An autoimmune diagnosis can be devastating. Conventional medicine tells us that autoimmunity is something we will have to live with for the rest of our lives. But I am here to discount that opinion. Thankfully, I — and other like-minded practitioners — disagree. Listen in to my interview with Dr. Terry Wahls about how she reversed her MS for an incredible testimonial!
There are a few caveats that you need to understand when facing an autoimmune condition:
- General practitioners and medications are not treating the problem; they are just seeking to mask your autoimmunity symptoms.
- Your body didn’t just start attacking itself for no reason, so understanding the combination of factors that is driving your system into chaos is critical to you regaining your health.
- Finding your root causes will be the best first step towards reversing your autoimmunity.
My Hashimoto’s disease was triggered by a combination of several of the things I am going to share with you today. With the help of a functional doctor, I was able to find the root causes of my illness and decide on a course of treatment.
The best advice I have for you? Advocate for yourself.
Become the CEO of your own healthcare by addressing these areas to find what is really causing your autoimmunity.
#1 – STRESS AND AUTOIMMUNITY
Stress is behind many of the other root causes of autoimmunity because of the havoc it wreaks on your entire body, including your immune system. It impacts your ability to digest, fight infections, maintain a healthy hormone balance…and the list goes on. In fact, studies find that at least 80% of autoimmune diseases follow a time of high emotional stress.
One of the first things you can do to help treat your autoimmunity is to get your stress under control with some quality self-care.
Get enough sleep.
Take time for yourself.
Do things that bring you joy.
Developing habits of self-care that you can work into every single day will help you to give the best self that you have to the world.
Essential oils are a huge part of my personal self-care rituals and help me to effectively bridge the gap between autoimmune issues and a healthy lifestyle. Here is a blend that you can use whenever you feel your stress level rising:
Stress Relief Rollerball Blend
12 drops Lavender essential oil
9 drops Frankincense essential oil
9 drops Wild Orange essential oil
Add oils to 10 ml glass rollerball bottle and top off with fractionated coconut oil. Replace cap and lid, and swirl to combine. To use, apply to wrists, temples, and behind ears. Or you can roll the blend onto your palms, cup your hands over your nose and mouth, and take several deep breaths.
#2 – GUT HEALTH
Your gut determines the wellbeing of so many of your other systems as it serves as your body’s second brain. Inflammation is the keyword here, whether it is caused by stress, food, or issues with your microbiome. Inflammation ravages your gut health, keeping your body from absorbing the nutrients that it needs and allowing larger particles to enter your bloodstream. These foreign particles make your immune system attack, and the antibodies it uses may find their way to attacking other healthy cells in your body.
If your gut microbiome (the millions of bacteria that live in your intestines) is unhealthy, you could be at a greater risk for infections and deficiencies. Taking a quality probiotic can help to regulate your body’s immune responses by keeping those bacteria healthy.
For more information on supporting your gut health with essential oils, check out this blog.
#3 – FOOD SENSITIVITIES
Figuring out if you have a food sensitivity is critical in getting relief from your symptoms… and potentially even reversing your autoimmunity altogether! This is a topic Dr. Peter Osborne and I explored deeply in a recent podcast episode.
The heavy-hitters here are usually dairy and gluten. If you are eating a food that you are sensitive to, it causes your intestines to be inflamed, which can increase the number of particles that enter your bloodstream and allow for inflammation in other areas of the body as well. Your immune system sees these substances and attacks.
Unfortunately, once these antibodies form, they stay in your system. Then they attack anything that resembles these proteins — even if it is your cells. Cutting out dairy, gluten, and other inflammatory foods like carbohydrates and sugars can help your gut heal.
To test if you are sensitive, completely remove the suspected food for at least 3-4 weeks, then try slowly adding it back in. If your symptoms change, it is probably best to avoid that food while you heal!
#4 – HIDDEN INFECTIONS
Once again, stress can be the culprit here, as it makes you less able to fight off infections. Infections caused by bacteria, viruses, or a parasite can hide unnoticed in your body and put a lot of extra strain on your immune system. The infections can look similar to your body’s healthy cells, which causes your body to attack itself by mistake. Keeping your immune system healthy by reducing stress is a good place to start here.
If you think an infection could be behind your autoimmunity, get with a trusted doctor to run the appropriate tests so you can get the treatment you need! Check out my interview with Dr. Jessica Peatross to learn about how stealth infections can impact our hormones.
#5 – HORMONE IMBALANCE
Many hormone imbalances are a result of chronic stress. Elevated cortisol signals your HPA axis to slow your hormone production, including thyroid hormones and sex hormones like estrogen. Imbalances put you at a much greater risk for developing autoimmune diseases.
For more on hormone imbalances and solutions to find homeostasis in your body, check out The Essential Oils Hormone Solution. In particular, Part 3 is designed to give you practical lifestyle changes to reset your hormones with healthy, natural methods.
#6 – TOXINS AND AUTOIMMUNITY
We all encounter toxins in our everyday lives. These toxins may be in our personal care products, cleaning products, food, water, or environment. Once these toxins build up in your body, they can make your immune system kick into gear.
Making sure your toxic load stays under control is an important step in maintaining your health. You are the gatekeeper of your body! Make wise decisions about what you put on and in yourself to help yourself be the best you can be! Here are some places to start reducing your toxic load.
THE BOTTOM LINE FOR AUTOIMMUNITY
As the CEO of your own healthcare, you are in charge of how you treat yourself and how you allow yourself to be treated. Toxic people and environments can be just as detrimental to your body as what you put in or on it. You may need to also take some inventories of your personal stress quotient and how the people and environments in your life contribute to your cortisol production. Remember, you are in control!