Living with an auto-immune disease can be a painful and cumbersome experience. So much so that many people end up resigning themselves to hopelessness, thinking that there’s nothing that can be done. While a timely diagnosis is always a game-changer, there are also several things that you can do on your end to alleviate your condition.
Many people wait years to find out why they're sick, and once they're finally diagnosed, they receive few options from their doctor.
Having a better understanding of the nature of your ailment will allow you make more informed decision when it comes to lifestyle changes. Basically, auto-immune diseases (e.g. Lupus) result in the body attacking itself because your immune system mistakes a "friendly" organ such as your brain or joints for a foreign presence.
As part of its defence mechanism, your immune response increases its defensive measures and attacks its own tissue, resulting in chronic inflammation and causing symptoms like pain, swelling, and fatigue.
Treating these symptoms will require you to focus on ways that can heal your gut, ease your immune system, reduce inflammation, and help you combat autoimmune diseases. Here are some tips that you can easily put into practice:
1. Eat your dark leafy vegetables
Dark, leafy vegetables are packed with anti-oxidants and phytonutrients that protect your cells and DNA. Kale and other nutrients can support your immune system and reduce inflammation.
2. Understand what causes food sensitivities
Identify food that messes with your gut health. For some, eating gluten-containing food irritates the immune system and exacerbates inflammation. By identifying the root cause, you can eliminate the trigger food from your consumption habits to allow your gut a chance to heal.
3. Eat more healthy fats
Studies show that omega-3 fatty acids can help you in your quest against auto-immune diseases. They can be found in wild-caught fish, and flaxseeds, chia seeds, and walnuts. A quality fish oil supplement is also a wise investment – look for those that are tested for ingredient purity and label accuracy.
4. Create your natural elixir
Recently, bone broth has become popular because of its impressive nutrient profile which includes collagen (the main component of connective tissue), anti-inflammatory and gut-healing gelatine, magnesium and L-glutamine—an amino acid that studies show can help heal your gut lining. Stews and soups that involve animal offal are also a great source of such nutrients.
5. Spice up your life
Curcumin, which can be found in curries and other Middle Eastern dishes provides powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant support. Studies show curcumin inhibits auto-immune diseases by regulating inflammatory cytokines in your immune cells. Be sure to combine with an appropriate amount of black pepper and dietary fat to optimise nutrient uptake!
While auto-immune disease itself is not curable, it can indeed be manageable if you take the right steps. Take a proactive stance on treating your condition, and you should have no problem in leading a vibrant, healthy life.