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Autoimmune Disorders

An autoimmune disorder is a condition that occurs when the body's immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys healthy body tissue, which can lead to more than 80 types of autoimmune disorders such as:

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis (joints)

  • Multiple sclerosis (nerves)

  • Ankylosing spondylitis (spine)

  • Hashimoto's thyroiditis (thyroid)

  • Sjorgen's Syndrome (moisture-producing glands)

  • Lupus (organs, blood vessels & connective tissue)

  • Fibromyalgia (muscle pain & fatigue)

  • Celiac disease (intestines)

  • Reactive arthritis (cartilages & joints)

  • Type 1 diabetes (pancreas)

  • Pernicious anemia (gastric parietal cells)

An estimated 5-8% of the population have a diagnosed autoimmune disease, 78% of cases occur in women.

Normally the immune system's army of white blood cells helps protect the body from harmful substances, called antigens. Examples of antigens include bacteria, viruses, toxins, cancer cells, and foreign blood or tissues from another person or species. The immune system produces antibodies that destroy these harmful substances. But in patients with an autoimmune disorder, the immune system can't tell the difference between healthy body tissue and antigens. The result is an immune response that destroys normal body tissues. The response is a hypersensitivity reaction similar to allergies, where the immune system reacts to a substance that it normally would ignore. In allergies, the immune system reacts to an external substance that would normally be harmless. With autoimmune disorders, the immune system reacts to normal body tissues. (Medlineplus)

Conventional treatments for autoimmune disorders are aimed at inhibiting the entire immune system and the inflammatory process. Treatment protocols have serious drawbacks, with use of anti-inflammatory drugs or general immune system suppressants, such as corticosteroids and cyclosporine, can increase susceptibility to other infections.

How Nutritional Therapy can help

Often there is no cure for autoimmune disorders, however nutritional therapy may help reduce the frequency and/or severity of autoimmune related attacks on bodily tissue and help improve symptoms.

The best approach for autoimmune disorders is to establish the underlying causes in each individual, whether it is biochemical, physiological and/or environmental. This is best done through a consultation process. Once individual root causes have been identified a personalised plan of diet and lifestyle choices and food supplements is created with the aim to reduce the effect of these causes.

Often one of the first considerations is to support and rebalance the immune system to reduce the body from attacking 'itself' and to calm inflammation to preserve health and improve symptoms.

There is no single protocol to cover every autoimmune disease. However, there are some general features that are present in many autoimmune conditions to consider, such as:

  • Imbalanced immune system (Th1:Th2)

  • Inflammation

  • Nutrient deficiencies

  • Food allergies & intolerances

  • Gut permeability

  • Hormone imbalances, especially in women

Useful tests include food intolerance testing, Intestinal Permeability Assessment , stool analysis and hormone testing. Based on test results an achievable programme is worked out to help improve you autoimmune related symptoms.

Call Essentia Nutrition today to book a consultation or to find out more on how nutritional therapy could help you on 07781 890 541.










































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