There is no greater wonder in science than the human body. Even without taking medication, the human immune system is actually capable of defending its healthy cells against pathogens (e.g., bacteria, virus) and neutralizing harmful substances derived from external sources. It is even capable of recognizing human cells that have been transformed or mutated due to illness.
However, for more than 50 million Americans, a proactive immune system poses a big health risk, specifically when that very immune system decides to work against the body. This often leads to a number of autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid and reactive arthritis, type 1 diabetes, and pernicious anemia.
How an Autoimmune Disease Can Change Your Life
According to researchers, approximately 100 types of autoimmune diseases exist—some of which are known to be both chronic and life threatening. American health statistics show that autoimmune disease ranks among the leading causes of death in women and children of all ages. It can grossly affect almost every part of the human body, including the brain, heart, lungs, kidneys, nerves, digestive tract, and blood vessels.
Its symptoms can vary in severity, depending on many complex factors. For now, medical professionals are still not aware of any definitive cure for autoimmune diseases. Many of them simply prescribe medication to treat the classic symptoms—such as inflammation—while rendering the root cause as something unknown and undeterminable at this point.
How Functional Medicine can Help
Unlike traditional medicine that focuses on relieving the symptoms, functional medicine practitioners firmly believe that at least three factors prove essential to optimizing the health and wellness of an individual: 1) diet or nutrition, 2) balance of mind and body, and 3) environmental input.
Since functional medicine revolves around resolving the root cause and nipping it in the bud, patient prescriptions might include a change in the diet, the taking of necessary vitamins or supplements, enrolling in a detoxification program, or learning some stress-management techniques. For this reason, treatment via functional medicine can be highly personalized and tailored to the specific individual, whose system may require a different formula of functional medicine than someone else’s system.
Diet Changes May Outperform Medications
As much as possible, functional medicine practitioners prefer to suggest changes to your daily nutritional intake than a prescription of pills that potentially pose havoc to your body’s natural chemistry. After all, certain foods are rich with vitamins and supplements that can help alleviate your autoimmune disease. The right food in the right proportions can act as ‘medicine’ to help correct your condition.
Furthermore, changing your diet can greatly reduce the possibility of food allergens triggering the symptoms of an autoimmune disease. A regular intake of probiotics, fish oil, and vitamins C and D can help strengthen your immune system. Ingesting these can also result in the reduction of irritable bowel movements.
Other Natural Remedies You can Try
Stress can often weaken your immune system. To de-stress, you can try adopting reflective exercises, such as yoga or deep breathing. You should also try detoxifying whenever necessary. If you can lock onto a practical health routine, your immune system can better adapt to any incursions and your overall health will greatly benefit from it.
In addition, you should integrate lab examinations with your monthly routine to further optimize your health. Receiving regular lab tests and results can help you identify potential red flags and work with your functional medicine professional to nullify these signals and keep your immune system on track.
Functional medicine specialists and practitioners believe a profound change in lifestyle and diet, coupled with management of external environmental factors, are more effective than any medication a physician can prescribe.
Understanding Autoimmune Diseases, NationalInstituteofArthritisand MusculoskeletalandSkinDiseases.gov
Functional Medicine and Chronic Disease, HeroHealthRoom.com