How To Cure Autoimmune Disease Naturally

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How To Cure Autoimmune Disease Naturally
INFLAMMATION IS A “HOT” TOPIC IN MEDICINE. It appears connected to almost every known chronic disease — from heart disease to cancer, diabetes to obesity, autism to dementia, and even depression. Other inflammatory diseases such as allergies, asthma, arthritis, and autoimmune disease are increasing at dramatic rates.

  • As physicians we are trained to shut off inflammation with aspirin, anti-inflammatory medication such as Advil or Motrin, steroids, and increasingly more powerful immune suppressing medication with serious side effects.
  • But we are not trained to find and treat the underlying causes of inflammation in chronic disease.

Hidden allergens, infections, environmental toxins, an inflammatory diet, and stress are the real causes of these inflammatory conditions. Autoimmune diseases, specifically, now affect 24 million people and include rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, thyroid disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and more.

  1. These are often addressed by powerful immune suppressing medication and not by addressing the cause.
  2. That’s like taking a lot of aspirin while you are standing on a tack.
  3. The treatment is not more aspirin or a strong immune suppressant, but removing the tack.
  4. It you want to cool off inflammation in the body, you must find the source.

Treat the fire, not the smoke. In medicine we are mostly taught to diagnose disease by symptoms, NOT by their underlying cause. Functional medicine, the emerging 21st century paradigm of systems medicine, teaches us to treat the cause, not only the symptoms, to ask the question WHY are you sick, not only WHAT disease do you have.

  1. I recently participated in a group discussion with a conventional doctor, a rheumatologist, and patient with an autoimmune disease, and one of my patients who was cured of a complex autoimmune disease by addressing the causes.
  2. The focus of the other doctors, however, was on how to suppress the inflammation with medication, not finding and treating the cause.

Functional medicine is a different way of thinking about disease that helps us understand and treat the real causes of inflammation instead of finding clever ways to shut it down. Medicine as it is practiced today is like taking the battery out of a smoke detector while a fire burns down your house! Autoimmune conditions are connected by one central biochemical process: A runaway immune response also known as systemic inflammation that results in your body attacking its own tissues.

When my patient described how he cured his autoimmune disease by finding and eliminating the causes of inflammation in his diet and environment, it was dismissed as a “spontaneous remission.” In the face of a paradigm-shattering medical case, these doctors were hardly curious and quickly dismissive, describing what was shared as anecdotal.

My patient on that panel, a hard-working 46-year old father of three, was once so inflamed he could barely function. By treating the underlying causes of his inflammation he is now in vibrant good health, enjoying his life with his kids and fully capable of caring for them.

  1. Stories like these (and the many others I have shared in my blogs, books, and on television) are not anecdotes but a giant compass pointing us in the direction we should be looking to find answers to our health problems.
  2. In today’s blog, I will explain what autoimmunity is, how inflammation spirals out of control, describe some of the underlying causes for these fires in the body, and provide you with nine steps to cool the fires of inflammation and overcome conditions that range from allergies to arthritis and more.

Autoimmunity: What it is and How it Occurs We are facing an epidemic of allergic (60 million people), asthmatic (30 million people), and autoimmune disorders (24 million people). Autoimmune diseases include rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, celiac disease, thyroid disease, and the many other hard-to-classify syndromes in the 21st century.

These are all autoimmune conditions, and at their root they are connected by one central biochemical process: A runaway immune response also known as systemic inflammation that results in your body attacking its own tissues. Your immune system is your defense against invaders. It is your internal army and has to clearly distinguish friend from foe — to know you from others.

Autoimmunity occurs when your immune system gets confused and your own tissues get caught in friendly cross-fire. Your body is fighting something — an infection, a toxin, an allergen, a food or the stress response — and somehow it redirects its hostile attack on your joints, your brain, your thyroid, your gut, your skin, or sometimes your whole body.

  1. This immune confusion results from what is referred to as molecular mimicry.
  2. Conventional approaches don’t have a method for finding the insult causing the problem.
  3. Functional medicine provides a map to find out which molecule the cells are mimicking.
  4. Interestingly, autoimmune disorders occur almost exclusively in developed countries.

People in poor nations without modern amenities like running water, flush toilets, washing machines, and sterile backyards don’t get these diseases. If you grew up on a farm with lots of animals, you are also less likely to have any of these inflammatory disorders.

  1. Playing in the dirt, being dirty, and being exposed to bugs and infections trains your immune system to recognize what is foreign and what is “you.” In this country, autoimmune diseases, when taken all together, are a huge health burden.
  2. They are the eighth leading cause of death among women, shortening the average patient’s lifespan by eight years.

The annual health care cost for autoimmune diseases is $120 billion a year representing nearly twice the economic health care burden of cancer (about $ 70 billion a year). (i) Unfortunately, many of the conventional treatments available can make you feel worse.

Anti-inflammatory drugs like Advil, steroids, immune suppressants like methotrexate, and the new TNF-alpha blockers like Enbrel or Remicade can lead to intestinal bleeding, kidney failure, depression, psychosis, osteoporosis, muscle loss, and diabetes, not to mention overwhelming infection and cancer.( ii ) When used selectively these drugs can help people get their lives back.

But they are not a long-term solution. They shouldn’t be the end of treatment, but a bridge to cool off inflammation while we treat the root cause of the disease. There is another way to deal with autoimmune conditions. Let me share the same story I told the doctors on that panel.

  • Recovering from Autoimmunity: Addressing the Root Causes of Inflammation My patient Sam ended up on a long misadventure through the medical system before he came to see me.
  • For years he went from doctor to doctor getting all kinds of labels for his problems but no real help in treating them.
  • This hard-working, once healthy trade professional had suddenly developed a series of inflammatory conditions including chronic sinus and prostate infections.
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Many doctors gave him many antibiotics for these infections. Shortly thereafter, he developed severe chest pains and went to the emergency room. While he was there, doctors found swollen lymph nodes and told him he had lymphoma, a form of cancer. For three weeks he lived in despair until the biopsy results came back.

It turned out he didn’t have cancer but an autoimmune disease. Which autoimmune disease? The doctors weren’t quite sure He had many abnormal blood test results — like low white blood cell and platelet counts, high levels of auto-antibodies of all types (antibodies that attack our own tissues), high immunoglobulins (the foot soldiers of the immune system), and autoimmune thyroid disease.

But doctors had a hard time putting their finger on what was wrong. They couldn’t label him. Meanwhile, Sam developed metabolic syndrome and weight gain (pre-diabetes) as a result of the runaway inflammation in his body. Here is a quote from one his specialist’s notes: “Whether he has lupus or Sjogren’s syndrome is a bit unclear.

Regardless, he merely needs observation and no therapeutic intervention at this time.” This unfortunately is all too common. What exactly did they plan to observe, how bad he felt? Or would they just wait for him to get worse before intervening? That’s when he came to me. Using a functional medicine approach, a new way of thinking about the underlying causes and imbalances in chronic disease, I began by asking Sam some simple questions.

Then I went hunting for toxins, allergens, and infections — all common causes of inflammation — and found the real causes of his symptoms. He had taken so many antibiotics that altered his gut flora or bacteria and promoted yeast overgrowth. Fungus and yeast flourished in his body, growing between his toes, on his toenails, in his crotch, and scalp.

  • He had Helicobacter pylori bacteria in his gut.
  • He had a leaky gut and reacted to many foods, including dairy and gluten.
  • He was exposed to toxins at his job and had high levels of mercury.
  • And he had chronic sinus infections.
  • So we went to work cleaning house.
  • I treated his yeast with anti-fungals and the H.

pylori with antibiotics, got rid of his food allergies, fixed his gut, detoxified him from metals, and cleaned up his sinuses. Then I helped heal his immune system by supporting it with nutrients. I gave him zinc, fish oil, vitamin D, herbs, and probiotics, and put him on a clean, whole-foods, allergen-free, anti-inflammatory diet.

  1. At his next follow-up visit, I asked Sam how he was doing, expecting him to say that he felt a little better.
  2. However, his response surprised even me.
  3. He said he felt fine.
  4. What about the fatigue?” I asked.
  5. I have great energy.” “What about the bloating and gas?” “Nope.” “What about the reflux?” “Gone.” “What about your sinuses and chronic phlegm?” “All clear.” “What about your memory and concentration problems?” “All better.” And he lost 15 pounds.

When his labs came in, they confirmed what he told me — they were all back to normal. His white cells increased and his immune markers calmed way down. Sam’s results simply reflect the application of a new model of thinking about problems called functional medicine — it’s a way to get to the root of health problems and treat the underlying causes of what ails you instead of suppressing symptoms with medications.

Check for hidden infections — yeast, viruses, bacteria, Lyme, etc. — with the help of a doctor, and treat them. Check for hidden food allergens with IgG food testing or just try The UltraSimple Diet, which is designed to eliminate most food allergens. Get tested for celiac disease, which is a blood test that any doctor can do. Get checked for heavy metal toxicity. Mercury and other metals can cause autoimmunity. Fix your gut. For details, see my blog on irritable bowel syndrome, Use nutrients such as fish oil, vitamin C, vitamin D, and probiotics to help calm your immune response naturally. Exercise regularly — it’s a natural anti-inflammatory. Practice deep relaxation like yoga, deep breathing, biofeedback, or massage, because stress worsens the immune response. Tell your doctor about Functional Medicine and encourage him or her to get trained — go to www.functionalmedicine.org for more information and to get a copy of the Textbook for Functional Medicine,

Give these steps a try — and see if you don’t start feeling less inflamed. As I said earlier, the answers are right in front of you. Treat the underlying causes of your illness and you will begin to experience vibrant health once more. Now I’d like to hear from you Have you been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease? How is your doctor treating you? Have you been frustrated by the medical advice that you’ve been given? What steps have you taken to get to the root of the problem, and what have your results been? Please leave your thoughts by adding a comment below – but remember, we can’t offer personal medical advice online, so be sure to limit your comments to those about taking back our health! To your good health, Mark Hyman, MD References (i) Nakazawa, D.

Can autoimmune disease go away?

Treatment for autoimmune disorders – Autoimmune disorders in general cannot be cured, but the condition can be controlled in many cases. Historically, treatments include:

anti-inflammatory drugs – to reduce inflammation and pain corticosteroids – to reduce inflammation. They are sometimes used to treat an acute flare of symptoms pain-killing medication – such as paracetamol and codeine immunosuppressant drugs – to inhibit the activity of the immune system physical therapy – to encourage mobility treatment for the deficiency – for example, insulin injections in the case of diabetes surgery – for example, to treat bowel blockage in the case of Crohn’s disease high dose immunosuppression – the use of immune system suppressing drugs (in the doses needed to treat cancer or to prevent the rejection of transplanted organs) have been tried recently, with promising results. Particularly when intervention is early, the chance of a cure with some of these conditions seems possible.

How long do autoimmune diseases last?

How do autoimmune diseases unfold? – Although we do not know what causes autoimmune diseases, we have learned a great deal about their “pathogenesis” (or “natural history”)—how the disease progresses over time and damage ensues. Three factors are at play in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases: genes, immune system, and the environment where the patient lives.

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Does magnesium help autoimmune disease?

9 NUTRIENT DEFICIENCIES COMMONLY LINKED TO AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE While there is no cure for autoimmune disease, that certainly doesn’t mean you can’t manage your symptoms. When it comes to restoring the immune system, diet is key. Nutrient deficiencies can play a huge role in autoimmune disease.

  • Having regular blood work checked and addressing nutrient deficiencies is important in reversing autoimmune disease, and preventing another autoimmune condition.
  • Below are the most common nutrient deficiencies that may be linked to autoimmune disease:
  • Vitamin A

This fat soluble vitamin is needed for the synthesis of immune system proteins and plays a role in killing off old cells. This vitamin is essential for building a strong immune system, A deficiency may be associated with autoimmune diseases such as RA and Type 1 Diabetes.

Food Sources: sweet potatoes, carrots, dark leafy greens, fish, liver. B Vitamins B vitamins are essential for optimal function of our immune system, hormones, mood, sleep, nerves, circulation, and digestion. More than just for energy, vitamin B12, supports the production of white blood cells, one of the main components of the immune system.

If you are deficient in B12, it is likely that your white blood cell count will be low too, contributing to a weakened immune system. Food Sources: Oysters, Liver, Sardines, Red meat (beef), Eggs. Nutritional yeast is also abundant in B12 making it a great source for vegetarians.

Vitamin D Even if you get outside everyday and get plenty of sunlight, chances are your vitamin D levels are below optimal. For those with autoimmune disease, this can be even more problematic. Vitamin D plays a crucial role in the immune system by regulating and preventing autoimmunity. Vitamin D stimulates regulatory T cells whose job is to differentiate between dangerous invaders and our own cells.

Essential these cells teach the immune system not to attack itself.

  1. Vitamin D supports a strong immune system and increases your ability to fight off viral or bacterial infections.
  2. Food Sources: Besides soaking vitamin D up from the sun – it is also abundant in animal and dietary fats.
  3. Vitamin K2

The role of vitamin K2 is to put calcium where it belongs in the body, like your teeth and bones. In the past, it was thought that you did not need to worry about a vitamin K2 deficiency because it is made by our body from vitamin K1. However current research tells us that most people eating a western diet are not only deficient in vitamin K1 but K2 as well.

  • A vitamin K deficiency may play a role in autoimmune disease.
  • Food Sources: Green leafy vegetables, fermented foods such as natto, sauerkraut and grass-fed butter
  • Omega 3’s

The standard american diet is abundant in inflammatory polyunsaturated vegetable oils and lacks omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3 oils can lower inflammatory responses by enhancing B cell activation and antibody production. This allows your immune system to fight off unwanted pathogens.

Food Sources: Fatty fish such as salmon and mackerel are full of omega 3 fatty acids. Plant sources include walnuts, chia seeds, flaxseeds, and hemp seeds. Iron Iron deficiency anemia is common in those suffering with autoimmune diseases. But why? The storage form of iron, ferritin, is absorbed through the intestines.

It is common for those with autoimmunity conditions to have damage to their gut lining or leaky gut syndrome making it hard to absorb. We work around this by first, healing the gut (the underlying cause) and supplementing if necessary. Food Sources: Red meat, Wild-caught fish, beans, dark leafy greens (spinach etc), peas.

Magnesium Those who are chronically-stressed or eat high-sugar diets tend to have lower levels of magnesium. This mineral is important for supporting immune function and heart health. A magnesium deficiency may cause increased production of inflammatory chemicals in the body, raising your inflammation contributing to autoimmunity.

Food Sources: Spinach, Chard, Pumpkin seeds, Almonds, Black Beans, Avocado, Bananas. Selenium This trace mineral works in conjunction with vitamin E to help prevent oxidative damage in the body. Selenium is a powerful antioxidant that has anti-inflammatory properties.

It is also a vital nutrient for thyroid function. Studies show that increasing selenium in those with hashimoto’s (an autoimmune thyroid condition) decreased thyroid antibodies. Food Sources: Brazil nuts, Tuna, Halibut, Sardines, Grass-fed beef, Beef Liver, Chicken, Egg, and Spinach. Zinc This essential trace mineral plays a role in over a hundred enzymatic reactions in the body.

It helps to decrease oxidative damage, aids in wound healing, and helps with the formation of hemoglobin. Research suggests that people with zinc deficiency are more susceptible to pathogens. Food Sources: Grass-fed beef, Kefir, and lamb. Plant sources include Chickpeas, Pumpkin seeds, cashews, and cocoa powder.

Who suffers more from autoimmune disease?

Autoimmune disease affects 23.5 million Americans, and nearly 80 percent of those are women. If you’re one of the millions of women affected by this group of diseases, which includes lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and thyroid disease, you may be wondering why your immune system is attacking itself.

Does vitamin C help autoimmune disease?

Vitamin C – Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps cellular function and calms your body’s natural response to stress – enabling you to destress. However, your body doesn’t produce vitamin C; instead, you have to get it from your diet. IV vitamin therapy provides enough vitamin C in your body, making you strong and capable of fighting your stress.

Can fasting reset autoimmune disease?

Intermittent Fasting and Autoimmune Disease – Studies have shown the potential benefits of IF for rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, mixed connective tissue disease (a combination of lupus, scleroderma, and polymyositis), and multiple sclerosis,

Is eggs good for autoimmune disease?

Autoimmune Protocol Diet — Genesis Performance Chiropractic of Elverson, PA The Autoimmune Protocol diet, commonly referred to as AIP, is a branch of the specifically targeted to help people who are on the autoimmune spectrum. You may have a few bothersome symptoms – perhaps headaches, fatigue, joint pain, depression – but no diagnosis yet. Or you may already have a full-blown autoimmune disease (or two, or three) – Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, rheumatoid arthritis, celiac, and beyond.

  • This diet is designed to support your body by giving it nutrients that will help calm the that has brought harm as well as eliminate foods that your body has difficulty using to its advantage in its already weakened state.
  • You want to give your body every fighting chance by working with it rather than against it.

Just as with paleo, AIP avoids processed foods and heavily relies on fruits and vegetables with high nutrient content, as well as healthy fats and proteins. Organic farming practices usually produce foods with higher nutrient content than those from the depleted soil of industrial practices which result in deficiency of important vitamins and minerals.

  1. Therefore, organic is best when choosing fruits and vegetables.
  2. Antioxidants in fruits and vegetables help control harmful free radicals roaming the body.
  3. They also support the immune system and promote detoxification and repair of cells which is critical for a body already damaged by chronic inflammation.
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support the nervous system and the building of cell membranes and their proper ability to function. AIP is an elimination diet, so there are foods allowed on paleo that are not allowed on AIP. The hope is that when you give your body enough time to heal you will eventually be able to tolerate some or all of the foods that have been eliminated.

But because each body is unique, the reintroduction of foods can look different for each person. Like paleo,, and sugar will be avoided. (These can be particularly harmful for those with autoimmune disease, including of the thyroid.) In addition, here are a few more things to look out for: Abstain from Eggs To a healthy person, pastured eggs can be good.

To a person with autoimmune, they can cause havoc that probably wouldn’t happen in a healthy person. Eggs can allow proteins (usually lysozyme, from the egg white) to cross the gut barrier where they don’t belong and contribute to molecular mimicry. This is when antibodies form against not just foreign protein but also the normal protein in your body, as if it too is foreign.

Egg yolks are a common food sensitivity for those with leaky gut. Food sensitivities are not the same as a true food allergy. Sensitivities can often be addressed by healing the gut while food allergies should always be avoided. Leave the Lectins Lectins are proteins found in grains, legumes (including peanuts), and nightshade vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and potatoes.

They are one of nature’s ways of defending plants and are not digestible when raw. A healthy body may be able to produce the proper enzymes to break these down, especially in small amounts and when cooked, but against an already stressed body some lectins are too much of an additional stress and therefore keep your immune system in overdrive. Goitrogens can be problematic for thyroid function and are found in cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, kale), some fruits and starchy plants (peaches, pears, strawberries, sweet potatoes, cassava), and soy (including soy milk, tofu, tempeh).

Cooking cruciferous vegetables can lessen the effects of goitrogens, and because it’s important to get as many nutrients as you can (cheers to leafy greens!), this may be a better option than eliminating cruciferous vegetables altogether. Ready, Set, Go Start by purging your kitchen of anything you won’t be putting into your body.

Take our list of foods to eat when you go food shopping (SEE BELOW), NOTE: If you are dealing with weight, blood sugar imbalances, or candida, it’s best to avoid many high carb fruits and vegetables – follow the guidelines provided for these conditions.

  • Try consuming a wide variety of the allowed foods to get the benefits of different vitamins and minerals.
  • While food variation is recommended, you may have specific medical issues to take into account.
  • For example, if you need to keep an eye on your blood sugar, you would want to stick to low carb options for vegetables and avoid high sugar fruits like bananas.) Opt for local, fresh and organic when possible.

A yummy AIP recipe to try is, Yes, start with dessert! Getting enough sleep each night, learning what triggers stress and how to address it, and having a moderately active lifestyle are other important pieces of the puzzle. Diet alone cannot address the big picture of autoimmune.

Does lemon water help autoimmune?

Physical Benefits Of Lemon Water – Lemons are a powerhouse fruit, containing many important nutrients and vitamins like flavonoids and vitamin C, while containing very few calories and sugar compared to many other fruits. The vitamins and nutrients from lemons benefit our bodies in several ways: Skin — The vitamin C and citric acid in lemons can help fight fine lines, wrinkles, and skin discoloration.

Additionally, the more water you drink, the better your skin will look and feel. And if you add lemon to your water, you just may find it tastes better, helping you meet your water drinking goals more easily. Inflammation and Immune System — Lemons contain antioxidants, which are powerful contributors in the fight against everything from the common cold to serious diseases like cancers, arthritis, and autoimmune disorders.

Antioxidants, like those in lemons, help absorb free radicals, which can cause havoc throughout the body. Drinking lemon water in the mornings especially has an anti-inflammatory benefits. Digestion — The acids in lemons work to help your body breakdown foods, often making the process easier on you, and your stomach.

This can lead to less bloating and discomfort, as well as added relief for constipation. Weight Maintenance and Loss — Drinking plenty of water is a good tool for maintaining your weight, and losing weight. Introduce lemons into the equation and you may feel fuller, longer, increasing those already powerful water-drinking benefits.

Evidence also suggests that drinking lemon water may improve athletic performance, as well as help treat kidney stones. Lemons have long been used in traditional medicines for cleansing and purifying purposes, especially related to the liver and gallbladder.

What foods aggravate autoimmune disease?

Nothing says betrayal than when your own immune system attacks your cells. While this may sound like an absurd fictional plot, it’s actually a real medical condition called autoimmune disease. And in dealing with this condition, you will have to stir clear from some foods and drinks.

  • A person diagnosed with autoimmune disease attacks the body by mistake because the immune cells cannot tell the difference between a foreign invader and a healthy somatic cell.
  • As a result, it causes mild to considerable damage to specific tissues and organs, such as the joints, epidermis, red blood cells, endocrine glands, muscles, and connective tissues.

Unfortunately, the cure for autoimmune disease is yet to be discovered. However, if you are diagnosed with the condition, there are management plans involving medications, physical therapy, and several restrictions which encompass your diet. Foods such as red meat, dairy, pastry, and beverages containing caffeine and alcohol trigger systemic inflammation, aggravating the autoimmune disease.