Dr. Doni Wilson lays out her strategies for how to treat autoimmunity, including one surprising but effective method that is often not considered.
You may have caught my recent article on colitis as I explained what was going on with my Dad – and how we are working to treat him as naturally as possible. While colitis isn’t always an autoimmune condition, it can present itself as Ulcerative Colitis, Crohn’s, or Celiac Disease. All three of these are considered forms of Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD) which is caused by autoimmunity.
What Is Autoimmunity?
If you’re new to my blog then I think it’s important to step back for a second to answer, “what is autoimmunity?” before we jump in and discuss how to actually treat autoimmunity. Essentially, autoimmunity is when our immune system becomes confused and works to protect us from our own cells, rather than normal intruders such as bacteria and viruses.
How and Where Can Autoimmunity Affect My Body?
The truth about autoimmune conditions is that they can present anywhere in the body.
Common autoimmune conditions are:
- Rheumatoid Arthritis In the Joints
- Lupus in the Blood Vessels
- Psoriasis, Vitiligo and Sjogren’s Syndrome in the Skin
- Behcet’s Disease in the Mouth or Vagina
- Dementia, Alzheimer’s and MS in the Nervous System
- And of course, Crohn’s, Ulcerative Colitis or Celiac in the Digestive System
What Triggers an Autoimmune Disease?
While your genetics can play a large role in autoimmune issues, the fact of the matter is that autoimmunity comes down every single time to the way we process stress. “Stress” isn’t always cut and dried, either. Contrary to what people typically perceive stress to be, our bodies can experience physical and/or emotional stress from a number of sources:
6 Top Causes of Stress On Our Bodies:
- Emotional: The type of stress brought on by busy schedules, tight deadlines or personal issues.
- Physical: Caused by an injury of some kind.
- Toxins: Most commonly environmental or mold.
- Food Sensitivities: Such as gluten, dairy, etc.
- Viruses: Epstein Barr (EBV) and HPV.
- An Imbalance in the Gut: Leaky gut and not having enough good bacteria or an overgrowth of bacteria that cause autoimmunity.
We now know – and it’s becoming more wildly accepted – that the microbiome (the billions of organisms living in our guts) has way more to do with the communication between our immune and nervous system than we initially thought.
Our gut bacteria is running the show, folks, and it’s time to pay attention.
An imbalance in our gut can lead to an increased risk of developing an autoimmune condition. Common reasons the gut bacteria gets thrown off balance can include gluten intolerances, infections, medications, food poisoning and, of course, daily stress.
This proves how essential gut health is not only for our overall health but specifically for the prevention and treatment of autoimmunity. Unfortunately, many doctors still don’t address the gut as the focal point of reversing autoimmunity.
But I do.
How to Reverse Autoimmunity Naturally
When I work with patients to either prevent or reverse their autoimmunity we ALWAYS start in the gut. A typical strategy to reverse autoimmunity will include:
- A food sensitivity panel to identify and eliminate the foods causing inflammation and stimulation for your particular autoimmunity. This also helps to identify the severity of your leaky gut if necessary: Is it mild, moderate or severe? You can order it yourself here.
- A stool panel to determine which bacteria are living in your gut (important to get a DNA stool panel, not a culture) and what work needs to be done to rebalance them.
Next we need to identify what is making you susceptible – what is stressing and confusing your immune system – and address it:
- In many cases, we may decide to check for mold, toxins and metal exposure because we know they substances damage the gut, overwhelm the liver, and increase the likelihood of autoimmunity.
- And we also look for unresolved infections, whether in your sinuses, teeth, or other areas of your body. Active bacterial and viral infections (EBV for example) trigger autoimmunity and need to be addressed.
- And finally, we check your cortisol and adrenaline levels to see how that stress is affecting your body. If necessary we will work to SHIFT the stress signal so that instead of it CAUSING autoimmunity, your stress signal will now work to HEAL autoimmunity.
All in all our main goal is to get your digestive system and immune system back to a healthier state —-> Which in turn stops autoimmunity.
Why is This Strategy Effective
Once we know what is out of balance, we know what needs to be brought back into balance.
By looking at what is causing your autoimmunity, we can reverse engineer what needs to be done including ensuring proper digestion, intestinal cell health, healing leaky gut and rebalancing your microbiome.
We can rebalance cortisol and the stress response. We can get rid of mold and other toxins. We can replenish nutrients. And we can address chronic infections.
Taking all of these steps – individually and certainly together – help you to recover from stress, heal leaky gut, and ultimately, turn off autoimmunity once again.
In other words, it will help your body to stop attacking itself.
It takes time, and I’m always looking for ways to make the process more efficient, which is exactly how I came across a therapy to address autoimmunity which has the potential to “multi-task” and address multiple areas at once.
It again has to do with gut health, and how the organisms in our gut signal to the rest of our body.
One of the most important, and often MISSING, organisms for the human gut
Believe it or not… is Helminths.
Like gut bacteria, there are helminths that are good or bad for our intestines and health in general.
What studies show is when we don’t have the RIGHT helminths to protect, we are at higher risk of autoimmunity. And when we introduce these protective helminths, autoimmunity turns off.
Essentially, when these organisms exist inside the human intestines it works to create a healthier environment for itself to survive. The result? A healthier intestine… and a healthier us.
Helminthic Therapy Is Known to:
- Rebalance gut bacteria
- Heal leaky gut
- Decrease inflammation
- Communicate with our immune and nervous system to correct stress exposure
- Turn off autoimmunity
Helminths, and one specific Necator in particular, has been researched to prove that it has reversed the symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis, Crohn’s, Ulcerative Colitis, Multiple Sclerosis, and many other autoimmune conditions.
I’ve observed this benefit in my patients, and would not want you to miss out on knowing it is an option.
To find out more about Helminthic Therapy please contact me here.
Work With Me
If you have reason to believe – or have been diagnosed with an autoimmune condition – we can work together to reverse your autoimmunity.
With my Autoimmunity Solutions Program, you’ll receive the consultations, panels mentioned above, and support necessary to turn off autoimmunity, just like thousands of patients I have helped in the last two decades. Start by making an initial appointment here.
You can also start equipping yourself with more tools and resources by reading my book Stress Warrior online. Start reading Stress Warrior today for FREE.
And finally, sign up for my weekly newsletter to stay in the loop with naturopathic solutions for your health and to learn more about the possibility of working 1:1 with me to achieve your health goals.
6th August 2019
*Please keep in mind that any and all supplements – nutrients, herbs, enzymes, or other – should be used with caution. My recommendation is that you seek the care of a naturopathic doctor (with a doctorate degree from a federally-accredited program) and that you have a primary care physician or practitioner whom you can contact to help you with individual dosing and protocols. If you ever experience negative symptoms after taking a product, stop taking it immediately and contact your doctor right away.