What does the gut have to do with autoimmune diseases? Everything.
The gut is what is often called the “second brain”. It is the main entry of foreign bodies, like food, and main route to remove microorganisms and their byproducts. Basically this means that whatever the body does not utilize it processes through the gut and tries to remove any unwanted or unnecessary products.
Since food ingredients and microbial products are the main stimulus for the immune system it only makes sense that the foods we consume would influence the inflammatory process and response of the immune system.
These ingredients and microbial products can lead to an auto-immune disease such as diabetes, lupus, arthritis as well as many others. Simply stated, your body reacts to the foods you eat. Whether it is a positive or negative response, your body has to process everything that enters it. Either the body must be able to utilize it or remove it. This makes it especially important to know if you have any adverse effects from foods or other products as your body has to work harder when you have an adverse effect from foods.
One of the most common disorders associated with autoimmune and chronic inflammatory disease is IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). The symptoms generally are bloating, diarrhea, pain and/or discomfort in the abdomen, and dealing with fluctuations of constipation and diarrhea. Sometimes people are diagnosed with IBS when in fact they have another health condition going on.
Some conditions that commonly correspond with IBS are Fibromyalgia, Lupus, Sjogren’s Disease, Scleroderma, Psoriasis, Spondylitis and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
There are certain conditions that trigger IBS like Lyme disease or Scleroderma.
Lupus can interfere with the blood supply going to the gut, Sjogren’s can interfere with digestion and cause overgrowth in the gut.
Some things that can help are a gluten free diet, an elimination diet, and probiotics with live cultures, adding supplements, and reducing or eliminating other food items. You should have a blood test for food allergies to see what you may need to eliminate to help your body heal. You should also be tested for other allergens such as grass, pollen, mold, etc. as these also play a role in how your body reacts and processes items it is exposed to. Chemicals can play a role in this also so you will find you become a type of detective when searching for products that will work with your body.
As you can see, there is a great deal of correlation between your gut and auto-immune diseases. This is just a short example of things associated with your gut. If you are having symptoms, be sure and have your health practitioner to help you diagnose what is going on and how you can make changes to help heal your body. Knowledge is power, so remember, if you do discover you have any of the above, you will have a starting point on making your life, happier and healthier.