Two weeks ago I spent my weekend in London for – kind of a – continued education weekend. It was partially work as a volunteer in the organizer’s team of HEALTH Unplugged Conference, and at the same time it was a great learning experience. I was listening, learning, picking up new pieces of information, putting together pieces of wisdom what comes to functional healing, and most importantly, meeting great new people from the same tribe. From the tribe who considers health on nature’s prescription.
In my next blog posts, I would like to share some of my notes from this weekend, starting with a very important one: THE GUT.
My notes below are from the session of Christine Bailey, a UK based award winning Nutritionist, Chef and Author. She is author of numerous health and recipe books. Her next book on gut healing will be published 2016. Other books include Supercharged Juices and Smoothies, Functional Nutrition Cookbook, The Raw Food Diet Book, Eat to Get Younger. Christine has specialisms in paleo, allergy free cooking, digestive health and autoimmune conditions.
It was my pleasure to meet her personally and have a little chat with her too, after her session was over. It is always great to meet new people with the same passion. I would love to have some more chat with Christine, so I invited her to my Podcast for a future session:)
Without further due, here comes my notes from her presentation.
How do you develop an autoimmune disease?
- First of all, it takes 10-15 years before the first signs of an autoimmune disease actually appear in the body in the form of symptoms. There is a LOT we can do within that time frame to reverse the damage that the autoimmune process causes in the body, that is why early diagnosis of autoimmunity is key.
- The role of your gut is central for addressing autoimmune components, as there is a strong link between the triggers of autoimmunity and the state of your gut.
- This is why you don’t sort your health out (in particular your gut health), your risk of getting another autoimmune condition down the road is much higher.
- There are 3 components of developing an autoimmune disease. One is a genetic susceptibility – having a gene that is responsible for developing the disease. A caveat here is that having a gene does not necessary mean you will have the disease. According to the latest research, it is actually on the very bottom of the list of the risk factors, way behind epigenetic factors like diet and lifestyle. Factor number 2 is a permeability in the gut or in the lungs or skin or in the blood/brain barrier, or in all of these. And factor number 3 is the triggers. Triggers can be a myriad of things including dietary proteins like gluten or casein, infections (gut infections, viral infections, parasites, disbiosys, a change in the microbiota), stress, nutritional imbalances, toxins, etc.
Intestinal Permeability (a.k.a. Leaky Gut) is often the precursor of developing an autoimmune disease.
- You do not have to have gut symptoms to have issues with your gut.
- Any signs of inflammation (food sensitivities, chronic pain, aching joints, foggy head, migraines, headaches, depression, fatigue) are all linked to intestinal permeability.
- Leaky Gut develops by inadequately digested proteins constantly irritating the epithelial layer of the gut, which in turn causes intestinal permeability on the long term. This results in building up of endo-toxins in the gut, which signals to the Gut Associated Lymphoid Tissue to activate, which in turn causes an over-expression of the immune system, resulting in a mistaking response of the immune system. The over active immune system can not differentiate between own cells and invader cells, causing an immune attack on both own and invader cells. This is what we actually call autoimmunity. An attack on self. And it all starts in the gut!
Heal Your Gut , Restore Gut Permeability and reverse or alleviate the damage done by autoimmune condition.
This is what you can do to heal your gut:
- remove your triggers. This is where it gets tricky, as triggers are different from person to person. In this part, it is important to get help from a professional practitioner who is experienced in getting a good intake of your health history, an running a couple of functional testing can help greatly in revealing the root causes for you. Your own personal triggers. It might be you are reacting to some food proteins, or you have some viruses or parasites. May be that you are facing a lot of stress or taking medications that are triggering your autoimmunity. Who knows?
- Replace optimal nutrition and digestion
- Reveal and heal gut infections
- Reveal and remove inflammatory foods
- Add key nutrients to facilitate gut healing
- Re-inoculate your gut with friendly bacteria
- Address lifestyle issues
- Identify and get to the root of your own issues
I am all about getting to the root causes of health conditions, and as a ‘health detective’, this is what I actually do, too. I was very grateful to be able to listen to Christine’s session at HEALTH Unplugged. By the way, you can listen to the recording of her lecture via this link.
It was very useful to put all these concepts into perspective from her point of view and based on her experience in addressing autoimmune diseases naturally. This is the same approach I have been using to reverse my own autoimmune Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, and the one I use now on my mission to help others do the same, too.
I think it is great that the holistic approach of reversing autoimmune diseases naturally is getting out there more and more now, and I am very happy to be a part of this! The more practitioners use the functional principles of getting to the root causes of chronic diseases, the more people can be helped and the more autoimmune conditions can be reversed naturally.
I am very excited for this and cannot wait to share more with you soon about it! In the meantime, check out
my 4 weeks on the Autoimmune Paleo Protocol and download the full 4 weeks of menu plans!
How about you and your root causes? Are you also a fan of the functional approach of healing, and getting to the root of your causes?