Optimal Nutrition for Autoimmune Disorders: Inclusions and Exclusions in Your Diet

Raj Vardhan,By Raj Vardhan, OSD Chairman, Noida International Institute of Medical Sciences and Hospital, Noida International University

1. What do Autoimmune Disease patients eat and should avoid?

Autoimmune is a disease in which the immune system starts to attack other healthy cells of the body due to an autoimmune disorder. It can be genetic or infectious. There are various types of autoimmune disorders and they can be controlled but not cured in general. A person suffering from this must be very conscious about their diet to avoid inflammatory drugs and food that cause body inflammation. Normally, it is a non-fatal disease caused by the environment or drugs that may change or confuse the immune system or it can be anything as the cause is still unknown. Here, I’m mentioning the guidelines or the specific dietary recommendations that an autoimmune disease patient must follow

First, one should consume more fruits and veggies that will help them gain essential vitamins and minerals and boost the immune system. Consume food with anti-inflammatory properties to reduce inflammation. Have some fiber-rich, lean proteins, herbs, spices, and probiotics to have some muscle support and overall being.

Secondly, What to avoid, one should avoid sugary foods, minimize the consumption of processed dairy products, consider limiting or eliminating gluten from your diet, especially if you have sensitivities, choose healthier cooking oils over highly refined ones, limit or avoid caffeine and alcohol, Reduce excessive meat consumption to help manage inflammation and stress.

2. The Types of Autoimmune Diseases and their Symptoms?

There are various types of autoimmune diseases with various symptoms that damage the tissues of the body. The following are the common autoimmune diseases and their symptoms- Rheumatoid Arthritis and Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE)- These are chronic inflammatory disorders that include symptoms like- joint pain, swelling, stiffness, skin rashes, fatigue, and organ involvement.

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and Type 1 Diabetes- These involve symptoms with neurological issues like muscle weakness, numbness, thirst, frequent urination, weight loss, and problems with coordination.

Celiac Disease and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis- These involve symptoms that can range from digestive problems to skin rashes and fatigue, often triggered by gluten consumption and an underactive thyroid gland.

Psoriasis is a skin condition characterized by red, scaly patches and can also affect the joints in some cases. Sjögren’s Syndrome often involves dry eyes and a dry mouth, along with joint pain and fatigue.

These are just a few examples of autoimmune diseases, each with its own distinct set of symptoms and challenges. For an autoimmune disease, it’s crucial to work closely with a healthcare professional to manage your condition and make dietary choices tailored to your specific needs.