Autoimmune Diseases in Women, its Causes and Healing

by Pankaj Kotak, M.Sc., N.D.


In an autoimmune disease, the immune system malfunctions and mistakenly attacks the body by targeting tissues, organs, skin and cells. Different autoimmune diseases target different parts of the body. There are as many as 100 different types of autoimmune diseases.

Following is a list of some major autoimmune diseases and the corresponding target organs:

Rheumatoid Arthritis: Various Joints
Osteoarthritis: Knee Joints
Hashimoto's & Grave's disease: Thyroid gland
Myasthenia Gravis: Nerves controlling the muscles
Type I Diabetes: Pancreas
Multiple Sclerosis (MS): Brain
Crohn's Disease: Intestine and bowel system
Lupus: Skin, joints, kidneys, lungs, etc. (varies from person to person)
Scleroderma: Skin
Vitiligo or Leucoderma: Skin

More women suffer from autoimmunity than men. Autoimmune diseases affect approximately 8% of the U.S. population, 78% of whom are women. Autoimmune disorders are among the leading causes of death among young and middle-aged women in the United States. Experts believe that this gender gap in autoimmunity could be due to the more aggressive functioning of female immune system and the role of female hormones estrogen & progesterone.

Following are some of the major causes of autoimmune disease

  • Exposure to heavy metals such as Aluminum, Lead, Mercury, and Cadmium to name a few, coming from water, dental fillings, occupational exposure and environment.
  • Dietary factors such as Gluten, food sensitivites, Goitrogens and Soy.
  • Adverse Reactions caused by drugs. Lupus is the most common autoimmune disorder caused by drug reactions.
  • Bacterial and viral infections. Some scientists think that autoimmunity generally follows infectious diseases.
  • Vaccines. Scientific evidence shows that vaccines cause certain autoimmune disorders.
  • Stress. The field of psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) is providing key evidence that stress undermines the immune system.

Here are some key tips on how to naturally heal & strengthen the immune system

  • Avoid sugar and packaged foods. Sugar makes the immune system weak and packaged foods contain sugar, trans fats and artificial ingredients that are harmful to health.
  • Eat a diet consisting large amounts of raw vegetables, sprouts and fruits which will provide important nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
  • Castor oil is a natural immune system booster. Mix 2 tablespoon Castor oil in 1 cup warm water and drink it before your morning tea or coffee. Alternatively, apply it on affected body parts.
  • Coconut oil is antimicrobial, antioxidant and an immune system enhancer. Use coconut oil in cooking or massage it on your body.
  • Probiotic supplements and yogurt help in replenishing the friendly bacteria in the stomach which help in digestion and improve the gastrointestinal health.

References

1. DeLisa F., et al. Sex Differences in Autoimmune Disease from a Pathological Perspective. American Journal of Pathology. September 2008;173(3):600-609.

2.Cooper GS., et al. The epidemiology of autoimmune diseases. Autoimmune Reviews. May 2003;2(3):119-25.

3. Uetrecht JP. Current trends in drug-induced autoimmunity. Toxicology. April 1997;119(1):37-43

4. Rose NR. The role of infection in the pathogenesis of autoimmune disease. Seminars in Immunology. February 1998;10(1):5-13.

5. Molina V., et al. Infection, vaccines and other environmental triggers of autoimmunity. Autoimmunity. May 2005;38(3):235-45.

6. Glaser R., et al. Stress-induced immune dysfunction: implications for health. Nature Reviews. Immunology. March 2005;5(3):243-51.

7. Grady H. Immunomodulation through Castor Oil Packs. The Journal of Naturopathic Medicine. 1997;7(1):84-89.

8. Kabara JJ., et al. Fatty Acids and Derivatives as Antimicrobial Agents. Antimicrobial Agents & Chemotherapy. July 1972;2(1):23-28.


Warning: The reader of this article should exercise all precautionary measures while following instructions on the home remedies from this article. Avoid using any of these products if you are allergic to it. The responsibility lies with the reader and not with the site or the writer.
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