If you’re feeling run down, constantly sick, and like your immune system is always on the fritz, you could have an autoimmune response. Could your diet be to blame? Possibly – a poor diet can certainly lead to a weakened immune system. But don’t worry, there are plenty of things you can do to correct this and boost your immune system function! Keep reading to learn more.
Why am I sick?
Are you aching all over way more than you think you should be? Your diet may be the one to blame and your immune system might be the culprit to your aches.
You may have heard about rheumatoid arthritis versus osteoarthritis. The difference being is, in rheumatoid arthritis, there’s some immune system issue or inflammatory issue involved where your joints are degrading at a faster rate and it affects people pretty much from head to toe.
The immune system can damage your joints by mistake. Every cell in our body has a key signature that tells other cells about its identification–whether they’re skin or blood ones. Sometimes these signals get mixed up with other types of messages when we have too many foreign bodies like viruses invading us at once, it causes problems for each individual organ because there isn’t enough time on one’s own clock to sort things out properly!
And if your body reacts to that signature, by picking up what we call an antigen, where the signal tells all of its cells which kind it is, the immune system can get confused. The similarities between viruses or bacteria with similar signatures from our own bodies lead us into confusion: “Why am I sick?”
An immune reaction is when your body recognizes and defends itself against bacteria, viruses, and substances that appear foreign. This normally happens in the case of infection, cancer and other diseases. However, when their systems go into action against themselves- it can be fighting off one thing but turning out another by accident!
When the immune system starts to attack normal, healthy cells, it becomes a concern. We haven’t yet figured out why, but we do know diet is almost always somehow involved. It may mean that the food that we eat can somehow make it so that our body mistakes signals from bacteria and things.
Whenever you eat, food goes from being something you put in your mouth into something that feeds your body. The gut then breaks it down into tiny proteins and different nutrients. Then through your bloodstream, it gets absorbed. Sometimes when these broken-down proteins and their components get absorbed, your immune system reacts to it immediately and it triggers an inflammatory cycle.
Food and Inflammatory Response
We are now aware that there are foods that are pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory. If you’ve been referencing our posts before, you’ve probably learned that inflammation isn’t always the enemy. Sometimes the adamant situations in which the inflammation or the immune system is attacking yourself is because it’s gotten confused from some of the proteins or antigens that it’s received from your gut.
It can then trigger a vicious cycle that culminates or ends up with your body attacking itself. This can happen anywhere in the body, but in particular, when we look at joints, what we’re looking at is the integrity or the stability of a joint. If the antigens have triggered some kind of an immune reaction where your body is attacking itself, it’s going to weaken the joint and make it looser and more vulnerable to injury.
In and of itself alone, the autoimmune reaction may not be what’s causing pain. Instead, it’s creating instability that can accelerate damage and pain.
There are a few different theories about the connection between diet and autoimmune diseases, but most point to processed foods as being big players. For example: when we say “processed,” it means that something has been preserved by putting it in boxes or cans which leads us into thinking these items don’t provide much nutrition either way – even if they did come from healthy sources!
Some people would advocate an elimination diet where you kind of strip yourself down to some of the bare essentials. For example, starting with a couple of days of fasting, drinking water, and then start adding in different foods. Now, in practicing this, what to watch out for are irritable bowel syndrome and celiac disease.
Here Comes Gluten
Gluten is a protein that causes a strong, inflammatory reaction in some people. This happens to the point where it can even attack the gut before gluten is absorbed, causing things like irritable bowel issues.
There are a lot of foods out there that can trigger an immune reaction in each individual, but we don’t necessarily know that unless you go through dietary testing, which you can do on your own at home.
By reducing your food content down to the bare essentials and then building it up gradually. You may want to introduce new fruits and vegetables and give it a week or two to see how your body responds to it. If you feel better or worse, that’s kind of a signal as to whether this is an immune-reactive food for you or not.
We are here to help
Functional medicine specialists are here for you when the going gets tough. When your body goes through a detox, it can be hard to know what’s normal and not-normal behavior. Luckily we’ve got experts who will help make sure that things feel more manageable!
We can guide you through this process because it’s not always easy. There are some conditions where you could have no problems earlier in life. And then once you hit, let’s say, your forties, all of a sudden your genetics make it so that you now have certain allergies to certain types of foods.
On your own, you wouldn’t think to test those foods out because you’ve had them your whole life and didn’t have a problem. So what happens when we age things change? Having a functional medicine coach to guide you on this process might be the thing to help you out.
We try to give you the basics. Opt to do it on your own, but by all means, use us as resources. Connect with us so that we can respond and give you better guidance on what you can do to take control of your health. Browse through our other content where we talk about the other things that you can do on your own for better joint health and better mental health.
If you’re feeling under the weather, bloated, or just generally crummy and you can’t seem to put your finger on why it might be time to do a little detective work into what foods are triggering your immune system. The good news is that this kind of detective work can be done from the comfort of your own home.
If you want some help along the way, we’d be happy to schedule a discovery call so we can discuss your specific situation and see how our team at Wellward Medical can best support you. Stay well!
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If you’re looking for a more natural way to manage your health, please contact us for a discovery call to see if our approach would be appropriate for your situation.
DISCLAIMER: The information in this email is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content is for general informational purposes only and does not replace a consultation with your own doctor/health professional