FAQ Autoimmune Disease
FAQ Autoimmune: What is an Autoimmune Disease?
This is Frequently Asked Questions FAQ Autoimmune. Over 50 million North Americans suffer from Autoimmune Diseases, and almost 75% are women. An autoimmune disease is an abnormal response to normal immune function.
Normally, the immune system attacks foreign invaders, such as bacteria, viruses, fungi and cancer cells that can harm the body. A healthy immune system innately knows not to attack the body’s own tissues. In autoimmune diseases, the immune system confuses the tissues of the body as foreign, and attacks them.
FAQ Autoimmune: What Causes Autoimmune Disease?
What triggers an autoimmune disease is not completely understood, although it has been extrapolated that individuals that have a genetic predisposition to this abnormal immunity, can trigger this cascade of damage.
Dr. Jiwani believes that autoimmune diseases mean that the body has been stressed enough to trigger the negative expression of one’s genetics. These stressors may come in the form of mental, emotional and physical forms. Physical stressors may include food allergies, toxins, drugs, bacteria or viruses.
The pathway of damage of autoimmune diseases is inflammation, which results in the destruction of various body tissues, abnormal growth of the organ and/or changes to its function.
FAQ Autoimmune: What are Symptoms of Autoimmune Disease?
The symptoms of autoimmune diseases depend on where the inflammatory damage occurs, and in which tissues. General symptoms reflect the immune response, and may be temporary or long term.
General Symptoms may include:
- Fatigue, Low Energy
- Lethargy & Malaise
- Joint Pain
FAQ Autoimmune: What are Types of Autoimmune Diseases?
There are many types of autoimmune diseases, divided into whether it affects a specific organ or whether it causes symptoms throughout the body. Dr. Jiwani has personal experience with autoimmunity and twenty-two (22) years of experience successfully treating patients for the various autoimmune diseases, including:
Affects a Specific Organ:
- Adrenal Glands: Addison’s Disease
- Bladder: Interstitial Cystitis
- Intestines: Crohn’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis
- Esophagus: Eosinophilic Esophagitis
- Kidneys: IgA Nephropathy
- Liver: Autoimmune Hepatitis
- Muscles: Myasthenia Gravis
- Nervous System: Multiple Sclerosis
- Pancreas: Diabetes Type I
- Salivary Glands: Sjogren’s Syndrome
- Skin: Lichen Planus & Lichen Sclerosis
- Skin Colour: Vitiligo
- Spine: Ankylosing Spondylitis
- Stomach: Pernicious Anemia
- Thyroid: Hashimoto’s Hypothyroidism / Graves’ Hyperthyroidism
Affects the Whole Body:
- Alopecia Areata: Hair Loss in Scalp, Face, Body
- Celiac Disease: Small Intestine Damage from eating Gluten, causing malabsorption, nutrient deficiencies
- Dermatomyositis: Inflammation of Muscles, Skin Rash
- Lupus / SLE: Rash, Fatigue
- Psoriasis & Psoriatic Arthritis
- Rheumatoid Arthritis: Joint Pain, Redness, Swelling, Stiffness Leading to Osteoarthritis & Deformities of Joints
- Sarcoidosis: Lungs, Skin, Lymph nodes
- Scleroderma: Hardens Skin & Connective Tissue
FAQ Autoimmune: What are Treatments for Autoimmune Disease?
Conventional Medicine (your MD):
Typically, the goal of conventional treatment is to:
- Reduce Symptoms
- Suppress the Autoimmune Process
Naturopathic Medicine (Dr. Jiwani):
The goal of treatment is to:
- Reduce Symptoms
- Normalize the Autoimmune Process & the Chronic Inflammation which is the Pathway of Damage
- Prevent the Autoimmunity from Attacking Other Organ Systems
- Address Underlying Deficiencies from the Disease Process i.e. Hormones, Nutrients etc
- Create an Individualized Treatment Plan Specific for the Patient
Related: My Autoimmune Health Story…
This information is for educational purposes only and does not advocate self-diagnosis. Due to individual variability, consultation with a licensed health professional, such as a licensed naturopathic physician is highly recommended, prior to starting a natural treatment plan. For further information, see Terms of our Website.
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