For 16 years, I have been dealing with an autoimmune condition called lichen planopilaris (LPP). It’s an uncommon condition that affects skin on the scalp.
It took me almost a decade to properly diagnose my condition. I have tested pretty much every part of my body and spent way too much time in doctor’s offices.
There are an estimated 50 million Americans that suffer from autoimmune conditions ranging from arthritis, lupus, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), multiple sclerosis (MS), Type 1 diabetes, psoriasis and many others.
There has been an explosion of autoimmune conditions in past decades, with more than 100 known types.
You’re not alone!
So, how do you start your healing process?
We weren’t meant to eat three or more meals a day, with snacks in between. One of the best ways to help clean up your body is through autophagy, a process of “self-eating” whereby your body cleans out damaged cells and regenerates new ones. Autophagy kicks in after around 48 hours of water-only fasting. The end result can be reduced inflammation, improvement in organ function and prevention or delay of neurogenerative diseases. In fact, the 2016 Nobel Prize in medicine was awarded to Yoshinori Ohsumi for his cutting-edge work on the topic. One thing to note on fasting though – make sure you have switched to a paleo diet well in advance; if you’re on a high-carb diet and start fasting it’s rough as your body is used to running on a sugar-based fuel and you’ll get hangry! Also, check with your doctor if you suffer from any serious medical condition.
Change your Gut Bacteria
Over thousands of years, our bodies got used to eating mainly vegetables with some intermittent clean protein (wild fish and meat). Imagine how complex the good and bad bacteria in your gut has to be to process everything! Your digestive system spread out would cover seven tennis courts.
One of the biggest contributors to chronic illness has been the low fat, high carbohydrate diet of Americans. This diet has led to epidemic levels of heart disease, diabetes and other chronic disease. Healing your microbiome where the vast majority of your immune system lies is critical to healing. A diet full of vegetables and clean protein is critical to restoring balance in your body. Stay away from refined, process and manufactured foods. Part of this healing can include plants that help restore homeostasis, one of the main reasons I started taking and making the highest quality, toxic-free, minimally-processed CBD oil.
Get your sleep
Most of us don’t get enough sleep. Our bodies need at least 7-8 hours of sleep on a regular basis. Just one day of interrupted sleep throws your hormone levels out of whack. Your body then starts to secrete more stress hormones which over time increases the risk of diabetes, heart disease and other conditions. Make sure you’re getting solid, uninterrupted sleep!
Reduce your stress levels
The main stress hormone, cortisol, puts your health at risk. Elevated cortisol levels can lower immune function, impact your memory and learning ability, increase cholesterol and blood pressure, among many other nasties. Meditation, breathing exercises, physical activities, music, social interactions and other relaxing activities can all help reduce stress.
The Western medical system has done some great things (such as significantly reducing infectious diseases), but in other ways it has failed us. One of the main current prescriptions for autoimmune diseases is the heavy use of steroids which wipe out both good and bad bacteria. While this may work in the short-run, it can lead to much more serious chronic conditions down the road.
It has been a long road to understanding my body, how I got sick, and how healing can start. It does take significant discipline, but I was just tired of not being well. The great news is that our bodies are all very capable of self-healing! I have never felt better and in fact I am in much better shape than I have ever been. Everything happens for a reason, start that healing process now!