There are more than 80 different autoimmune diseases. Their symptoms vary depending on which part of the body is affected.
Your first symptoms of an autoimmune disease may be general and easy to push aside, such as fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and feeling off.
You might get dizzy easily, out of breath or have dry eyes. You may have a feeling of fullness in your throat, a small goiter, or troubles with redness on the skin.
Left unsupported, the immune system becomes taxed, nutrients that support its function deplete, and a weak immune response open the body up to easy infections and serious health risks.
Today I want to consider why this is on the rise and the reality of managing it.
Your Own Private Army
Your immune system consists of cells, tissues, organs, and chemical messengers all working together to defend your body against foreign invaders like bacteria, viruses, parasites, and toxins. When your body detects an intruder, it activates an immune response, releasing an army of signaling molecules, proteins, and specialised cells that target and attack the invading molecules.
In an autoimmune disorder, there’s a disruption in the line of communication that your body relies on to differentiate between “self” and “non-self.” And this miscommunication causes your immune system to mistakenly attack not only invading microorganisms but your own cells and tissues as well.
Usually there is not one single factor that causes autoimmunity. Genetics makes you more likely to develop autoimmunity is similar to “loading a gun”. But it’s outside influences – like your lifestyle – that “pulls the trigger” into an autoimmune disease.
The most common reasons an autoimmune disease begins are:
- Stress – activates the nervous system to ‘fight/flight/freeze’ (sympathetic). This activates inflammatory cytokine production, reduces the natural amount of killer cells,
and increases cytotoxicity.
- Toxins – heavy metals, pesticides, it is the cumulative effects of all of your toxin exposures that add up to your total toxic burden and affect how your cells function.
- Infections – Bacteria, Viruses, Fungi, Parasites. A hidden infection can overburden your immune system, and over time, lead to malfunction and hyper-reactivity.
- Gut health – The health of your gut hinges on two main factors – the integrity of your gut lining and the balance of organism in your gut – your microbiome.
As you can see, all these above factors are simply on the rise, and the combined effect of this is showing with public health statistics showing increasing rates of reported autoimmune diseases world wide.
Can you put autoimmune into remission?
There is evidence to suggest that you can. Please we see thousands of clients get these results in our clinic – from Hashimoto’s or other imbalances that affect the immune system such as fibromyalgia.
There are some promising medications that correct the immune response, and other medications that suppress immune response – many of these life savings for thousands of people.
But depending on your own health circumstance, you may be able to put your autoimmune disease into remission with a natural functional medicine approach. Another benefit can be if you rely on medication, a functional health approach will support your medication by keeping your body better balanced by supplementing essential nutrients that drugs deplete, assist detoxification to prevent toxic build up, and guide you on a diet that is tested against your own blood to be able to accurately remove trigger foods and improve your health.
Many people are able to reduce medications, and even come off them with combined support from their Dr. and natural health practitioner. This is great if medications are causing side effects or increasing the toxic burden in the body.
Tips to a healthy immune response
- Minimise and manage daily stress
- Investigate and decrease your toxic burden
- Address any potential underlying infections
- Healing your gut
- Get high-quality sleep
- Follow a healthy, anti-inflammatory diet
- Incorporate immune-boosting herbs and supplements
- Work with a practitioner who uses a holistic approach to immune health.
Book a FREE 15-minute consultation with a naturopath so you can discuss your symptoms and find out if we can help you finally meet your health goals by clicking here.
We take out the guesswork, do thorough testing, and create an individualised treatment approach to get you well.