Autoimmune diseases are on the rise

Autoimmune diseases are on the increase. They are caused by numerous factors such as environmental pollutions, neglected lifestyle, genetic factors just to name a few. What happens with autoimmune diseases is the persons own immune system attacks them by mistake. It is said autoimmune diseases are incurable however given the right treatment you can control the symptoms and greatly lessen the impact they have on your health.

Your immune system is your body’s natural defence against viruses and bacteria which cause illness and disease. Our white blood cells find and attack harmful bacteria, viruses and infections. Autoimmune diseases happen when the immune system works overtime and attacks the body as if that part of the body is a virus, bacteria or foreign substance and isn’t supposed to be in there. The most common autoimmune diseases include Coeliac Disease, Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Multiple Sclerosis.

Coeliac disease

Coeliac disease is one of the autoimmune diseases caused by gluten. Gluten is found in grains such as wheat, rye and barley. When someone who suffers from Coeliac Disease eats something that has gluten as an ingredient it causes a very unpleasant reaction. The body overreacts and it can cause significant damage to the Villi, small finger-like projections found on the wall of the small intestine. This can lead to many other repercussions and illness. It is important to realise that gluten is a by-product of wheat. Wheat is not safe therefore for you to eat and yeast is also a cause for concern in many states of inflammation. Many food suppliers are trying to pass off gluten free products as wheat and yeast free. It is not the same.  

So if you are not supposed to eat gluten don’t fall for the fact that wheat and yeast are safe

So if you are not supposed to eat gluten don’t think that wheat and yeast are safe. People who are Coeliac should also not eat wheat or yeast. Try it and notice the difference.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis is caused when the immune system attacks the synovial membrane, which produces lubrication for the joints. When this happens, it causes inflammation round the joint and pain. Rheumatoid arthritis can cause significant damage to the joints. It can be managed through lifestyle, diet and if necessary medication.  Remember that the underlying cause of these illnesses is inflammation. If you get the inflammation levels down the illness diminishes also. So it’s good to have a balanced lifestyle of the right foods for you (get tested at your naturopath or nutritionist), get enough sleep, reduce your stress levels and get the right exercise. In this case swimming, yoga and walking are good for Rheumatoid Arthritis. Cut out citrus juices and tomatoes and see the effect it has on your body.

Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) occurs when the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the fatty material around the nerves (myelin), which protects the nerves and ensures the messages are sent around the body quickly and efficiently. When this is damaged it causes problems with the messages being sent and can cause loss of function in your arms or legs. Other symptoms are vertigo, pins and needles, and memory loss. MS can be mistaken for stress as the symptoms are very similar. The symptoms come and go because the nerves can be inflamed then settle down again. An MRI is usually done to diagnose the disease.

To help manage the symptoms use natural products to reduce the inflammation and to build up your nervous system

To help manage the symptoms use natural products to reduce the inflammation and to build up your nervous system. A change in diet and exercise habits may help as well as quitting smoking. Practice meditation for a minimum of 20 minutes per day to reduce stress.


Lupus is another illness that can affect many parts of the body. The cause of this is thought to be a mix of genetics, hormones, infections and certain side effects of medications. Symptoms can mimic other illnesses making it difficult to diagnose. These include joint pain, hair loss, skin rash, fatigue and fevers. Managing it is done once again with a healthy lifestyle and reducing the inflammation.

Check out what you can do about inflammation on this link

There are various medications that will assist you with managing these illnesses and if in pain of course you may need to use them. However don’t dismiss a healthy lifestyle and steps to reduce inflammation and stress of any kind. Your natural therapist is the best person to direct you in those areas.

Jenetta Haim

Jenetta Haim

Jenetta Haim runs Stressfree Management at 36 Gipps Road, Greystanes, and specialises in assisting your health and lifestyle in all areas by developing programs on either a corporate or personal level to suit your needs. Jenetta has just published a book called Stress-Free Health Management, A Natural Solution for Your Health available from your favourite bookstore or online. For more information and to get in touch, visit her website at Stressfree Management.

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