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8 Things to Know About Autoimmunity

What stressors in everyday life can make an impact

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8 Things to Know About Autoimmunity

You would be surprised at how much isn’t known about autoimmunity, and what stressors in everyday life can make an impact. You can find the full article on page 19 of alive’s April 2020 issue, under “The rise of autoimmunity: stay immune to the stressors of our modern lifestyle”.

  1. Rates of autoimmune disease have risen dramatically in the last three decades, and mainly in westernized societies.
  2. The incidence of autoimmune disease has risen alongside the growing consumption of food additives and the expansion of commercial food processing.
  3. The Western diet, high BMI, and psychosocial stress from high demands on productivity are associated with an increased risk of autoimmunity.
  4. Evidence suggests that stress, sleep disturbance, low psychological well-being, solvent exposure, smoking, Epstein Barr infection, and low vitamin D status are associated with an increased risk of autoimmune diseases.
  5. Gluten, small intestinal bacteria, food additives, and NSAIDs like ibuprofen and aspirin are all known to increase intestinal permeability, also known as “leaky gut."
  6. About 70% of the immune system resides in the gut. When environmental triggers cause increased intestinal permeability, the immune system reacts by attacking its own tissues and organs.
  7. Healing the gut barrier with anti-inflammatory foods and optimizing the gut microbiome with probiotics can help regain immune tolerance.
  8. Mindfulness activities that support stress relief can be beneficial in managing autoimmunity.

Want to know more? We talk about The Rise of Autoimmunity here.

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