What are autoimmune disorders?
The immune system has a significant role as the body’s defence warrior it guards against infections, viruses, toxins, cancer cells and foreign substances that may make you sick. Unfortunately, the immune system sometimes attacks your healthy cells by mistake. The failing can lead to an inflammatory response and cause a range of chronic diseases, such as metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, heart diseases, arthritis etc. (Study 1, 2)
Autoimmune disorder is one of the related diseases. It can affect almost every system and organ of your body. Around 80 autoimmune diseases have been discovered. The common autoimmune diseases include: Type 1 diabetes, inflammatory bowel diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, psoriasis and lupus.
Risk factors for autoimmune disorder
To date, autoimmune diseases are becoming more common, but we still are not sure what exactly causes the immune system to go wrong. Here are some of the risk factors:
- Environmental factors – According to a study, exposure to environmental triggers like microplastics, air pollutions, pesticides and other toxins can increase the risk.
- Genetics – Predisposition seems to run in families. However, scientists believe genetics is not the biggest factor. Instead, it may be linked to common environmental factors as family members are more likely to be exposed to the same environment.
- Gender – A study found that females are almost 3 times more likely to get autoimmune disorders than males – 6.4% for women and 2.7% for men.
- Unhealthy Diet – An unhealthy diet, for example like low in vegetables, high in sugar, processed food and refined carbs. It can be the main trigger for inflammation-related diseases.
- Insufficient sunlight & low vitamin D – Some autoimmune diseases following seasonal patterns, they get severe or appear around the winter. Research shows they can be caused by vitamin D deficiency because more people tend to stay indoors during the colder season. (Your body makes vitamin D from the natural sunlight spectrum.)
5 ways to prevent or ease autoimmune disorders
1. Eat an anti-inflammatory diet
An anti-inflammatory diet focuses on fresh vegetables, fruit, whole grains, healthy fats and those food that are rich in antioxidants. Also, try incorporating some herbs and spices that have high anti-inflammatory properties such as turmeric, ginger and garlic to help guard against inflammation. Learn more about these 6 herbs that are incredibly helpful for inflammation!
2. Regular exercise
Being overweight can increase your risk of developing autoimmune disorders. Therefore, by exercising regularly you can maintain a healthy weight and reduce inflammation in your body.
3. Improve gut health
The gut is a very complex but important system that you need to pay attention to. Research found that an unbalanced gut can trigger autoimmune diseases. Gut health not only can link to autoimmunity but can also affect your mental health, skin conditions and cancer. Here are 6 ways to improve your gut health.
4. Get enough sleep
Sleep is an essential activity as important as food and water to the body. Studies show that sleep disorders can impact on your overall health which can contribute to some autoimmune disorders!
5. Avoid toxins
Avoid environmental toxins, pesticides, smoking and excessive alcohol. According to a study, these can increase the risk of developing autoimmune disorders.
Prevention is better than a cure
Sadly, autoimmune disorders normally can’t be cured. Also, most medicines and treatments only help you to ease the symptoms, not fight the cause. Once you have a diagnosis of an autoimmune disease, it can follow you for a lifetime. Remember, your lifestyle and environment are the main factors to affect your health. Therefore, you need to take action immediately to help prevent autoimmune diseases and other chronic diseases.