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How Your Diet Impacts Your Autoimmune Disease

A ketogenic or carnivore diet is recommended for those with an autoimmune disease. But why? What is autoimmune disease? And why do these approaches to diet help?

We have an immune system to fight off invaders and protect our body from bacteria, parasites, viruses, and cancer cells. When the immune system malfunctions, it starts attacking your own cells (auto, meaning “self”), instead of protecting your body from foreign cells. It’s not clear exactly why this happens, however it affects many different types of tissues and organs, and hence, there are over 100 known autoimmune diseases. Inflammation is most definitely a contributing factor.

Keto Autoimmune

Interesting facts about autoimmune disease:

  • More common in women than men

  • 1 in 15 people in the US have been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease

  • They can be hereditary

  • They are one of the top 10 causes of death in women up to age 64

What factors can increase your risk of developing an autoimmune disease?

  • Certain medications

  • Genetics

  • Smoking

  • Toxin exposure

  • Metabolic dysfunction

  • Infection

  • Having an autoimmune disease makes you more like to develop another

Some of the most common autoimmune diseases include rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Celiac disease, Type 1 diabetes mellitus, lupus, and inflammatory bowel disease.

Why does a ketogenic/carnivore diet help?

Autoimmune and Keto

Both a ketogenic diet and a carnivore diet put your body into a state of ketosis (high fat, low carb), utilizing fat as fuel. Ketosis reduces inflammation in the body and modulates the immune response, helping to reverse symptoms of autoimmune disease.

Here are a few specific benefits of a ketogenic approach:

  • Eliminates toxic, inflammatory foods including grains, sugar, and seed/vegetable oils; plant anti-nutrients are also eliminated on a carnivore diet

  • Increases levels of glutathione – a powerful body detoxifier

  • Rebalances the gut microbiota – a key contributor to disease recovery

  • Improves mitochondrial function – the energy producers of our cells

Nutrition and Autoimmune

If you are struggling with an autoimmune disease or symptoms that won’t let up despite the numerous treatments you have tried, I would recommend a ketogenic or carnivore diet as well as lab work to help identify the root cause and monitor levels of inflammation. Need help navigating it all? Book an appointment today! I’m here to help.

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