Our society is currently facing an epidemic of autoimmune diseases and most people aren’t even aware that it is happening!
An autoimmune disease is one in which the immune system begins to attack our own body, including our organs, tissues, and cells. The reason for the body reacting in this way is unknown, although there are several theories including genetics and environmental exposures. This reaction in the body is responsible for more than 80 diseases including rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, type 1 diabetes and inflammatory bowel disease.
The treatment of these inflammatory diseases often involves a heavy reliance on anti-inflammatory medication such as Motrin or Advil, steroids and powerful immune suppressing medication. The use of medication comes with a list of serious side effects. These medications address the symptoms, however, do little or nothing to actually treat the cause of the disease.
Dr. Frederick Miller of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences discussed the importance of doing further research into the disease, gaining knowledge of its risks and causes, rather than remaining content in treating the symptoms. He said, “The best way to combat the rise in autoimmune diseases is to do research to understand the genetic and environmental risk factors for them so that those who are at highest risk for developing disease after certain environmental exposures might be able to minimize those exposures and prevent the development of autoimmune disease.”
There are many ways that those of us suffering can work to assist our body in healing and reversing the effects of autoimmune disease including these 10 steps:
- Have your doctor complete the necessary testing for celiac disease. This disease would cause you to be highly susceptible to foods with gluten in them.
- Practice detoxification on a regular basis. This will help your body to remove potential toxins that may be triggering your immune conditions.
- Review and assess your current diet, searching for the presence of any hidden food allergens. Eliminating these allergens will allow you to relieve some of the stress on your immune system. Don’t overlook anything that you are eating, even gluten-free items such as rice and corn have been found to flare up the immune system in some people.
- Add both green tea and turmeric into your diet. Both of these substances have been found to help in controlling and lowering the autoimmune response within the body, in particular within the brain.
- Exercise is a natural anti-inflammatory, and it is extremely cost effective! Make sure that you are carving time out of your schedule to hit the gym.
- Eliminate table salt from your table. Salt has been found both to aggravate and increase some autoimmune conditions.
- Look into the possibility of heavy metal toxicity. This includes analyzing the various products that you currently use in your daily life such as your cosmetics, cleaning products and more. Several metals including mercury have been found to cause autoimmunity.
- Add supplements to your daily routine under the consultation of your natural health practitioner or family doctor. Some beneficial supplements for fighting immune diseases such as fish oil, vitamins C and D, and probiotics.
- Help yourself, and your body, to enter a state of relaxation by practicing deep breathing, yoga or massage. Stress is a contributor to immune disease, therefore relaxation will help to combat its symptoms.
- Consult with your family doctor to discover any potential infections that your body may currently be fighting. These infections (such as a yeast infection or Lyme Disease) will trigger your immune system to act, trying to fight them off, which may in turn also encourage the overactivity of the immune system attacking your own body.