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5 Holistic approaches to autoimmune diseases



There are over 100 illnesses considered autoimmune diseases, while about 80 of them are considered serious chronic illnesses. Some of the most commonly-known are Diabetes, Celiac, Multiple sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease, Psoriasis and Lupus. Autoimmunity underlies them all.

What is an autoimmune disease?

Autoimmunity (‘auto’ is the Greek word for self) happens when the immune system gets confused and attacks itself. The body’s autoantibodies are programmed to attack an infection, a toxin, or an allergen. However, sometimes the body redirects this response to the wrong place, and attacks its own healthy cells by mistake. The attacks are often organ-specific, on the joints, brain, thyroid, or skin, and leads to specific symptoms and diagnosis. For example, attacks on the central nervous system occur in those with multiple sclerosis.

Why are they so common?

Over the past few decades, researchers and health professionals have observed an alarming rise in the incidence of autoimmune diseases in the developed world. This increase can’t be explained through genetic factors alone, as the rate of such disease in the developing world is relatively low, and the diseases are not contagious.

Researchers have begun to link environmental, diet and lifestyle factors to some autoimmune diseases. In a recent example, a team from Yale University and Germany’s University of Erlangen-Nuremberg found that increased dietary salt intake can trigger and sustain autoimmune diseases.

What treatment options are there for autoimmune disease?

Traditional treatment of autoimmune diseases often only treat the symptoms rather than the underlying cause. In the United States, where autoimmune diseases affect 24 million people, medical doctor and author Mark Hyman has written about how, in his experience, seeking the root cause of the inflammation in each patient can lead to good results. If patients take time to examine their environment and lifestyle, they may be able to identify triggers and things that are aggravating their condition.

5 ways to treat autoimmune disease holistically

Here are some suggestions for ways to learn more about your own body and its responses: 

1. Chew your food properly. That might sound simplistic, but if food isn’t going into your body fit for digestion and leaks through the gut into the body, this can cause your immune system to attack.

2. Take note of seemingly minor infections such as viruses, bacteria, and yeast. Tell your doctor and get them treated.

3. Scrutinise your diet for food you may be allergic to. You can start by keeping a food diary and/or getting food allergy testing.

4. Incorporate a stress-reducing activity into your daily life. This might include yoga, meditation, massage or Tai Chi.

5. Get tested for metal toxicity; this includes mercury. One of the main reasons I trained as a dentist was my concern over the use of amalgam fillings, and my belief that their safe removal can lead to dramatic health benefits for sufferers of chronic illness.

If you suffer from an autoimmune disease, why not get in touch with us? You can call us on 01 2866394 / 01 2867001 or get in touch via our online Contact Us page.

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