Autoimmune Disease: Signs & Symptoms Your Body Is Attacking Itself + Treatments
Naturopathic Nuggets about Autoimmune Disease
- Over 50 million North Americans suffer from Autoimmune Diseases, of which almost 75% are women. It can happen to you, if it’s in your genes
- In Autoimmune Diseases, the immune system goes haywire, confusing the tissues of your body as foreign, and attacks them
- Mental, emotional & physical stressors trigger Autoimmune Disease, of which food allergies are the biggest physical stressor causing Autoimmunity.
- Autoimmune Diseases cause inflammation which destroys the body’s tissues, affecting function
- Symptoms of Autoimmune Disease can be vague, delayed & systemic, including anxiety, fatigue, digestive disturbances, hair loss, headaches, rashes, recurrent infections, joint or muscle pain, weight gain or loss
- Common Autoimmune Diseases include Alopecia (hair loss), Ankylosing Spondylitis (spine), Celiac Disease, Hashimoto’s / Graves Disease (thyroid), Lupus / SLE (whole body), Multiple Sclerosis (nerves), Psoriasis & Psoriatic Arthritis (skin & joints), Rheumatoid Arthritis (joints), Ulcerative Colitis / Crohn’s Disease (bowels), Vitiligo (skin)
- Food Allergies cause inflammation that triggers Autoimmunity, Dysbiosis & Leaky Gut Syndrome
- The war within your gut determines your health, as declining levels of “good” bacteria allow overgrowth of harmful bacteria, yeast & parasites to damage your gut & health overall. This is called Dysbiosis which leads to Leaky Gut Syndrome, commonly implicated in Autoimmune Diseases.
- It is advisable to seek professional advice from a licensed Naturopathic Physician, after consulting your Medical Doctor, due to the seriousness & aggressiveness of Autoimmune Diseases
The Autoimmune Epidemic
Over 50 million North Americans suffer from Autoimmune Diseases, and almost 75% are women. An Autoimmune Disease is an abnormal response to normal immune function. The incidence of Celiac Disease is skyrocketing. Of the three million North Americans suffering from the symptoms of Celiac Disease, approximately 83% are undiagnosed, as the symptoms are diverse, common & systemic.
Autoimmunity Prevails in a Weakened, Stressed & Toxic Society
Is Your Immunity Healthy or Haywire?
Normally, the immune system attacks foreign invaders, such as bacteria, viruses, fungi and cancer cells that can harm the body. A healthy immune system innately knows not to attack the body’s own tissues. In autoimmune diseases, the immune system goes haywire, confusing the tissues of your body as foreign, and attacks them.
Autoimmune is When Your Immunity Turns Against You
Autoimmune: Your Immune Giant is Awake & Crazy
Autoimmune Disease is like a crazy, sleeping giant, lying dormant in your genes. This giant is powerful and when you are healthy, he protects you. In those with Autoimmune genetics, the powerful giant wakes up, goes crazy, and starts attacking your own body, working against you.
Is Your Immune Giant Healthy Or Crazy?
Autoimmune Disease: Why Me?
What triggers an autoimmune disease is not completely understood conventionally, although it has been extrapolated that individuals that have a genetic predisposition to this abnormal immunity, can trigger this cascade of damage.
Autoimmunity: It’s In Your Genes!
Autoimmune: What Awoke My Crazy Giant?
Autoimmune Disease means that your body has been stressed enough to trigger the negative expression of your genetics. These stressors may come in the form of mental, emotional and physical forms. Physical stressors may include food allergies, toxins, drugs, bacteria or viruses. These stressors can lead to Dysbiosis, causing a cascade of inflammatory damage leading to Leaky Gut Syndrome, which aggravates Autoimmune Diseases.
Food Allergies Cause Autoimmunity
Autoimmune & Inflammation: The Cause & Effect
The pathway of damage of Autoimmune Disease is inflammation, which results in the destruction of various body tissues, abnormal growth of the organ and/or changes to its function.
The symptoms of Autoimmune Diseases depend on where the inflammatory damage occurs, and in which tissues. General symptoms reflect the immune response, and may be temporary or long term.
Autoimmune Causes Inflammation, Inflammation Destroys Your Tissues
Autoimmune Signs & Symptoms
Generalized Autoimmune Disease Symptoms may include:
- Adrenal Fatigue “Wired but Tired”
- Attention Deficit &/ Hyperactivity
- Brain Fog
- Digestion (Inflammatory Bowel Disease IBD): Abdominal Pain, Bloating, Constipation, Cramping. Diarrhea, Gas
- Fatigue, Low Energy, Exhaustion
- Joint Pain & Stiffness
- Lethargy & Malaise
- Muscle Pain & Weakness
- Rashes: Acne, Dermatitis, Eczema, Psoriasis, Rosacea
- Recurrent Infections
- Weight Gain or Weight Loss
Autoimmune Symptoms Can Be Vague, Delayed & Affect the Whole Body
Autoimmune Diseases: How & Where?
There are many types of autoimmune diseases, divided into whether it affects a specific organ or whether it causes symptoms throughout the body.
Affects a Specific Organ:
- Adrenal Glands: Addison’s Disease
- Bladder: Interstitial Cystitis
- Intestines: Crohn’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis
- Esophagus: Eosinophilic Esophagitis
- Eyes: Iritis related to Ankylosing Spondylitis
- Kidneys: IgA Nephropathy
- Liver: Autoimmune Hepatitis
- Muscles: Myasthenia Gravis
- Nervous System: Multiple Sclerosis
- Pancreas: Diabetes Type I
- Salivary Glands: Sjogren’s Syndrome
- Skin: Lichen Planus
- Skin: Vitiligo
- Spine: Ankylosing Spondylitis
- Stomach: Pernicious Anemia
- Thyroid: Hashimoto’s / Graves Disease
Affects the Whole Body:
- Alopecia Areata: Hair Loss in Scalp, Face, Body
- Celiac Disease: Small Intestine Damage from eating Gluten, causing malabsorption, nutrient deficiencies, malnutrition, weight loss
- Dermatomyositis: Inflammation of Muscles, Skin Rash
- Lupus / SLE: Rash, Fatigue
- Psoriasis & Psoriatic Arthritis
- Rheumatoid Arthritis: Joint Pain
- Sarcoidosis: Lungs, Skin, Lymph nodes
- Scleroderma: Hardens Skin & Connective Tissue
Autoimmune Disease & Leaky Gut Syndrome
Naturopathic Physicians have been diagnosing Leaky Gut Syndrome for decades, in their quest for treating the cause(s) in patients suffering from Indigestion, Allergies, Hormonal Imbalance, Brain, Skin & Autoimmune Diseases. Only recently has Leaky Gut Syndrome become more mainstream as scientists are investigating the profound link between Leaky Gut and various chronic diseases including Autoimmune Diseases. Physically this is because 70% of your immunity lies in your gut’s lymph system (GALT).
Leaky Gut is Chronic Gut Inflammation Linked to Many Health Conditions
Leaky What Now?
Much of our North American population unknowingly struggles with Leaky Gut given our society’s poor diet, toxic exposures, chronic stress. Although a century of documentation exists, Medical Doctors are finally acknowledging the validity of this affliction.
Leaky Gut is Caused by Diet, Stress & Toxicity
Autoimmune & Leaky Gut
You would think that Leaky Gut Syndrome would target digestive function only. In fact, Leaky Gut Syndrome is the cause for many severe & chronic health conditions, as bowel health determines overall health.
“All Disease Begins In The Gut” ~ Hippocrates
Autoimmune & Dysbiosis
Dysbiosis is an unhealthy bowel environment which occurs with an imbalance of bad guys versus good guys (Probiotics) in the bowel. This war within your gut determines your health, as declining levels of “good” bacteria allow overgrowth of harmful bacteria (C.difficile, Salmonella, E.coli), yeast (Candidiasis) & parasites to damage your gut (Leaky Gut Syndrome) & health overall including causing Autoimmune Disease.
Dysbiosis: Losing the War Within
Certain factors cause this negative microbiome Dysbiosis, as increased yeast, bad bacteria & parasites overpower your good bacteria. The toxins produced from Dysbiosis triggers inflammation which leads to changes in intestinal permeability (Leaky Gut Syndrome) & Autoimmune Diseases in those genetically predisposed.
Dysbiosis – Leaky Gut – Autoimmune Connection
Conventional Treatments for Autoimmune Diseases
Conventional Medicine (your MD):
The goal of treatment is to:
- Suppress Symptoms
- Suppress the Immunity with Steroids such as Prednisone, Biologics
Naturopathic Medicine (Dr. Jiwani, Licensed Naturopathic Physician):
The goal of treatment is to:
- Reduce Symptoms by Treating the Causes
- Normalize & Support the Immunity
- Address Underlying Deficiencies created from Autoimmune Disease Process i.e. hormones, vitamins, minerals etc
- Create Individualized Treatment Plan Specific for Patient through addressing Food Allergies, Dysbiosis, Leaky Gut, Improving Digestion, Absorption & Nutrient Status
Treat the Cause, Not the Symptoms
How to Normalize Your Immunity to Calm Your Autoimmune Giant
The key to health when you suffer from Autoimmune Disease(s) is a multi-pronged approach.
Supplement with Human Strain Probiotics:
Not all probiotics are the same, and unfortunately vegetarian & dairy forms through food & supplements are rejected within 48 hours as your body knows you are not a plant or a cow. Human strains allow long term implantation of bacteria for long lasting effectiveness. This improves Dysbiosis.
You may need Probiotics if you have:
- ADHD & Autism
- Autoimmune Disease
- Allergic Sinusitis
- Candidiasis, Yeast Infections, Fungal Infections
- Celiac Disease
- Diarrhea, Constipation
- Food Allergies
- Gastrointestinal Infection (Gastroenteritis)
- Heavy Metal Toxicity
- Intestinal Dysbiosis
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Lactose Intolerance
- Leaky Gut or Compromised Intestinal Permeability
- Malabsorption (Nutritional Deficiencies: Iron, B12, Vitamin D)
Eat Your Prebiotics:
One of the best ways to support optimal growth of your gut bacteria is to eat foods that contain prebiotics, such as garlic, onions, leeks, apples, konjac root (shirataki noodles), cacao (chocolate), flaxseeds, jicama root & seaweed.
Minimize Carbs & Sugars:
Excess carbohydrates in any form, whether from fruit, grains, starchy vegetables, juices & soda pop, feed the bad bacteria, yeast & parasites, promoting Dysbiosis. A recent study exemplifies this with a microbiome restoration diet which improves digestion, cognition and physical and emotional wellbeing (Lawrence & Hyde 2017)
Identify & Avoid Your Food Allergies:
Consuming your food allergies promotes inflammation, Dysbiosis and causes Leaky Gut Syndrome. Inflammation at the gut level causes bacterial imbalance, poor digestion & malabsorption which promotes intestinal permeability or leaky gut. Once dysbiosis persists, opportunistic bacteria, yeast & parasites can overgrow, harming your health such as causing Autoimmune Diseases, perpetuating cravings, mood changes & weight gain.
Avoid Alcohol Consumption:
Alcohol is a form of yeast, which should be avoided in those allergic to yeast and/or suffering from Candidiasis (systemic yeast infection in the blood). Additionally, alcohol will trigger inflammatory & toxic pathways by altering gut bacteria balance (Dysbiosis), increasing inflammatory toxin release from bacteria, while disrupting your intestinal barrier (Leaky Gut Syndrome) allowing more inflammatory toxins into the bloodstream, worsening Autoimmune conditions.
Discourage Bad Guys:
Your nutrition, your immunity, your lack of toxicity and your overall health depends upon the health of your gastrointestinal tract. Poor gut health is called Leaky Gut Syndrome. The key to optimal gut health is to increase the amount of the “good guys” (probiotics) in the bowel and to kill the “bad guys” (Yeast, Fungus, Viruses, Bad Bacteria & Parasites).
When the “bad guys” take over, they wreak havoc in the body, ravaging your tissues with the harmful toxins they release. This unfavourable environment in the gut is called Intestinal Dysbiosis which leads to Leaky Gut Syndrome.
Yeast-X attacks the “bad guys”, prevents their growth and promotes a healthy gastrointestinal tract. Yeast-X promotes good bacteria balance in those with unhealthy diets, history of chronic antibiotic use, or overgrowth of disease-causing microbes including Clostridium difficile, Helicobacter pylori or Candida albicans, providing the potent anti-fungal effect of Undecylenic Acid for systemic yeast infections (Candidiasis), 2000% stronger than a common anti-fungal agent (Caprylic Acid), and Oregano Oil.
Taking Yeast-X facilitates a successful biochemical shift from intestinal dysbiosis (a diseased environment) to eubiosis (a healthy environment), through inhibition of the pathogenic fungal, viral and bacterial culprits which can aggravate your Autoimmune Disease.
Read about what Dr. Jiwani has been through and how her personal experience with several, serious Autoimmune Diseases can help you.
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