Autoimmunity Recovery: The Root Causes of Inflammation
7 minute read
Inflammation is a popular topic these days because it appears to be connected to almost every known chronic disease. Heart disease, cancer, diabetes, dementia, autism, obesity and more can all be linked to inflammation in some way.
Doctors are trained to shut inflammation down with anti-inflammatory medications, but the problem is that these do not treat the underlying conditions, meaning the chronic inflammation continues to spread and attack you from the inside.
Inflammation is caused by hidden allergens, infections, and inflammatory diet and environmental toxins and the autoimmune diseases that result affect close to 24 million people. Rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, thyroid disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and lupus are widespread, and numbers continue to rise.
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In the United States, all of these combined have become a huge health burden. Autoimmune diseases are the eighth-leading cause of death for American women, shortening the average lifespan by eight years.
The conventional treatments, unlike more natural ones, seem to only make matters worse. And make you feel worse, too.
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Anti-inflammatory drugs, immunosuppressants, and TNF-alpha blockers are traditionally used but can cause internal bleeding, kidney failure, psychosis, depression, muscle loss, diabetes and infection or cancer.
With doctors continuing to treat them with conventional drugs, the issues causing the problems remain at large. The only way to effectively treat inflammation is to identify the source.
Treat the Source, Not the Symptoms
Functional medicine is a new way to think about disease and focuses on understanding the disease and its causes. Once you identify the cause of the inflammation, you can successfully target that source and eliminate the problem.
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Medications only suppress the inflammation but do not cure it and, in the end, it continues to do damage and increase your chances of serious illness. Many patients, once the root causes of inflammation were addressed, felt happy and more vibrant, showing that you need to put out the fire and not just wave away the smoke.
Autoimmune conditions affect different parts of the body but are all connected by one central biochemical process: an out-of-control immune response known as systemic inflammation. The result is that your body ends up attacking its own tissues.
Your immune system is designed to protect you from invading pathogens and toxins, but autoimmunity means that the system gets confused. Your body is fighting a foreign toxin or allergen, but it redirects the attack towards your joints, brain, gut, or sometimes your entire body.
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As it happens, autoimmune disorders occur almost exclusively in developed countries. Poorer nations without ubiquitous modern amenities, like flushing toilets, washing machines, running water, and sterile yards do not seem to develop these diseases.
Growing up on a farm also seems to reduce your chances of developing autoimmune disorders.
It seems that playing in the dirt or being exposed to dirt and bacteria at regular intervals trains your immune system to recognize what is foreign and what is “you.” It is, therefore, less likely to accidentally target healthy organs and tissues.
Eight Steps to Treat Autoimmune Diseases
To stop the damaging effects of chronic inflammation, you need to first identify the underlying causes rather than simply suppressing the symptoms. There are eight key factors to consider when it comes to treating autoimmune disorders.
Check for Hidden Infections: These may include yeast, bacteria, viruses, and Lyme. If you need help, seek your doctor’s assistance and ask them to treat the infection.
These infections tend to be opportunistic, so you should check for them often and, when discovered, treat immediately. If ignored, they can develop into autoimmune disorders and you will be far worse off than you were.
Get the Celiac Test: Get yourself tested for celiac disease, which is a simple blood test that your doctor can do for you. Gluten intolerance and allergies are increasingly more common and lead to celiac disease.
Many people are not aware that they have this intolerance. If you notice sudden changes in your bowels and digestion, you may consider getting tested.
Watch Out for Heavy Metals: Get checked for heavy metal toxicity because mercury and other metals can cause autoimmunity.
Get Your Gut Fixed: Find out if you have irritable bowel syndrome and adjust your diet accordingly. Frequent constipation, diarrhea, bloating, and discomfort are all signs of irritable bowel syndrome. Once identified, simple diet fixes can protect you from developing a dangerous autoimmune disorder.
Supplement Your Health: Use nutrients, such as fish oil, vitamins C and D, as well as probiotics. These all help to naturally calm your immune response.
Chill Out: Practice deep relaxation techniques, like yoga, deep breathing, and biofeedback. You can even look into getting regular massages because stress worsens your immune response, which can trigger the inflammation.
Walk It Off: Exercise regularly because this is a natural anti-inflammatory agent.
Ask Your Doctor: Talk with your doctor about the best way to focus on the cause rather than the symptoms.
The Bottom Line
Work with your physicians and care providers to identify the source of your chronic inflammation. Once you have identified the cause, you can make the necessary changes to your life slowly, because additional exertion or stress can only make matters worse.
Gently introduce an anti-inflammatory diet to your daily schedule well as regular exercise, remembering to leave opportunities to relax. This will eventually become routine, and with time you will notice the inflammation will fade. You will feel healthier and more vibrant.
Remember that the cause is the key to ending inflammation, so do your research and don’t just settle for relieving symptoms. When you attack the cause directly, inflammation will stop attacking you.
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