Auto Immune Diseases
A report released by the Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA), notes that more than 50 million Americans are affected by an autoimmune disease such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and lupus. Autoimmune Diseases Cost US More Than $100 Billion Annually. Mar 28, 2011
What is an autoimmune disorder? Your immune system defends your body against germs and other foreign invaders. It makes antibodies against the invaders. A healthy immune system can tell the difference between self and non-self. A sick immune system will make auto-antibodies (self-antibodies) that attack your own tissues/organs. It is a misguided attack on your own body.
The most common autoimmune disorders are type 1 diabetes, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, psoriasis, celiac disease, fibromyalgia, MS and many more. As many as 90% of the people in the US that have hypothyroidism have Hashimoto’s. The type of autoimmune disorder depends on what body organ/tissue is being attacked. ANY tissue in your body can be the victim of an autoimmune disorder.
There are 3 stages of autoimmunity.
1. Silent Autoimmunity: Immune system is attacking the body, no significant loss of tissue or symptoms, elevated tissue antibodies
2. Autoimmune Reactivity: Autoimmune reactions progressed to destroy enough tissue to cause symptoms and loss of function is noticeable, not advanced enough to be labeled as autoimmune disease
3. Autoimmune Disease: Symptoms and loss of tissue are significant; loss of tissue is advanced enough to be identified with imaging studies and other tests.
How can this happen? Here is a list of triggers that can lead to an autoimmune disorder.
Diet – alcohol, gluten, casein, processed foods, excess sugar, fast food
Medications – corticosteroids, antibiotics, antacids, xenobiotics
Infections – bacterial, yeast, viral, parasitic
Stress – physical, mental and emotional
Hormonal – PMS, PCOS, menopause, andropause
Neurologic – brain trauma, stroke, neurodegeneration
Metabolic – diabetes, intestinal inflammation etc.
Working with a qualified functional medicine practitioner like Dr. Monique will give you tools to significantly improve your health. Testing is available to determine what type of autoimmune disorder you have. Once you have been diagnosed with one autoimmune disorder you are at high risk for developing more if you don’t make any changes. Dr. Monique will recommend an anti-inflammatory autoimmune friendly diet, exercise regimen and series of nutritional supplements to optimize your health. Functional nutrition works to correct the underlying imbalances in your body with diet and supplements. Once the imbalances are corrected, you no longer need those supplements. The goal is to give your body the nutrients it needs to restore balance and function. Many of our patients’ health improves so much that they can often reduce the number of daily medications they are on and some no longer need them. (Our patients work with their prescribing doctors to modify their medication intake.)
Regular chiropractic adjustments and acupuncture help stabilize your immune system and optimize your body function thereby reducing the symptoms of autoimmune disorders.