One of the worst things about getting diagnosed with autoimmune condition is the anxiety that comes with the diagnosis. With words like “life-long” “chronic” “no Cure” it can ring in your head over and over as you try to grasp what this means for your life! Questions like: Does this mean I will be on medications the rest of my life? How much worse will the symptoms get? How will I ever be able to live a "normal" life again? Can I cure or reverse this?
Yes and No
But No you cannot reverse the disease. At this time there is no “cure” for Autoimmune disease but by discovering your root cause and then managing triggers you can find reverse the symptoms.
Many of the symptoms of Autoimmune disease can be controlled by eliminating and then monitoring the triggers for inflammation. Inflammation is really at the root of All illness. If you can figure out what you are sensitive to in your diet and in your life you can gain back control of this by dialing everything in to reduce symptoms.
Reduce the antibodies reduce the symptoms
With the nature of Autoimmunity at the very core, it is actually quite simple. The more antibodies you have the more symptoms and pain you will experience. Imagine a war raging inside of you. Your body feels as though it is under attack and in a kind of blind rage and panic begins attacking its own organ tissue, the more your body feels like it is at war the more your own immune system attacks its own organ tissue the more your organs fail to function properly. Antibodies are created by your immune system to target what it thinks to be dangerous and invading, sometimes these little soldiers get mixed up and end up confusing your human tissue, which may just so happen to look a lot like a virus or bacterial infection, and then start firing away at your human tissue instead, something called molecular mimicry. Its a scary concept to think that the game of thrones is happening within your human eco-system but have no fear! Once you work on determining what your triggers and mediators are you can calm the body and bring peace to the land, so to speak!`
You have more control than you think
So I’ve talked a little bit about how your body is at war with itself now lets talk about what you can do about it and get your life back! Essentially there is a perfect storm of variables and triggers that together started to create this autoimmune condition inside of you. To paint a picture of how this all could have happened lets take a look at sally, sally was born with a family history of genetics prone to developing autoimmune disease, such as MTFHR, this isn’t a death sentence however as she grew up in a chemically and emotionally stressful environment her body grew weaker and less equipped to handle the onslaught of stresses in her life. She may very well grew up processed food leading to chemical exposure and malnutrition on some level, perhaps she also had a very stressful college experience where she didn’t get enough sleep in addition to her school load, perhaps she also was put on several rounds of antibiotics and medications, like birth control, during her teens and early twenties, essentially destroying her gut health and increasing Gut permeability. Imagine sally’s gut to be made out of bricks, but with the onset of stress and antibiotics that brick wall soon came to resemble the Berlin Wall after WW2. Inflammation soon follows as her gut is now very leaky and undigested food particles begin to escape into her blood stream, perhaps she has picked up a parasite or bacterial infection because her stomach was low on stomach acid and invaders easily set up camp in her gut. Now that dormant gene that she was born with begins to express itself through how the immune system functions, the immune system then begins to make mistakes on who it targets and then 3 years down the line sally feels terrible and is diagnosed with hoshimotos thyroid disease.
What if we were to go back in time and prevent or reverse each and every one of those variables that led to sally’s perfect storm. Well lucky for sally and lucky for you, you can.
The power of knowing your triggers
Despite popular belief, illnesses doesn’t just “happen” suddenly and out of nowhere. No one was just “perfectly healthy” up until “suddenly” they became very ill and very sick. More often than not, actually almost always, people’s health began to degrade slowly over time and so incrementally that they may not have been conscious of the changes. So what are the most common triggers:
over use of antibiotics and prescription medications
Chemical exposure through air, water pollutants, cleaning products and personal care products
Heavy metal exposure
Personal traumatic events, such as a passing of a loved one
Nutrient deficiencies from a poor diet
Inflammatory foods that contain pesticides and herbacides, such as glyfocate
Poor lifestyle habits, such as little sleep or over-exercising
Chronic bacterial, yeast or parasitc infections.
Its a loooong list I know! But fear not! Just as each one of these triggers sneakily fall into the background of our culture and society, just bringing awareness to it can be the beginning of the end for your symptoms. Essentially eliminating these triggers will snuff the fire of the flame and trust me, the power of knowing what is making you sick can make ALL the difference in your quality of life.
photos were taken from my last trip to tibet.