How Nutrition Helps Autoimmune Diseases

by Patti Croft January 07, 2022

There are a lot of discussions today on eating better for weight loss and energy production. Yet, many of us haven’t yet realized how powerful nutrition can be for autoimmune diseases.

Over 24 million Americans suffer from some form of autoimmune problem. Many of these people get on multiple medications to treat the symptoms, but most do nothing for the actual issue. Sometimes doctors aren’t sure what the diagnosis is because the tests don’t show a definitive disease.

When you get to the root cause of a health concern, often the problem will resolve. A natural approach can reverse many autoimmune issues. Let’s look at how nutrition is a crucial component to naturally reversing autoimmune diseases.

Lowers Inflammation

The Standard American Diet (SAD) consists of tons of sugar, processed foods, and inflammatory oils. When you start eating more whole foods that don’t contain additives and chemicals, you lower the inflammation in your body.

Some studies have shown that a diet full of hydrogenated oils and processed carbs creates the environment for autoimmune diseases to thrive. Chronic inflammation also causes pain to be more abundant throughout the body, so lowering it will reduce the amount of pain caused by autoimmune diseases.

Doctors have also noticed a pattern in people who have autoimmune issues. Sometimes when one presents, another follows. One common factor in people who have multiple autoimmune diseases is high inflammation. People who suffer from various forms of arthritis have inflammation in their joints. That makes moving around painful, and it can even hurt to be touched. When that inflammation gets calmed down, so does the discomfort.

Helps With Sleep

The way we eat affects how we sleep or don’t sleep, in some cases. When you get a restful night of sleep, your body heals. People who do not get enough quality sleep don’t get the same benefit of natural healing.

Some people rely on caffeine to help them concentrate and be more productive. Too much caffeine can wreck your adrenals and cause you to become anxious. It can also keep you up at night and prevent you from getting to sleep. When you add in some good fats and healthy carbohydrates, your body gets what it needs for fuel during the day. You won’t need so much caffeine, and your body will be able to wind down when it’s time for bed. Eating healthy foods will increase serotonin, the sleepy hormone that tells the brain it is time to rest.

Many of us don’t get the nutrients we need from our diets that help us with sleep. Eating magnesium-rich foods and taking a quality supplement can help you relax and get to sleep sooner. 

Improves Gut Health

New evidence is showing that gut health is a vital part of wellness. Disruption of the microbiome has been shown to increase the chances of having autoimmune diseases. Prebiotics and probiotics can be extremely beneficial for enhancing immunoreactive cell levels. They can also strengthen the gut barrier function and help with anti-inflammatory responses.

Foods like kefir, yogurt, and kimchi are some sources of natural probiotics. You can also take a probiotic supplement that gives your body systemic formulas for immune support. Many functional medicine physicians suggest taking a probiotic every day for better gut health.

Eating a nutritious diet is especially important after taking any antibiotics. Many people who have autoimmune diseases have trouble fighting off other illnesses. That leaves them vulnerable to the aftereffects of antibiotics. These medicines can treat many illnesses, but they can also kill the healthy bacteria in your gut. Replenishing good bacterial is crucial to maintaining a healthy immune system.

Removes Possible Triggers

Sometimes certain foods or ingredients trigger autoimmune disease. People with celiac disease often find they cannot tolerate gluten. People with other autoimmune diseases have found that when they remove gluten from their diets, they have less pain and fewer flare-ups.

There are tests that identify food sensitivities. Another way to see if gluten affects you is to remove it from your diet for a few weeks and see how you feel. Many people report significant improvements.There are other triggers as well. Some people have allergies to dairy, eggs, or other foods. Tweaking your nutrition can be a powerful way to eliminate many issues of autoimmune diseases. You may still have the diagnosis, but you don’t have to stay plagued with the painful symptoms.

When you eat foods that don’t inflame your body, you produce less oxidative stress and promote a more balanced immune system. Being sure you get the right nutrients will help you have the proper immune response.

Provides Anti-Inflammatory Nutrients

When you concentrate on nutrition, you create a strategy that promotes antioxidants and decreases inflammation. When you have an immune response, your body increases the production of free radicals. These free radicals can result in oxidative stress, which causes damage to cells and tissues.

Research has shown oxidative stress to be present in autoimmune diseases. Many studies have also noted low antioxidant levels in people with low immunity. One of the keys to easing autoimmune issues is to increase anti-inflammatory foods like leafy greens and fatty fish. You can also supplement with fish oil. It will boost your immune system and promote healthy inflammation levels.

When supplementing with fish oil, make sure you get a quality product. Some fish oils contain toxins and heavy metals or are rancid and won’t benefit you. If the fishy taste or smell is an issue, you can get them without that!

You can also cook with high-quality oils or add them to salads to get more health benefits. Olive and avocado oils are healthy and won’t cause inflammation like hydrogenated oils.

Proper Vitamin Levels

When you do not eat well, you miss out on the vitamins your body needs. With our busy lifestyles, we may get foods we can eat fast. Sometimes that means eating foods that are super inflammatory and loaded with sugar. They may work to get you through the day, but in the long run, these foods can wreak havoc on your health.

Consuming foods rich in vitamins help our bodies to thrive. To have a healthy immune response, we must maintain healthy levels of vitamin d, b, and others. Many of us get stuck inside all day, and we don’t get enough sunlight. That can impact our vitamin levels.

Since many people are deficient in vitamin d, they may need a supplement. Vitamin D3 deficiency leads to increased cases of flu and other viruses during colder months. It can also severely affect people who suffer from autoimmune diseases because their immune systems are already stressed. Getting the proper vitamins can create a foundation for wellness and help with any dietary gaps.

Nutrition Helps Autoimmune Patients with Improving Outcomes

Some people lose hope when they get diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. Many patients get told they must live with it. They get prescribed medications that cost a lot and don’t always help. Many people are left frustrated and overwhelmed.

If you have suffered from an autoimmune disease, do not lose hope. You can feel better! It might surprise you to see how fast your symptoms improve by changing your nutrition. Lately, our culture has gotten away from natural health and begun to rely on pharmaceuticals to help. These drugs will not get you well. They may have a place and time, but they won’t get to the root issue of what makes you feel bad.

Nutrition can change your health in dramatic ways. Eating a well-balanced diet that decreases inflammation and increases antioxidants can improve your wellness and ease the pain and discomfort associated with autoimmune diseases. When you focus on nutrition, you can reverse and sometimes prevent autoimmune disease with a natural approach.

References :

https://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/110211p36.shtml

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4034518/

https://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/topics/conditions/autoimmune/index.cfm

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/aip-diet-autoimmune-protocol-diet#what-it-is

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780128184608000307

https://www.nutritionist-resource.org.uk/blog/2021/06/30/what-diet-is-best-for-autoimmune-disease

https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/better-sleep-3-simple-diet-tweaks#:~:text=For%20better%20sleep%3A%20Eat%20complex,t%20take%20long%20to%20digest.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26212387/

https://nutritionstudies.org/autoimmunity-and-diet-is-there-a-connection/

Patti Croft
Patti Croft

Patti Croft is a Certified Health Data Analyst with a thirst for all things natural and holistic. Coupled with her MBA, Patti uses her skill set here at NuVision Health Center to dive into the research. Her expertise is in taking complex medical data and delivering it in a way that readers can understand and implement into their lives.



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