The autoimmune disorder, a common yet deceitfully clever disease. What does it mean to have an autoimmune disease, and what can you do about it?
We have all heard the term Autoimmune Disorders at some point, but what exactly does that mean? These disorders or diseases directly affect your immune system. Your body's immune system protects you from disease and infection. But if you have an autoimmune disease, your immune system attacks healthy cells in your body by mistake; it’s confused and doesn’t differentiate between abnormal cells and its own cells. Autoimmune diseases can affect many parts of the body and usually always begin by some sort of systemic inflammatory response. We have documented more than eighty types of autoimmune diseases, and some have similar symptoms which can make it frustrating for the patient as they try to understand what is going on with their bodies. Some initial symptoms can include fatigue, muscle aches, headaches, weight gain, weight loss, rash or hives, brain fog, frequent colds, and even pain. Your body is always fighting something, whether it’s battling infections, toxins, allergens, or a response to stress. Sometimes, your immune army redirects its hostile attack against you. Your joints, brain, skin, and sometimes your whole body become casualties.
What causes the inflammation that would cause your body to attack itself?
There are many underlying factors that can cause people to develop an autoimmune condition. There certainly is an underlying genetic component. However, whether these genes get expressed or turned on is actually caused by a host of other factors, such as toxins from heavy metals like mercury, molds, infections like candida/yeast, bacterial/viral, and the chronic inflammation tied to food sensitivities — particularly gluten and dairy intolerance. There is a significant link between autoimmune diseases and food intolerances.
What should someone do if they think they have an autoimmune disorder?
If you suspect that you have an autoimmune disease, the most important steps to stopping and reversing your disease and symptoms are to identify and then to treat the underlying cause. Conventional doctors only treat the symptoms of autoimmune diseases; they do not look to find the root cause. Often, they prescribe medications such as anti-inflammatory drugs, steroids, or immune-suppressants. All of these treatments fail to address the underlying cause of the autoimmune condition, and while they may be effective in the short term, they are not a long-term solution. Treatments involving immunosuppressant drugs increase the risk of severe infections and cancer when taken for long periods of time.
This is my favorite part to talk about, and it’s mainly because I love how functional medicine differs in the fact that we look at the body as a whole versus just a symptom. Conventional medicine often addresses autoimmune disease by prescribing powerful immune-suppressing medication rather than searching for the cause. That’s like taking a lot of Advil while you are standing on a nail. The treatment should not be more Advil; the treatment is removing the nail!
Identify the Problem
Identifying the root cause; here’s where deceitfully clever trickery comes into action.
Identifying which autoimmune disease is affecting you can be a difficult process. Symptoms may be vague, and autoimmune diseases can present themselves in so many different ways, affecting the thyroid, the brain, the skin, or other organs. Working closely with your doctor to review your family medical history, understanding your risk factors for infections, food sensitivities, and toxins, as well as your doctor listening closely to discover how all of your symptoms are related, are all an essential part of getting well. Food logs are especially important during this process to enable you to rule out a possible intolerance. Sometimes it is as simple as moving forward with an elimination diet while repairing and rebuilding the gut (since 80% of your immune system is in your gut). Other times we have to dig deeper into the cellular level and look for toxin exposures and genetic variants that have affected methylation, detoxification, and even the genes that turn on or off inflammation (as these links can be broken).
What is the approach to getting treatment for autoimmune disorders?
Rebuild the system
Once you have identified the inflammatory trigger, you have to rebuild the system. We do this using vitamins and minerals as most of us are deficient in those areas in the first place. We have to boost the immune system so it can heal like the body is supposed to do on its own, this is where Sunwarrior Immune Shield comes to bat. Immune Shield also has fulvic acid along with minerals and silver ions that assist the body in delivering trace minerals, nutrients, and electrolytes into the cells and also aids and boosts the immune system.
Implement a Plant-Based Diet
Implement a healthy whole food, plant-based plan for acquiring your protein such as using Sunwarrior protein powders 1–2 times a day. Use anti-inflammatory foods which repair and rebuild the gut where the majority of our immune system is based Fix those broken genes once they are identified with natural detoxifiers and immune booster like vitamin C, zinc, and magnesium. Liquid Light is something I take every night as it assists in sleep, muscle recovery and soreness, and it provides the ample amount of nutrients necessary for our bodies to thrive at an optimal level. Liquid Light has over 72 trace minerals which will help with detoxification in the cells while boosting the immune system.
Decrease your stress because stress is a HUGE factor in decreasing our immune systems. Exercise and acupuncture are safe and effective ways to release those endorphins that not only help us relax but also decrease inflammation, boost immunity, and heal from the inside out. You WILL feel better.
Really. Don’t panic. Autoimmune disorders ARE reversible.
I know from personal experience how overwhelming, confusing, and scary a diagnosis of an autoimmune disease can be. I also know that conventional medicine only offers treatment of the symptoms, not a real solution to the disease. Implementing Sunwarrior products in your daily regimen is a great way to reverse the trickery and out-smart any autoimmune disorder.