Question

Immune & Lymphatic System Disorders

What are natural treatments for autoimmune diseases?

A Answers (2)

  • AJacob Teitelbaum, Integrative Medicine, answered

    There are many autoimmune illnesses, with lupus being a common "prototype," and there are many natural treatments for the different processes. Whereas a discussion of all of these is beyond the scope of this space (it is a book in itself), the following are a few key points that may be dramatically helpful.

    There is usually a significant inflammatory component to these illnesses. Inflammation and the symptoms can be decreased. Using the following:

    Take Fish oil one tbsp/day until better (or two months) then a teaspoon a day. Alternatively, eat salmon or tuna at least 4x a week.

    Herbals can significantly inhibit inflammation. Boswellia and willow bark are particularly effective. Supplement daily for six weeks to see the effect, and then the dose can be lowered.

    Your doctor may give you steroids (prednisone) to suppress inflammation. Because doses over 5 mg a day are toxic, your doctor will try to wean you off the prednisone. As the prednisone suppressed your own adrenal cortisol production, your illness may flare when they try to wean you off the prednisone. Instead of lowering you below 5 mg of prednisone, ask them to switch you from the 5 mg prednisone to 15-20 mg each morning of Cortef (prescription, natural cortisone; 20 mg is like 4-5 mg of prednisone, but safer). Research has shown this dose to be safe for long term use and my research showed it does not suppress the adrenal glands.

    Several studies have shown that lupus patients do better on DHEA 200 mg a day. This high dose can cause acne or darkening of facial hair, so it should be used under the guidance of a holistic physician. It may also lower the toxicity of the prednisone and allow a lower dose to be used.

    Very Important! Many autoimmune problems trigger a secondary fibromyalgia - which may cause many of the symptoms that could be mistakenly blamed on your autoimmune illness. Your physician might then load you with high dose prednisone - which does NOT help fibromyalgia (though very low dose cortisol does). If you have insomnia along with widespread pain, you likely also have fibromyalgia - which is very treatable.

  • AMichael Jurgelewicz, Chiropractic Medicine, answered

    Many times people with autoimmune diseases such as, IDDM (Insulin-Dependent Diabetes Mellitus), DH (Dermatitis herpetiformis), Hashimoto’s thyroiditis or Graves’ disease, autoimmune hepatitis, alopecia, atrophic autoimmune gastritis, connective tissue disease (rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, dermatomyositis, scleroderma, or Sjogren’s disease) are simply given protocol driven treatments with limited success.

    The problem with this is everyone has their own biochemical individuality. Patients with similar symptoms can have totally different test results. In addition, patients with similar test results can have totally different symptoms. There is endless research on intestinal permeability aka intestinal epithelial hyperpermeability aka Leaky Gut. This is a common problem with almost all autoimmune diseases. The gastrointestinal tract is 80% of our immune system. Whenever you have inflammation present, the tight junctions and intestinal mucosa can become damaged causing gaps or “pores” in the lining of the GI tract. Then toxic byproducts in the digestive tract can be absorbed into the bloodstream and transported on to the liver. The molecules of food and toxins are “leaked” through the GI lining and then eventually they affect systems throughout the body causing inflammation in our joints, expressing toxins in skin disorders, autoimmune conditions, and food sensitivities.

    If you have an autoimmune disease, there are some tests to consider. There have been great strides in advancement in technology and what labs can test today. There are labs that assess a patient’s urine organic acids, plasma amino acids, and IgG4 food sensitivities. There is also a great lab to confirm if someone have intestinal permeability. Through the serum they are able to detect antibodies to LPS, Occludin/Zonulin and the Actomyosin Network to identify breakdown of a healthy intestinal barrier.

    It is also very important to get your vitamin D levels checked as well as Gluten-Associated Antibodies and Cross-Reative Foods tested since they play a large role in inflammatory and autoimmune processes.

    Once these underlying areas your health are explored, nutritional and lifestyle support would be used to address any dysfunctions, deficiencies, toxicities, etc.

    Helpful? 1 person found this helpful.
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