Best Diet & Lifestyle for Autoimmune Disease
For those who suffer from any one (or combination) of autoimmune diseases, finding the best diet and lifestyle can often be a challenging and confusing process. Even for individuals who are not afflicted with the unique adversities of an autoimmune disease, finding the right foods and exercise programs can be difficult. Thankfully, the latest research on these diseases has revealed some new and important insights on the best diet & lifestyle for autoimmune disease.
Although autoimmune issues take more than one form, there are universal nutritional and lifestyle changes that can be applied to better manage resulting symptoms.
If you are suffering from one or more autoimmune diseases, explore some of the latest findings and recommendations.
What is an autoimmune disease?
Before looking at the best diet & lifestyle for autoimmune disease, it is crucial to understand what is considered to be an autoimmune disease. An autoimmune disease occurs when the body’s immune system begins to attack cells that are healthy. In this state, the immune system lacks the ability to tell which cells should indeed be targeted, and which should be left alone. This atypical immune reaction presents itself in many distinct ways. Unlike most conditions, there is not one set of symptoms that define an autoimmune disease. Autoimmune conditions present themselves in the body through the combination of dozens of unique symptoms.
What are the top autoimmune conditions?
Autoimmune disease can cause a wide range of symptoms throughout the entire body.
Some of the most frequently diagnosed autoimmune diseases include rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease, lupus, multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes, and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.
Even with a basic familiarity of some of these conditions, it is clear that issues related to the immune system can choose to manifest themselves throughout the body. To further demonstrate how individual a person’s response can be, here is a brief look at the symptoms of each disease:
- Stiffness, swelling, and weakness in the joints
- Pain in the back and other muscles
Celiac disease (when exposed to gluten)
- Gastrointestinal issues (stomach pains, vomiting, indigestion)
- Bone loss
- Skin rash
- Weight loss
- Pain while breathing
- Mouth ulcers
- Scaly rashes
- Vision loss
- Muscle paralysis
- Muscle spasms
Type 1 diabetes
- Increased thirst
- Fast heart rate
- Weight gain
- Hair loss
- Muscle & Join Pain
- Cold intolerance
- Difficulty getting pregnant
A quick glance at the most common autoimmune conditions shows that symptoms can affect vision, the heart, the lungs, the brain, and more. Within each of these diseases, symptoms can vary greatly from person to person, and be aggravated by different triggers. Surprisingly, despite all of this variance, the same diet and lifestyle changes can help reduce symptoms for all autoimmune diseases.
How does nutrition play a role in autoimmunity?
Good gut bacteria is one of the keys to managing autoimmune conditions.
Why does nutrition play such a major role in the management of autoimmune conditions? One primary reason is that the gut microbiome is a known cause of autoimmunity. Gut microbiome (also known as gut microbiota) is the group of microorganisms that reside in the digestive tract.
Proper nutrition promotes a healthy gut microbiome, while certain factors can damage your gut microbiome. Despite this proven research, most traditional medical professionals are still neglecting the role of nutrition and how it influences our microbiome due to a lack of proper education. With guided and strategic dietary changes, an individual can best manage his or her specific autoimmune condition.
What nutritional changes should be made for those with an autoimmune disease?
“The question is not how to get cured, but how to live.” -Joseph Conrad
Although it might seem like altering the severity of autoimmune disease symptoms would require significant effort, the changes needed are surprisingly simple. Rather than adding more medications or a complex, restrictive diet, the best diet & lifestyle for autoimmune disease is fairly straightforward. These recommendations are also crucial for overall health in people who do not suffer from an autoimmune condition.
Here are some of the top nutritional strategies for managing all autoimmune conditions:
- Choose low toxin food. While not an exhaustive list, examples of foods high in toxins include: artificial sweeteners, refined flour, certain types of oils, and foods with high mold content.
- Rotate your diet for autoimmunity.
- Begin fasting and intermittent fasting to change gut bacteria (gut microbiome).
- Avoid dairy products (In one study, it was discovered that avoiding dairy can actually change your gut bacteria for the better.)
- Avoid all foods containing gluten. Discover the benefits of gluten-free living.
When the above guidelines are followed, a remarkable change in one’s symptoms can be experienced. Despite the many misconceptions that exist in conventional treatments, food and diet patterns are powerful enough to significantly worsen or improve autoimmune conditions.
Controlling blood sugar
Another important aspect of creating the best diet & lifestyle for autoimmune disease is controlling your blood sugar. This is especially true for those suffering from type 1 diabetes. By reducing high glycemic carbs and increasing healthy fats, you can regulate your blood sugar and energy levels.
One study further emphasized the danger of insulin resistence as it relates to autoimmunity. In this study, “the correction of iodine deficiency was followed by the elimination of endemic colloid goiter and the emergence of thyroid autoimmunity.”
Additionally, “the recent epidemic of obesity and metabolic syndrome (MS), or insulin resistance syndrome, has been associated with the re-emergence of nodular thyroid disease. It is likely that the compensatory to insulin resistance hyperinsulinemia may be responsible for the rising trend of thyroid and adrenal nodular disease in the current environment.” The core message of this study is that increasing iodine can result in increased thyroid autoimmunity, and that insulin resistance plays a role in thyroid and adrenal dysfunction.
How can a gluten-free diet help autoimmune disease?
A gluten-free lifestyle isn’t only beneficial for those with celiac disease.
While it is absolutely necessary for those with celiac disease, adhering to a gluten-free diet is also beneficial for all types of autoimmune disease. There are specific biological reasons for the improvements experienced in autoimmunity when eating gluten-free.
- Positively affects blood sugar levels
- Increases gut permeability (glyphosate, the toxin found in wheat, affects gut bacteria and affects gut permeability)
- Lowers autoimmunity in celiac and diabetes
When removing gluten from one’s diet, it is crucial to pay attention to the quality of food purchased. Remember that it is also essential to avoid foods high in toxins. This means staying away from highly processed foods that are labeled as being “gluten-free,” and sticking with healthy alternatives that are minimally processed.
What other factors affect autoimmune disease?
Simple lifestyle factors have the potential to play a major role in the management of autoimmune condition symptoms.
Aside from diet, there are various lifestyle factors that impact autoimmunity. Here are some of the most crucial factors of which to be aware:
- Antibiotics and immunosuppressant drugs
- Environmental Toxins
- Heavy Metals & Mold
- Fluoride’s toxic impact
- Excessive Alcohol
- Proper intake of selenium and iodine
- And Toxic Food
Research has shown that antibiotics and immunosuppressant drugs can increase autoimmune symptoms due to the alteration of good healthy gut bacteria. As stated earlier, having good gut bacteria is key to improving an individual’s autoimmune condition. To foster a community of healthy gut bacteria, it is necessary to regularly incorporate probiotics as part of the best diet & lifestyle for autoimmune disease.
In addition, alterations in gut permeability may allow pathogen entry. This can trigger infection and/or chronic inflammation. In this context, a local event occurring at a mucosal site may be the triggering cause of an autoimmune reaction that eventually involves distant sites or organs
One commonly overlooked lifestyle factor is the use of and ingestion of fluoride. Known for its negative impact throughout the body, fluoride is a known toxin to your thyroid and thyroid levels. Fluoride has been shown to worsen the symptoms of autoimmune disease for this very reason. When looking to reduce the symptoms of autoimmunity, it is critical to avoid toothpastes and water (and any other products) that have fluoride as an added ingredient.
If you are unsure about your current selenium and iodine intake, be sure that you are consuming the proper amount each day. Selenium and iodine play a role in normal thyroid function, which makes consumption of these elements essential for the proper management of autoimmune disease.
How should you incorporate the best diet & lifestyle for autoimmune disease into your life?
Working to control autoimmune disease symptoms isn’t an overnight change.
It is important to be aware that achieving the best diet & lifestyle for autoimmune disease is an ongoing process. It will take time, patience, and a commitment to the relief of autoimmune symptoms. Over weeks and months, you can expect to see a decrease in these symptoms. However, just as with the initial severity of autoimmune symptoms, results vary greatly depending on individual factors.
More information on the best diet & lifestyle for autoimmune disease
Research suggests 80% of Americans could suffer from thyroid and autoimmune dysfunction. The problem is it may take years to get answers. Discover the solution to unwanted symptoms. Fatigue, weight gain, thyroid and digestive problems are all signs of immune imbalances. No matter what your symptoms are, current research shows it could be “Autoimmune”.
Don’t let these thyroid issues plague you another day! Watch the video and see how it can change your life: