#TBT – Prevent, Reverse & Heal Autoimmunity
In honor of Autoimmunity Awareness Month, it’s Throwback Thursday time!
As a Hashimoto’s autoimmune thriver and someone who works with a LOT of autoimmune clients, this month’s awareness topic is very near and dear to my heart.
Autoimmunity rates are on the rise, but with the right lab tests and resources you can be empowered to prevent, reverse and heal autoimmunity.
I’m bringing back this blog so you can increase your awareness and take empowered action against autoimmunity.
According to the American Autoimmune Related Disease Association, “Approximately 50 million Americans, 20% of the population or one in five people, suffer from autoimmune diseases. Women are more likely than men to be affected; some estimates say that 75 percent of those affected, 30 million people, are women.”
An autoimmune condition develops when your immune system (which defends your body against disease) starts to recognize healthy cells as foreign. As a result, your immune system begins attacking healthy cells of various tissues, depending on what type of autoimmunity you have.
Along with autoimmunity, either as a result of it or trigger for it, there are also a number of inflammatory conditions that correlate with being on an autoimmune spectrum such as:
- Excess Weight
- Cardiovascular Disease
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Meaning, if you have any of these inflammatory conditions listed above and don’t have autoimmunity, then these conditions increase your risk for it. Or if you have autoimmunity, then these conditions can aggravate your autoimmune symptoms even more.
How does one wind up with an autoimmune condition?
Three factors have to be in place in order for autoimmunity to show up in the body:
- The gene for it = hereditary component
- Leaky gut = a suppressed immune system
- Environmental trigger(s) = things that inflict chronic inflammation
As Dr. Amy Myers points out in her book, The Autoimmune Solution, twin studies have shown that only 25% of autoimmune disease is inheritable, meaning that 75% of it is related to environment and leaky gut.
Researchers estimate that about 80% of your immune system is in your gut.
Autoimmune issues are directly related to the health of your immune system, which is located in your gut. Therefore, the the health of your gut is the key to preventing, reversing and healing autoimmunity.
In this week’s video and blog, I dive into more detail about how improving gut health can help you prevent, reverse and heal autoimmune conditions.
As a person with an autoimmune condition (Hashimoto’s), maintaining my gut health has been a huge focal point of my health regimen. In fact, supporting the health of my gut to boost my immune system and to reduce inflammation is part of what allowed me to ween off of my thyroid medication after just 4 months.
When I work with autoimmune clients, gut and digestive health are two of the very first things we address. The health of your gut greatly impacts your risk for autoimmunity and your ability to reverse or heal it for three main reasons.
Three reasons why gut health can prevent, reverse and heal autoimmune conditions:
#1 – Nutrient Absorption
When gut health is impaired, that means digestion and absorption of nutrients are also impaired. Without adequate nutrient absorption, the body is not receiving all of the valuable resources and support it needs to boost immunity, fight off inflammation, or to heal and repair. You could be eating the most healthy foods in the world and taking the best high quality supplements, but if your gut is leaky or damaged then you are not getting all of the preventative or healing benefits that you think you are. When gut health is improved, nutrient absorption goes up allowing for prevention and healing to happen.
#2 – Gut Invaders
It’s actually normal to have some amount of bacteria, yeast and even parasites living in your intestines, in fact it’s part of what keeps your gut flora balanced. However, when certain species of gut invaders grow too much, they pose a problem. They disrupt the normal balance and function of the gut, causing increases in inflammation and toxic waste. Additionally, some species, such as Klebsiella and H. Pylori bacteria, are known triggers for autoimmune disease, putting you at higher risk for developing one OR aggravating autoimmune systems if you already have a condition. Checking for gut invaders and eradicating them can prevent a potential trigger or reduce factors contributing to autoimmune issues.
#3 – Inflammation
Chronic stress and inflammation are the root of all disease, and also the catalyst for autoimmunity (as mentioned earlier). A leaky or damaged gut results in chronic inflammation and a depressed immune system. The more damaged your gut is, the more inflamed it becomes, and the more sensitive it will be to other inflammatory variables such as food and environmental toxins. By improving the health of the gut, inflammation is reduced and proper immune function can be restored.
If you suspect you have an autoimmune condition OR you’ve been struggling to reverse and heal one, then schedule a complimentary Ideal Health & Weight Discovery Session with me here today!