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Automimmune Disease

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The number of people facing the challenge of an autoimmune disease is rising around the world at an alarming rate. It is believed by the American Autoimmune Disease Related Association that 50 million Americans suffer from one of the many autoimmune related diseases.  The incidence in Canada is believed to be about 2 million.

Autoimmune diseases can affect any part of the part of the body and may result in chronic, debilitating symptoms. The current list has over 86 different diseases and the list is growing as research is showing that many other diseases have an autoimmune component.  All these diseases, however, have three things in common:

  1. The person has some type of inherited genetics that predisposes them to the development of an autoimmune disease. It might be a gene that is related to the specific autoimmune illness or it might be a gene that is related to some other metabolic process in the body that is required for optimum health.  For example, if you lack the gene to allow your body to utilize vitamin D, it has been shown that you have a much greater likelihood of developing an autoimmune disease. It may also be an inherited predisposition to a food intolerance that is often a mainstay in the diet. Intolerance to this food commonly occurs in a number of members of a person’s immediate and/or extended family, as well. When this food is consumed early in life either by the child or through the mother’s breast milk, it begins a long cascade of intestinal inflammation and can create a wide range of symptoms.
  2. The person has developed a condition known as “leaky gut” as a result of chronic digestive inflammation. This can be due to a number of things: (1) the regular consumption of a poorly tolerated food, (2) the chronic use of antibiotics or other medications, (3) a junk food filled diet, or (4) a severe or long-standing stress. When an individual with an inherited predisposition toward the development of an autoimmune disease experiences any type of situation such as those listed above, the health of their digestive tract is impacted and the result is bowel inflammation.  Chronic bowel inflammation results in damage to the cells of the bowel wall and foods are absorbed into the body before they are completely digested.  These undigested particles set up a response in many areas of the body and the immune system is put on red alert.  Because 70% of your immune system is in the digestive tract, the damage from this inflammation decreases the body’s ability to fight infection.  This damage also affects the balance of bacteria in their bowel, which produces additional challenges. Healthy bacteria are involved in the production and absorption of many nutrients as well as many foods so the individual may also develop multiple nutrient deficiencies.
  3. The person experiences some type of environmental or emotional trigger. Often their health has been limping along with a number of illness and other bothersome symptoms and then some large stress occurs and tips them over the edge. It might be an overwhelming flu bug or traveller’s diarrhea, a serious infection or a major stress due to something such as a death or the loss of a job. Their symptoms escalate and they often refer to this as the time they just lost their way and never seemed able to fully recover.   As people seek help for these symptoms, it is often determined that they now have a diagnosis of some type of autoimmune disease.

I have worked with many, many clients over the last 30 years and my approach to treat autoimmune disease addresses all of the above issues. I have an autoimmune disease myself and have found successful healing by using an individualized approach that addresses all of the various aspects involved in the complex symptoms and treatment of my illness.

I have a passion to help people facing the challenges of an autoimmune disease, as I know, first hand, that healing that is possible.

Several years ago I wrote a book entitled, “Could It Really Be Something They Ate? The Life Changing Impact of Addressing Food Sensitivities in Children in order to increase the awareness of the impact of food, family history, and lifestyle on the health, behaviour and learning of children. Almost all autoimmune disease have their beginning in the diet and digestive health of children so my first book focused on that age group. Since writing that book, I have worked more and more with adults facing the challenge of autoimmune disease and wanted to find a way to help them, as well. In an effort to make the process of identifying the offending food and making successful lifestyle changes easy and something people could do on their own, I have developed a stand-alone assessment tool. It is called the Evans Food Sensitivity Assessment Tool and is available for both adults and children. The EFSAT has been created in an easy to use, workbook style format to allow people to work through the process at their own speed. It will help them determine if any of their symptoms are potentially related to a food in their diet and will help them identify the offender. It will also give them some practical ideas and suggestions on how to successfully make sustainable changes in their diet and lifestyle. I have many clients who have had remarkable results by following the process that I have outlined in the EFSAT and I hope that you, too, will consider purchasing the tool and giving it a try.



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