As the guardian of our health, the immune system is responsible for the defense against foreign pathogens such as viruses, bacteria and fungi, but also against the body’s own degenerated cells (z. B. Tumor cells) responsible. If the body, however, in an excessive reaction against healthy endogenous tissue, doctors speak of autoimmune diseases. The result is chronic inflammatory reactions, whereby the affected tissue of the patients is damaged.
Autoimmune diseases are among the most common chronic diseases in Germany. After cardiovascular and tumor diseases, they represent the third most common group. Most of those affected are women, who make up about 75% of those who suffer from the disease.
What autoimmune diseases are there?
Currently, a total of about 100 different autoimmune diseases are known. Among the most popular and common are u. a. Multiple sclerosis, rheumatism, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and chronic inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease.
A distinction is made between organ-specific and systemic autoimmune diseases. The former occurs when the immune system selectively targets a specific organ, such as the thyroid, nerves, or intestines. In the other case, it attacks the entire system, i.e. different organs, and causes a non-organ-specific, systemic autoimmune disease. Examples are rheumatoid arthritis and lupus erythematosus.
Learn more about selected autoimmune diseases on the following pages
Causes of autoimmune diseases
The causes of the imbalance in the immune system are multiple and complex and still not conclusively understood. It is assumed that genetic predispositions as well as environmental factors and lifestyle play a role. The diseases often break out in very eventful phases of life, many affected people are between 20 and 50 years old. Chronic viral load may also be one of the causes.
Treatment of autoimmune diseases
Autoimmune diseases cannot be cured, but they can often be treated well, and the remedies of choice depend on each individual disease. Basically, autoimmune diseases should be treated with a holistic therapy strategy that takes the whole person into account.
First of all, intensive research into the causes should be carried out. This definitely includes the search for hidden viruses, such as the Ebstein-Barr virus. Also, before anything else, one should have the intestines examined. It can be assumed that every autoimmune disease is accompanied by a leaky gut syndrome. This is an excessively permeable intestine, through which substances that should remain in the intestine escape from the intestine and reach surrounding structures, where they put the immune system on alert. This then easily leads to an overreaction and its derailment – the autoimmune disease is there. Intestinal reorganization, change of diet (fresh, no convenience foods, as little sugar as possible, no gluten) and the establishment of a balanced intestinal flora are the prerequisites for an effective therapy. Environmental toxins and heavy metal exposure can also play a role in the development of autoimmune diseases and should be taken into account accordingly in diagnosis and therapy.
The implementation of these measures contributes significantly to the effectiveness of other regulatory medicine therapies. This also applies to microimmunotherapy. In the treatment of autoimmune diseases, it focuses directly on the misdirected immune system by aiming to have a regulating effect here. Microimmunotherapeutics contain messenger substances (cytokines) that are also used by the immune system itself. It speaks the same language as the immune system, so to speak. Specific complex remedies, depending on the disease, act very specifically against the malfunctions of the immune system. Thus, there are special remedies z. B. against multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis or chronic inflammatory bowel diseases. In other autoimmune diseases, for example, anti-inflammatory or also, as required, antiviral substances are used to contain the causes of the disease.