The primary goal of a healthy immune system is to kill pathogens, bacteria, viruses, or any other intruder in the body, including parasites. Autoimmune disease occurs when the immune system begins attacking the body itself.
Anything that causes an inflammatory response in the body can trigger an autoimmune disease. In order to find healing, it is of utmost importance to discover the trigger—the source of the issue. If the trigger can be identified, corrective measures can be taken and healing can begin.
Triggers include Lyme disease, mold, heavy metals, hormone imbalances, electromagnetic radiation, parasites, intestinal permeability or “leaky gut,” fatty liver, genetic expression/allergens, pharmaceuticals, mental and emotional stress, everyday chemical exposures, Genetically Modified Organisms, and poor diet.
Many people have a difficult time getting a correct diagnosis and, in some cases, are mistakenly diagnosed with other conditions. Things you can do to increase your chances of getting a correct autoimmune disorder diagnosis are to know and communicate your family history, track your symptoms, ask about autoimmune disorder tests, consider a second opinion, see a specialist, and look out for other disorders. It can take months or even years to confirm an autoimmune disorder diagnosis and its causes(s), even when you or your doctor suspects that you have one.
Blood tests to diagnose an autoimmune disorder may include auto-antibody tests, inflammation and organ function tests, and Organic Acids Test (OAT)
The Past Pointing Test will not identify all autoimmune problems, but the cerebellum is the second most common tissue to be attacked when a person suffers from autoimmunity problems. If you think you may have some form of autoimmune issue, this would be a good simple, quick, and free test to try.
Stand with your feet very close together and close your eyes. If you start to fall over, that is a sign of potential nervous system problems possibly caused by autoimmunity.
With eyes still closed, touch the tip of your index finger to the tip of your nose. Then repeat with the other hand. If you miss with one hand or it is more difficult, it is a sign of potential nervous system problems possibly caused by autoimmunity.
March in place for at least 50 steps with your eyes closed. If you turn 90 to 180 degrees, you may have potential nervous system problems possibly caused by autoimmunity.
Brain inflammation is a major factor in both chronic diseases and psychiatric illness. By making some simple changes to reduce the foods that are causing inflammation and add in the nutrients we are lacking, we can see a vast improvement in our entire system.
Gluten, dairy, refined sugar and refined carbohydrates, conventional meat, and GMOs all wreak havoc on the body and can contribute to autoimmune disease.
Research indicates only a plant-based diet has been shown to improve autoimmune diseases significantly. Try going on a plant-based diet for a week with just fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds and drink lots of water. You’ll find that your body will respond very well. When adjusting to any new diet, the body may go through a period of withdrawal when symptoms such as headaches or irritability may occur (1). If that happens, don’t quit. Your body will adjust and begin to feel refreshed and rejuvenated, and you won’t want to go back.
FOODS TO INCLUDE
- Turmeric is one of the most powerful anti-inflammatory foods we have.
- Ginger is loaded with antioxidants and potent anti-inflammatory properties, and is believed to play an important role in the health of the brain and has been shown to decrease pain in arthritis.
- Reishi mushroom can up regulate or down regulate the immune system as needed (2).
- Herbs for autoimmune disease include ashwagandha, Chinese skullcap, stinging nettle, and white willow, which reduce inflammation and help regulate the immune system.
- Pumpkin Seeds help to produce GABA, an anti-stress neurochemical in the brain, nervous irritability and other mental conditions. Pumpkin seed oil exhibits anti-inflammatory effects (3).
- Flaxseeds are high in omega-3 fatty acids that are essential for brain development and function. Flax contains alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a type of omega-3 fatty acid that boosts the cerebral cortex, an area of the brain that processes sensory information (4). Flaxseeds are also high in lignans, which may be able to counter the effects of estrogen disruptors.
- Walnuts & Almonds contain vitamin E, folate, melatonin, omega-3 fats, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatories, and may support brain health, cognition, and memory, and treat autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.
- Avocados promote healthy blood flow in the brain, relieve stress, keep nerves and brain cells healthy, and help support information-carrying nerves in your brain (5).
HOW TO GET STARTED
The best way to get started is to not go on a diet but to recognize that food is just food and that some foods are healthier than others, and the same goes for beverages. Therefore, every bite of food you eat or beverage you drink will either contribute to your health or diminish your health. The choices are entirely up to you. The healthier your choices, the healthier your body and mind will become.
What matters most is your overall way of eating and living. Your level of health becomes the result of your level of choices.
There are many other natural ways to combat devastating autoimmune disease, depression and anxiety which we cannot cover in this article.