With over 23.5 million individuals suffering from autoimmune diseases, this epidemic deserves a second look at the root cause and the reason for the rising symptoms and incidence all over the world.
It’s important to note that most autoimmune conditions tend to overlap one another. According to the National Institute of Health, 25% of autoimmune patients have a tendency to develop multiple autoimmune conditions.
Now in India, We observe the rise of all kinds of autoimmune diseases. It makes more sense to me to focus on the root cause of the pathology than just focus on symptomatic treatment. The conventional approach to “autoimmune disease” in general fails to address the body as a whole system, and we fall prey to mitigating the “symptoms” by adding toxic medications that potentially set off other unintended consequences. We know and understand that our body struggles when homeostasis is disturbed by its innate compensatory mechanism to keep our body from harm. Once the body is taxed and burdened to its threshold is when we end up with a host of symptoms. Symptoms tell us that our bodies need help, that they’re burdened.
The Autoimmune Triad
Thanks to the work of Dr. Alessio Fasano, a physician, and researcher at the University of Maryland, he and his team have discovered interesting findings on celiac disease, which is relevant to all autoimmune conditions.
This is exciting because of the possibility that treatment approaches to celiac disease may benefit other autoimmune conditions as well.
Dr. Fasano found that for patients with celiac disease, which is an autoimmune condition, 3 factors must be present for the disease to manifest: trigger, genetic susceptibility, and a permeable gut (leaky gut).
A trigger can be an event, much like the straw that broke the camel’s back. It can be a cold, flu, trauma, or an emotional turmoil that does you in.
When you think of the trigger though, I think it’s important to understand that it’s never one episodic moment or event. A cumulative burden usually exists in the way of emotional stress, physical stress, or psychological stress.
As a graduate student, I wasn’t eating the best of foods, had terrible sleeping habits, and was constantly stressed by many course load.
Life deals you a deck of cards in the way of your genes. It’s how you play your hand that determines your gene expression. If the autoimmune disease runs in your family make you prone to develop autoimmune disease.
Also known as leaky gut. Lupus patients and all autoimmune patients have leaky gut. As a result, we have mitochondrial dysfunction which leads to a host of systemic inflammation and immune imbalances. The good news is that since we know the root cause of our issues, we can work on fixing our issues once and for all.
Gut permeability exists due to any type of stress, antibiotic use, and toxic load. Most people have gut permeability issues to some extent.
Functional Medicine: Treating Causes, Not Symptoms
It is clear that we can prevent and reverse autoimmune disease. Functional medicine is a hidden movement sweeping across the globe, and it is based on a different method of diagnosing and treating disease—one that focuses on causes not symptoms, one that is based on an understanding of the dynamic way our genes interact with the environment, one that goes beyond simply treating diseases based on their label. This approach is a fundamentally different way of solving medical problems, one that allows us to decipher the origins of illness and identify the disturbances in biology that lead to symptoms.