What is Auto Immune Disease?
Ever wonder about that weird rash or itchy area that comes and goes, but never really goes away? Headaches for seemingly no reason? Trigger points and “fibromyalgia?” Bloating stomach and reflux? Always tired and have “brain fog?” The clouds before the storm are settling in. The writing is on the wall and you need to do something before you are doomed like Jericho.
Billions of people world-wide have some kind of autoimmune disease. Auto immune diseases include diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, MS, Crohn’s, Hashimoto’s disease, and many others. Including some weird conditions without specific names or description. But why and what causes these diseases?
To some great extent we do not know exactly what causes auto immunity, but the commonality in these different diseases is the body attacks itself. But, why? We have some great clues we will discuss in this article.
In some case people have intolerances which are different than allergies. An example is lactose intolerance.
Diagnosing Lupus, Hashimoto’s, Rheumatism and Other Auto Immune Conditions
Dr. Viet Le of ACN Wellness, views autoimmunity as a progressive disease that needs constant attention and a functional and holistic approach to treatment. Functional medicine focuses on identifying and treating the cause of the disease. Le’s autoimmunity evaluation focuses on finding the underlying causes of the specific auto immune diseases. For example, Hashimoto’s Disease is linked to toxic metals (often found in mercury teeth fillings) and chronic infection. A thorough patient history and understanding of the specific auto-immune disease is critical. In the above example, Dr. Le would recommend the Hashimoto’s patient remove all toxic mercury fillings in a safe manner. Other things will be emphasized as well:
- Nutritional Deficiencies
- Hormone Deficiency or Imbalance
- Identification of Dental Toxins and Infections
- Inflammation Markers of Auto-Immune Disease
- Toxin Exposures
- Balance of Microorganisms especially in the gut
- Detoxification Pathways
- Latent or Subclinical Infections such as root canals and fungal infections in nail beds.
- Digestive Function
- Family History
- Food Sensitivities vs Intolerances
Multidisciplinary and Holistic Auto Immune Disease Treatment
auto immune diseaseOnce an auto immune disease has started it can be very difficult to reverse the progression of disease. Basically, diseases like Lupus are characterized by the bodies immune system attacking itself. Dr. Le is well equipped to treat auto immunity due to his multidisciplinary and holistic functional approach. Some his treatments include acupuncture, dry needling, diet analysis, thorough lifestyle history, inflammatory testing, detox, lymph drainage techniques, chiropractic and much more.
Can Auto Immune Disease be Caused by Systemic Inflammation
There is evidence that auto immune disease is caused by systemic inflammation deep in tissues of the body. Many scientists and functional doctors believe that systemic inflammation causes the immune system to start working improperly. And results in the body attacking itself. Once the body starts attacking in auto immune disease, it can be difficult to get it to stop attacking.
What causes inflammation in the systems of our body?
The human body is very strong and capable of dealing with various irritants and infections. But, year after year, our systems weaken and begin to fail. Slowly signs and symptoms will manifest and are the writing on the wall for more serious trouble down the road. Pain, poor sleep, weight gain, fatigue, memory loss and other medical conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, chronic back/neck/other pain. The following list are just some of the bad things in life that can cause the body to begin to turn toward auto immune disease:
- toxins (including toxic dental work)
- Heavy metals including mercury from fish and silver fillings
- Tooth and jaw infections (especially root canals, wisdom teeth, gum disease and rotten teeth)
- Prescription and over the counter drugs
- Poor diet including processed foods, preservatives, chemically altered foods
- Cosmetic products including perfumes, colognes, make-up, nail polish
- Chemicals and household products
Stomach and Gut Health Connection to Auto Immunity
Stomach and gut health can be adversely affected by some of the “bad things” listed above. Especially heavy metals (often coming from dental work) and a poor diet. Stomach and gut health are of pivotal importance as Dr. Steven Grundy identifies in his book “The Plant Paradox.” Dr. Grundy describes how “many autoimmune diseases are caused by alterations in the good bugs and the bad bugs that live in your gut. And also a very similar shift in the good and bad bugs in your mouth, nasal passageways, and your skin. Along with the changes in bacterial environments comes changes in the permeability of your gut walls, mouth and gums”.
Finding the Underlying Cause of Auto Immune Disease
Using a holistic and functional approach seeks to find the underlying causes of disease. The key to curing any disease is in finding the source or cause of the horrible autoimmune diseases. Diseases such as Hashimoto’s, Lupus and chronic Lyme diseases.
What additional risks are increased with Autoimmunity?
Risks associated with autoimmunity include higher rates of kidney insufficiency, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, and heart disease compared to the rest of the seemingly healthy population. The connection of autoimmunity with inflammation, cardiovascular and renal (kidney) complications can make autoimmune disorders difficult to treat.
Who is Affected by Autoimmune Disorders?
As a whole, autoimmune disorders represent the 4th-largest cause of disability among women in the U.S.; currently almost 80% of those affected with an autoimmune disease are women. It should be noted, however, that autoimmunity is prevalent within everyone to a certain extent.