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Nov 20

Autoimmune Disorders according to Traditional Chinese Medicine

Autoimmune disorders are a group of conditions that involves the body’s own immune system attacking healthy tissues. Normally the body’s immune system attacks foreign objects in the body or tissues that mutated. However, in people with autoimmune disorders, the immune system has difficulty distinguishing normal tissues from others. Depending on the tissue being attacked, there are many different types of autoimmune disorders. Examples of common ones are:

  • Celiac Disease
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Sjogren Syndrome
  • Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

Among myriad symptoms of autoimmune disorders, fatigue, low-grade fever and malaise are the most prevalent. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, fatigue can be considered to be Qi (energy) deficiency. Low-grade fever can be considered to be a form of Yin (fluid) deficiency. However, such analysis is not enough. How did such Qi and Yin deficiency developed?

Chinese physicians in the past have observed that Qi and Yin deficiency are usually result of long term Damp-Heat conditions, commonly linked with digestive illnesses. In early stages of such development, it is recommended to adopt a diet that aide digestibility combined with herbs and acupuncture treatment that aim to remove Damp and Heat. In later stages of such development, it is recommended to nourish Qi and Yin while continue to remove Damp and Heat.

Interestingly, modern studies have begun to link autoimmune disorders with “leaky gut” syndrome. Basically “leaky gut” means increased intestinal permeability. Traditional physiology assumes that proteins in our food enter our body through our intestine after being broken down into amino acids. However, increasingly, people suspect that is not the case. Many proteins may have not broken down completely and enter our body as peptides or polypeptides, small chunk of protein made of chains of amino acids. Such a sizable molecule would likely trigger immune responses. It is possible that over a long time, the immune system became hypersensitive and overactive, leading to autoimmune disorders.

Following this theory, the solution is to reduce the proportion of proteins in patients’ diet. Such suggestion is consistent with observations made by ancient Chinese physicians. Eating a light diet reduces the workload of digestive system and is beneficial for Damp-Heat conditions. Many people who do not respond well enough by dietary change alone can combine it with herbs and acupuncture treatment for additional benefits.

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  1. October 9, 2018
    I want medicine for auto immune disorder Reply

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