Autoimmune Diseases Treatment Dietary Guildlines

More than 100 autoimmune conditions exist. Some of the most common ones include:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis (RA), chronic inflammation of the joints that leads to pain, swelling, and stiffness.
  • Lupus (SLE), a systemic issue that affects the skin, joints, kidneys, brain, and other organs and can manifest in fatigue, joint pain, fever, and a rash.
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS), a disease of the central nervous system that can cause problems with vision, balance, memory, muscle control, and other basic bodily functions.
  • Celiac sprue disease, a reaction to gluten in which the small intestine becomes inflamed, causing damage and leading to the malabsorption of some nutrients.
  • Pernicious anemia, a condition where the body can’t absorb enough vitamin B-12 in order to make the necessary number of red blood cells.
  • Vitiligo, a condition in which the skin loses its melanocytes (pigment cells), leading to discolored patches on different parts of the body.
  • Scleroderma, a disease in which the connective tissues become tight and stiff.
  • Psoriasis, an issue where skin cells build up to become red, itchy scales.
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, a group of disorders that cause inflammation of the digestion tract. These include Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative colitis.
  • Hashimoto’s disease, a condition in which the thyroid gland is attacked and gradually destroyed, often manifesting in fatigue and weight gain.
  • Addison’s disease, when the adrenal glands don’t produce enough hormones. Symptoms include fatigue, nausea, and weight loss.
  • Graves’ disease, in which the thyroid overproduces hormones. It can manifest in anxiety, tremors, and puffy eyes.
  • Sjögren’s syndrome, a condition which causes dryness of the eyes and mouth and can often accompany other autoimmune diseases.
  • Type 1 diabetes, a condition where the pancreas does not create enough insulin. Patients have to monitor their blood sugar levels for life.

General Dietary Guidelines For Managing Autoimmune Diseases

Diet can play a significant role in managing autoimmune diseases by reducing inflammation, supporting the immune system, and promoting overall health. Here are some general dietary guidelines for managing autoimmune diseases:

  1. Anti-inflammatory Foods: Focus on consuming foods that help reduce inflammation in the body. This includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, fatty fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids (such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines), and healthy fats like olive oil and avocado.
  2. Elimination Diet: Consider trying an elimination diet to identify and eliminate trigger foods that may worsen symptoms. Common trigger foods include gluten, dairy, soy, refined sugars, and processed foods. Keep a food diary to track symptoms and identify potential triggers.
  3. Nutrient-Rich Foods: Consume a variety of nutrient-dense foods to support overall health and immune function. Include foods rich in vitamins (such as fruits and vegetables), minerals (such as leafy greens, nuts, and seeds), and antioxidants (such as berries and dark leafy greens).
  4. Probiotic Foods: Incorporate probiotic-rich foods into your diet to support gut health and balance the microbiome. Examples include yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, and kombucha. Alternatively, you can take probiotic supplements under the guidance of a healthcare professional.
  5. Anti-inflammatory Herbs and Spices: Use herbs and spices known for their anti-inflammatory properties, such as turmeric, ginger, garlic, and cinnamon, to flavor your meals and reduce inflammation.
  6. Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Increase your intake of omega-3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory effects. Besides fatty fish, you can also obtain omega-3s from plant-based sources like flaxseeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, and walnuts.
  7. Hydration: Drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated and support the body’s detoxification processes. Herbal teas and coconut water are also good options.
  8. Limit Processed Foods and Added Sugars: Minimize consumption of processed foods, sugary snacks, and beverages, as they can contribute to inflammation and exacerbate autoimmune symptoms.
  9. Manage Stress: Practice stress-reducing techniques such as meditation, yoga, deep breathing exercises, and adequate sleep to help manage autoimmune symptoms and support overall well-being.
  10. Consult with a Healthcare Professional: It’s essential to work with a healthcare professional, such as a registered dietitian or a doctor specializing in autoimmune diseases, to develop a personalized dietary plan tailored to your specific condition, nutritional needs, and health goals. They can provide guidance on dietary supplements, potential medication interactions, and monitoring your progress over time.

Gut health is a crucial component when it comes to healing, and preventing,  the development of autoimmune diseases.

“leaky gut” — when the intestinal epithelial lining loses integrity and allows the passage of bacteria and toxins into the blood — can “trigger the initiation and development of autoimmune disease.”

Gut health is a crucial component when it comes to healing, and preventing, the development of autoimmune diseases

when the digestive system encounters saturated fat, it breaks down the healthy bacteria in the gut.

This causes inflammation, an increased immune response, and tissue damage.

Saturated fat is primarily found in butter, cheese, red meat, and other animal-based foods.

So what’s the best way to take care of your gut? Healthy probiotics (beneficial bacteria) can be helpful. Good sources may include fermented foods, such as kimchi and sauerkraut, unsweetened yogurts, coconut kefir, and probiotic supplements.

But it’s equally important to feed the “good guys” abundant healthy prebiotic foods that help them to increase.

The number one food that probiotics love is fiber. The particular kinds of fiber that are most beneficial are found in chicory root, Jerusalem artichoke, dandelion greens, garlic, leek, onion, asparagus, jicama, apple, flaxseed, and burdock root.

Eat Your Veggies

Certain foods are anti-inflammatories, supporting your body in maintaining an appropriate immune response. Here are some foods you may want to eat more of:

Leafy greens

These calcium-rich nutritional powerhouses include kale, mustard greens, collard greens, cabbage, and broccoli.

They’re packed with good-for-you vitamins and minerals and can easily be added to smoothies, salads, or stir-fries.


Fungi have demonstrated some tremendous anti-inflammatory potential.

found that mushrooms can promote anticancer activity, the suppression of autoimmune diseases, and aid in allergy relief.


These flavorful veggies have long been touted for their beneficial effects.

They contain quercetin, an antioxidant which has been shown to inhibit inflammation-causing leukotrienes, prostaglandins and histamines in both osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).


The squash family, which includes a colorful array of options, like butternut, zucchini, and pumpkin, are winners when it comes to anti-inflammatory efforts.

They contain fatty acids (like omega 3s), and antioxidants, including zeaxanthin, lutein, and beta-carotene.

Turnips and Rutabaga

These root vegetables are packed with positive ingredients, including an array of antioxidants, such as glucosinolates and carotenoids.

They also offer vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, zinc, iron, and more.

Add Some Spice to Your Life

Certain spices are particularly beneficial when it comes to minimizing inflammation and boosting your body’s healthy immune response.

Super-flavorful options include ginger, cayenne pepper, cloves, garlic, cinnamon, and turmeric.

Turmeric, in particular, is a powerful anti-inflammatory.

Noted that curcumin (the primary active ingredient in turmeric) has been shown to help with multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and inflammatory bowel disease.

“Curcumin supplementation can result in up to a 60% reduction in pain and a 73% reduction in joint stiffness.”

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