5 Foods to Avoid If You Have Autoimmune Disease

An autoimmune disease is a condition where the body’s immune system identifies healthy cells as harmful and attacks them. These cells can be anywhere in the body—the joints, the gut, the skin. Rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, celiac disease, type 1 diabetes, Crohn’s disease, psoriasis, and multiple sclerosis are all autoimmune diseases.

The exact cause of autoimmune diseases is unknown, but there are known factors that can make the condition worse. Exposure to toxins, infections, and diet can all play a big role in causing autoimmune inflammation. Whenever parts of the body become inflamed, the immune system is responding to an insult of some sort. This inflammation causes pain, swelling, heat, redness, discomfort, and weakness.

Eating foods that have anti-inflammatory properties can help those with an autoimmune disease treat it naturally. Broccoli, blueberries, pineapple, ginger, and salmon are great examples of anti-inflammatory foods. But, which foods should you avoid if you have an autoimmune disease?


  • Sugar

Research today shows that sugar can be just as addicting as drugs. The massive amount of sugar most people consume weakens the immune system, causes inflammation, and can irritate an autoimmune condition. Cutting back on sugar is a good place to start when treating an autoimmune flare-up.

  • Gluten

This protein is found in grains such as wheat, Kamut, spelt, rye, and barley. It’s a known irritator of autoimmune disorders and can cause stomach upset, eczema, and other inflammatory problems. Pasta, bread products, donuts, pizza, pretzels, and other foods with wheat flour are common triggers for those with gluten intolerance or celiac disease.

  • Dairy

Many people have a reaction to dairy products. It might come in the form of lactose intolerance or an allergy to cow’s milk proteins. Whatever your specific reaction, dairy can trigger your immune system and cause a flare-up of other issues in the gut, joints, and skin.

  • Allergens like eggs or nuts

Eggs and nuts are common allergies today. For people who might have even a slight allergy to them, these foods can trigger an immune response that flares up an autoimmune disease. Consider cutting them out if you are trying to treat an autoimmune disease naturally.

  • Nightshade vegetables

These vegetables include tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, and peppers. Nightshade vegetables are known to increase joint pain and inflammation due to their solanine content, and the lectins found in them can cause gut irritation.

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Many people find it helpful to try an elimination diet. This includes cutting out certain foods one at a time, over a period of two or three weeks each. Then, reintroduce the food a little at a time. If an adverse reaction occurs, you know you have found a trigger for your autoimmune issues.

Don’t stop with just one trigger. You may find you have several food triggers. Keeping a food diary can help you track your findings.

For those who believe natural healing is possible and who want to cure autoimmune disease symptoms, there are ways to help. Implementing the diet changes outlined above is a great place to start. Other ways to naturally treat autoimmune disease include taking supplements such as fish oil, vitamins C and D, and probiotics. These supplements can help you calm down your immune response. Cutting out stress through relaxation and meditation can also help.

To learn more about the natural treatments for autoimmune diseases, you can visit the Alternative DrMCare website. Using healing herbs, and remedies to boost the immune system is a great addition to other natural treatments.

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