The body is amazing.
I realize I state the obvious here, but it needs to be said. The body is capable of an infinite amount of adjustments and shifts. All in the name of keeping you moving along through your day. It’s fighting attacks from all kinds of nasties, all while you sip your coffee in the morning.
The body is also capable of horrible things too, especially if that internal system goes off course. When we neglect to pay attention to certain things, like a food sensitivity, we can make it harder for the body to what it needs for our well being.
It can even attack us.
This first article in our Autoimmune Series is a basic introduction to the emerging scientific understanding of why the human body would create immune antibodies that attack its own tissues. This first discussion is generic, and applies to any of the autoimmune diseases, including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), Hashimotos’s Thyroiditis, Grave’s Disease, psoriasis and eczema, etc.
The British have a great term to describe someone with an overactive immune system. ‘Twitchy’. Someone who is twitchy has an exaggerated reaction to things in the environment, to foods or to other stimuli compared to others around them. Twitchy works well I think and it’s something I see regularly.
There are many things that stimulate your immune system, but we will focus on the things you have some control over. We concentrate on Five Factors you can follow to relieve symptoms for almost all autoimmune problems:
- Foods you are sensitive to
- Toxins you carry
- Infections and microbial imbalances
- Emotional toxicity
- Environmental allergens
Of these, environmental allergens is the least controllable. However we can still build our awareness.
All of these things that stimulate, and overstimulate, our immune systems work together. It’s never just one thing causing your symptoms. The appearance of symptoms comes when there is so much stimulation that you cross a threshold.
For instance, you notice that you get nasal congestion, headaches and an upset stomach when a lot of pollen is in the air. For pollen to show up and produce symptoms you had to be right at a threshold, a tipping-point. Add one more thing to the pot of things stimulating your immune system and symptoms appear.
Keep in mind the idea that, "It is never just one thing causing your symptoms." To pull you back from the tipping-point, the work then is multi-fold. Remove foods from your diet that you’re sensitive to (more), work on detoxification (more), and clear some of the emotional toxins (more) you hold.
When you do the work to avoid the foods you react to, and clear some of your toxicity, you pull yourself back from the threshold where symptoms appear. When some pollen shows up in your environment, your body is not pushed into having symptoms.
What I offer here is not a theoretical discussion. My clients with a history of hay fever or seasonal allergies don't have that problem now after working with me on these important Five Factors. We take the time to look at the supporting factors affecting their bodies to see what else is out of balance. We might think that taking an allergy medication is faster, but it does not address the underlying issue. I want to go deeper to give their body a chance to clear that allergy altogether.
In this first discussion we begin with the generic. Whatever problems you have labeled as an autoimmune condition, you can use the strategies discussed here to remove things stimulating an immune response. Doing so can quiet your system down and remove symptoms.
Why would one person with an overstimulated immune system develop thyroiditis, while another person gets an inflammatory bowel disease and yet another gets a skin rash? No one has found an answer to this, but please understand that we have seen these simple strategies bring relief to people with a wide range of autoimmune diseases. Just as these issues can effect people in different ways, so must the treatment reflect the individual and their sensitivities.
In the next posts in this series on autoimmunity we will discuss in more detail each of the Five Factors that combine to cause almost all autoimmune conditions.
Until then – To Your Health
Something you’re struggling with? Skin issue? Allergy? Other autoimmune trouble? Leave a comment and let us know what’s going on. We love to hear from you!