Autoimmune disease occurs when your immune system mistakes your body’s own healthy tissues for foreign invaders and destroys them.
This can result in chronic pain, debilitating fatigue, digestive upset, unexplained weight loss or gain, loss of hair, and emotional imbalance. (These are just a few of the hundreds of symptoms associated with autoimmune disease.)
Although there is no one definitive cause of autoimmune disease, its occurrence has been linked to a combination of genetics, traumatic experience, stress, and environmental factors.
Because autoimmune disease is so complicated, there is no one drug, supplement, or special diet that will put it into remission, let alone cure it.
To truly heal your autoimmune disease naturally, you must approach it like a new exercise program. That is, approach the process slowly, consistently, and in an order that makes sense to the body.
Here are the steps:
The first step to healing autoimmune disease naturally is eliminating as many toxins from your life as possible. Examples of these toxins include, but are not limited to, stress, pesticides, cosmetics, and commercial cleaning products.
A quote from a study published in Autoimmunity Reviews:
“Moreover, many retrospective studies found that a high proportion (up to 80%) of patients reported uncommon emotional stress before disease onset.”
Pesticides, which are most commonly found in conventionally-grown produce and home gardening supplies, have been linked to the development of both lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.
Phthalates, chemicals found in cosmetics and cleaning products, have also been linked to the development of these same two autoimmune diseases.
Reducing stress and eliminating synthetic chemicals from your environment can help significantly reduce the symptoms of autoimmune disease.
Once you’ve gotten rid of as many toxins (both environmental and emotional) as possible, you’re ready to move on to the next step. Just because you are no longer ingesting, wearing, or exposing yourself to synthetic toxins, does not mean they are no longer present in your system.
In fact, studies have shown that toxins make a home deep inside your body tissues and fat, triggering chronic pain and inflammation long after initial exposure.
For example, an article published in Scientific American showed that BPA, a chemical used in plastic that has been shown to trigger heart disease, diabetes, and liver failure, can affect the body even after it’s been completely eliminated from the environment.
This is why gentle detoxification is so essential to the natural healing of autoimmune disease.
“According to a study conducted by the University of Birmingham, an Epsom salt bath can help raise your magnesium and sulfate levels, draw out toxins, and ease rheumatic pain. For best results, pour 1 to 2 cups of Epsom salt into a full tub of water as hot as you can stand. Soak for 20 minutes. Do this once a week. Be sure to drink plenty of water, rinse off with cool water when finished with your soak, and stand up slowly to get out of the tub. Lightheadedness is a common side effect of extra hot baths.
If you are pregnant, diabetic, or allergic to sulfur, do not use Epsom salt.”
Many individuals who live with autoimmune disease become frustrated when natural treatments, diets, and supplements don’t work. This is because it is so common for people to begin at the ‘Rebuild’ stage.
If you’re doing this, it means the healthy nutrients you’re taking in will be useless against continual toxin exposure.
This is why rebuilding has to be the third step to healing autoimmune disease naturally. It is only once you have eliminated toxins from your environment and those lingering in your body that you will experience noticeable healing.
Rebuilding means eating an organic, nutrient-rich diet. It may also mean adding certain key supplements to make up for any nutrient deficiencies resulting from your long illness.
According to a review published by the Department of National Sciences at Pennsylvania State University:
“Low vitamin D status has been implicated in the etiology of autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, and inflammatory bowel disease.”
At your next visit, ask your doctor to check your vitamin D levels.
Once you get through the three crucial steps in healing autoimmune disease naturally, you must maintain this new lifestyle. You cannot “go back” to your old way of living, or your symptoms will return. (But don’t worry, once you get through the process, you won’t want to.)
Healing from autoimmune disease is possible. No matter how long you’ve been living with your condition, you have the power to put it into remission.
In my book, Life Beyond Chronic Pain: The Step-By-Step Guide to Healing Chronic Illness Naturally, you will be guided on a journey through these four steps in far greater detail.
You’ll learn more about yourself, your condition, and what you can do to finally enjoy the vibrant, radiant health you deserve.
Don’t let another day slip by in silent suffering. Pick up your copy of my guide, and start your natural healing journey today!
Featured image courtesy of Flickr/mihhailov
Epsom salt image courtesy of Flickr/Kazuhiro Keino