Nutritional Therapy for Autoimmune Diseases

by drcase on March 23, 2012

Like I discussed in the previous post, autoimmune conditions can have a number of contributing causes.  Some of these causes include heavy metal toxicity, vitamin D deficiency, food allergies, and chronic infections.  But even if you don’t know if any of these things are contributing to your autoimmune condition, there are certain things you can do to help improve your overall health which will help with your condition.  If you can make changes to your diet and lifestyle, the stronger your body will be.  The greater the changes, the healthier the cells and cell membranes will become.  The more you can build antioxidant reserves and reduce inflammation, the healthier you can become.  By building your foundational health, you can make great progress in re-building and repairing cells.

So first and foremost, you want to make sure you have a good diet.  You want to make sure your diet contains foods that are dense in nutrients and low in dietary toxins.  You may also want to eat a diet that to low in food allergens.  This means you will have to stop eating grains and dairy.  Your gut won’t ever heal if you have food sensitivities or allergies.  The fact that your immune system is attacking your own body, it is very likely that something major has gone awry in your gut.  You also may want to start using a good probiotic that will help increase the amount of good bacteria in your intestinal tract.  This will help improve your digestion and gut dysbiosis that was discussed in the previous post.

You also want to make sure you have adequate levels of vitamin D.  You want your blood levels of vitamin D to be around 50-100 ng/ml.  If you don’t know what your blood levels of vitamin D are, it is recommended to take between 4,000 to 6,000 IUs per day. Vitamin D has a profound effect on gut health and a calming effect on your immune system.

You also want to use an essential fatty acid blend that will reduce inflammation and support healthy cell membranes.  There are at least five health-promoting fatty acids commonly found in the human diet.  These are alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) from flaxseed oil, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) from fish oil, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) from fish oil and algae, gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) from borage oil, and oleic acid from olive oil, flaxseed and borage oils.  Each of these fatty acids has health benefits that cannot be fully attained from supplementing a different fatty acid.  The goal here is a balanced intake of all of the health-promoting fatty acids; using only one or two sources of fatty acids is not balanced and results in suboptimal improvement, at best.  You want to use a combination fatty acid therapy comprised of ALA, EPA, DHA, and GLA.

Granted, this may not “cure” your autoimmune disorder, but it should help improve your overall health and help your body repair its damaged cells.

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