There are more than 80 chronic illnesses that are immune-related including rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes, thyroid disease, inflammatory bowel disease, lupus, and celiac disease.
Autoimmune diseases result when the immune system mistakenly attacks the body’s own tissues. Immune deficiency is more common than most people think; according to the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association, around 20 percent of the population suffers from some form of an autoimmune disorder.
Although symptoms vary greatly depending on the specific disease, commons symptoms include chronic fatigue, joint pain, muscle weakness, weight loss, dry eyes and abdominal pain.
Autoimmune diseases are not always easily treated, as they are a chronic illnesses with no known cure. However, there are natural ways, such as acupuncture treatment, to ease and reduce symptoms.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, it is believed that immune deficiencies come from an imbalance in the body. When there is stagnation in the body’s natural energy flow, called Qi, the body becomes out of balance, whether it is from a deficiency or excess of yin or yang.
Acupuncture works by addressing the body as a whole. By using specific acupuncture points on the body, the treatment is able to release any blockages and return the body back to its natural balance.
Research has shown that acupuncture can affect the release of hormones, proteins and chemicals in the body, which can affect blood pressure and the immune system.
Although there is no cure, immune deficiencies can be managed properly to have the best quality of life possible. Acupuncture has also been shown to help boost mood and lower stress and anxiety, which can be triggers for increased symptoms.
If you think you may have an autoimmune disease and are not getting a diagnosis, don’t give up — immune deficiencies are hard to diagnose because of the wide range of symptoms; it may take multiple doctors to get a correct diagnosis.
At Tybee Acupuncture, I treat many patients who have been diagnosed with a variety of autoimmune diseases. In my experience, I find that acupuncture is a safe treatment option that can decrease symptoms and improve overall well being.