Sometimes the immune system becomes unable to distinguish the difference between normal cells and foreign invading cells, and so will cause an abnormal response. I often see patients with alopecia, psoriasis, connective tissue disease (Lupus) among many other auto immune responses. With women having as much as an 80% higher occurrence compared to men especially with thyroid disease, chronic fatigue, lupus, and scleroderma with many of these auto immune diseases developing during young adult years. There is often a combination of Stress, Estrogen and Infection that will trigger an auto immune response. Women, being estrogenic, generally have a lower metabolic rate than men, (parasympathetic) and if through poor diet, mal-absorption, pollutants or illness, a more dominant ‘cellular’ immune response is activated that can upset the immune response integrity. This affects neuro endocrine activity and oxidation rates and the way the body reacts to bacteria and viruses, causing changes to hormones that can suppress adrenal and thyroid expression causing disease. There are ways to reduce the risk of autoimmune disease mainly in the food we choose to eat. Protein rich foods that contain Iron and Zinc, and fresh vegetables and fruit for their Vitamin C and anti oxidant benefits and free radical scavenging are invaluable. Nuts and seeds for Vitamin E and Selenium (for thyroid recovery). We may not be able to change our living or work place environment but it is important to avoid or include foods that can help you balance your bio-chemistry. This can lead to a reduced susceptibility to auto immune disease. I use hair analysis as a screening tool for assessing the nutritional and immune status of individuals to make dietary requirements more specific based.