By Matt Cusano, Clinical Director
An Autoimmune disease is a condition in which your immune system accidentally attacks your body as a safety mechanism in response to inflammation or infections.
The immune system is designed to guard against pathogens like various bacterias or viruses. When it senses these opportunistic bugs, it sends out a defence force of fighter cells, also known as antibodies, to attack them. However, at times the immune system can mistake our own body or cells as the foriegn intruders and starts to wage war against itself. There are over 100 types of autoimmune diseases and its not rare for someone to develop more than one at a time. Conditions such as Hashimoto’s, Fibromyalgia, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, Plaque Psoriasis, Grave’s Disease, and Type 1 Diabetes to name a few. While western medicine is typically unclear about the causes of autoimmune, the functional medicine world has discovered a bit more about the root cause.
Research has now shown that there are a few different scenarios that come together to form the “perfect storm” that leads to an autoimmune flare up:
- High stress and inflammation
- Environmental toxins (Mold exposure, chemicals, pesticides, plastics, contaminated water)
- Gut Dysbiosis and Leaky Gut
- Genetic Predisposition
When it comes to reducing flare ups and symptoms of autoimmune, there are a few known steps that can be very effective. The vast majority of people will see significant improvements by addressing the following:
- Address gut dysfunction and intestinal permeability
2) Reduce toxic exposure from day to day life
3) Work to reduce stress and inflammation, prioritize sleep and recovery
If you are not currently dealing with any autoimmune issues, prioritizing the list above will not only keep your body functioning optimally, but can also prevent the onset of autoimmune disease before it starts!