An autoimmune disease is the result of your immune system breaking down, failing to recognize outside threats known as autogens, interpreting your own healthy tissue as the danger, and attacking those healthy cells instead of the bad stuff.
You depend on your immune system to protect you from “outside invaders” such as bacteria, pollution, and toxins caused by your diet, drugs, or environment. The fighters in your body recognize, fight, and eliminate these threats to your health.
A disease like this disrupts everything your immune system is intended to do. There are more than eighty types of autoimmune diseases. The four most commonly recognized and diagnosed forms of autoimmune disruption are multiple sclerosis (MS), type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus.
These illnesses are chronic and many have no cure.
Over the past three decades, incidents of autoimmune cases have climbed substantially every year and continue to rise. This epidemic isn’t talked about much in the media and that’s disturbing since it affects so many.
- There are more than 80 types of autoimmune diseases.
- 50 million people in the United States suffer from at least one autoimmune disorder.
- Approximately 75% of diagnosed patients are women.
- Women are eight times more likely to succumb to an autoimmune threat than be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime.
- It is one of the top 10 causes of death of women and female children in every age group.
- The average patient with an autoimmune disease sees six doctors over the course of four years before receiving an accurate diagnosis!
The medical community remains shockingly ignorant about these diseases. That translates to patients going undiagnosed and untreated. There is a horrific “trial and error” process to treat the symptoms – that can affect every organ in the body. Though the causes of autoimmunity are unknown, researchers have found common threads.
- Immediate family member with autoimmune disease
- Bacteria and viruses
- Drugs – including legally prescribed for valid illnesses
- Exposure to chemical toxins and irritants
- Environmental pollution through air, water, and food
Recently, a study through Yale School of Medicine found that specific neurons within the brain that regulate hunger also influence immune system cells. Their results, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), was fascinating.
Lead author, professor of biomedical research, and Yale comparative medicine chair Tamas Horvath simplified the findings, “If we can control this mechanism by adjusting eating behavior and the kinds of food consumed, it could lead to new avenues for treating autoimmune diseases.”
The team discovered that weight loss drugs that promote a “feeling of being full” could interrupt your body’s natural ability to communicate with the immune system. The popularity of such “quick fix” prescribed and over-the-counter drugs – without changing crucial habits related to lifestyle – could be one answer to the explosion of autoimmune diseases in the last thirty years.
5 Tips to Boost Your Immunity Naturally
- Fix your diet! Balanced nutrition is the key to health. The Western diet is filled with bad fats, an incredible amount of toxic chemicals, high salt, and high sugar foods that drain your nutrients away – providing nothing and leaving you vulnerable.
- You must move! A few minutes of regular activity every single day – from taking a walk to following a yoga video in your living room – will boost you mentally, physically, and emotionally.
- Get some sleep! Sleep is one of the easiest and most effective “fixes” for what ails you and you mustn’t apologize for it. Your body requires it to function and denying this basic need is tantamount to asking for trouble. I’ve written extensively on this topic.
- Limit stress where possible! Stress leads to inflammation – the single biggest danger to wellness. Evaluation of the stress levels in your life (in every area), learning how to remove what you can, and establishing good coping skills to deal with what you can’t remove will drastically improve your quality of life and physical health.
- Lower toxin exposure! This is a big one. You can’t prevent most environmental exposure to contaminants but eliminating what you can from your diet, personal care, and household is going to make a big difference your body will feel.
While no single thing can prevent autoimmune disease (and all the rest), implementing several of the most critical (common sense) steps that many of us ignore can protect your body from more than you can possibly imagine!