Do you have an autoimmune illness or do autoimmune illnesses run in your family? Did you know that over the 50 million Americans are living and coping with autoimmune illnesses and 75% of them are women? That number is on the rise.
Autoimmune illnesses are in the top ten leading causes of all deaths among women age 65 and younger.
An autoimmune illness occurs when the body views its tissue as foreign. This triggers the immune system to mount an attack on the tissue. This can happen to any organ, system, or tissue in the body.
Here are several risk factors that you may want to think about if you already have an autoimmune illness or if autoimmune illnesses run in your family.
You’re at a greater risk of developing an autoimmune illness:
- If you are a woman from age 20-70.
- If you have a family history of autoimmune illness(s)
- If you already have one autoimmune illness you are at a much higher risk for multiple autoimmune illnesses.
But, if you are facing an autoimmune illness it is not all doom and gloom. It certainly requires a fair amount of advocating for yourself, educating yourself and perseverance in taking proactive measures that will help you to live a better quality life.
Here are some things to consider as autoimmune illnesses typically have two components that are at the root of the cause and they are a genetic predisposition and environmental triggers.
- There may be underlying infections that can be difficult to determine through conventional measures. A doctor who specializes in and understands environmental medicine or who practices functional medicine will have an understanding of how to uncover any underlying infections.
- More often than not, food allergies and intolerances can stem from or lead to leaky gut, which in turn can cause the body’s systems to mount an attack on the body’s tissue.
- Heavy metal toxicity is frequently an underlying issue with autoimmune illnesses and can also lead to an overgrowth of Candida albicans in the body, causing additional overload.
- Stress is a primary factor in autoimmune flare-ups. Left unchecked, stress can lead to an autoimmune attack and damage to the body’s tissue. Some well-known methods that may help in managing stress can include yoga, stretching, Pilates, regular sessions with a psychotherapist, a long walk in the park or the woods, or anything else that you find help to bring a feeling of ease to your mind.