The conversation continues as we move forward with the factors that contribute to autoimmune and how you can heal and reverse your autoimmune disease. Reversing autoimmune disease results from your ability to metabolize and assimilate the nutrients from your food, thoughts, and emotions. Ridding yourself of the rest of the toxins you have been exposed to is the process that nourishes you, helps reverse autoimmune disease, boosts immune function, and aids in extending your health span (aka feeling and functioning your best at every age).
Today, the science validates it, health and disease are byproducts of your genetics + your exposure to physical, mental, and emotional toxins. We’ve discussed your genes; now it’s time to look outside them. Traveling beyond your genetics is the next best step in solving your autoimmune puzzle.
WHY is it important to travel beyond your genetics? Because this is the fertile ground where your power lies – the ability to alter your own health destiny.
Remember, we are all working with the genes we got from our parents – the document, the instructions that built each of us – the part we did not get to write. However, your genes never stop writing, and they can write your health story in a way you like or a way you do not like. And, whether you know it or not, so it is.
What kind of story do you think your genes write if you eat a daily diet of processed foods full of sugar and other ingredients often made in a lab, skimp on rest and sleep, and/or stress yourself to the max for days on end?
Hmm, maybe it is something like this: Please give this woman dull, lackluster skin, acne, some rosacea, aching joints, fatigue, and an inability to focus. The flip side of this is when you supply your genes with plenty of nutrients in the form of foods that are known to be healthy in your body, plenty of time to sleep, allow regular space to unwind and relax, and engage in helping relationships; you are going to see a different document emerge. The health story that will be written will be clear, radiant skin, natural get up and go kind of energy, sharp mental focus, the return of your libido, feelings of youthful vitality, and the undoing of a myriad of autoimmune symptoms.
The good news is that once you know your genetic inheritance and you become aware of the constellation of toxic factors causing your immune system to malfunction and attack your own body by mistake, you can do something about it—restoring your body’s optimal immune function, stop the assault, reverse the conditions, and emerge well.
What environmental triggers are associated with autoimmune diseases?
1) TOXICANTS & AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE
Human-made chemical substances. Say hello to pesticides, industrial pollutants, and a million other toxic ingredients and chemicals introduced into our physical environment every year. This one alone is a biggie, and I am duty-bound to share with you the alarming news:
“The industrial chemicals in our air, water, food, and products have gotten completely out of control,” Dr. Ben Lynch, an expert in environmental medicine.
Our bodies were never designed to bear the weight of such a heavy chemical burden, and every “body” – no matter what genes you were born with, are staggering under the weight. This alone is a massive part of why chronic illness, including the 145 known autoimmune diseases, is rising.
Today our genes are born into a dirtier environment than we were even dealing with 50 years ago. More than 120 million industrial chemicals are registered, and many of them end up in our air and others in our food supply. Just the act of breathing, you are effectively bathing your body in a toxic soup of chemicals. Even newborn babies are said to be born with over two hundred chemicals in their bodies…on day one!
As overwhelming as this is – you can take charge of your health and reduce your toxic exposure.
As much as possible, you want to:
- eat organic foods or, at a minimum, avoid the worst offenders (see the clean 15 list)
- filter the water you drink, cook with and bathe in
- minimize the use of chemical-laden products on your face and body
2) FOOD & NUTRITION IMPACT AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE
Don’t let your diet fool you. Healthy food in one body does not necessarily mean healthy food for all bodies. This is the false information we have been fed for many years that explains why one diet works well for one person, while another struggles to lose any weight at all – maybe even gaining weight.
By now, many people know about the incredible role diet plays in autoimmune disease. If you have begun taking steps to clean up your eating like minimizing sugar, sugar substitutes, and convenience foods – well done!
There is, however, more ground to cover.
Shockingly what is even known as healthy food can be toxic. Food and food-chemical sensitivities are a highly complex category of non-allergic inflammatory reactions. They are among the most critical sources of inflammation and symptoms across a wide range of chronic inflammatory conditions.
Because of their inherent clinical and immunological complexities, as well and a lack of general knowledge within conventional medicine of their vital role as a root cause contributor of inflammation, IBS, reactive arthritis, GERD, fibromyalgia, Crohn’s, and a long list of other chronic autoimmune conditions, food, and food-chemical sensitivities remain one of the most under-addressed, therefore, under-attended to areas of conventional medicine.
A quick reference of what you need to know about food and food chemical sensitivities:
- the symptom manifestation of food and food chemical sensitivities may be delayed by many hours after ingestion, making it very challenging to identify specific trigger foods.
- the reaction may be dose-dependent.
- due to damage to the intestinal wall (aka leaky gut or gut permeability), even so-called healthy foods such as chicken, salmon, almonds, parsley, pepper, turmeric, blueberries, lemons, and any “healthy” food can be reactive.
Depending on the severity of your symptoms and your current state of health, you may choose to:
- start your health rebuilding journey with an at-home food sensitivities test like those done through companies like EverlyWell. The test can be easily accessed online; the sample collection can be done with a finger stick from home, and the results sent to you by email.
- for those with more complex health conditions, such as years of worsening symptoms and multiple autoimmune disorders, you may choose to contact a Functional Medicine or Integrative Medicine practitioner specializing in autoimmune (like myself) who is using the most advanced instruments in food sensitivities testing and clinically useful functional lab testing that can help you achieve the best outcomes in the shortest amount of time.
3) PEOPLE & RELATIONSHIPS IMPACT AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE
This one may be the most challenging of all to metabolize.
One often a downplayed source of toxicants is us, humans. Human behavior can be toxic; people can be toxic in relationships, repeat toxic habits, expose themselves to toxic messages and media, and work in toxic environments with toxic people steeped in toxicity themselves. Whoo, that is a lot of toxicity!
I believe, for the most part, we are all doing the best we know to do. Until we genuinely “know better,” it is impossible to do better. That is the blog’s purpose – to help humans (myself included) do better, heal, and emerge well from the autoimmune conditions that have been plaguing too many for too long.
The people conversation is one all it’s own. The thing I can offer from experience doing life as me, a 51-year-old woman, wife, mom, stepmom, career person, and entrepreneur, is this:
- the manifestation of material success, such as lengthening the number of years we live feeling well within our body, in relationship with others, with an adequate number of resources to bring about a sense of freedom to choose how we spend our life-time (yes, I am talking about finances here too) begins and ends with the health of the relationship we as women have with ourselves, inside the body our genetic inheritance built for us.
Befriending your own body first, reversing autoimmune, is the most powerful path I’ve found to the betterment of one’s physical, mental, emotional, relational, and financial health and well-being than you can imagine. I have experienced it myself and seen this manifest with many of my clients not to know by now that this is #truth in #action.
Join us for our upcoming Tea & Talk where we will be talking about your genes, your toxins and how to reverse autoimmune. You won’t want to miss it. Sign up for the Tea & Talk here.