A healthy immune system is your body’s natural defense against disease and infection. Unfortunately, not everybody’s immune system is as strong as they would like it to be. Every now and again, a person’s immune system goes haywire and attacks itself instead of the harmful disease or infection impacting our bodies… That’s what you would call an autoimmune disease, and in some cases, it can be life-threatening.
According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, more than 80 diseases occur due to the body’s immune system attacking its own organs, tissues, and cells. Some of the more prevalent autoimmune diseases include Multiple Sclerosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Type 1 Diabetes, and Lupus.
Lupus is actually an autoimmune disease that is two to three times more prevalent in women of color than Caucasian women. Research from lupus.org further states that Lupus affects 1 in 537 black women. Currently, there aren’t any cures for autoimmune diseases but there are ways to effectively manage it, and a lot of managing it has to do with epigenetics and environmental and lifestyle factors.
Epigenetics is the study of DNA modifications that don’t change the DNA sequence. Through epigenetics, your genes can be turned on and off by environmental and lifestyle factors… You, of course, can’t live in a bubble to ward off environmental factors but things like pollution and radiation produce damage to your DNA as you get older…
That reason alone is why lots of people consult with their doctors about nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) to increase their production of Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) to help control DNA damage from environmental factors.
In other words, the changes you make to your lifestyle and environment can restore the balance of your immune system and oftentimes put your autoimmune disease in remission.
If you currently are living with an autoimmune disease or other chronic illness, you don’t have to succumb to the debilitating symptoms that oftentimes come with your condition. By addressing the most common environmental and lifestyle factors, you’ll be able to find some normalcy in your life and ultimately, reverse the symptoms associated with your condition.
Tend to Your Gut Health
Did you know that your gut is central to your overall health? Did you also know that around 80% of your immune system is reliant upon the health of your gut? The two go hand-in-hand basically, and if you don’t have a healthy gut, there’s no way for you to have a healthy and strong immune system.
Most people don’t realize it but having a “leaky” gut is one of the key factors in developing an autoimmune disease. The way it works is all the components that hold the walls of your intestines together have become loose and let all the food particles and toxins leave your gut and enter into your bloodstream.
This then causes inflammation in your body, which triggers flare-ups in autoimmune diseases. The good news is that your gut is able to repair itself, but only with your help through a few lifestyle changes. Ideally, you want to remove inflammatory food from your diet and replace them with foods rich in nutrients and healthy bacteria.
You also want to restore the acids and enzymes you need for proper digestion that you initially lost from your leaking gut.
Make Changes to Your Diet and Test Those Changes
You’ve heard people say that you are what you eat, and that statement actually does hold some weight to it. The foods you consume play a vital role in managing your autoimmune disease. Junk food and processed foods have a negative impact on the health of your gut and your likelihood of inflammation.
Oftentimes, we’ll think we’re eating foods that have been deemed as healthy and end up doing more harm than good to our bodies. Obviously, you want to stay away from foods loaded with additives and high in sugar but the “healthy” foods like eggs, corn, soy, and dairy all contribute to a leaky gut, which also causes inflammation of your disease. Foods that contain gluten are major contributors.
The best way to see what healthy foods affect you and which ones don’t is to try the elimination diet. You’ll first get rid of the foods that are definitely toxic and cause inflammation for at least 30 days to give your gut time to properly heal. After those 30 days, start adding healthy foods back into your diet slowly to see which ones cause symptoms and which ones don’t.
Practice Stress Relieving Tactics
One of the biggest causes of autoimmune flare-ups is largely due to stress, and mainly the chronic stress we incur on a daily basis. The key is to get to the bottom of what’s causing you stress and finding ways to alleviate your stress based on that.
A lot of times, environmental factors play a role, work responsibilities, and finances can send your immune system into overdrive.
As a way to practice stress-relieving tactics, find ways to incorporate these them into your daily routine. If your workload stresses you, take a 5-minute break to go for a walk outside. Maybe a few days out of the week, start incorporating baths with lavender oil to relax you… The main thing to consider is that everyone’s stressors are different and the way everyone handles their stressors are different as well.
Nonetheless, it’s a proven fact that stress is a major contributor to autoimmune flare-ups. If you can figure out how to manage your stress, your likelihood of experiencing a flare-up will significantly drop.
These three efforts are ways to boost your immune system and better manage your autoimmune disease. Most doctors that treat patients with autoimmune diseases try to keep them off of as many medications as they possibly can without causing further harm to the patient. They’ll oftentimes recommend healthier eating habits and lifestyle changes as well as remind their patients to be more mindful of the environment they’re living in. Everything from minimizing your use of plastic and purifying your air to eating organic foods, you’ll be equipped with the right tools to keep your autoimmune disease under control and get back to living your life either symptom-free or with v