Is Your Immune System Attacking You?

Thyroid Word CloudDo you have days when your body seems like a bit of a drama queen?

Perhaps you were sick with the flu, you’ve been fighting a migraine, or you’re feeling sore and achy all over for no particular reason. Other days, it might seem that you’re no longer able to tolerate the foods you used to eat with abandon – you’re dealing with a major case of indigestion and you’re carrying around an extra twenty pounds (that you can’t seem to lose, no matter what you eat).

Does any of this sound familiar?

I call these on-going annoyances “mimics, marauders and masqueraders” – because that’s basically what they are – but what I’d really like you to take away from this, is that it’s an important part of your immune system and how it functions.

The good news is that your immune system is beautifully designed to deal with these pranksters at a moment’s notice, and it’s exactly that on your behalf so 24/7 – even though it might seem at times that your body is working against you.

Sometimes your immune system DOES get confused. However, even though you might think it’s making a mistake, the reality is that it’s simply doing what it’s designed to do – protect you. Consider too, that 70% of your immune system is in your gutBut because it’s inside, and you can’t see it, and you can’t necessarily feel it – you’re not at all aware that anything is wrong.

The symptoms are often subtle.

What’s really happening, though, is that some of these invaders are actually very clever,  mimicking or masquerading as something other than what they really are.

Let me explain.

 

Cross-Reactivity

As you may already know, gluten is a family of proteins found in wheat and is therefore present in any foods that are made from wheat – although it can sometimes appear in other guises, as well.

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A Sugar-Free Christmas? Bah Humbug!

Lebkuchen3lA couple of years ago, I decided to cut back on my intake of refined sugar.

And I’ve shared my various successes baking with alternate sweeteners here and here.

Of course, there are lots of reasons why you might want to consume less sugar than the Standard American Diet (aka SAD).

However, if you’re experiencing any kind of digestive distress, or chronic illness, then sugar is one of the first things I’d recommend you eliminate.

After gluten, of course!

(Both gluten and sugar, along with dairy, are considered the top three most inflammatory foods).

So, that’s reason #1.

Here’s another reason to eliminate sugar: a yeast or bacterial overgrowth, such as Candida or SIBO (Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth).

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Mimics, Marauders & Masqueraders

Comedy and tragedySounds like a lot of drama, doesn’t it?

Halloween, or not – these mimics, marauders and masqueraders are present in your body all the time!

And even though your body is beautifully designed to deal with these pranksters at a moment’s notice, sometimes your immune system does make mistakes.

Or rather, we think of them as mistakes, but in all actuality, your immune system is simply doing what it’s designed to do – which is to protect you.

So, what’s really happening is that some of these invaders are actually very clever – mimicking or masquerading as something other than what they really are.

And the immune system gets confused.

Let me explain.

 

Cross-Reactivity

As you know, gluten is a protein found in certain foods.

Many of the foods you eat contain proteins, all of them different. And this is why the immune system can get confused – because the proteins (even though they’re different) can look very similar.

For example, the proteins in dairy products – more specifically casein, – look almost identical to the proteins in gluten.

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Is There A Frat Party In Your Gut?

Teen girl with bellyacheTruth be told, while I’ve been to a number of Frat Parties in my day, I never actually drank the beer.

That’s because I never acquired a taste for it – not even to this day.

(As you can imagine, I was the life of the party.)

Perhaps this was my body’s way of telling me that gluten wasn’t my friend – long before I knew the first thing about Celiac Disease or gluten-sensitivity.

As you likely know, Frat parties have a reputation for being a bit on the wild side, with lots of drinking and misbehavior.

So, what does a Frat Party in your gut look like?

The key word, here, is “misbehavior”.

With that in mind, let me share with you 3 things I’ve learned about my own body over the past year:

  • Yeast Overgrowth

Sounds like a Frat Party for sure, doesn’t it?

Well, here’s the thing.

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