The treatment of autoimmune disease using complementary medicine techniques is a complicated topic. Although we know what autoimmune disease is, there is no known single cause of the problem. Therefore, a multifactorial lifestyle approach is necessary to see a beneficial effect in treating autoimmune disease.
As you may already know, an autoimmune disease occurs when the immune system produces antibodies to normal tissue. The mystery of autoimmune disease is that it does not seem logical for the body to do this. Why does this occur? What you need to understand is that ongoing chronic damage to normal tissue is the cause of developing autoimmune disease. You will NOT hear this statement from almost any other medical doctor because this concept has not been considered in the general medical field nor has it been specifically scientifically tested in research studies. However, it is obvious to someone who has studied in detail the pathophysiology of chronic inflammation and improper cell apoptosis in the body, as well as how the immune system works. The problems of autoimmune disease are not limited to just the immune system. The production of antibodies that can bind to normal healthy tissue develops on top of other problems that previously have occurred in the body. The challenge in treating autoimmune disease using complementary medicine techniques is figuring out which problems exist and how much they contribute to each individual patient’s symptoms. To further complicate matters, every individual with autoimmune disease responds to different degrees when treating each of these underlying problems.
The basic problem with autoimmune disease is the accumulation of chronic damage to the cell membranes of normal tissue. The cells eventually die, but do not fully undergo the normal process of “apoptosis” (where a healthy aging old cell destroys itself) because of the accumulated biochemical damage that has occurred to these cells. Normally, it is the immune system’s job to identify and remove dead decaying cells (that have not undergone complete apoptosis) and any molecular debris that is accumulating in tissue. If the “load” of dead cells or molecular debris is large enough, the immune system then develops significantly high levels of antibodies to the cellular material that then has the capacity to bind to and destroy healthy tissue also. Chronic inflammation and inadequate repair of cell membranes combine to eventually cause the pathologic immune system mechanisms found in autoimmune diseases.
Here are the main problems that cause damage to cell membranes and eventually can promote the development of autoimmune disease: