The primary function of our immune system is to protect us against infections, and other harmful substances such as toxins, pollutants, and irritants.
The immune system of the body develops according to the external environmental factors you are exposed to and your genetics. The early immune response is largely dependent on the transfer of the antibodies from the mother to the baby until the infant is strong enough to develop their own immune response.
Autoimmunity refers to an abnormal response of the immune system, which occurs when the immune cells mistakenly attack and damage the body’s own tissues. This abnormal response is the result of the failure of the immune system to recognize the body’s tissues as its own.
So, the immune cells consider the healthy tissues as foreign bodies that must be destroyed.
Hence, it stimulates an immune response that is similar to the one that is triggered for fighting infections or toxins.
However, this form of response against the body’s own cells results in the destruction of these tissues.
For example; when the immune cells consider the thyroid tissues as foreign bodies, they may attack and destroy the gland due to which patients may develop Hashimoto’s disease.
Similarly, rheumatoid arthritis develops when the immune cells attack and destroy the healthy tissues of the bones and joints considering them to be harmful to the body.
Some other examples of autoimmune disorders include lupus, type 1 diabetes, coeliac disease, scleroderma, Graves disease, multiple sclerosis etc.
The treatment of autoimmune disorders should be aimed at identifying the factors that trigger the immune system causing it to mount such as abnormal response against the healthy organs.
Read on to find the top 10 common causes of such an abnormal immune response and the right ways to avoid them in order to prevent the development and slow down the progress of autoimmune disorders.
I have enjoyed your posting about FM approach to Autoimmune diseases. It’s very eye opening.
I have got a client, suffering from Multiple Sclerosis. He is now on Wheel Chair because all his lower limbs cannot longer support him. Can this condition/stage of MS still be reversible? If yes. Where do we start from? I know you have listed all the tests that need to be done. But I still would need your input.
Mike Ogwal (a Functional Medicine Candidate)
I appreciate the comment. It’s beautiful to hear that the article could provide some insight to understanding some of the causes for autoimmune disease.
With any stage of chronic degenerative disease or progressive autoimmune disease, we aim to slow down and halt progression. Depending on the damage and state of health, once addressing root causes there is always the possibility of healing. Not to mention, alleviating some of the discomfort and constant struggle of various symptoms.
With MS, there are a few causes that stand out and I would address first (of course this is theoretical without evaluating the client myself)
1. Leaky gut and a distorted gut microbiome. I would remove all gluten and dairy from the diet and work on reparing the gut microbiome.
2. Mycotoxin exposure and heavy metals such as copper, cadmium, mercury, lead and iron. This is commonly found in autoimmune diseases which impact the central nervous system. Addressing a mould exposure and/or heavy metal toxicity would be a priority. If either is the case, supporting the detoxification pathways etc.
3. Are there any latent infections? Such as herpes simplex virus or epstein-Barr virus. Or toxins produced by bacteria such as: M. pneumoniae, C. pneumoniae, and C. perfringens. Something to consider.
4. Replenishing nutrients that are depleted such as B vitamins, magnesium, selenium etc..
5. Supporting the immune system with nutrients such as vitamin D and glutathione…
Just a few thoughts… Each and every client is unique and each autoimmune presentation is individual. Thus, some factors may not be relevant whereas the mental component and infections may be the most prevalent in another client.
I hope this gives you a little insight on how to support your client further.
I enjoy your posts but note the absence of references. When you mention “studies” please provide the reference. Thank you