More and more researchers are connecting the dots between autoimmunity, diet, and genetics. Recently, more studies have been published revealing that dietary triggers play a significant role in autoimmune triggers, more so than genetics. It is important to understand the deep connection between the microbes in the mouth and gut along with autoimmune factors. Uncomfortable symptoms such as inflammation, headaches, and fatigue can be avoided by listening to your body and avoiding a high inflammation diet.
Microbial diversity is key when it comes to autoimmune diseases. Multiple studies show that the stronger microbial diversity one has, the stronger composition and less inflammation they have throughout their body. As we know, the microbiome begins at birth, and the food we ingest has a profound effect on the way our microbe evolves. It has been studied that children who experienced any of these events in their early life are at a higher risk for inflammation:
- Born via cesarean section
- Spent time in the NICU
- Were exposed to antibiotics or drugs at an early age
- Formula Fed
- Born Pre-mature
However, it should be noted that our microbiome has the ability to start changing 24 hours after food is ingested. This is great news for those suffering from inflammation. With the fast-acting response of microbiome evolution, we can start to decrease risk factors in as little as one day.
Our microbiome is only one layer away from our immune system. Some researches believe that autoimmune diseases are 100% related to a gut trigger. The food we eat is what triggers these autoimmune reactions.
Triad of Autoimmune Disease:
The triad of autoimmune disease encaptures three major factors: genetics, environmental factors, and gut dysbiosis. Although genetics is not believed to be a large part of autoimmune triggers, there are studies that show a connection.
Evnviromeal facts that can trigger autoimmune disease include stress, smoking, infections, toxic overload, and mold exposure. These have been shown to be a few common causes of increased gut permeability.
Gut Dysbiosis: This is when we have a higher level of intestinal inflammation and permeability. Our body contains Treg and Th17 cells. It is highly important these two cells remain equal. When we see an increased amount of Treg cells, we become more susceptible to infections. When there is a high amount of Th17 cells, we have a higher chance of autoimmune diseases.
Foods That Impact Our Microbiome:
Coffee- organic, low toxin coffee houses an incredible amount of antioxidants. One cup of organic coffee in the morning has been shown to increase the bifidobacteria species in the gut. It is important that this coffee is an organic brand and low toxin. If it is not organic, essentially we are feeding our gut a cup of hot pesticides.
Cocoa- organic 85% or darker soy-free chocolate has scientific evidence to increase our bifidobacteria species as well as provide healthy antioxidants.
Artificial Sweeteners- Originally, there was no evidence that artificial sweeteners were harmful to humans, but we are discovering that the effect they have on the microbial community is profound.
The US has more chemical ingredients in food than any other country. One of the reasons this is such a big deal is because hormones and chemical additives alter the protein and how it is presented to the body. Pesticides can actually bind to the protein found in food, therefore altering how our body breaks it down and create an immune system attack. In addition to this, wheat is not a food that contains GMO, but glyphosate is typically sprayed over the crop right before it is taken out to the field. This combines with wheat protein and increases wheat sensitivity in many individuals.
- Pay attention to where your food is coming from
- Local homegrown crops are best
- Avoid refined oils
- Limit alcohol intake
- Limit caffeine intake (and stick to an organic non-toxic brand)
- Avoid food allergies
- Eat organic, sugar-free, and non-GMO
- Increase the amount of whole unprocessed foods
- Avoid dairy and gluten
- Increase dark leafy greens
If we can reduce and remove the triggers, we can reverse the progression of disease.
Having an autoimmune disease myself (Type 1 Diabetes) I can tell you that inflammation heavily relies on inflammation. On days where my diet is not as focused and clean, I can feel the inflammation in my body build up. Headaches, bloating, fatigue, the list goes on! When I stick to this healthy takeaway tips, the difference my body feels is night and day. Especially being a mother, I pay attention to everything my children eat and want to reduce their risk of autoimmune disease as much as possible. If you have questions about food sensitivity testing or inflammation factors, please do not hesitate to reach out! A body without inflammation is a healthy happy one! -Kenna Vaughn, Senior Health Coach
The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, and nervous health issues or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health protocols to treat injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. To further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.
University, Functional Medicine and Jill Carnahans, directors. Autoimmunity and the Gut: A Detailed Examination of Various Triggers to Immune System Dysfunction and the Development of Autoimmunity . Functional Medicine University – The Leader in Online Training in Functional Diagnostic Medicine, 2010, http://www.functionalmedicineuniversity.com/members/1010.cfm.