Autoimmune disorders are caused due to a dysfunction of the immune system of the body which fails to recognize the body and attacks body organs and systems assuming them to be foreign. This results in specific symptoms which form more than 160 different autoimmune disease entities. Conservative modern treatment is in the form of immune suppression using steroids and other immunosuppressant drugs. This results in temporary improvement in the symptoms; however, most patients with serious symptoms do not benefit in the long run, and may in fact exhibit serious side effects from treatment.
Ayurvedic herbal treatment can be systematically used to comprehensively treat all autoimmune disorders. Almost all affected individuals exhibit some genetic predisposition to disease, along with exposure to environmental triggers. These include allergies, chronic infections, traumatic inflammation, degeneration, nutritional deficiencies, and toxic build up in the body. While it may be currently difficult to treat genetic dysfunction, environmental effects on the body can be definitely treated and minimized.
Ayurvedic treatment can be given for a few months to systematically detoxify the body; this is followed up with rejuvenation therapy for the next few months. When treated in this manner, patients with autoimmune disorders can then be gradually given medicines to treat generalized inflammation and also to gradually modulate a compromised immunity. The body starts accepting immunostimulant herbal medicines without showing any aggravation of symptoms.
Treatment is also given to treat specific symptoms as they present. Common symptoms of autoimmune disorders include joint and muscle pain, general muscle weakness, rashes, low grade fever, weight loss, lack of concentration, numbness and tingling, dry eyes, hair loss, breathlessness and palpitations. Inflammation can affect the heart, brain, lungs, nerves, muscles, skin, eyes, joints, kidneys, and other organs and produce symptoms accordingly. Aggressive treatment needs to be given when vital organs are affected.
Most physicians tend to impose strict diet restrictions while treating autoimmune disorders. These instructions are very difficult to follow for most affected individuals; in addition, there is only an initial and partial improvement followed by a relapse of symptoms in most patients even after strict adherence. It is therefore considered logical to give simple diet instructions which can be easily followed by most affected people. Avoidance of fast food, fried food, and packed food items; minimization of sugar, salt, non-vegetarian food, and dairy; and consumption of large amounts of fresh vegetables and fruits (subject to tolerance) are recommended. It also helps to avoid or minimize stress, get adequate and good quality sleep, exercise in moderation, adopt relaxation techniques, drink clean water, breathe fresh air, get a good amount of exposure to sunshine, as well as adopt a positive and healthy attitude to life.
The key to successful treatment of autoimmune disorders is to treat specific and generalized inflammation, which is the hallmark of autoimmune disease. This can result in remission of commonly occurring autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis (RA), type 1 diabetes, psoriasis, alopecia areata, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), thyroiditis, Addison’s disease, pernicious anemia, celiac disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), Guillain Barre Syndrome (GBS), scleroderma, and mixed connective tissue disease (MCTD).
Most affected individuals report significant improvement with about four to six months of Ayurvedic herbal treatment, and go into a full remission after about eight to ten months of therapy. Medicines can then be gradually tapered off and then stopped altogether. Patients who are already on steroids and other immune suppressant drugs may require more time to obtain remission of symptoms as well as to gradually get off all modern medication. Early institution of Ayurvedic herbal treatment is important in preventing permanent damage to important organs and bringing about a complete remission of autoimmune disease.