Sometimes your body becomes out of balance in ways that seem complicated and hard to understand. For many people, this is the case with both autoimmune and endocrine health conditions. At BodaHealth, we work with patients who are experiencing these kinds of health issues, by treating their condition and providing strategies to keep flare-ups and symptoms to a minimum.
Autoimmune disorders are a case of mistaken identity on the part of your immune system. The main job of immunity is to recognize and defend your body from foreign invaders, such as certain bacteria, viruses, and other germs. Autoimmune disorders occur when your body fails to tell the difference between a hostile invader and a health cell. When this happens, your body turns on itself, making antibodies that attack healthy cells, causing damage to normal tissue. The kind of autoimmune disorder that you develop depends on the tissue and organs that are affected.
While autoimmune disorders seem weird and unusual, there are literally dozens of conditions caused by autoimmunity, and they affect as many as two million Canadians. Autoimmune conditions can occur in anyone, but there are certain risk factors that may increase your odds of developing one. They include:
- Some autoimmune conditions, such as lupus, multiple sclerosis, and certain thyroid issues, tend to run in families.
- Women are more likely to have an autoimmune illness than men. This is especially true for women of childbearing age.
- Environmental Exposure. Prolonged exposure to certain chemicals, viruses, bacteria, and even sunlight may raise your risk of developing an autoimmune condition.
- Race or ethnicity. The risk of developing a particular autoimmune illness and the severity of some conditions can be different among different groups of people.
Some autoimmune illnesses are common, such as certain thyroid conditions, multiple sclerosis, and diabetes, while others are rare. In addition, conditions, such as fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue are technically not autoimmune conditions, but their symptoms are very similar to autoimmune illnesses, such as overwhelming fatigue and chronic pain. In general, autoimmune conditions are not curable, but with the right care, flare-ups and symptoms can be controlled.
Your body’s hormones are controlled by a complicated network of glands that make up your endocrine system. Hormones control almost everything in your body, including your metabolism, digestion, heart rate, growth, sexual function, and reproduction.
Endocrine disorders occur either when a gland becomes diseased or when a particular gland becomes out of balance and produces too much or too little of a hormone. Health depends on your body having the right amount of hormones circulating in your bloodstream. When hormone levels are too high or low, it can lead to disease, symptoms, disruption of other hormones, and a disturbance in your hormonal feedback system, which helps determine the right level of hormones in your bloodstream. Examples of endocrine conditions include hyper or hypothyroidism, PCOS, adrenal fatigue.
Treatment Strategies for Autoimmune and Endocrine Conditions
Because in most cases there is no cure for autoimmune and endocrine disorders, managing these conditions is of the utmost importance. With the right kinds of treatment, the symptoms of these conditions can frequently be kept to a minimum. At BodaHealth, we have a number of treatment goals to help your manage your symptoms and prevent flare-ups. We work with you to:
-Balance your immune function. In Chinese medicine, immunity is considered to be a function of your energy stores. Through acupuncture, Chinese herbs, and dietary therapy, we are able to help boost your energy as a way to regulate immune function.
-Regulate your hormones. At BodaHealth, our naturopathic doctors are able to perform the lab tests necessary to assess the function of a wide variety of hormones, such as thyroid, cortisol, and reproductive hormones. In addition, when necessary they are able to prescribe hormones, herbs, vitamins, and other supplements to help balance your endocrine system. Acupuncture is also used for hormonal regulation, as research has found that it helps regulate the hypothalamus, pituitary, adrenal axis, which is your body’s system for regulating hormones.
-Optimize your diet and digestion. What you eat and how well you digest it is crucial in managing your condition. Whether you’re struggling directly with a digestive problem, such as Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis, or inflammatory bowel disease, or indirectly with some other condition, diet and digestion play a role in your energy levels and symptom management. Through acupuncture, Chinese medicine, naturopathy, and holistic nutrition our practitioners are able to assess your nutritional status, prescribe nutritional guidelines, and provide treatments and strategies for optimizing your digestion.
-Reduce your stress. In most illnesses, stress is an aggravating factor. In fact, many patients report having flare-ups in their symptoms during stressful times. At BodaHealth, our patients have found a great deal of relief from their stress through acupuncture and Chinese medicine. The research is overwhelming; acupuncture helps to release feel good chemicals, called endorphins, which help to reduce stress, produce a feeling of calm, and relieve pain. Massage therapy is also used as an ideal antidote to stress.
-Manage your symptoms. Depending on the nature of your condition, acupuncture, naturopathic medicine, osteopathy, therapeutic exercise, shockwave therapy, cupping, Gua Sha, and injection therapy may be added to your treatments to help relieve symptoms during acute flare-ups.
Common Conditions Treated:
Autoimmune, Endocrine and Allergic Diseases
Thyroid: Hashimoto’s, Graves’ disease
Celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, Ulcerative colitis
Liver: Primary biliary cirrhosis, Autoimmune hepatitis
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
Autoimmune and endocrine conditions bring with them a wide variety of underlying causes, presentations, and symptoms. At BodaHealth, we are proud to offer a wide range of practitioners and treatment options. Each of our practitioners are committed to understanding your unique needs and providing the best natural care possible. To find out how we can help you, contact us today.