Autoimmune disorders are simply any type of disease where the body’s immune system — which is responsible for defending your body against incoming diseases and bacterias — begins attacking healthy cells within the body. For one reason or another, the immune system views those cells as foreign to the body and attacks them. Examples of this include Type 1 Diabetes, Multiple Sclerosis, Celiac Disease, Lupus, Rheumatoid arthritis and more. Tragically, it is possible for someone to suffer from more than one autoimmune disease at a time.
Autoimmune diseases affect up to 50 million Americans, according to the AARDA (the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association). Research indicated there are as many as eighty various types of autoimmune disorders/diseases. Even though these diseases represent a significant health issue, funding for even basic research is below 3% of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) total budget. This could be a portion of the reason that there is a lack of understanding regarding the underlying causes of these diseases.
While there is a lot of speculation on the root cause of these diseases, there is an almost equal amount of speculation on dietary treatments for each autoimmune disorder. While the general rule of thumb is to have a healthy diet and maintain a physically active lifestyle, that still leaves many unanswered questions as to how to cope with the many symptoms of autoimmune diseases.
Research has indicated that chronic inflammation plays a key role in the development of and continuation of autoimmune diseases. Take Rheumatoid Arthritis for example. The disease is centered around the damage caused to tissues from an inflammatory reaction. While not all autoimmune diseases are primarily caused by inflammation, they all cause severe inflammation. What is clear is that inflammation is almost always a companion to these diseases, whether in the beginning or throughout the entirety of it.
Recently, Omega-3 fatty acids have shown potentially helpful benefits in regards to autoimmune diseases. Specifically, the Omega-3 fatty acids located in fish oil (DHA & EPA), have very strong immunomodulatory activities. Multiple studies have shown the fatty acids to be helpful in combatting diseases such as Crohn’s disease, Lupus, arthritis and multiple sclerosis.
With the strong ability to lower inflammation, the omega-3 fatty acids fall right into place with the overall dietary approach of an increased amount of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory type foods to combat autoimmune diseases. The antioxidants aim to lower oxidative stress and cultivate a healthy balance in the immune system. Because inflammation and autoimmune disease are so closely related this diet works to combat the diseases directly. An Omega-3 rich diet consists primarily of green leafy vegetables, high-fat fishes and seed oil from flax. Whole plant food such as fruit, whole grains, vegetables, nuts and seeds, olive oil, and avocado will greatly reduce and combat inflammation as well as cultivate a healthier lifestyle.
For those suffering from autoimmune diseases, it is common to change periods of no symptoms and periods of intense flare-ups. That is why it is important to maintain consistency in diet, exercise and possibly nutritional supplements. It is best to get the full spectrum of nutrients, so look for a nutritional system that provides sufficient Omega 3, Vitamin B, Vitamin D, and Vitamin C such as the Kyani Triangle of Health, Rainbow Light, or Centrum.