Contrary to what medical doctors tell patients, there are plenty of ways to manage an autoimmune condition without dangerous medications. You just need to be proactive and you need to get informed!
Our modern lifestyle has fostered a way of living that is damaging to human physiology. We live in a fast paced world where instant gratification is expected.
This translates into eating fast food or processed food, not getting enough good quality sleep, not practicing proper breathing and having no down time.
4 Key Players in Managing Autoimmunity
- Diet – Eat whole real foods and eliminate allergens such as, gluten, wheat, soy, dairy, sugar and additives. There is no one diet for all people. You have to find and discover which diet works best for you. There are several good diets that can help – whether it is the Autoimmune Paleo Approach, the Paleo Diet, the SCD, the GAPS diet, the Weston Price Foundation protocols. Diet can make a huge change in how you manage the illness. Sadly, conventional medicine is still on the fence about diet in spite of recent research showing benefit.
- Sleep – Good sleep is critical for good health. If sleep is a problem for you, this is where you need to start making changes. Here are some hacks for getting better sleep.
- Stress – Learning how to manage stress is a big issue and needs to be addressed. Here are some hacks for handling stress.
- Exercise – Starting an exercise program doesn’t have to take a major amount of time – it just has to be consistent. Start with just a few minutes of movement. Exercise is also great for sweating, detoxification and stress reduction.
The 5th Hack – The Gut Microbiome
Healthy gut bacteria eat sugars, starches and fiber. Most fibers are FODMAPs – fermentable oligo and di-sacchrides, monosaccharides and polyols. Bacteria like to eat these foods but many people cannot tolerate too many FODMAPs (or any).
Evidence suggest that we need fibers in the diet in order to feed the gut bacteria. We can get these from fruits, vegetables and certain starches.
Current recommendations are for 35 grams of fiber a day. It has been estimated that prehistoric peoples ate up to 100 grams of fiber a day.
Jeff Leach of the American Gut project has been living in Tanzania for over a year and studying the Hadza. The Hadza are one of the few thriving and surviving hunter/gatherer tribes left on this earth. They have a lot of fiber in their diet and an amazingly diverse microbiome.
Current studies show that diversity is the key to a healthy microbiome.
However, people with digestive problems and autoimmunity (or SIBO) may have difficulty with fiber because these fibers feed the pathogenic bacteria as well as the good bacteria.
The microbiome can change very rapidly depending upon what is eaten. The goal should be to try to eventually move to a higher fiber diet because those are the foods that feeds a healthy and diverse microbiome.
Additionally, eating a wide variety of foods supports diversity in the gut microbiome.
Feed Your Bacteria with an Ancient Method
Polyphenols like spices can be beneficial for bacteria. Berry powder, hawthorne, blueberries and other fruit and spice powders like tumeric can be helpful for the bacteria and have also been shown to be healthful as powerful anti-oxidents.
Vinegar (balsamic) can also support some strains of bacteria. Some folks can tolerate these types of fibers even though they cannot tolerate FODMAPS as food.
Curcumin is highly anti-inflammatory and supports the liver and the detox pathways. There just doesn’t seem to be anything negative with tumeric/curcumin. You can cook with it and/or take it as a supplement. It works as a food for the microbiome and as a source of polyphenols. So either way, it works well.
Adding spice to your food makes it more interesting and palatable. Learn how to use spices in cooking and your family and friends will love your food – and your gut bacteria will thank you.
Want to Learn More Autoimmunity Hacks?
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