What is Autoimmune Disease?

What is Autoimmune Disease & Can It Be Reversed?

What is Autoimmune Disease? At BeachCandy Swimwear, we are certainly not doctors and not qualified for diagnosing autoimmune diseases, but as the patient, I have been asking this question for over a decade. 

My name is Brit, the female founder of BeachCandy Swimwear, an American-made brand that has been built by one perfect swimsuit experience at a time, since 2011.

Last year, some severe symptoms finally led us to a diagnosis -- Ankylosing Spondylitis, a rare spinal autoimmune disease. 

This was after countless mis-diagnoses all my life, from viral meningitis, to TMJ to fibromyalgia. I have personally been forged by fire to make health and wellness a top priority. 

This Wellness Wednesday, we wanted to take a deeper look into autoimmune disease, a disease that is currently mis-understood by our healthcare system, and how autoimmune disease affects your health. 

Learn more about my personal journey here >

After traditional medicine had failed me time and time again, my personal research led me to a functional medicine approach and the discovery of holistic practices to heal and reverse the crippling symptoms to reclaim my health.

Through this challenging journey, I discovered Dr. Amy Myers and her book “The Autoimmune Solution,” which we will be referencing throughout this article. Dr. Myers and her practices have truly changed the way I am able to live my life – while committed to reversing my autoimmune disease.

Please take note as we refer to Dr. Amy Myers, a New York Times bestselling author and functional medicine physician, to understand exactly what autoimmune disease is. 

Dr. Amy Myers states, “Autoimmune disease is simply a disease where your immune system attacks your body.” 

"Over 90 percent of the population suffers from inflammation or an autoimmune disorder."

Dr. Myers explains that the immune system usually attacks foreign bacteria or viruses that enter our bodies by releasing antibodies. However, when having an autoimmune disease, your body cannot distinguish between your own cells and foreign ones. This means your immune system mistakes your joints, your skin, and even your organs for foreign invaders.

What is the Cause of Autoimmune Disease?

Functional medicine physician Dr. Myers believes there are five causes or elements that are likely the root of the disease. Continuously working to fix these elements can help improve and prevent the disease. 

  • Leaky Gut

  • Dr. Myers says, “Leaky gut happens when the tight junctions that hold your intestinal wall together become loose.” Ultimately, your immune system will begin to attack your own tissue by accident with a continual strain on the gut. 

    With the gut housing a majority of your immune system, a leaky gut is believed to be the central cause of autoimmune disease. Therefore, what you eat is everything when it comes to healing.

  • Grain - Dairy - Soy - Alcohol - Refined Sugar - Processed / Fried Food

  • The list of foods above that lead to leaky gut can be found in most foods today, beyond bread and pasta. Grain & dairy can be found in almost anything in our modern world, which is alarming as it is the number one culprit of leaky gut.

    Dr. Myers explains that all grains are highly inflammatory and releases a chemical called zonulin into our intestines, which ultimately communicates to our gut lining to open up. This creates a great amount of stress on your immune system, which leads to Dr. Myers’ recommendation to cut these foods out of your diet. 

    Our advice? Try it for 30 days to see the difference.

  • Toxins

  • Toxins such as heavy metals and mycotoxins, which are toxic molds, are two of the main toxins Dr. Myers sees with autoimmune disease. Ingesting these toxins through our foods, environment, and other products we use daily can put us at a greater risk of developing autoimmune diseases. 

    Dr. Myers suggests combating this by using clean, nontoxic products such as beauty products and cleaning products. She also suggests only eating organic fruits and vegetables. 

  • Infections

  • Healing your infections is very important to reversing your autoimmunity. In fact, some infections we get never leave our body; however, it is important to treat them to suppress them. Dr. Myers shares with us, “Scientists have long suspected that infections from bacteria, viruses, and other toxins were likely to be blamed as causes of autoimmune disease.”

    stressed out woman
    Photo by energepic.com.
  • Stress

  • We all suffer from stress in our day to day lives; however, stress can have a negative effect on our bodies. Finding ways to relieve our stress is important as stress can also play a big role in autoimmune diseases. 

    This means checking in with your body on a regular basis throughout the day. Do you need to take a breath break, drink some water, do a quick stretch? It is important to know your body and sharpen your self-awareness. 

    What triggers the disease, and how can you prevent it?

    There are many causes of autoimmune disease; however, your immune system is the key component of the disease. It is important to work on preventative measures such as stress relief, diet, and testing for infections. 

    By being proactive, you can help prevent suffering from this disease that will lead to more inflammation, pain, and more advanced diseases down the road. It is important to remember that there is no cure for autoimmune disease; however, the symptoms of autoimmune diseases can be reversed.

    Conventional Medicine vs. Functional Medicine

    Types of autoimmune diseases include Lupus, Hashimoto’s, Graves’ disease, Psoriasis, Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Rheumatoid Arthritis, Psoriatic Arthritis, certain skin diseases, and hundreds more. Chances are you have heard of one of these or may even know someone with one of these diseases. Whether they have decided to use conventional medicine or functional medicine, it is important to understand the key differences between them.

    According to Dr. Myers, conventional medicine’s approach is to treat symptoms rather than finding the root cause of your autoimmune disease. 

    Very important to understand, our current healthcare system does not recognize autoimmune diseases as diseases of the immune system. Instead, they are treated and recognized as diseases for a particular organ.

    Conventional medicine also believes you can not reverse an autoimmune disease once obtaining one. Instead, it is aimed to treat your symptoms by using medications that suppress the immune system. By doing so, you can experience side effects such as fatigue, weight gain, depression, or even infections. 

    On the other hand, functional medicine's purpose is to reverse your autoimmune disease by repairing your gut health and strengthening your immune system. Functional medicine sees all parts of the body as a whole unit, which focuses on supporting and strengthening your immune system.

    A Few of our Favorite Wellness Tips

    We believe in women finding their highest self, therefore your health and wellness is important to us here at BeachCandy. We are devoted to giving you the best in holistic health and wellness practices. 

    Check out some of our favorite recent wellness tips, such as Healthy Ways To Handle Stress and Let’s Talk Anti-Inflammatory Comfort Food

    Legendary Swimwear For Women Since 2011

    Be sure to check out our new collection for Spring 2022, BeachCandy Ranch – Western-inspired swimwear, clothing, and accessories. For the cowgirl in all of us.


    Written by Kaleigh Medellin & Brit B.

    The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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