Autoimmune diseases comprise a very varied group of conditions in which the body appears to attack itself. The cause, on a very general level, is an inappropriate attack on the body’s own tissues. This is called an exaggerated immune response. However, this is vague and needs a better explanation.
The basis for these problems is that our bodies are programmed, or designed, to destroy anything that is not recognised as intrinsic or part of the body. This is a very critical survival mechanism. It keeps out foreign bodies such as bacteria, viruses, parasites, and many other foreign objects like metals or anything else that happens to get inside the body. It is as though we are programmed to reject foreigners, and the system usually works remarkably well.
In the group of disorders called autoimmune, this system malfunctions. For varying reasons, the body misperceives or misinterprets the signals it receives and begins to attack and destroy normal parts of the body. This would be like a customs agent who starts turning away UK citizens at the UK border because his identification system or computer fails to work properly and reports the people as foreigners.
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At times, symptoms are vague. However, they often include some of the following:
- Elevated fever and high body temperature
- Extreme sensitivity to cold in the hands and feet
- Weakness and stiffness in muscles and joints
- Weight changes
- Digestive or gastrointestinal problems
- Low or high blood pressure
- Anxiety or depression
- Infertility or reduced sex drive (low libido)
- Blood sugar changes
Depending on the type of autoimmune disease, an increase in the size of an organ or tissue or, the destruction of an organ or tissue can result.
Possible mechanisms of autoimmune diseases
These vary, and medical science has identified a number of possible ways that normal body proteins or antigens can be misinterpreted as foreign:
- Chemicals that should be hidden or sequestered within the cells may be released into the general circulation. This may be due to trauma or some other cause. Since they are not supposed to be in the general circulation, they cause a powerful reaction there. This appears to be the case with sympathetic ophthalmia, and a few other autoimmune conditions.
- A mutation may occur in the production of some normal body chemicals so that they are no longer normal and appear to be foreign. The body then attacks them. This appears to occur in some forms of lymphoma.
- Normal chemicals of the body can become altered due to physical, biological or chemical poisons such as toxic metals, toxic chemicals or infection. They then may appear as if they are foreign chemicals and the body starts destroying them. This happens with contact dermatitis caused by photosensitivity, and causes an autoimmune reaction in animals infected with an RNA virus.
- Foreign chemicals that immunologically resemble or “look like” normal body chemicals can be introduced into the body, usually in vaccines. Then our body’s immune system starts reacting against the foreign chemicals, which is a healthy response. However, the body then overreacts and starts destroying normal chemicals as well, because the foreign chemicals in the vaccine or other foreign protein appear very similar to some of the body’s normal chemicals. This can be a frightening type of reaction that occurs with vaccination and can lead to death.
- Genetic factors. Family members of those with autoimmune diseases are more prone to the same problem, so this may implicate a genetic factor in some autoimmune problems.
- Nutritional deficiencies. A deficiency of zinc, in particular, may cause a chemical alteration of a normal body chemical or antigen that causes the body to react and destroy the defective body chemical. This is somewhat like a quality control engineer who works in a factory and notices that some products on an assembly line are defective. So he starts destroying them to keep them from being sold and harming someone. The body does the same thing in some autoimmune reactions.
Which diseases may be autoimmune?
Over eighty conditions may be classified as autoimmune. Medical science identifies two groups of diseases – those considered definitely autoimmune in nature, and those suspected of being autoimmune:
Those accepted as autoimmune include alopecia areata, ankylosing spondylitis, Crohns disease, dermatomyositis, Type 1 diabetes, Goodpasture’s syndrome, Grave’s disease, Guillain-Barre syndrome, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, lupus, mixed connective tissue disease, pemphigus vulgaris, some cases of pernicious anaemia, psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, polymyositis, primary biliary cirrhosis, relapsing polychondritis, rheumatoid arthritis, some cases of Sjogren’s syndrome, temporal arteritis, also called “giant cell arteritis”, some ulcerative colitis, and vasculitis.
Those suspected of being autoimmune are: chagas disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, endometriosis, nephropathy, interstitial cystitis, morphea, multiple sclerosis, myasthenia gravis, narcolepsy, neuromyotonia, sarcoidosis, some schizophrenias, scleroderma, stiff person’s syndrome, vitiligo, and Wegener’s granulomatosis.
Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. This rather common condition almost always responds very quickly to a properly designed Nutritional Balancing programme. One need not take thyroid hormones, and they must eventually be discontinued. The thyroid gland tends to recover completely and once again starts producing hormones normally.
Rheumatoid arthritis. This also responds very well in many cases to a Nutritional Balancing programme. Some cases may take longer to respond, as the cause can be a combination of toxic metals and infection. Iron toxicity generally plays a role in this disorder. Remove the iron and the arthritis usually improves drastically.
Please note: We do not use chelators to remove iron.
They are all toxic, and not needed or recommended. Instead, balancing body chemistry using Nutritional Balancing Science will cause iron to be eliminated naturally and quickly in many cases.
Lupus, also called SLE. This somewhat unusual condition usually responds extremely well to Nutritional Balancing Science. General toxicity is usually present, and oddly, the person must work on being happy in some cases.
Crohn’s disease and other inflammatory bowel diseases. These usually respond very well to a diet free of wheat, free of all chemical additives, free of sugars of all kinds including fruits and fruit juices, and perhaps the elimination of other foods to which a person is sensitive or allergic.
The use of probiotics may be helpful if the normal flora have been disturbed by an incorrect diet, antibiotic use, other drug use or chemical additives found in many foods. Also, infections of the large and even small intestine must also be dealt with. These usually heal easily on a Nutritional Balancing programme that replaces dozens of nutrients and removes toxic substances from the bowel and the body in general. Occasionally, an anti-infective agent such as colloidal silver is needed.
Antibiotic therapy is rarely needed, and often makes the condition worse.
Other medical drugs such as cortisone therapy are very rarely needed and should be used only as a last resort when Nutritional Balancing methods have not been successful.
Others. The other autoimmune conditions are more rare, so we have less experience with them, such as haemolytic anaemia, autoimmune streptococcal nephritis and others. However, I suspect they will respond well to a Nutritional Balancing programme.
Inflammation and anti-inflammatory therapies
Autoimmune conditions all tend to be inflammatory reactions. Therefore, any healing method that reduces inflammation can be helpful. Conventional doctors use drugs for this purpose, but most have side effects that are quite dangerous for the stomach, the kidneys and other organs.
Regular medical doctors also use immune-suppressing drugs such as cortisone to control autoimmune conditions. These are usually powerful anti-inflammatory drugs as well. However, most have very severe side effects as well.
Nutritional Balancing uses kelp, fish oil, vitamin D in high doses, calcium, magnesium, zinc, copper, sauna therapy, coffee enemas and colon cleansing to reduce inflammation without the need for drugs in almost all cases. These methods also do not introduce more toxins into the body and are usually far safer for this reason.
The amigos. An important cause of inflammation that must be addressed in most autoimmune conditions is the presence of what I call “the amigos”. These are biologically unavailable compounds containing iron, in particular, and also possibly manganese, aluminium, chromium, selenium, nickel and boron.
These elements can all form oxides that are extremely pro-inflammatory and damage the body by oxidant or free radical damage. As these are removed via a Nutritional Balancing regimen, inflammation in general subsides in the body, and with it many autoimmune conditions will improve.
Copper imbalance. This may also play a role in inflammation in some cases. Copper is actually anti-inflammatory when it is bioavailable. However, in many people it is in a biounavailable form in the body, perhaps an oxide form. In this case, it can become highly pro-inflammatory and harmful.
Also, it is worthwhile to note that many autoimmune diseases have to do with connective tissue such as Lupus, scleroderma, sarcoidosis, arteritis, vasculitis, cystitis, alopecia, arthritis and dermatomyositis.
Copper, when unavailable, has a very destructive and
inflammatory effect upon connective tissues of the body.
In summary, autoimmune conditions do not appear to present any special challenges for practitioners of Nutritional Balancing Science. Instead, we focus on re-nourishing the body, which takes a few years in some cases, reducing the levels of toxic metals, balancing the vital mineral ratios as revealed on a Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis, and making the body more yang. This usually suffices to control or most often eliminate the condition.
© September 2010, The Center For Development