• Autoimmune Disease

If you are trying to decrease medications or control your autoimmune disease, naturopathic medicine
may be an option for you. Autoimmune disease is a rapidly rising in diagnosis across North America. We
have better tools and a better understanding of autoimmune disease today, but there is still much work
to be done to truly uncover how and why it happens to some and not others. Some of the reasons why
it may happen are:

Genetics: Autoimmune disease is an inheritable condition and is commonly seen in families. Some may
be carriers, some may express the disease and some may have the genes for autoimmune disease
turned on later in life after stressful events.

Illness: several bacterial species and chronic infections (e.g. epstein-barr virus, lime disease, klebsiella
etc.) have been linked to autoimmune disease. Some pathogenic bacterial species are seen in much
higher amounts in those who have autoimmune disease. Other patients have had a previous viral illness
that jumpstarted their immune system into overdrive.

Stress: Chronic stress causes the release of cortisol from the adrenal glands. When we are consistently
stressed cortisol starts to decrease production, our body does not deal with stress well, and we start to
see degenerative changes in our body( e.g. poor healing, soft bones etc.). Depleted levels of cortisol
decrease our immune function and unfortunately leave the body to work harder to fight off infections. A
stressful life event may be the catalyst between just being a carrier of the disease and expressing the
disease (epigenetics).

Surgery: Anecdotally, it is seen that patients undergoing surgery and having something foreign placed in
the body ( e.g. implants, mesh, stent) can trigger an autoimmune response. The body recognizes the
implant and non-self and attacks it.

Autoimmune disease: Unfortunately, your greatest risk of developing autoimmune disease is already
having an autoimmune disease. Several autoimmune diseases are connected, including Type 1 diabetes,
celiac disease and Hashimoto's thyroiditis.

There may be several unexplained symptoms that arise but may include fatigue, joint pain, skin or hair
changes, digestive problems, weight gain/loss, and low mood. Additional testing may be done with Dr.
Galuska to help find the root causes of your autoimmune disease.


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