AutoImmune Diseases

Autoimmune Diseases

DEFINITION

There are over 80 different types of autoimmune diseases including type 1 Diabetes, Crohn’s, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Multiple Sclerosis, Celiac disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Psoriasis and Lupus. Each condition effects a different function or organ of the body impacting us differently.

An autoimmune disease is a condition demonstrating imbalance in the body within the immune system through the attack of a organ, gland, or functional component of an individual. In a healthy human being the immune system functions as a security alarm system for the body. When a foreign invader breaks in, the alarm is set off which signals the immune system to respond by attacking the invader through release of inflammatory compounds which results in inflammation. In the case of autoimmune disease, the immune system attacks healthy cells in the body because it mistakes them for invaders. This auto-attack on one’s self can be caused by a metabolic error, stress, toxicity, an undiagnosed food sensitivity, and inflammation within the body.

Naturally Nourished approaches include identifying the cause of inflammation or autoimmune attack while cooling and soothing the body with anti-inflammatory foods, stress coping mechanisms, and optimal eating patterns. Autoimmune diseases can intensify with imbalanced lifestyle and diet which can be seen with flares of symptoms. We take a comprehensive approach addressing mind, body, and diet to ensure we can provide you with balanced support to maintain optimal function of your body.

LABORATORY ASSESSMENT

Mediator Release Test (MRT) to identify reactivity to foods

Micronutrient Panel to determine nutritional imbalances that can lead to metabolic dysfunction

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TREATMENT PLAN

  • Individualized Consultation
  • Medical Assessment with Comprehensive Lifestyle Intake
  • Thorough investigation of possible causes or triggers for autoimmune related symptoms
  • Coordination of care with specialists, primary care physician, and medical team
  • Food-as-medicine education about:
    • Mechanisms of autoimmune condition
    • Foods that lead to increased risk for flares
    • Toxins and food additives that attack nerves and organs causing immune dysfunction
    • Foods that help to heal the gut and improve symptoms
    • How stress can effect physiological flares and immune system
    • Lifestyle changes to support wellness outcomes
  • Customized Meal Plan emphasizing foods that improve digestional health, remove and replace irritants, and prevent the root cause of allergies or sensitivities
  • Nutritional supplement recommendations: assess those currently taking, prescribe pharmaceutical-grade options to help balance system to promote wellness and decrease medications

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FOOD-AS-MEDICINE TIP
Mineral Salts, Sea Salts, and Kelp Powder

Mineral salts give your body the variety of mineral ions needed to balance its functions. Processed salts, sodium chloride, used in processed foods are not nourishing to the body; however, salt has always been part of the human diet. Salt is vital to our health and is the most readily available nonmetallic mineral in the world. When a salt is filled with dozens of minerals such as in pink crystals of Himalayan rock salt or the grey textured Celtic salt, our bodies benefit tremendously for their incorporation into our diet.

For additional benefit mix your mineral or sea salt with kelp powder. This allows for a salty flavor with additional minerals and nutrients including a natural source of iodine a common deficiency seen with autoimmune conditions.

” Common medical practice is to prescribe immonsuppressant treatments which decrease the total functioning of the immune system, covering up rather than correcting the cause of autoimmune conditions and leading to devastating long-term side effects. At Naturally Nourished, we will thoroughly investigate the cause of your autoimmune condition working to correct systemic imbalances, toxicity, and nutritional deficiencies promoting optimal function of your body! ”

Ali.

DID YOU KNOW?

Autoimmune Diseases are a major health problem. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) estimates up to 23.5 million Americans suffer from autoimmune disease and that the prevalence is rising. Researchers have identified 80-100 different autoimmune diseases and suspect at least 40 additional diseases of having an autoimmune basis. These diseases are chronic and can be life-threatening. Commonly used immunosuppressant treatments lead to devastating long-term side effects virtually disarming your body’s security system.The Institute of Medicine reports that the US is behind other countries in research into immune system self recognition, the process involved in autoimmune disease. Understanding how to modulate immune activity is the only way to resolve autoimmune destruction without shutting down our body’s defense system.

The human gut serves as a major component of the body’s immune system and is lined with microvilli or “fingers”. The microvilli aid in the digestion and absorption of broken down food particles in the small intestine by brushing food along and pulling nutrients into the blood stream through absorption. A diet of processed foods (especially refined sugars and grains), food irritants (allergens or unknown sensitivities), and pro-inflammatory foods (gluten, soy, corn) can damage the lining in the gut causing a greater permeability. This allows particles of foods to be absorbed into the small intestine when they are too large as they “leak” into the blood stream. When large particles are absorbed into the small intestine the body’s immune system is tricked into thinking these large particles are pathogens or invaders and thus sets the pro-inflammatory damaging alarms or auto-attack! In addition to “leaky gut”, yeast, bacterial colonies, food chemicals and additives can interfere with signals of the body contributing to flares or active attack through autoimmune conditions.

Processed foods including salt and artificial sweeteners have officially been linked to causing autoimmune diseases.

A research team at Yale University studied the role of T helper immune cells in the body which activate other cells to fight dangerous pathogens such as bacteria or viruses and battle infections.

From previous research we discovered a particular type of T-cell, Th17 cells, play a role in the development of autoimmune diseases. Scientists discovered that exposing these cells in a lab to a table salt or refined solution made them act more ‘aggressively.’ In Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and neurological autoimmune conditions, additives in processed foods strip the myelin (protective coating) off nerves, which disrupts messages passed between the brain and body causing problems with speech, vision and balance.

For example, bread is the number one source of refined salt consumption in the American diet, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Just one 6-inch Roasted Garlic loaf from Subway (just the bread, no meat, no cheeses, no nothing) has 1,260 mg sodium, this is about as much as 14 strips of bacon! Not to mention the destructive role that gluten plays on our gut lining making processed bread a double whammy for the body.

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