An estimated 23.5 million Americans, including my husband, suffer from an autoimmune condition — and their numbers are growing, though researchers don’t know why. You’ve likely heard of the most common autoimmune diseases — including type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, lupus, celiac disease, psoriasis, irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn’s disease — but you might be unaware that there are more than 80 named but lesser-known types. Through working as a nutritionist and living with my husband, I’ve learned the importance of diet in battling these disorders.What is an autoimmune disease?
A healthy immune system can plainly distinguish between a foreign invader and its own body. When something inhibits the immune system’s ability to decipher what is safe and what is dangerous to the body, the immune system can attack its own healthy cells and tissues believing that they are threatening. This self-attack is an autoimmune condition.
Excerpted from The Washington Post