REGAIN YOUR HEALTH WHEN CONVENTIONAL MEDICINE FAILS YOU (Part II)
In the last post, I promised you the steps and techniques that work to regain your health when conventional medicine fails you. Here is “when conventional medicine fails you part II” Through your diet, intestinal healing, reducing your toxic load and putting your body in restorative state you can help turn off the triggers that cause autoimmune diseases. In our last session together we talked about getting an autoimmune diagnosis. Now let’s talk about what you an do after the doctor has told you there’s nothing more he can do (than prescribe drugs). There are few things that really make big differences. Start by tackling your diet, lifestyle, environmental factors, and stress.
When your gut health is compromised you get problems with digestion, as well as intolerances and allergies to food. To get better, you have got to work on the leaky gut. 80% of our immune system is in our gut. If our gut isn’t healthy – we aren’t either because our immune system cannot be strong.
A leaky gut compromises your small intestines ability to absorb nutrients. Your small intestine has tiny protrusions that are kind of like the hairs in your nose. When nutrients flow through the small intestines they catch on these tiny hair like protrusions called villi and micro-villi. If your villi and micro-villi become damaged it reduces the surface area of your small intestine which then affects your ability to absorb nutrients. It also causes the walls of your intestines to leak and undigested food then passes through this gut barrier, irritating the tissues and causing your immune system to over react as if the food was an invader. So heal the gut and abstain from foods your body is already reacts to negatively.
1. Add digestive enzymes in supplement form to your daily routine. This helps you digest your food which your digestive system will thank you for.
2. Other supplements that help are L-Glutamine which is an amino acid that rejuvenates the gut lining. Omega 3 fish oils and curcumin reduce inflammation.
3. You also need to add good intestinal bacteria back in. Take probiotics daily.
4. Eat fermented foods too like Kefir, yogurt WITH ACTIVE CULTURES in the ingredients, Kimchi and raw sauerkraut.
NOTE: Taking steroids, antibiotics, eating inflammatory foods and having too much sugar are all actions that contribute to leaky gut. Don’t eat them.
GET RID OF INFLAMMATORY FOODS:
Get rid of and remove all inflammatory foods from your diet. This includes gluten, greens, nightshades, sugar, dairy, preservatives and for some people even eggs. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, barley and other grains. This means it’s in pasta, bread, French toast, pancakes, cake, cookies and all processed foods. Gluten disrupts our digestion & triggers our autoimmune response. Cutting out the gluten and other inflammatory causing foods will help in two ways. It will heal your gut and prevent the food you eat from triggering an immune response.
If you have an autoimmune disease, inflammation is going to provoke your symptoms and make your condition worse. See my post on gluten and autoimmune diseases. I know how hard this one is — you cant cheat. I promise. even a little sends your immune system in over drive. Its like adding fuel to an already burning fire or adding dry leaves to your burning wood. It causes the fire to stoke up and creates lots of smoke. Think of the smoke as your side affects!
TAKE VITAMIN D:
This is absolutely essential for your immune system. You can get it from exposure to the sun (although I’m not here to tell you to throw away your sunscreen). You can also get it from a supplement. Most people don’t eat enough oily fish or supplement with vitamin D or get enough sun exposure from outdoors to ensure proper levels of vitamin D. Low levels of vitamin D suppresses your immune system and keeps it from functioning properly.
GET RID OF TOXINS:
Every day your body is assaulted by thousands of toxins from food preserved in plastics, to the paint on your walls. Give your immune system a fighting chance and don’t cause it to trigger by exposing it to toxins. See my posts on toxins and how to avoid them.
You might also consider, in addition to the things that are in that post, not wearing your shoes inside the house. We walk around all kinds of places from hospitals to garden nurseries that use all kinds of toxins and breed bacteria. Don’t bring that into your house. Make everybody remove their shoes before they enter your house. If that’s not realistic, and you have an upstairs, then make the rule no shoes upstairs which lessons your exposure to toxins in the areas you sleep.
Infections can trigger and autoimmune response. They add to our body’s already burdened immune system. I mentioned in a previous post that I had had a root canal that unknowingly had gotten infected. That infection started eating away at my bone. My body was in constant fighting mode. It was found in a routine dental examination in which x-rays were taken. I’m not a fan of x-rays but Lord knows I wouldn’t have been able to rid my body of this infection if I didn’t know it was there.
Stress causes your body to releases a cascade of stress hormones that help you get into a fight or flight mode. One of these you know well is cortisol. Cortisol is what helps you mobilize your energy demand in response to stress. However, this is also what causes you to feel stressed because it’s highly inflammatory. When you face a threat, cortisol helps you ramp up your body’s ability to meet the challenge but it also over activates your immune system that’s already in high alert, overdrive and gone rogue. Cortisol also promotes weight gain. No amount of willpower will help you in this situation because it’s biology driven.
When your body experiences stress even for 10 minutes it can take hours for it to get back into a restorative state. Stress (whether physical or emotional) affects your immune system. Preparing for triathlon or pulling an all-nighter are both stressors on the body. So are eating the foods that you react to. The idea is to lessen your immune systems triggers. Stress is one of them.
By the way, caffeine will add to this negative response. So I’m not saying to stop drinking coffee ….yet although that is advisable for many reasons (which will be a different blog post I’m sure)…but stay away from the caffeine.
There really are couple different kinds of stress. One is acute stress in which something occurs quickly and your body has to deal with it but it’s quickly over. There’s also chronic stress which in which your system gets activated and it never really turns off. So let’s say you have an argument with your kid then you go to work and there’s extra traffic and you have the stress of potentially being late for work, then your boss says something that upsets you, then you eat gluten, then you take that stressful ride back home and yet again you fight with your kid to get his homework done. But what happens if you also are a caretaker to an aging parent or a sick child? When the body receives constant stress the immune system doesn’t turn off.
I explain autoimmune diseases as your immune system getting dementia and going rogue. So the bottom line is de-stress. You have to have multiple strategies to enable your body to go into relaxation and restorative mode. This means you have to make space in your day to quiet your mind, relax your body and find some fun.
Start with 15 minutes NOW (even if you think you don’t have enough time). Doesn’t matter what you do but do something for fun. Try to stay away from electronics. Ideally have lots of DE-stressors married into each day. Take time to enjoy the outdoors, get a massage, enjoy relaxing music, dance to your favorite tune, look for funny videos on YouTube, watch cute animal videos, play games etc. Look up comedians – whatever it takes for you.
And, get at least 8 hours of sleep a night. If you are in highly reactive mode: Get 10 hours. You will need it. I know its hard but you HAVE to make it a priority.
Consider: Once an autoimmune disease is triggered, it can’t be reversed. IT CAN HOWEVER BE QUIETED, CALMED & ITS SYMPTOMS DAMPENED OR REMOVED.
You can however put it in remission and learn how to live well with it. Conventional medical treatments can be really harsh or not helpful so learn the tools, techniques and practices from folks that have gone before and benefit from their journey.
MY STORY: 27 years ago I fell victim to my first autoimmune disease and I learned how to live successfully with it — even dance with it & put it in remission but then I got a second one a few years ago. Last year it was so bad I couldn’t put my underwear on without crying, I couldn’t load the dishwasher, forget doing laundry. Trying to get ready to go anywhere was a monumental task requiring energy I did not have. I was in chronic pain and trying to work under those conditions was excruciating. I was constantly popping pain relievers. This gave me brain fog so I caffeinated like crazy. This last autoimmune disease affected my connective tissue so my mobility was impaired but yet I couldn’t sit still either. Life was horrible. My enjoyment of life was gone.
But today I’m living well. I load the dishes into the dishwasher and participate in active pursuits again. I’m awake during the day and I love life again. I’m not doing triathlons again…. yet! But I am clearly better off than I was.
You will get there too. I know how grim things can look and how discouraging it can be — but you can and will get better. With effort and support you will “get your life back!”
Sign up and follow me on the Ask Mama Frat blog. I’ll share experiences, knowledge and tell you what worked. I certainly tried a lot of things over the years! I welcome others to comment and share resources too. Check out the Ask Mama Frat Community Facebook page TOO and comment or post there as well.November 1, 2016
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