Newly Diagnosed With Autoimmune Disease? Why What You Eat Matters
If you have recently been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, your doctor may recommend that you meet with a nutritionist as part of your treatment plan. If this recommendation seems a little bit out of the box, you may feel somewhat resistant to the idea. However, it is important that you do meet with the nutritionist, because your diet can significantly affect your symptoms and the progression of your autoimmune disease. Here is some information you should know regarding your diet and your autoimmune disease management.
Many Autoimmune Disease Sufferers Are Vitamin D Deficient
Research studies have shown that there is a connection between low levels of vitamin D3 and autoimmune disease. This is believed to be connected to the presence of vitamin D receptors in the body's cells, including in immune cells. Lower levels of vitamin D can be associated with higher levels of autoimmune disease activity. As a result, many nutritionists recommend that patients diagnosed with autoimmune diseases begin a vitamin D3 supplement and have their vitamin D levels tested regularly by their primary care physician or a specialist.
What You Eat Can Affect Your Symptoms
Research into the body's response to food intake has shown that some foods can increase the inflammation associated with different types of autoimmune disease. Foods such as nightshades and starches can increase inflammation in your body. In addition, grains have been shown to contribute to leaky gut issues, which can also cause inflammation problems. Dairy is another key component that's been shown to increase autoimmune disease symptoms, and is best left out of your diet.
Most nutritionists will recommend an elimination diet in the early stages of an autoimmune disease diagnosis. You may be advised to eliminate all of these things, and anything else that may be inflammatory, for a period of time. Then, you can reintroduce one at a time to determine what you react to and what you don't.
This is the best means of isolating your appropriate diet for your disease management, because there are certain foods that will cause reactions for some and not for others. The sooner you identify all of your inflammatory triggers, the sooner you can build a diet plan around the avoidance of all of those things.
Many nutritionists suggest starting with a diet known as the autoimmune paleo diet. This is a whole-foods approach that also eliminates things like soy, which is a hormone disruptor. Follow the plan as closely as you can to get the best possible benefit.