AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE

Autoimmune disease is defined as a disease in which your immune system accidentally starts to destroy healthy cells of your body. Generally our immune systems help to protect our body from foreign elements like germs ,bacteria and viruses by attacking them and making a barrier to inhibit the entry of those germ cells. when our immune system starts acting against our own body immunity then it is known as Auto immune disease. Many of these disease can be treated with the protocol of Functional Medicine .

The most common types of autoimmune diseases are 

Autoimmune Diseases-

RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS

Rheumatoid arthritis is a disorder that can cause inflammation in the joints. Sometimes, it can damage a wide variety of body systems, including the skin, eyes, lungs, heart and blood vessels.

Autoimmune Disease  is defined as the condition in which our immune , 

System or our own Immune Cells Starts to Phagocyotise our own body Cells and destroys it.

Unlike osteoarthritis, rheumatoid affects the inner lining of your joints, causing pain and swelling that can result in bone erosion and joint deformity.

The inflammation or swelling Caused due to Rheumatoid Arthritis in the joints can significantly damage other parts of the body as well slowly and gradually.

 

(Auto immune Disease) - Rheumatoid Arthritis

Symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis include:

Tender, swollen joints

Stiffening gets worse in the morning after inactivity.

Fatigue, fever and loss of appetite are other symptoms.

Initially arthritis tends to affect the smaller joints first — particularly the joints that attach your fingers to your hands and your toes to your feet.

As this autoimmune  disease progresses, symptoms may spread to the wrists, knees, ankles, elbows, hips and shoulders. 

 

Causes of Rheumatoid Arthritis: An autoimmune DISEASE

  • In rheumatoid arthritis, basically our immune system attacks healthy tissue in our joints. 
  • Genetics and Environmental factors

 

Risk factors of  Rheumatoid Arthritis

Factors that increase your risk of rheumatoid arthritis include:

  • Sex. Women are more prone than men to develop rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Age. It can occur at any age, but most commonly seen in middle age.
  • Family history. If there is any family history of rheumatoid arthritis, you may cause increased risk of the arthritis.
  • Smoking.  Increases the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis, especially if you have a family history of disease. 
  • Excess weight. People who are overweight appear to be at higher risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis.

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Complications of Rheumatoid Arthritis

It increases your risk of developing:

  • Osteoporosis.  
  • Dry eyes and mouth. 
  • Infections. 
  • Abnormal body composition. 
  • Cardiovascular issues.
  • Respiratory Disease. People with rheumatoid arthritis have an increased risk of inflammation and scarring of the lung tissues, which may lead to shortness of breath.
  • Lymphoma. 


Autoimmune Diseases- LUPUS

It is a disease that causes your body’s immune system to attack your own tissues and organs (autoimmune disease). Inflammation due to  lupus can affect many different body systems — including your joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, brain, heart and lungs.

Lupus is quite difficult to diagnose because its signs and symptoms resemble other diseases.

Some people are born with a tendency to develop lupus, which may be triggered by infections, certain drugs or even sunlight. There is no cure for lupus, treatments can help to control symptoms.

 

Symptoms of Lupus

  • Reddish butterfly -shaped rashes particularly on nose and cheeks.
  • Facial rash
  • The signs and symptoms of lupus depend on the body system that is affected by the disease. The most common symptoms include:
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Joint pain, stiffness and swelling.
  • Butterfly- shaped rash on the face that covers the cheeks and nose or rashes on the body.
  • Skin lesions that become worse with sun exposure.
  • Fingers and toes that become white or blue when exposed to cold or during stressful periods.
  • Chest pain
  • Dry and itchy eyes
  • Headaches, confusion.

 

Causes of Lupus

It occurs when your immune system attacks our own body tissues .

Genetics and environment can trigger lupus.

It is found that people with a family history of lupus may develop the disease when they come in contact with something in the environment that can trigger lupus. 

 

Risk factors of Lupus

Factors that increase your risk of lupus include:

Sex. Lupus is more common among women.

Age. It affects all age groups but is diagnosed between the ages of 15 and 45.

Race. It is more common in African Americans, Hispanics and Asian Americans.

 

Complications of Lupus

Inflammation due to lupus can affect many areas of your body, including:

  • Kidneys
  • Brain and central nervous system
  • Blood and blood vessels
  • Lungs
  • Heart

 

Lupus Diet and Nutrition

There are no foods that cause lupus or that can cure it. Still, good nutrition is an important part of an overall treatment plan for the disease.

Good nutrition includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. It should also include moderate amounts of meats, poultry, and oily fish.

If you have lupus, following a healthy diet may help:

Reduce inflammation and other symptoms

Maintain strong bones and muscles

Combat the side effects of medications

Achieve or maintain a healthy weight

Reduce the risk of heart disease.

Reducing Inflammation

Lupus is an inflammatory disease. So food that fights inflammation could help lupus symptoms,  which is not proven yet.

Foods that help to overcome inflammation- Include food that is rich in antioxidants like fruits and vegetables. And also the food groups that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which help to overcome the inflammation.

Fatty fish

Nuts and seeds

Olive and canola oil

Foods that cause inflammation- These include processed and fatty foods high in saturated fats, which increase cholesterol levels and contribute to inflammation. These include:

Fried foods

Baked products

Soups and sauces

Red meat

Processed meat products

High-fat dairy foods like whole milk, cream, cheese, butter, and ice cream.

Achieving or Maintaining a Healthy Weight

Lupus generally causes unhealthy weight  loss or weight gain. So achieving a healthy weight is important.

Weight loss and Poor appetite is common among people with lupus. It is because of medications that can cause stomach upset or mouth sores. Weight gain can be caused by inactivity. 

Consulting a doctor or dietitian can assess your diet and suggest a program to help manage your weight, which will include a low-fat diet and exercise. A dietitian can help you plan a diet particularly for your needs and lifestyle.

 

Autoimmune Diseases- Celiac Disease

Celiac disease, also called gluten-sensitive enteropathy or non-tropical spruce is caused by reaction to gliadin- a protein present in wheat and wheat related products. This damage to the villi of intestinal mucous results in malabsorption of all nutrients. 

The common symptoms in children 6 months to 3 years of age are diarrhea, there can be growth failure, vomiting, a bloated abdomen and stools that are abnormal in features like in appearance, odor and quantity. Adults may experience weight loss despite increased appetite, weakness with fatigue. They may also suffer from anemia and vitamin D related diseases like osteopenic bone disease.

Complete withdrawal of gliadin/gluten from the diet results in prompt clinical improvement. During the first few weeks of gliadin omission/restriction the diet should include vitamins, minerals and high protein to cure deficiencies and for nutrient replenishment. In a gliadin-free diet, things that are excluded are- wheat, oat, rye and barley. Also products made from corn, potato, rice, soybean, tapioca, arrowroot, amaranth seeds and millets can be included in the gliadin free diet. MCTs or Medium chain triglycerides may help provide calories and a carrier for fat soluble nutrients.

 

Autoimmune Diseases- Diabetes Mellitus

Type -1 Diabetes- In type- 1 Diabetes, the body doesn’t make insulin and can occur in any age, but most common in children and adolescents. In this condition, your body needs daily injections of insulin to maintain blood sugar levels under control. Even it causes most of the health problems that are caused by damage to tiny blood vessels in the eyes, nerves and kidneys. People with type-1 Diabetes are at high risk of heart disease like attack or stroke.

 

(Auto immune Disease) - Diabetes Mellitus

 

It is also known as Insulin- dependent diabetes as the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the cells that produce insulin. The low insulin production in the body increases the glucose levels which damage the other organs of the body.  It is also known as Juvenile Diabetes or early onset diabetes as it usually develops before the age of 40.

There are some of the risk factors of Type 1 Diabetes –

  • Environmental  factor
  • Family History 
  • The existing damaging immune system cells

 

Complication of Diabetes Mellitus :

Some of the most common complications of Diabetes are listed below-

  • Cardiovascular disease- Diabetes may increase the risk of various cardiovascular diseases such as CHD (Coronary Heart Disease), heart attack and narrowing of the arteries.
  • Nerve damage- Increased sugar levels can damage or injure the small walls of the tiny blood vessels that support the nerves. This may cause tingling, numbness and pain that usually starts from the toe or fingers and spreads upward.
  • Eye damage- Diabetes can damage the blood vessel of the retina, also known as diabetic retinopathy, which potentially leads to blindness.
  • Skin conditions- Skin becomes more prone to infections including fungal and bacterial infections.
  • Hearing impairment- Hearing impairment is one of the most common problems in diabetic patients.

Prevention of Diabetes Mellitus-

Some of the preventive measures for Diabetes Mellitus are as follow-

  • Following a healthy diet: Include more whole grains, complex carbs and less the intake of refined and processed carbohydrates. Avoid the consumption of sugary drinks and packed juices and include low GI fruits, water, and sugar free or less sugar tea or coffees.
  • Weight control: Excessive weight gain is one of the most common causes of diabetes. Being overweight can increase the risk of diabetes by 20-40%. That’s why it is important to maintain a healthy weight to prevent this condition.
  • Be physically active: Do at least 30-45 minutes exercise per week including cardio or aerobic exercise such as walking, cycling.
  • Lower the stress and try to do mindful meditation, yoga.
  • Limit the Alcohol Intake.
  • Get a proper sleep of 7-8 hours daily.

Diabetes Test and Diagnosis-

Listed below are some of the test for type 1 and type 2 diabetes and pre diabetes:

  • HbA1c- This test indicates the blood sugar levels for the past two to 3 months. Fasting is not required for this test. Normal range of HbA1c is below 5.7. HbA1c between  5.7 – 6.4 indicates prediabetes.
  • Random blood sugar test- It is done at a random time. The normal range of random blood sugar test is below 200mg/dL
  • Fasting blood sugar test- The test is performed after an overnight fast. The normal range of fasting blood sugar test is below 100mg/dl. The blood sugar levels from 100 to 125mg/dl are considered as pre diabetes and above are considered as diabetes.
  • Oral glucose tolerance test- Oral glucose tolerance test is performed after an overnight fast, then the levels of fasting blood sugar are measured and after that you drink a sugary liquid and then the blood sugar levels are tested for next two hours.

 Dietary management of diabetes

(Auto immune Disease) - Dietary Management of Diabetes

 

Healthy eating is one of the important key factors for managing diabetes. Modification in lifestyle may improve the symptoms of diabetes.

Type 1 Diabetes: Limiting the intake of carbohydrates in the diet by including more fiber and complex carbohydrates.

 

Autoimmune Diseases- Ankylosing Spondylitis

Symptoms of Ankylosing Spondylitis

The Early signs and symptoms include pain and stiffness within the lower back and hips, especially in the morning time and after periods of inactivity. Neck pain and fatigue are also common symptoms. Over time, symptoms get worse, improve or stop at irregular intervals.

 

(Auto immune Disease) - Ankylosing Spondylitis

The most commonly affected areas are:

The joint between the bottom of the spine and also the pelvis.

The lower vertebrae

The places where tendons and  ligaments attach to bones, mainly within the spine, but sometimes along the back of the heel.

The cartilage between the breastbone and the ribs

 The joints between hip and shoulder.

 

Causes of Ankylosing Spondylitis

The specific cause is not known yet, though genetic factors may be involved. People who have a gene called HLA-B27 are at higher  risk of developing this condition. However, some people with the gene develop the condition.

Risk factors of Ankylosing Spondylitis

This Autoimmune Disease  mostly occurs in men rather than women. Generally occurs in late adolescence or early adulthood. Most of the people who are suffering from this condition have the HLA-B27 gene. But there are many people who have this gene , they never develop ankylosing spondylitis.

Complications of Ankylosing Spondylitis

In severe cases of ankylosing spondylitis, new bone forms as part of the body’s attempt to heal. This new bone bridges the gap between vertebrae and fuses the sections of vertebrae. Those parts become hard and inflexible. Fusion can even stiffen the rib cage, restricting lung capacity and function.

Dietary Modification  of Ankylosing Spondylitis

To alleviate the symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis, patients should follow a diet which reduces fat deposits from the body. If a person is overweight, then the person needs to reduce weight. The diet should include the following

Omega-3 Supplements of Ankylosing

It is a very beneficial and important supplement that should be included in the diet for ankylosing spondylitis and for the human body also .This is externally available in abundance. Omega-3 helps to ease the symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis, as this supplement supports stomach cleansing and releases gastric erosions. Omega-3 natural sources are :-

 

  • Walnuts
  • Soybean
  • Canola oil
  • Flaxseeds
  • Salmon

 Omega-3 Supplements of Ankylosing

 

Usually, all leafy green vegetables and fiber and fruits in your diet are beneficial; should be consumed at a certain time of day to get necessary minerals and vitamins. Eating fruits during the afternoon and before sunset is very healthy, as they release certain nutrients in the body that help with proper blood circulation in the body without formation of blood clots. When blood thickens, then clots begin to form in the legs or in the calf regions resulting in joint pain ,heavy feet ,swelling or difficulty in walking. So, consuming fruits is good for ankylosing spondylitis patients as well as for others. Sugar food items should be avoided. The sugar, sodium, fatty food products and dairy products will increase the inflammation in ankylosing spondylitis. Avoid food items which contain the following 3 ingredients on the box:

  • Trans fats or hydrogenated oils.
  • Saturated fats.
  • Preservatives.

IMPORTANCE OF MAINTAINING IMMUNE HEALTH:

Our immune system plays a very important  role to protect our body . It fights against germs such as bacteria, viruses and toxinsFirstly it recognizes those germs , then attacks and makes a barrier to inhibit the entry of those germs.

 

FAQs (Frequently Ask Questions )

  • Explain causes of rheumatoid arthritis?

            Rheumatoid arthritis is an Autoimmune disease. Normally, your immune system helps to  protect your body from          infection and disease. In rheumatoid arthritis, the immune system attacks healthy tissue in your joints. It can even cause certain medical problems with your heart, lungs, nerves, eyes and skin.

 

  • What are signs and symptoms of Lupus disease?

           Symptoms include –

  • Red, butterfly-shaped rash on nose and cheeks
  • Lupus facial rash Open pop-up dialog box
  • Joint pain, stiffness and swelling.
  • Butterfly- shaped rash on the face that covers the cheeks and nose or rashes on the body.
  • Skin lesions that become worse with sun exposure.
  • Fingers and toes that become white or blue when exposed to cold or during stressful periods.
  • Chest pain
  • Dry and itchy eyes

            No two cases of lupus are exactly alike. Signs and symptoms may develop  suddenly or  slowly, may be mild or severe, and may be temporary or permanent. 

 

  • What are some preventive measures of diabetes?

            Some of the preventive measures for Diabetes Mellitus are as follow-

  • Following a healthy diet: Include more whole grains and  complex carbs and less the intake of refined and processed carbohydrates. Avoid the consumption of sugary drinks and packed juices and include low GI fruits, water, and sugar free or less sugar tea or coffees.
  • Weight control: Excessive weight gain is one of the most common causes of diabetes. Being overweight can increase the risk of diabetes by 20-40%. That’s why it is important to maintain a healthy weight to prevent this condition.
  • Be physically active and Do at least 30-45 minutes exercise per week including aerobic or cardio exercise such as walking, cycling.
  • Try to do mindful meditation and yoga to lower your stress.
  • Limit the Alcohol Intake.

 

 

  • What are causes of Ankylosing spondylitis?

              The specific cause is not known yet though genetic factors may be involved with People who have a gene called HLA-B27 are at higher  risk of developing this condition and  However, some people with the gene develop the condition.

 

  • Explain the importance of immune health?

            Our immune system plays a very important  role to protect our body . It fights against germs such as bacteria, viruses and toxinsFirstly it recognises those germs and then attacks and makes a barrier to inhibit the entry of those germs.

 

 

 

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