As you may have read in my last article, Autoimmune Disease Part 1, autoimmune disease is a condition where your immune system mistakes body parts, like skin or joints, as foreign and attacks. Then auto-antibodies are released to attack healthy cells, destroying tissues and organs within the body. Let’s dig a little deeper into this and bring in how the gut is involved.
In an autoimmune state, the immune system becomes hypersensitized to specific proteins and searches out these amino acid sequences (amino acids strung together that make a protein) all through the body. These could be amino acid sequences that make up ligaments and connective tissues and then produces Lupus or Rheumatoid Arthritis, or they could be amino acid sequences that are found in the Thyroid and then Hoshimotos disease ensues. Autoimmune disease begins in the gut and is healed in the gut, but how?
The gut is your 30+ foot long tube called the digestive tract or gastrointestinal tract and is covered in trillions of microorganisms, 6 lbs of microbes, that form a protective barrier between your intestines and the outside world. This is known as your gut microbiome containing different layers of microorganisms, similar to what is in dirt. There should be a microbiome predominantly made up of bacteria and a microbiome made up of fungus. These microorganisms work hand in hand to keep the gut environment happy and healthy.
Your microbiome is both the microbial lining of your gut as well as the body’s mix of microbes. It is a delicate “organ” with 80% of your immune system present. If there is an imbalance an all out war will ensue between the various strains of microbes that make up your microbiome. Microbes in your microbiome carry out the last stages of fermenting the nutrients out of your food in the process of digestion. Bad digestion will inhibit good nutrition and create a multitude of issues.
The gut microbiome changes as you move through the different sections of the gut. Each section has its own pH and its own set of microorganisms. Starting in the mouth with a fairly neutral pH of 7, too acidic and tooth decay occurs.
High stomach acid production is essential for good digestion. With low stomach acid the food you eat will putrefy in your stomach, “going bad” before it leaves and enters your intestines. You are subject to food poisoning every time you eat!
Once nutrient absorption has occurred elimination of the waste that is left behind happens. When your gut is operating properly, food will enter at the top and then waste will leave at the bottom. If you eat 21 meals per week and only have 3-7 bowel movements per week, where are the other 14-18 meals? Your microbiome contains 80% of your immune system and it’s out of order, you have an immune system that can not function properly, it’s “backed up”!
Amino acid/protein sensitization is the basis of autoimmune diseases and reprogramming the immune systems response is the foundation for the recovery from an autoimmune disease. As we detoxify and rebuild the microbiome and the microbiome itself heals and is restored, the immune system rehabilitates and begins to operate properly and symptoms start to improve.
Suffering from depression and anxiety are correlated with autoimmune disorders and accompany chronic illness as well. Your brain and central nervous system produce only 20% of the neurotransmitters needed to function on a daily basis, however 80% is produced in and by the gut. Just like a home that has been lived in for 40 years and hasn’t ever been cleaned, a digestive tract that is 40 years old and hasn’t been cleaned, both would have any number of “critters” living in them.
Now that you have learned a plethora of information you may still have some questions or be interested in learning how to help yourself heal from all this. I would love to answer questions you may have and continue to teach you how to recover from autoimmune conditions.
I'll be offering an “Autoimmune Recovery” e-Course coming in November, that will lay out the steps to recovery.
If you have an autoimmune condition, and are seeking support, please email us at email@example.com, we'll be glad to help!
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