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Autoimmunity and being “too clean”

Today I’d love to share some helpful information on how you can support your immune system.
You or someone you care about may be struggling with your immune system (and I’m not just talking about getting an occasional cold: I’m talking about autoimmunity). Autoimmunity is when your immune system attacks YOU rather than invading germs. It affects about 14-22 million people in the United States (heart disease, the most common disease in the U.S. affects 22 million).

Examples of autoimmune disease are celiac disease (intestines), inflammatory bowel conditions such as Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis (intestines), Hashimoto’s and Grave’s (thyroid), multiple sclerosis (nervous system), and eczema and psoriasis (skin).

I’m reading this great book right now called Healthy Gut, Healthy You and there is a whole section on the research behind autoimmunity and hygiene.

Did you know that about 80% of your immune system is in your gut? Since a big part of how I help people to regain their health is through creating foundations for a strong healthy gut, I wanted to share a couple tidbits with you.

Your gut is the root of your health and it is where you take all the good stuff you eat and drink and transform it into the many building blocks your body needs to make energy, sleep well, maintain a healthy weight, build muscle, clear out toxins that need clearing out daily, and have a properly functioning immune system so you can thrive. 

Everything you eat has an impact on your gut health. So does your environment.

Why am I telling you this? Because my passion is to work with people like you whose health symptoms–like gut/digestive issues, excess weight, low energy, and skin & sleep problems–are getting in the way of you living life fully and with a sense of freedom in your body. I help you to regain your health so you can feel great and free to enjoy your life.
 

Hygiene and Your Immune System

What we’re realizing is that being too clean and disinfecting everything from our hands multiple times each day to every surface of our work and home could actually be a big problem.

Is it good to wash your hands after you go to the bathroom? Yes. Is it good to wash up before you eat in general? Yes. But the research shows that people “who live in non-Westernized societies have far less inflammatory, autoimmune and allergic diseases” (H. Okada The Hygeine Hypothesis, Clinical & Experimental Immunology).

Using anti-bacterial soaps, hand sanitizers, anti-bacterial household cleaners reduce our interaction with bacteria–because they kill them off. And we need bacteria in our lives: our lives depend on it. You are more bacteria then you are human cells! It is now believed that by constantly reducing our exposure to bacteria makes your immune system restless. It is also believed that those who develop autoimmunity or allergies have a strong immune system…but it doesn’t have the constant exposure to dirt and germs it needs to train it to function properly. So when that immune system is really strong, bored and poorly trained from having a sterile environment, it is more prone to react quickly and strongly to your own tissues (autoimmunity).

If you already have developed one or more autoimmune condition, absolutely work with someone who can help you dial in your diet and support gut function. This can help you from anywhere from managing symptoms to going into remission. If you are having symptoms with allergies, skin, gut, energy, weight, poor sleep…well, these are signs that your health needs support. You can make a huge difference to the direction your life and health are headed by taking action now before autoimmune disease develops.

Generally, you can support your body by getting regular contact with nature. Get outside in nature as often as possible. Get your hands dirty if you’re taking a hike. Breathe in the fresh air. Have plants in your home and a pet if you can and aren’t allergic. Your body needs interaction with bacteria! Wash your hands with soap (not anti-bacterial) and warm water.

This is the tip of the iceberg. There’s so much you can do to support your health in addition to this. 
Please contact me if you’d like to explore what you can do to support your health and immune system. I’d love to help you.

Until next time, I’m wishing you unstoppable health!

~Rebecca


P.S. Do you know someone who is struggling with their weight, digestion/gut, or energy?
Send them my way! They can set up a complimentary Unstoppable Health Discovery Session with me here and so can you!