Autoimmune problems are a scenario whereby the body seems to develop an "allergy" to its own tissue and attacks it! In other words, it perceives its own normal tissues as being foreign and produces antibodies against them. The type and severity of the symptoms varies considerably depending on which tissue is being attacked. However, chronic fatigue and unrefreshing sleep are present in all autoimmune disease to some degree.
Autoimmune disorders are known as a "family of diseases" and include: psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, scleroderma, Sjogren's syndrome, multiple sclerosis, autoimmune liver disease and many others. There are 81 different autoimmune disorders.
Tissues that may be attacked in autoimmune conditions include:
- Hair follicles (causing loss of hair, known as alopecia)
- Thyroid gland (causing hyper or hypo thyroidism), Hashimoto's disease and Graves' disease of the thyroid (see Thyroid Disease)
- Adrenal gland (Addison’s disease)
- The blood vessels anywhere in the body (vasculitis)
- The joints (causing arthritis)
- The skin (causing psoriasis)
- Certain blood components such as platelets (ITP) and red blood cells.
Another autoimmune condition is Polyarteritis Nodosa in which the arteries become inflamed. Then there are conditions where the skin or muscles become inflamed and often the joints can also be involved.
Scleroderma is a rather rare condition that makes the skin shiny, thick and tight in appearance. It may also attack the esophagus so that swallowing food becomes difficult.
Hashimoto’s Disease is a type of thyroid disease in which antibodies attack the thyroid gland. The gland eventually becomes destroyed and the patient suffers with a deficiency of thyroid hormone (see Thyroid Disease).
The basic component of all connective tissue is collagen. Because autoimmune problems often attack collagen, these diseases are also known as collagen diseases or connective tissue diseases.
Those who suffer with autoimmune disorders will sometimes feel quite good and at other times quite poorly. They have quite a cyclic effect. Sufferers can go for months feeling well and then have a relapse.
What causes autoimmune conditions?
In all cases of autoimmune disease the immune system has become very unbalanced and is overloaded.
The liver is usually implicated in autoimmune conditions. If the liver detox pathways are overloaded, this causes the immune system to become hyperstimulated. The hyperstimulated immune system produces excessive inflammatory chemicals and antibodies, which attack the body’s own tissues/cells (this is an autoimmune reaction). It is vital to improve the liver function to take the load off the immune system and calm it down. To help take the load off the immune system, follow the "Liver Cleansing Diet" book. This offers the best chance of long term improvement.
- Follow the principles of the "Liver Cleansing Diet".
- Try avoiding all dairy products and gluten. Gluten is found in wheat, rye, oats, spelt, kamut and barley. Some people with autoimmune disease also need to avoid all grains such as rice and corn and legumes.
- Avoid industrial seed oils high in omega 6 fats - such as cottonseed oil, soybean, canola, grapeseed, rice bran, sunflower, safflower and corn oils.
- Never use artificial sweeteners - see www.dorway.com for more information.
- If you are menopausal and are taking oral synthetic hormone replacement, it would be much safer for you to use a more natural form of HRT that is not processed through the liver, such as a natural bio-identical hormonal cream.
Raw vegetable juices are essential for supporting the immune system. The Immune Boost Juice found in my book "Raw Juices Can Save Your Life" will give your immune system a boost.
Immune Booster Juice
- 1 stick celery
- 1 ripe tomato
- 1 pear
- 1/4 beetroot
- 1 lemon or 1 lime
- 1 grapefruit
- 1 carrot
- 2 dandelion leaves or 2 cabbage leaves
- 1/2 inch (1.5 cm) slice fresh ginger
- 1 clove garlic or 1/4 red onion (optional)
- Wash, trim and chop and process through juicer.
It is very important with this type of condition to have a large glass of fresh raw vegetable juice every day - twice a day if possible. If you do not own one - invest in a vegetable juicer. Fresh vegetables have powerful healing benefits.
8 steps to a healthy immune system
Balancing the immune function reduces susceptibility to infection and inflammation, suppresses cancer growth and slows down the aging process. Here are nine easy steps to achieve that aim.
- Avoid unnecessary antibiotics and drugs such as painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs.
- Avoid excessive electromagnetic fields by minimizing the use of cellular mobile phones, microwave ovens, unnecessary x-rays and do not live near major power lines or large power stations.
- Drink around 8 glasses of water daily to increase elimination of toxic body chemicals. For drinking purposes use filtered water or boil your water and filter it.
- Minimize prolonged stress by planning your life, getting proper advice and taking your time to think things through. Avoid impulsive behavior and decisions. Remember that your health is far more important than anything else. Many people become so stressed about money or relationship problems that they weaken their immune systems to the point that they develop cancer or autoimmune problems. Get plenty of sleep.
- Practice good hygiene to reduce your chances of bacterial and viral infections. In this day and age, safe sex is a must, so avoid promiscuity and use condoms if not in a long term stable and honest relationship. Otherwise you may be unlucky and catch a sexually transmitted disease such as AIDS, syphilis, chlamydia, herpes, human papilloma virus or gonorrhea. These infections may damage your immune system and produce chronic health problems. Wash your hands regularly and avoid eating raw meats or raw fresh water fish through which you may acquire serious infections.
- Improve your diet by increasing the amount of vegetables and raw fruits to 40 percent of your diet. Make yourself raw vegetable juices regularly with a juice extracting machine. Good combinations are carrot, ginger, beet, celery, capsicum, citrus, apple and spinach. Raw foods and juices will have a powerful boosting effect upon your immune system because they contain living enzymes, bioflavonoids, chlorophyll, carotenoids and natural antibiotics. No vitamin pill can give you such a powerful immune boosting cocktail as raw foods and juices. Avoid consuming foods that are not fresh such as preserved packaged foods or delicatessen meats (eg salami, smoked meats, pizza meats, frankfurts, cabanossi, fritz etc) as these may contain dangerous bacteria that can cause food poisoning. Try to get organically grown fruits and vegetables and free range eggs and grass fed meat to minimize exposure to insecticides and antibiotics.
- Avoid toxic chemicals in the home such as cleaning agents containing solvents and glycol ethers, and pesticide sprays.
- Avoid things to which you are allergic. Many people with asthma, sinusitis, respiratory infections, excessive mucus congestion, cystitis or irritable bowel syndrome have severe allergies. The most common ones are dairy products, wheat, gluten, soy and artificial sweeteners, flavorings and colorings. If you continue to expose yourself to things that you are allergic to, you will make your immune system work overtime; it will eventually become unable to control excessive inflammation.
- Check your blood level of vitamin D as you want it to be around the higher limit of the normal range.
Supplements to support healthy immune function
- Livatone Plus Powder or Capsules
Take 1 teaspoon daily in water or raw juice or 2 capsules daily. A liver tonic containing St Mary's Thistle and taurine is advised to assist with autoimmune liver diseases such as autoimmune hepatitis, sclerosing cholangitis, primary biliary cirrhosis or connective tissue diseases.
- N Acetyl L Cysteine (NAC)
Take 1 to 4 capsules daily. N-acetyl cysteine helps to support your liver's production of the powerful antioxidant glutathione. Glutathione helps to reduce inflammation in the body.
Take 1 capsule twice daily with meals. Berberine helps to reduce intestinal permeability and it has significant antimicrobial activity against a range of gut pathogens. It helps to improve dysbiosis and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth.
- MSM Plus Vitamin C
Take 1/2 teaspoon daily in juice or water – MSM (an organic sulfur) is helpful in arthritis and autoimmune problems and is recommended for connective tissue conditions, as sulfur forms the basis of collagen. Supports healthy adrenal function.
Take 1 capsule daily. Selenium will help to exert an anti inflammatory effect and assist with inflammatory and autoimmune problems.
- Magnesium Tablets or Powder
Take 2 tablets twice daily or 1 teaspoon daily - Magnesium is an important mineral which assists with muscle pain and is known as the 'great relaxer'. It can help you achieve a deep and restorative sleep.
- Ultimate Gut Health powder
Take 1 level scoop daily. Ultimate Gut Health keeps your intestines as healthy as possible. Designed to soothe, heal and repair the gut lining, you will find your intestines love this powder.
- Sleep Eze
Melatonin in a dose of 2 to 10 mg at bedtime can reduce autoimmune disease.
- There is evidence that low dose Naltrexone (1 to 4 mg daily) is beneficial for autoimmune disease.
The above statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease.