Autoimmune diseases are on the rise7 years ago | Nutrition
By pH health care professionals
Autoimmune diseases are on the rise, according to recent publications. Approximately 5-8 percent of the U.S. population, or 14-22 million people, are affected by these diseases. According to the National Institutes of Health, there are at least 80 known autoimmune-related diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, Type 1 diabetes, inflammatory bowel diseases (such as Crohn’s disease or celiac disease), thyroid disease (Hashimoto’s), myasthenia gravis, multiple sclerosis, systemic lupus erythematosus and psoriasis.
These diseases develop when the body starts producing antibodies against some of its own cells. They can be triggered by environmental influences such as exposure to certain chemicals, toxins, medication, heavy metals, pathogens, viruses or bacteria. These influences can cause changes in the makeup of proteins or other characteristics of cells. The body’s immune system misinterprets these changes as foreign substances and starts producing antibodies towards them. It is really a form of immune dysfunction or chronic inflammation. Autoimmune diseases tend to occur significantly more frequently in females than males, but they vary with different autoimmune diseases and countries. Low vitamin D, lack of sun exposure and higher geographical latitude are related to an increase in autoimmune diseases.
So what can you do to be proactive about autoimmune diseases?
Because autoimmune diseases stem from chronic inflammation, measures to fight inflammation are beneficial.
- Evaluate for food intolerances and remove offending items from your diet. Many people have intolerances to gluten or dairy products. Avoid highly processed foods. Minimize trans fats.
- Boost antioxidants such as vitamins A, C and E, ubiquinol, gluthathione or resveratrol.
- Eat an anti-inflammatory diet rich in dark leafy and cruciferous vegetables, tomatoes (which are rich in lycopene), beets, ginger, turmeric and garlic.
- Use anti-inflammatory supplements such as fish oil as well as vitamin D.
- Improve your gut flora by supplementing with high-quality probiotics.
- Check for hidden infections such as yeast, bacteria and viruses, and have them treated. Several of these infections are linked to autoimmune diseases.
- Minimize your intake of sugar.
- Check for environmental toxins such as mercury or other heavy metals.
Enjoy Your Healthy Life!
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