Is What You’re Eating Causing an Autoimmune Disease?

Have you every really sat down and thought about diseases and where they come from and how people get them?  A popular notion is that many of our health issues are genetic, but did you know that genetic diseases make up for a very small percentage? For example, cancer is only 5-10% genetic. 

We have more control over our health than we thought. 

95% of diseases are related to diet, lifestyle and environment.

Autoimmune Disease

You may remember from biology class that your immune system is meant to protect your body from infection and disease. A diagnosis of an autoimmune disease means that your immune system doesn’t work properly and is attacking the body’s healthy cells. This is because the immune system senses what it thinks is a foreign invader.

Here are some examples of autoimmune diseases:

  • Celiac disease
  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Lupus
  • Lyme disease
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  • Psoriasis
  • Grave’s disease
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS)

So let’s say your physician diagnoses you with one of these diseases. He or she writes you a prescription and you go on your way and should be cured soon, right? Wrong.

Medication and Autoimmune Diseases

The conventional medical community views autoimmune disease as an illness of a particular organ. Instead of what they should do, which is treat the immune system and the root cause. Where it really gets messy is when someone experiences more than one autoimmune illness (which is actually quite common) and needs to see doctors in different specialties and usually ends up with multiple medications. 

Some doctors will tell you that your disease cannot be reversed and that treating your symptoms with medication is the only solution. Not true.

Now do not get me wrong, I am not completely against medication when necessary. But for autoimmune disease, simply prescribing medicine can be the wrong and dangerous solution. Some prescribed medication can actually suppress your immune system, making you susceptible to more diseases. 

How does that help your overall health?

Let’s take Remicade, for example. It’s a medication used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease and psoriasis. Some reactions include lightheadedness, muscle pain, chest pain, hives, and difficulty breathing.  It gets worse with these side effects: severe fever, liver problems, nerve problems, worsening psoriasis, or signs of heart failure. 

Possible Underlying Causes of Autoimmune Diseases

  1. Leaky Gut – its actual name is intestinal permeability. Remember that your gut contains 70%-80% of your immune system. Leaky gut occurs when the lining of your intestinal tract becomes inflamed and very porous, which allows for undigested food, bacteria, yeast, toxins, etc. to enter the bloodstream.
  2. Toxins – even though our bodies are designed to detox themselves, when too many toxins are present, it can lead to inflammation and autoimmune disease. Dr. Patrick Kingsly of the New Medicine has found that many of his multiple sclerosis patients also suffer from mercury poisoning. 
  3. Infections – chronic infections from bacteria and viruses do not leave your system. Infections happen, but scientists believe that other factors can be present (stress, poor diet, leaky gut), which can lead to an autoimmune condition
  4. Food and dietary issues – foods as simple as gluten and dairy can cause autoimmune disorders because your body may not absorb them, as they should. When you eat these foods, it can lead to inflammation, which is present in many autoimmune diseases.

GMOs and Autoimmune Diseases

GMOs – or genetically modified organisms – are plants, animals, microorganisms or other organisms whose genetic makeup has been modified. And this affects many of the products we consume on a daily basis.

Now when it comes to how GMOs play a role in our digestive system, we have to remember how GMOs are made. GMO seeds are created to withstand herbicide, and the seed itself contains its own insecticide (BT Toxin) to keep bugs away. 

We have 10 times more bacteria (good bugs) in our bodies than cells.

Genetically modified plants are also engineered with additional chemicals to protect the plants. These chemicals are known to contribute to leaky gut and inflammation.

Glyphosate and Autoimmune Diseases

The active ingredient in the often-used herbicide by Monsanto, Roundup, is glyphosate. The World Health Organization has declared glyphosate a probable carcinogen. Currently farmers use herbicide with glyphosate in crops (especially wheat crops, which can trigger celiac disease) and many people use it on their own lawns. Glyphosate is also found in processed foods, such as:

  • Corn
  • Soy
  • Sugar beets
  • Canola

And research shows that glyphosate residue can “enhance the damaging effects of other food-borne chemical residues and toxins in the environment to disrupt normal body functions and induce disease” (source).

There was also a study performed on farmers who worked where pesticides were used and the study showed that the farmers were more likely to suffer from an autoimmune disease.

Bottom line, while medicine has it’s place, it’s not always the answer for every illness. Sometimes it’s more important to discover what is causing the problem before we mask the problem.  Getting to the root cause and using a drugless, natural healing approach should always be a consideration when dealing with any autoimmune disease or chronic illness.


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Leann Forst, MBA, CHC, CEOC — Holistic Health Practitioner

Leann is a Board Certified Holistic Health Practitioner and Certified Essential Oils Coach. She holds a Master’s degree from Drake University and a Bachelor of Science from Upper Iowa University. Accredited by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners, Leann is an award winning author of 2 books How to Get Your Kids to Beg for Veggies and 100 Ways to Lose Weight”.

Born and raised as an Iowa farm girl, she moved to Texas in 1998 where she lives with her husband and 2 kids.

As a wife of a brain cancer survivor, Leann has a special interest in anti-cancer nutrition and detoxification. She works with individuals and groups, and speaks regularly at hospitals, schools and organizations. Leann’s goal is to teach people how to attain optimal health by getting to the root cause of chronic and inflammatory conditions, while using healing modalities such as essential oils. Click here to get Leann’s free report, “37 Cancer Facts You Should Know…But Probably Don’t

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