What you probably dont know about autoimmune disease..
Did you know that only about 30% of autoimmune disease is due to genetics?!
🌻People often think of autoimmune disease as something they are destined to get if it runs in their family
🌻Yet around 70% may actually be due to environment!
🌻People who have one autoimmune disease are more likely to get others, however only a small part of this is due to DNA
🌻Even if you have genetic markers for autoimmune disease, lifestyle factors can 'switch' these genes on or off (epigenetics)
🌻The strongest evidence for lifestyle and autoimmune disease is around diet, smoking, alcohol intake, vitamin D, gut biome, obesity, exercise, and stress
🌻Oestrogen also plays a strong role (80% of autoimmune disease occurs in women, there is a huge spike in autoimmune disease within a year of pregnancy, and rates drop significantly after menopause)
🌻A diet high in saturated fat, added sugar (especially fructose), salt, and calorie dense foods are all linked with higher rates of autoimmune disease
🌻Diets low in these, and high in whole plant foods and omega 3, reduce the risk
🌻Fibre and antioxidants in foods seem to be the biggest factors - fibre feeds the gut biome and improves gut wall barriers (reduces 'leaky gut')
🌻Ultra processed foods and emulsifiers can also increase risk of disease
🌻Smoking is a known risk factor for many autoimmune diseases, as is excess alcohol
🌻Obesity increases the risk of autoimmune diseases, due to several factors - increased inflammation, higher oestrogen levels, and effect on immune cells
🌻Vitamin d deficiency is also strongly linked with an increased rate of autoimmune disease (vitamin d is involved in regulation of the immune system)
🌻Regular exercise reduces the risk and severity of autoimmune disease, due to its effect on inflammation
🌻Sleep deprivation and stress also have a very strong link with autoimmune diseases
🌻Up to 80% of people report a significant stress shortly before autoimmune diagnosis
🌻 chronic sleep deprivation increases risk of autoimmune disease by up to 70% in some studies
🌻In my next posts, I'll be discussing how you can both reduce these risks, and improve symptoms, with lifestyle