Scientists don’t fully understand what causes the immune system to attack healthy cells and tissue in those with an autoimmune disease. However, scientists do know that certain things can trigger inflammation, which causes the symptoms of these diseases. Some of these triggers are food-related, such as gluten, dairy, and sugar. Other triggers include stress, a weaker microbiome due to infections that affect the gastrointestinal system, and the presence of environmental toxins. Some of these toxins can build up inside the body, leading to flare-ups of autoimmune disease symptoms.
Out of roughly 60 types of autoimmune diseases, some have become more common in recent years. These include rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, inflammatory bowel disease, and psoriasis. Other kinds include type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and Guillain-Barre syndrome. Possible reasons for the increase in autoimmune diseases include exposure to more toxins in the environment and unhealthy diets filled with processed foods.
In the short term, autoimmune diseases can cause unpleasant symptoms, such as joint pain or gastrointestinal problems. These conditions can also lead to serious complications when they’re left untreated. These complications include severe damage to body tissue, abnormal growth that affects organs, and changes in the way body organs function. Keeping these diseases under control through naturopathic treatment helps lower these risks.
Dr. Wilkie focuses on addressing the underlying causes of autoimmune diseases instead of focusing only on relieving symptoms. These naturopathic treatments include the use of supplements, which help boost levels of nutrients that reduce inflammation. Taking supplements can also help patients with autoimmune disease make sure they’re getting all of the nutrients their body needs to stay healthy. Dr. Wilkie also uses food elimination and detox as forms of treatment for autoimmune diseases. Food elimination helps patients learn which foods to avoid or limit to reduce flare-ups. Detox gives the body a chance to get rid of environmental toxins that have accumulated inside.
For more information on managing autoimmune diseases with naturopathic medicine, please contact Vanessa D. Wilkie, ND.
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