Normally, your body’s immune system knows to attack foreign agents and leave your own tissues alone. Sometimes, however, a person’s immune system can no longer differentiate between foreign cells and the body’s own cells; it then and attacks the body it is supposed to protect. This is called autoimmune disorder.
Autoimmune disorders encompass a number of diseases: rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Sjogrens syndrome, vitiligo, polymyalgia rheumatica, pernicious anemia, Addison’s disease, thyroiditis, multiple sclerosis, Lou Gehrig's disease, chronic thyroiditis, Crohn's disease, and sprue. Additionally, some experts suspect that Type 1 diabetes may be an autoimmune disorder. Autoimmune disorder can result in the immune system attacking one of the body’s organs, tissues, or cells, such as red blood cells, endocrine glands, thyroid, pancreas, or muscles. The symptoms and outlooks of these conditions vary according to their severity, but they all stem from the same underlying problem: the immune system failing to distinguish between self and nonself.
Why the immune system attacks healthy body tissues is not completely understood. Scientists expect a genetic predisposition or subtle change to cells within the body tissues such that the immune system no longer recognizes them as “self.” This may be caused by toxic buildup or subtle viruses.
Treatments Autoimmune Disorder
- Eliminate gluten from your diet by switching from wheatbased cereals to quinoa or ricebased cereals in the morning, use rice bread as your bread of choice for sandwiches and toast, and switch to glutenfree pasta.
- Get more omega3 fatty acids from chia seeds (from the salvia plant) and coldwater fish such as wild salmon. Other sources include flaxseed oil, walnuts, and tofu.
- Take vitamin B12 and folic acid supplements to help improve vitiligo. Additionally, vitamin D (1,000 IU for chronic disease) helps autoimmune disorders by inhibiting immune system overactivity, and vitamin C may slow the progression of autoimmune disorders. Vitamin E supplements may also help some people.