Autoimmune Symptom Management Has Its Limits
Hi, I’m Mahesh Jayaraman, Acupressure Therapist, Health Counsellor and Co Founder of Sepalika.com. Recently, a doctor known to me confessed that when she was in medical school, the chapter that frightened her the most was the one on auto immune diseases. In allopathic scientific literature, the whole family of autoimmune diseases – Arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Multiple Sclerosis, Asthma – just to name a few, have no apparent cause. The body simply begins to attack itself. Since the cause is unknown, cure is impossible.
Patients are given symptom management, often through pain killers and steroids, that then cause severe adverse effects over the long run. Luckily for my doctor friend and all of us, substantial progress has been made on these diseases over the last few decades, to the extent that several doctors now believe these are fully reversible.
Functional Medicine Approach to Autoimmune Conditions
If you suffer from autoimmune disease or have a close friend or family member who does, you wonder why you haven’t heard about this sort of reversal. Well, the answer is – it does not come in the form of a pill you can swallow and pretend the disease is gone, so there are no big companies to bottle and market the cure. It goes deeper than that.
In functional medicine, the doctor looks at the patient as a whole before deciding what is wrong and what will fix it. With autoimmune diseases, most functional doctors start by repairing the gut. They work with the patient to pick the right dietary supplements and foods, to fix something called a leaky gut. This is the piece that traditional allopathy has missed when looking for the causes of autoimmunity.
Leaky Gut: The Unknown Cause of Autoimmune Conditions
Most of our immune system resides in our gut. Till we eat the proper diet, rich in nutrition, the microbes that play a huge role in the immune system continue to be the right kind. One of their crucial jobs is to protect the joints in the inner wall of the intestine, called ‘tight junctions’. This structure prevents undigested food particles and microbes from leaking into the blood stream.
However, when we eat processed junk and pop in antibiotics and other chemical medications, we disturb the delicate balance of bacteria in our gut. The tight junctions begin to get “leaky” and as a result, undigested food particles and microbes enter into our blood stream and get deposited in all kinds of tissues and organs.
Our immune system begins to attack these deposits because they are foreign, not meant to be there. This is the proper job of the immune system, so its all good till this point. However, if you don’t fix the gut, with time, the immune system begins to identify the underlying body tissue itself as an enemy, attacking it leading to autoimmune disease.
According to leading experts in this field, like Dr. Alex Vasquez at the International College of Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine, where the immune system attacks depends on the organ where the foreign particles get lodged and therefore, different people can get different autoimmune diseases – despite the root cause being the same one, the leaky gut. So one person gets Multiple Sclerosis, another gets Crohns, a third gets Asthma, a fourth gets Rheumatoid Arthritis and so on.
Now that you understand why you have the autoimmune disease, and that it is reversible, go to sepalika.com and read this article, by M.D., Radhika Dontala, which outlines the principles of reversal.
Reversing Autoimmune Diseases through Diet
And if you are interested in using diet to flush out toxins from the body that could be triggering your autoimmune conditions, read this article from Sepalika on how to incorporate specific diet changes to treat your condition naturally.
Wish you vibrant health and well being.