Research from the UK has shown some autoimmune diseases increase the risk of dementia in later life. This finding comes from a large scale and long term study that looked at hospital admissions between the years 1998 and 2012 in England. More than 1.8 million people were admitted to hospital with an autoimmune disease, and those individuals were followed up.

The researchers wanted to find out if there is a link between admission to hospital with one of 25 autoimmune diseases and an increased risk of a future admission to hospital with dementia. Earlier studies have shown that autoimmune diseases and heightened inflammatory states may play a part in the development of dementia. This is because inflammation of the gut lining and leaky gut syndrome also increases the permeability of the blood-brain barrier, allowing a larger quantity of toxins to reach the brain.

This current research showed that people with an autoimmune disease were on average 20 percent more likely to end up in hospital later with dementia. The specific autoimmune diseases linked with dementia are Addison's disease (48 percent greater risk); multiple sclerosis (an almost double risk); psoriasis (29 percent higher risk); and systemic lupus erythematosus (46 per cent greater risk). The individuals had a greater risk of dementia caused by Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia, caused by impaired blood flow in the brain, such as after a stroke.

The researchers postulated that the higher risk for vascular dementia could be caused by the association between autoimmune disease and greater risk of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases in general. People with autoimmune disease are 53 percent more likely to be admitted to hospital for coronary heart disease and 46 per cent more likely to be admitted with a stroke when they are older.

The heightened inflammatory state that is present in autoimmune disease, unfortunately, causes collateral damage to other areas of the body, including the brain. If you have an autoimmune disease, it is so important to work on healing your gut. Fixing leaky gut and restoring high levels of good bacteria in your gut is paramount. This is particularly important if you suffer from a foggy head. I have found that my  Ultimate Gut Health powder, selenium and a probiotic are very necessary for anyone dealing with autoimmunity.

There is a great deal more information in my book Healing Autoimmune Disease: A plan to help your immune system and reduce inflammation.