Sleep. Ahhhhhhhhh, precious lovely SLEEEEEEEEEP.
Cardiomyopathy. Celiac disease. Crohn’s disease. Lupus. Rheumatoid arthritis. The list of autoimmune conditions continues to grow, with over 200 diseases now populating this category of illness. And those who suffer from autoimmune diseases can develop serious associated conditions like fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome if they go undiagnosed and untreated. Unfortunately, this is exactly what happens to so many suffering from chronic, unexplained illness. Visiting doctor after doctor yields only confusion and misdiagnosis. And months or years may go by before an autoimmune condition is properly diagnosed. In the meantime, cellular inflammation wreaks havoc on your system. And even when you’ve been diagnosed, the most likely allopathic treatments prescribed (steroids, chemotherapy drugs, and other pharmaceuticals) will probably do more harm than good.
But there is another answer, thanks to ongoing research focusing on the factors that trigger autoimmune diseases. First, you must have a genetic predisposition. This in itself is not enough to make you ill. But when you pair it with stressors, such as physical illness (like a bacterial infection or exposure to biotoxins) or emotional trauma, just for example, your genetic predisposition can be triggered. However, there is also a third factor that plays a role: your microbiome.
The microbiome is made up of thousands of strains of bacteria that live in every human’s gut. When the microbiome is balanced and healthy, these bacteria not only help to properly digest food, sending nutrients and toxins to the right places, but studies (such as those conducted by The Human Genome Project) have discovered that they share information with the very cells in our body. And when certain essential and beneficial bacteria are sparse or missing, that is when our bodies become susceptible to autoimmune diseases. Stressors can affect the levels of both beneficial and harmful bacteria in our bodies, creating the perfect conditions for the onset of autoimmune disorders.
The good news is that there are treatment options available to repopulate “good” bacteria, heal your microbiome, and repair your body at the cellular level, reversing your gene expression and undoing the damage that has been done. Probiotics are one option, although the products currently on the market are probably insufficient to treat autoimmune diseases on their own. However, they can be paired with fermented products to provide more unique bacteria to the microbiome. And fecal microbial transplants are also an option. Although the thought of taking good bacteria from another person via fecal matter may disgust some patients, the procedure has been known to save lives, and research is underway to isolate beneficial bacteria so that it can be provided in pill form at some point.
In short, there is hope for those suffering from any number of autoimmune diseases. Understanding the factors that contribute to autoimmune disorders is the key to finding a cure and bringing relief to those who have suffered for years with unexplained illness. Changing your genetic heritage is impossible. But when you remove stressors and repair and replenish the microbiome, a reversal of symptoms can occur, and your body can begin to heal at the cellular level. When doctors fail and pharmaceuticals do more harm than good, it’s time to try a new approach and treat the cause rather than the symptoms of autoimmune disorder.