Autoimmune diseases, when taken all together, become a HUGE health burden. Among these are rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, Celiac disease, and thyroid disease. In fact, over 80 diseases have been classified as autoimmune and the list is growing.
Autoimmune disease now affects over 24 million Americans and five percent of the population in Western countries. They often include weird, hard-to-classify syndromes like inflammation, pain, swelling, and general misery.
What are autoimmune diseases? Well, your immune system is your defense against invaders. Imagine your immune system as an army that must clearly distinguish friend from foe.
Autoimmunity occurs when your immune system gets confused and your own tissue get caught in friendly crossfire.
Put another way, your body is always fighting something, whether it’s battling infections, toxins, allergens, or a response to stress. Sometimes, your immune army redirects its hostile attack against you. Your joints, brain, skin, and sometimes your whole body become casualties.
This whole concept is called molecular mimicry. Conventional medicine accepts this problem, but they stop there and no one LOOKS for what might be creating the problem. They don’t dig to find out which molecule your cells are MIMICKING.
Using anti-inflammatories like Advil, or steroids, or immune suppressants like methotrexate, or TNF alpha blockers like Enbrel can lead to intestinal bleeding, kidney failure, depression, psychosis, osteoporosis, muscle loss, diabetes, not to mention overwhelming infection and cancer.
Don’t get me wrong. These drugs can be life saving and help people get their life back, but they miss the point. There is another way to deal with this.
The Problem with a Conventional-Medicine Approach
While classified as many different diseases, they have one thing in common. In every case of autoimmune disease, the body attacks itself.
Is there another way to treat these problems than deploying powerful immune-suppressive drugs that put patients at increased risk of infection and even death?
Historically, medical discoveries originated from physicians’ keen observations of their patients’ diseases and responses to treatment. Doctors reported their findings to their colleagues or published them as case studies.
Today these “case studies” are often dismissed as “anecdotes” and have become increasingly irrelevant. Instead, we now focus on randomized controlled trials as the only standard of “evidence.”
Sadly, this approach dismisses the experience of thousands of patients and physicians as they apply new scientific findings to treat difficult conditions.
Basic scientific discoveries often take decades to be translated into medical practice. Unfortunately, this prevents millions from accessing therapies that could benefit them now.
The determining factor in deciding whether to try a new approach with a patient is the risk/benefit equation. Is the treatment more likely to help than harm? How risky is the treatment? What are the side effects? How dangerous or risky is the current approach to a problem? How debilitating or life threatening is the disease being treated?
Except for treating infections with antibiotics and treating trauma, medicine today approaches most disease by suppressing, covering over, blocking, or otherwise interfering with the body’s biology. We generally do not attempt to seriously address the underlying problems that lead to the disease in the first place.
Cholesterol medications, to provide one example, block an enzyme that produces cholesterol (among other important molecules like CoQ10), but they don’t address why cholesterol may be high in the first place (factors like diet, exercise, stress, and genetics). Doctors use beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers, SSRI’s (serotonin reuptake inhibitors), ACE-inhibitors, antibiotics, and anti-inflammatories.
We are inhibiting, blocking, or anti-ing everything. But we don’t ask two simple questions:
Why is the body out of balance and how do we help it regain balance?
There is a new approach to medicine that is beginning to ask these questions.