It is estimated that in the U.S. alone:
- 16 million people, or over 5% of the population, have autoimmune thyroid disorders such as Hashimoto’s or Graves’ disease.
- Nearly 4 million people have been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis.
- 7 million people, or about 2-3% of the population, have psoriasis.
- 1.5 million people have Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.
The above conditions are all classified as “Autoimmune Disorders,” an umbrella diagnosis that includes over 100 conditions.
Autoimmune disorders stem from chronic inflammatory processes that eventually prompt a person’s immune system to attack his or her own body tissues. Patients with autoimmune diseases have antibodies in their blood that target the destruction of specific body tissues such as the joints, skin, connective tissue, glands, and others.
Autoimmune disorders can be minor annoyances, with mild symptoms involving one area of the body. Or they can be severe, affecting many body systems, and cause chronic and debilitating health issues.
How does Western Medicine Treat Autoimmune Disorders?
Conventional medical treatment typically consists of immune-suppressant medications such as steroids or chemotherapy agents. Long-term usage of such medications results in devastating side effects such as chronic infections, hypertension, gastric ulcers, and even liver and kidney damage.
How does OHS Treat Autoimmune Disorders?
The practitioners at OHS have extensive training in the management of autoimmune disorders. It is important to understand that once you have an autoimmune disorder, you will always have it. However, with proper management, you do not always have to suffer from it.
Autoimmune disorders can have states of flare-up and remission, which are linked to the amount of inflammation present in the body. Decreasing inflammation is therefore paramount in successful management of autoimmune disorders, and the practitioners at OHS approach this with a combination of strategies:
Acupuncture to regulate the immune system, promote healthy circulation patterns, decrease the stress and inflammatory response, and alleviate pain;
Dietary counseling to target your unique constitution, and provide an anti-inflammatory diet that dampens the immune system’s hyperactive, damaging activities, and promotes its healing properties.
Herbal and nutritional supplementation to improve your fundamental biological processes such as blood sugar regulation, hormonal and neurotransmitter balance, and immune system modulation which result in decreased inflammation.
We have numerous patients with autoimmune disorders who were overmedicated, poorly managed, suffering immensely, and came to OHS as a “last resort”. These patients span a spectrum of many conditions—Hashimoto’s, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, multiple sclerosis, Celiac disease, on and on… Most, if not all, of the patients who have followed through with our treatment regiment have significantly improved their health. They are empowered because they know how to avoid the triggers of their flare-ups. Or, if they have an unavoidable stressor that does trigger a flare-up, these patients have the tools to manage it and return to a healthy, asymptomatic state as quickly as possible. With proper management, our autoimmune patients experience a high quality of life.
Selected studies of interest:
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Tada-Oikawa S, et al. Critical role of hydrogen peroxide in the differential susceptibility of Th1 and Th2 cells to tributyltin-induced apoptosis: Biochem Parmacol. 208 Jan 15;75(2):555-61. Epub 2007 Sep 18
Won HY, et al. Glutathione Peroxidase 1 Deficiency Attenuates Allergen-Induced Airway Inflammation by Suppressing Th2 and Th17 Cell Development: Antioxid Redox Signal. 2010 Jun 6
Yan Z, et al. Extracellular redox modulation by regulatory T-cells: Nat Chem Biol. 2009 Oct,5(10):721-3. Epub 2009 Aug 30.
Niedbala W, et al. Role of nitric oxide in the regulation of T-cell functions. Ann Rheum Dis. 2006 Nov;65 Suppl 3:iii37-40
Mendez II, et al. Immunoregulatory role of nitric oxide in Kilham rat virus-induced autoimmune diabetes in DR-BB rats: J Immunol. 2004 Jul15;173(2):1327-35
Miljkovic D, Trajkovic V. Inducible nitric oxide synthase activation by interleukin-17: Cytokine Growth Factor Rev. 2004 Feb;15(1):21-32. Review.
Shi FD, et al. Control of the autoimmune response by type 2 nitric oxide synthase: J Immunol. 2001 Sep1;167(3):3000-6
Rubio-Tapia A, et al. Increased prevalence and mortality in undiagnosed Celiac disease: Gastroenterology. 2009 Jul;137(1):88-93. Epub 2009 Apr 10