Modern medical research and the accumulated knowledge of thousands of years, from the time of Hippocrates, who taught that “food is our medicine”, to modern Nobel Prizes in Medicine, are our aids in the treatments for Autoimmune Diseases.
Autoimmune Diseases are caused by a malfunction of the immune system, as it attacks cells of the body itself, which are gradually not recognized as its own, but as foreign cells.
More than 80 diseases are recorded formally as the result of such an Immune System attack, with “auto-antibodies” against organs, tissues and cells of the body itself. Another 20 diseases were added recently, while researchers are going to add another 40 diseases among the Autoimmune Diseases.
All these Chronic Diseases would not exist, or they could be limited. As it was the case one hundred years ago.
This means that the factors affecting cellular structure so much, leading the Immune System to not even recognizing them as its own, have been increased dramatically.
Actually both statistics and figures are striking. According to the AARDA (American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association), more than fifty million Americans suffer from an Autoimmune Disease, i.e. one in five to six American citizens have a Chronic disease.
Comparatively, all cancers affect up to nine million Americans and heart disease up to twenty-two million. At the same time, Autoimmune Diseases are one of the ten main causes of death for girls and women of all ages, up to 64 years old! Statistics in Europe are similar, with the sharp increase of Autoimmune Diseases during the last fifteen years.
But what has changed?
Our cells are the smallest units of life, groups of cells create our body’s tissues and organs. Their overall biochemical and hormonal balance, homeostasis, is directly related to our health status. Our body’s homeostasis and metabolic routes depend on food consumption and absorption, as well as on the toxic compounds entering our body.
Now, foods are insufficient in providing the valuable nutrients we need. Thus, over the years, the insufficiency load that is accumulated in our cells alters them so much, resulting in some of them being recognized as foreign by our organism itself.
The Immune System should contribute in the organism’s survival in two ways. Firstly by recognizing harmful and pathogenic microorganisms – intruders, toxins, viruses – as Antigens and attach them, through the production of antibodies against them, thus protecting us from diseases. Secondly by recognizing and accept its own elements, structures, organs, systems and tissues, as well as all other agents supporting its survival.
Autoimmune Diseases Symptoms
This type of diseases, Autoimmune, manifest with multiple symptoms. These depend on the areas of the body affected by auto-antibodies (joints, endocrine glands, blood vessels, muscles, skin, connective tissue). Thus, fever, joint pain (arthralgias), malaise, fatigue, skin rashes, gastrointestinal disorders or hypertension are usually observed. When they manifest, there are periods of exacerbation and remission.
Hypothyroidism – Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and Graves Disease of the Thyroid Gland
Celiac disease or steatorrhea (gluten-sensitive enteropathy)
Ulcerative colitis and Chrohn’s disease (intestine)
Systemic Lupus Erythematous (S.L.E.)
Myasthenia GravisAutoimmune Diseases and organs they attack – autoimmune attack to organs
Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus
Multiple sclerosis and dozens more.
In general, treatment is limited to the long-term administration of multiple and complex drugs and regimens. Their objective is the temporary suppression of the Immune System. At the same time, patients should be closely monitored by doctors. They are suffering for life, with their health status being continuously worst. There is also great psychological and financial burden. And when it comes to an exacerbation period, their personal, social and professional life is dramatically changed.
Autoimmune Diseases Causes
Any agent that may alter the biochemical or genetic information at cellular level, so that it is identified as foreign by our organism itself, is implicated in the increase of Autoimmune Diseases. Morphologically, biochemically or structurally altered cells, that are showing changes in their identity due to the alterations that have also occurred in the outer part of their cellular membrane, are detected by our Immune System as foreign, and the process to isolate and destroy them start.
Autoimmune Diseases and Nutrition
The energy required for the organism’s growth and survival is mainly derived from foods. Together with oxygen, water and proper sun exposure, the human body has the appropriate standards and mechanisms to produce Amino acids, Hormones, Enzymes, and Proteins, i.e. its biochemical fuels. Daily production and combination of these substances depends on the type and quantity of food consumed.
Inflammatory Diet and the consumption of many processed carbohydrates lead to the development of Chronic Inflammations and Immune System deregulation.
Either because our nutrition is technically limited by various diets, or because of a preference for certain types of food, or for any other reason, if all nutrients required by our cells, tissues, and organs are not provided, then deficiencies occur, while at the same time, our organism, in an attempt to balance this deficient state, may deprive essential for life ingredients from an organ to provide them to another (artificial deficiencies).
Autoimmune Diseases and Foods poor in Nutrients
Nutrients of Foods from agricultural and livestock production is not as it used to be. Systematization to increase production, so that to cover up the eating needs of the constantly growing population results in poorer foods, with little or no nutritional value.
In a Super Market, one may buy exactly the same food in thousand different packages. Processed carbohydrates in many different forms, colors, sizes, names, are the majority of foods one can easily find.
This type of food has low nutritional value. But it helps our organism in producing energy within seconds (satiety of hunger), while the rest is stored in the form of Fat.
Autoimmune Diseases and Toxic Load Accumulation
In the adipose tissue of our cells various “toxic products” are stored. Toxic refers mainly to substances that should not be there. Chemicals, radiations, pharmaceutical substances, etc.
Heavy metals, chemical, pharmaceutical, industrial and environmental toxic substances are aggregated. Ultraviolet radiation from the sun, electromagnetic fields, cosmic radiation, X- and gamma rays, act drastically in the onset of Autoimmunity.
Furthermore, toxic load is inherited from parents to embryos. Unfortunately, it is transferred with all other genetic information. As a result, younger generations come to life having already some cellular burden.
People living in urban centers, or are involved in agriculture more extensively, become ill more often. People living close to factories, high-voltage substations, cities with smog, nuclear power plants, and telephone masts, are heavily burdened.
It is not possible to know which is the critical quantity of agents or the combination of toxic load that leads to so much alteration in our cells so that they are identified as foreign by our body, and trigger Autoimmunity. However, we know the burden caused by the toxic load in this mutation.
Autoimmune Diseases and Non absorption of nutrients by the intestine.
Our intestine is a catalyst throughout this process. On one hand, it is directly connected to our immune system, since 80% of our Immune System depends on the Gastrointestinal system. On the other, because if there is imbalance in the intestinal flora, this directly means the non absorption of valuable nutrients for our organism. In this case, independently of the way they are received (either from foods or from supplements), they never end up in our cells (artificial deficiency).
Autoimmune Diseases and Metabolic Syndrome
It is not the main cause, but it contributes in the accumulation of insufficiency in our cells. When metabolite production functions are decreased or inactivated, the result is the production of insufficient energy for the cells.
Metabolites are molecules produced in various functions of our organism. They help in the conversion of nutrients to biochemical fuels.
Autoimmune Diseases and Psychology
Under extreme stress, fatigue, accumulated sentimental loss, traumatic events or harmful incidents, our defense capability is reduced and confused. This reduction in the capability of our immune system may manifest in the form of a disease, either viral or chronic and autoimmune disease.
Autoimmune Diseases and Hormonal Imbalance
Immune system disturbances and whether the immune response is right or not are mainly due to our hormonal system’s normal or pathological functioning. Our hormones, affecting and controlling all cellular functions, are inextricably linked to our Immune System’s behavior.
Therefore, it could be concluded that deviation from the natural lifestyle and diet, as well as “toxic load” burden, constitute the main pathways promoting Autoimmune Diseases.
Autoimmune Diseases Treating the Causes
The key of treatments is deep within the cell and its mechanisms. Technological revolution may have resulted in many bad things, but at the same time it provided new opportunities.
Special Molecular and Genetic Tests, that used to be in the sphere of science fiction until recently, are now in our hands.
Blood and urine samples are collected during the first appointment, and they are sent to our collaborating specialized microbiology laboratories, mainly in the USA, thus we can identify the factors and causes of the Disease. The total duration of the first visit is about one and a half hours, and it includes a special multi-page Personal Medical History, while your eating habits and preferences are also discussed.
With all data available after about a month, we can use in clinical practice targeted therapies with micro-macronutrients protocols. Furthermore, molecular nutrition can be employed to balance calories and nutrients.
Furthermore, treatment is completed with additional therapies with Biomimetic Hormones and toxic load removal protocols.
Treatments of Autoimmune Diseases may be applied individually or in combination, at the discretion of the specialized in Functional Medicine physician.
According to the laboratory findings, the type of treatment, its duration and any combination or regimen are individually defined.
Therapeutic protocols are defined based on algorithms and fractions, based on the tests’ results and markers. They are strictly personalized, available for the patients through our partner pharmacies.
Biochemical aberration leading to cellular mutation, so that they are identified as “foreign cells” by our Immune System and ultimately developing any Autoimmune Disease can be restored within a period of six to twelve months.
These therapies are being used successfully for at least twenty years, and they are not interfering with any other concomitant pharmaceutical or homeopathic treatment.
Autoimmune Disease symptoms subside already from the first months of treatment. The overall picture and health status are improved. Patients who also follow the additional instructions provided for after the end of the treatment, eliminate the chances of relapse.
The appropriate treatment is that which ultimately provides the best possible benefit for patients’ health and well-being. Benefits that are determined through the relevant test markers and are evident based on clinical outcomes.
Dr. Nikoleta Koini, M.D.
Doctor of Functional, Preventive, Anti-ageing and Restorative Medicine.
Diplomate and Board Certified in Anti-aging, Preventive, Functional and Regenerative Medicine from A4M (American Academy in Antiaging Medicine).