Autoimmunity and the Implications For The Wellness Coach


What is autoimmunity? This is term is growing in use by both conventional and alternative medicine. It is commonly mentioned in relation to certain health concerns. Health concerns like rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, inflammatory bowel disease (IBS), and Type 1 diabetes are a few examples. Yet, what does it mean exactly? And more so, what does it implicate for the patient and practitioner?

Iceberg showing more below what is seen on the surface to represent autoimmunity

The Definition of Autoimmune

“Autoimmune” (“auto” meaning “self”) describes an illness stemming from a confused immune system. The immune system is “confused” because it attacks itself. The body cannot discern between healthy normal tissues and foreign invaders or “antigens.” When this happens, the immune system can attack good cells. This, in turn, causes inflammation, pain, and other symptoms.

Autoimmune, chronic inflammation grows into a chronic disease in and of itself. It can originate or occur in many areas of the body including your gut, which is why knowing how to heal your gut for optimum health is important. It can also worsen other already established diseases.

Implications of Autoimmunity

Through research, our understanding of how autoimmune diseases work gets clearer over time. Yet, we still don’t quite know what causes autoimmune diseases.

Treating and managing them can be frustrating for clients. Furthermore, autoimmune diseases are very prevalent today. They have little research in mainstream medicine.

There is no clear-cut trigger common to every autoimmune disorder. Diagnosing one can be a long and difficult journey filled with uncertainty. Consequently, you may try out many different methods from client to client to see what works for each individual.

Why investigate the possibility of autoimmunity in an illness?

Autoimmune issues may be the hidden root of general discomfort and disease. Autoimmunity could be a subtle element to illness that mainstream practitioners may overlook. We may be treating the tip of the iceberg rather than the iceberg itself.

“Autoimmune issues may be the hidden root of general discomfort and disease.”

There are tests to determine possible autoimmune responses. Yet few conventional doctors or specialists know about these tests or even when to use them.

As such, it is up to wellness coaches to pick up on autoimmune issues as being a potential factor. A wellness coach can promote education and proactivity on self-care in this area.

Benefits of Considering Autoimmunity:

  • The real holistic problem that needs attention could be autoimmunity. This is the root cause of a patient’s other illnesses or symptoms.
  • Addressing autoimmunity in a client’s lifestyle can remove confusing yet common symptoms. These symptoms include fatigue, brain fog, headaches, and more.
  • Healing autoimmunity inflammation alleviates symptoms of other diseases associated with faulty immunity.
  • Targeting potential chronic inflammation can help a client feel better. Whereas chemical medications mask symptoms of a bigger pattern of illness (autoimmunity).

Autoimmunity is one of many wellness topics our students learn about here at the IAWP. If you’d like to be at the forefront of helping others learn about wellness, self-care, and living their lives to the fullest, we’re here to help you realize your full potential.

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About the Author

Suzanne Monroe

Suzanne Monroe is the author of Live Well Dream Big: The Ultimate Guide to Becoming Your Best Self and Living Life on Your Own Terms. She has also written and published The Holistic Cookbook & Lifestyle Guide: 12 Weeks to a Healthier, Happier You, the co-author of 101 Ways to Improve Your Health and the host of the Live Well Dream Big Podcast. Suzanne was inspired to create the IAWP Wellness Coach Training & Certification Program in collaboration with other leading health experts in order to inspire people to create meaningful careers and spread the message of wellness.

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