Autoimmune Conditions“Genetics load the gun, lifestyle pulls the trigger! “– Caldwell Esselstyn
Apart from stress, other major factors involved in the development and progression of autoimmune conditions include genetic predisposition, intestinal permeability (aka. leaky gut syndrome), and chronic nutrient deficiencies. Most people on the autoimmune spectrum have various signs and symptoms years before being blown to a full disease or diagnosis.
Your immune system is built to protect you from infections and pathogens. But in autoimmune conditions, the immune system starts to attack part of your own body. This happens when the immune system is not able to differentiate between 'self' and 'non-self' tissues. For different people, it could mean problems in different parts of the body. For e.g., Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis happens when the immune system attacks the thyroid gland, Rheumatoid Arthritis happens when the joints are attacked, and in celiac disease, the immune system attacks the small intestine.
In Functional Medicine, we often talk about epigenetics. Epigenetics is the study of how your environment, food, thoughts, and emotions can change the way your genes work. For you to develop an autoimmune disease, something in your environment, diet, or personal circumstances has to turn on the genes that cause autoimmune disorders.
These genes can be ramped down by optimizing your diet, fixing the gut lining, significantly reducing toxic exposures, addressing underlying infections, and by managing your stress levels, thereby restoring your immune system to optimal health.
We want a well-tolerant immune system - not underactive or overactive!
Before autoimmunity develops, there is systemic inflammation in the body. Inflammation is an essential part of our immune system response and is not necessarily bad. We need inflammation to fight off infections and to heal. When inflammation runs wild and prolonged, that is when it can be a root cause of many modern diseases we face today, particularly autoimmune ones. As with everything in the body, it is all about balance!
Some of the most common and early symptoms of inflammation are brain fog, fatigue, anxiety, digestive distress, rashes, joint and muscle pains, lower back pain, excess mucus production, dry eyes, insulin resistance, etc. We always want to be thoughtful about symptoms and give them the due diligence they deserve.
Work with us to get your health and vitality back!