Autoimmune Diseases Cause –
Conventional and functional medicine hold two very different approaches when it comes to establishing the causes and subsequent treatment of an autoimmune disease.
If you have looked into conventional medicine for solutions, you may very well know how frustrating and stressful it is to undergo one-to-many ineffective and painful treatments. But what if I told you there is a way to treat and and even eliminate the symptoms of your autoimmune condition?
As a professional in the field of functional medicine, my mission is to provide patients with deep knowledge and understanding on what’s really causing their condition. My ultimate goal is not just symptom suppression; I strive to find the right treatment that’s suited to my patients’ needs, so that they can eventually improve their health and continue on living normally again.
What is an autoimmune disease?
As its name suggests, an autoimmune disease is one which affects the immune system. The prefix “auto” indicates that the system acts on the same body as it does on a component, agent or any foreign substance that might be seen as a threat. In other words, the body destroys itself. The immune system identifies parts of the body as “invaders” that must be exterminated. When this happens, the immune system destroys vital body organs. One very common target is the thyroid gland, followed by the intestines, the brain, the skin, the pancreas and so forth.
Functional medicine focuses on preventing, treating and ultimately eliminating the symptoms of an autoimmune disease by taking control of the immune system and restoring back to its normal functioning.
Conventional medicine’s main goal is to suppress symptoms presented separately on each organ. Yes, it also “cleans” the organs by removing the parts that are no longer functional. However it does so without taking in consideration that the actual cause of said deterioration is actually the malfunction of the immune system. This is why we can’t find a single practicioner in conventional medicine that will deal with autoimmune conditions. In return, the patient must see different kinds of practicioners that treat only a certain kind of organ or part of the body. For example, if you suffer from Hashimoto’s disease or diabetes, you will be treated by an endocrinologist; if you have rheumatoid arthritis, by a rheumatologist; if you have psoriasis, by a dermatologist; and so forth depending on your condition.
Whenever there’s a malfunction in the immune system, several organs will get affected. It might start with one or a few, but as system dysfunction progresses, more organs are damaged over time. Conventional medicine dictates that a patient will have to see different practicioners in order to treat each one of the affected organs. Each doctor prescribes a specific type of medication depending on the organ they specialize in. What should be emphasized here is that these medical practicioners are not particularly concerned with restoring nor strengthening the immune system back to its proper functioning. Thus, even when the patient starts to feel a decrease in their symptoms, their immune system will continue to fail and destroy the vital organs.
Correct vs. suppress
Conventional medicine suggests that treating an autoimmune condition should rely on suppressing its symptoms, while disregarding the actual disease as “incurable”. Practitioners of this field try doing so by loading the patients with strong medication that only works for as long as they continue to take it. Once its effect has run out, patients are left to deal with major side effects, usually a product of severe organ damage, which might include fatigue, weight gain, depression, and even cancer.
On the contrary, functional medicine sees the body as a whole. Therefore, it bases its diagnosis on the premise that each body system affects the other; and that once an organ gets damaged, the rest will soon start to follow. Functional medicine focuses on the correction and the strengthening of a deteriorated system in order to bring it back to its normal, healthy state. It achieves this by deeply and thoughtfully studying the system, which eventually leads to discovering the root of its malfunction. Treatment to correct the dysfunction is then determined and prescribed.
What are some of the underlying causes of an autoimmune disease?
The number of diseases that have been determined to manifest themselves due to stress is rapidly increasing. Stress, both emotional and physical, has been shown to intensify the body’s immune response. This occurs because stress is the body’s natural response to any type of threat: it could be a wound, or a disturbing emotion, like fear. Currently, there are many cases of chronic stress, which causes the body to be permanently inflamed causing the development of an autoimmune disease.
Gluten and Leaky Gut
Gluten protein has a composition similar to that of the thyroid gland.
This similarity can cause a failing immune system to confuse the thyroid gland tissues with gluten, and to destroy them. Gluten protein is also inflammatory and causes the immune system to be overloaded with activity by working extra hard to reduce inflammation in the body. In addition, gluten is also responsible for the release of zonulin, a protein that reversibly modulates the permeability of the intestine. In other words, it regulates the opening function of the intestine tight junctions (TJs). If higher-than-average levels of zonulin are released, the intestine becomes more permeable, therefore creating a “leaky gut”. TJs work as a filter in the body, separating benign substances from harfum ones, and expelling the latter via feces and urine. Once this system is disrupted, a fissure between the tight junctions is created which leads toxic organisms to spread into the bloodstream.
Toxins and toxic elements can be found all around us. While some are easy to locate, others can hide in seemingly “innocent” places. Food ingestion is one way through which we come in direct contact with toxic elements. Toxins vary in composition and shape. Some common examples include organisms like the mycotoxins, a dangerous type of fungi; and heavy metals like mercury, element present in fish, or in amalgam fillings. For people with autoimmune failure, toxins can be extremely dangerous, for they enter the body and continue to spread and worsen the disease.
Infections can be caused by either viruses, toxins and/or bacteria. Scientists believe that some infections could be related to the occurrence of an autoimmune condition, such as those produced by the Epstein Barr virus (EBV), the Herpes Simplex virus (HSV), or the bacterium E coli.
What are some of the underlying causes of an autoimmune disease?
1º Reducing stress
The first thing I tell my patients when they start treatment is to focus on calming down and progressively reducing their stress levels. There are different types of actions and strategies one can take in order to reduce stress, such as performing moderate exercises like yoga. Meditating or indulging in a soothing hobby, like painting, is also very effective in reducing stress levels.
2º Removing gluten
Leaky Gut, present in people who suffer from an autoimmune disease, can be healed by consuming gluten-free foods. Diet modification is the first thing that a patient must achieve in order to start improving their health.
3rd Eliminating toxins
It’s absolutely necessary that a patient gets tested for mycotoxins in order to determine which type of fungi the person is being exposed to, and take subsequent action to eliminate it from their surrounding.
Mercury, alongside other heavy metals, can be eliminated from the body by administering component called chelating agent DMPS(Dimercaptopropane Sulfonate).
Once it’s inside the body, the chemical attaches itself to the mineral to be finally expelled via feces.
Because of the high mercury levels they contain, amalgam fillings should also be removed from the denture, and eventually replaced by resin ones.
4th Treating infections
I strongly recommend patients to get tested for infections associated with autoimmune diseases so that the appropriate treatment can be conducted as soon as possible.
Possible objective: Prevent and overcome symptoms
We have seen that in changing the approach in which we study diseases, we open the door to new and more varied types of medical treatments. Some of which may even be more efficient than the ones we’re currently used to.
As an expert in functional medicine, my mission is to elucidate on what the real cause of an autoimmune disease actually is. This includes educating my patients on the factors that lead the immune system to malfunction, as well as providing the right treatment that will not just suppress symptoms, but also cleanse and strengthen the body so that they continue on living healthy lives.
Find out the Autoimmune Diseases Cause at Novis Health .