I have been learning a lot about autoimmune diagnosis, not just Multiple Sclerosis, but all of them combined. I was surprised by how many different diagnosis are considered to be autoimmune! It is mind boggling to say the least. One thing that has stood out more than anything else is that science has found out one common theme among all of these different diagnosis. It doesn’t matter what the diagnosis is, if it is autoimmune in nature there is a leaky gut prior to the diagnosis. This holds true even for celiac disease and Crohn’s disease the leaky gut came first.
Science has narrowed it down to three reasons for autoimmune diseases:
- Genetic susceptibility
- Environmental trigger, infection, or bad luck
- Diet and lifestyle
“In addition to genetic predisposition and exposure to triggering nonself-antigens, the loss of the protective function of mucosal barriers that interact with the environment (mainly the gastrointestinal and lung mucosa) is necessary for autoimmunity to develop.” Alessio Fasano, Leaky Gut and Autoimmune Diseases, Clinical Review of Allergy Immunology 42 (February 2012): 71-78.
Our digestive system is actually considered to be OUTSIDE the body. It is a closed system from the mouth to the rectum with very complex mechanisms in place to allow the absorption of nutrients inside the body. There are a large amount of things that we put into this closed system that have no business being inside our bodies – EVER! Once we open leaks in our digestive system we have an open door policy for the unfriendly things from the gut to run wild in our circulatory system and our lymphatic system.
“There are actually 140 autoimmune diseases that we’ve identified, and the only scientifically agreed upon cause for autoimmune is gluten sensitivity. Now, there are other triggers for autoimmune disease. An infection can trigger an autoimmune disease. A vitamin deficiency can trigger an autoimmune disease, particularly vitamin D. But gluten tends to be kind of that central core hub that’s always present.” Dr. Peter Osborne, Gluten-Sensitivity Expert.
The Serenity Prayer says it best:
“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.”
We may not be able to change our genetic makeup and we may not be able to see the trigger for the autoimmune disease coming, but we CAN change our diet. We have total control over that.
The western diet isn’t the cause of autoimmune disease, but it is a factor in ALL autoimmune diseases and it is the one area that we do have control over. It’s time to make some adjustments in how we eat. Become informed. There are places in Africa and Asia that have yet to adopt our way of life and interestingly enough, autoimmune diseases are almost non-existent in these areas. If it doesn’t make you stop and think, then maybe it’s time to do just that.