SIBO and IBS triggering a Pathogenic Autoimmune System – Part 2
Focus First on Healing Your Gut
Pathogenic autoimmune system conditions mean that parts of your body are being attacked by your body’s very own immune system. The body hosts an entire colony of microorganisms to protect it against viruses, bacteria, and other harmful microorganism invaders. But, what happens when your very source of protection is harmed?
The immune system becomes confused about who is the invader and who is a healthy part of your body or an innocuous bit of food. Conditions such as inflammation, joint pain, cancer, or heart conditions can result.
The confusion of your immune system, which leads it to a state of attacking your body, begins with the health of your gut. By repairing your gut, you can help stop the process of your immune system misidentifying and attacking healthy parts of your body and reduce the overactive immune response. Instead of trying to bandage your symptoms, zoom in on your gut colony.
Certain factors could be to blame for destroying the good bacteria in your gut, leading to dysbiosis, and subsequently inflammation or pathogenic autoimmune system conditions. Sleep, chlorinated water, stress, chemicals in food, and polluted air could all impact your gut bacteria as well.
Taking a high-quality probiotic could be a first step. Alongside this, increase your intake of fermented foods, such as sauerkraut, yogurt, kefir, or kefir grains. These foods are high in natural probiotics and improve the state of your gut flora, ease digestion, and aid in repairing your gut lining.
Habits for Optimal Immune System Support
You cannot consume a diet of fast-food, processed food, and junk snacks and expect to make it up by taking multivitamins. You cannot live in a highly stressful environment, physically, emotionally, or mentally, and expect your health to stay at its peak. It’s simply contradictory to a healthy lifestyle.
Instead, aim to clean up your diet, and eliminate fast-food completely. Fast-food is the ticket to a variety of health conditions, including heart conditions, diabetes, high cholesterol, cancer, cognitive decline, and obesity.
Fast food, along with an overload of antibiotics can also lead to dysbiosis and a pathogenic autoimmune system. Many chronic health conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, hypertension, coronary heart conditions, and cancer, are now being linked to emotional distress, inflammation, and the bacterial overgrowth that leads to autoimmunity with time.
Eating for a Healthy Immune System
Your body depends on you to feed it well, and although you may not see the direct effects now, they are there. Health conditions do not develop overnight, but consistently bad habits take a toll on your health. Eating a diet that protects your gut health can make a big difference.
Instead, fill your breakfast, lunch, and dinner plates with colorful fruits and vegetables bursting with antioxidants, phytonutrients, dietary fiber, and a myriad of vitamins and minerals. If your salads are mostly fluffed up with iceberg lettuce, try adding kale, turnip greens, mustard greens, Swiss chard, spinach, arugula, collard greens, or dandelion. Consuming these superfood leafy greens, beta-carotene packed orange fruits and vegetables, or antioxidant-filled red-pigment foods can help protect you against a pathogenic autoimmune system down the line.
Instead of reaching for a bag of chips or cookies, prepare fresh-cut vegetables and dip them in hummus or almond butter as a snack. Healthy eating helps make your digestion better, gives you more energy, and boosts your mood.
Consuming a sufficient amount of vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta-carotene, are all tremendously beneficial in boosting your immune system’s health. Switch to sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes for a boost of vitamins, fiber, and natural sweetness. Add oranges, tangerines, grapefruits, or lime to your morning smoothies for a punch of vitamin C, fiber, and a unique taste.
If you don’t have a juicer at home, it’s definitely a great investment for your health. Juice up several beets, carrots, fresh turmeric, fresh ginger, and even parsley to cleanse your body of toxins, protect yourself against a pathogenic autoimmune system, or even prevent the possible development of cancer.
As crucial as it is that you feed your body healthy foods, it’s just as important, if not more important, that you feed your mind healthy thoughts. You become your thoughts and shape your reality with your perspective. Your thought process has an effect on your gut health as well. Have an attitude of gratitude and appreciate nature’s palette, for the colors found in these fresh fruits and vegetables are extremely beneficial for your body.
It’s essential to note that prior to starting any new diet or supplements, you consult your healthcare practitioner for advice, especially if you have a health condition like autoimmunity or AFS. Some vegetables and fruits can have interactions with certain medications, such as turmeric, ginger, or pineapple. Consuming these foods in large amounts while taking certain medications could have adverse side effects.
Exercise and Healing
Exercise could do your body wonders.However, you need to consult your healthcare practitioner prior to starting any new exercise regimen, as certain conditions like AFS can make it hard for your body to handle exercise. Some workouts could overload your body, and the exercise could bring about weakness or an adrenal crash. Depending on the stage of AFS you are in, it’s best to start with a gentle exercise routine, such as adrenal breathing or yoga. Build your way up gradually.
However, a suitable exercise routine could act as a stepping stone to recovery, while strengthening your immune system. Exercise is linked to enhanced mood, more energy, weight loss, improved cardiovascular health, and balanced hormones.
There is a direct correlation between exercise and your mood. The next time you feel overwhelmed, down, or hurt, take a break and try some physical activity. Observe as your mood lightens, as the dopamine in your brain is released, stress is reduced, and you build strength and stamina. This decreases your risk of developing a pathogenic autoimmune system.
Take a morning walk, or do breathing and yoga stretches in nature, if the weather permits. Find a way to enjoy the process of exercise, by taking a fun class at a local gym, doing it with a friend, or getting out on a trail or to the beach. It will do your health wonders.
Tips for Healing Your Microbiome and Pathogenic Autoimmune system
You may not be aware of it, but you may be engaging in a daily habit or two that are detrimental to your health. These tips will hopefully help you locate areas to improve. Try your best to implement these habits in your life. They might make a huge difference in your health.
- Work on repairing your gut from within, instead of bandaging symptoms. Repair your gut with healing foods, such as homemade bone broth, kefir, sauerkraut, or other whole foods. These foods are full of good bacteria, and also prevent excessive amounts of bad bacteria in your gut. This could prevent SIBO, candida, and more.
- Eat more anti-inflammatory foods, such as turmeric, ginger water, tart cherry concentrate, extra virgin olive oil, and flax seeds. Other anti-inflammatory foods that could improve the condition of your small intestine are those high in dietary fiber, such as chia seeds, quinoa, or beans. These foods decrease your chance of inflammatory response. If you already have a health condition such as AFS or rheumatoid arthritis, begin consuming these foods more. They will not only decrease systemic inflammation, but will leave you with energy, a lifted mood, and more focus.
- Find good quality probiotic supplement or powder and take it daily to increase your good bacteria and crowd out the bad bacteria. Your gut microbiome is made up of more than one trillion bacteria. Taking a supplement helps ensure your body gets enough probiotics and good bacteria if you aren’t getting enough from food. Look for a high-quality probiotic. You will begin to experience better digestion, more energy, and believe it or not, an improved mood.
- Remove toxic triggers from your diet. These may include dairy, gluten, grains, alcohol, corn, refined and processed sugar, or the nightshade vegetables. Nightshade vegetables are known to cause a reaction for many, but not everyone. By eliminating them temporarily, you may come to realize that in fact they do cause a negative response in your body.
- Get rid of toxic relationships, and work on improving the ones that are dear to you. If you are constantly fighting with your spouse or are anxious about the behavior of your child, take action. Seek counseling or look for online tips. If you take all necessary measures to improve the circumstance, but the negative vibe is still in the air, work on changing your reaction. Building internal resentment and anger, along with the stress load that comes with your task list, could be very detrimental to your well-being. In fact, when you continuously react and bottle up emotions internally, you are the one suffering. These negative emotions and thoughts only make things worse for your health and relationships.
- Eliminate alcohol altogether. Alcohol is often a toxic trigger, could lead to inflammation, and damages your good gut flora. To repair your gut or live a healthier life, alcohol has to go. One recent study found that alcohol could drastically increase your risk of developing several different types of cancer.
- Consume more whole foods that are found in nature, not made in a factory. Whole foods typically include nuts and seeds, fresh fruits and vegetables, high-quality protein, fatty fish, healthy fats such as extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, and avocados, and unprocessed whole grains. A healthy diet loaded with fresh fruits and vegetables, healthy fats such as avocado oil, extra virgin olive oil, organic grass-fed butter, nuts, and high-quality proteins such as wild caught salmon can make a huge difference for many health issues. It will provide you with the building blocks to recover from AFS, improve your energy levels, and restore your systems. Such a diet will also decrease your risk of developing a pathogenic autoimmune system.
- Stop eating processed food, deep-fried food, and junk food entirely. Many processed food items come along with four dozen ingredients you cannot pronounce. Many are perceived as healthy with claims they are whole wheat, a good source of vitamin D, or low-fat. Nonetheless, they may be packed with preservatives, chemicals, hydrogenated oils, or refined sugars. Most of these ingredients are chemicals made in a lab. Processed food could lead to internal inflammation and disruption of your gut flora. Refined sugar is linked to bacterial overgrowth. Read your labels more often, and look for other names of sugar, such as fructose, high fructose corn syrup, or artificial sweeteners such as sucralose or aspartame.
- Take a daily multivitamin. You may be lacking some crucial vitamins and minerals in your diet and many people also have difficulty absorbing them from food. Search for a high-quality supplement, free of fillers such as corn, yeast, or wheat, and use it to fill the gaps in your diet. Be cautious that many supplements include artificial food colorings, unhealthy oils, additives, and chemicals. Look for a source with clean-ingredients, and be sure to consult your healthcare practitioner prior to consuming a new supplement or food.
- Stay properly hydrated, all day, every day. There cannot be enough emphasis on the importance of drinking enough water every day. Aim to drink water upon awakening and during the day despite the tasks you have. Water keeps your cells replenished, cleanses your intestines of harmful toxins, and could prevent pathogenic autoimmune system conditions from developing. Water eases digestion and could prevent headaches. Since water also brings your internal body temperature to equilibrium, it could do a great job in reducing your stress. Begin tracking how much water you drink daily, and depending on your age, weight, and current health, you should aim to consume at least half the amount of your body weight, in ounces.
- Consume more omega-3 fatty acids. You can get these from wild-caught salmon, sardines, and flaxseeds, but if you don’t eat enough of these, a supplement is a good idea. It’s best to look for a wild-caught fish or algae omega-3 supplement. Omega-3s provide your body with essential fatty acids, reduce inflammation, and improve your cognitive health as well. In conjunction with taking a fish oil supplement, increase your intake of foods high in naturally occurring DHA, EPA, or ALA omega-3 fatty acids. That includes raw walnuts, sardines, salmon, tuna, cod liver oil, flaxseed, flaxseed oil, chia seeds, or Atlantic mackerel.
A pathogenic autoimmune system is in many cases the result of a gut gone wrong, and while you may not be able to completely resolve the condition, you can do all that is in your power to support your health, encourage a healthy gut, and reduce autoimmune outbreaks in the future. Some of these tips may be just what your body needs to heal.
© Copyright 2018 Michael Lam, M.D. All Rights Reserved.