According to the National Institutes of Health, up to 23.5 million Americans (more than seven percent of the population) suffer from an autoimmune disease—and the prevalence is rising. (1)
Suffering from an autoimmune disease is a long and difficult journey. Unknown causes and ongoing symptoms can leave victims feeling defeated, helpless and frustrated because they aren’t sure how to cure their affliction.
What is an autoimmune disease?
An autoimmune disease is essentially a condition where your body starts attacking itself. Your immune system, when it’s functioning properly, guards your body against viruses and bacteria by sending fighter cells to attack them when they enter your system (2). Under normal circumstances, your body’s fighter cells can tell the difference between your own healthy cells and invading foreign cells, but when you have an autoimmune disease, your body confuses your own cells for foreign cells. Your fighter cells then start attacking your healthy cells.
Some autoimmune diseases can affect the whole body, while others can attack one organ specifically. The frustrating part is that doctors don’t exactly know why your body starts misfiring, only that some people are more likely to have it happen to them and what some potential causes might be.
There are a few suspected risk factors, including a high-fat, high-sugar, high-processed foods diet, environmental factors like exposure to strong chemicals, or a lack of exposure to germs thanks to vaccines and antiseptics, but none of these have been definitively proven.
Improve your gut health
70 to 80 percent of your immune system is housed in your gut (3), so if your gut isn’t healthy and happy, your immune system won’t be either. Luckily your gut cells heal quite quickly—in as little as thirty days—as long as you follow a proper treatment regime. The first step is to remove any inflammatory foods or toxins that can damage your digestive tract. Next, you should restore and replenish enzymes and acids that are required for healthy digestion before introducing your gut to healthy bacteria to support your immune system. Finally, repair your gut with nutrients and amino acids to help rebuild a healthy gut lining.
Revamp your diet
You are what you eat, so if you want to be healthy, you need to eat healthy. Cut out junk foods, processed and packaged foods, sugary foods, and glutinous foods to start. If that doesn’t help, try the elimination diet (4)—cut out all toxic foods for 30 days and then slowly reintroduce each food one at a time. This will help you figure out which foods are triggering your symptoms and which ones are okay to continue eating.
Stem cell treatment
While stem cell treatment isn’t a cure for autoimmune disease, it can help reduce symptoms or curb the progression of some diseases (5). Administering stem cells throughout the body has been shown to possibly relieve some symptoms, including inflammation, which can be especially helpful for those suffering from inflammation as a cause of other symptoms.
Stem cell therapy, also called regenerative medicine, basically speeds up the body’s own healing process. Adult stem cells try to move towards an injured area and attempt to regenerate healthy cells, but often this natural process isn’t enough to heal. Stem cell treatments add more stem cells directly to the affected area—or in the case of helping treat autoimmune disease they’re systemically administered—to try and help the body heal itself faster. It can help alleviate pain and symptoms of diseases without the use of steroids or pain medications, which is an attractive choice for some people. Those suffering from multiple sclerosis, lupus, diabetes, arthritis, psoriasis, joint pain, back pain, or osteoporosis could benefit from stem cell treatment.
(1) NIH Autoimmune Diseases Coordinating Committee: Autoimmune Diseases Research Plan
(2) What Are Autoimmune Disorders?
(3) Your gut is the cornerstone of your immune system
(5) AUTOIMMUNE & DEGENERATIVE DISEASES
by Andrew Ellis
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