One of the most common 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 thought to be affected by an autoimmune condition! Also, autoimmunity is among the top 10 leading causes of death in female children as well as women up to 64 years old. Many of those that have an autoimmune disorder are not even aware they have it.
Common signs of this inflammatory reaction consist of redness, swelling, as well as pain. Symptoms such as fatigue and fever are also common symptoms. Autoimmune diseases 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 diseases occur. About 20% of the population has a genetic predisposition to autoimmunity. However, there are probably several "triggers" that integrative doctors such as ourselves address. Triggers or causative agents might include chronic infections (e.g., viral infections, gum disease, Lyme Disease, and others), the imbalanced microbiome in the digestive tract (where 70% of the immune cell activity occurs), unhealthy intestinal lining known as increased permeability (where protein particles and bacteria can be improperly absorbed into the bloodstream resulting in an immune reaction), food allergies or sensitivities (especially gluten), environmental toxins (toxic metals, pesticides, etc), and hormone imbalances.
We help patients prevent and treat autoimmune disorders by focusing on underlying causative factors and utilizing holistic methods to minimize inflammation and improve immune system regulation. Sometimes, we also use Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN) to help with immune modulation.
For individuals on conventional drug therapies for autoimmunity, we work to address underlying causative factors and provide complementary treatments for a better quality of life.
For further information about Dr. Stengler’s practice and his clinic in Carlsbad, California, please visit our website at MarkStengler.com or give us a call at (760) 274-2377