Or against you?
Your immune system is as remarkable as it is complex. After all, it’s your body’s 24/7 watchdog. When the immune system functions properly, it distinguishes friends from foes – normally mounts a powerful response to infections, viruses, bacteria, pathogens or diseases that may enter your body. Simply put, it’s what prevents you from getting sick, and also what helps you feel better if you do fall ill.
But as counter-intuitive as it may seem, the immune system sometimes gets confused or turns against itself, like a dog biting the hand that feeds it. When the immune system attacks the very body it’s meant to protect, it causes autoimmune disease. This often complicates health issues even further because your body’s defense systems are working against it. If not addressed, issues will most likely worsen.
Common Autoimmune Conditions
There are hundreds of autoimmune diseases and they can affect almost any part of the body. This is the list of the most common types and we see them at our practice quite frequently:
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Type 1 Diabetes
- Celiac Disease
- Crohn’s Disease
- Hashimoto’s Disease
- Sjogren’s Syndrome
- Pernicious Anemia
Possible Causes of Autoimmunity
Autoimmune diseases have a strong inflammatory component – the result of the immune system revved up to respond to what it considers a threat. We all know that chronic stress, sleep deprivation and a poor diet can weaken our immune system, but there are other factors that might cause the immune system to act in such a misguided fashion. These include:
- Nutrient deficiencies
- Food allergies, sensitivities and intolerances
- Poor digestive function (up to 80% of the immune system is located in the gut)
- Increased intestinal permeability (Leaky Gut Syndrome)
- Chronic infections
- Overuse of antibiotics
- Hormonal imbalances
- Environmental toxins (example: heavy metals, mold biotoxins)
In our current environment, with significant exposure to an increasing number of chemicals in the air we breathe, the food we eat, and the water we drink, it is not surprising that the prevalence of autoimmune diseases is rising drastically.
How We Can Help
Like other health conditions, there are so many protocols, nutritional and supplement plans online that all this information can be overwhelming and paralyzing. Our approach figures out which one is best for you.
Determined by each client’s situation, we can do some functional lab testing to dig deeper to understand exactly what is contributing to your immune dysregulation. Then we’ll start the first phase of the 5R Approach. This will include foods that are exacerbating your condition. Whether it’s gluten-free, grain-free, nightshade-free or a combination like Autoimmune Paleo (AIP) you will receive meal guidance and a plan tailored to your needs, lifestyle and budget.
Also known as the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol, the AIP diet is a much stricter version of the Paleo diet which is based on high quality proteins, such as grass-fed meat, fish, and poultry, along with ample amounts of high-fiber vegetables, and some fruit. It eliminates foods that are known to cause inflammation in the gut.
Within our program, we’ll determine your triggers and work together to strengthen your body’s recovery by working through each phase carefully suited to your situation: Remove > Replace > Repopulate > Repair > Rebalance. By incorporating our detailed intake questionnaire, nutrient assessment, personalized protocol, customized food plan and targeted supplement program, we’ll provide you with actionable steps you can take to support and rebalance your immune system to get your body’s defense force back into action.