If you’ve been told that you have to live with your debilitating autoimmune disease for the rest of your life, please know that’s not true. You don’t have to experience flare-ups every couple of months, interfering with your quality of life and even putting your life on hold.
You can place your autoimmune disease into remission using lifestyle medicine and the Functional Medicine approach. Today, I’m sharing how to prevent autoimmune disease and even reverse it! It’s time to put the power back into your own hands.
This article pertains to any type of autoimmune condition. How can that be? Because autoimmune diseases largely work in the same way, it’s just that they differ in the type of organ or tissue that your own immune system attacks. With Hashimoto’s, your immune system attacks your thyroid. With Rheumatoid arthritis, your body attack’s its own tissue, including joints. Another eye-opening statistic? Women make up for more than 75% of autoimmune diseases. Here are a few common autoimmune diseases:
So, what is an autoimmune flare-up, exactly? If you have an autoimmune disease, you may experience worsened symptoms when your body is under an especially heightened amount of stress. This stress burden could trigger autoimmune symptoms, lasting from a few days to several months.
If you don’t have an autoimmune condition, please know that prolonged stress on your body (psychological or physical) could turn into an autoimmune condition if you don’t address it.
Stress could come from psychological stress like being overwhelmed with a busy schedule, dealing with relationship issues, or managing little kiddos and keeping the house clean (I feel you there, mamas!).
But what most people don’t know is that autoimmune conditions could be caused by or triggered by underlying physical stress occurring within your body that you may not even be aware of. These stressors include poor diet, lack of sleep, toxin exposure, and underlying illnesses that impact your gut and hormone balance.
These stressors can cause immune dysregulation, and when prolonged, can turn into autoimmune conditions. They can also trigger flare-ups in your current autoimmune condition.
With a Functional Medicine approach and lifestyle changes, you can manage your autoimmune condition. The key lies in using natural methods to manage your autoimmune symptoms by getting to the root of your stressors and addressing them.
Most of the time, stressors cause elevated inflammation, leading to a dysfunctional immune response. Lowering inflammation may not completely heal your autoimmune condition, but it can surely help manage your symptoms and prevent flare-ups. For some people, they’ve been able to put their autoimmune condition into remission for years.
The best autoimmune natural treatment focuses on reducing stress and lowering inflammation. So, what could this look like in your daily routine? Let’s take a look.
Eat an Anti-Inflammatory Diet
Do More Meditation and Yoga
Consider Anti-Inflammatory Supplements
Prioritize Exercising…But Don’t Go Overboard
Address Underlying Imbalances & Dysfunctions
Your diet is one of the biggest influencers on your immune system. By simply changing the way you fuel your body, you will notice significant relief. The Mediterranean diet is one of the most well-studied diets that supports lowering inflammation, reducing health problems, and even promoting longevity.
Ingredients like ginger, turmeric, and garlic are known to decrease inflammation.
You can also incorporate more berries into your diet for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. If you find it confusing to know which foods to eat or not, focus on eating whole, organic foods, which have been shown to be beneficial for autoimmune patients. Avoid gluten, dairy, eggs, and processed animal products, as these are known to increase inflammation in the body.
Having healthy coping mechanisms in place for when you do start to feel stressed is vital for managing your autoimmune disease in a natural way. Daily meditation and yoga are well-studied practices that have been shown to reduce stress biomarkers in the body.
If yoga isn’t your thing, consider other coping mechanisms such as soaking in a hot bath with Epsom salts and essential oils to decompress. Having a practice in place can reduce your autoimmune flare-ups.
While diet changes are first and foremost the primary focus, don’t forget that supplements can give you a boost of support. The following supplements are great to consider in order to avoid autoimmune flare-ups.
It’s vital to work with a provider to see which ones your body needs. For example, your vitamin D levels may be in the optimal range, and taking more would be a waste of money and possibly add more problems. This is why it’s good to know for sure with functional medicine testing.
Omega-3 fatty acids
As with any supplement, you want to make sure you are investing in a high-quality brand, so your body receives an adequate amount that actually makes an impact. Visit my FullScript online dispensary if you need to restock any of your supplements.
Staying physically active is a great way to keep inflammation in check and a great way to destress and improve certain autoimmune symptoms. This could look like simply going on evening walks, bike rides, or playing a game of tennis.
But more exercise is not always better. Over-exercising can actually lead to elevated inflammatory levels and can worsen your autoimmune symptoms. So if you want to do some HIIT workouts or high-intensity peloton workouts, limit them to just a few a week or avoid them if you are currently dealing with a flare-up.
Underlying imbalances and dysfunctions are often overlooked by conventional health providers. But it’s important to acknowledge that your body could be biologically stressed out on a cellular level.
You could have:
Underlying infections or viral titers like EBV or Lyme Disease
Hormone imbalances, imbalanced cortisol, excess estrogen, or low thyroid levels
Mycotoxins or heavy metals
If you’re looking for a holistic treatment for autoimmune disease, working with a functional medicine provider is one of the best ways to manage your flare-ups and even put your autoimmune condition into remission for good.
Having access to high-level labs and analysis can help you investigate what imbalances are occurring within your body. When you learn this, you can correct them with personalized protocols and treatment plans.
If you need access to a stool test, a gut health expert, and personalized protocols, the Get Your Gut Right program might be the right fit for you. This is a very comprehensive program that also focuses on nutrition, detox pathways, nervous system, clean environment, and more. Click HERE to learn more.
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