There are more than 100 autoimmune diseases, diseases that occur when the immune system somehow gets confused and attacks its own cells. Some autoimmune diseases and symptoms can be mild; others can be very disabling and are a leading cause of death. It is not uncommon for someone to have more than one autoimmune disease.
Why does a previously healthy body get confused and go on attack? Studies conclude that an inherited predisposition accounts for about thirty percent of all autoimmune diseases. Our environment, our diet, infections, and the condition of our gut immune system appear to account for the rest of the causes.
Microbiota and Our Immune System
Gut microbes play an enormous role in how our immune system works. It is estimated that 70% of our immune system is located in our digestive tract. Our gut does so much more than just digest food. The microscopic population that lives in us also protects us from diseases. When the gut microbiota is dysfunctional, inflammation may increase along with the modern-day diseases that are hallmarked by chronic inflammation.
Leaky Gut - Probiotics for Improved Immune Function
Another strong connection to autoimmune diseases is increased intestinal permeability otherwise known as "leaky gut." Our intestines are lined with a tight mucosal barrier that allows nutrients from our well-digested food to pass into blood vessels to nourish our whole body. When and if this barrier becomes damaged, it can allow other things that are in our digestive tracts, such as larger food particles, good bacteria, and bad bacteria, into an area where they do not belong. This displacement triggers the immune system to react with alarm, possibly triggering autoimmune diseases.
Our gut microbiota works to protect and support the tight mucosal barrier, in effect protecting our body from what is not part of our body, such as food, germs, and environmental toxins. This study notes that adding probiotics can reverse leaky gut.
Lactobacilli Offset the Harmful Effects of Salt
We have all heard the warning that too much salt raises blood pressure. Now researchers have shown that too much salt can kill off the good lactobacilli in our gut, thereby raising blood pressure and increasing autoimmune-disease related inflammation. When animals were given a probiotic along with a high-salt diet, their blood pressure and inflammation was reduced.
Researchers also looked at what would happen if they gave twelve healthy men twice the amount of their usual intake of salt. They found that in most of the men, after two weeks, their population of good lactobacilli was almost undetectable.
Supplements, Diet and Household Chemicals
What we eat and drink affects our gut bacteria. Our gut bacteria need healthy, fiber-rich foods and a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole foods and healthy fats to survive and help us be healthy. We are promoting health when we avoid inflammation-causing sugar and other low-nutrition foods.
The Melaleuca Wellness Guide recommends Florify, a probiotic supplement that contains a blend of 10 billion colony units from 4 different Lactobacillus strains and 3 different Bifidobacterium strains. Florify also contains prebiotic fructooligosaccharides (FOS). Prebiotics boost the growth of beneficial probiotics in the GI tract. Another healthy source of powerful prebiotics is FiberWise.
We can reduce exposure to harmful chemicals by using EcoSense cleaning and laundry products. Sei Bella, Affinia, and the other Melaleuca brands are carefully manufactured to be safer personal care products.
Good to Know
Treatment for autoimmune diseases is usually done by a primary care provider doctor and a specialist, depending on the organs involved. For instance, a rheumatologist might treat rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, and a neurologist might treat multiple sclerosis and myasthenia gravis.
There is also a group of medical doctors who practice functional medicine. They look at and treat autoimmune diseases by trying to get to the "root" causes of inflammation.
~ Richard M Barry
Autoimmune Diseases Success Stories
The people below will receive a free copy of The Melaleuca Wellness Guide for submitting their stories.
I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease 18 years ago. I was also a Melaleuca customer. Melaleuca was just learning about developing gluten-free products so it has been pleasant to watch them respond to customers that need gluten-free products. I am certain that the Vitality Pack, and now the Peak Performance Nutrition Pack stabilized my disease so it has not morphed into other autoimmune diseases. Since I cannot use wheat products on my skin, I have appreciated the shampoos, Renew Lotion, Melaleuca oil, Sunscreens, and Gold Bar. FiberWise and Good Zymes are my favorite gut health products. The home cleaning line totally protects my immune system with safe cleaners, again, so that an immune system overload doesn't kick me into other diseases. SO GRATEFUL for Melaleuca's environmental and nutritional support!!!
I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in January 2016. My Rheumatologist told me to research the condition, educate myself and stay active. He knew I was not one who liked taking prescription medications if there was a chance a healthier and affordable alternative was available and would work for my condition. He said that turmeric was a natural anti-inflammatory and that patients have found that be effective. On my way home from my doctor appointment, I called Melaleuca product support asking if we had products that had turmeric in them. They gave me the list of products. The Omega3 Lime Sorbet, Recover AI contains turmeric and when taken along with Extra Strength Replenex it works even better. For Fibro, I take the mentioned products along with the Vitality pack vitamins. My Rheumatologist reviewed the Luminex and approved me taking those in place of Cymbalta once I've weaned off them due to St. John's wort. I went from paying $300 a month for Cymbalta to under $20 a month for Luminex. Not only was it healthy for me but healthy on our budget. When I have trouble sleeping I take a RestEZ one hour before bedtime and it works like a charm. I get a good night’s rest without feeling dizzy the next morning. For my restless leg syndrome, I rub my legs down with Pain-A-Trate and my legs immediately relax. I am thankful to have found a doctor who is on board with me trying healthier alternatives versus prescription drugs that have severe side effects. My fibro flare-ups are very minimal using Melaleuca products.
I was diagnosed with Lupus and Graves Disease about 6 years ago. My niece shared the Melaleuca brand with me, and our family started with the Value Pack. Within 3 weeks I was asymptomatic, and within months my blood tests reversed. I received a letter from my doctor advising me blood levels were perfect, and there was no reason to return. We are very thankful that Melaleuca came into our lives. I continue to take the vitamins and use the Melaleuca brand everywhere else in our home.
I have been battling psoriasis since 2010. At that time I had 90% of my body covered. It eventually subsided and disappeared from everywhere except behind my ear, and along the line of where my bra sits on my body. The areas became raw and painful. I had tried several prescriptions, as well as over the counter and home remedies. Absolutely nothing worked. I finally ordered DermaCort Anti-Itch Cream. The first night I woke up able to shower and clean the areas without pain. Within 4 days those areas had cleared. I can still see the discoloration in those areas, but even that is beginning to fade. I cannot express in words how much happiness and self confidence this has brought me! Thank you again for your wonderful products.
~ Emily K