8/11/2014 0 Comments
Diet and the Autoimmune Response
Patients who have been diagnosed with an autoimmune diseases such as rhuematoid arthritis often present with joint pain. Xray findings might not indicate any significant bone changes, but may show some sclerosis (arthritis) in the sacroiliac, hand or other joints. This is most likely an indication of systemic inflammation, part of the autoimmune response.
My recommendation for patients who have an autoimmune response is to do everything they can to decreases systemic inflammation. Specifically:
1.) Remove toxins from your diet and environment, especially alcohol, which damages the liver's detox ability.
2.) A diet that supports the body's natural detox pathways: lots of whole vegetables especially cruciferous vegetables. Adding fresh lemon to your water helps your liver function and makes your system less acidic.
3.) Exercise that makes you sweat. Your skin is the largest detox organ.
4.) Eat a low or very low glycemic index diet. High or fluctuating blood sugar causes systemic inflammation which has been linked to heart disease and diabetes.
5.) I am not a big proponent of nutritional supplements. They often lack the cofactors that work with vitamins. These micronutrient cofactors are only available in food or whole food supplements. The exception for autoimmune patients is to supplement Omega 3 fatty acid, which is anti-inflammatory. Carlson's Fish Oil is a reliable brand.
6.) Possibly add herbs which decrease inflammation, such as tumeric and ginger. I consider herbs to be close to pharmaceuticals. Use with caution and get advice from a professional herbalist.
Greens and Fruit smoothies (see previous blog) are good not only for detoxification but boost overall nutrition because raw nutrients are not destroyed by cooking and are very easily absorbable. Grinding the fiber as in a smoothie, makes the fiber very available to "feed" beneficial gut bacteria. Healthy gut bacteria has been linked to the prevention or treatment of several diseases and the list of diseases is growing. All of these effects are good for your system as a whole, but especially good for your immune system.
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