7 Simple Tips for Reducing Autoimmune Disease Symptoms Naturally

Approximately 50 million Americans, 20 percent of the population or one in five people, suffer from autoimmune diseases according to The American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association. Researchers have identified 80-100 different autoimmune diseases and suspect at least 40 additional diseases of having an autoimmune basis. These diseases are chronic and can be life-threatening. The ability to develop an autoimmune disease is determined by a dominant genetic trait that is very common (20 percent of the population).

What causes autoimmunity? Bacteria, viruses, and toxins from animal-based foods and some drugs may play a role in triggering an autoimmune process. It is theorized that the inflammation initiated by these agents, toxic or infectious, somehow provokes in the body a “sensitization” (autoimmune reaction) in the involved tissues.

What can you do to avoid and/or treat Autoimmune Disease?

1. Avoid Pro-Inflammatory Foods: Red meats, organ meats, processed meats, poultry, fish, shellfish, eggs, and dairy products increase inflammation in the body and contain bacteria, viruses, and toxins.

2. Eat Healthy Foods: Greens, vegetables, starches (brown rice, sweet potato, gluten-free rolled oats, brown rice pasta), herbs, spices, fruits, beans, lentils, peas.

3. Eliminate Foods that Trigger Flares: In some individuals with AI disease, certain foods can activate or aggravate their symptoms. Possible trigger foods include wheat (gluten), corn, dairy, coffee, chocolate, tree nuts, peanuts, and nightshade vegetables (tomatoes, potatoes, and eggplant). These foods don’t trigger flares in all people with AI disease, but if they do in you, eliminate them.

4. Exercise Regularly: Though it can be very difficult to make yourself exercise when you are in pain and tired, regular exercise benefits people with AI diseases and reduces the frequency of flares. Simply walking for 30 minutes per day is best. Or choose low-impact exercises like tai chi or yoga. If you choose swimming, avoid chlorinated water.

5. Get sunshine: Our bodies need some sunshine every day (about 20 minutes) and this is the best way to get Vitamin D to keep your bones strong.  Avoid using SPF sunscreens as they contain cancer causing chemicals.

6. Get enough sleep: Coping with an AI disease can be extremely challenging so practice relaxation techniques and manage your stress. Make sure to get 8 hours of restful sleep per night.

7. Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of pure, clean water. Squeeze lemon or lime in it for flavor and alkalinity to counteract acidity in your body.  Drink herbal tea such as chamomile or peppermint.

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