Autoimmune Diseases & Alternative Treatments
With more than 80 different known varieties in existence, autoimmune diseases are one of the most commonly faced medical conditions. From Lupus to Rheumatoid Arthritis to Hashimoto’s Disease, these diseases cause chronic inflammation in addition to abnormal behavior of immune system activity. Autoimmune diseases may manifest in a number of ways, but they are generally associated by universal symptoms. And although there is no single cure for any one of these conditions, symptoms and malaise can be effectively managed through treatment.
At Superior Healthcare, we offer a spectrum of alternative treatments for autoimmune diseases and disorders. Our treatment is built on fundamental principles of functional medicine, a sector of healthcare studies that designs wellness and recovery plans based on the holistic assessment of a patient’s health status. Our team of medical doctors, functional medicine experts, and nutritionists all have extensive experience in diagnosing and treating dozens of autoimmune diseases through this methodology, which is safe, proven, and does not rely on the use of harmful pharmaceutical drugs.
Below, we’ll briefly discuss some of the most common autoimmune disorders we see in our wellness clinic, and then we’ll delve into the treatments you may benefit from during your next visit to Superior Healthcare. For more immediate information about our functional medicine approach, or to schedule a free consultation at our Metairie clinic, please contact us today.
Common Autoimmune Diseases
There are nearly 100 different types of autoimmune diseases, but we tend to see some manifestations more frequently than others. If you recognize any symptoms or signs discussed in the following autoimmune conditions, we recommend that you strongly consider seeking medical assistance from the functional medicine specialists at our healthcare center.
This autoimmune condition is characterized by swelling, pain, and inflammation in the joints as a result of antibodies attaching themselves to the linings of the joints. One of the body’s natural defense mechanisms against harmful foreign agents and viruses involves the production of antibodies, and when functioning normally, the process is beneficial. However, this is not the case with rheumatoid arthritis.
There is usually no medical reason for the body to attack the joints with antibodies in this way, but nonetheless, the body’s immune system goes into overdrive and causes great discomfort for the affected individual. If left untreated, rheumatoid arthritis can cause permanent damage to the joints. Fortunately, there are a number of treatments and functional therapies that mitigate the negative effects of this disease.
Also referred to as Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, this autoimmune disease is characterized by an immune system attack on the thyroid gland that stifles production of vital hormones and eventually results in hypothyroidism. When thyroid hormone is underproduced, the body cannot maintain normal levels of metabolic activity, causing body temperature, heart rate, and calorie-burning efficiency to diminish. Over the course of several months or years, an individual with Hashimoto’s Disease may experience severe fatigue, loss of appetite, weight gain, dry skin, and cold sensitivity, among other symptoms. Taking a daily hormone supplement is often prescribed as a treatment for this autoimmune condition, but if a patient stops taking these synthetically produced pills, they can suffer from serious complications such as irregular blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, and a higher risk of heart disease. At Superior Healthcare, our functional medicine approach does not rely on the use of high-risk drugs, but instead aims to identify the underlying cause of Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and proceed to treat it through natural, safe means.
Lupus is one of the most systemically detrimental autoimmune diseases, as it attacks virtually all healthy tissue in the body, from the joints to the skin, to internal organs like the brain, heart, and kidneys. A strong physical marker of this condition may manifest itself as butterfly-shaped rash on the face, spreading across the cheeks and over the bridge of the nose. The severity of lupus may range from mild to severe, but with more than 200,000 people affected every year, the prevalence of this autoimmune condition should not be disregarded.
Similar to rheumatoid arthritis, lupus involves the production and attachment of antibodies to tissues and structures throughout the body. This causes severe inflammation and often pain as well. To subdue the inflammatory response and reduce pain, daily administration of an oral steroid called prednisone may be recommended. However, there are other functional medicine treatments that do not involve these kinds of immunosuppressive steroids yet still achieve satisfactory results and improved quality of life.
Because it progressively attacks and inflames the nerve cells of the body, multiple sclerosis (MS) can develop into an extremely debilitating autoimmune disease. Symptoms of untreated or improperly managed MS may involve loss of coordination, muscle tics and spasms, chronic pain, vision loss, and overall weakness and fatigue. Although the FDA has approved at least a dozen different medications for slowing the progression of the condition, their physical and mental side effects tend to create problems of their own. Commonly reported issues with pharmaceutical treatment for MS include liver problems, seizures, suicidal thoughts and depressive moods, flu-like symptoms, and even damage to the myelin sheath that protects nerves. For these and many other reasons, Superior Healthcare’s team of functional medicine specialists aims to minimize the use of synthetic substances when treating autoimmune diseases. Instead, our healthcare professionals rely on an integrative approach that addresses as many sides of the condition as possible while always keeping patient well-being at the forefront of their recommendations.
Alternative Treatments for Autoimmune Diseases
Superior Healthcare offers a variety of effective holistic options for treating autoimmune diseases. There are six we tend to recommend most to patients, and these are described in more detail below.
Pulsed Electro-magnetic Field (PEMF) Therapy
The cells in your body are polarized, meaning that they possess areas of both positive and negative electrical charges. The repulsion of charges between different polarized cells allows the small organisms to perform vital functions amidst one another without causing blockages or interrupting processes.
The polarity of a cell may differ between, say an epithelial (skin) cell and neurons (nerve cells). However, polarity within an exclusive category of a given cell type tends to be lower than that when compared to the structure of a differentiated cell serving another function in the body. When the body develops chronic inflammation, however, this can cause improper polarization of the over-stressed cells to such an extent that they clump together into abnormal masses. In response, antibodies and white blood cells (elements of the immune responses) recognize them as foreign agents that may cause harm, and thus attack or inflame them.
Pulsed electro-magnetic field therapy aims to reverse this improper cellular polarization with the use of a non-invasive device that produces an electromagnetic field. The combination of electrical and magnetic forces reverses the misshapenness of cells and returns them to a more normal state of polarity and health. The entire procedure is non-invasive, painless, and safe.
Many autoimmune diseases can benefit from microcurrent therapy, a treatment method that uses low-energy pulses of electrical current to stimulate healing processes in the body. Microcurrent therapy has been shown to successfully reduce the pain and negative symptoms associated with conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia. Similar to the science behind PEMF therapy, microcurrents employ electrical fields to mitigate cellular polarization issues caused by chronic inflammation and repeated attacks from a dysfunctional immune system. Whether a patient seeks to reverse functional issues in the GI tract, as is common in Celiac disease, or aims to quell the severity of inflammation in their joints, as is characteristic of arthritis, the applications of this targeted and precise therapy can produce extremely beneficial results in a single session.
Oxygen and Vibration Therapy
No matter one’s age or health status, every person depends upon oxygen to carry out countless physiological processes essential to optimal functioning of the body. Unfortunately, mass amounts of pollutants, dust, pollen, mold, and other irritants are found in almost every breath of air we breathe. When an individual is already suffering from an autoimmune condition and weakened resistance to infections, the inhalation of impure oxygen can significantly worsen symptoms of inflammation and chronic pain.
Oxygen and vibration therapy are functional medicine techniques designed to ameliorate the negative impacts of inhaled pollutants. This treatment involves the delivery of oxygen via a small tube placed under the nose. At the same time, the patient stands on a multi-setting vibrational platform in order to stimulate the organs and muscles of the body, thereby priming them for more efficient reception of the clean, restorative oxygen. The higher quality of air your respiratory system receives, the easier it is for your properly “nourished” lungs and body to fight against unwanted inflammation, infections, and other autoimmune complications.
As discussed in the previous section on common autoimmune diseases, at Superior Healthcare, we see that there are many synthetic, unnatural supplements that may be prescribed as a treatment. Our functional medicine program prefers to emphasize the efficacy and safety of natural supplements for better management of autoimmune symptoms. The process begins with a comprehensive blood panel that assesses your current levels of vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients, as well as quantities of internal structures like white blood cells, red blood cells, and inflammatory markers. Following this lab, a medical doctor or certified functional medicine specialist will interpret the data to formulate a diagnostically-based regimen of vitamins, supplements, and other natural recovery aids. Because no two blood test results are the same, no two treatment plans are the same; each and every individual who visits our holistic clinic will receive a completely customized plan of care designed to suit their specific and unique wellness needs.
IV Hydration Therapy
Similarly to natural supplements, IV hydration therapy aims to correct deficiencies in the body’s intake of certain nutrients and minerals. Intravenous hydration therapy such as this is proven to be more effective in reducing the deleterious effects of nutritional deficiencies because the method of administration bypasses the oral route, delivering much-needed nutrients in a faster and cleaner manner. IV hydration helps with a number of conditions both related to and separate from autoimmune diseases, including: food sensitivity, chronic muscle pain, heart problems and cardiovascular disease, allergies, immunodeficiencies, and more.
Ionic Detox Foot Bath
Ionic detox foot baths are founded in complicated science, but the advantageous results are quite easy to understand. This treatment is effective in reducing bacterial infections, removing chemical toxins, lowering high-glucose levels, suppressing inflammation, and lessening the discomfort from chronic pain.
The body is full of charged particles called ions which produce magnetic fields responsible for neutralizing surrounding molecules that may contain toxins or unwanted substances like chemicals or metals. When you receive an ionic detox foot bath at Superior Healthcare, you will immerse your feet in a foot bath of water with a low-level direct current passing through it. This creates a bath of ionized water that then induces the process of osmosis, or the diffusion of molecules of a solvent across a permeable membrane. This process causes certain molecules and harmful substances to become attached to the now-neutralized ions, which are then filtered out of your body and diffused into the ionized water.
In essence, the ionic detox foot bath removes toxins and disease-causing agents from the body, leaving your internal systems in healthier condition and reducing the stress placed on waste-removing organs like the kidneys and liver.
Superior Healthcare provides the Metairie area with unparalleled quality of service in functional medicine treatments and alternative therapies. To schedule a free consultation with one of our medical professionals, please contact us at our integrative wellness clinic today.