If you’ve been diagnosed with an autoimmune condition, the chances are that it has been coming on gradually for quite some time. Looking back, you may have had earlier warning signs that your body was not happy. Extreme tiredness, aching muscles and joints, poor concentration (foggy brain), recurrent infections, various minor health complaints that dragged on.
You did your best to keep going, doing your job or looking after your family, but all the while, you knew you were struggling. Eventually, your symptoms became strong enough to stop you in your tracks. Now your health has got your full attention. Why is your body attacking its own tissues? And, more importantly, what can you do about it?
All autoimmune conditions have one thing in common
An out-of-control immune response causes systemic inflammation which results in the body attacking its own tissues. Conventional medicine reacts to this with strong medications to damp down or halt the inflammation: anti-inflammatory medication, steroids and immunosuppressants are the usual treatments.
Unfortunately, these medications have side effects. People usually find that, as time goes on, they have to resort to ever stronger medication to achieve the same effect. In the long term, most people will remain on medication for life, since conventional medicine can only attempt to control the symptoms but never addresses the root cause.
Have you been diagnosed with an autoimmune condition such as alopecia areata, vitiligo, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Graves disease, or inflammatory bowel disease?
Holistic medicine offers help and hope. By taking an alternative approach, you can slow down or minimise the impact of your autoimmune condition, regain control of your health and improve your quality of life.
So, what is the root cause of auto-immunity?
A particular autoimmune condition may run in your family and, at some point in your life, conditions become right to switch that gene on in you.
On a purely physical level, a toxic build-up often has a part to play in the development of autoimmunity. Allergies are one way the body shows that its toxic cup is starting to overflow. Chronic catarrh and recurrent sinus and upper respiratory infections are another.
In homeopathy, we have remedies traditionally used to support and strengthen the organs of elimination. These support remedies are used to help the bowels, kidneys and lymphatic system to eliminate waste products and function more efficiently. When indicated, these remedies are given over time as part of a programme of homeopathy.
Specific Toxic Exposures
Maybe you already know that a particular toxic exposure triggered your health problem. It could be a particular environmental exposure or a medication side effect or a vaccination that proved to be the final straw for you. If that’s the case, you’ll be interested in the Homeopathic Detox Therapy aspect of my practice.
In Homeopathic Detox Therapy, greatly diluted homeopathic doses of the actual toxic exposure are given as a message to the body to do a clear-out of that substance and its effects. These detox or clearing remedies are called Isopathic remedies.
As well as Isopathy, the Homeopathic Detox Therapy method uses additional detox support in the form of organ support remedies, certain vitamins and a constitutional homeopathic remedy to suit the whole person. The complete detox programme is individually chosen to suit your case.
In most auto-immune cases, a period of stress will have occurred, maybe even 6 months or a year before the onset of symptoms. It could be a big emotional stress or the burden could have been physical. It may have been gradual or sudden.
By addressing underlying emotional issues, constitutional homeopathy has been able to improve my patients’ peace of mind. If you feel that your emotional state could be relevant to the onset of your autoimmune condition, I aim to provide a confidential, supportive and non-judgemental space for you. It often happens that, although circumstances cannot be changed, your perception can shift after an appropriate homeopathic remedy.
When painful emotions are resolved, much energy is freed up for healing on all levels.
Research shows that the variety and balance of gut bacteria is different in patients with chronic inflammatory conditions as compared with healthy individuals. This situation can be improved through a combination of diet, supplements and homeopathy.
As part of your treatment package, I often prescribe specific remedies such as bowel nosodes and remedies to address yeasts and fungal overgrowth. These are remedies which have an affinity with the gut and work to encourage a healthy microbiome.
A well-chosen constitutional remedy also has a supportive role to play in promoting the right conditions to support gut health.
Although unlikely to be the total cause of your condition, some foods have an inflammatory effect in the body and reducing or eliminating these is part of a holistic approach.
The main pro-inflammatory foods to avoid include sugar, products made with white flour, processed foods in general and foods containing artificial colours, flavourings and preservatives, oils high in Omega 6 (such as safflower, sunflower, corn and soya), trans fats (found especially in deep fried foods and foods containing partially hydrogenated vegetable oil), processed meats, non-fermented dairy products, alcohol and artificial food additives such as aspartame and MSG. Cutting out wheat and gluten can also make a big difference.
Plants need to play a big role in your daily diet. Include broccoli, cauliflower, celery, green leafy vegetables, fresh beetroot, avocado, sweet potato, apples, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, fresh pineapple. Drink green tea and lots of plain water. Eat omega 3 containing salmon, sardines, anchovies and mackerel. Use olive oil and coconut oil. Include fresh ginger and turmeric in your stir fries and other hot meals. Add chia seeds and flax seeds to smoothies and porridge.
Supplements such as fish oil, vitamin C, vitamin D (see your GP for blood test before supplementing) also have a role to play in helping to reduce inflammation and calm your immune response naturally.
The Constitutional Homeopathic Remedy
As always in classical homeopathy, the constitutional remedy is a most important catalyst for healing. The constitutional remedy treats the person rather than the disease. The remedy is chosen to suit you, in your unique entirety, mentally, emotionally and physically.
As well as addressing any underlying emotional symptoms, patients frequently tell me that the benefits of their constitutional remedy include feeling calmer, less stressed, sleeping better and having more general energy. All of these benefits leave your body in a better condition to self-regulate and heal.