SIMPLE STEPS TO REVERSE/DELAY AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE
Autoimmune issues are on the rise and about 75% of these autoimmune conditions present themselves in women.
Current science now recognizes that autoimmunity is often triggered by inflammation and various stressors in the body.
When the immune system becomes overwhelmed with lifestyle and environmental triggers it becomes overloaded and begins to misfire.
What is AUTOIMMUNITY? Basically it is an umbrella term for conditions that share the same mechanisms when the immune system attacks the body’s healthy tissue. Conditions like Hashimoto’s, thyroiditis, celiac, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and fibromyalgia are just a few. These conditions are complex and get worse with time.
Taking a functional medicine approach is aimed at uncovering the root cause to the dis-ease. The body does not attack itself out of the blue. In autoimmune there is some type of stressor; such as allergens, toxins, infection or even traumatic experiences. Symptoms are your body’s cry for help, your body has become totally overloaded and has started to misfire.
The good news, if you address the underlying issues giving the body the right environment, it can heal itself and often you can reverse and delay the dis-ease.
Working with the design of the body is our blue print to heal it. As an embryo the first thing to form is the gut tube then the central nervous system, from there you bud your organs.
Starting with the gut and neuroendocrine system is key! We must reestablish cell to cell communication, organ to organ communication and open drainage and filtration! Often times high grade product is needed to open these channels.
Starting with healing the gut! Our gut is 80% of the immune system. Processed foods, stress, toxins and inflammation can impair our gut microbiome and allow foreign invaders to enter our immune system.
- Start an elimination diet plan, removing high allergen foods like diary, soy, gluten, sugar, eggs, night shades sometimes even nuts seeds and legumes will need to be removed.
- Eliminate all alcohol and OTC medications, unless prescribed by your MD.
- Start on a whole food based plan that includes healing fats like avocados, coconut oil, omega 3 fatty acids, borage oil and lean organic fish, meat or poultry.
- Make bone broth and use in soups and recipes, even to cook with.
- Add a high quality probiotic daily and a dose of good glutamine powder.
Get the gut working first, it must be able to efficiently digest and absorb the food you are putting in. Sometimes digestive enzymes are also needed.
Make sure you are taking out the TRASH! You must have healthy, daily bowel movements that consist of soft formed stools, 1 or 2x’s a day, usually in the AM between 5am and 7am. If you are not taking out the TRASH, you are dumping toxins into the blood steam that cause your filtration organs to become congested and this plugs up the drainage and filtration system of the body.
Make sure you are drinking plenty of clean water adding lemon can help keep the liver cleansed.
Functional medicine assessment helps you find root causes quickly that can help identify your bodies priorities and target that with a proper nutritional plan, along with targeted supplementation support.
Reduce Stress, this will help heal your adrenals by slowing down and reducing your stress and commitments. Try a mindfulness practice or meditation. Connect with a higher power through prayer or time spent in nature. Try yoga, Pilates, hiking or walking. Have a good time make sure you make time to enjoy family, friends and laugh; it can be a great form of medicine.
Commit to 8 hours of sleep every night and avoid watching the news and violent movies.
Restore your liver – support your liver by avoiding harmful substances like alcohol, sugar, caffeine and OTC medications. Improve your detox system and boost your glutathione by eating a diet high in cruciferous veggies and healthy fats and drink lemon water. Support the liver with herbs and supplements such as milk thistle and NAC.
Detox your life – look at your home, garden and office and stop using products that contain chemicals, find green alternatives. Start replacing personal products with natural products. Try taking detox, (Epson salt), baths 2 or 3 times a week, or use a far-infrared sauna.
Clear infections – look for sources of hidden inflammation like infections. Treat any systemic infections, sinusitis, mycoplasma candida and any teeth that could be infected or have leaky fillings.
Emotional wellness is very important when healing the body, toxic emotions can prevent healing. It is important to uncover any emotional burdens and do your best to remove them. Let go of the painful memories, resentment, anger, regret and negative emotions. Find a way that works for you whether that’s cognitive therapy, prayer, mindfulness or forgiveness practice. Remember to live and practice gratitude daily and visualize yourself as a healthy individual that lives with vitality, health and wellness.
Getting started with these few simple steps are a step in the right direction. Consulting with a functional medicine nutritionist can help you get more specific and develop a customized healing program!
Cindy Crandell R.N., C.N. Functional Medicine Nutritionist
Forum Health Clarkston
Alternative Medicine May/ June 2016
Michelle Corey, CNWC, FMCe