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What Are Autoimmune Conditions?



Autoimmune diseases, such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and MS, affect more than 250 million people worldwide. In the United States, they are the 3rd leading chronic disease behind cardiovascular disease and cancer. Based on twin studies, we now know that 25% of autoimmunity is genetics, and the other 75% is environmental.

 

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A Functional Medicine Approach to Autism

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD, previously called “autism”) is a poorly understood family of related conditions. It is linked to abnormal biology and chemistry in the brain for which the exact causes are unknown. However, it is now recognized that there is probably a combination of factors that lead to autism. Genetic factors seem to play a role, as well as a number of other possible environmental factors such as diet, digestive tract changes, mercury and chemical toxicity, overuse of antibiotics and viral infections.

Sanoviv Medical Institute provides lifestyle recommendations for many conditions and their focus  is to support a natural approach to improving symptoms.

This is the first in a series of blogs to share the functional medicine approach to the Autism Spectrum.

Specific Dietary Recommendations

  • Eliminate gluten-containing grains (e.g., wheat, barley, rye) and casein in milk products. Following a strict, gluten and casein-free diet can help improve symptoms related to autism. However, it may take up to 8 months for noticeable changes to occur.
  • Strictly avoid food additives, dyes, preservatives (such as monosodium glutamate or MSG), pesticides and artificial sweeteners (sucralose/Splenda, saccharin, aspartame).
  • It is essential that the diet contains fresh, whole, unprocessed foods, including plenty of vegetables and fruits. Processed foods, caffeine, and sugar must be avoided.
  • Rule out other food allergies through an Elimination Diet or Simplified Elimination Diet.

Specific Lifestyle Recommendations

  • Get a minimum of 20-30 minutes of sunshine daily to improve vitamin D status.
  • Avoid exposure to toxins (gasoline, paint, solvents, cigarette smoke, cleaners, bug sprays, heavy metals, air pollution).
  • Get a complete dental evaluation and consider removal of any mercury-amalgam fillings by a biological dentist who will follow the proper protocol.
  • Avoid drugs (if possible), especially antibiotics, acetaminophen (Tylenol), aspirin and prescription drugs.
  • Avoid thimerosol-containing vaccines.

Sanoviv Medical Institute is a state-of-the-art, fully-licensed hospital and health resort that offers a unique blend of conventional, alternative, and integrative programs to help maintain your good health and to treat a wide range of diseases.

4 Steps to Heal Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Sleep DeprivationChronic Fatigue Syndrome  affects up to 2.5 million Americans and for most is a very debilitating illness. Conventional medicine is just now coming around to recognizing it as a real syndrome, and it is generally only as a diagnosis of of exclusion, meaning they ruled out other diseases and did not find any reason for the fatigue. Symptoms can be very broad and vague and often include extreme exhaustion, memory loss, headache, muscle fatigue, weakness, and pain lasting at least six months. NOTE – all the information below also applies

Possible Causes of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (and autoimmune conditions)

Leaky Gut – This is inflammation of the gut. Undigested food particles and toxins that escape your gastrointestinal tract and enter your bloodstream set off a cycle of inflammation that causes symptoms throughout your body. Leaky gut can cause fatigue, brain fog, muscle aches, joint pain, and virtually any other symptoms associated with CFS. If you have CFS or any other inflammatory condition such an autoimmune disease, it’s safe to say you likely have a leaky gut.

Diet – At the root of disease is chronic inflammation, and a diet high in inflammatory foods can be a major challenge for your immune system.  Gluten in particular has actually been linked to more than 55 diseases, and that’s because most symptoms of gluten sensitivity are not digestive in nature, but can include pain, sleep disturbances, brain fog,  fatigue, depression, cognitive impairment, behavioral issues.

Toxins – These include heavy metals, pesticides found in food and chemicals in household cleaning products. You should certainly lessen your exposure to each of these. I recommend the book Health Home

Stress –  Emotional, mental, and physical stress lower your body’s ability to fight infections, and infections put more stress on your body.

4 Steps to Recover from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Healthy Gut/Healthy Body – 80% of your immune system is located in your gut. It’s all about removing the bad, replacing the good, reinoculating with healthy bacteria, and repairing your damaged gut!

Food sensitivities are responsible for symptoms in many cases. Gluten is inflammatory and because gluten sensitivity causes so many cognitive problems.

Tame the toxins. Reduce your exposure to toxins wherever possible. Start with incorporating more organic food into your diet to support your body’s own natural detox processes.

Relieve your stress.

RESOURCES – Amy Myers “The Autoimmune Solution Book”