How diet has become a primary cause of Autoimmune disease and what we need to do about it.
February 18, 2016 By Billy
We’ve got an important one here. Recently I’ve been getting many questions about Autoimmune Disease, which is very definitely a critical health topic. This is so very important and deserves everyone’s understanding. Here is the shortest and clearest explanation of the disease, and what I feel are the most essential factors to know in order to protect your health.
First, let’s define Autoimmune Disease. The reality is, many people don’t know what it is. It’s often confused with AIDS, when Autoimmune Disease and AIDS are completely different. AIDS, of course, is a transmitted virus that attacks the immune system. Autoimmune Disease is when the immune system turns on and attacks the body itself. Essentially, the immune system gets a mind of its own and goes after its own organs. This is something that is brought on by an unhealthy lifestyle and is not transmittable between individuals.
Where all of this is happening in the world is a very noteworthy point – Autoimmune Disease exists almost exclusively in developed countries. In 3rd-World Countries, it is virtually non-existent. Such a fact makes this topic very deserving of our attention. While we don’t need to fear Autoimmune Disease, we do need to educate ourselves on it. Essentially, we need to pay attention to the basic facts and adjust our lifestyle accordingly – the simplicity of it all may surprise you. However, the bottom line is that it is so very important. You’ll understand why, below.
Autoimmune Disease affects at least 25 million people in the United States. That’s 8 percent of our population. And it’s rapidly increasing. In comparison, cancer affects 9 million, and heart disease affects 22 million. While this is one of the more common nation-wide diseases, it is one that Americans are least aware of. Just 40 years ago, Autoimmune Disease was virtually non-existent, so what the heck is going on?!
Next, let’s address that there are many types of Autoimmune Disease. There are 80-100 known strains of the Autoimmune Disease, and more are coming out all the time. In all of these strains, the immune is system attacking its own body. The specific Autoimmune Diseases are better known than the general class (the name ‘Autoimmune Disease’) itself. These include some well-known diseases including Type-1 Diabetes, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, Multiple Sclerosis, Thyroid Disease, Asthma, Eczema, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Psoriasis, Celiac Disease, Thyroid Disease, and more. Some examples – Psoriasis is the immune system attacking the skin, Rheumatoid Arthritis is the immune system attacking the joints, and Multiple Sclerosis is the immune system attacking the brain. The most common side effect on the attacked area of the body is inflammation, the swelling of tissues, making it unreachable for nutrient rich blood that is trying to come to the rescue.
It’s worth mentioning – the most commonly used medical “solution” is medication. Medication may not always be bad, and more often than not Autoimmune Disease medicines relieve the symptoms, but unfortunately Autoimmune Disease medication is among the worst in terms of their side effects. Therefore, medication should, at best, be considered a very short-term solution, especially since the ultimate solution to curing the disease is changing your lifestyle. Unfortunately, Autoimmune Disease medication focuses on the symptom rather than the cause. These medications are intended to suppress the immune system and weaken it’s attack on the body. It’s like trying to clear the smoke out of your house rather than just putting out the fire – it’s a temporary solution that allows you to catch your breath at best. Medication eases the symptoms at best until the cause is discovered and the lifestyle is modified.
The reason the disease-treatment relationship with Autoimmune Diseases deserves our attention is because it is greatly correlated with diet and lifestyle – much more so than most other diseases. If you wish to cool the inflammation, it boils down to finding the source. Some Autoimmune Diseases are genetic, but still, they are most often propagated by one thing – your lifestyle! What is it in the victims’ diet or lifestyle that is wreaking the havoc?! That can be difficult to identify, but the good news is, that’s one of the specialties of natural medicine. There are very many cases of Autoimmune Disease being healed in the realm of functional, holistic, and alternative medicine.
The very next (and actually easy) step is taking the reins of the out-of-control immune system. The immune system is wreaking havoc, but it doesn’t need to be laid to rest forever. Essentially, it’s like an untrained Mustang bucking and kicking. We don’t want to abandon the horse altogether, but rather take back the control we know we should have over it. It’s the same with Autoimmune Disease. We don’t want to annihilate our immune system completely, bur rather take control of it once again. Believe it or not, adding a few things to your diet and removing a few other things is what most often saves the day. It’s all about adding vital nutrients that heal the immune system. Fortunately, there are two that are the most important. Want to take a guess? Vitamin C and Vitamin D!! Yep. Let’s touch on that. Some might think “boosting the immune system” would be bad if it’s already attacking itself, but that’s not right. Instead, you’re putting a head back on its shoulders and restoring your body’s instinctive healing wisdom.
High Vitamin-C foods: I feel making a list here of Vitamin C foods would be preaching to the choir. You know where to get your Vitamin-C!
Vitamin Sunshine (D): Now here is something interesting – over-exposure to UV radiation is sometimes known to exacerbate symptoms of Autoimmune Disease. So it’s a matter of timing to get your vitamin D without it costing any harm! Nutshell solution: get your unprotected sun exposure (no sunblock) for 10 minutes in the middle of the day, at least a couple days a week! This is often a misunderstood concept. It’s the middle of the day when you get the important Vitamin-D generating UVB radiation. And the 10 minutes of UV radiation that you’ll receive at the same time isn’t going to hurt you (a couple hours, different story)! Here is an article I wrote about it. It’s a critical subject – Vitamin D, the problem and the solution. It has been discovered that Vitamin-D is very involved in the recovery of all Autoimmune Diseases. There are actually many functions of the immune system, one of which is the removal of debris from cells in the body, which is Vitamin D’s most critical job.
There are a number of other very helpful things to put in your body such as high Zinc foods and foods that help your intestinal flora. The healthy bacteria in your gut is a pillar of your immune system and this is often the hole in the fortress through which harm can work its way in. Because the average appetite is composed primarily of processed junk food (It’s true, the average American has a primarily processed-food diet, and the tough thing is they don’t even know it), many people think they are eating healthily, when in reality, they are not. Over time, the unhealthy foods in one’s diet are slowly but surely chipping away at his or her health. And again, it’s tough to watch the grass grow – and it’s also hard to watch it die. So, eat your fruit and veggies yo! And cut out the junk!! You know the drill. The gains will be worth it, I can promise you that.
The food culprits: processed salt (sodium chloride), sugar and other heavily processed food create a toxic atmosphere in your body, especially your digestive system. Salt in most food is a heavily processed form of sodium chloride, which is a completely different thing from Celtic Sea Salt and Himalayan Salt, which in moderation, are totally brilliant, for most of us (there are health cases that low salt is important regardless of its from – another newsletter down the road). Low-fat snack foods are the worst because most are GMO and add this toxic salt to make up for lack of flavor. GMO foods are linked to causing food-allergies and food allergies are another known causative factor for Autoimmune Disease. Artificial sweeteners are just as bad as sugar (and maybe worse), just in a different way and they deserve their own article. Fast food is pretty much the very worst, the end.
Another huge factor? Toxic chemicals. Air-fresheners, heavy metals, and other toxic household items are proven to exacerbate autoimmune disease. Unquestionably, these are original causatives, at least to some degree, and over time they cause more wear and tear, thus increasing the immune system’s vulnerability.
Another big red flag: antibacterial soap and hand sanitizers are taking on the role of your immune system and doing a much worse job. In December of 2013, the FDA proposed questioning soap companies to address the potential risks of using such products daily. Well, guess what? It has been over two years and nothing has been answered. The active antibacterial ingredient has already been proven to be toxic and on top of this, there is currently no evidence that antibacterial soap products are any more effective at preventing illness than washing with plain soap and water. This is nuts! For your reference, here’s the article on the FDA website that confirms this: FDA Questions Antibacterial Soap Companies. Such products pave the way for Autoimmune Disease development down the road. It’s scientifically proven. Rubbing toxic liquids that kill everything under the sun all over your hands (or even worse, your body) is both nuts and counterintuitive. The scary thing is that no one knows this!! Now is the time to detox your house of such dreadful products. Playing in the dirt, being a little dirty, and being exposed to bugs and minor infections train your immune system to be stronger. Please, let the immune system continue to do its job.
Big note: Antibiotics and Vaccines are now linked as great causes for Autoimmune Disease. Google it! The data is real. These culprits kill the bad bacteria while also killing the good bacteria we need to survive. Antibiotics are to be used when the situation is desperate and life threatening. Once utilized, there needs to be some follow up damage control with a healing diet. Most important is replacing intestinal flora, which are killed with the use of antibiotics. Again, digestive health is a pillar!
Alright friends, please know that diet and lifestyle has a greater impact than most are aware of. Everything you feed into and put on your body creates a change in the internal atmosphere, sometimes irrevocably. It’s so very true. Nutrients make our body function how its built to. Conversely, the processed foods that compose the majority of Americans’ diets have a severely weakening effect on your natural immune system. Essentially, they are paving the way for a precarious – not to mention inconvenient and very expensive. Beating this takes awareness that we are inundated with unhealthy choices surrounding us every day. The curative is discipline to keep these toxic ingredients away – both in your diet AND your lifestyle. Discipline comes naturally when the substantial nature of what we’re dealing with is realized, and it quickly turns from “discipline” to a genuine desire for self-improvement. We simply need to remember to spend our time and resources on enhancing our wellbeing rather than providing it with unhealthy entertainment. You’ll be saving yourself from the misery of the latter. These bodies we are given are far too precious to waste.
If someone reading this has already battled Autoimmune Disease, let me say to you that the only true curative is your lifestyle. Is does seem that for some, 100% healing may not happen, BUT at the very, very least, the symptoms will be reduced and may eventually go away entirely. There have been many cases where toxic foods were identified and removed, ultimately healing the body of Autoimmune Disease. These stories point us in a very clear direction, right?! For those of you who have beaten Autoimmune Disease, you may very well have some stories to share! If yes, then congratulations, let’s keep it up and please, spread the word with those you care about while you’re at it!
It’s the potential good in all of this that has my attention. I say we use this information to make better decisions for our bodies while holding the vision that it is not impossible to enhance the quality of our health and even discover new layers excellence. Are you in?
Last thing! Was this helpful? If yes, please pass it on!! Thanks!!