3 Root Causes You NEED to Consider if you have an Autoimmune Condition

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When I first started studying functional medicine, my perspective on healing (especially in terms of women with autoimmunity) has flipped a 180!

Instead of putting a lid on the boiling pot of water (band-aiding symptoms), we instead turn off the burner (address root causes).

Autoimmune Conditions are no different

There’s so much we don’t know about this condition, but there’s plenty we do know – enough that we can harness & use to our advantage

The Conventional medicine ‘belief’ that ‘its your genetics, you have no control, you’re broken, you’ll take this pill if you know what’s good for ya” MUST stop

It doesn’t work for chronic illnesses, especially autoimmunity

Autoimmunity occurs when your body’s immune system begins attacking normal, healthy tissues. This intricate system is designed to protect you from foreign invaders, not attack your own flesh & blood

“Any number of things can go awry, and when they do, your immune system can no longer differentiate you (self) from invader (non-self) and starts assaulting every cell and protein in your body INDISCRIMINATELY!” writes Aimee Raup, author of Body Belief

This OUT OF CONTROL cascade of insults results in chronic inflammation and eventually autoimmunity

A thing you want to understand about INFLAMMATION is that it’s actually necessary and beneficial! But only when it’s acute.

Inflammation is troublesome when it’s CHRONIC, as in the case when the body is constantly under attack from foreign invaders, psychological stress, lack of sleep, poor diet, deficiencies & environmental toxins

Why is this important? Chronic inflammation is one of the ROOT CAUSES of autoimmune disease & must be cleared, calmed & managed if we are too relieve symptoms

It took me YEARS to research & understand this complicated physiological condition. If I had a FRAMEWORK of understanding autoimmunity to BEGIN with, it would have saved me so much time, money & heartache

So I made one for you! Let’s go!

Actually, your genes do NOT determine your autoimmunity

Root Cause #1 of Autoimmunity: Genetics

I think we know enough about epigentics that we can put this myth to rest, agreed?

Unfortunately the masses still believe that their genes control their destiny, and yes, to a point they do!

But not in the limiting way you might think

How many times have you heard

“It’s my genetics””My mom has Hashimoto’s, so I’m doomed””Chron’s runs in my family”

Look, these statements dismantle your power of ever healing & living the life you want

I’m here to tell you, YOU. ARE. NOT. destined to get sick just because it’s hereditary

This is old-fashioned thinking (& complete BS)

Less than 5% of diseases are actually inheritable, meaning that only 5 people out of 100 who are sick, develop it strictly from genetic links

Instead, your BELIEFS, NUTRITION & LIFESTYLE determine whether the genes for the disease get encoded or not

Let’s break down the steps involved in each one

BELIEFS

stress reduction & creating space to heal is paramount

identify limiting beliefs about your body, health & what’s possible for you

feeling safe in a therapeutic relationship (that’s me!)

NUTRITION

recognize how different foods affect your specific physiology

may include an elimination diet & further testing

decrease processed inflammatory foods

replace with herbs, vegetables, fruits, lean meats & healthy fats

LIFESTYLE

carving out a bedtime routine involving meditation, reading or stretching

assess if exercise modality is right for your body

clean up environmental toxins in everyday life

heal personal & family relationships

You are not your genetics! You are the things you eat, do & think

This puts an immense amount of responsibility on YOU, but I know you’ve been yearning for it

And if this belief is still gripping you, @AimeeRaupp suggests to
“Consider all the disease people don’t get that run in their family […] read up on epigentics. […] know that your genes are not set in stone.”

Why your Leaky Gut could be the ‘fuel’ to your autoimmune ‘fire’ 

Root Cause #2 of Autoimmunity: Digestion

The intestinal epithelium lining is a fancy name for your ‘gut skin’

Just as the skin covering the outside of your body needs to stay moisturized with a proper bacterial population, so does the skin covering the inside

The lining itself, coupled with factors secreted from it, forms a barrier that separates the blood inside from the environment

For those that are more visual, just picture the blood inside your body passing over a bolus of food separated only by a tissue-paper-thin lining

For some, that includes the cheetoh’s, Domino’s pizza, and Nikoli Vodka from last night’s party

Anywho…

The permeability of the gut skin is compromised by said cheetoh-pizza-alcohol bolus because well, it’s full of chemicals & toxins

This allows the passage of said toxins, antigens, and bacteria to enter into the blood stream DIRECTLY triggering a hay-day for the immune system

Again for the visual learner, imagine the inflammation from an angry little sliver in your thumb spread system-wide across the cells in your body

OUCH

To take back control of our health, let’s break down the layers of importance of a healthy gut

MECHANICAL

*our digestive tract needs ample energy, macronutrients, vitamins & minerals for digestion to work

*improve your body connection by blessing your food & chewing slowly

*slowing down increases brain signals to your stomach, pancreas, liver, small intestine to gear up for food

CHEMICAL

*Saliva, stomach acid, pancreatic enzymes & bile can all become deficient

*Focus on eating enough macronutrients from whole food sources

*decreasing stress hormone output so you can be in the ‘rest & digest’ phase

STRUCTURAL

*swelling, inflammation, leaky gut, & surgery can all alter the structure

*healing leaky gut is paramount by:

*removing food sensitivities, inflammatory foods, environmental toxins, pathogens

*adding intestinal cell healing supplements like mucinagenic herbs, L-glutamine, collagen

*supporting healthy microbiotia with pre- and pro-biotics

MICROBIAL

*supporting microbial diversity is key to maintaining a healthy terrain

*oral birth control, lack of fiber, use of antibiotics, lack of nature, infections, or being a C-section baby who was formula fed all decrease your diversity

*Eating probiotic rich foods + taking a probiotic

*include herbal antibacterials like oregano, thyme, garlic in the diet

Now that you know how to support the structural & functional layers of the gut, you can decease the symptoms associated with autoimmunity

Want to FINALLY understand how INFLAMMATION is sabotaging your results?

Root Cause #3 of Autoimmunity: Inflammation

First off, inflammation isn’t bad

Think about when you get a splinter – the area gets red, swollen, and painful the longer you leave it in there

This is acute inflammation & it facilitates healing

The body senses a foreign invader & sends out a host of immune cells to the area

This allows us to fight off colds, viruses, injuries, allergic reactions & environmental invaders

The issue becomes when this acute process becomes chronic

Caused by lingering foreign invader, psychological stress, lack of sleep, poor diet or environmental toxins

CHRONIC INFLAMMATION IS AT THE ROOT OF AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE

So even though you may have a genetic predisposition to getting an autoimmune illness (see post 2/4), they way you live your life will affect whether or not you show symptoms of the disease

The power is back in our own hands!

Consider 4 steps to managing inflammation for autoimmunity

CLEAR IT

-anti-inflammatory diet
-ditch glulten, dairy, sugar, alcohol, processed foods
-remove food sensitivites & allergens
-eliminate environmental toxins -test for pathogens, mold & heavy metal toxicities

CALM IT

-improve sleep hygiene & circadian rhythm
-high quality fish oil, selenium, Vitamin C
-destress/create boundaries
-meditation/journaling/yoga

ENHANCE IT

-gut health – see our leaky gut protocol in our bio
-restorative exercise like walking & yoga
-astragalus herb
-steer clear of NSAIDs which can interfere with immune system

MODULATE IT

-bromelain, turmeric, ginger, resveratrol
-consider adaptogens like reishi mushrooms, ginseng (depends on condition)
-test for C-reactive protein to measure progress

We hope that this post has made a difference in the way you approach your holistic healing journey towards better health.

We are hear to support you in every part of your journey through education, accountability and support. We have been at the crux of every level of the healing journey and truly care about you.

Apply to our Hormone Healing Blueprint waitlist for a 30 min consult to see if our program is right for you. Stay hopeful <3

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