People who suffer from autoimmune disorders tend to have very difficult lives. They will often have to cancel plans at the last minute due to a flare-up. Alternatively, they may have to leave work or school early due to unbearable pain and other symptoms.
While many different autoimmune disorders have been identified in the literature, in this article, we will focus on a few conditions commonly seen by chiropractors.
What Are Autoimmune Disorders?
Essentially, autoimmune conditions are those that arise when the body mistakenly identifies healthy tissue as a diseased one.
It’s unclear exactly why this happens in most cases. However, we have found that there seem to be various risk factors such as diet, lifestyle, and genetics that predispose people to autoimmune conditions.
What Are Some Common Autoimmune Conditions?
There are hundreds of different autoimmune conditions, but there are a few common ones that are familiar to most people. Some of the most frequently encountered autoimmune disorders include Multiple Sclerosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Celiac Disease.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a progressive condition that can present in a few different ways. One of the most common forms of MS is known as relapsing-remitting MS. Other, more rare forms of the condition are termed primary progressive and secondary progressive MS.
MS occurs due to the immune system attacking the tissue surrounding the nerves (known as myelin) throughout the body. As a result of this demyelination, patients often experience coordination issues, weakness, and many other severe symptoms as the disease progresses.
Through regular chiropractic care, patients with MS may be able to better manage their symptoms. Chiropractic adjustments can help to improve the nerve conduction throughout the body, resulting in improved system-wide communication.
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a condition in which the immune system targets joints throughout the body. Many patients with RA will present with misshapen fingers and other joints as a result of the disease process.
Through targeted spinal manipulations, chiropractors may be able to help patients with RA improve joint range of motion and decrease overall pain.
In recent years, you’ve probably met quite a few people who are “gluten-free.” In many cases, these individuals have probably chosen to eliminate gluten for weight loss purposes or to experiment with the effects of eliminating this food substance.
However, other people may be seriously allergic to gluten. These individuals have an autoimmune condition known as Celiac Disease. Every time a person with Celiac Disease eats food containing gluten (such as wheat bread), their immune system attacks a portion of their intestinal tract. This immune response often leads to intense pain and other gastrointestinal symptoms.
Chiropractors may be able to help these patients improve their nerve function so that the communication between the immune system, nervous system, and gastrointestinal system work more effectively.
Can Autoimmune Conditions Be Cured?
At this point, the best available evidence indicates that autoimmune conditions cannot be completely cured. Therefore, most treatments are aimed at mitigating the symptoms and avoiding flare-ups.
However, it is interesting to see how well some patients do when relatively risk-free interventions such as dietary changes, exercise, and chiropractic care are introduced. Perhaps the hypersensitivity of the immune system can’t be eliminated, but there are many steps one can take to improve quality of life.
If you or a family member suffers from an autoimmune condition, come see our team at Awaken Chiropractic. We aim to be your go-to Parker Chiropractors, and we would love to help you achieve a higher quality of life. Book your appointment today!