When your immune system turns on your own tissues it can be a helpless and disembodying experience. Autoimmune conditions are exactly that, where your immune system has recognized a protein, enzyme or tissue in your body as non-self, AKA it thinks its a bacteria or virus or something that needs to be removed to protect you. Damage starts to occur and symptoms arise. Unfortunately, in many cases with autoimmune conditions the conventional medical system doesn’t have a lot to support you. That is why it is critical to look for other support and to have a deeper understanding of the cause!
Autoimmune conditions come in a variety of different flavours but did you know that ultimately there are similar underlying causes? Yes, whether you have lupus or rheumatoid arthritis, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, psoriasis or even autoimmune infertility, we need to be stabilizing your immune system. 60-80% of your immune system is located in your gut and that is why understanding your digestive function is a huge part of any treatment plan. Whether you have gut dysbiosis, SIBO, IBS, HPylori, yeast overgrowth, a long history of antibiotics exposure or any number of other factors your treatment needs to start here!
In order for an autoimmune condition to onset we need to see a genetic predisposition, a digestive vulnerability and a trigger. Triggers can be related to hormonal changes (see below), but it can also be an accident, stressor, trauma or even a virus. It is truly the perfect storm!
Women are disproportionately affected by autoimmune conditions because your hormones have a HUGE effect on immune function! This is why the most common triggers for autoimmune conditions include pregnancy/ postpartum, menopause and other large hormonal shifts. Women are uniquely complex and that is to be embraced! But it is also critical to understand how your unique hormone pattern can be contributing to inflammation and immune changes, which is why we are here at AWH to help you understand and get the treatment you need!