1. What is Autoimmune Disease
It is a condition when your body gets a surprise attack from its own immune system unintentionally and mistakenly. It happens when the immune system fails to recognise your own body tissues and confuses them with the foreign ones. It considers them as a toxic substance and attacks them, causing the Autoimmune disease.
2. What causes autoimmune diseases?
The immune system of our body is known to protect against harmful foreign substances. Especially cancer cells, virus, bacteria, toxins, tissue or blood invading from outside. All of these hazardous materials come with antigens, and our immune system produces antibodies to fight them.
The immune system cannot identify harmful antigens and healthy tissue when someone has an autoimmune disorder. The failed reaction by the immune system often ends up destroying healthy tissues.
One theory claims the cause of this disorder is because the harmful toxins like virus or bacteria can trigger certain chemicals and confuse your body’s immune system. The only possible explanation is it happens to the people who have weak genes that are vulnerable to autoimmune disorders. On the contrary, the people who get it lose their ability to fight the toxins. However, there is no single and verified reason as to what causes it.
Other categories of people who are at higher risk of getting autoimmune disease without any specific cause are:
Childbearing women: Women are greatly affected compared to men, and it mainly happens when their childbearing years initiate.
Affected family history: Just like multiple sclerosis or lupus, autoimmune diseases also have the potential to run in families and many generations. Also, different family members can get affected by various autoimmune diseases. Wrong inheritance of specific genes can increase the chances of getting an autoimmune disease. Also, a combination of genes can trigger it.
People having ethnic background or races: People of a specified category get more affected by the disease. For instance, many African American get affected by lupus, whereas white people mostly get affected by type 1 diabetes.
People who get affected by environmental conditions: Few environmental exposures can trigger autoimmune disease or even encourage it. Bacterial infection, solvent chemicals, viral infection, are all related to causing the disease.
How many types of autoimmune disease?
However, there are almost 80 types of autoimmune diseases, these are the most common ones:
In this type of autoimmune disorder, inflammation, redness, soreness and stiffness occurs in the joints after the attack of the immune system on it. Immunity attacks the joint in the early thirties or after that.
Type 1 diabetes
Insulin is produced by pancreas for regulating blood sugar. When someone has type 1 diabetes mellitus, the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas are destroyed by the attack of the Immune system.
In this one, your immune system will unintentionally attack the nerve cells. It will lead to poor coordination, pain, weakness and blindness.
Inflammatory bowel disease
The lining of the intestines is prone to get attacked by the immune system. It may cause rectal bleeding, sudden bowel moments, diarrhea, weight loss, abdominal pain and fever.
The immune system encourages skin cells to produce scalpy plaques. The reaction is sudden, and in no time, it covers the whole skin.
Specific antibodies are produced by the immune system that secrets excess thyroid hormone. This phenomenon is also known as hyperthyroidism, and it will lead to rapid heart rate, weight loss, weakness, brittle hair, and nervousness.
The immune system produces antibodies that have the potential to attack the thyroid gland. It destroys the cell responsible for the production of thyroid hormone.
The immune system affects the adrenal glands. It makes them produce androgen, cortisol and aldosterone that significantly affects the storage capacity of sugar and carbohydrates in the body. It can lead to low blood sugar, weakness, and weight loss.
Antibody secreted by the immune system binds to the nerves and doesn’t let the muscle stimulation happen properly. It leads to excessive weakness with more activities.
Systemic lupus erythematous
The Immune system develops antibodies to attach several organs in the body. It is a skin disease starting from the rash that affects joints, brain, kidney heart and other organs. Other symptoms are fatigue, rashes and joint pain.
The immune system attacks the gland that is relative to providing lubrication to mouth and eyes. It may also affect skin or joints, but its main symptoms are dry mouth and dry eyes.
The immune system in this one causes the inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract of the small intestine. As a result, the patient cannot eat gluten-containing products.
The immune system in autoimmune vasculitis attacks the blood cells. It precisely lowers the blood flow in the veins and arteries due to inflammation.
Small intestine needs intrinsic factor that is a protein required for absorbing vitamin b12 from food. A person with pernicious anaemia loses the ability of proper DNA synthesis.
Symptoms of autoimmune disease
Symptoms of autoimmune disease vary from a particular kind of illness. Some early signs are still common for most of them, which are:
- Muscle ache
- Hair loss
- Low-grade fever
- A sensation of tingling and numbness in feet and hands
- Redness and swelling
- Skin rashes
- Loss of focus
People having type 1 diabetes can have symptoms like weight loss, excessive thirst and fatigue. Whereas IBD patients can have symptoms like diarrhoea, belly pain and bloat. Patients of rheumatoid arthritis can have occasional symptoms of any kind as they come and go. When do symptoms go away, that period is termed as remission.
An only blood test can show the positive indications of autoimmunity disease along with substantial symptoms.
How can a plant diet help to cure autoimmune disease?
Journal of Current Allergy And Asthma Reports published by springer gave research review in 2014 regarding symptoms of autoimmune diseases. Symptoms like diarrhoea and pain in IBD, all type 1 diabetes insulin factor, all highly dependent on the food choices. It was declared that making the right choice and having a plant-based diet can offer a tremendous effect on preventing autoimmune diseases.
Another research built-in 2001 Journal Rheumatology, suggested that patient having rheumatoid arthritis can effectively improve his condition by taking a completely vegan diet. A great source of potassium for such patients is plant foods, including sweet potato, bananas, acorn squash, and spinach.
Another study of plant diet showed the best food option published in 2008. A plant-based diet can provide sufficient nutrients for a balanced immune response was suggested by that Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Vitamin C, K and A, potassium and magnesium all found in plant diet provide a balanced Immune response. To find out how vitamin C can help your body, go check High dose vitamin C in treating cancer patients.
Here’s the list of foods you want to prefer in autoimmune disorder:
This vegetable is known to have benefits for many things. But it’s a unique component called quercetin does a tremendous job in inhibiting inflammation. It is best for a patient suffering from leukotrienes, histamine and prostaglandins in rheumatoid arthritis.
Mushrooms containing a good source of vitamin D can reduce the symptoms of lupus, rheumatoid authorities, and multiple sclerosis. Any other vitamin D sources can also so have a significant effect on such autoimmune diseases. You can know more about vitamin D and how it helps your health here as it is also the Best supplement to treat Cancer | Vitamin D helps to fight Cancer.
People suffering from multiple sclerosis, Psoriasis, Rheumatoid arthritis or inflammatory bowel disease can have lots of benefits from turmeric. It contains a healing compound called curcumin that is known to alleviate the adverse effects of autoimmune disorders. Take turmeric with black pepper as it is quite hard to absorb in the body.
Ginger dramatically helps in restoring the healthy immune response and minimising further inflammation. The compound present in other similar spices like green pepper, cinnamon and garlic also helps reduce the swelling.
The root vegetables are beneficial as they are packed with real ingredients full of antioxidants. Carotenoids and glucosinolates effectively reduce the symptoms of autoimmune disease with constant consumption. Also, they got iron, vitamin C and potassium, which are all good for your immunity.
The compound epigallocatechin 3 gallate present in green tea has shown some improvements in animals suffering from autoimmune disease. Thus compound affects T-cell function and helps in improving inflammatory diseases. The results up till yet are promising, but further studies regarding human research are awaited.
Glutathione, a powerful antioxidant is present in this sulphur-rich broccoli. It is also present in other similar food like kale, cauliflower, cabbage and radishes. The compound helps in reducing the inflammation that has been there for a long time and prevents oxidative stress.
It helps in improving the barrier function of the intestine and balancing the gut. It is filled with probiotics and prevents the stiffness, inflammation or swelling in rheumatoid arthritis patients. Other probiotics loaded food like fermented vegetables, yoghurt, water kefir can also be consumed for the same purpose.
6. Foods needed to avoid
Some of the fruits that you definitely should not be eating during autoimmune disorders are gluten, animal products and sugar. And here’s why-
Everybody eats sugar in their daily life, but people suffering from the autoimmune disease will only have its adverse effects. Frontiers of immunology published in 2015 claimed high intake of sugar can put children at risk of type 1 diabetes.
Another study called the American journal of clinical nutrition in 1973 told how sugar in any form can cause dysfunction of the immune system, whether it is fructose, sucrose or glucose. It is advised to keep sugar at 5% in your daily diet intake.
Gluten is by far the last thing patients of autoimmune disease should consider eating. Anyone having celiac disease should never eat gluten as they are all gluten sensitive. Therefore it is best for you to avoid Barley, rye and spelt as they contain high gluten.
Research published in 2014 named Best Practice And Research Clinical Gastroenterology claimed that gluten exaggerates the harmful conditions and increases the inflammation in asthma, multiple sclerosis and RA patients.
It is a well-known fact that eating animal-based protein can cause inflammation response worsening the autoimmune conditions. So make sure you avoid animal-based protein like eggs, meat, milk that can trigger the autoimmune attacks.
A study published in 2010 called journal of the American Dietetic Association gave a favourable report for this. Patients who ate a vegan diet for 14 weeks had a drastic improvement in their stiffness and swollen joints against those who ate animal diet.
Now the major causes of autoimmune diseases are not known, so the only way you can protect yourself as a proper diet. Go for a plant-based diet and avoid harmful foods so that you are far away from catching one of the 80 autoimmune diseases. Even the patients who are in the early stages of autoimmune disease can find some relief if they shift their diet to a healthy one. The antibiotics and treatment will still go on, your body will get extra benefits from your healthy diet.