There are quite a few prevalent myths around autoimmune conditions. Unfortunately, these hold many people back from addressing the root causes of their chronic disease condition.
In this post, I bust 4 myths around autoimmune conditions that you should be aware of.
The 4 most common myths around autoimmune disease
1. The body is weak and vulnerable and develops disease out of the blue
This is the first and the most prevalent myths around autoimmune conditions that I have found in my coaching practice.
We are constantly bombarded with messages from different places which are completely wrong. This leads us to think that our bodies are weak and vulnerable. It also leads us to believe that we develop chronic diseases literally out of the blue, maybe even overnight. As a result, our disease diagnose takes us completely by surprise.
No chronic disease develops overnight and there is a certain disease progression that takes place over time. It starts with some amount of dis-ease in the body leading to symptoms that we can no longer ignore and finally a disease diagnosis.Anindita
We don’t realise that our bodies have been dealing with some kind of imbalance or dysregulation for a long time. Initially minor symptoms show up which we often end up ignoring. It is only much later when there is enough tissue and finally organ damage that we get a disease diagnosis.
2. The immune system is confused and starts attacking the body’s own tissues for no reason whatsoever
This is the second myth that I want to bust today.
We often believe that our immune system starts running havoc, becomes confused and attacks our tissues. This is simply not true!
Very often, the reason why our immune system becomes hypervigilant and mistakes our own body tissue as foreign or as a threat has its roots in molecular mimicry.
For example, it mistakes gliadin, (a protein found in gluten for that in the thyroid gland in the case of autoimmune thyroid diseases like Hashimotos and Graves diseases) and the presence of a toxin or a microbe in a tissue for a long period of time as a threat.
Our immune system reacts strongly to this threat as well as the tissue it is a part of leading to tissue damage. This eventually leads to organ dysfunction and eventually organ damage. Nutrient poor foods, toxin exposure, and chronic stress all contribute to this kind of immune dysregulation and hypervigilance.
In fact, I have written about the “perfect storm” behind autoimmune disease development in a blog post, you can read it here.
3. Immunosuppressive drugs are evil
that are the only solution for those with autoimmune conditions because they counteract and reverse the disease
Both of these statements could not be further from the truth. This is again one of the 4 powerful myths around autoimmune conditions that prevail.
Immunosuppressive medications are absolutely life saving and are necessary for preventing further damage to the tissue. This means theat this medication helps us deal with the inflammation while we address the root of the autoimmune condition.
However, suppressing the immune system is not the same as dealing with immune dysregulation. Suppressing it does not help healing from it by addressing the root causes. These medications often have dramatic downstream consequences including secondary autoimmune diseases or life threatening infections.
4. Autoimmune diseases are all somehow separate and unique and need to be all treated completely differently
There are more than 80 autoimmune diseases that have been identified. However, all these autoimmune conditions are NOT really unique or separate.
An autoimmune condition has at its root a certain level of immune dysregulation. The immune system becomes chronically alert immune system leading to widespread inflammation which needs to be addressed. This is irrespective of WHICH autoimmune disease you have been diagnosed with!
Immune dysregulation is led by three main things
Nutrient poor or processed foods contribute to stress and increase activation of our stress hormones. These foods are filled with chemicals like additives, preservatives, artificial food colourings and flavorings. They also lack key nutrients and fibre that our body actually needs. This leads our immune system to start overreacting to these foods as possible threats and contributes to hypervigilance.
Toxins use up a lot of nutrients in order to manage their metabolism in effect depleting our bodies of it. At the same time, toxins impair our detoxification capabilities leading to a double whammy. They are also a source of physiological stress and impact our energy production at a cellular level.
And finally, toxins are a threat to our immune system and contribute to immune system hypervigilance. This leads to chronic ongoing inflammation and eventually chronic diseases like autoimmune conditions.
Chronic ongoing stress impairs digestion and makes it difficult to absorb nutrients that our bodies need on an ongoing basis. Stress also impairs detoxification, immune function and creates confusion around what our immune system should and should not be tolerating.
These 4 myths about autoimmune condition myths are powerful reminders for you to go beyond symptom management. Otherwise these may hold you back from understanding and learning how to deal with their autoimmune conditions in a more effective manner.
Creating a healing environment
There are many steps that you can take to deal with your autoimmune condition.
You can do the following starting today-
- focus on foods that are nourishing for your body
- remove nutrient poor and processed foods
- incorporate a daily self care routine in your life to deal with stress
- reducing and remove toxins from your immediate environment,
These are also the steps that you can take when dealing with really any kind of chronic condition.
Providing a healing and supportive environment is actually one of the most important things that I educate my clients right at the very beginning of the coaching programme.
It is only when our bodies and our brains need to feel that it is safe to start the healing and repairing process that we can truly start addressing the root cause of any autoimmune or other chronic health condition.
“AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE 101”
A carefully curated and comprehensive collection of carefully selected books, podcasts, websites, blogs, and other resources from the field of Functional Medicine with a focus on autoimmune diseases
If have been looking to get ANSWERS to questions like
-Why do I have this disease?
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“Autoimmune Disease 101” is a carefully curated and comprehensive collection of carefully selected books, podcasts, websites, blogs, and other resources from the field of Functional Medicine with a focus on autoimmune diseases.
The Functional Medicine model of care for chronic diseases seeks to answer the question “Why do you have this disease” so that you can get personalised and effective care for your unique condition.