Autoimmune disorders in general

Auto-immune disorder is a common term for a number of illnesses in which the immune system attacks the cells of its own body.

The number of diseases that are attributed to auto-immune causes has increased through the years. They for example include a number of rheumatic- and connective tissue diseases and certain intestinal diseases. In other cases, antibodies attack the body’s own insulin producing cells resulting in diabetes. Auto-antibodies are what is being searched for when it is determined whether or not a disease is auto-immune.

On the surface of all cells, bacteria, vira, and generally all substances are molecular structures which are specific for every microorganism and tissue type. These stuctures are called antigens. When the body’s antibodies attack foreign bodies they distinguish between different cell types based on these surface antigens.

Persons with special tissue types are more often than others struck by auto-immune diseases. The reason for this kind of wrong coding of the immune system has not yet been clarified; often, however, auto-immune diseases seem to be triggered by an emotional shock or a bacterial infection.

One theory states that a thin and perforated intestinal mucosa - possibly as a consequence of long-lasting antibiotic- or hormonal treatment - makes the substances pass into the blood. Thereby they can strain and wrongly code the immune defence.

Other violent immunologic events like vaccinations, for example, have been suspected of being the triggering factor; this theory, however, has not gained ground. Exposure to toxins/pesticides or an overconsumption of animal protein has also been suspected of being the triggering factor of auto-immune diseases.

Recommendations

General advice on disease prevention and a healthy lifestyle can be found in the library article "General Advice - for healthy as well as for ill ones" in the VitaHealth section under Focus Articles. You can also test your health by taking our "Health Check".

Detoxify your body. Strengthen the liver function. Go through your diet with a skilled dietician.

By means of an exclusion diet you can try to find foods that worsen the symptoms and exclude them from your diet: Exclude the kind of foodstuff that is under suspicion for at least 2 days while you observe your body’s reaction. After this, you should include the particular foodstuff in your diet again and notice any differences.

Eat healthily with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Reduce your intake of meat. Take a broad supplement of antioxidants and essential fatty acids and keep the general consumption of fat at a minimum. Make sure to strengthen your immune system. Reflexology, acupuncture, or other kinds of therapies that strengthen and regulate the immune system can be recommended.

Avoid stress and work actively in order to maintain mental well-being. Experience shows that therapy which releases anger can lower the need for rheumatic medicine; being in love can have the same effect.

Some researchers recommend melatonin against auto-immune diseases.

  • Ginger and garlic counteract inflammation in general. Use them as a spice in food. Turmeric enhances the body’s own production of the hormone cortisone.
  • Bromelain (pineapple enzyme) has an anti-inflammatory effect.
  • The sulphur preparation of MSM is well-suited for healing of a destroyed intestinal mucosa.
  • The antioxidants vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium, and zinc are all important to a well-functioning immune defence.

Warnings

People suffering from auto-immune diseases should be careful of using generally immuno-stimmulatory (natural) remedies, for example Cone Flower, Echinacea purpurea and –augustifolia.

Remarks

Also see "Arthritis and rheumatic diseases in general", "Basedow's disease", "Diabetes", and "Dryness of eyes".

Relevant Articles