Understanding The Autoimmune Spectrum and How to Get Your Life Back
February 12th, 2018
Conventional medicine tells us that autoimmunity is a black-or-white issue–you either have it or you don’t. And if you have it, that means you are destined to a life of painful symptoms and harsh medications. However, that’s simply not true.
Instead, there’s what I call “the autoimmune spectrum” and how much inflammation you have determines where you fall on that spectrum. I coined this term back when I first began writing about autoimmunity, and thanks to my book The Autoimmune Solution, it’s now become the established term in functional medicine to explain how autoimmune conditions develop and, more importantly, how to reverse them.
My goal is to empower you by providing you with the tools I wish I had when conventional medicine failed me during my own struggle with autoimmune disease. I want to help you get to the root of your autoimmunity so you can take back your health and avoid the harsh treatments that I was forced into by conventional medicine.
The good news is that by reducing inflammation, you CAN work your way down the autoimmune spectrum and reverse your condition! By understanding the factors that are contributing to your inflammation, you can get to the root cause of your autoimmunity and start leading your best life.
Autoimmunity: Your Immune System Gone Rogue
At its core, autoimmune disease is a disease of the immune system. Aside from the nervous system, the immune system is the body’s most complex system, made up of the following:
- Digestive system
- Bone marrow
- Lymph nodes
- Thin skin on the inside of your nose, throat, and genitals1
All of these tissues, organs, and cells work together to keep your entire body healthy.
Under our current medical system, autoimmune diseases are not recognized as diseases of the immune system as a whole. Instead, they are treated as diseases of particular organs. However, when you have autoimmunity, it means that somewhere along the way your immune system went rogue and began attacking your own tissues. It could be your thyroid under attack, your intestines, your skin, your brain, your pancreas, or another organ.
No matter what part of your body is under siege, the underlying problem is within your immune system. This means in order to treat, prevent, and reverse your autoimmune disease you’ll need to get your immune system back under control.
Inflammation and The Autoimmune Spectrum
So what caused your immune system to go rogue in the first place? One word: inflammation. Nearly everyone in our modern society has at least some inflammation thanks to our modern lifestyles. The five factors that I’ve identified in my patients that lead to chronic inflammation are diet, leaky gut, toxin exposure, infections, and chronic stress, or a combination of these factors.
For many people, diet is their primary source of inflammation, particularly gluten and dairy, as well as corn, soy, grains, and legumes.
Even those of us with a clean diet are exposed to thousands of environmental toxins that contribute to inflammation every day in the form of plastics; pesticides, herbicides, and hormones in our food; heavy metal exposure from fish and dental fillings; air and water pollution–the list goes on.
Family history can also impact where you fall on the spectrum. The more relatives you have with an autoimmune condition, the higher your risk is, especially when it’s a first-degree relative such as a parent or sibling. Even so, genetics only accounts for about 25% of the chance that you will develop an autoimmune disorder. That means the remaining 75%of the picture is environmental — and therefore up to you. I find that an incredibly empowering statistic.
Once you figure out where you fall on the spectrum, you can assess your risk for developing autoimmunity–or, if you’ve already been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, take the proper steps to reduce inflammatory factors in your life to work your way back down the spectrum.
The Autoimmune Spectrum
At the low end of the autoimmune spectrum are those of you who are only moderately inflamed. You may get occasional symptoms such as acne, digestive issues, and fatigue, although these tend to come and go and you haven’t begun to show signs of illness.
Toward the middle of the spectrum are those of you who experience symptoms of chronic inflammation that have not yet turned into full-blown autoimmune disorders. These conditions might include joint pain, obesity, allergies, muscle aches, fatigue, and digestive issues. Although you don’t have an autoimmune condition at this point, you are at significant risk to develop one if you don’t address your inflammation.
Finally, at the high end of the spectrum are those who can officially be diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. While conventional doctors would doom you to being on medications for life or take other drastic measures to control your autoimmunity, there are simple lifestyle changes you can adopt to live a long, healthy, and symptom-free life.
By addressing the root causes of your inflammation, you can stop your immune system’s attack on your tissues and work your way back down the spectrum. As I explain in The Autoimmune Solution book and online program, I have a five-step approach to helping you do exactly that.
Life Happens: Moving Back Up the Spectrum
Right before I wrote my second book, I was at the healthiest point of the autoimmune spectrum. Because I was feeling great and all of my autoimmune markers were negative, I did what I have many of my patients do: I added more variety into my diet. Now don’t get me wrong; I didn’t go crazy and start eating gluten, but I did reintroduce some of the foods that I knew I could tolerate in moderation, including rice, legumes, and scrambled eggs. And because I was traveling, I was eating out more, which meant that I was sometimes eating foods that were not 100 percent certified organic. And I was enjoying a gluten-free and dairy-free dessert on occasion.
Then I became really, really sick. Several of my inflammatory markers were higher than I wanted them to be, meaning I was moving in the wrong direction on the autoimmune spectrum. I knew something was wrong, and I needed to figure out what. After lots of testing and lots of digging, my husband, Xavier, and I discovered that there was toxic mold in our house.
We moved to a newly built apartment, and I became even more ill from the off-gassing of the building materials, wall-to-wall carpeting, and composite wood cabinets. I became so sensitive to certain chemicals that even just leaving the house was a risk because I never knew what would cause me to break out in a bright red rash. I became so sick that I actually slept on our outdoor balcony for a month, just so I could know that I was breathing fresh, clean air at night!
The Myers Way® for Life
The important lesson in my story is that life happens to all of us. Even the healthiest of us can move in the wrong direction on the autoimmune spectrum and experience symptoms again because of circumstances that are out of our control. That’s why it’s so important to remember that you always have the power to work your way back toward symptom-free optimal health by getting 100 percent back on board with The Myers Way®. That’s what I did, and I am back to feeling great again after detoxing from the toxic mold and following my five-step approach to health that I lay out in The Autoimmune Solution.
That’s why I call my program The Myers Way®–because it really is a way of life. Even when life throws you a curveball, you can control your place on the autoimmune spectrum using the five steps of The Myers Way®.
In addition to reversing my own autoimmune condition and working my way back down the spectrum, I’ve seen thousands of patients successfully reverse their conditions using The Myers Way®, and have empowered thousands more through my book The Autoimmune Solution and my 6-week online program, The Autoimmune Solution program, and you can do the same too!
Free Training: 5 Ways to Reverse Autoimmune Disease (That Your Doctor Won’t Tell You)
My FREE online training course, 5 Ways to Reverse Autoimmune Disease (That Your Doctor Won’t Tell You) is a great place to start if you’ve been diagnosed with an autoimmune condition and have had it with conventional medicine. I created this training to empower any of you out there dealing with autoimmunity to uncover the true root cause of your disease, and realize you CAN reverse your condition using surprisingly simple lifestyle changes.
In this training, you’ll learn how optimizing your diet, repairing your gut, taming the toxins in your life, healing your infections, and relieving your stress are all steps you can take to reduce your inflammation and stop your immune system from attacking your tissues. You’ll feel better, have more energy, and may even be able to ditch your medications for good by following this protocol!
Are you ready to take back your health? Register now!