|Animal-based|| Urine Therapy
Nettle (Urtica urens)
| ||German researchers discovered that a traditional European herbal remedy for rheumatism, nettle leaf extract, inhibits TNF-alpha and IL-1 beta. [Arzneimittelforschung. 1996 Apr;46(4): pp.389-94] Nettle “may inhibit the inflammatory cascade in autoimmune diseases and rheumatoid arthritis,” concluded a team of researchers. [J Rheumatol. 1999; 26(12): pp.2517-2522]|
It is interesting to note that the prescription drug Enbrel®, approved for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, acts by suppressing TNF-alpha.
| ||Dr. Joel Fuhrman, M.D. has spent much of his professional life treating disease by fasting his patients. He has an entire chapter in his book, Fasting and Eating for Health, dedicated to the subject of autoimmune disease. He is convinced that fasting with subsequent dietary changes is a much superior approach to autoimmune disease than conventional treatments.|
| ||Some doctors have found that a higher than normal percentage of patients with autoimmune disorders are allergic to gluten/gliadin and dairy products. Complete avoidance should be tried for at least one month to see if benefits will occur.|
Dairy Products Avoidance
| ||Dr. Joel Fuhrman, M.D. reports that for the benefits of a fast to be maintained, a vegan diet is required. Switching to a vegan diet before the water fast sometimes improves patients' symptoms.|
Conventional Drugs / Information
| ||Natural compounds derived from a sea anemone extract and a shrub plant have been found to block the autoimmune disease response in type-1 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis, according to University of California, Irvine researchers.|
The study shows both in human and animal tests how these compounds work to deter the effect of autoimmune T-cells, white blood cells that attack the body. The goal, according to UCI researchers, is to develop new treatments from these compounds that will target these destructive T-cells while allowing other white blood cells to fight disease and infection.
The study, led by UC Irvine School of Medicine researchers George Chandy and Christine Beeton, identifies how these compounds work against a type of white blood cells called effector memory T lymphocytes, which play a major role in autoimmunity. Both compounds block an ion channel in these cells that prevents the cells from proliferating and producing chemicals called cytokines that attack the body during autoimmune disease states.
"Autoimmune diseases affect millions of Americans, and any new therapies that can aid them will have great significance," Chandy said. "What's promising about this study is that we identified a protein target on the T-cells that promote autoimmune activity and the compounds that can selectively block the target and shut down the destructive cells."
White blood cells patrol the body to fight against cancer and infections, but if some of these cells turn against the body they are meant to protect, they cause autoimmune diseases. Millions of people worldwide are afflicted with disabling autoimmune disorders. Two examples of this large class of diseases are type 1 diabetes, in which white blood cells attack the pancreas, and rheumatoid arthritis, in which the joints are attacked.
In their study, the UCI researchers used modified compounds derived from the rue plant (PAP-1) and a Cuban sea anemone extract (SL5), both of which block the ion channel in the destructive T-cells. [Early Online Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Nov 6-10, 2006
LDN - Low Dose Naltrexone
| ||The experience of people who have autoimmune diseases and who have begun LDN treatment has been remarkable, according to Dr. Bihari. Patients with diagnoses such as systemic lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, Behcet's syndrome, Wegener's granulomatosis, bullous pemphigoid, psoriasis, and Crohn's disease have all benefited.|
Plant Sterols / Sterolins (Phytosterols)
| ||Plant sterols and sterolins “modulate” or balance the immune system and have been shown to decrease the auto-antibody production.|
Test for Microbiological Imbalance, Stool
Hydrochloric Acid (Trial)
| ||Clinicians report that 50% of patients with autoimmune disease are also hypochlorhydric (have low stomach acid).|
Test Copper Levels
| ||In cases of autoimmune disease, where therapy is often less than satisfactory, copper insufficiency should be investigated until additional studies confirm any link. The following quote is by John Johnson (iThyroid.com):|
"There is very little scientific evidence that copper is involved in immune system function, but it is my belief that copper deficiency is the principal nutritional deficiency involved in autoimmune diseases. Approximately 80% of the people who suffer from autoimmune diseases are women. The most important nutrient that women need more of than men is copper. Any nutritional detective who is trying to find the culprit in autoimmune diseases should first suspect copper. Women need more copper and get autoimmune diseases more frequently. Men need less copper and generally don’t get autoimmune disease. Copper deficiency is the obvious suspect."
Test for DHEA
| ||Some doctors report finding that a high percentage of patients with autoimmune disorders are also deficient in DHEA, and should be tested.|
| ||The Promise Of Low Dose Naltrexone Therapy: Potential Benefits in Cancer, Autoimmune, Neurological and Infectious Disorders. By Elaine Moore, co-author SammyJo Wilkinson Foreword by Dr. Yash Agrawal, MD, PhD.|
The book is highly recommended for other health care practitioners who wish to get quickly up to speed in this new area of medicine which is destined to become the medical paradigm of the 21st century, casting a giant shadow over the rest of mainstream medicine.[ Comments on the LDN book by Jeffrey Dach MD]
Essential Fatty Acids
| ||Supplementation with omega-3 essential fatty acids (EFAs) along with the essential omega-6 fatty acid gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) from borage oil, evening primrose oil, or black currant seed oil, can alleviate many symptoms of autoimmune disease through their anti-inflammatory activity.|
Oxygen / Oxidative Therapies
Ozone / Oxidative Therapy
| ||A variety of data, from epidemiology, animal experiments, immunological investigations, genetics and small clinical trials indicates that vitamin D can have a suppressant effect on autoimmune reactions and help to slow autoimmune disease. In recent years there has been an effort to understand possible noncalcemic roles of vitamin D, including its role in the immune system and, in particular, on T cell-medicated immunity. The vitamin D receptor is found in significant concentrations in the T lymphocyte and macrophage populations. However, its highest concentration is in the immature immune cells of the thymus and the mature CD-8 T lymphocytes. The significant role of vitamin D compounds as selective immunosuppressants is illustrated by their ability to either prevent or markedly suppress animal models of autoimmune disease. Results show that 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 can either prevent or markedly suppress experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, type I diabetes, and inflammatory bowel disease. In almost every case, the action of the vitamin D hormone requires that the animals be maintained on a normal or high calcium diet.|
It must be stressed that adequate calcium and magnesium intake must accompany vitamin D supplementation. [Medical Hypotheses 1986 (21): pp. 193-200] Calcium levels strongly affect the action of vitamin D for suppressing EAE (animal MS) in mice. Calcium intake should be in the range of 600-900mg per day with magnesium intake being about the same as this. [Journal of Nutrition, 1999 (129): pp. 1966-1971]
Although the use of vitamin D and vitamin D analogs in the therapy of certain autoimmune diseases holds promise, further research is required before their safety and efficacy can be determined.
Adrenal Insufficiency: Also known as Adrenal Exhaustion or Low Adrenal Function, this is a condition where the adrenal gland is compromised in its production of epinephrine, norepinephrine, cortisol, corticosterone or aldosterone. Symptoms include primarily fatigue, weakness, decreased appetite with ensuing weight loss, as well as nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea or constipation, or increased pigmentation of the skin. Cortical insufficiency (low or no corticosteroids) produces a more serious condition called Addison’s Disease, characterized by extreme weakness, low blood pressure, pigmentation of the skin, shock or even death.
Antibody: A type of serum protein (globulin) synthesized by white blood cells of the lymphoid type in response to an antigenic (foreign substance) stimulus. Antibodies are complex substances formed to neutralize or destroy these antigens in the blood. Antibody activity normally fights infection but can be damaging in allergies and a group of diseases that are called autoimmune diseases.
Arthritis: Inflammation of a joint, usually accompanied by pain, swelling, and stiffness, and resulting from infection, trauma, degenerative changes, metabolic disturbances, or other causes. It occurs in various forms, such as bacterial arthritis, osteoarthritis, or rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis, the most common form, is characterized by a gradual loss of cartilage and often an overgrowth of bone at the joints.
Autoimmune Disease: One of a large group of diseases in which the immune system turns against the body's own cells, tissues and organs, leading to chronic and often deadly conditions. Examples include multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus, Bright's disease and diabetes.
Calcium: The body's most abundant mineral. Its primary function is to help build and maintain bones and teeth. Calcium is also important to heart health, nerves, muscles and skin. Calcium helps control blood acid-alkaline balance, plays a role in cell division, muscle growth and iron utilization, activates certain enzymes, and helps transport nutrients through cell membranes. Calcium also forms a cellular cement called ground substance that helps hold cells and tissues together.
Cancer: Refers to the various types of malignant neoplasms that contain cells growing out of control and invading adjacent tissues, which may metastasize to distant tissues.
CD4/CD8: The ratio of the number of helper T lymphocytes to the number of suppressor and cytotoxic T lymphocytes. The cells are counted with the use of monoclonal antibodies to the surface glycoproteins CD4 on helper T cells and CD8 on suppressor and cytotoxic T cells. In healthy individuals the ratio ranges from 1.6 to 2.2. The ratio is important in monitoring the function of the immune system in patients who have viral infections or who have undergone tissue transplantation, either of which may cause an increase in the number of suppressor T cells.
Chronic: Usually Chronic illness: Illness extending over a long period of time.
Colitis: Inflammation of the colon.
CRP: C-reactive protein. A sensitive measure of inflammation in the body.
Cytokines: Cytokines are chemical messengers that control immune responses. They are secreted by white blood cells, T cells, epithelial cells and some other body cells. There are at least 17 different kinds of interleuken and 3 classes of interferon called alpha, beta and gamma and various subsets. Interleukens and interferons are called “cytokines” and there are two general groupings, Th1 and Th2. Th1 (T-cell Helper type 1) promote cell-mediated immunity (CMI) while Th2 (T-cell Helper type 2) induce humoral immunity (antibodies).
Cytoplasm: The inner substance of a cell contained within the cell membrane other than the nucleus.
Diabetes Mellitus: A disease with increased blood glucose levels due to lack or ineffectiveness of insulin. Diabetes is found in two forms; insulin-dependent diabetes (juvenile-onset) and non-insulin-dependent (adult-onset). Symptoms include increased thirst; increased urination; weight loss in spite of increased appetite; fatigue; nausea; vomiting; frequent infections including bladder, vaginal, and skin; blurred vision; impotence in men; bad breath; cessation of menses; diminished skin fullness. Other symptoms include bleeding gums; ear noise/buzzing; diarrhea; depression; confusion.
Erythema Nodosum: Acute inflammation of skin with red nodules.
Fibromyalgia: (FMS): Originally named fibrositis, it is a mysteriously debilitating syndrome that attacks women more often than men. It is not physically damaging to the body in any way, but is characterized by the constant presence of widespread pain that often moves about the body. Fibromyalgia can be so severe that it is often incapacitating.
Gastrointestinal: Pertaining to the stomach, small and large intestines, colon, rectum, liver, pancreas, and gallbladder.
Histamine: A chemical in the body tissues, produced by the breakdown of histidine. It is released in allergic reactions and causes widening of capillaries, decreased blood pressure, increased release of gastric juice, fluid leakage forming itchy skin and hives, and tightening of smooth muscles of the bronchial tube and uterus.
Hypothyroidism: Diminished production of thyroid hormone, leading to low metabolic rate, tendency to gain weight, and sleepiness.
Immune System: A complex that protects the body from disease organisms and other foreign bodies. The system includes the humoral immune response and the cell-mediated response. The immune system also protects the body from invasion by making local barriers and inflammation.
Iritis: An inflammation of the iris of the eye.
Manganese: An essential mineral found in trace amounts in tissues of the body. Adults normally contain an average of 10 to 20mg of manganese in their bodies, most of which is contained in bone, the liver and the kidneys. Manganese is essential to several critical enzymes necessary for energy production, bone and blood formation, nerve function and protein metabolism. It is involved in the metabolism of fats and glucose, the production of cholesterol and it allows the body to use thiamine and Vitamin E. It is also involved in the building and degrading of proteins and nucleic acid, biogenic amine metabolism, which involves the transmitting of nerve impulses.
Myxedema: A condition arising from diminished thyroid function, characterized by hard swelling of subcutaneous tissue, hair loss, lower temperature, muscle debility, hoarseness and the slow return of a muscle to neutral position after a tendon jerk. Resulting thyroid cell destruction eventually progresses to thyroid failure.
Postpartum: After childbirth.
Rheumatoid Arthritis: A long-term, destructive connective tissue disease that results from the body rejecting its own tissue cells (autoimmune reaction).
Serum: The cell-free fluid of the bloodstream. It appears in a test tube after the blood clots and is often used in expressions relating to the levels of certain compounds in the blood stream.
Stomatitis: Inflammation of the mucous membrane of the mouth.
Thyroid: Thyroid Gland: An organ with many veins. It is at the front of the neck. It is essential to normal body growth in infancy and childhood. It releases thyroid hormones - iodine-containing compounds that increase the rate of metabolism, affect body temperature, regulate protein, fat, and carbohydrate catabolism in all cells. They keep up growth hormone release, skeletal maturation, and heart rate, force, and output. They promote central nervous system growth, stimulate the making of many enzymes, and are necessary for muscle tone and vigor.
Urticaria: Commonly known as hives, urticaria is one of the most common dermatological conditions seen by allergists. Urticaria is not just an allergic disease, however. It can be caused by metabolic diseases, medications, infectious diseases, autoimmune disease, or physical sensitivity. Traditional allergies to foods or medications as well as viral illness are frequent causes of acute urticaria which usually lasts only a few hours but may last up to 6 weeks. Chronic urticaria (lasting more than 6 weeks) is more complex, given the vast number of potential triggers. Symptoms include sudden onset; initial itching; then swelling of the surface of the skin into red or skin-colored welts (wheals) with clearly defined edges; welts turn white on touching; new welts develop when the skin is scratched; usually disappear within minutes or hours. Welts enlarge, change shape, spread or join together to form large flat raised areas.
Zinc: An essential trace mineral. The functions of zinc are enzymatic. There are over 70 metalloenzymes known to require zinc for their functions. The main biochemicals in which zinc has been found to be necessary include: enzymes and enzymatic function, protein synthesis and carbohydrate metabolism. Zinc is a constituent of insulin and male reproductive fluid. Zinc is necessary for the proper metabolism of alcohol, to get rid of the lactic acid that builds up in working muscles and to transfer it to the lungs. Zinc is involved in the health of the immune system, assists vitamin A utilization and is involved in the formation of bone and teeth.