By Kim Brenton
According to the Autoimmune Related
Disease Association, 50 million Americans
suffer from autoimmunity– which puts it
ahead of Cancer.
So many people, with chronic disorders, ask this question. And no one seems to have an answer. They complain of fatigue, sluggishness, blahs, pain, itching, fogginess, hives, gas, bloating and headaches. Some are diagnosed with anemia, hypo-thyroid, fibromyalgia, etc. Many times, when symptoms cannot be relieved, they are prescribed anti-depressants with the excuse that it is “all in their head”. In reality many of these people suffer from an autoimmune disease. According to the Autoimmune Related Disease Association, 50 million Americans suffer from autoimmunity– which puts it ahead of Cancer.
Some researchers believe that autoimmune disorders are a result of a “bored immune system”, due to our “overly hygienic” society, which leaves the immune system with too little to do, so it turns on itself. Others believe quite the opposite and that an over exposure to toxins and chemicals confuses the immune system and it goes in to hyper mode destroying its’ own cells. The first mentioned theory has some validity only in the weakening of the immune system from lack of stimulus. The second theory would be more correct if we add a possible damage to cells by these chemicals, which would then trigger the maintenance aspect of the immune system.
By understanding how the immune system works we can draw better conclusions as to the cause of autoimmunity and conditions related to them. The immune system recognizes itself through the presence of RNA and DNA which is present in all of our manufactured proteins. This makes our protein different than any other organism in existence. Our immune system attacks all proteins “other than self”. When other proteins enter the system, they are attacked (and remembered) causing allergies to that protein (this is how “food” allergies come about). If a similarity of proteins exists then the immune system will attack those cells as if foreign. Foreign proteins can only enter our bodies if the barriers are compromised, (i.e.: holes in the stomach lining (medications), holes in the intestinal tract (antibiotics and Candida/yeast overgrowth). This condition of microscopic damage in the linings is commonly called “Leaky Gut” and is the underlying “root” cause of the majority of autoimmune conditions.
In understanding how an autoimmune disease is created we are prepared to now resolve it. First, stop compromising the immune system (bad diet, overuse of pharmaceuticals).
Next, calm the immune system down–without compromising it. Working with an herbalist to help rebalance the digestive system and restore the damaged gut linings back to full strength can go a long way toward saying “Wow, I’m FINALLY feeling good again!”