WHAT IS AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE?
An autoimmune disease is a condition where as the human body’s immune system is overactive. What ends up happening is that the body categorizes what is usually a friendly, harmless visitor to the body’s ecosystem as an intruder. This generalization triggers an immune response by the body which causes it to attack healthy cells as opposed to killing harmful ones. To this day, the cause of autoimmune disease is considered unknown but holistic and functional medicine have linked the autoimmune response to food sensitivities and toxins within the body. These toxins (heavy metals, yeast, pesticides, chemicals, antibiotics) help in aiding the cause of those food sensitivities.
HOW ARE AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES CONTRACTED?
A big problem in modern medicine today lies within the general public’s ignorance. People are so conditioned to watching television and on the news that listening to their primary care physician or dermatologist comes as 2nd nature. The gap in education and awareness as to what is healthy and healthy is very convoluted in today’s American society. What the populous is not aware of is how harmful some of the foods and medications they are ingesting really are. Over time, taking antibiotics through our childhood and adolescent years slowly depletes the ecosystem of bacteria in our gut. This is also referred to as the human microbiome. The human body contains good and bad bacteria.
Your body’s immune system basically starts with the good bacteria located in your intestines. When you ingest antibiotics (anti bacteria) you are flushing both good and bad microorganisms out of your system. This is analogous to chemotherapy treatment when a patient has cancer. The chemo, in an attempt to defeat the cancer cells depletes the good cells as well. The problem arises for cancer patients when the cancer is not defeated and there are no more good cells left to keep your body healthy. Circling back to autoimmune conditions, the depletion of of good bacteria in your gut creates a state referred to as ‘gut dysbiosis’. Without getting too in-depth, it is this process that introduces the cause of autoimmune symptoms.
HOW DO I KNOW IF I HAVE AN AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE?
That is a big part of the problem in today’s society. It’s that most people don’t know they have an autoimmune disease or are even aware of what it is. When you develop dandruff, you might purchase a bottle of head and shoulders. If you develop psoriasis or eczema your dermatologist might prescribe some sort of a cream or a pill. These might effectively fight the symptoms, but encourage the patient not to change ANY of the behavior in their lifestyle. A patient may have these symptoms in their skin because the body is attempting to DETOX what the host is ingesting. Whether it is free radicals in their diet, pesticides in their food or simply eating something your system does not agree with, the body’s natural response is to protect its host and rid the toxins through it’s detoxification system. Your detoxification system includes your liver, kidneys, gallbladder and lastly the skin. When your main detox organs are backed up or overworked, the body moves some of the detox responsibilities to your skin, which is actually the human body’s largest organ.
So now you may be beginning to connect the dots as to how these conditions begin to develop. The body begins to give warning signal through minor, non life threatening conditions. These conditions, especially psoriasis and eczema can evolve and become extremely unpleasant. Spill in a constant dose of antibiotics once, twice or even three times a year and you are actively depleting and taxing your body’s immune system.
SYMPTOMS OF AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES
To this point we have touched upon how dandruff is an example of the body trying to detox through the skin. The interesting part of Autoimmune responses is that they all have the same characteristics, yet only differ depending on what part of the body they are attacking. An autoimmune response in the skin can cause psoriasis while an autoimmune response in the brain can cause Alzheimers or Dementia.