It’s a scary thought isn’t it that you could have autoimmune dysfunction even though you may not have been diagnosed with a disorder yet. If you take my article to your physician today, they’ll tell you autoimmune disease is “rare” and here I’m saying I think all of us have some degree. I’m not crazy. We all have some degree of autoimmune disease whether or not we know it and I say that becuase we are constantly inhaling, eating or exposed to something that is NON-SELF. We may have pathogens inside us, we may have been exposed to some type of mold or yeast, or environmental pollutant or pesticide.
We ingest probiotics from cow species and our babies drink milk from soybeans sometimes (both non-human, non-self). Do you see my point yet? We sometimes have compromise to our immune system or allergies to dust, pets or dander, spices, medications or flowers, seeds, fruits and on and on.
The list goes on, all these things are NON-SELF. If our immune system does what it’s supposed to do, it sees things that are NON-SELF and it tags it with a special immunoglobulin. My point is not to convince you of this, but instead to show you that we are all encountering things that are non human, things that could easily trigger autoimmunity and we don’t even know it.
It’s only “rare” because our old-school tests can’t detect it until 90 percent of the tissue or organ is completely destroyed. That’s how stupid our health care system is. Lab testing for many autoimmune disorders are so backwards that until the symptoms are out of control and you’re in terrible pain or finally starting to become disfigured (like knuckles in Rheumatoid for example), the tests don’t come back positive. Most of your tissue has to be destroyed or the autoimmune diagnosis is not given.
Take Hashimoto’s thyroiditis or Graves’ disease for example. These are both autoimmune diseases where your T cells (immune system) destroy your own thyroid gland. Symptoms swing in both directions of hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism whether or not you have Graves’ or Hashi’s.
At times you could have symptoms of both:
High levels of thyroid: You are nervous, hyperactive, anxious, you may have a rapid pulse, heart beat irregularities, diarrhea, feeling waves of warmth, you may sweat and have other symptoms where things feel speeded up. Remember, thyroid is a gas pedal in the body, it makes everything go (excessive amounts will cause diarrhea).
Low levels of thyroid: There are dozens of symptoms, basically everything is slow, you may have slowed thinking, slurred speech, brain fog, trouble word finding, chronic fatigue, weight gain, constipation (slow transit time in the gut), you may feel cold, metabolism slows so you put on weight (or you can’t get it off). What’s the cure? But people don’t get cured when they take the “standard of practice” medications such as thyroid hormone drugs, or even after they undergo painful surgery and radiation treatments. This should cure you right? Wrong. Months to years later you go on to develop another autoimmune disease that targets another organ.
So why aren’t people cured and why don’t they feel better when their TSH and other thyroid labs look good… and they go through all the gold standard treatments? The answer is almost common sense if you think about it. Let’s stick with thyroid illness, even though you can apply this to any other condition like psoriasis, MS, Lupus or Rheumatoid, etc etc…
For my example on thyroid autoimmunity, it’s because NONE of the thyroid replacement meds block the assault caused by your T cells. They just replace absent thyroid hormone. The T cells (your immune system) are still going full force and trying to kill tissues in your body. If you had a thyroidectomy, they go and try to kill other tissues in your body. You’re still hosting a bad party. You gotta get the thugs OUT! There’s a full-body cytokine storm of pro-inflammatory compounds and free radicals that are contributing to symptoms (even though your hormone levels are okay).
Take any autoimmune disease including rheumatoid, multiple sclerosis, lupus and psoriasis, it’s always the same. You can take the appropriate medicine but you’re not usually cured, you’re just “managed” and the best they tell you to hope for is remission. But I’ve seen people completely cure themselves so do not give up hope. Do you walk round face-down fatigued and adrenally-spent looking for coffee all day? You’ve probably never even been tested to see if you have Addison’s disease which is antibodies to your own adrenal glands. It’s quite common, so you should ask your doctor to test you via Cyrex Labs. You could drag yourself around like this until 80 or 90 percent of your adrenal tissue has been eaten away, until finally someone recognizes Addison’s and gives you a diagnosis (but then it’s kind of late). In summary, with Addison’s, you’re not diagnosable until conventional medicine detects it and that’s approximately when 90% of your tissue is gone!
My point is this may be happening right under their noses, you need to be tested properly to find it early on. The same could be said for any autoimmune disorder. You can name one autoimmune disease after another, and pick on each one, however, I’m telling you no matter the name, it’s still a full-body experience. Sometimes it’s caused by a pathogen like an infection. Sometimes it’s caused by food. Food is a BIG trigger.
When you have one autoimmune disease, you almost always have two or three or four. Most people have “multiple tissue antibodies” but they wouldn’t know unless tested properly (Cyrex Labs). The test is called “Multiple Autoimmune Reactivity Screen” and it’s Array #5. I’m not their spokesperson, I’m just telling you this because I want you to get the best test available, I make nothing off this mention, but if you take standard tests you will fall through the cracks. If you use Cyrex, your odds go up for detecting autoimmune illness. Anyway, my hubby Sam took this panel and it was very informative and that’s why I’m sharing it with you. I interviewd Dr. Aristoa Vojdani and learned a great deal about autoimmunity and how undiagnosed illness can impact your health long-term.
You see, your body creates antibodies everywhere it sees an “invader” which is really NON-SELF… why would anyone think it stops at your thyroid, your myelin, your adrenals, your joints and cartilage or your skin cells? Food can drive autoimmunity
Here’s why you have multiple diseases going on: Gluten is a hole puncher.
You get gluten when you eat traditional bread, pasta and pastries, most notably from foods cooked with wheat, barley and rye. It’s everywhere. It’s an additive. Gluten pokes holes in your gut, whether or not you have Celiac disease, no one is special or immune. Gluten makes your “tight junctions” in your gut come loose, so other undigested proteins leak out of the gut, and into your blood stream. The proteins aren’t supposed to be in your bloodstream, they’re supposed to stay in your tube (your gut). But now, because gluten is a hole puncher, these proteins are all over your body and they’ve lodged in many different organs. This is just one mechanism, and I’ve simplified it tremendously.
Your immune system has the job of tagging these foreign proteins which are kind of innocent, they only leaked out because your gut is leaky. By the way, if your gut is leaky, so is your brain. These proteins are in organs and your immune system is poised to destroy the tissue wherever they lodge. See now that I’m right?
This is the beauty of using dipeptidyl peptidase (DPP-IV) and other proteases in dietary supplements and this is also WHY I put it in my HashiScript as well as ThyroScript, two different support formulas that I made for people dealing with thyroid/immune issues. My point is your gut is probably the source of that misery, and improper food metabolism leads to more circulating “immune complexes” and this is what cues your your immune system into action (it’s bad because it’s attacking YOUR TISSUE).
Testing properly uncovers multiple tissue antibodies which are visible on blood tests years before your symptoms become bad. It’s not just gluten, it could be corn, egg, dairy, coffee and so forth. It differs for everyone. I’ve written an ebook, specifically on the topic of food, and what foods to avoid. My ebook is called Hashimoto’s: Hashi No-No’s A Food Guide to Help You Heal Faster.
Even if you don’t have immune reaction to gluten, you get a few minutes of a problem, it causes the release for zonulin which opens up your tight junction. This is why regular people (not Celiac sufferers) do better without gluten in their diet. Gluten and dairy increases the permeability of the gut such that things get through the tube that shouldn’t. There’s a membrane around the entire “tube” of your gut that gets harmed. Some of you think eating sprouted grains is better, this is another myth. Sprouted is even worse. It increases WGA, and I feel like it’s toxic to everyone. It inhibits BDNF, brain derived neurotrophic factor.
I must sound like a broken record by now!
I’ve been saying this for years, if you have one autoimmune disease you have MORE than one. The attack isn’t to just one organ, but you’ll be named with the autoimmune disease that creates the most damage to a particular organ. As it pertains to thyroid disease, the doctors often stop at the TSH. This is a pituitary hormone. They don’t look at the thyroid antibodies like TG or TPO. The treatment plan doesn’t change if you have elevated antibodies either, that’s the HORROR of conventional medicine. They just tell you to “wait and see” or they give you anti-anxiety pills. If you have elevated antibodies, the first thing you should do is eliminate grains, fermented foods and sugary foods.
This is all explained in my ebook, Hashi No-No’s. We know the triggers that flip a switch to cause an autoimmune condition? It’s often a food antigen, but it could also be an infection. For the purpose of this article I’d like to stick to food because it’s far easier to fix and you get faster gratification. Food is something you can easily control by choosing differently, little by little. Gluten- You may be in denial, saying that you don’t have any irritable bowel problems or diarrhea, however there’s a strong correlation between gluten and Hashimoto’s, as well as Celiac.
You need to be gluten-free for 6 to 8 months to really see the benefits. If you’re my sister or bestie, I want you to honestly be GRAIN free altogether, not just gluten free. Other grains to avoid include amaranth, spelt, rice, oats, tapioca and quinoa. So you can enjoy proteins, vegetables, some fruits and nuts and seeds. Cut out the bread, biscuits and rolls, etc. This is the fastest, most important thing you can do to help yourself.
Grains cross-react, to your body, they look so similar to gluten that your immune system sees it as gluten. So by this token, all of these grains look like gluten to your body:
1) Corn protein called “zein”
2) Dairy and milk protein “casein” and “butyrophilin”
3) Rice proteins globulin, prolamin and mainly glutelin (this is not a typo, nor is it supposed to be gluten) it’s glutelin.*
5) Eggs (ovalbumin)
6) Barley (horedin)
* Several studies suggest that glutelin and other rice proteins can cause atopic dermatitis. If you suffer with this, then keep a food diary to see if you’re impacted after eating rice.
Here’s some help
There are many many nutrients, enzymes and special antioxidants that can support you if your body is on fire. I’ll name a few here, in no particular order:
1. Cordyceps, this is a medicinal mushroom that enhances glutathione production.
2. Reg Active, a supplement- this contains a special probiotic strain that increases glutathione production in your liver.
3. Turmeric is an anti-inflammatory, in high enough doses it penetrates the brain. If you’re unable (or allergic to this or curcumin), then ginger is another alternative, however it does thin the blood if you take supplements.
4. Resveratrol or Polygonum- this has anti-tumorigenic properties and turns on our “skinny” gene. You see it on labels sometimes as “polygonum” too.
5. A diet that reduces starch and sugar and improves fresh proteins and fats.
6. Digestive enzymes or supplements that contain digestive enzymes to help metabolize your meals. For example “pancreatin” is not just one, but three enzymes, it’s a blend of amylase, protease and lipase which helps break down sugar, protein and fat respectively.
7. Vitamin D is known to help modulate the immune system. Get my FREE ebook about how Vitamin D helps heal you by clicking the image below 🙂
8. Probioitics, but not the sort that have a bazillion different strains and CFUs, who’s to say your body recognizes all of those? They are foreign cow-derived and can contribute to your immune dysfunction. Lactic acid bacteria blends (like Dr. Ohhira’s) that nurture and fertilize your own gut flora are better in my opinion. Dr. Ohhira’s is a multi-strain probiotic, utilizing twelve strains of probiotic bacteria to support production of a broad range of postbiotics. Simple blends create the ideal environment for your own beneficial bacteria to thrive. It should go without saying that soda is going to trash your microbiome, so if you switch to water you get an even better effect from probiotics.
9. Magnesium supplements- these can support your general health, just don’t take a lot because you will tilt your other minerals out of balance. Epsom salt baths or low dose Mag threonate can assist your body by dampening down overactive NMDA receptors, helping with restful sleep and possibly mood since magnesium is useful in creating happy neurotransmitters.
10. Histamine is created if you eat fermented foods and aged cheeses. You may need supplements of DAO (diamine oxidase) or classic low doses of antihistamine, for example a quarter or half of loratadine. We have histamine 1 and histamine 2 receptors and these are different. I’ve explained all of this in great detail in my new ebook, Hashi Food No-No’s.
11. DHA or other omega fatty acid supplements.
12. Vitamin E, preferably natural, mixed tocopherols and tocotrienols (the way it occurs in nature).
13. Get rid of margarine and other trans fats.
14. SOD supplements sometimes come from sprouted grains, not all of them though. This is why I’ve been telling some of you over email or in my social media to avoid SOD supplements, they also push up levels of peroxide, which can only be reduced by catalase and glutathione.
15. Don’t live in fear, try to turn off the news because it instigates fear in your body. At a DNA level I feel like we are “turned on” too much… and I don’t mean that in a passionate sexy way lol… I mean our brains.
Our brains are turned on, there’s too much happening on your phone, your tv, your laptop and your life in general. Turn off some of these devices each day and just breathe. Laugh more. Live more. Say yes sometimes, it’s good for you. The purpose here is to bring down your cortisol, a pro-inflammatory compound. So many times, a doctor slaps a diagnosis on a person and that suddenly defines who you are and everything you read, and everything you do, and all your activities from that point forward. It’s easy to get sucked into something “dark” and lose hope but trust me, there is always hope.
Suzy Cohen, has been a licensed pharmacist for over 30 years and believes the best approach to chronic illness is a combination of natural medicine and conventional. She founded her own dietary supplement company specializing in custom-formulas, some of which have patents. With a special focus on functional medicine, thyroid health and drug nutrient depletion, Suzy is the author of several related books including Thyroid Healthy, Drug Muggers, Diabetes Without Drugs, and a nationally syndicated column.