Everyone suffering from any kind of autoimmune disease knows how much of a burden it can be. To make matters even worse, the majority of people simply treat their symptoms, rather than trying to find some deeper causes for the disease.
Even doctors often prescribe medications such as Advil or some steroids, designed to only suppress the inflammation instead of addressing the underlying causes such as infections, allergens, environmental toxins etc.
Inflammations caused by autoimmune diseases are connected to a number of chronic and lethal illnesses like cancer, obesity, diabetes, heart diseases, depression, dementia, and autism. This is why it’s important to deal with them the right way before they progress into something really serious and potentially incurable.
In this article, you will learn more about autoimmune diseases and find some useful tips for dealing with your problem in ways that might not have crossed your mind before.
What are autoimmune diseases?
Impacting more than 24 million American people or up to 8% of the population, the list of diseases classified as autoimmune constantly grows. It includes serious conditions like lupus, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid disease, and multiple sclerosis, all of which are often followed by pain, inflammation, swelling, and the overall feeling of absolute misery.
Autoimmunity is caused when your body practically attacks itself – its defense mechanisms become confused. Surprisingly, our medical system doesn’t treat these diseases as a whole. Instead, the doctors treat them as diseases of specific organs.
According to medical science, there is still nothing a person can do to completely reverse their autoimmune disease, they can only manage its symptoms. However, this doesn’t prevent you from living a fulfilling life, especially if you learn how to deal with your disease effectively.
Define the root cause
The first thing to do is take a holistic approach, i.e. seeing your body as a whole, where one system’s health has an impact on the health of the other systems.
Only by incorporating this method can we be able to define the root cause of our problems. The best way to achieve that is by starting to boost our immune system. Strengthening the immune system, we can decrease and even reverse antibodies, and thus become free of the symptoms.
The most common root causes may include gluten, poor gut flora, infections, as well as stress. So, next time you visit a doctor, be certain to check if some of these things might be the reason for your problems.
Test yourself for allergies
Another very important thing you need to do is to get tested for various different allergies. Using a blood test, your doctor will be able to discover if you have celiac disease – a condition where your organism is intolerant to gluten. If you are diagnosed with celiac disease, it means that you need to completely remove any ingredients which contain gluten from your diet.
Moreover, you also need to get tested for food allergies, especially dairy and soy, as they are considered to be quite common allergens for many people. These tests can be done through a simple IgG analysis. In addition, get checked for some other frequent food allergens, as well as heavy metal toxicity just to be safe.
Improve your gut flora
According to many studies, around 70% of our immune system lies in our gut. That is why this is the first area you need to be focusing on. The best way to do that is by including nutrients such as vitamins C and D, probiotics and fish oil in your diet.
Furthermore, you need to eliminate food sensitivities such as grains, gluten, and legumes, as they contain high levels of lectins, proteins which can negatively affect the lining of your gut. If the bad bacteria take over your gut, foods which contain starch and sugar can begin to ferment in your organism, leading to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Going on an elimination diet will remove foods which might be causing inflammations (usually eggs, dairy, nuts, soy, shellfish, fish, vegetable oils) so that your body can repair itself.
Exercise your heart out
Regular exercise is considered to be a natural anti-inflammatory and it was proven to reduce pain and different kinds of inflammation. If you are not a big fan of gyms and running on a treadmill, or you simply don’t have enough time, money or energy for it – it is sufficient to simply start moving around and doing some simple exercises at home on a daily basis, just to keep your body active and to stay in shape.
Moreover, deep relaxation after exercising is also advisable, so you should consider practicing meditation, deep breathing and yoga, as they can only bring benefits to your overall health. Also, be sure you are getting enough sleep, as sleep deprivation can damage your metabolism, and eat most of your daily carbs about an hour before and after the workout.
Visit your doctor regularly
Depending on the type of your autoimmune disease, you should visit a dermatologist, rheumatologist, endocrinologist or gastroenterologist on a regular basis to make sure everything is under control and that your condition hasn’t progressed.
Moreover, alternative medicine and acupuncture, although frowned upon by people who don’t know much about them, are proven to be very successful in the treatment of a vast number of diseases.
To conclude, dealing with autoimmune diseases doesn’t have to be a nightmare. Before you start to despair, make sure you have taken all of the above-mentioned tips into consideration since, although there are still no known cures for these diseases, they are guaranteed to help you to a large extent.