Today my dear friend, Dr. Terry Wahls is our guest columnist with some important information about autoimmune diseases. (If you don’t know who Terry Wahls, MD is, I strongly suggest you watch her TED video where she shares her journey of healing from MS and out of a tilt recline wheelchair! Absolutely one of the most life changing videos I’ve ever seen)
Anyway, Dr. Wahls and I have done several webinars in the past. I twisted her arm (the one she didn’t break!) to get her to allow me to share her wisdom about autoimmune diseases with you. Enjoy it!
Do you have an autoimmune problem?
Autoimmunity, which is when our white blood cells treat parts of our bodies as foreign invaders and attack and destroy those necessary structures, is a big problem in America. Roughly 25 million Americans have an autoimmune diagnosis and another 50 million have auto-antibodies in their bloodstream but no clear diagnosis. The symptoms of autoimmunity often occur years or decades before a diagnosis is made. Meanwhile, our own bodies are eating away at themselves, damaging our brain, our joints, our skin, and even our blood vessels.
Most doctors focus on which drug to prescribe to weaken the attacking immune cells. They rarely talk about lifestyle and behaviors as part of a treatment plan. This is despite that fact that genetics, meaning DNA, contributes only 5 to 30% at most to of one’s risk for developing an autoimmune problem.
One of the factors increasingly recognized as an early trigger for autoimmunity is a problem called ‘leaky gut.’ That occurs when the wrong bacteria species take up residence in the bowels. These troublemakers can dissolve the cement that holds the cells of the small bowel together, leading food particles to be absorbed into the bloodstream before they’ve been fully digested. That causes white blood cells to think that the proteins associated with some of the consumed food are invading germs. Immune cells then attack the food proteins, increasing the number of inflammation molecules in your bloodstream.
Two ways to remove the bad sugar-loving bacteria and help recover the cells that line your bowels are to eat more bone broths and fewer carbohydrates. Bone broth soup is filled with glutamine, the preferred fuel for the cells that line the bowels. To fully heal the gut, a comprehensive approach that removes foods that trigger allergies is necessary, sometimes including a detoxification.
Here’s my recipe for Bone Broth:
Bones (can be chicken carcass, pork chop bones, ribs or a soup bone with marrow in it from the butcher)
Chicken feet, shrimp tail, or clam/mussel shells (all optional bone alternatives)
½ to 1 tsp powdered kelp or dulse flakes
1 to 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
6 to 10 cups of water
This is also a great way to use any leftover vegetables from earlier in the week or in the refrigerator that may be getting stale.
Put all the ingredients in kettle or crockpot over low heat. Let simmer without boiling for several hours or several days. Strain out the bones. Strain out the vegetables or put them through a high-speed blender. The broth is filled with free amino acids that heal the gut and all of the minerals our bones need to thrive. Anyone suffering from a ‘leaky gut’ will likely benefit greatly from having bone broth several times a day as part of a healing regimen.