Autoimmune diseases can affect any part of the body. They occur when the immune system attacks the body's own cells. Scientists have identified more than 80 autoimmune diseases. Some autoimmune diseases and symptoms can be mild; others can be very disabling, and are a leading cause of death. Having one autoimmune disease makes a person prone to developing other autoimmune diseases. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health lists some of the most common autoimmune diseases.
Scientists report that the incidence of autoimmune diseases, such as lupus, celiac disease, and type 1 diabetes has been steadily growing. Identifying the presence and cause of autoimmune diseases can be very difficult. Genetics, along with environmental factors, are believed to be part of the cause. The director of the Environmental Autoimmunity Group at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences notes that some 80,000 chemicals are approved for commercial use, but that very little is known about their immune effects.
Another strong connection to autoimmune diseases is increased intestinal permeability, otherwise known as leaky gut syndrome. 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 tight barrier becomes damaged, it can allow other things that are in your digestive tract, 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. Mayo Clinic reports that out-of-place bacteria may trigger rheumatoid arthritis.
It is recommended that persons with autoimmune disease be tested for celiac disease, an autoimmune disease triggered by the consumption of gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. The correlation between autoimmune and gluten is so strong that even if the test is negative, some health practitioners advise its avoidance.
Researchers note that there is growing evidence that increased intestinal permeability, or leaky gut, plays a role in various autoimmune diseases. This abstract notes celiac disease and type 1 diabetes.
More information on the role of gut bacteria and autoimmune diseases can be found in this medical abstract. It looks at Hashimotos thyroiditis, a common autoimmune thyroid disease
Treatments that involve maintaining or re-establishing normal intestinal barrier function are being researched in order to prevent and treat autoimmune diseases in new ways. This is exciting because many times the medications used to treat autoimmune diseases are either corticosteroids, such as prednisone, or non-steroid drugs used to suppress the immune system.
Since autoimmune diseases appear to have strong genetic link, prevention, especially for those with a family history of autoimmune diseases, is probably wise. Maintaining a healthy gut barrier along with a population of good bacteria may prevent autoimmune diseases.
The Melaleuca Wellness Guide recommends Florify, a probiotic supplement that contains a blend of 5 billion colony units of Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium lactis. Lactobacillus is the prevalent good bacteria in the small intestine, and Bifidobacterium is the most dominant good bacteria in the large intestine. Since probiotics are not permanently established in our digestive tract, Florify needs to be taken every day. Florify also contains the prebiotic, fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS). Prebiotics boost the growth of beneficial probiotics in the GI tract. Another healthy source of powerful prebiotics is FiberWise.
Take the supplements in Vitality 6 Essentials + Heart. This package includes Phytomega, a cholesterol lowering Omega-3 plus plant sterols, and ProvexCV. Each bottle of ProvexCV Grape Flavonoid Supplement contains the power of 10,000 grapes. Vitality Coldwater Omega-3 and delicious Vitality Omega-3 Créme Delight provide research proven EPA/DHA essential fatty acids. Omega-3 Créme Delight is a tasty way to get children to take an omega-3 supplement.
Reduce chemical exposure by using EcoSense cleaning and laundry products. Sei Bella, Affinia, and the other Melaleuca brands are carefully manufactured to be safer personal care products.
A diet rich with fruits, vegetables, whole foods, and healthy fats helps reduce inflammation. Avoidance of inflammation-causing sugar and other low-nutrition foods is very important. Many health practitioners find that persons with overactive immune systems have food sensitivities, not to be confused with food allergies. Food sensitivities often develop to "foods-families" that are eaten every day. It is very hard to determine which foods cause problems because food sensitivities can cause delayed reactions that can occur in hours or up to 3 days after eating a food. Some find answers by temporarily eliminating the most common food offenders. Further explanation can be found in this article.
It is normal to dislike change. Unfortunately the nature of autoimmune diseases is that it produces negative changes. Fortunately we can improve and perhaps prevent damage by making better choices in how we nourish and protect our body. Our health is one thing we should not leave up to "chance."
~ Richard M Barry
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Autoimmune Disease Testimonials
The people below will receive a free copy of The Melaleuca Wellness Guide for submitting their stories.
We are new to Melaleuca but I began using the Activate Immune Complex for my daughter and have noticed a change. She has a rare bone marrow failure syndrome and her cuts have always taken much longer than normal to heal. Since she has started using Activate Immune Complex her body has been able to heal much faster. We are so thankful for natural solutions to her complex problems.
In 2010 I tested positive to Hashimotos Thyroiditis, a common autoimmune disease that causes low-thyroid symptoms. The funny or odd thing is that I have normal thyroid blood test, but I had a goiter and test showed I was producing antibodies to my own thyroid. After getting the diagnosis, I read up on what natural things I could do for my thyroid. I take the Vitality 6 and try to eat simple whole foods. My allergist, at my request, ran a food sensitivity test, and unfortunately I was producing antibodies to lots of healthy foods. I stopped eating the problem foods for 3 months, then I added them back, and I now try to rotate my foods (Leave a day or two in between food families). I try hard to avoid simple sugars. I have proved to myself over and over that sugar does cause me inflammation. I start to run a low-grade fever and feel very tired when I eat sugar. I use EcoSense and Melaleuca personal care products. After a year when I returned for a checkup, my health care provider was amazed. The goiter can no longer be felt. She said I have regained my health. At first all the changes were almost overwhelming! But Melaleuca products and the RM Barry Wellness Guide have been great aids in helping me avoid toxic chemicals and helping me make healthier choices.