Before I had my own health issues, I never understood how inflammation and autoimmune disease symptoms were at all related. What did what I ate have to do with my skin or my thyroid? Out of desperation, I stated doing research and was shocked by the connections.
What Is Inflammation?
Inflammation is your body’s best defense against viruses, bacteria and other things that can invade your body and make you sick. When a potential danger is detected anywhere within your system, your body naturally uses your white blood cells and various natural chemicals to defeat the threat. The goal is to get things that don’t belong inside your body out, but there is always a risk when you get too much of a good thing.
A healthy person with a strong immune system can handle a bit of inflammation when they are trying to overcome a stomach virus or the common cold. Problems arise when your body is constantly under attack due to chemicals in your diet, leaky gut syndrome or other conditions that present continuous threats to your system. Your immune system is activated all of the time, so it can become overwhelmed and start attacking healthy parts of your body.
For some people, the reasons that the immune system is overactive are unknown. They simply know that their body is attacking their own cells and the inflammation is causing serious health problems. Many people live with significant pain because of the constant inflammation occurring as their bodies wage war against themselves. This is the devastation of autoimmune disease.
There are various types of autoimmune diseases. Any disorder that involves extreme inflammation and immune systems that attack their own body can be included under this umbrella term. What all of the conditions have in common is an overactive or overwhelmed immune system that is attacking parts of the body that are otherwise healthy.
Are You Internally Inflamed?
While a doctor very familiar with autoimmune disease can help you diagnose any medical conditions that you may currently suffer, you don’t have to go through extensive medical testing to determine whether inflammation is causing a problem for your body. You can suffer from inflammation for years without recognizing any physical symptoms, but once your body becomes overwhelmed, the symptoms are difficult to miss.
For many people, it starts with signs of an adverse reaction. This may seem like a food allergy or an allergy to particular substances encountered in your environment. In some cases, patients spend years telling their doctors about these symptoms but are unable to get a proper diagnosis of the problem. The symptoms are the body’s way of waving a red flag to let you know that something you are consuming has become toxic to your system. This may happen from the lactose in ice cream or bloating from gluten-products that you hardly notice.
Many people like me actually miss the first signs of a problem with internal inflammation. My body had been attacking me for such a long period of time that I blamed the changes on just getting older or “normal.”
Some common signs of internal inflammation include:
- Chronic periodontitis
- Chronic sinusitis
- Chronic joint pain
- Chronic active hepatitis
- Peptic ulcer
- Memory problems
- Lack of concentration
- Chronic fatigue
- Neurological issues
- Sleep Disorders
- Acid reflux
There are more then 80 recognized autoimmune disorders, and there are many different symptoms experienced with each of them. Some examples include celiac disease, psoriasis and Addison’s disease.
How to Get Inflammation Under Control
Relief from inflammation and elimination of an autoimmune disorder often starts with a close look at your diet. Is it possible that you are eating something that your body cannot process comfortably, thus resulting in allergic reactions to those foods? Are you consuming foods that are highly processed, thus allowing unnatural, harsh chemicals to build up inside your system?
Diets that are suitable for those fighting inflammation are often focused on whole, organic, natural products that are processed as little as possible. You want to consume foods that aren’t going to contribute to inflammation by overloading your system with chemicals that your body doesn’t know how to properly process as foods. The same goes for overloading your system with foods that you are allergic to, even if you never knew you were allergic.
You should also eliminate leaky gut syndrome and other problems that may be contributing to or directly causing the inflammation. Leaky gut syndrome allows particles of foods you consume to leak out of your gut into your body, causing a variety of toxic problems. If you suffer from celiac disease or another diet-related condition, you may need to change what you eat considerably in order to get inflammation under control.
Also consider seeing your doctor to be tested for heavy metals within your system. Heavy metals are toxic to the body, and they are absorbed from the surrounding environment everyday. Even if you don’t think this is part of the problem for you, it is worth ruling out if you are able to do so.
Heal from the Inflammation and Autoimmune Disease Symptoms
Once those medical checks are out of the way, it comes down to leading the healthiest lifestyle possible. This requires a daily commitment to the following:
- A well-balanced Paleo diet (or Autoimmune Protocol)
- Nutritional supplements as needed
- Proper restorative sleep
- Regular medical checkups
- Reduce stress as much as possible
This may look like a list designed for someone who wants to lose weight or control any number of health problems. That is because what you put in your body and how you treat your body are great predictors of how your body looks and feels. Obesity has a clear link to inflammation, and healthy people who control their weight and stay away from chemicals and artificial ingredients are typically thin and energetic.
I started with the Autoimmune Protocol out of sheer desperation and to prove that I was not crazy. My body WAS fighting me. Within DAYS, I was already feeling better. Just over a year later, my blood work was amazing, my hormones are in check and my weight is easy to maintain for the first time in my adult life. LIFE IS GOOD!!! If you haven’t tried the protocol….give it a try.
Supplements May Help
If you consume a well-balanced diet with lots of fresh, organic fruits and vegetables and protein sourced from healthy animals without hormones and other chemical treatments, you may not need a lot of nutritional supplements. Supplements are just an option if you want to make sure your body has essential nutrients that help your body fight against inflammation. Probiotics (like these) are especially helpful especially during flare-ups.
It is important to use supplements with the best ingredients and which are not overly processed and laced with chemicals or unnecessary fillers. If you select the wrong supplements, they can contribute to your problem rather than helping you overcome inflammation, so read labels to select wisely. The same thing goes for foods that are advertised as “gluten free” or “healthy.” Read those labels to make sure the ingredients list backs up those claims without putting more troublesome ingredients into your body.