8 Ways Food Intolerance Can Easily Trigger Autoimmune Disease (2)

8 Ways Food Intolerance Can Easily Trigger Autoimmune Disease

Autoimmune diseases have been rapidly rising in recent years, with almost 100 recognised autoimmune diseases, as well as another 40 disease processes which have a component that is autoimmune related. Worse still, if you have one autoimmune disease you’re at higher risk of developing another.

From Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis (a type of underactive thyroid disease) to coeliac disease, there are many autoimmune diseases that can be caused by many triggers. One such trigger may be food intolerance and poor gut health. Here are eight ways food intolerance may trigger autoimmune disease…

Gluten…

“I tested negative for coeliac disease, and the doctor says don’t have a gluten intolerance” is a phrase I hear a lot. There is a widespread misunderstanding that coeliac disease is the only reason to avoid gluten. This outdated information keeps many people with a gluten intolerance (and often an autoimmune condition) suffering needlessly. Gluten causes damage to the gut and inflammation that can leave a person susceptible to autoimmune disease.

Gluten doesn’t have to be consumed in obvious forms, like bread and pasta, it can be found in many foods you wouldn’t expect, and can also be present in processed foods that don’t list it as an ingredient, due to cross-contamination.

Coeliac disease does cause a gluten intolerance, but it’s not the only cause, and autoimmune diseases can easily be triggered by the ongoing symptoms experienced by someone who is gluten intolerant.

Gluten-Free Grains…

Another problem with perceptions about gluten intolerance is that gluten substitutes, in the form of gluten-free grains, will solve the problem. The problem with gluten substitutes is that they’re very similar to gluten. If you have a gluten sensitivity, trying out gluten-free grains is a bit like playing Russian roulette with a baker…

Sugar…

Sugar is the bane of many efforts to maintain a healthy diet. As a result, the health food industry has produced a slew of substitutes, from Agave Nectar to Stevia. But sugar is still sugar. Whatever form it comes in, whether it’s couched in seemingly safe terms like ‘organic coconut nectar’, or bottled in an expensive jar of Manuka honey, sugar is sugar. Or, more correctly, the fructose element of sugar is still fructose. When it comes to autoimmune triggers, it doesn’t matter how organic it is, or how beloved it is by the health industry, if you have a fructose intolerance, any form of sugar could trigger an autoimmune disease.

Chocolate…

While we’re on the subject of sweet treats, it would be remiss not to mention chocolate. There is considerable research that demonstrates some people suffering from autoimmune diseases can be affected by chocolate. It’s not entirely clear if chocolate can trigger an autoimmune disease, but it can certainly trigger flare ups of an existing autoimmune condition.

Quinoa…

Another favourite in health shops, and a frequently-used substitute for gluten, quinoa is part of a group of high protein, pseudo-grains known as saponins. These seemingly-healthy alternatives to traditional grains damage the lining of the gut, triggering an autoimmune response.

You can reduce the damage quinoa does to the gut by soaking, then rinsing your quinoa, however this isn’t always enough for those with an autoimmune disease – especially something like Crohns.

Instant Coffee…

When you’re late for work or struggling to wake up in the morning, instant coffee is a godsend. It’s also a double edged blade. It’s unclear exactly why instant coffee triggers problems, but there’s something about it that causes an inflammatory immune response, which doesn’t generally occur with ground coffee beans. It’s likely related to the chemicals used to make instant coffee…well, instant. Regular coffee can have the same effect, but it’s far less common.

If you are going to drink coffee, take 30 minutes out of your day to go to a cafe and mindfully enjoy a wonderful cup of the good stuff!

Nightshades…

A seemingly innocuous and healthy group of plants known as nightshades can also trigger an inflammatory immune response due to the alkaloids found in their skin. This group includes potatoes, peppers, aubergine, and goji berries, as well as certain spices derived from red peppers, like chili powder, cayenne, paprika and curry powder.

Dairy…

Lactose intolerance has a well-known connection with digestive issues, but dairy in general can trigger autoimmune responses. This is due to the main protein, casein, found in milk and other forms of dairy. It’s possible to avoid the risks by eating products like clarified butter or ghee, which have had the dairy proteins removed, and fermented dairy such as kefir, and grass-fed whole yogurt.

What To Do About Food Intolerance Triggering Autoimmune Disease…

The first step in identifying food intolerances is to keep a detailed food diary. Make a note of everything you eat each day, and add any digestive symptoms you experience throughout the day. If you have a food intolerance you will soon begin to see a pattern of certain symptoms after eating a particular food, or food group (like gluten or dairy).

If your food diary isn’t revealing any likely food intolerances then it’s time to start testing – our clinics offer bioresonance testing for 150 items that could be possible triggers for just £95 (including results). You can book online at our London clinic now…

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