When someone receives an autoimmune disease diagnosis, it is a difficult reality to face. However, there are ways to manage the effects and improve quality of life. Nutrition is one of the main ways you can take control of the disease instead of allowing the disease to take control of you. But before we get into that, let’s first define what constitutes an autoimmune disease.
According to the National Institute of Health, an autoimmune disease is a condition in which the body’s immune system mistakes its own healthy tissues as foreign and attacks them. Most autoimmune diseases cause inflammation that can affect many parts of the body and vary based on which autoimmune disease a person has. Common signs and symptoms, which can be mild or severe, include:
- Muscle aches
- Joint pain and swelling
- Skin problems
- Abdominal pain
- Digestion problems
- Swollen glands
These symptoms may come and go but for those dealing with an autoimmune disease, the mental, physical and emotional battle can be constant. This is why it’s important to work with a knowledgeable and dedicated healthcare provider like Omnia Health. We don’t just prescribe medicines and send you on your way. We are thorough in our consultations, lab work and consistent follow-up appointments to ensure our clients get the best results.
How nutrition directly impacts your autoimmune disease
The relationship between food and autoimmune function is pretty straight forward. Our digestive system, and the bacteria living in our gut, change depending on what we eat. As a result, certain foods increase inflammation while others decrease it.
Nutritional choices also impact our blood sugars. Having this knowledge allows us to successfully manage a multitude of autoimmune diseases by making strategic changes to our diet. Three major autoimmune diseases that respond well to nutritional adjustments are:
- Celiac Disease
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Type 2 Diabetes
Our approach changes based upon the particular autoimmune disease we are looking to treat. When we are dealing with a patient who has an autoimmune disease with an inflammatory response, we focus on removing foods that contain gluten, dairy, soy, corn and sugar.
If a patient has been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease related to blood-sugar, we work with them to lower their carbohydrate intake (think breads, pasta, cookies and cakes) and request they diligently monitor their overall sugar intake. We may also suggest intermittent fasting as this helps the blood sugars to stabilize.
As in everything else we do, Omnia Health takes an individualized approach to treating autoimmune diseases. It’s about the implementation of lifestyle changes that are equally effective and maintainable. This is how optimal health is achieved.
A Common Omnia Health Patient Success Story
Over the years, we’ve had countless patients change the way they eat and reap the health benefits. However, there is a particular autoimmune-related success story that comes to mind. When this patient first came to Omnia, she was eating a significant amount of processed foods around the clock. Overall, she was feeling pretty terrible and the numbers from her initial lab work reflected that.
We took things slowly and began by making healthy changes to one meal a day. For her, that was breakfast. Little by little we continued making progress until the client had successfully made substantial changes to her overall eating habits. The adjustments and results didn’t happen overnight but with the right guidance and commitment, she was able to completely overhaul her diet (even add exercise to her routine) and live the healthier, happier life she had always aimed to achieve!
Other lifestyle changes that affect autoimmune diseases
In addition to nutrition, we have helped patients to manage autoimmune symptoms by improving their sleep habits, stress levels and exercise routines. All three work in tandem to keep our mind and body functioning at their finest.
We need enough sleep to ensure our cells are able to regenerate.
We need to manage our stress to maintain a state of well being and properly heal.
We need exercise to strengthen our bodies, produce endorphins and alleviate stress.
However, there are some instances that require our patients to cut back on exercise or replace high intensity workouts with more low key activities. The exercise component is unique to the individual and their specific autoimmune disease. We always prioritize our patient’s concerns and do what’s in their best interest.
When it comes to your health — don’t settle.
We are experts at treating autoimmune diseases and a wide array of other health issues. If you want someone who will give you the time and care you deserve, you’ve come to the right place! Schedule your consultation.