Wholesome Residing: Autoimmunity – An Rising New Epidemic
I hate being the voice of doom, but in addition to the pandemic, we are also facing an epidemic of allergic, asthmatic and autoimmune diseases. You may be familiar with the first two, but when it comes to autoimmunity, most people only hear about it when they are diagnosed. It is sure to become one of the most common health problems clients come to my clinic.
Autoimmune diseases include rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, celiac disease, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, and the many other difficult-to-classify syndromes of the 21st century. At their roots they are connected by a central biochemical process, an imbalance in the immune system. Your immune system gets messed up and your own tissues get caught in a crossfire. Your body is fighting something – an infection, a toxin, an allergen – even food, and somehow it is redirecting its hostile attack on your own tissues. This immune confusion results from what is known as molecular mimicry: when the intruder’s structure is very similar to the structure of our own tissues.
Interestingly, autoimmune diseases occur almost exclusively in developed countries. People in poor countries without modern amenities such as running water, flush toilets, washing machines and well-tended backyards do not get these diseases. If you grew up on a farm with lots of animals, you are also less likely to have any of these inflammatory diseases. Playing in the dirt and being exposed to insects and infections trains your immune system to recognize what the enemy is and what “you” are. Stress has a huge impact on your immunity, weakens your ability to fight infections, and increases your chances of developing allergies and autoimmunity.
Taken together, autoimmune diseases are an enormous burden on health. Unfortunately, many of the conventional treatments available can make you feel worse. When used selectively, these drugs can help people regain their lives. But they are not a long-term solution. Anti-inflammatory drugs and immunosuppressants can lead to several side effects. They shouldn’t be the end of treatment, but rather a bridge to cool inflammation while the cause of the disease is found and addressed.
Naturopathy sees you as a whole, not as a machine with individual parts. No matter what part of your body is being attacked by your immune system, the solution is one and the same: you need to find the cause and rebalance your immune system with a functional medicine approach, a new way of thinking about the underlying causes, causes and imbalances in chronic diseases .
You are also a unique individual – a mixture of your genetic makeup, your history, and your surroundings, so the only real solution is to find and address your specific cause, ridding your body and surroundings of anything that is driving your condition could, and heal your damage to tissues by providing your body with immune balancing nutrients and powerful botanicals. The road is long, it is not easy, but it leads to quality of life with no side effects and stops the autoimmunity from spreading to new tissue.