March 13, 2012 4 Comments
Last November I gave a presentation on how to boost your immune system naturally at the South-East Ottawa Community Health Centre. When they invited me to return last week, the participants requested that I present upon naturopathic treatment goals for a variety of autoimmune diseases including multiple sclerosis and systemic lupus erythematosus.
At first, this task seemed challenging because each autoimmune condition presents with a multitude of symptoms unique to the condition. How was I going to explain all of these conditions and describe both conventional and naturopathic treatments for them in only 2 hours?
My solution was to focus on the 3 common factors in all autoimmune conditions:
1. Autoimmunity is a misdirected immune response which inappropriately attacks healthy cells. The type of cells affected determine the type of symptoms expressed which define the different autoimmune disorders.
2. The result of all misdirected immune responses is inflammation, a common symptom of autoimmune disease.
3. One theory of why autoimmune conditions develop is that there is a disruption that occurs which alters the immune system’s ability to function. Possible causes of disruptions include: viral infections, stressful and highly emotional life events, environmental toxins, digestive tract issues and allergies.
Based on the above factors, the naturopathic treatment goals for autoimmune disease include:
1. Regulation of the immune system processes to correct misdirected and inappropriate responses.
2. Decrease inflammation by regulating the immune system’s production of inflammatory molecules.
3. Identify and treat the initial disruption to the immune system.
These 3 goals can be accomplished using a combination of naturopathic modalities unique to the individual including: mind-body medicine, nutrition, botanical medicine, traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture and homeopathy. Ask your naturopathic doctor about which of these options is right for you!