What are Auto-Immune Disorders?
One of the most prevalent conditions that Americans have is an autoimmune disorder. This happens when the body’s immune system attacks the healthy tissues of the body. A staggering 50 million Americans are believed to be affected by an autoimmune disorder! Also, autoimmunity is one of the top 10 leading causes of death in female children and women up to 64 years old. A lot of those who have an autoimmune disorder are not even aware they have it.
Common symptoms of this inflammatory response consist of redness, swelling, and pain. Symptoms such as fatigue and fever are also prevalent symptoms. Autoimmune disorders can affect every part of the body, including the brain, nerves, heart, blood vessels, muscles, skin, eyes, joints, lungs, kidneys, liver, glands, and digestive tract. No wonder researchers have identified between 80-100 autoimmune diseases with the possibility of another 40 or so having an autoimmune component!
Autoimmune diseases you might be familiar with include Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Type 1 Diabetes, Lupus, Sjogren’s Syndrome, Scleroderma, and Psoriasis.
There are different medical theories regarding why autoimmune disorders happen. About 20% of the population has a genetic predisposition to autoimmunity. However, there are likely several “triggers” that integrative doctors such as ourselves address. Triggers or causative agents might consist of chronic infections (e.g., viral infections, gum disease, Lyme Disease, and others), imbalanced microbiome in the digestive tract (where 70% of the immune cell activity takes place), unhealthy intestinal lining referred to as increased permeability (where protein particles and bacteria can be improperly absorbed into the bloodstream inducing an immune reaction), food allergies or sensitivities (particularly gluten), environmental toxins (toxic metals, pesticides, etc), and hormone imbalances.
We help patients prevent and treat autoimmune diseases by addressing underlying causative factors and using holistic protocols to lower inflammation and improve immune system regulation. In some cases, we also use Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN) to help with immune modulation.
For individuals on conventional drug treatments for autoimmunity, we work to address underlying causative factors and provide complementary treatments for a greater quality of life.