The incidence of autoimmune disease has more than tripled in the last few decades. The Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy Association reports that currently 1 in 20 people are being affected by autoimmune diseases in Australia and New Zealand.
What is Autoimmunity?
Autoimmunity develops over time. Initiated by the loss of immune tolerance to ‘self’ tissues and driven by specific immune cells, it invariably leads to tissue damage. Pre-clinical autoimmunity can be seen to precede clinical disease by many years.
Why is this so?
The use of chemicals such as pesticides, fungicides and insecticides for crops including fruits and vegetables is ever increasing, as is a rise in the use of antibiotics in farm animals, heavy metals, chemical ingredients in our foods and artificial sweeteners. Exposure to these over time is known to contribute to the immune reactions leading to autoimmune disorders.
Many toxins are now known to not only disrupt our endocrine system or hormones, but also our immune system. This disruption is caused due to exposure over time of multiple chemicals, along with other key factors such as diet, lifestyle and gut health.
Some toxins that we are exposed to on a daily basis include dry cleaning, paint thinner, nail polish, acetone and glue solvents, spot removers, detergents, perfumes, personal care products and other organic solvents.
Chronic exposure to organic solvents leads to deposition within organs. Depending on which tissues are infiltrated, will determine the autoimmune condition. These can include Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) or Systemic Scleroderma (SSc), Rheumatoid Arthritis, Vasculitis, Progressive Systemic Sclerosis, Sjogren’s Syndrome and mixed connective tissue disease.
Links have also been established between viral infections and the development of autoimmune conditions. The most common viruses include Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), Cytomegalovirus (CMV) and the Herpes complexes – the same group of viruses often associated with glandular fever and chronic fatigue syndrome. Other infections which have been shown to trigger autoimmune conditions include bacteria, fungi and parasites.
Prevention and treatment
In order to assess your body’s reactivity to foods, toxins or infections, there are numerous tests available. Treatment can then be tailored to your specific triggers. Always consult a qualified natural health practitioner for assessment and treatment.
In the past, I have found that frequency therapies combined with herbal, nutritional and homeopathic remedies has been extremely successful in alleviating multi-factorial chronic conditions.
If you would like to make an appointment with Dagmar, please call 07 5530 1863.