A healthy body is equipped with a powerful immune system that resists the destructiveness of invading microorganisms (undiagnosed food sensitivities, toxins, viruses, bacteria, and parasites). Unfortunately, the immune system sometimes goes awry and attacks the body itself. These misdirected immune responses are referred to as autoimmunity, which can be demonstrated by the presence of antibodies toward your own tissue, gland, or organ.
In a process called “molecular mimicry,” the body mistakes the DNA of perfectly healthy tissues in your body for foods, chemicals, toxins, and other harmful substances. When this happens, these otherwise healthy tissues get “tagged” as harmful and begin to be attacked by your own body.
Autoimmune Disease and Inflammation
Chronic Inflammation inside the body is similar to having sunburn, but at the cellular level—it can be temporary, but also may cause injury that radiates further than just the affected area. Because this inflammatory process is microscopic, symptoms can be masked for years and years. Often times, the first sign of underlying chronic inflammation is the development of joint pain that just won’t go away, persistent headaches, hormonal imbalances, and autoimmune diseases, to name a few.
Side Effects of Chronic Inflammation
Chronic inflammation is a broad term used to describe the side effects of diets high in foods typically not tolerated, unmanaged psychological stress, toxic exposure (both chemical and food intolerances), suboptimal physical fitness, extreme exercise, poor sleep habits, excess body fat, as well as certain nutritional deficiencies. Body parts become inflamed as a defense mechanism. This causes a cascade of immunological reactions (meaning it involves the immune system) that damages perfectly healthy cells. Side effects of uncontrolled inflammation include the development of autoimmune disease, chronic conditions, and other deleterious states
To best manage your autoimmune condition, Nicole will identify foods that may be causing inflammation in the body while providing you with therapeutic foods to help battle the inflammatory response and soothe symptoms. A holistic mind-body approach includes also discussing the role of stress, the gastrointestinal tract, and sleep patterns on your condition.
Common Autoimmune Conditions include: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, Celiac Disease, Pernicious Anemia, Scleroderma, Psoriasis, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, Addison’s Disease, Grave’s Disease, Sjogren’s Syndrome
What is Included in an Initial Autoimmune Diet and Nutrition Counseling Session?
The initial consultation for autoimmune conditions involves a comprehensive review of medical history, prescription medications, laboratory values, food and eating habits, supplement use, and toxicity screening. We will discuss elimination diets, the role of the gastrointestinal tract on the immune system, strategies to nourish your gut, and therapeutic supplementation for immune function.
Nutritional Therapy Discussions Include:
- The importance of the gastrointestinal tract on the management of autoimmunity
- Ways to optimize your bacterial ratios in the GI tract
- Foods to help “heal and seal” the gut
- The role of stress on the body
- Therapeutic foods to incorporate
- Foods to avoid for symptoms relief
- Targeted nutritional supplementation
What are the Suggested Lab Tests?