When working properly, your immune system functions like the President’s secret service. White blood cells seek out any dangerous agents that have entered the body, such as viruses, bacteria, or parasitic worms. These are known as pathogens. The immune system distinguishes these from healthy tissue and destroys them. Unfortunately, the immune system doesn’t always work properly. Sometimes it gets confused, and mistakes healthy body tissue for pathogens. When innocent tissue gets targeted by the immune system, the body attacks itself and problems arise. These problems are called autoimmune disorders.
Autoimmune disorders vary, but include disorders such as:
• Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
• Celiac Disorder
• Type 1 Diabetes
• Addison’s Disease
• Rheumatoid Arthritis
• and more
Symptoms vary greatly, depending on what the immune system has decided to attack. Common symptoms, though, include fatigue, fever, malaise, muscle and joint pain, or skin issues. So what can you do about it? Consider a holistic approach to treatment. Holistic medicine looks to the whole person, lifestyle, and environment to solve body disorders, rather than limit itself to a single-pronged approach such as taking a pill. A holistic approach to autoimmune disorders tends to focus on three areas:
1. Nutrition and Healthy Eating Habits
The root causes of autoimmune disorders are complex and still under investigation, but current research suggests the common Western diet of processed foods, junk snacks, and refined salts may deserve a large slice of the blame. One piece of the immune system is the T-helper cells, which activate other cells to fight pathogens. One subset of T-helpers, called the Th17 cells, are known to become more aggressive when exposed to high salt-content. They start firing off “activation” messages with greater frequency, and end up attacking healthy parts of the body.
One treatment approach, then, is to cut down the refined, processed, and bleached salts. These are not found in nature, and the human body is not entirely adapted to handling them. These processed salts have also lost their healthy minerals. Cutting out these bad salts and replacing them with mineral-rich foods like nuts, fruits, and vegetables can help treat autoimmune disorders.
Your body is designed to self-correct. However, the immune system is constantly at war with numerous pathogens, toxins, and allergens — some coming from the food you eat (such as refined sugars and salts), others from your environment. When your body is that busy, it loses the capacity to address other issues, such as autoimmune disorders. If your diet is loaded with these
toxins, any victories your body does celebrate will be short-lived. Detoxification programs can be a great way to remove the food toxins, as well as chemicals found around the house like cleaning agents or pest control products, and allow the body to work the way it’s supposed to.
Autoimmune disorders are essentially a problem of imbalance. Your body has too much refined salts, not enough minerals. Your goal in treating these disorders is, simply, to restore balance. One method that can help this process is acupuncture, which stimulates nerve cells in the brain and causes the body to start acting. Hormones and proteins are released, blood pressure shifts, body temperature regulates. The body is poked and prodded to start acting. One result of this is the pain lessens.
Remember, the causes of autoimmune diseases are varied, and still under investigation. Any successful treatment will likely involve all three methods of attack — nutrition control, detoxification, and acupuncture. If you need a holistic treatment approach to your condition, or you just want more information, contact us.