Autoimmune Diseases

The body functions as a logical organism that responds in a direct cause and effect relationship to its environment. In the case of auto-immunity and its symptoms, the immune system (the effect) is responding to something that appears to be ‘foreign’ (the cause) in the body. Unfortunately, in the process of trying to remove the foreign substance, the body destroys its own tissue and auto-immunity develops.

What factors contribute to an autoimmune disease?

Your body is fighting something — an infection, a toxin, an allergen, a food or the stress response — and somehow it redirects its hostile attack on your joints, your brain, your thyroid, your gut, your skin or sometimes your whole body. The most recent research in science has shown that three factors need to be present to develop an autoimmune disease:

  • Genetic susceptibility
  • Environmental triggers
  • Increased intestinal permeability

Genetic susceptibility

The movement from health towards disease has to make sense. The family medical history can provide clues to genetic susceptibility from both parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles.

Environmental triggers

Environmental triggers can include food, bacteria, heavy metals or can be as result of stress factors like grief, depression or burn out at work. The life situations that were taking place before the onset of disease can give indicators of what the influences could be involved, and this is dependent on each persons own life story.

intestinal villusIncreased intestinal permeability

The digestive tract is an important component of the body’s immune system and contains the largest mass of lymphoid tissue in the body. When the intestinal cell barrier becomes compromised (increased intestinal permeability), and larger proteins are able to pass into the blood, the immune system is activated to remove the foreign invaders. This leads to inflammation which eventually results in more breaks in the intestinal barrier. These immune complexes when deposited in different sites of the body determines the name of the autoimmune disease. If it is deposited in the synovial joints, it is called rheumatoid arthritis, the myelin sheath ( multiple sclerosis or Guillain- Barre syndrome ), the thyroid gland (Hashimotos disease or Graves disease), the intestines (Crohns disease or ulcerative colitis).

Dr. Gary Hardy will help you discover the causes of your health problems

Through an in depth case history and lab tests, these factors can be determined and the process of restoration can be initiated based on the specific causes of the specific disease based on individuality. It also becomes more easy to understand the ‘why’ and if you have developed one autoimmune disease, you have a higher probability of developing a second autoimmune disease because the underlying mechanisms are similar. Once you identify the causes of an autoimmune disease and begin treatment, the chances of developing a second problem are greatly diminished or even eliminated.