Understanding Autoimmune Conditions

Your immune system contains over a trillion cells working diligently to ensure your health and safety from harmful invaders. If it detects a threat—perhaps bacterial cells lodged in a paper cut, or flu virus trapped in your nasal passageways—this highly coordinated battalion will work to neutralize and destroy the threat in the most efficient way possible. Unfortunately, if the body mistakenly identifies its own tissue as the offender, it works just as efficiently. This results in the body attacking itself, which can lead to auto-immune conditions.

Autoimmune diseases are usually persistent, and conventional medicine offers a range of treatments to manage symptoms and slow disease progression, including anti-inflammatory drugs, immunosuppressants, and corticosteroids. While traditional medicine remains the cornerstone of autoimmune treatment, many patients are exploring complementary and alternative therapies alongside their prescribed regimen.

Research on the efficacy of alternative therapies for autoimmune diseases is incomplete, however, that doesn’t mean they don’t have a lot to offer. Scientists have just begun uncovering the critical role of gut health in autoimmune conditions, for example, which is a common target for alternative medicines. Therapies such as yoga, acupuncture, bodywork, Chinese medicine, and many others have been used for thousands of years to treat many different ailments, and we are only just beginning to recognize their unique ability to resolve stress, promote relaxation, and increase overall happiness levels—all critically important for optimal health.

Living with an autoimmune condition can be challenging. By exploring both traditional and alternative therapies, it is possible to create a personalized approach to manage symptoms and take charge of your health.

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