Immune + Auto-immune Disease
The immune system, consisting of our white blood cells, various chemical responses, gut bacteria, lymphatic glands that trap microbes and gut associated lymphoid tissue (GALT), is involved in some key responses in the body to fight infections and keep us healthy.
The role of our immune system is to:
- Identify and attack infections – bacterial, viral, yeasts, fungal and parasitic
- Stimulate a fever response (most infectious agents can’t survive in temperatures over 37.4 degrees, which is part
of the fever response)
- Produce antibodies to fight against infections if we are re-exposed in the future
- Identify whether foreign entities, such as foods we eat, are “friend” or “foe” (= food allergies and intolerances)
- Stimulate inflammation and the healing response
Common immune complaints include:
- Frequent recurrent infections, including: colds, flu, urinary tract infections, tonsillitis, ear infections etc.
- Infections that take a long time to resolve
- Hay fever
- Skin conditions – eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis often involve poor immunity
- Auto-immune disease – such as Lupus, Rheumatoid arthritis etc
- There are many things that can affect the way your immune system functions including:
- Poor diet
- Nutritional deficiencies – zinc, vitamin D, iron, vitamin C etc
- Heavy metals – especially copper overload, mercury and lead
- Toxin exposure
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Smoking and drug use
- Poor liver function
- Adrenal fatigue
- Hormone imbalances
- Chronic infections – glandular fever (Epstein Barr Virus), Ross River virus, Cytomegalovirus, Lyme disease etc
If your immune system is under stress and not functioning properly, there are many effective natural medicines that can attack infectious agents, boost the production of immune cells and improve immune system function overall.
Auto-immune disease is a name that is given a group of conditions in which the immune system has a dysfunctional response and starts attacking the body’s own tissue or organs. This immune attack results in an increased inflammatory response in the tissue which can lead to reduced function and destruction of the tissue/organ affected. Auto-immune disease can be localised and affect a particular tissue or organ, or systemic and affect multiple parts of the body.
Some examples of Auto-immune disease include:
- Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis
- Grave’s Disease
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Ankylosing Spondylitis
- Ulcerative Colitis
- Crohn’s Disease
- Coeliac Disease
- Myasthenia Gravis
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Auto-immune retinopathy
- Pernicious Anaemia
- Raynaud’s Disease
- Systemic Lupus Erythmatosus
- Addison’s disease
- Type 1 Diabetes
- Primary Biliary Cirrhosis
- Guillain-Barre Syndrome
- Sjogren’s Disease
Auto-immune disease involves a variety of factors, where the immune system has become imbalanced and is triggered to attack its own tissues.
Taking a holistic and proactive approach, your Remède practitioner will investigate the underlying cause/s that have led to your dysfunctional immune system, including hormone imbalances, toxin exposure, nutritional deficiencies, pathogens, poor diet, gut health and inflammation.
Testing that may be used to diagnose the underlying drivers of your autoimmune disease includes general pathology testing (especially for the autoimmune markers), food sensitivity testing, hair tissue mineral analysis, gastrointestinal permeability testing, PCR stool test, dysbiosis testing and tests to measure inflammation in the body.
Natural medicines, including herbal, nutritional and nutraceutical treatments can be effective in helping to modulate the immune response, reduce inflammation and providing organ/tissue specific support.
By identifying and then correcting the underlying causes and imbalances that have caused your autoimmune disease, your Remède practitioner can assist you to manage or even correct your auto-immune disease.