Home remedies for autoimmune diseases majorly entail nurturing of the immune defense mechanism of the body with dietary and lifestyle changes. Elimination of food triggers, environmental toxins and inclusion of natural and healthy products contribute in boosting the defense system of the body. Apart from this, enough natural sunlight, regular exercise, adequate physical and mental rest, lesser stress on the digestive tract , relaxation techniques such as yoga and meditation may prove useful in curing autoimmune disorders holistically.
Table of Contents
What are Autoimmune Diseases?
Autoimmune diseases are characterized by the condition when the body’s immune defense mechanism erroneously works against itself and tends to destroy its own healthy cells and tissues. Basically these diseases crop up as a result of the inapt response of the body against the components usually present inside the body. More than 80 different kinds of immune diseases such as psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, Grave’s diseases, diabetes, multiple sclerosis have been recognized with its severity spanning from mild discomfort to fatal disabilities depending upon the part of the body which is affected and to what extent. Autoimmune diseases may lead to abnormal growth or inappropriate functioning of organs or it may damage multiple tissues and organs including skin, muscles, red blood cells, thyroid glands and connective tissues.
Autoimmune diseases may be classified into two categories: organ specific and non-organ specific. In organ specific diseases, a particular organ of the body may be affected while; in non-organ specific many different organs may be impacted. This could be due to the malfunctioning of a particular tissue in different parts of the body such as a confused immune system against blood may result in pernicious anemia, autoimmune thrombocytopenia while, faulty immune reaction against blood vessels may cause Behcet’s disease, Temporal arteritis and immune malfunctioning against endocrine system may cause Graves’ disease, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis to name a few.
Immune System Malfunction: In a healthy individual, T lymphocytes i.e. the immune system cells shield the body from the detrimental components also known as antigens. The defense mechanism triggers the production of antibodies to fight against a range of such antigens including bacteria, virus, cancer cells and other toxins from the environment. Immune system of the patients suffering from autoimmune diseases loses the ability to figure out the difference between the harmful and healthy body cells. As a result, it begins to make antibodies to destroy normal and healthy body tissues as well. These antibodies are also called autoantibodies.
A simple way to understand this is, in allergic reactions the immune system works against any foreign substances attacking the body and in autoimmune diseases, the immune system counters the functioning of body’s own healthy body tissues. The exact reason behind the occurrence of such diseases is still unidentified. Various theories suggest the role of certain microorganisms or medications which may prompt these amendments in the body. Other major causes of autoimmune disorders include:
Genetic Factor: The scientific findings also suspect some genetic intervention which may enhance the susceptibility for developing autoimmune diseases in some individuals and make them prone to such changes in the immune system. That infers that multiple members of the same family may suffer from a particular disease possibly due to a specific gene that may influence and predisposes the members to it. Furthermore, individuals in the same family may inherit same set of abnormal genes and yet develop different autoimmune diseases.
Gender: For an unknown reason, women are more prone to developing autoimmune disorders as compared to men.
General Infection: Certain autoimmune diseases may be prompted as a consequence of particular infections caused in the body.
Hormones: Autoimmune disorders may have an enhanced risk of developing during reproductive age. They also appear to be influenced positively or negatively by the certain phases such as menopause, pregnancy and childbirth which involve changes in the hormonal levels.
Symptoms of Autoimmune Diseases
Most of the autoimmune diseases have similar symptoms and yet affect different parts of the body. It may also vary from person to person depending upon the disorder and position where the immune system is responding peculiarly. Indications that commonly arise with autoimmune disorder include
Fever: Raised body temperature for prolonged duration is another indicator of autoimmune disorders.
Apart from this, general feeling of illness and discomfort also known as malaise, enhanced vulnerability to infections, seizures, excessive weight loss, hair loss, palpitations, vertigo, tingling in hands and feet may also be the signs of developing autoimmune diseases.
Home Remedies for Autoimmune Diseases
Some of the common home remedies which may prove useful in treating multiple autoimmune diseases have been discussed as under:
‘We are what we consume’ is an eternal truth of life. Be it the air we breathe or the food we eat or drink. Enrich your immune system by providing it natural and healthy diet. Unprocessed, unadulterated food, wholesome food free from preservatives and additives, just as the nature intended it supplies the much needed nutrition to various systems of the body including the immune system.
Opt for a balanced diet rich in all the essential nutrients as far as possible. Inclusion of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, foods rich in complex carbohydrates, basically choosing from each food group help in strengthening the body defense. However, some nutrients may score more over other in curing specific disorders for instance- vitamin C rich foods and essential fatty acids are recommended for people suffering lupus and diet rich in calcium and magnesium works great for fibromyalgia, folate and vitamin B12 rich diet works for people suffering from vitiligo. In general, considering a low-fat, high protein, low glycemic diet may contribute beneficially in preventing many autoimmune disorders such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, scleroderma. For a detailed disease specific advice, you may consider a medical expert to better understand the diet requirement.
Relax your Digestive System
Making certain dietary changes and adopting healthy eating practices may assist in preventing and treating autoimmune diseases to a great extent. Going back to basics like chewing food until it is almost liquid, avoiding high-fat and junk items, eating fresh seasonal food such as fruits, leafy greens and may be organic meat really does the groundwork which may avert the occurrence of autoimmune diseases. Apart from this, eating smaller meals more frequent meals help maintain the levels of sugar in the blood stream and does not put strain on the immune system. The basic idea is to put lesser stress on the digestive tract and encourage optimal digestion. These practices also keep a healthy gastrointestinal tract and help prevent the diseases such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and primary biliary cirrhosis. Soaking the whole grains prior to cooking aids in deactivating the effects of phytic acid. It also reduces the entire cooking time which might be required to make the grain tender and ease the digestion.
Gluten, a protein normally found in wheat is found to be a major contributor in allergic reactions and a trigger in autoimmune diseases. It has been known to cause celiac disease which is characterized by the intolerance to gluten and its sensitivity can further lead to autoimmune disorders.
Furthermore, individual should look out for diet triggers and allergens which might create an allergic reactions and tax your immune system and finally make way for the occurrence of autoimmune diseases. Foods like corn, wheat, soy, fish, dairy foods, nuts are common allergens. A medical advice and careful monitoring here would help figure out the food items whose consistent elimination may prove useful in controlling the symptoms.
Accumulated toxins in the various organs of our body such as liver, kidney and central nervous system contribute to the worsening of autoimmune indications. In fact, the degree of toxicity in the body generally determines the level of sickness in an individual. These accrued toxins give way to the free radicals and disturb the functioning of enzymes and cell membrane activities. They stick to the cell membranes and interfere with the absorption of essential minerals in the body and results in hormonal imbalances, deficiencies, neurological disorders eventually leading to autoimmune diseases. If you are feeling the symptoms of autoimmune diseases, then you should lookout for the harmful environmental toxins that you might be exposed to such as in detergents and other household cleansers, pesticides, cigarettes, caffeine and alcohol. Choosing natural products help eliminate the exposure to such triggers.
Relax your Mind
Incorporating relaxation techniques such as breathing exercises, meditation and yoga begins with internal healing of the body. These exercises may prove useful in alleviating stress and valuable in treating many physical and mental ailments which may eventually result in autoimmune disorders. Look for activities which help you de-stress, calm your mind and cleanse accumulated mental toxins.
Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese technique which targets specific healing points using therapeutic needles. It helps in relieving a range of disturbing ailments including autoimmune disorders. Once learned from a trained professional, acupuncture may assist as an effective and holistic remedy towards such conditions.
Enough Physical Rest
Proper rest helps the body in many different ways than we actually comprehend. Few restful hours including deep night sleep go a long way in recovering from major illnesses and thereafter sustaining the restored system and maintain renewed energy. Regular rest is vital for protecting and maintaining the natural immune defense of the body and preventing the body from entering into the state of exhaustion. Sitting or lying down in a quiet, dark room helps calm the mind and body prevents fatigue and constant enervation.
Soak up the Sun
Getting enough sunlight ensures regular supply of natural vitamin D in the body and may prove valuable in preventing and treating autoimmune disorders. It not only contributes in improving the immune defense mechanism but also brings direct relief in certain autoimmune disorders such as psoriasis, a disease characterized by the inflammation in the joints and skin. Ultraviolet waves from the sun play a significant role in combating such diseases. However, experts recommend the usage of sunscreen to block the UV rays from harming the unaffected area and discuss this option with a doctor to understand the appropriate amount of sun exposure required for curing specific conditions.
Herbs such as maca, a South American medicinal root is useful in treating autoimmune diseases. Maca seems to have an adaptive reaction towards the immune system which encourages the strengthening of immune defense without stimulating it. Unlike other herbs, plant sterols in maca trigger the production of age and gender appropriate hormones which play an important role in preventing many autoimmune diseases involving thyroid conditions such as Hashimoto’s diseases and hypothyroidism. It assists in the better functioning of endocrine system and aids in stimulating the hypothalamus and pituitary glands.
Hydrotherapy therapy or water treatment has often been proven effective in patients suffering from autoimmune diseases involving inflammation in joints and muscles such as fibromyalgia, arthritis. Warm water treatment helps relieve the stiffness and soothes the pain in joints.
Autoimmune Diseases: Summary
Autoimmune diseases occur and people learn to cope up with it. So get some encouragement and make sure to discuss your problem with an expert to better understand the effects of natural home remedies and help yourself to accelerate the entire healing process. Maintain a healthy body weight, strike a food, work and life balance, engage in appropriate regular exercise or consider a regular brisk walk and most importantly feeling positive inside makes a lot of difference in healing autoimmune diseases holistically.