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Overview

“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed that is not faced.”

– James Baldwin, essayist & playwright

 

Perhaps you or someone you love has been diagnosed with an autoimmune condition. Maybe you have been experiencing symptoms for some time. Or maybe you are worried because autoimmune conditions “run in your family.” Take heart: There is more than hope that freedom from disease is possible! In fact, in recent years, science has finally caught up with loads of evidence of people halting and reversing autoimmune disorders, even if your doctor is not yet aware of the exciting science.

Lifestyle Choices Matter More Than Genes

Until recently we all thought that our genes (our DNA) controlled our destiny. Research now reveals that our behavior and lifestyle are more important than whether we have “bad” genes. The science of how genes get expressed – that is, which genes get “expressed” based on our behavior and lifestyle choices — is called epigenetics. 1The Social Life of Genes, Pacific Standard, David Dobbs, Sept 3, 2013, http://www.psmag.com/health-and-behavior/the-social-life-of-genes-64616  While those of us with autoimmune disorders will always have the genes for our conditions, the empowering science of epigenetics means we can control to a great degree how those genes get expressed.2  The role of epigenetic mechanisms and processes in autoimmune disorders; Greer, J., et al.; Biologics. 2012; 6: 307–327; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3459549

Environmental Factors You Control

The CDC reports that 90% of health outcomes are due to environmental factors: what you eat, drink, think and do, and only 10% are due to genes. 3Exposome and Exposomics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/exposome/ What are these disease-causing “environmental factors?” Research shows that the major culprit categories include food, infections, gut health, hormone imbalance, toxins, and stress, which can be abbreviated as F.I.G.H.T.S.™ 4Environmental Determinants of Chronic Disease and Medical Approaches: Recognition, Avoidance, Supportive Therapy, and Detoxification, Margaret E. Sears and Stephen J. Genius, J Environ Public Health. 2012; 2012: 356798.
Published online 2012 Jan 19. doi: 10.1155/2012/356798, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3270432/

The 6 Keys to Beat Autoimmune: F.I.G.H.T.S.™

Good news! You can reverse and prevent autoimmune conditions by working at the root cause level. F.I.G.H.T.S.™ represent all the root causes you can control.

The Autoimmune Onset Equation

Thanks to research conducted by Alessio Fasano, MD, renowned pediatric gastroenterologist and research scientist at Harvard Medical School, we now know of a necessary third element in the autoimmune disease equation: increased intestinal permeability, commonly known as a leaky gut. Our best understanding of how most autoimmune disorders occur is the following equation:

Here’s how it works:

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    Genetics

    There is growing scientific agreement that genetics play a small role — maybe up to 10% — of the risk for developing an autoimmune disorder.5CDC: Exposome and Exposomics https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/exposome/

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    Environmental Factors (a.k.a., “Triggers” or “Root Causes”)

    The huge percentage of the equation, and often one of the toughest to pinpoint, is exposure to, and perhaps lack of ability to adapt to those F.I.G.H.T.S.™ factors: Food, Infections, Gut health, Hormone balance, Toxins, and Stress.6 Environmental Determinants of Chronic Disease and Medical Approaches: Recognition, Avoidance, Supportive Therapy, and Detoxification, Margaret E. Sears and Stephen J. Genius, J Environ Public Health. 2012; 2012: 356798.
    Published online 2012 Jan 19. doi: 10.1155/2012/356798, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3270432/

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    Leaky Gut

    Central to the autoimmune equation is intestinal hyper-permeability, a.k.a., “leaky gut.” Once the gut becomes leaky, a cascade of immune reactions follows and the body loses its ability to distinguish between “self” and “non-self” (where “self” is the body’s own tissue and “non-self” refers to invaders like viruses that the immune system is programmed to attack) which is the hallmark of the autoimmune process.7 Mechanisms of disease: the role of intestinal barrier function in the pathogenesis of gastrointestinal autoimmune diseases; A. Fasano, et al., Nat Clin Pract Gastroenterol Hepatol.; 2005 Sep;2(9):416-22; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16265432

The Autoimmune Reversal Equation

The beauty of an equation like the one above implies that by flipping the equation, you can potentially reverse or prevent the condition(s). The reversal equation is:

Here are the 3 key steps to autoimmune reversal: Detect, Remove, Repair!

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    Detect Your Triggers

    Step One is to detect your triggers. Everyone’s triggers may be different, but they often fall in the same general F.I.G.H.T.S. categories. A root cause practitioner can help you discover your personal triggers by asking the right questions and ordering the right tests. 

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    Remove Your Triggers

    Step Two is to remove your identified triggers, sometimes for 6 months, but often permanently. If you have autoimmune issues, gluten needs to go for good; and chances are, cow dairy, and sugar do too.

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    Repair Your Gut

    Step Three is paramount to halting and reversing the autoimmune process. The key to a well-functioning immune system is the health and integrity of your gut. Did you know that roughly 75% of your immune system is located in the lining of your gut?! This means not only sealing the leaky intestinal barrier, but also cultivating a diverse and balanced microbiome. A sealed and healed gut has profound effects on your immune system and well being, including calming immune reactions to foods, and turning off the autoimmune cascade.

Empower Yourself

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    Educate Yourself

    There’s much to learn about environmental factors you can control. Check out and print out our Healing Manifesto to see the mind-body-spirit layers that must be addressed; and keep reading the Beat Autoimmune Blog to learn more about to how to reverse and prevent autoimmune conditions.

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    Assemble Your Team

    I provide efficient and effective Functional Medicine Consultations for people who are ready to find and address their root causes. My services include access to the best tests through my collaboration with a naturopath who specializes in reversing complex chronic autoimmune disorders. If you’re in the U.S. and are ready for my help, you can book a free 15 minute discovery call HERE.

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    Stay the Course

    Healing from an autoimmune condition is a multi-layered journey, not a linear sprint. It likely took years for your autoimmune condition(s) to develop and it’s going to take time to heal. It is possible for your body to heal if given the right conditions over a long enough period of time. Wherever you are on the path to health and wellbeing, we believe there are new levels of freedom you can reach, whether it’s eliminating your symptoms completely, or simply gaining greater peace of mind.

It’s Time for a Root Cause Revolution!

After spending the better part of the past ten years researching, coaching, and witnessing people recover from numerous autoimmune conditions following the same F.I.G.H.T.S. framework, I wrote a book to help people who seek to reverse and prevent autoimmune conditions. I simply couldn’t sit idly by while people continued to suffer. I am honored that Mark Hyman, MD, Functional Medicine pioneer and thirteen-time New York Times bestselling author, wrote the foreword.

Beat Autoimmune, The 6 Keys to Reverse Your Condition and Reclaim Your Health became a #1 bestseller in 8 different categories on Amazon, including lupus, MS, and chronic pain. It’s available in all major bookstores and on Amazon in paperback, Kindle, and audio versions for about $10.

This book is much more than my personal journey of beating MS. It’s a collection of stories of multiple people who beat numerous autoimmune conditions including celiac disease, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), Crohn’s disease, Ehler-Danlos syndrome (EDS), fibromyalgia, Grave’s disease, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, IBS, lupus, chronic Lyme disease, multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS), multiple sclerosis (MS), postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), etc. It doesn’t matter the label — there are more than 150 autoimmune conditions and they can all be helped with this book.

Here are some of the five-star reviews from real people I don’t know:

Amazon Customer: “Healing is possible… with this book!”

“If you have an autoimmune disease (or really, any chronic illness), you need this book! Palmer uses her own story of healing fully from MS to explore the root causes behind autoimmune diseases. More significantly, she shares how to address these root causes to heal from these so-called untreatable conditions. She backups up everything with data-driven studies, but her writing makes even the most complicated topics approachable. Each of the six “keys” includes a step-by-step toolkit, with handy self-assessments, to help you come up with actionable ways to address your specific concerns. The stories she shares from other people who have healed from their autoimmune conditions (including many MDs) are heartening and inspirational. A true resource worth returning to again and again.”

Steven: “Life saving information in here”

“Excellent, comprehensive advice, complete with science, anecdotes, recommendations, menus, shopping lists. This is a remarkably readable and useful book, written by someone who is living what she writes about. Sad that SAD ( standard American diet) is literally killing people and driving healthcare costs ever higher. The great news is that it’s a pretty simple fix that everyone should be able to do for themselves and their loved ones.”

Minny: “I love this book!”

“This is a book everyone should read. So much information in this book. Very thorough and gives you the answers you need all in one place. Gives anyone with an autoimmune disease hope in what they can do to help themselves. It’s like having a functional health coach in your own home!

This book is also about the story within each person who picks up a copy and takes the first step toward healing… Will you join Steven, Minny, and me in this Root Cause Revolution?

YOU are the CEO of your health and wellbeing. As one of my mentors, Walter Bortz, MD and author of Dare to Be 100 warns: “Do not outsource your health.”

Take good care!

p.s. For step-by-step guidance and support along a clear healing path, join our growing community of committed health seekers beating autoimmune conditions at Beat Autoimmune Academy.

p.s.s. For my direct help, if you live in the U.S., please consider doing a Comprehensive Functional Medicine Case Review. If you are ready to take full responsibility for your health outcomes I’d love to work with you!

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