Are autoimmune diseases genetic?
I recall a familiar game played with children where the adult grabs the child’s hands in a playful manner and says stop hitting yourself while having the playful child pat his or her cheeks. This seems like the basis of an autoimmune condition. Stop hitting yourself. Autoimmune diseases are various in their expression and many question are autoimmune diseases genetic. Diseases such as Type 1 diabetes, lupus, fibromyalgia, MS, etc. Hashimoto’s are all autoimmune based conditions just to name a few all have autoimmune components to them. Many conditions stem from autoimmune roots such as skin conditions, joint conditions, and even neurohormonal imbalances are contributed to autoimmune diseases and as Hippocrates all disease begin in the gut.
Environmental factors such as infections, chemicals, solvents, and even the standard western diet are all contributing factors to the development of autoimmune conditions. The body these days is being bombarded with so many things that it is not accustomed to dealing with, such as heavy metal toxicities, GMOs, chemical substances, etc. The body was not made to identify food-like substances and break this food like substances down for energy. Processed foods and the standard American diet has wreaked havoc on our digestive systems, which house the majority of our immune, neurological, and hormonal systems. The body must overcome these challenges on a daily basis aside from the question are autoimmune diseases genetic. The more unconscious we are about what we are putting in our bodies, the more susceptible our bodies will succumb to a disease process. Unfortunately, many of us remain unconscious about our health and what goes into our bodies for some time. When we wake up, it is sometimes as a result of the development of a disease instead of shifting to a paradigm of preventing disease.
Processed foods and food-like substances are one thing that we ingest on a daily basis, and unfortunately, we are also ingesting chemicals as well as heavy metals on a regular basis as well. We are exposed to these things on a daily basis through our air, our water, our clothing, building materials, pretty much anything and everything we expose ourselves to these days have some level of toxicity within it. Detoxification of these items is necessary, yet many people do not detox in healthy ways, leaving them feeling sicker, weaker, and pretty much defeated. Since we have such an abundance of toxins swimming in our environment, which are now in our bodies, care must be taken as we are getting those things out. Gentle detoxes such as Epsom salt baths, infrared dry sauna treatments, and steam sessions can be the answer to allow the body to remove these toxins without disrupting an unstable immune system slowly. A person with an autoimmune condition really cannot handle too much instability within the system and must be careful when deciding to remove things out of the body. Genetically, many toxic agents and immune system instabilities are passed down both in the mothers umbilical chord, however the baby must be susceptible to these toxic substances.
Toxic emotions also plague on the autoimmune body which can also tie into the idea to the question are autoimmune diseases genetic. Toxic emotions can be passed own for generations. Repressed or buried emotions, unprocessed emotions, traumatic events, toxic relationships, lack of self-worth, and self-esteem all play into the development of autoimmune conditions. On some level, I believe this is where it begins before we can actually see it or have physiological symptoms. Perhaps it begins with a person with a difficult childhood, and that person represses memories, thoughts, experiences, emotions, etc. in an effort to survive. They continue on this survivalist path, ignoring and possibly avoiding emotional upsets as they are unskilled or unwilling to process these emotions out in a healthy manner. They become distracted with work, school, family demands, and self-neglect their own emotional healing. The weight of these emotions may cause them to pick up unhealthy habits such as eating sugar, overworking, over-exercising, being overwhelmed, etc. These unhealthy habits lead to unhealthy behaviors such as skipping meals, not eating healthy foods, or overeating. Again the question is posed are autoimmune disease genetic and the answer is that many of the unhealthy habits relative to food is passed down for generations. Physiologically, these foods create even further imbalances within the body and then depending on the processing of the foods, chemical agents exposures begin to occur. The father of western medicine, Hippocrates all disease begins in the gut. Now not only is the body open and susceptible now, but we are also feeding the body disease-causing agents that eventually, over time, suppress the immune system to create disease.
Many times people assume that disease happens instantly. Genetic predisposition does play a role but not a clear answer to the question are autoimmune diseases genetic. They ignored the symptoms and signs their body is telling them to pay attention. It may begin with a lack of sleep, sluggishness, blood sugar dysregulation, etc. and then eventually it leads to bigger, more long-lasting events as now the body, as well as the mind, have to dig itself out of the mess it has created. Again, the belief of Hippocrates all diseases begins in the gut reigns true even today. When working to heal these matters, it is much like peeling back an onion, layer by layer. The body must learn to heal itself gently and effortlessly over an extended period of time. Unfortunately, when I tend to see people, it is after they have done considerable damage self-treatment combined with harsh allopathic approaches. The allopathic approaches may have stabilized the symptoms, but it has driven the cause deeper into the tissues, so now a practitioner such as myself must clean out the suppressive treatments along with getting to the root causes. People even over supplement or look to find “miracle cures” to heal every ill and believe just because it is natural, it is unharmful to the body. Over supplementing harms the body because now the body has to not only deal with the already overtaxing items to their immune system such as infections, chemicals, heavy metals, etc. it also needs to process you’re not such helpful supplements.
To be clear, supplements are there to support the body. Knowledge in biochemistry, in my humble opinion, is necessary to make appropriate recommendations. Otherwise, you are simply throwing paint up against the wall to see what sticks. I am also not an advocate for retail-based supplements as they often do not go through as much rigorous testing as neutraceuticals. I have also learned that if you load the supplements appropriately, there is a strong likelihood of removing the supplements as the body becomes stronger. I often tell patients there is nothing outside of self that is stronger than self, not even a supplement. A supplement supports that’s all; it does not do the bodies work for it. A supplement also does not answer the question relative to this article, are autoimmune disease genetic.
Working with people with autoimmune conditions is a complex process. Many times a person has years of layers to unwrap, and some may not be as open to unwrap so many deep-seated layers. Unwrapping those layers is key to healing the body once and for all otherwise, even if you heal the physiological aspect of the illness, the person’s mental, emotional, and spiritual state that created the dis-ease, to begin with, will bring back on the physiological processes. I do stand by Hippocrates all disease begins in the gut, but I also believe it begins spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically. I also believe that genetics provides the foundation and then our habits, lifestyles, and choices serve as the fuel to the fire but I don’t think there is a simple answer to the question are autoimmune disease genetic. How much of our perceptions, ideas, and beliefs did we inherit from our parents? How much of their behavior do we continue to mirror? How do their genes affect our ability to heal, some would say less than 30%. This is why I tend to work with a person for at least one year. It takes time to unwrap these complexities and get to the root causes of each and every case. It takes a while, but with a little patience and some persistence, anyone can find the healing they are seeking in life.