Autoimmune Disease literally means the body’s immune system is fighting itself. Although Autoimmune Disease may begin fighting one tissue or organ inevitably other tissues will become involved.
When enough of a tissue, organ or gland is destroyed by the Immune System it will become dysfunctional. For example in Hashimoto’s Disease (autoimmune disease of the Thyroid gland) as more thyroid tissue is destroyed the less the thyroid can function and eventually it will stop functioning.
In an autoimmune disease the Immune system forms antibodies to the specific proteins of that tissue or organ. The antibodies then begin to attack that tissue as if it were an invading microbe or toxin.
Identifying the type of antibody specific for an organ or tissue is the way to identify if an Autoimmune disease has been turned on and what Autoimmune disease it is.
Types of Autoimmune Disease
Although there are dozens of Autoimmune diseases (AID) below are the most common:
- Addison’s- AID of the adrenal glands
- Alopecia- AID of the hair follicles
- Celiac- AID of the intestinal lining
- Crohn’s- AID of the large intestines
- Lupus- AID attacking many tissues and organs
- Endometriosis- AID of the uterine lining
- Pernicious Anemia- AID against Intrinsic Factor in Stomach which decreases absorption of vitamin B12
- Hashimoto’s- AID of the thyroid gland
- Psoriasis- AID of the skin
- Type I Diabetes- AID attacking the cells in the pancreas making insulin
- Rheumatoid Arthritis- AID of the joints
- MS- AID attacking the myelin coating of nerves
- Scleroderma- AID attacking connective tissue
Causes of Autoimmunity
There are a number of causes for the Immune System to begin attacking the body.
The first group of causes are associated with events that affect the function of our immune system such as antibiotics (oral or in food), steroids and vaccinations. These immune manipulators can alter the Immune System such that it will recognize “self” as enemy.
Additionally improper immune development from lack of exposure to microbes or lack of exposure to mother’s microbes also appear to contribute to improper immune function later in life.
The next group of causative factors is the alteration of the gut microbiome which is necessary to coordinate immune, digestive and neurologic systems. Antibiotics, gut infections, gluten and allergenic foods can all disrupt the microbiome resulting in gut inflammation and ultimately a disruption of the Immune system.
The next group of causative factors of Autoimmune Diseases is a result of a porous leaky gut. When this leaky gut allows undigested food, particles and microbes to escape into the body the immune system attacks them. Many of these particles will resemble the proteins of certain tissues in the body. This sets off autoimmunity.
Finally, certain Autoimmune diseases have a hereditary factor. Some are more common if a parent had the same Autoimmune disease.
Treatments for Autoimmune Disease
After identifying if an Autoimmune disease exists and what organ / tissue the Immune system it is attacking it is important to restore the immune system to normal. Immune suppressive drugs, although helpful short term, will have many long term unhealthy side effects due to overall immune suppression.
First, inflammation must be significantly reduced. A natural botanical, Peony, is demonstrating impressive results not only in reducing the inflammation associated with Autoimmune Disease but has shown significant reduction of Autoimmune attacks by the immune system. Additionally, natural anti-inflammatories such as curcumin, berberine, and ginger will assist Peony in healing the body from autoimmunity.
Following the reduction of inflammation the next priority is restoring gut function (probiotics) while repairing the gut. Since 80% of the Immune system is around the gut a healthy gut is critical.
Bravo for Restoring the Gut and the Microbiome
The best product to return the gut and microbiome to top health and function is Bravo Yogurt. Bravo contains a wide variety of probiotic organisms (42 species) necessary to restore the gut and microbiome to health. Bravo also has shown great results in restoring the immune system to healthy function.
The final piece is for the patient with Autoimmune Disease to remove the factors setting off the Immune system dysfunction. These include eliminating gluten, dairy and sugar from the diet. These can eventually be added back at a time when the immune system is functioning normally. Be wary of gluten as that can retrigger Autoimmune disease and inflammation.
Gut health and the microbiome is really the key to most chronic health problems especially Autoimmune disease.
Peony to decrease inflammation and Bravo for gut and immune health are important solutions to Autoimmune disease.