it that some people go through life clean of autoimmune, but others seem to get it in what appears to be like a simple flick of a switch? The root cause of all autoimmune diseases is the immune system. The immune system is there to protect us from invading microorganisms, but it turns against us and attacks our proteins, cells, and tissues instead. Which proteins, cells, and tissues are attacked determines the autoimmune disease and its symptoms.

It seems like many people are suffering from autoimmune disease today. They all come in with different symptoms and diagnosis from their medical doctor. Some people have joint pain and have been diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis, other people come in with thyroid symptoms, but the attack is against their thyroid gland. People with Fibromyalgia have connective tissue or nerve pain, and people with MS have attacks against the myelin.

When I sit down with a new patient, and they tell me about their autoimmune disease and ask for help the first thing I ask is if anyone else in their family, especially their parents and grandparents has or had similar symptoms? I also ask if anyone in the family has or had any autoimmune disease. The answer always seems to be that either mom’s side or dad’s side past the autoimmune issue to the children. Mom may have Fibromyalgia, and the daughter has Hashimoto’s. Dad may have Ulcerative Colitis, and the child may have autism.

There is a genetic effect when an autoimmune disease is a reality. Even in my family, everything made sense when my grandmother was passing. Mom told me she had that autoimmune thyroid disease that I have. I had no clue but looking back it all made sense! Grandma loved her bread and was always a bit overweight. It did not make sense since she went to her gym daily and loved to exercise. That is why I believe she lived to be 92. From reading and studying the Paleo Mom and other great authors of the autoimmune paleo diet, gluten is the main culprit for autoimmune symptoms, and as I said, grandma loved her bread!

If you are suffering or concerned about autoimmune disease and it seems to be a genetic issue consider coming in for an appointment. I am sure we can assist you.

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Medical disclaimer: Nutritionally Yours is not a medical clinic. 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. We have a nutritionist, naturopath and a medical doctor on staff to help you feel your best.