Autoimmunity & Inflammation
We need inflammation to survive. It’s part of our body's defense mechanism. But what we don’t want, is prolonged inflammation that sets itself up as a permanent, problematic resident in our body. Hello “chronic inflammation”.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) ranks chronic inflammatory diseases as the greatest threat to human health. And it’s no wonder, when we live in a pro-inflammatory environment where the number of people suffering with chronic inflammatory conditions or autoimmune diseases is growing rapidly.
What is Autoimmunity?
An autoimmune disease is a condition arising from an abnormal immune response to a normal body part. It might seem absurd, but with autoimmunity the immune system mistakenly over-reacts to your body’s own tissues, attempting to destroy them with inflammatory cells.
If you know or ask anyone suffering with an autoimmune condition, they’ll no doubt tell you that it isn’t easy living in a body that feels like it's in self-sabotage mode.
And according to the British Society for Immunology there are more than 80 autoimmune diseases. Some affect just one tissue or organ, while others are "systemic" (affecting multiple sites of the body), and current conventional treatment is designed to minimise symptoms only.
Autoimmunity – the slow burner
Developing an autoimmune disorder doesn’t happen overnight, as is the case with any chronic inflammatory disease. It’s a gradual process. Of course, some people are more predisposed genetically to develop an autoimmune condition.
But even so, genetics only account for about 25% of the picture, which means that the rest is determined by things we can actually control - lifestyle factors (like diet, exercise, and stress).
The factors I see in clients that frequently lead to chronic inflammation or autoimmune reactions are:
- chronic stress
- leaky gut
- toxin exposure
This is why I seek to uncover the triggers of your inflammation, rather than simply providing solutions for the symptoms.
Inflammation & the autoimmune spectrum
There are three key stages on the autoimmune spectrum:
- At the low end of the autoimmune spectrum are those people who are only moderately inflamed. They may get occasional symptoms such as acne, fatigue and digestive issues, that tend to come and go.
- Towards the middle of the spectrum are those who experience symptoms of chronic inflammation. These conditions might include joint pain, skin problems, muscle aches, fatigue, weight gain, allergies and digestive issues - like IBS.
- Finally, at the high end of the spectrum are those who have officially been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, like fibromyalgia, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, Hashimoto's, ulcerative colitis.
Even if you haven’t been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, you can still feel the damage of autoimmune reactivity. And no matter what part of your body is under attack, the underlying problem is within your immune system.
Autoimmunity - regaining control of your health
The good news is that by reducing inflammation, you can work your way back down the spectrum and reverse your reaction or condition. By understanding the factors that are contributing to your inflammation, you can get to the root cause of your autoimmunity and start work on optimising your health.
My mission is to work with clients to treat the cause, not only the symptoms, to ask the question WHY are you suffering, not only what’s wrong.
If you're suffering with autoimmune reactions or an autoimmune disease, my goal is to provide you with answers, guidance and support - everything that I wish I had, when conventional medicine failed me during my own struggle with autoimmune disease.
Get in touch, if you would like my help with healing and restoring your immune function. Or visit The Functional Medicine Clinic page for more information about how we can work together to bring you vibrant health again.