Are you eating healthfully and watching your diet as a way to manage your autoimmune symptoms, but you just don’t know why you continue to have symptoms such as bloating, upset stomach, joint pain or rashes? Although you are eating foods you believe to be healthy, here are five foods that may be triggering your autoimmune symptoms and keeping you inflamed, despite your best intentions.
Category: Immune Related Issues
Most people know the immune system as their body’s defense mechanism against illness. But your immune system also enables your body to know the difference between what is healthy and what is toxic, by recognizing it as a foreign substance and then responding to it as a perceived invader. In fact, about seventy percent of our immune system is in the digestive system because that is where we are exposed to the most foreign substances. This is another reason why the digestive system is so key to health. Optimizing function of the digestive system boosts the immune system too.
Avoiding harmful foods and chemicals, optimizing function of your digestive system, taking appropriate supplements and getting enough rest and sleep are the best ways to keep your immune system robust.
Q. Why did you decide to write The Autoimmune Solution?
A. I know firsthand how frustrating and painful autoimmune disease can be. During medical school, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune thyroid condition called Graves’ disease. When conventional medicine failed me, I had to develop my own solution—now my mission in life is to help others on their own journey to recover from autoimmunity.
Being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease can be overwhelming. While you may have many questions about treatment and how to manage you condition, a few myths can complicate the full picture. Let’s dispel a few myths about managing your autoimmune disorder.
What a year it’s been! When I look back at the top Be Well blog posts of 2014, the theme that I see is myth-busting. It starts with the post “6 Foods People Think are Healthy But Aren’t,” where coach Jenny Sansouci reveals the truth that soy milk, agave nectar, whole wheat and others aren’t as healthy as we once thought. This post went “viral” with over 20,000 shares.
An out-of-whack microbiome — the community of bacteria, viruses, protozoa and fungi that live in our bodies — can spell disaster for our health. Here are just a few conditions that can result.
Q: When were you diagnosed with MS and what were your symptoms?
A: I was diagnosed in 2000, but in retrospect I was having symptoms as early as 1982, with episodes of severe face pain and problems with my vision. In 2000, I began stumbling and had a foot drop, which is what lead to the diagnosis. It only got worse from there, for a long while.
Q: What sort of care did you received between your diagnosis and 2007 when you took matters into your own hands? What was your state of health then in 2007?
A: I had taken Copaxone, one of the so-called “ABC drugs” most frequently prescribed for MS. When my MS transitioned to secondary progressive MS (this is a common occurrence, meaning I would no longer have periods of recovery, but instead, a steady decline), I took several cycles of mitoxantrone, which is also used to treat some cancers. Next, I took Tysabri when it became available, but stopped it after two cycles because Tysabri was pulled from the market. Then I took Cellcept, which is typically used to suppress the rejection of transplanted organs. I’ve certainly had my share of MS medication!
As a health coach, I’m often asked how many grams of sugar per day are considered acceptable. I like to repeat Dr. Lipman’s “sugar is the devil” warning as I advise clients to keep sugar out of their diet, period. While we all know that sugar is not a health food, given our sugar-saturated culture, it’s all too easy to compare ourselves favorably to those around us who are snacking on sweet treats, ordering desserts, or drinking juice every day.
Over the past year, we have been working with a patient Megan McGrane who was suffering from autoimmune disorders and inflammation. By changing her diet and adding in some key supplements, she was able to reduce the severity of her symptoms, see improvement in her bloodwork, and have her inflammatory markers return to normal values. Here is her story:
Does a change of seasons generally leave you feeling under the weather and reaching for those over-the-counter meds? When we’re sick, our body is trying to get back into balance and flush things out of our system. Taking medicine can actually suppresses our immune system’s natural response to illness, which over time weakens our natural ability to heal. Luckily, there are lots of more natural ways to kick a cold and supercharge your immune system, and you don’t have to look any further than your kitchen cabinet or local health food store!
Leaky gut syndrome happens when your intestinal lining has become damaged as a result of inflammation or irritation. Drugs, alcohol, gluten and processed foods can damage the lining of the gut wall. Leaky gut can also result from internal toxicity due to an imbalance of bacteria and yeast, which we call “dysbiosis.”
When this happens, the lining of the gut becomes full of tiny holes, like swiss cheese, or a leaky bucket. In many places, the lining of the gut is just one cell thick, so leaky gut or “intestinal permeability” can easily happen.