Calm Your Immune Response
Have you been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease? Having trouble managing it? We understand how debilitating it can be. But you don’t have to live in pain, and you can beat fatigue. You can also prevent worsening symptoms. We believe one of the first steps in managing your autoimmune disorder is understanding your symptoms, how you can reduce them, and how you can do it holistically.
What Is an Autoimmune Disorder?
An autoimmune disorder, or autoimmune disease, is a chronic condition where your body’s immune system attacks healthy tissue by mistake.
Let’s back up. Your immune system is designed to protect your body from bacteria, viruses, cancer cells, toxins, and other harmful substances. Each of these contains antigens. Your immune system produces antibodies to fight off these antigens and protect your health. When you have an autoimmune disorder, something goes wrong, and your immune system can’t tell the difference between healthy tissue and potentially harmful antigens. As a result, your immune system attacks and destroys normal tissues.
Different autoimmune diseases attack different parts of your body – the joints, your skin, nerves, muscles, organs, glands, digestive system, and more.
Types of Autoimmune Disorders
There are more than 80 types of autoimmune diseases, but here are some of the most common ones:
- Addison disease
- Alopecia areata
- Celiac disease – sprue (gluten-sensitive enteropathy)
- Lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Myasthenia gravis
- Pernicious anemia
- Psoriatic arthritis (PsA)
- Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
- Sjogren’s syndrome
- Thyroid disease, including Graves’ disease and
- Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
- Type I diabetes
You or your child may have more than one autoimmune disease.
Autoimmune Disorder Symptoms
Symptoms of autoimmune disorders will vary based on the condition, but common symptoms include:
- Joint pain and stiffness
- Muscle weakness/soreness
- Malaise (general ill feeling)
- Weight gain/weight loss
- Increased thirst
- Bed wetting in children who have never wet the bed
- Skin changes – rash, blisters, color changes
- Vision changes
- Mood changes
Pay attention to all of your symptoms, or your child’s symptoms. Keeping a journal can help in getting an accurate diagnosis and developing a plan of action.
What Causes Autoimmune Disorders?
Unfortunately, the science isn’t clear on the exact cause of autoimmune disorders. Known risk factors for developing an autoimmune disease include:
- Being overweight
- Taking certain medications
Some autoimmune disorders such as MS, lupus, diabetes Type 1, and rheumatoid arthritis can run in families. Having a relative with a disease increases your risk, but doesn’t mean you will develop the disease.
Being overweight or obese is a risk factor for both rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis, because of the increased stress on the joints that excess weight causes.
Research shows that smoking is linked to an increase risk of several autoimmune disorders, including rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, Graves” disease, and others. We tell all of our patients they need to quit smoking if they want to live a healthy life.
Certain blood pressure medications and antibiotics can trigger a mild form of lupus, and some statins can trigger myopathy.
Autoimmune Disorder FAQs
Q: Can an autoimmune disease be cured?
A: Unfortunately, no. But most of these chronic conditions can be managed, and symptoms can almost disappear. When symptoms suddenly get worse, it’s called a flareup.
Q: How is an autoimmune disease diagnosed?
A: Usually, through a thorough series of medical exams, blood tests, even a tissue biopsy. Which tests are ordered will depend on your symptoms, and what other conditions need to be ruled out. It’s important to let your doctor know if you have a family history, and that you keep a detailed diary of your symptoms. The Autoimmune Association has some tips for getting the right diagnosis.
Q: Can you prevent yourself from getting an autoimmune disease?
A: There is no foolproof way to prevent an autoimmune risk from developing. But you can reduce your risk factors by losing weight, eat a healthy diet, stop smoking, reduce stress, and more.
How Cima Health Can Help
Cima Health provides restorative, lifelong solutions that target your autoimmune disease symptoms and risk factors. While we can’t cure your condition, we can help you manage it and reduce flares. Your care will start out with a comprehensive evaluation to assess your overall health. We will also ask questions about your work and home life, lifestyle, and habits before making recommendations for an integrative plan of care. Together, we come up with non-invasive and alternative treatments that can help you calm your immune response and live a happy life.
We take a multidisciplinary approach that involves several treatment modalities, all of which you can receive in one location. They include:
- Chiropractic Care
- Joint Injections
- Physical Therapy
- Massage Therapy
- Functional Medicine
- Medical Care
- Physical Fitness
Let’s take a look at how each of these areas works together to provide you with natural pain relief and inspires you to make lifestyle changes to prevent pain in the future.
More and more people choose to see a chiropractor for help managing their autoimmune disorder. Rather than prescribing medication, we offer a holistic and alternative form of medicine that helps support your spinal and nervous system health, as well as support your immune system. Chiropractic care may include spinal adjustments, extremity manipulation, manual therapy, dry needling, and Class IV laser therapy, depending on your individual condition and symptoms.
Our Palm Beach Gardens chiropractors are all highly trained and include:
Our medical care team offers cortisone injections to help relieve the pain associated with some autoimmune disorders. A steroid injection into the hip, knee, ankle, hands, lower back, and neck reduces the inflammation and provides pain relief and better range of movement.
These injections are a part of the long-term management of your autoimmune disease and complement chiropractic care, stress management, diet, and lifestyle changes.
Platelet-Rich Plasma Injections
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy is another treatment where we help your body heal itself. Using your own plasma shows promising results in helping with hair regrowth in patients with alopecia areata and Sjogren’s syndrome.
Physical Therapy (PT)
Physical therapy, when combined with other treatments can also help with pain, muscle weakness, and other symptoms of your autoimmune disorder. Your physical therapist will work with you to design a specific treatment program that will reduce your pain while increasing your mobility and flexibility. This can include stretching and exercises, Class IV laser therapy, dry needling, and more.
Massage therapy is another modality we offer that can reduce pain, increase mobility, and decrease stress. While massage can’t cure your autoimmune disease, it can help you feel better and increase your quality of life. Massage therapy can be an integral part of your care. Depending on your individual situation, the massage therapist may also be able to show you some self-massage techniques you can use at home.
Low testosterone can be caused by many things, so we will need to rule out other conditions and issues before beginning any treatment. In addition to a physical exam and evaluation of your symptoms, the functional medicine team does. We’ll develop a tasty nutrition plan for you that helps reduce pain, inflammation, digestive issues, manage your Type I diabetes, and prevent weight gain. We’ll also suggest supplements to replace any substance your body lacks, based on a blood chemistry analysis.
The last component of learning how to reduce your risk factors, reduce symptoms, and prevent flareups is getting regular exercise and losing weight if you are overweight or obese. If you’re even slightly overweight, those excess pounds can cause strain on your joints. Losing weight can reduce pain, increase mobility, and prevent injury.
Our physical fitness team of personal trainers can help develop a safe exercise routine to reduce joint pain and stiffness while increasing muscle strength, endurance, and flexibility. We’ll help you feel more energized and help you feel better for life.
The entire team at Cima Health works together to provide you with restorative, lifelong solutions.
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Book an Appointment
Any autoimmune disorder can wreak havoc on your life. If you’re looking for ways to manage your condition and calm your immune response, book an appointment today. One of our chiropractors will do a comprehensive examination to develop an integrative plan of care to relieve your pain, lessen your symptoms, and inspire you to achieve whole-body wellness.