Five Common Autoimmune Diet Misconceptions

by | Jan 28, 2022 | Lupus Blog | 0 comments

Hey, everyone. Today, we’re talking about the five common autoimmune diet misconceptions. As you know, I’ve studied a Master’s in Nutrition, specifically Public Health, but with a focus on Nutrition for over 25 years. I’ve seen the trends and the fads go come in and out and lately, the most recent fad that we’re getting into is the Keto.

A lot of autoimmune patients struggle with finding a diet that’s right for them. Over the weekend, I was taking a course with Kharrazian Institute and I learned a lot about food sensitivity. It was a review for me from functional medicine about the concepts of food sensitivity and how it applies to our autoimmune population.

The Link of Diet in Autoimmunity

I’m always looking for you and better ways, or like new innovative research that validates exactly what we’re doing scientifically, and the results or the outcome of this course. What I took away was there is so much variable, which I’ve always known from biochemistry to enzymes, to genetic disposition, to you as the host and your exposure to different pathogens and your history and your state of being the stress level and your diet and your lifestyle, your culture, all those things play into how your ecology is on the inside.

Knowing that it’s hard for a clinician to determine exactly what diet you should be on a keto diet. We can talk about autoimmune paleo while it may help me. And while it might’ve helped me to certain degree, it might not be the same exact story with you. You might really have triggers following the same diet that I’ve been on that worked for me, vice versa.

I’ve been chasing the science thinking that it was black and white, that there has to be something very concrete for me to apply in the lives of my patients in this way. Otherwise, why did I study something as scientific as nutrition and come to find out there’s a lot of psychological psychosomatic and the link between and the genetics and everything else that comes into play when you talk about diet.

The Common Autoimmune Misconceptions

Over the last 25 years of me living with my personal autoimmune condition called lupus and having the struggles and trying every diet, I’ve learned that there’s no one size diet fits all.

Today I want to kind of go over five common autoimmune diet misconceptions, and rehash those for you so that you can be very clear about how and why you need to be connected to your own mind and body to define what specific diet works for you at this point in time, because there’s going to be different phases of your auto-immune condition, where different diets will apply.

We change our physiology changes and we have a regeneration that occurs as well as degeneration that occurs. We just want to be on the side of regeneration and help our bodies to do its best, to always be regenerating and growing new cells and supporting its health and vitality so that we can have long and, you know, resilient bodies to support our, our lives.

1. No one size fits all diet for autoimmunity

Molecular mimicry is one of the leading mechanisms by which infectious or chemical agents may induce autoimmunity. It occurs when similarities between foreign and self-peptides favor an activation of autoreactive T or B cells by a foreign-derived antigen in a susceptible individual.

However, molecular mimicry is unlikely to be the only underlying mechanism for autoimmune responses; other factors such as breach in central tolerance, non-specific bystander activation, or persistent antigenic stimuli (amongst others) may also contribute to the development of autoimmune diseases. Host genetics, exposure to microbiota and environmental chemicals are additional links to our understanding of molecular mimicry.

Our current knowledge of the detailed mechanisms of molecular mimicry is limited by the issues of prolonged periods of latency before the appearance of disease, the lack of enough statistical power in epidemiological studies, the limitations of the potential role of genetics in human studies, the relevance of inbred murine models to the diverse human population and especially the limited technology to systematically dissect the human T-cell repertoire and B-cell responses.

Nevertheless, studies on the role of autoreactive T-cells that are generated secondary to molecular mimicry, the diversity of the T-cell receptor repertoires of auto-reactive T-cells, the role of exposure to cryptic antigens, the generation of autoimmune B-cell responses, the interaction of microbiota and chemical adjuvants with the host immune systems all provide clues in advancing our understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved in the evolving concept of molecular mimicry and also may potentially aid in the prevention and treatment of autoimmune diseases.

The Self-Empowered Healing

I want you to understand that diets are about you aligning with what, how, foods feel to you and you finding out exactly what foods are that you can tolerate, what foods you are sensitive to by paying attention to your symptoms, rather than looking for your doctor to figure out exactly what that is. Cause you’re the one with all the receptive ability and receptors to know how it makes you feel. So being keen on those physiological sensations is key. And so you have to really get to know you and your body and your tolerance, and the only way to do that is to tune in, that’s why I called this the whole process, the Self-Empowered Healing.

Immune Tolerance

There are three major mechanisms of T-cell tolerance, including clonal deletion, anergy and suppression (commonly referred to as ‘regulation’). These mechanisms may act alone or together to achieve tolerance. Clonal deletion implies death of T cells with receptors recognizing donor antigens.

  • genetic predisposition
  • food composition changes

Fancy sensitivity testing is not as reliable as we once thought because it only tests foods in raw states. There’s compositional changes when cooking where the molecules change as well as there’s cross reactivity with different foods. For example, when we eat a cake, it has essential elemental ingredients such as flour, sugar, cream, milk, etc where multiple foods come together to make a dish.

2. Food Is Not The Enemy

Second concept is that food is not the enemy. Food is so much more than just the food. Food is a noun. It’s a food. It is available to us.

  • Emotions and Memories. There are certain foods that you grew up with. That’s comfort for you.
  • Thoughts. There are certain foods that are a trigger for you, whatever the thoughts may be.

Being healthy has to be something that you feel on the inside, and it has to align with your thoughts, feelings and what you seek for comfort food. Those things really do matter.

  • Relationship – Connection. Food is relationship and it provides us with connection and our thoughts and emotions go into it.
  • Nourishment or Indigestion. Our relationship with food will result to either our body’s nourishment or indigestion.

3. Looking for the right diet versus defining the right diet for you.

The whole point is to let the body tell you what foods are best is the gold standard. I have my patients do an elimination diet within the framework of the outline methodology to figure out and learn what the body sensation is telling you about certain foods,

If there is an aversion to food, respect it. If there is an affinity towards certain foods, understand it, like if it’s towards sugar all the time, then you have to understand. Same thing with food addiction. You have to understand that before you can change it. So you have to understand these affinity and honor those things and know what you’re starting with, but I’m not talking about when I’m talking about food affinity and the versions is, those are like real. I’m not talking about the addictive part of it. It’s more of the foods like some people have an aversion to something.

General statements can be made, but even general statements can mislead. A lot of us confusing. A lot of us ask why there’s so much conflicting information about foods. Remember, food is something very individualized. I need you to be intimate with your foods and understand its capabilities and healing.

But you have to do the work yourself to realize what works for you and what does it do. Let the body tell you, let the body be the guide and lean into it sensations. That’s why mind-body connection is what is the heart of the Alkaline Method for Autoimmunity. It is to hone in on the messages that your body is trying to tell you, because that’s super important.

4. Healthy versus unhealthy foods are not absolute for everybody

Like I said, is in the case with apples,  While an apple a day is touted as a healthy food, it may not be well-tolerated in someone with CBO or some, someone may have an aversion to it. And just because I define it as healthy food, doesn’t necessarily equate equate to health, healthy foods for another individual. And that respecting that is super important and the nuances thereof.

5. Food is a noun. Eating is a verb.

  • Food is a thing outside of us.  
  • Eating is the act of eating
  • In order to eat, we have to “prepare” or cook food.
  • Behavior is largely dependent on our feelings, affinity, and preferences, and aversions.
  • Result of the foods that we eat is dependent on our physical state of being.
  • It’s not about what we we but how, why, when, where, and who are all important considerations when considering our diet.
  • Tuning into ourselves to have inner peace and clear intention is key to foods having a nourishing or healing effect or a detrimental or toxic effect in our bodies.

Considering the Food We Eat

There are different important considerations when considering our diet. So again, the take-home messages tuning into ourselves to have inner peace and clear intention is key to foods. Having nourishing versus healing effect or denture met detrimental or toxic effect in our bodies. It’s very, very important that you understand this.

These are general principle guidelines that I want you to be very much aware of as opposed to using food as the knowledge. I would rather you use food as applied knowledge to understand what your body is telling you, as opposed to, believing that food, something outside of us controls the health with it.

Understanding is the Key

I hope this is really hitting home for you. It’s a new concept because most people think about what are the healing foods. What are healthy and what’s not.

Understanding where our bodies are and understanding that our being is more important and being aligned with our being and with our desires and wants, and understanding where our physiological response is coming from before we act is key to understanding ourselves and understanding how to truly nurture our bodies and our souls.

So these are the concepts that we go over within our Alkaline Method™ for Autoimmunity program. It’s really a revolutionary way for us to really understand our bodies first and foremost, so we can give it what it needs to become self-empowered healers.

Connect with Us

If you’re interested in working with me, click here. I would love to invite you to take up on a new way to look at your health and your resiliency in living with autoimmunity, because we really do need to be robust today and stop depending on external factors to dictate our internal state of being. I hope you enjoyed this.

Please subscribe to our YouTube channel, as well as Mind Your Health Podcast. You may also find me on Instagram, I post regularly there.

Thank you so much and have a great rest of the week.

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