Graves disease can cause crime
Autoimmune Disease: How the Paleo Diet Helps
More and more people suffer from the fact that their immune system actually “attacks” and “destroys” healthy parts of their own body. The consequences are common chronic inflammationthat to restricted organ functions and one decreased quality of life being able to lead. What was initially impaired in an autoimmune disease - the immune system or another part of the body (for example the intestinal barrier) is often difficult to understand.
Still exists Hope for improvement of the many symptoms of an autoimmune disease!
Theimmune system is a real one Marvel - it protects your body from "intruders" like bacteria and viruses, detects and eliminates degenerated cells and - not to forget: it lets you regenerate after exertion.
In order to accomplish these functions, a complicated system consisting of the most varied of cells (such as T cells, B cells, so-called scavenger cells, ...) and proteins (such as antibodies) is necessary - all of the interrelationships of which are still not fully understood by science . The good news, however, is that you can support your immune system with the help of your diet and your lifestyle.
In this article you will learn:
- How it can happen that our immune system acts incorrectly and directed against our own body instead of just harmful "intruders".
- What are the possible triggers of an autoimmune disease. When affected, what can we do to feel better?
- What potential does the Paleo diet have, if not the Paleo lifestyle?
If you need help with the implementation of the autoimmune protocol: In AIP Support we will be with you for 12 weeks - with cooking plans, shopping lists and the necessary portion of motivation.
What is an autoimmune disease?
Autoimmune disease is an umbrella term for diseases caused by a Reaction of the immune system against the body's own tissue arise.
The immune system is usually responsible for killing off foreign substances, bacteria and viruses that we come into contact with every day, thereby protecting us from them.
This killing process does not go unnoticed by us but we usually notice it, in the form of a sore throat, diarrhea, headache, etc. The symptoms depend on where the pathogen is located.
For example, if it is a pathogen that is in our intestines, our body tries to flush it out as quickly as possible and ensures that a lot of water ends up in the intestine, which is then properly flushed through. We take it as diarrhea.
If, on the other hand, the pathogen is in the neck area, our body tries to make the pathogen as uncomfortable as possible by causing inflammation in this area. We take it as a sore throat.
The Symptomsthat we notice are nothing but one Immune system reactionthat tells us: "I'll see to it that you get rid of this intruder as soon as possible".
The whole thing becomes problematic when our immune system body's own structures "confused" with foreign structures and directs its reactions against its own tissue.
To prevent such a thing, our immune cells are trained at an early stage in the body's own training facilities, where they learn which cells are foreign and which are endogenous.
The training locations include the Thymus and the Bone marrow. The immune cells learn there MHC molecules (Histocompatibility antigens) know which is on each of our body's own cells and they are called identified by the body.
Everyone owns whole specific and only his own MHC molecules. Immune cells that cannot recognize these MHC molecules and would therefore regard the body's own cells as foreign and attack them are normally eliminated. If something goes wrong during elimination or during training, it can happen that the immune system directs its defense against cells in its own body. Similar processes take place in an autoimmune disease.
Classification of autoimmune diseases
Several hundred different autoimmune diseases are now known.
They can be roughly divided into: organ-specific, systemic and intermediate autoimmune diseases.
- Organ-specific means that specific organs are attacked by the immune system. For example, the thyroid gland (Hashimoto, Graves disease), the pancreas (Type 1 diabetes), the nervous system (multiple sclerosis) or the small or large intestine (celiac disease, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis).
- Systemic means, however, that the reaction is not limited to a single organ, but can occur in several places in the body. An example of this is the rheumatoid arthritis, in which immune complexes cause inflammation of the synovial fluid and tendons. Another example is Lupus erythematosus, in which joints and skin in particular are damaged by immune complexes.
- Theoretically, every single organ can be affected by an autoimmune reaction. Intermediate diseases are mixed types of the other two types mentioned.
In order to determine an autoimmune disease, on the one hand symptoms and on the other hand specific laboratory parameters are considered. Certain ones are important at this point Inflammation parameters again hs CRP value and the Determination of specific autoantibodies (e.g. in celiac disease the antibodies against the enzyme transglutaminase, in Hashimoto against the enzyme TPO) im blood. General symptoms such as the energy level, digestive activity and the complexion can also be included in the diagnosis.
We have dedicated our own articles to the symptoms and diagnosis of Hashimoto's thyroiditis and the right diet.
Possible causes of an autoimmune disease
Despite intensive research, the causes that lead to the development of an autoimmune disease are still unclear. There are, however, a few theories that are discussed.
1. Incorrect training of the immune system
There are two things that can go wrong with the training system.
- In the training phase, the immune cells do not get to know all of the body's own cell structures and do not recognize them when they come into contact in the body, thereby initiating an immune reaction.
- Immune cells that are unable to correctly recognize the body's own cells escape elimination and enter the circulation.
2. Genetic influence
Genetic susceptibility in combination with environmental influences appears to be an important factor.
The genetic predisposition is primarily due to the fact that some MHC variants (which are different for everyone) have a certain Similarity to pathogen components to have.
The immune system can become “confused” and thinks its own cells are foreign substances that need to be fought.
As a rule, however, a genetic predisposition alone is not enough for an outbreak of the disease.
But there are also environmental factors such as Stress, infections, food, environmental toxins, body weight or other stressful circumstances, it can lead to an outbreak of illness.
3. Infectious agents and molecular mimicry
It is assumed that infections with certain pathogens (streptococci, borrelia, herpes, rubella, coxsackievirus, ...) are among the main triggering factors of an autoimmune disease. The pathogens can consist of structures that are similar to structures in our body - and in the course of a so-called “molecular mimicry” reaction, auto-antibodies can arise that trigger an immune reaction in the body's own tissue.
This means that an infection with certain pathogens can (if genetically predisposed) increase the likelihood that an autoimmune disease will break out.
4. Response to certain proteins - such as gluten and casein
The immune system is trained to recognize unknown proteins - and to protect the body from them. Every day we take in a lot of “foreign” protein through food - which is normally broken down into its components, the amino acids, in the intestine. Amino acids can be absorbed through the intestinal barrier and used as an important component of our body - new muscle fibers, signal molecules for the cell, but also components of the immune system can be created from the amino acids.
If the intestinal barrier, among other things, is damaged, our body comes increasingly out of contact with the “foreign” proteins from food - without them having been sufficiently broken down into the individual components, the amino acids.
The typical western diet leads to an increasingly poor intestinal health for some over the years - no wonder that the immune system is overwhelmed in the long term and it is more likely that “mistakes” will happen. Excessive sugar consumption starves intestinal bacteria, proteins from grain (including whole grains), legumes and milk can disrupt digestion and affect the fine, closed layer of intestinal cells. The high omega-6 content in the diet, as well as fructose-rich drinks and foods promote inflammation in the body. The Western diet, which is “strenuous” for the inflammatory status and the intestinal barrier, is one possible explanation for why more and more people are suffering from autoimmune diseases.
5. Contact with intestinal bacteria
Another theory for the development of autoimmune diseases is that Hygiene hypothesis, which deals with the interactions between bacteria and our immune system.
Various studies have found a direct connection between early contact with bacteria and the occurrence of autoimmune diseases (e.g. asthma). For example, children who were often on a farm in infancy had a significantly lower risk of developing asthma (Mutius E, 2010).
Why exactly this is the case has not yet been clarified. It is assumed, however, that early contact with many different bacteria leads to a better training of the immune systemwhich reduces the likelihood of a reaction against the body's own cells.
Current research results also indicate that the composition of the bacteria in our intestines can also have a strong influence on whether and which diseases we develop. This also seems to be a possible explanation for the fact that women suffer from an autoimmune disease more often than men. Finally, it suggests that women and men have different compositions of intestinal bacteria.
To make a connection to point 3, the following train of thought: The worse our immune system is challenged and trained to a natural degree from birth - the higher the risk that one can develop infections in the course of one's life.
Antibiotics are drugs that have saved the lives of many people with a wide variety of diseases and accidental injuries. Nevertheless: Your sometimes unrestrained and thoughtless use in some clinical pictures (a viral runny nose ...) probably also contributes to the fact that nowadays more and more resistant germs “buzz around” - and can infect us.
Paleo diet against autoimmune disease
There is little we can do about our genetic makeup. But we can very well influence our environment, especially our diet and lifestyle, and thus influence our predispositions through epigenetic mechanisms, for example.
For example, we can do without foods that can make our intestines “permeable” through various processes (including lectins such as gluten), create an imbalance in the intestinal bacteria, promote inflammation and stimulate our immune system.
All of these points have been linked to the development of autoimmune diseases. In return, we should increasingly access nutrient-rich foods that provide us with valuable minerals and vitamins, promote positive intestinal bacteria and strengthen our immune system.
Through one of those adapted dietsave we ours body and give him the Possibility to regenerate.
It will be difficult to cure an autoimmune disease with just an optimized diet - or to reverse the tissue damage caused by the immune reaction. Once the body has learned to attack itself, it will not simply unlearn it again.
But there is a good chance that the immune system will calm down, inflammation processes will be reduced and thus many symptoms will subside.
school also like yours immune system (and that of your children) - sit down cold off, plays in the dirt and don't keep your life too clean. Well worth the paleo diet and that Paleo lifestyle an opportunity to give to improve the condition or the symptoms of an autoimmune disease!
The autoimmune protocol
The paleo diet avoids foods that cause problems for many people and can make them sick. These include cereals, legumes and dairy products, among others.
For people who have an autoimmune disease (e.g. Hashimoto / other thyroid problems) or have a greatly increased risk of an illness (e.g. autoimmune disease within the family), there is a so-called autoimmune protocol (AIP) that repeats the Paleo diet further adjusts.
Because there are some foods that are unproblematic for healthy people, but for people with already weakened immune system can be critical. For example, in addition to the strict implementation of the Paleo rules, nuts, seeds, nightshade plants (tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, potatoes) and eggs are also dispensed with. If you want to eat and cook according to the autoimmune protocol - we have already published tons of autoimmune protocol recipes.
In addition, emphasis is placed on compensating for deficits in certain nutrients such as vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids or other nutrients.
Depending on how strong your immune system is, it can be helpful to find out to strictly adhere to the Paleo diet and also to try the AIP for at least a few weeks. Because: Depending on which intolerances exist and how badly the health of the intestine is impaired, even small “slip-ups” could mean a renewed activation of the immune system. Paleo can definitely work and guide you on the road to recovery.
Take your time on your way to recovery!
Diet is an important factor in reducing inflammatory reactions in the body. Would you like to deepen your knowledge and understand your autoimmune disease more precisely?Would you like to improve your health with the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol, but it seems too difficult to carry out? Secure our AIP support and we will accompany youFor 12 weeks - with your ownCookbook e-book,weekly Nutrition plans, shopping listsand all essential informationIt will be educational, tasty and fun. We'll help you persevere.
Also read this success story with the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP).
We are well aware that stress management can be important in an autoimmune disease. If you are looking for support in dealing with stress and other stressful situations in everyday life, take a look at the online portal Impulse Dialog.
Also interesting: Julia Tulipan and Simone Koch (nutritionists) talk about how autoimmune diseases can be treated functionally:
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