It is now widely known that poor gut health is a contributory factory to many illnesses for example autoimmune conditions are on the rise.
An autoimmune disease is a condition arising from an abnormal immune response to a functioning body part. There are at least 80 types of autoimmune diseases – rheumatoid arthritis, colitis, crohn’s, inflammatory bowel disease and MS to name just a few. Nearly any body part can be involved.
In an autoimmune disease the immune system, which normally guards against germs like bacteria and viruses mistakenly attacks your body. When it senses these foreign invaders, it sends out an army of fighter cells to attack them. Normally, the immune system can tell the difference between foreign cells and your own cells, but in an autoimmune disease, the immune system mistakes part of your body – such as your joints, muscles or skin – as foreign. It then releases proteins called auto-antibodies that attack healthy cells.
Research is suggesting a western diet is a risk factor for developing an autoimmune disease. Eating high-fat, high-sugar and highly processed foods is thought to be linked to inflammation in the body, which is known to set off an immune response. The link between diet and gut health is already well documented and inflammation within the body often starts in the gut. Looking after your gut microbiome by eating the right foods, using supplementation where appropriate, exercising and obtaining good, refreshing sleep are all important to keep your gut microbes in tip top condition and thereby help to reduce inflammation in the body.
Making just small changes to your diet can have real health benefits and this is a great place to start to reduce your changes of getting an autoimmune condition!