Autoimmune diseases are growing in number throughout the United States and the world. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences estimates that over 23 million people in the United States have autoimmune diseases and more alarming is that autoimmune diseases are a leading cause of death among young and middle-aged women. More than 80 autoimmune diseases have been identified. Some of the most well-known include Graves’ disease, psoriasis, fibromyalgia, lupus, celiac disease, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, multiple sclerosis, scleroderma, and type 1 diabetes.
“If nothing is ‘wrong’ with me, why don’t I feel well?”
Since autoimmune diseases don’t develop in a vacuum, even people without a diagnosis of an autoimmune disease can struggle with many of the associated symptoms and sit poised on the edge of a diagnosis. On the lowest end of the scale is no inflammation and on the high end is a full blown diagnosis of an autoimmune disease. In the middle are conditions associated with inflammation, such as skin conditions, excess weight, cardiovascular disease, arthritis, asthma and IBS.
Autoimmune disease occurs when the immune system begins to attack the body’s own cells in addition to the pathogenic factors it is designed to combat. Cytokines are a broad category of proteins such as interferon, interleukin and growth factors that are secreted by cells of the immune system and modulate other immune cells. Inflammation develops when cytokines summon destructive immune cells such as macrophages, neutrophils and T cells to areas of the body such as joints, amplifying the inflammatory response.
Survey says . . . The Reset makes a difference!
Four years ago, I began to share with patients and friends a way of eating (and sleeping and exercising and supplementing) that helped me thrive even though I have Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and ulcerative colitis. I’ve been a licensed acupuncturist for 19 years and a bodyworker for 30, but the last 2 1/2 years I chose to dive deeper into the medicine and study for a doctorate in acupuncture and oriental medicine (DAOM) specializing in women’s health and internal medicine. It’s been a journey, sometimes a slog and sometimes extremely edifying, and though it doesn’t change my licensure status–I’m still a licensed acupuncturist nationally and in the state of California–it has absolutely enriched my practice, helped me learn to perform and analyze research, and exposed me to many of the greatest teachers alive today (as well as fellow students…some of the most inspired and dedicated practitioners in the field!). The culmination of the doctoral program has been the capstone research I conducted based on participants in my Spring Reset.
I am thrilled to say that the results of the Reset research were overwhelmingly positive. Even in the short timeframe of 21 days, participants reported better sleep, fewer afternoon energy dips, less brain fog, and fewer aches and pains. Our approach to adopt a simple, easy-to-follow plan that focuses on seasonal produce, high quality proteins and healthy fats. These are the foods that feed the gut microbiome, which is not only important for digestion, but is where over 70 percent of immune tissue is housed. The connection between dysbiosis and inflammatory conditions can no longer be ignored.
During the Reset, we’ll be covering more of the research on inflammation, the gut microbiome, and intestinal permeability, and more important, we will make it accessible for you to easily fit into your life even if you don’t have the time and energy to delve into the research yourself.
You can sign up here or, as always, get in touch with any questions you might have about your specific health needs.