Beat Autoimmune with Baby Steps: Remove Your Triggers

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    “By cleansing your body on a regular basis and eliminating toxins from your environment, your body can begin to heal itself, prevent disease, and become more strong and resilient than you ever thought possible!”

    – Edward F. Group III, DC, NP and detox expert

    By now you’ve ideally taken the first step of getting mentally prepared. You know your reasons for thriving. You have stepped into your role as CEO of your own health and wellbeing. Perhaps you’ve hired a holistic doctor too. And, hopefully you’re surrounding yourself with positive people.

    The next step is to get rid of all the triggers that are causing or perpetuating your autoimmune issues or that are blocking your healing.

    Grab some large trash bags and get ready to clean out your kitchen, bathroom and laundry cabinets. You’ll want to toss the junk foods, recycle the plastic and paper packaging, and put any chemical-based products like medicines, household cleaners, sunscreens, etc. in a bag for a “hazardous waste” drop off location.

    1. Eliminate Toxins

    Toxins are the big reason autoimmune disorders are becoming epidemic. Babies are born today “pre-polluted” with an average of 287 chemicals in their umbilical cord blood!1A BENCHMARK INVESTIGATION OF INDUSTRIAL CHEMICALS, POLLUTANTS AND PESTICIDES IN UMBILICAL CORD BLOOD, Environmental Working Group, July 14, 2005, http://www.ewg.org/research/body-burden-pollution-newborns We must protect ourselves proactively from the onslaught. And we’re not just talking about toxins “out there.” We also mean toxic foods, negative thoughts and people who drain your energy.

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      Toss Processed Foods, Sugary Snacks and Desserts

      Keep them out of sight, out of mind and out of easy reach. That includes cereals, chips, pretzels, cookies, ice cream, sodas (yes, even diet sodas which contain the neurotoxin, aspartame). And the hidden stash? Dump it!

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      Do a 30-Day Food Vacation

      Take a break from the most autoimmune triggering foods: gluten and all grains, dairy, corn, soy, eggs, beans/lentils, coffee, alcohol, citrus fruits, nuts, and nightshade vegetables (tomatoes, peppers & eggplant). After 30 days, reintroduce each item one at a time slowly (2 days between foods). Closely monitor how you feel. If you have GI issues, brain fog, pain or other symptoms you may be sensitive to one of these foods, so keep it out of your diet for another 3 – 6 months and then, if you want, try reintroducing it again.

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      Use Chemical-free Products

      Replace chemical-based home cleaning and body care products. A good rule of thumb is to only use products with ingredients you can identify or would eat. For guidance on which ingredients and products are safe and which contain potentially toxic chemicals, consult www.EWG.org.

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      Get Tested for Chemicals & Heavy Metals

      Get tested for chemical & heavy metal toxicity (Cyrex Labs offer Array #11 Chemical Reactivity Screen). And explore having your silver mercury fillings removed by a holistic dentist. MS and mercury poisoning may go hand in hand.2Multiple sclerosis – Poisoning in slow motion, What Doctors Don’t Tell You (WDDTY); http://www.wddty.com/multiple-sclerosis.html

    2. Heal Your Gut

    Your immune system resides mostly in the lining of your small intestines – aka your “gut.” Most people with autoimmune disorders have a leaky gut and an imbalance of gut bacteria.3http://www.functionalmedicineuniversity.com/public/Leaky-Gut.cfm So to allow your immune system to do its job and heal you, you must heal and seal your gut. Follow a step-by-step “5R program” to repair your gut lining, restore healthy gut flora and calm your nervous system. When you remove inflammatory triggers your immune system can stop overreacting too.

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      Remove Inflammatory Elements

      In addition to removing processed foods, sugar and your trigger foods (step 1 above), minimize your use of prescription & over the counter meds, and reduce stress.

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      Replace & Reinoculate

      If you’re over 40 you are likely low in stomach acid and digestive enzymes. Take hydrochloric acid and digestive enzymes. And, reinoculate gut flora with prebiotics — high soluble fiber called “inulin”-containing-foods like garlic, artichokes & onions, probiotics — contained in supplements and fermented foods & bone broth.

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      Repair Your Gut Lining

      Repair your gut lining with healing nutrients: L-glutamine, arginine, zinc, curcumin (turmeric), omega-3 fish oils, vitamins D (+ K2), A, C, E, slippery elm and aloe vera.

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      Rebalance Your Nervous System

      A stressful lifestyle harms your gut. Do centering practices: deep breathing, prayer, yin yoga, and/or meditation.

    3. Live a Detox Lifestyle

    Detoxing is not a fad diet or colon cleanse you do twice a year. It’s an ongoing practice of assisting the body in clearing accumulated waste that can otherwise build up and back up into your bloodstream. When you minimize toxic triggers coming in and optimize detoxification processes, everything gets back to balance.

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      Wake Up to Lemon Water

      Drink warm or room temperature pure water with lemon on waking. Lemon contains compounds that help calm liver inflammation, reduce oxidative stress, and inhibit development of fatty liver disease.4http://www.livestrong.com/article/523028-is-lemon-water-good-for-the-liver/

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      Bounce More

      Bounce either on a rebounder (mini-trampoline) or on a cushy mat for 2 – 5 minutes each morning to flush your lymphatic system, the body’s waste removal system, which doesn’t move unless you do.

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      Drink Green Juice

      Make organic green juice daily. Add a small red beet, cilantro and/or dandelion to help cleanse your liver.

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      Sweat Daily

      Work up a sweat every day to help eliminate toxins though your skin — your largest detox organ. Do some cardio. And, take regular saunas, ideally far or near infrared. Make sure you take a cool shower after to wash away the toxins.

    Remove Your Triggers – Action Summary

    1. Remove your autoimmune trigger foods and minimize exposure to toxins in home and body care products.
    2. Practice daily detoxification to ease your body burden.
    3. Follow the 5R program to heal and seal your gut.

    What will your first step be? Let us know what is working for you. Leave a comment here and share your experience for the benefit of others.

    Take good care!

    Image Credit: Nadezhda1906/iStock