Autoimmunity is the result of widespread inflammation which creates an abnormal immune response in which the body starts to attack itself. It often begins when the body is working hard to defend itself against an allergen, infection, toxin or food and it fails to differentiate between this substance and your own body. There are many underlying factors that can predispose someone to develop an autoimmune disease and we might consider why autoimmunity is becoming more and more prevalent as the years go on.
- Diet – The types of foods you eat has a direct affect on your overall health and triggers for any autoimmune conditions. Giving your body the right foods it needs for proper nourishment, detoxification and to reduce inflammation is crucial.
- Environment – Throughout our daily lives, your body is exposed to pollutants and chemicals. These are found in our food supply, the water we drink, the air we breathe and the products we use. Being close to impossible to avoid, this puts a major strain on our bodies – often resulting in autoimmune conditions.
- Digestion – More than 60% of your immune system is located in your digestive tract. Inflammation in the digestive tract or poor gut bacteria may impair the immune system, either leading to or exacerbating autoimmune conditions.
- Stress – High levels of cortisol have been shown to alter our digestive microbiome and our immune system. It is very common for an autoimmune condition to occur after a traumatic experience.
- Inflammation – High levels of systemic inflammation may disrupt the body’s ability to communicate between nerve-cell communication pathways. In addition, inflammation will affect the digestive microbiome balance and therefore impair immune system function.
Common symptoms of auto-immunity include:
- Joint or muscle pain
- Recurrent rashes or hives
- Poor focus and concentration
- Weight gain or cold intolerance
- Dry eyes, skin or mouth
- Difficulty conceiving or multiple miscarriages
- Hair loss
- Digestive upset
- Weight gain
Autoimmune conditions generally respond well to Naturopathic treatments and
we aim to identify and treat the underlying causes (such as inflammation, immune dysfunction, and gut health) while also addressing symptoms such as fatigue, pain, weight gain and those listed above. It may be necessary to remove food triggers from the diet, measure antibody blood markers to assess and evaluate treatment in addition to looking at the digestive system and potentially undertaking a comprehensive stool test to look at levels of good bacteria, infections, and leaky gut. Any diet and lifestyle changes will be implemented with the aim of long term change at the client’s pace and designed to fit with their needs and lifestyle.