Autoimmune Diseases: Causes and Treatment Review: B.Windham (Ed.)
Autoimmune diseases are characterized by the body’s immune responses being directed against its own tissues, causing prolonged inflammation and subsequent tissue destruction. Any disease in which cytotoxic cells are directed against self-antigens in the body’s tissues is considered to be autoimmune. Such diseases include multiple sclerosis (MS), systemic lupus (SLE), celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, pancreatitis, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Grave’s disease, Sjogren’s syndrome, Myasthenia gravis, diabetes, asthma, Rheumatoid Arthritis, scleroderma, other endocrinopathies, etc. (1) A common factor in autoimmunity is exposure to toxic metals or other environmental toxins that overload the immune system and cause oxidative stress and inflammation (1-5). Root-canaled teeth and jawbone cavitations resulting from incompletely healed tooth extraction sites can also be a factor in such conditions(9). Susceptibility factors that reduce some people’s detoxification processes and increases toxic effects is a major factor in who is affected and by what extent due to metals toxicity.
Dental amalgams have been documented to be the largest source of mercury exposure in most who have several amalgam fillings or metal crowns over amalgam (6). Solid or liquid forms of mercury vaporize continuously at room temperature resulting in high levels of mercury in oral air and saliva (5, 6). Oral galvanism of mixed metals in the mouth in an electrolyte, saliva, also causes electrical currents (battery effect) in the mouth that conducts mercury and other toxic metals into the gums, jawbone, and oral mucosa (7). Electromagnetic fields (EMF) from appliances, power lines, car electrical systems, wi-fis, etc. also create electrical currents in metals in the mouth which cause higher exposures to mercury and other toxic metals of those with metals in the mouth (7,8). EMF or the metals exposure related to EMF are documented to have adverse health effects (8).
The primary means of preventing or treating autoimmune conditions include reducing inflammation and oxidative damage of free-radicals, slowing damage to health tissues, modulating the immune system, supporting digestion and the GI tract, reducing stress, and improving liver health (1).
A major factor in reducing inflammation and oxidative damage is reducing toxic exposures by means such as identification of exposures and avoidance, replacing dental mercury amalgam fillings and metal crowns over amalgam, detoxification. Hundreds of thousands of people are documented to have recovered or significantly improved from chronic health conditions after amalgam replacement and/or detoxification (10).
Toxic exposures and inflammation have also been documented to result in vitamin and mineral deficiencies and imbalances, which can be alleviated through diet and supplementation. Studies have found patients with such conditions commonly are deficient in Vit E, Vit A, beta-carotene, magnesium, zinc, selenium, Vit C, Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs), CoQ10, DHEA, etc. (1-5). Clinical experience has shown benefits of supplementation to insure adequate levels of these essential nutrients.
EFAs from fish oil, flax, perilla oils, borage or evening primrose oil, and black current seed oil have been found to be effective in reducing inflammation (1). DHEA levels in most people over 40 with chronic conditions have been found to usually be low, and supplementation with DHEA has been found to reduce inflammatory cytokines and reduce inflammation damage (1). Selenium, zinc, and magnesium as well as antioxidants such as Vit C, Vit E, green tea, theoflavins from black tea, grapeseed extract, and CoQ10 have been found by clinical experience to be effective in reducing oxidative damage of free-radicals (1-5).Carnosine is an amino acid that has been found to slow the formation of glycated protein end products, a major factor in aging and autoimmune condition tissue damage (1). Sterinol, a combination of natural plant sterols and sterolins, and alkyglycerols (derived from shark liver oil) have been found to modulate the immune system in ways commonly beneficial in autoimmune conditions (1).
Stress can be a factor in immune function. Getting proper and timely sleep and biofeedback methods such as yoga, meditation, deep breathing, biofeedback, soothing music, etc. can reduce stress levels and levels of the stress hormone, cortisol(1). Supplements that aid in stress and cortisollevel reductions include theanine (green tea extract), DHEA, and garum amoricum extract (Adapton) (1).
The liver plays a critical role in all aspects of metabolism and health. It is important in the synthesis and secretion of albumin, in storage of glucose, in detoxification, and in synthesis of vitamins and minerals. The herb milk thistle stimulates the regenerative ability of the liver and the formation of new hepatocytes (1).
Intestinal permeability/leaky gut syndromeis often found in autoimmune conditions, which allows toxic substances and allergens into the bloodstream as well as reducing absorption of nutrients (1,11). Reductions in toxic exposures, probiotics (beneficial bacteria) and prebiotics(FOS), and elimination diet for food allergies have been found effective in reducing leaky gut effects. Maintaining proper intestinal PH levels also can be important in immune function. A good ratio by volume would be 25% acidifying foods and 75% alkalizing foods (1). Acidifying foods include fats and oils, grains, animal protein and milk products, sugars and sweeteners, beans and legumes, alcohol, etc. Alkalizing foods include most vegetables, fruits, and berries; free-range eggs, almonds, seeds, organic milk products (unpasteurized), teas, most spices and herbs (1).
(1) Life Enhancement Foundation (MDs), Disease Prevention and Treatment, Expanded 4th Edition, 2003, www.life-enhancement.com
(2) Review: The Mercury connection to autoimmune conditions, www.myflcv.com/ms.html
(3) Review: The Mercury connection to inflammatory conditions: www.myflcv.com/inflamhg.html
(4) Review: The Mercury connection to immune conditions, www.myflcv.com/immunere.html
(5) Review: Mechanism by which mercury causes chronic health conditions, www.myflcv.com/amalg6.html
(6) Review: Mercury exposure levels from Dental Amalgam, www.myflcv.com/damspr1.html
(7) Review: Oral galvanism related to mixed metals in the mouth, www.myflcv.com/galv.html
(8) Review: Adverse health effects related to ElectroMagnetic Fields (EMF), www.myflcv.com/emfeff.html
(11) Review: mercury as a factor in leaky gut syndrome, www.myflcv.com/leakyghg.html
Note: The DAMS reviews cite over 3,000 peer-reviewed studies