The many variations of autoimmune diseases

I would like to take a look at the increasing trend used to fight various autoimmune diseases. Nothing seems more divisive than the debate around what causes autoimmune disease. There has been so much excellent research around the eighty plus known autoimmune diseases, it’s a bit surprising we have not definitively identified the causes that trigger these disorders.

Some point to GMO, highly processed foods and chemicals in our food supply. Others point to grains and other highly inflammatory food sources that over time, trigger the body to attack itself. Others look to government cover-ups and big agricultural corporations that are knowingly poisoning our food supply with all the above.

Whichever way you lean in your thinking, there is one undeniable fact when it comes to managing and even reversing many of the autoimmune symptoms. That is a change in nutrition across those who suffer from these diseases. Shifting nutritionally to a diet free of inflammatory foods has shown relief from symptoms and even full reversal in the autoimmune response.

These nutritional changes of moving away from a series of known problem foods toward whole fresh, healthy foods have been around for a very long time. Only recently has the practice of making excellent nutrition a treatment option for autoimmune disorders become so accepted across such a broad demographic.

Whole fresh, organic and raw foods have come into their own as alternative medicine in recent years for many medical issues. Entire industries are popping up to address and counter what many see as the cause of autoimmune disease, which is our standard American diet.

These health and wellness practices are offering introductions to dietary plans that focus on removal of inflammatory foods, autoimmune diet recipes, ketogenic diets and offering alternatives that cut all processed microwaved foods from your life as a starting point to turn the autoimmune symptoms around.

When it comes to autoimmune diseases, there are many variations. Interestingly, it seems newly discovered forms get added to the list more often than you may think. The clinically recognized autoimmune disorders currently sit at around 80 known types.

Here are just a few examples of the more common autoimmune diseases that presently affect roughly twenty-three million to as high as fifty million Americans.

1. Celiac disease which is a reaction to gluten found in grains that causes damage to the lining of the small intestine.

2. Sjögren’s syndrome is an autoimmune disease that destroys the glands that produce tears and saliva causing dry eyes and mouth. It also may also attack other organs in the body such as the kidneys and lungs.

3. Psoriasis is a skin condition that causes redness, thick, flaky patches and severe skin irritation.

4. Lupus erythematosus creates antibodies manufactured in the immune system to attack the body. Lupis can attack the skin, joints, kidneys, brain and other organs.

5. Rheumatoid arthritis occurs when your immune system attacks tissues in the joints. Rheumatoid arthritis or RA affects the small joints in your hands and feet causing pain stiffness, swelling, discomfort in movement and even bone loss and joint deformity.

5. Raynaud’s Phenomenon is also considered an autoimmune disease which results in a problem with blood flow, resulting in numbness, discoloration, tingling of the fingers, toes and the tip of the nose.

6. Multiple sclerosis is considered an autoimmune disease which affects the brain and spinal cord. People who develop MS experience weakness, problems with balance, mobility such as walking and numbness in the extremities.

7. Reactive arthritis causes inflammation in critical areas of your body. These primary areas usually target your knees and the joints of your ankles and feet. Triggers of reactive arthritis coincide with infections in the digestive tract and other areas of the body.

8. Scleroderma is a connective tissue disorder that causes changes in skin, blood vessels, muscles and internal organs. This disease can cause severe damage to the body’s digestive, respiratory and circulatory systems.

The autoimmune list above is a short one, but each of these disorders shares a universal aspect and that is many people have found relief through carefully planned nutrition plans. In almost all cases, this means giving up certain loved foods and making a long-term lifestyle change.

The age-old saying “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” should be a standard in everyone’s life. Removing inflammatory foods from your diet is something very consistent when addressing your overall health as much as it is in healing an autoimmune disorder. Taking grains, processed sugars, hydrogenated and trans fats out of your daily nutrition is a necessary first step. Highly processed foods, fasts foods, grains, and sugars all contribute to insulin resistance, increased gut permeability and increased inflammation.

All these aspects can be triggers for the body to have an autoimmune response in many people. Obesity, changes in hormones as we age and lack of physical exercise also contribute to the body developing an autoimmune disorder.

Add a holistic approach to treating your autoimmune disease that starts with a specific nutritional plan that addresses your unique health issues.

Work with your healthcare providers to find a balance between medicine and a healthy lifestyle.


Judd Jones is a certified primal health coach and fitness consultant. He can be reached at

  1. harry oyama July 19, 2018 8:43 am Reply

    People should realize that today’s processing food industry of loading products with too much salt and sugar, bleached flour and stripping away nutrients are the primary factors of increased cancer rates.

    Also people are not getting enough zinc, vitamin C and other essential vitamins and the reason why most PH levels in people are acidic (below 7.0 PH of naturally occurring water), which can be resolved if only they take with food a 667mg of sodium bicarbonate pill form once in the morning and once at night with meals. It is nothing but the same baking soda, but without the bitter taste, that will raise your PH to 7.0, in which cancer cells cannot reproduce, thus preventing its growth.

  2. Charlie Chimknee July 21, 2018 7:38 am Reply

    Aloha Kakou,

    Let’s not forget that a vital part of Health Care is Health Education, the article above by Judd Jones, and the comment by Harry Oyama are actual Health Care, and can do more for ones Health than all the Diagnosis and Treatments, that by statistics, are not working as the human diseases are all on the increase.

    Not only Autoimmune disease, but heart disease, stroke, cancers, diabetes, and Alzheimer disease, as well as many others are all on the increase. You’d think and expect with all the hospitals and doctors and drugs and surgeries available that the $4 Trillion dollars a year we give them we’d have a healthy nation…but NOT.

    There is one same thing that all Healthy and Sick people do the same. They Eat food and Drink beverages.

    The difference is that Healthy people eat Healthy food, while the sick and diseased (or soon to be in decades even, to be ill) eat processed and chemically loaded foods and take chemical medicines without fear but with ignorance.

    Too bad with all the media there is so little education about our bodies and how to feed and fuel them with life promoting food that causes health and optimal longevity.

    You wonder why there is not school age and adult media education about our bodies and our health? Because that would get in the way of the $4 Trillion dollars a year we spend on the Medical Disease Care System with a return on our money of more and more people becoming sick and taking drugs.

    There is no one sick today who is sick because they do not take enough drugs. People are sick because of CAUSES.

    Causes make people sick, Sickness is an Effect…!

    It’s time to work on the Cause

    Part of the Cause is the lack of some things, and too much of others things. Much of that revolves around our food and the nasty toxic chemicals in our food and environment.

    Sickness is worse than the Traffic Problem on Kaua’i.

    We need a Health Officer on Kaua’i. We need to change Fast Food to Fresh Food. We need to remove chemicals from our fields, stores, and pharmacies.

    Health comes from Nature, it deserves the ultimate respect.

    Without disease there is no need for their Disease system and that would mean people with Health knowledge and education would spend their time and money on family, fun, work, and personal education and Health and Optimal Longevity of Life.

    This is always a better alternative to sickness and treatments with the serious to fatal side effects of drugs and surgery.

    Health Care is Personal, you better start now, later, is always too late.

    MAHALO to Judd and Harry for today’s Contributions to our health.

    In fact when I’m the Mayor, when we look for Kaua’i Health Officers, I’m going to look to Judd and Harry and others of same contributions to be our New Age Health Officers.

    And a beneficial part of Health Education is that it can be FREE, just like their contributions are today.



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