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July 20, 2013 - Autoimmune conditions and pain







Chronic Autoimmune Pain


This week, Dr. Cassaro discussed Autoimmunity and pain.

There are many different names given to autoimmune conditions, and are given these names according to the area of the body affected by the autoimmunity. Autoimmune conditions are all very much the same, with the same group of treatments. The biggest difference, is the symptoms and the area of the body affected. Rheumatoid arthritis and Graves disease are both caused by an autoimmune condition. Rheumatoid arthritis affects the joints, and Grave's disease affects the thyroid gland. In this show, Dr. Cassaro discusses the differences between autoimmune conditions, symptoms, and treatments.


Q- What are some of the most common autoimmune conditions?

A- Here are some autoimmune conditions that can result in pain.

  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Graves disease
  • Hashimoto's Thyroiditis
  • Ankylosing Spondylitis
  • Thyroiditis
  • Diabetes Mellitus
  • Systemic Lupus
  • Endometrosis
  • Interstitial Cystitis
  • Guillain-Barre syndrom
  • Chron's Disease

Q. What causes autoimmune conditions?

A. There is rarely just one cause for an autoimmune condition. Usually, an autoimmune condition results from a wide and seemingly unrelated  group of conditions. Here are just a few of these potential causes:

  • Stress (physical & emotional)
  • Toxins (inside body & environmental)
  • Medications (pain medications & antibiotics)
  • Bacteria/pathogens
  • Yeasts (Candida)
  • Foods
  • Additives in foods
  • Viruses (Shingles/herpes)
  • Repeated cold/flu (due to already weak immunity/flu shot)
  • Repeated injury, or prolonged inflammation?
  • Steroids
  • Free radicals
  • genetic/hereditary

It's important to note that there are thousands of people that are on the verge of developing an autoimmune condition as a result of poor thyroid function. Low or high thyroid can lead to several types of autoimmune conditions. Routine thyroid tests or usual blood tests do NOT reveal thyroid problems. These are general tests that only detect extreme conditions...by the time an issue is detected; it's too late. If you constantly feel tired or sluggish, or feel shortness of breath and your heart racing- you may have a thyroid complication. Getting an accurate diagnosis early may prevent the onset of a full-blown autoimmune condition!


Q. What are some effective treatments for autoimmune conditions?

A. Below are some treatments; both professional (in-office), and at-home considerations. In order for these treatments to be effective, they must be applied to the correct condition, in the correct order, and with the correct dosage/level of intensity. Therefore, it is advised to consult a specialist for more information.

Topical medications- Over the counter topical medications can reduce pain, inflammation, and swelling. Reducing inflammation can calm the autoimmune response greatly, and allow for healing.

Injections - Can vary greatly depending on the condition. Some reduce/block pain, some encourage the healing process through intentional inflammatory response, etc.

Epsom salts - With autoimmune conditions that affect nerves and muscles, Epsom salt contains high quantities of magnesium. Magnesium acts as a natural muscle relaxant, and pain killer. Use as often as needed.

Prescription topical medications - Stronger than over-the-counter applications. Can be prescribed by your doctor, and filled by a compounding pharmacist.

Pro-biotics - These are nutritional supplements (capsule form) or acidophilus (natural form). They contain the good bacteria that help fight bad bacteria in your digestive system. Over 80% of the immune system is located in the colon, so digestive health is VERY important.

Spinal Stimulator - Implantable device used to control severe pain. Disrupts nerve transmission...may be helpful in Multiple sclerosis, or Ankylosing Spondylitis.

Sleep, diet, exercise. Real easy, and VERY effective in healing. Eat only fresh fruits and vegetables (and some meats), get good quality sleep, and exercise every day. A brisk daily walk is best.

Metabolism - No autoimmune condition treatment is complete without metabolic consideration. A specialist must ensure the metabolism is working properly if healing is to ever be possible.

Toxins - Reduce your exposure to ALL toxins. Toxins can hide everywhere; these include allergens, mold, lawn & garden chemicals, household cleaners, new carper/furniture, paints, exhaust, alcohol, un-nescessary medications, food additives, preservatives, artificial sweeteners, etc. ANYTHING not natural, stay away!

The digestive system - this is perhaps the MOST important factor in treatment. Your doctor will need to find and treat the existing conditions within the body's digestive system. If you have an autoimmune condition, you have a digestive system problem 99.999999% of the time.

Nutritional supplements - While the list of effective nutritional supplements and vitamin/mineral support can be infinite, here are some to consider adding immediately: Vitamin C, Vitamin D3 (not D2, found in milk), all B Vitamins, Vitamin E, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Vit N Min super, Multi Min, D-TOX, Magnesium, Chromium, Adrenox, Thyrox, Arthrolube, Glucosamine, Digestease, Good Bacs, Fibertensive, DGL, Candicid Forte, Licorice.

Hormones - A specialized area of the metabolic system, the hormones play an important role in the healing process and immune system function.

Detoxification - Consult your physician to develop a detox plan that will assist your body in reducing the toxins that may have built up prior to, and during your autoimmune condition. Toxins can both lead to the development of an autoimmune condition, and halt the healing process.