I’m passionate about helping individuals with autoimmune-related diseases. There are 50 million people to help and that number grows every day. I also have three autoimmune related diseases and had I not been diagnosed myself (and learned how to heal), I’m not sure that I would have even thought to choose this helping path.
What is Autoimmunity?
An autoimmune disease is a condition in which your immune system mistakenly attacks your body. The immune system normally guards against bacteria, viruses, and infection. When it senses these foreign invaders, it sends out an army of fighter cells to attack them. However in autoimmunity, your immune cells to attack your body by mistake. These diseases can affect almost any part of the body.
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Are Autoimmune Diseases Genetic?
There is a genetic basis for autoimmune and autoimmune tends to cluster in families. However, family members can have different “manifestations” of autoimmune. Where a mother might have Rheumatoid Arthritis, her daughter may develop Graves.
However, we are NOT powerless. Just because a family member has an autoimmune disease, it does not mean that a person will automatically get one. The concept of “epigenetics” means that even in the presence of the gene within a person’s DNA, there must be an environmental exposure to actually “turn on” the gene. I’ll share later in this post about what “environment” means. In many situations, a person has the power to prevent an autoimmune disease and even reverse it by controlling their “environment”. (This is the good news part of autoimmune!)
So Many Triggers (Root Causes)
Consider your environment as everything around you, including things that you can’t see – like stress! There so are many triggers in our environment that can turn on an autoimmune response. Potential triggers can be:
- traumatic life events or childhood experiences
- chronic and repetitive stress, worry, anger, sadness, self-doubt, negative self-talk, abandonment, guilt, shame
- exposure to toxins in the food supply and in the environment (including personal care products)
- infections from viruses, bacteria, fungus and parasites
- heavy metal exposure including root canals and fillings
- overgrowth of yeast and fungus in the body
- low stomach acid and use of anti-inflammatories and proton-pump inhibitors
- ingestion of dairy, sugar, gluten and pesticide-laden foods
You Can Heal!
Rejoice in this fact. You have the power to heal. Healing won’t be found in the exam room of your physician’s office. Healing will start with you, in your home and in your heart. A complete and comprehensive healing plan includes:
- Digestive Health + Healing
- Nutrition + Sustenance
- Movement + Rest
- Environmental + Product Clean Up
- Mind | Body Wellness
Digestive Health + Healing
Our digestive tract is responsible for 80% of our immunity. Hippocrates said, “All disease begins in the gut.” While not completely true, it is very true when it comes to autoimmune disease.
According to numerous studies, unwanted bacterial products called endotoxins can sometimes “leak” through and enter the bloodstream. Intestinal permeability (commonly known as “leaky gut” is a condition in which the lining of the small intestine becomes damaged, causing undigested food particles, toxic waste products, and bacteria to exit the intestines through tiny microscopic holes and enter the bloodstream. When this happens, our immune system recognizes these foreign molecules and attacks them resulting in a chronic inflammatory response.
Healing requires the careful elimination of inflammatory foods (often identified through food and symptom journaling and food sensitivity testing), with the goal of minimizing food which the body acts as inflammatory and toxic.
Nutrition + Sustenance
Food is true medicine. Food can help our bodies heal by resolving leaky gut and flooding the body with macro-, micro-, and phytonutrients, as well food which contains beneficial bacteria loved by our bodies and specifically our microbiome. When we focus on proper food selection, cooking and preserving methods, we feed our bodies powerful healing remedies. We are rapidly learning that many foods are simply not fit for human consumption (processed foods, sugar, pasteurized dairy as well as gluten and many conventionally prepared grains.)
Movement + Rest
Our bodies require appropriate movement as well as nourishing rest. Too much, too little or even the wrong exercise and sleep can be harmful. Proper sleep helps our bodies detoxify and produce proper amounts of the right hormones. Sleep helps dissipate the day’s accumulation of stress. Exercise helps bring additional oxygen into the body as well as help supply the body with smile-providing hormones like dopamine, adrenaline
Hormones control a number of physiological reactions in the body including energy metabolism, reproductive processes, tissue growth, hydration levels, synthesis and degradation of muscle protein, and mood. Hormones are responsible for both building new muscle and helping to burn fat and influence physiological functions. (Ref: 8 Hormones Involved in Exercise.)
Environmental + Product Clean-Up
Many important clues have been provided by the relationship of certain chemicals in our environment to autoimmune diseases. Chemicals that interfere with endocrine (hormone) systems at certain doses are called endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs). During recent decades more than 100,000 new chemicals have been introduced as common consumer products into our environment. EDCs which are found in the environment, including the air, water, and soil- and in the products that we use in our homes and workplaces – and on our bodies every day.
The endocrine-disrupting effect of EDCs has been found to imitate the action of steroid hormones and promote several endocrine and reproductive disorders in both animal and human studies. EDCs also affect epigenetic regulation – they “turn on” genes which then causes disease.
By becoming aware of these chemicals, we have the ability to make healthier choices in the products in our lives.
Mind | Body Wellness
Stress is the number one causes of disease. Repetitive emotional and physical stress changes the body’s ability to fight disease and also bathes the body in chemicals that cause disease. Mindfulness, positive thinking, meditation, breathing strategies – all of these techniques and more have been found profoundly instrumental in autoimmune healing programs.
Autoimmune Health Coaching
At Life Hub Center, we offer a comprehensive 8- to 10-week complete healing program for women with autoimmune. In this innovative and transformative program, we utilize a functional medicine approach combined with compassionate support (coaching) to help you make and sustain controllable choices in your life to heal from autoimmune. To determine if you are qualified for this program, please contact Kara via email today.