HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- There's a global rise in autoimmune diseases and the western diet is to blame, according to researchers at the London Francis Crick Institute.
The new data shows that in the past 40 years there has been a significant rise in the rates of autoimmune diseases around the globe.
Dr. Brooke Goldner, who is an autoimmune disease specialist, told ABC13 that researchers are studying if genetics have anything to do with the rise in cases. They found that genetics aren't the cause- it is food. The spread of western diets match the spread of autoimmune diseases like inflammatory bowel diseases, type-1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, lupus and more.
She went on to say that the high rates of meat, dairy, processed food and fast food are leading to this rise in these diseases around the world.
For example, she said, the Middle East is now dealing with inflammatory bowel disease, which they never dealt with before.
Dr. Goldner, who specializes in researching these diseases, said the best way to treat them, or keep them at bay, links back to nutrition.
"Just like you chose the right fuel for your car, we need to choose the right fuel for your body or your body is not going to work properly," Goldner said.
Adding more nourishing foods like veggies and fruits goes a long way. Goldner said to start slow by adding a leafy green smoothie daily and going from there. She has recipes and free information on reversing autoimmune diseases on her website.