Monday, February 9, 2015

Autoimmune Disease and Identifying the Triggers

Discover the real causes

If any of you suffer from autoimmune disease then you know that doctors have only been able to treat the symptoms but not the root cause of your illness.  I listened to an interview with Susan Blum, M.D., who has also written a book about identifying the triggers of autoimmune disease, and there is hope for any of us who have searched for help for the pain and sickness we go through on a daily basis.  I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in 1996 and my doctors couldn't identify what I actually had until much later. Many of you have heard that "it's all in your head", but we know that's not true.

Inflammation appears connected to almost every known chronic disease - from heart disease to cancer, diabetes to obesity, autism to dementia, and even depression.

Other inflammatory diseases such as allergies, asthma, arthritis, and autoimmune disease are increasing at dramatic rates. Physicians are trained to shut off inflammation with aspirin, anti-inflammatory medication such as Advil or Motrin, steroids, and increasingly more powerful immune suppressing medication with serious side effects.

Physicians are NOT trained to find and treat the underlying causes of inflammation in chronic disease. Hidden allergens, infections, environmental toxins, inflammatory diet and stress are the real causes of these inflammatory conditions.

Autoimmune diseases, specifically, now affect 24 million people and include rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, thyroid disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and more.

These are often addressed by powerful immune suppressing medication and not by addressing the cause. That’s like taking a lot of aspirin while you are standing on a tack. The treatment is not more aspirin or a strong immune suppressant, but removing the tack.

It you want to cool off inflammation in the body, you must find the source. Treat the fire, not the smoke.

If you have an autoimmune disease, here is what you need to think about and do.

Treating Autoimmune Disease by Identifying the Triggers:

1. Food - Celiac disease attacks the small bowel and is caused by gluten in the diet. Many people are on a Gluten-free diet.

Food Sensitivity - includes brain fog, fatigue and allergies to certain foods. Some foods trigger allergies and inflammation: dairy, corn, nuts, soy and eggs are usually the main cause of allergies.

2. Stress - (whether bad or good) and the reaction you have to them can cause a stress response to the Adrenals. Adrenal Function plays an important role in moderating the inflammatory processes characteristic of autoimmune reactions.

Your adrenal glands produce the hormone cortisol, which is the most powerful anti-inflammatory substance in your body. However, in autoimmune disease, cortisol levels are inadequate for the degree of reaction taking place in the tissues being attacked. During adrenal fatigue, it is less likely that your adrenal glands can produce enough cortisol to adequately counter these autoimmune inflammatory reactions.

3. Leaky Gut/Digestive Health - Attacks the small intestine and breaks down the barrier so toxins and bacteria leak into your body. The majority of the immune system is in your gut.  Autoimmune disease attacks your body leading to pain and other problems.  

4. Toxins - We're all exposed to some form of toxins whether it comes from the environment or by the foods we eat.  It's important to eat organic foods to avoid pesticides.  Mercury and other heavy metals are in silver fillings, some of the fish we eat (tuna), vaccines and tap water.

Now that you know what triggers autoimmune disease, there is hope for recovery.  Susan Blum, M.D. and doctor of Functional Medicine has written a book called "The Immune System Recovery Plan".  If you need help please visit her website: 

I wish all of you success in your recovery!

Laurel ♥

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