Autoimmune diseases – Is there hope for a cure?
Autoimmune diseases affect over 60 million persons in Europe, that is over 8% of the European population. Many Europeans live with undetected autoimmune diseases which develop into more serious conditions over time and do not respond to treatment. The most common autoimmune disorders are: rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, Hashimoto’s disease, lupus, multiple sclerosis, and coeliac disease. Women aged 20 to 50 are most affected by such disorders. Children also appear to be increasingly affected by autoimmune conditions.
An autoimmune diseases occurs when the body’s own immune system destroys healthy tissues instead of foreign bodies such as bacteria. It is believed that autoimmune diseases of all types are caused by microbes, environmental irritants, allergens, stress and a poor diet. A thorough „detective work” is required to identify the causes of the disease.
Which are the triggers of autoimmune diseases?
Potential triggers of autoimmune diseases include:
Modern diet as most foods contain GM organisms. As a result of the need to provide food for an increasingly larger world population, various solutions meant to make crop plants more resistant and more nutritious were researched. The most common genetically modified crop plants are corn, soybean and wheat. They contain larger protein amounts than their unmodified ancestors that are more difficult to identify and process by the human digestive system. As a result, heartburn, reflux, gas and bloating occur.
Chronic stress and hormone imbalance – Some people may consider that they are not affected by these conditions because they do not experience mood swings; yet irregular meal times, insufficient sleep, poor diet, and excessive exercise trigger a stress response in the body and the adrenal glands release a higher amount of cortisol. Elevated cortisol levels weaken the immune system and exhaust the adrenal glands leading to chronic fatigue and insufficient secretion of other hormones, such as adrenaline, DHEA, and testosterone.
Gut flora imbalance – Immune cells are produced by the bone marrow and migrate to the thymus, the lymph nodes and to the gut-associated lymphoid tissue where they mature and develop. The capacity of the thymus, a small gland located in the chest cavity, to ensure the maturation of the immune cells gradually decreases with age. Thus, this function is left to the gut-associated lymphoid tissue and particularly to the beneficial gut flora. Therefore, any imbalance in the gut flora will also impact on the immune system.
Environmental irritants – chemicals, heavy metals, fungi (and associated toxins). Of these, mercury has been studied most extensively. In most cases, chronic mercury poisoning is caused by amalgam dental fillings. Wood and coal combustion over the centuries have also caused soil and water contamination with mercury. Therefore, fish like tuna, sword fish, shark etc. contain mercury. Studies show that mercury damages the tissues making them unrecognizable to the immune system which eventually attacks them. Similarly, elevated toxin levels will eventually exceed the capacity of the liver to remove toxins and will stress the liver. A vicious circle emerges since other hormones, for example estrogen, are metabolized by the liver.
Fungal, bacterial, viral, parasitic infections
The mission of the therapist is to identify the underlying causes and to rebalance the immune system through dietary, environmental and lifestyle changes. It is of outmost importance that the patient cooperates with the therapist in order to identify the underlying cause, be it heavy metal pollution, VOC (volatile organic compounds), viral/bacterial/parasitic infections, stress or a poor diet. The patient has to be willing to regain their health, to accept the changes prescribed by the physician and to change their lifestyle.
This approach to autoimmune diseases and their causes belongs to functional medicine, a new medical model which has proved beneficial to tens of thousands patients around the world. For greater benefits, it is important that the disease be diagnosed as early as possible before it causes severe pain or disability.
The most part of the underlying causes of diseases, including genetic disorders, may be diagnosed by means of laboratory tests. However, as the tests we propose are not available under the social health insurance scheme, the patient will have to pay for them.
We provide you with the collection kits for biological samples and may have the samples sent to our high-tech partner laboratories in Germany, UK and USA for an accurate diagnosis.
Identification and elimination of the underlying causes of an autoimmune disease and a customized diet for a healthy body and a healthy lifestyle open the door to a better quality of life and even to full recovery.
The Romanian health care system does not focus on early diagnosis. Moreover, when a patient is diagnosed, the medical care provider focuses on the effects of the disease rather than the actual cause triggering it. As a result, the chances to heal and recover are minimal.
Recovery of the immune system
The plan for the recovery of the immune system and for the prevention of autoimmune diseases consists of 4 steps:
- use of food as medicine
- understanding the relation between stress and the disease and reduction of stress levels
- use of probiotics to rebalance gut flora
- use of food and dietary supplements to assist liver function
In a first stage, the therapist will prescribe a temporary diet plan meant to remove foods that may cause intolerances and inflammation. Then foods are reintroduced into the diet in order to identify which food causes symptoms. At the same time, stress management techniques are employed in cooperation with the patient. Then, natural remedies are used to rebalance gut flora and assist liver function.
As every patient is unique, your NutriHealing therapist will develop a customized plan in accordance with your general health status, your dietary and exercise habits, etc.
Unlike conventional medicine which treats the effects of a disease, functional medicine employs a customized, holistic and strategic approach. Specializing in functional medicine, NutriHealing helps patients suffering from an autoimmune condition regain their health, if the condition is early diagnosed, or, at least, significantly improve their life.