How do you recognize it?

Do you feel sluggish or chronically fatigued? Do you have digestive problems? Have you been told you are pre-diabetic or insulin resistant? Then you might have an autoimmune disease. I have read that over 10 percent of Americans suffer from autoimmune disease.

Now, I am not a doctor, but as I understand it with an autoimmune disease it is like your immune system is waging war against your own body. It apparently strikes out against itself and causes damage to your tissues and can affect normal bodily functions in various areas of your body. Also as I understand it, autoimmune diseases can often be hard to diagnose.

Some examples of autoimmune diseases are rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, Type 1 diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, thyroid problems such as Grave’s and Hoshomoto’s disease, psoriasis, chronic dry eyes, Guillain-Barre’ syndrome, and kidney inflammation which can result in kidney failure. Because autoimmune disease affects your hormonal system, it can also result in weight gain in various areas of your body.

What causes it?

My doctor tells me that the basic root cause of all autoimmune diseases is chronic inflammation. From my reading it appears that inflammation is caused by things we put in our bodies that they don't like. Maybe we have sensitivity to certain foods, or we are ingesting a great deal of toxins from overly processed foods – or maybe both.

Apparently our bodies have something called “T cells” that should keep the immune response in check and stop the inflammation. It appears that as you continue to subject your body to those things it doesn’t like, the inflammation continues to get worse and the T cells fail to do their job. Of course, as you might have already guessed, the inflammation gets even worse, and symptoms may become even more severe.

Don't just treat the symptoms - find the underlying cause!

For years I have dealt with digestive problems, high cholesterol, Hoshomoto’s (hypothyroid) disease, restless leg syndrome, and other problems. Doctors had been treating the symptoms, but I decided to do some research to see if there was a way to eliminate them rather than just treat the symptoms. My research brought me to Natasha Turner, ND. Ms. Turner has written a book called the Hormone Diet. I decided to get a copy of the book and see if it would help me. I began reading it and immediately decided to begin to make changes that would permanently alter the way my body is functioning instead of living with the symptoms and medicating them.

Dr. Turner’s book first educates you on what is happening in your body and how the endocrine system works. There is an assessment to help you determine how effectively your endocrine system is working. She tells you step by step what to do about it once you determine which systems are out of balance. She makes everything so easy to understand and easy to follow. She has you start with a ten to fourteen day “detox” to the eliminate most common food allergens, followed by a systematic way to determine which foods you might be sensitive to, and finally a “hormone balancing” diet plan. She also guides you on the proper supplementation to take to help you throughout the process.

The Mayo Clinic cautions you not to enter into any detox program without first discussing it with your doctor, as there are many so called “detox” programs that can lead to dehydration, fatigue, nausea, and dizziness. In fact, Dr. Turner tells you exactly what to discuss with your doctor, and what tests you should request from your doctor. When I took the test in the book to determine how effective my endocrine system was, I failed miserably I immediately made an appointment with my doctor and decided to start following Dr. Turner’s advice. My doctor was not familiar with Dr. Turner’s work, but supported the approach and diet changes she suggested.

My Personal Results

I started by following Dr. Turner’s suggestion to rid myself of things that could be causing toxicity in my body. I began by cleaning out both my cupboards and my body. I removed all plastic containers that I had previously used to store and microwave foods. Apparently they are one of the worst culprits. I then prepared to begin the 10 day detox she suggests in her book. I stopped eating dairy products (except 1 tablespoon of Feta or Goat cheese daily), all red meats and processed meats, corn products or anything made with corn starch and fructose corn syrup, peanuts and products with peanuts or peanut derivatives, rye, wheat, and barley products (because of the high gluten), all caffeine and alcohol, and anything processed or with preservatives. Thank goodness for Trader Joes!

So what did I eat, you might be asking. My breakfasts consist of Trader Joes' turkey bacon without nitrates and preservatives with one egg cooked in olive oil. My lunches and dinners were green salads with spinach, walnuts, goat cheese, and dried blueberries or grilled salmon or talapia with quinoa cooked in vegetable stock with fresh vegetables.

After only two weeks it was amazing how much better I was feeling. Dr. Turner said that some people experience headaches and feel worse for a day or two because they are giving up caffeine from coffee and soda, but I never drank those things anyway. My specific results were: 1) I no post nasal drip and congestion in my sinus area; (2) no bloating or gassiness at all; (3) my mind is clearer and I am much more focused; (4) I do not experience the “creepy-crawly” feeling in my legs that previously kept me from falling to sleep at night; (5) I lost five pounds around my midsection and the cellulite on my thighs is gone.

After the two week detox I began reintroducing the foods as she suggested and monitored my reaction to them. I determined that I have a sensitivity to both grains high in gluten such as wheat and rye, and dairy products, except goat/sheep cheese and yogurt. I have now taken those things out of my diet and after almost a month on the new diet, I am almost symptom free. I have not had my cholesterol or thyroid rechecked yet, but I imagine when I do that on my appointment scheduled next month, I will see a big change there as well.

If you want more information on this amazing process to a healthier you, I strongly encourage you to get a copy of Dr. Turner's book and see for yourself what making a few changes in your diet can do for you.

Author's Bio: 

Beth Mollenkamp is a business executive with over 25 years experience in management of non-profits and public sector Human Resources with a specialty of organizational effectiveness. As a former owner of a health food store, her interests include health and fitness, nutrition, supplementation, and spirituality. She is also an internet marketer and proud member Wealth Creation Network. Wealth Creations Network provides training and support to internet businesses to help them make money online. It is not like one of those get rich quick scams, you really do learn how to make money free.