5 Simple diet tips to manage autoimmune diseases and improve your overall health
02/27/2021 / By Brocky Wilson / Comments
5 Simple diet tips to manage autoimmune diseases and improve your overall health

Autoimmune diseases occur when your immune system mistakenly attacks your body’s own tissues. Normally, your immune system protects you from disease-causing germs like bacteria and viruses. But when you have an autoimmune disease, your immune system gets confused and fails to distinguish foreign invaders from your own cells. It then sends proteins called autoantibodies that target certain tissues in your body, such as your skin and the lining of your joints.

There are over 80 different autoimmune diseases, each of which causes your immune system to attack different parts of your body. The most common autoimmune diseases are Type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). They affect your pancreas, joints and digestive tract, respectively.

Brighteon.TV

Many autoimmune diseases share the same early symptoms, such as fatigue, achy muscles, swelling and redness, low-grade fever, trouble concentrating and skin rashes. However, individuals suffering from one of these diseases can also have unique symptoms. For example, IBD causes belly pain, bloating and diarrhea.

Nutrition tips for the ultimate autoimmune disease diet

There is no cure for autoimmune diseases. But you can manage your symptoms by eating an “autoimmune disease diet,” which excludes foods that worsen your symptoms and incorporates more foods that make you feel better.

Here are a few diet tips to manage an autoimmune disease:

Cut back on sugar

Studies show that a diet high in sugar can contribute to chronic inflammation – a classic sign of autoimmune diseases that causes redness, heat, pain and swelling. An animal study reported that drinking sugary water activates inflammatory immune cells that help destroy tissues in people with Crohn’s disease (a type of IBD) and multiple sclerosis. These autoimmune diseases affect the digestive tract and central nervous system, respectively.

Take note that some types of sugar may cause more inflammation than others. For example, fruit sugar (fructose) can trigger worse inflammatory responses than glucose.

Reduce alcohol intake

Drinking too much alcohol can also lead to chronic inflammation by increasing the levels of pro-inflammatory toxins in the gut. Additionally, studies show that the metabolism of ethanol — the main ingredient in alcohol — produces “neo-antigens” that attach to proteins and cause immune cells to attack.

Alcohol consumption causes high rates of autoimmune flare-ups — the sudden and severe onset of symptoms — in people with lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. However, research still has to find what exactly links the two.

Avoid cereals

Cereals like wheat, rye and barley contain gluten that can worsen the symptoms of autoimmune diseases in many ways. Studies show that gluten increases inflammation by causing an imbalance between the “good” and “bad” bacteria in your gut. It also directly causes your immune system to attack your cells through molecular mimicry, which is believed to be the key mechanism behind autoimmunity.

Molecular mimicry involves two molecules look alike — like when foreign invaders share a similar molecular structure with parts of your body. Certain proteins in gluten can look like components of the body’s tissues. So if you’re sensitive to gluten, your body may produce antibodies that attack not only gluten but also tissues in your body, triggering what’s called “food autoimmune reactivity.”

Take a break from dairy

Many studies link high dairy intake to certain autoimmune conditions. One study found that the more a population consumes cow’s milk, the higher the cases of multiple sclerosis. Researchers believe this is because a protein in cow’s milk looks a lot like a protein in the nerve sheaths, which the immune system attacks in people with multiple sclerosis.

Another study also reports that high dairy consumption correlates with high rates of Type 1 diabetes. Other studies show that patients with Type 1 diabetes have a strong immune response to milk proteins that “mimic” components of the pancreas.

Maintain your vitamin D levels

Many studies link vitamin D deficiency to certain autoimmune diseases, such as lupus and multiple sclerosis. As such, researchers are studying whether vitamin D helps prevent and manage autoimmune disorders. To keep your vitamin D levels optimal, soak up some sun every day for 15 to 20 minutes and eat vitamin D-rich foods like salmon, mackerel and other kinds of fatty fish.

Eating a healthy diet is a key strategy for managing autoimmune diseases and boosting your overall health. Eliminate foods that trigger inflammation and eat more fatty fish, leafy greens and vitamin-D foods to reduce the symptoms of your condition.

Sources:

Healthline.com

AskDrShah.com

NIH.gov

MedicalNewsToday.com

AARDA.org

HuffPost.com

JImmunol.org

Care.DiabetesJournals.org

Joe.BioScientifica.com

100% Fresh Food News, Right at Your Fingertips!
Find out everything you need to know about clean and healthy eating when you sign up for our FREE email newsletter. Receive the latest news on all the top superfoods, recipes, natural remedies, diets, food tips, and more!
Your privacy is protected. Subscription confirmation required.

Related Articles
Comments
comments powered by Disqus

100% Fresh Food News, Right at Your Fingertips!
Find out everything you need to know about clean and healthy eating when you sign up for our FREE email newsletter. Receive the latest news on all the top superfoods, recipes, natural remedies, diets, food tips, and more!
Your privacy is protected. Subscription confirmation required.

Popular articles