What is Autoimmune Disease?
Autoimmune Disease is a modern-day epidemic, estimated to affect more than 50 Million people in the US, compared to 12 Million with Cancer and 25 Million with Heart Disease. This number is staggering, considering that 50 years ago Autoimmunity was rarely heard of, and these numbers are steadily rising. It also affects more women than men, with around 75% of patients being female.
Our immune system is supposed to protect us from invading microorganisms. With Autoimmunity, normal proteins within our body are targeted and attacked with the same vengeance that our immune system would attack a virus, bacteria, or a parasite. When the immune system’s attack on our own tissues affects the regular functioning of the body, that’s when you will begin to see signs and symptoms of Autoimmune Disease.
There are more than 100 confirmed Autoimmune Diseases, and they can affect any organ or system in the body. Once you have an Autoimmune Disease, you are much more susceptible to having multiple. Some of the more common diseases that you hear of are Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, Type 1 Diabetes, Chron’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Grave’s Disease and Celiac Disease. Individually these are vastly different due to the organ or bodily system they are affecting, but at the core Autoimmunity is the same, and so are the methods used to feel better.
Why do I have an Autoimmune Disease?
Well, this can be a loaded question. The simple answer (and Autoimmunity is not simple) is broken down into genetics, environmental triggers, and diet & lifestyle habits. Genetics play a role in determining your predisposition for developing an Autoimmune Disease at some point within your lifetime, but this alone will not cause Autoimmunity.
Being exposed to environmental triggers can push you over the edge into Autoimmunity when you are exposed to pathogens, chemicals, and toxic substances in your daily life. Certain bacteria and viral infections (both acute and chronic), exposure to chemicals through pollution, water supply, pesticides and herbicides, foods, cleaning supplies, personal care products, mold, and many more can be a trigger into Autoimmunity.
Diet and Lifestyle are the other components that play an active roll in you becoming Autoimmune. A poor diet can exacerbate intestinal permeability, create nutrient deficiencies, and over-activate the immune system. Similarly, lifestyle habits can play a huge role, especially related to sleep, stress, lack of movement, and many more. Lifestyle is not always looked upon as a catalyst for Autoimmunity, but in reality, it plays a huge role. They all do…genetics, environment, diet, and lifestyle!
Some begin their journey to Autoimmune Disease the moment they are born. They have the genetic susceptibility, they experience tragedy or trauma during childhood and early adulthood, they carry a stressful load in life, and experience ding after ding to their immune system. This is an Autoimmune bomb waiting to blow. Then you add in an environmental trigger, and BAM, you’re in full blown Autoimmunity and you wonder how you got there. Life got you there.
How do I get Healthy again?
Regardless of how you developed and Autoimmune Disease, it is not an “unhealthy life sentence”, or at least it doesn’t have to be! Yes, once your Autoimmune, you will always be Autoimmune, and there is no cure. Even without a cure, you absolutely can live an energetic, thriving, vibrant life! It takes work, and it is not an overnight fix. It takes dedication and a “wanting” to be healthy.
Many take the conventional medical approach, and feel much relief from symptoms like joint pain, swelling, inflammation, and more. This approach only suppresses symptoms and doesn’t get to the root cause of why you are having the debilitating symptoms in the first place. Your symptoms will lesson with this approach of suppressing the immune system, but your body will not heal and thrive the way it should.
Some Autoimmune Diseases require medication for the specific organ to function properly. Hashimoto's Thyroiditis is one of those diseases. In many cases the entire thyroid has been removed, the thyroid is damaged due to radiation or the disease itself, or the thyroid just lacks the ability to produce the hormones that your body requires. This is not a fail, as your body requires thyroid hormones to function properly.
With most Autoimmune Diseases, when your symptoms continue to come back, or when they get worse, doctors may tell you that you are “fine”, and your labs are in the “normal range”, yet you continue to feel awful. You are not crazy! Listen to your body and your gut instincts. If you feel bad, and you know that you shouldn’t be feeling this way, then you’re probably right. We have an internal system that alerts us when something is wrong…listen to it! You are not meant to be sick and feel awful, you are meant to be healthy and thrive!
Lucky for you, there is a way to get to the root cause of why your body is experiencing the debilitating symptoms of Autoimmunity and stop them in their track. Once you begin the journey of removing “triggers” from your body and life, your journey to health and wellness is well on its way.
By removing inflammatory foods from your diet and replacing them with nutrient dense, whole foods that your body craves for daily functioning, your body begins to heal itself. Over time your digestion begins to improve, your skin improves, your pain improves. The improvements can be miraculous.
Food alone will not get you to where you want to be. You must also address stressors in your life, and mindfully work to bring your entire life into balance with food, movement, sleep, and self-care to name a few. In the beginning this may seem daunting, but I promise you it is the key to your success. As you begin to live a more balanced life, your body begins to heal, your relationships improve, you’re not as stressed, and life as a whole begins to look so much brighter.
That’s why I’m here. To coach you through the entire process, impart the many lessons that I have learned along the way, and help you learn to become healthy again. My journey with Autoimmunity has been the most profound experience of my life, and from the beginning I was driven to want to help others NOT experience what I have.
If my journey and knowledge helps one person, I’ve succeeded. Let me coach you through this crazy rollercoaster of a journey called Autoimmunity. I understand you, I’ve walked in your shoes, I’ve experienced every ounce of pain you are in now, I’ve been lost not knowing where to turn, and I have the utmost empathy for anyone that suffers from these debilitating diseases.
Regardless of where you are in your journey, regardless of where you’ve been in the past, it is absolutely within your reach to live the life you know you are capable of living…Healthy, Energized, and Vibrant! Don’t be held hostage by your disease any longer. With the right support and coach to guide you along the way, health is attainable!