Autoimmune diseases happen when the body’s immune system identifies a part of itself as an invader and begins to attack the cells it has misidentified as a problem. There is no singular specific cause for these diseases, and autoimmune diseases can affect nearly every tissue in the body. Natural remedies for autoimmune disease are not a cure, but they can alleviate some of the misery.

In the following excerpt from the book Real Cause, Real Cure by Jacob Teitelbaum, MD and Bill Gottlieb, CHC the authors discuss the causes, type, and natural remedies of autoimmune disease in order to bring some relief for those suffering from them.

Autoimmune Disease

The body’s immune system is programmed to detect what is and isn’t part of the body—what is “self” and what is “not self”—and then to attack and destroy what is “not self.” But modern life has turned that automatic task into a polluted puzzle.

With more than 80,000 synthetic chemicals in the environment—many of them similar to the hormones and other biochemicals produced by our bodies—the immune system has become, well, confused. And when it’s confused, it can mistake the body’s own organs and tissues for an outside invader and may attack, causing an autoimmune disease.

Americans are in the midst of an epidemic of autoimmune diseases, with tens of millions affected. A list of some of the most common (and the body part attacked) includes

Celiac disease (villi in the lining of the small intestine)

Diabetes, type 1 (pancreas)

Hashimoto’s disease (thyroid gland)

Inflammatory bowel disease (small and large intestine)

Psoriasis (skin)

Sjogren’s syndrome (connective tissue)

Systemic lupus erythematosus (many organs and tissues)

Multiple sclerosis (myelin sheath, the protective covering around the nerves)

Rheumatoid arthritis (joints)

A discussion of all of these autoimmune diseases is beyond the scope of this book. (Excellent books on the topic include The Autoimmune Epidemic by Donna Jackson Nakazawa; The Autoimmune Solution by Amy Meyers, MD; and The Wahls Protocol by Terry Wahls, MD.) But several natural treatments can dramatically improve most autoimmune diseases.

Real Cure Regimen

Chronic inflammation—the primary sign of an overactive disease—is almost always

a major component of an autoimmune disease. Two supplements are standouts in decreasing chronic inflammation

Omega-3 fatty acids from fish. Unfortunately, it takes very high doses of omega-3s to create the level in the bloodstream and blood cells that can reduce the chronic inflammation of autoimmune disease. I recommend people use a unique fish fatty acid supplement called Vectomega, from Terry Naturally. Its special formulation increases absorption of omega-3s more than fiftyfold compared with other fish oils. One to three tablets deliver the same effect as seven to 21 fish oil capsules (or three to 10 teaspoons of fish oil)—so you spend less time taking supplements and spend less money, too. If Vectomega isn’t your preference, Nordic Naturals also makes excellent fish oils. Or, for the same level of fish oil, eat a serving of fatty fish (salmon, albacore tuna, sardines, anchovies, mackerel, halibut) at least four times weekly.

Curcumin and willow bark. These two herbs are superb at reducing chronic inflammation. I recommend the product Curamin, from Terry Naturally. Take it daily for six weeks, following the dosage recommendation on the label; if you achieve significant symptom relief, lower the dosage.

In addition to those nutrients and herbs, try these other natural remedies…

•Switch from prednisone to Cortef. Many autoimmune diseases flare up and then quiet down again. If you have a flare-up, your doctor may prescribe somewhere between five milligrams to 40 (or more) milligrams a day of prednisone, a powerful anti-inflammatory corticosteroid (a synthetic version of cortisol, a hormone manufactured by your adrenal glands). When your flare-up ends, your doctor will gradually reduce the dosage, weaning you off the drug. The problem is, prednisone suppresses your body’s production of inflammation-calming cortisol, so when prednisone doses are lowered, your inflammatory illness may flare up—and even more severely than before!

The solution: Once the dose is lowered to five milligrams of prednisone a day, ask your doctor to switch you to 15 milligrams to 20 milligrams a day of Cortef. This is a bioidentical form of cortisone, and it can be safely taken at a low dose for extended periods of time (20 milligrams of natural Cortef is like four milligrams of synthetic prednisone). Research and my clinical experience show that long-term use of up to 20 milligrams of Cortef is safe; my own research—summarized in a letter published in the Journal of the American Medical Association—also shows it doesn’t suppress the adrenal glands. I give Cortef in the morning, before breakfast. (For more information on the safety of this approach, I recommend the book Safe Uses of Cortisol by the renowned Cleveland clinic endocrinologist William Jefferies, MD.) I add the supplement Adrenaplex from Terry Naturally to further increase the adrenal benefits.

Take DHEA for lupus. Several studies show that supplementing with 200 milligrams of this adrenal hormone improves symptoms in lupus and slows the development of the disease. Another benefit: If you take DHEA, you may be able to lower your daily dose of prednisone.

Caution: Two hundred milligrams is a high dose of DHEA that can cause acne or darkening of facial hair (in women). Use it only under the guidance of a holistic physician.

Another caution: There are quality problems with many brands of DHEA. I recommend DHEA from Douglas Labs. Or use DHEA from a compounding pharmacy.

For more ways to fix root causes of common health problems, purchase Real Cause, Real Cure from

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