The American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA) estimates that 50 million Americans suffer from an autoimmune disease, which includes type 1 diabetes, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and celiac disease.
What is an autoimmune disease?
An autoimmune disease occurs when the immune system mistakes the body’s own healthy tissue for foreign cells. A normally functioning immune system can detect the difference between your own cells and foreign bodies, but in an autoimmune condition, the distinction is blurred. These conditions can be specific to one organ or can affect the entire body.
Could it be related to diet?
While it seems there is a genetic component to many autoimmune conditions, environmental and lifestyle factors can exacerbate symptoms. Autoimmune disease has some known triggers, including stress, inflammation, and diet.
As a potential source of inflammation, diet is one of the best ways to help reduce flare-ups and protect the body. Here are a few factors to keep in mind: