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Natural Remedies for Autoimmune Disease
Autoimmune diseases seem to be on the rise these days. Either you have one or you know somebody who does!
What is an Autoimmune disease?
Put simply, autoimmune diseases are conditions in which your immune system misfires and mistakenly attacks your body - organs, tissues, and cells.
The immune system mistakes part of your body as foreign. It releases proteins called autoantibodies that attack healthy cells and cause a range of symptoms, often very debilitating.
You might be familiar with autoimmune diseases like Type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, Addison’s disease, Grave’s disease, Chrons, ulcerative colitis and Hashimotos, amongst others. There are 80 autoimmune diseases and they tend to be more prevalent amongst women.
The exact triggers seem to be still largely unknown, but some studies suggest psychological and physical stress can be the instigator.
Natural Remedies for Autoimmune Disease
Obviously you should follow the treatment protocol set out for you by your health professional. However there are some natural remedies that can support your body and may provide relief. Find a good naturopath or functional/integrative doctor that can help you get to the root case of your autoimmune disease.
Make sure you consult your health professional to ensure any natural remedies are safe to take alongside any medications you are on.
The overall common denominator for autoimmune disease is inflammation, so focusing on reducing inflammation is a great first step.
Flares are the sudden and severe onset of symptoms. You might notice that certain triggers, such as stress or being out in the sun, cause your symptoms to flare. Keep a diary so you can track what sets you off. This will give you some ownership and empowerment to help you manage your condition.
Don’t underestimate the power of the basic principles of good health in calming down your inflammation.
Eat healthy, whole foods made from scratch and avoid any additives and processed foods. Take notes of foods and drinks that trigger any flares and inflammation. Avoiding known inflammatory foods like sugar and alcohol would be a good starting point.
Get enough rest and sleep. Your body undergoes repair while you are asleep, so get this sorted and prioritise good sleep habits.
Get regular exercise. Speak to a professional about what is right for your condition. An exercise physiologist might be helpful. Hydrotherapy, qigong, tai chi and yoga may all be helpful in getting you moving, gently.
Reduce Stress. It makes sense that stress hormones are not going to help, so try to find ways to simplify your life and relax. Meditation, relaxation techniques and therapy can all help.
Bulletproof. This remedy may be good for boosting the immune system and supporting the adrenals.
Sneezy Wheezy. Use this flower essence blend for helping with hayfever and histamine type symptoms.
Belly Bandaid. This remedy may be helpful for digestive upsets and flare ups.
Emergency Essence. Use this flower essence blend for helping with a stress response. It can be used topically. Personally, I have found it helpful when applied topically to hives.
Calm and Clear Mist. This spray contains essences that may help you feel calm and grounded when you are experiencing symptoms.
For specific autoimmune disorders, I would recommend working with a homeopathic practitioner to individualise your treatment plan. Homeopathy can stimulate the body to heal itself and the remedies have no side effects, so it’s worth giving it a go.
The following remedies may provide symptomatic relief.
Apis. This remedy is useful for hives and allergic reactions.
Gelsemium. Traditionally used for body aches and pains.
Mindset is a powerful and often underestimated factor in overcoming symptoms. Research things for yourself and avoid falling into victim mode and making your disorder your identity. Many people stay away from support groups and forums for this reason.
Check out this amazing story of one woman who overcame MS with natural remedies and an amazing warrior mindset.
Other things to try
Green tea. There’s a compound in green tea called ‘epigallocatechin gallate’ that may help reduce inflammation and symptoms of autoimmune disorders.
Mushrooms. Mushrooms contain natural immunomodulating properties that may be beneficial in treating autoimmune disorders. They’re also a natural source of vitamin D and melatonin, vital for regulating the immune response. Try Lions Mane, Reishi and Turkey Tail.
Ginger, Turmeric and Garlic. This amazing trio are all anti-inflammatory, so add them into your diet wherever possible.
Glutathione. Eat cruciferous vegetables to get glutathione. It may be useful in controlling inflammation.
Eat more antioxidant rich foods. Blueberries, blackberries, cranberries, grapes, strawberries, and cherries are all high in antioxidants.
Gut health. Gut bacteria regulate the immune response so any imbalances can flare up autoimmune disorders and may be the root cause of inflammation.
Nutrients. Supplements like fish oil, vitamin C, vitamin D, and probiotics to help calm your immune response naturally.
Again, it is recommended to seek out natural health practitioners to help you come up with a treatment plan that is tailored to your disorder. It is possible to go into remission and help yourself, naturally.
I would love to hear your experiences with autoimmune diseases. Let me know what has worked for you and how you cope.
Sources: Owen Homeopathics