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  • Tanya Milin

In the past few years, there has been a tremendous increase in cases of autoimmune diseases. And it seems the condition is just everywhere around us. Now that the incidence of such diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Crohn’s disease, Lupus, and multiple sclerosis continue to increase, so also is the need for effective treatment to fight them.

Gut health and our diet are major areas of opportunity when we talk about cutting down inflammation and controlling autoimmune disease. This has led to many keto diet lovers asking if there are any benefits of the diet to autoimmune diseases.

In this article, you’ll learn more about keto diet and autoimmune disease, and how ketogenic diet can be of great help in controlling autoimmune disease.

Ketogenic Diet and Autoimmune Disease

Also known as keto diet, the ketogenic diet is a high-fat, low-fat diet that triggers ketosis – a natural metabolic process of the body. When you eat a minimal amount of carbs, you will be depriving your body of glucose, which is its natural source of fuel. This forces it to start burning stored body fat instead. Although often used for weight loss, keto diet also has lots of other health benefits.

Autoimmune disease, on the other hand, is a growing health condition that has more than 50 million people diagnosed in the US to have one type of autoimmune disease or the other. Under normal circumstance, your immune system helps shied you away from the invasion of foreign substances into your body, including viruses and bacteria. It attacks them and eliminates them from your body, therefore, keeping you healthy and well shielded away from outside invaders.

However, during the case of autoimmunity, your immune system mistakes your healthy tissues and cells as foreign invaders and mounts an attack against them. Such diseases like multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, Hashimoto’s, and type 1 diabetes are all autoimmune diseases.

What Are the Root Cause of Autoimmune Diseases?

Autoimmune diseases are genetic and you are either prone to it or not. But there is usually an incident(s) can trigger the condition in people that are genetically prone to it. This initial trigger is usually referred to as the root cause. The triggers can be an infection, virus, injury, stress, poor nutrition or pregnancy.

Another important root cause is poor gut health, which results in leaky gut syndrome and causing systemic inflammation. This is where nutrition and diet is needed to prevent or treat autoimmune issues.

Some Common Autoimmune Disease and How Ketogenic Diet Could Help:

Multiple sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) usually cause damages to nerves that control communication between your body and your brain, which often results in different symptoms like pain, fatigue, weakness, impaired coordination, and loss of vision. MS also destroys your brain’s ability to utilize glucose, which means if your brain is not getting an alternative source of fuel, problems may arise.

Because ketogenic diet helps provide an alternative source of fuel for the body, it can help prevent complications from MS.

Ketogenic diet also helps promote the production of energy on a cellular level, which hence impacts the health of the mitochondria, which may be under attack due to multiple sclerosis.

Crohn’s Disease

This is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease characterized by an attack on the gastrointestinal tract by your immune system. Crohn’s disease is caused by severe chronic inflammation in the gut, and because of this, all foods that may be aggravating the gut lining should be removed. That is exactly where keto diet helps. By removing gut lining aggravating foods like refined carbs, gluten, and sugar, it helps increase anti-inflammatory pathways in your body.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition that causes your immune system to attack your joints. This results in inflammation, causing swelling and thickening of the tissues that line the joints. Of course, this can be very painful, and in some cases, can lead to bone and cartilage damage.

People living with rheumatoid arthritis usually have low levels of glutathione antioxidant, which is a key compound in your immune system. It helps keep away free radicals and protects the body from oxidative stress.

Animal model studies, however, proved that ketogenic diet help increases the level of glutathione in the body, and so, help boost antioxidant activity.


Unlike some other autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid disease or multiple sclerosis that attack particular areas of the body, Lupus can attack any part of your body, resulting in inflammation, swelling, and causes damages to joints and organs.

According to studies, Lupus can activate the inflammasome NLRP3 receptor – a receptor whose activation can trigger the activation of other inflammatory molecules in the body to cause a series of inflammations. When this cascade of inflammation continues, it can become chronic, leading to severe pain.

However, when the body is in ketosis, it is able to produce an abundance of the BHB (beta-hydroxybutyrate) ketone. BHB is able to inhibit NLRP3 and thus decreasing inflammation. So eating a keto diet as a Lupus patient means you are helping your body produce the very antidote to counter the autoimmune disease.

Maintaining a healthy gut is a good way to prevent virtually all autoimmune diseases, and the ketogenic diet is just the best way to go about it. It is an anti-inflammatory diet when done correctly. However, everyone’s body is different, so make sure you speak with your doctor before adopting the diet.

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  • Tanya Milin

Ashwagandha (Withania sominifera) which is also known by other names like Poison gooseberry, Indian ginseng or Winter cherry is an adaptogenic herb belonging to the Solanaceae family. It is an herb that has gained so much popularity in Ayurvedic medicine that it has been used for several medicinal purposes for more than 2,500 years.

Below are some of the amazing health benefits of Ashwagandha you should know:

Ashwagandha improves Thyroid function

One of the most incredible functions of Ashwagandha as an adaptogen herb is its ability to help people with thyroid problems – either under-active or overactive thyroid function. Ashwagandha was tested out in people living with Hashimoto’s disease and found to support a sluggish thyroid in such individuals.

Ashwagandha helps Boost Immune function

Because of its ability to work as an adaptogen reducing the body’s stress hormones, Ashwagandha has been found to be effective in helping to boost the body’s immune system and also reduce inflammation within the body.

Ashwagandha relieves adrenal fatigue

This is another important benefit of Ashwagandha you should know as research has shown that the herb may be used in supporting adrenal function and help overcome adrenal fatigue. By doing this, Ashwagandha could be used to relieve stress as it impacts the adrenals, which are endocrine glands responsible for the release of adrenaline and cortisol in response to stress.

Ashwagandha enhances brain function

Ashwagandha is one of the members of the sub-group of “Rasayanas” which is known as “Medhyarasayanas. It has the ability to promote cognitive function, therefore, has become very useful for children suffering from memory deficit. Ashwagandha is also being used by old age people for preventing memory loss.

Ashwagandha helps combat stress and anxiety

The ability of Ashwagandha to work as a natural remedy for anxiety has been one of the major benefits this herb has long been known for. When observed in human subjects, root extracts of Ashwagandha at high concentrations effectively and safely improved resistance towards stress, thereby improving self-accessed quality of life in such individuals.

Ashwagandha improves depression

Ashwagandha is not only useful for people suffering from anxiety and chronic stress but has also been found to be of great for people who experience signs of depression. Ashwagandha helps improve your resistance towards stress and thus causes your self-assessed quality of life to also improve. Ashwagandha reduces stress levels and thus work as a potential natural remedy for depression.

Flexeril and Its Benefits

Unlike Ashwagandha, Flexeril is not an herb but a brand name for a drug, cyclobenzaprine. This drug is often prescribed to relax muscles by reducing hypersensitivity of the muscles as it acts on both alpha and gamma motor systems (two nerve fibers that directly responsible for muscle contraction). Medical specialists do prescribe Flexeril for the treatment of pain and discomfort that has its origin from muscle injuries, including sprains and strains.

Below are some uses of Flexeril

  • It is often used for short-term relief of muscle spasm linked with a painful, acute, musculoskeletal condition.

  • Improves tenderness and pain associated with muscle spasm, therefore, promoting mobility

  • Causes a relief to muscle spasm without interfering with muscle function

  • Helps people suffering from insomnia caused by muscle spasm to sleep better, thanks to its sedative effects

  • Has long-lasting effects

  • Flexeril is not addictive

  • Readily available under the generic name cyclobenzaprine

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  • Tanya Milin

Updated: Aug 12, 2019

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