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What's at the Root of an Autoimmune Condition?

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 04/15/2024

Living with an autoimmune disease is one of the most difficult conditions for a person to live with. Understanding autoimmune diseases is the first step to managing your condition.

Learn about autoimmune diseases, how they function, and what possible remedies you can implement to alleviate the disease.

Understanding Autoimmune Conditions and the Role of TH17 Cells

Autoimmune conditions can be a mystery, but one key player we've come to understand is the TH17 cell. When our immune system works correctly, it defends us from harmful invaders such as viruses or bacteria.

But in autoimmune diseases, something goes awry. The immune cells mistakenly attack our tissues. Imagine if your home security system started seeing you as an intruder—that's what happens with autoimmunity.

Notebook with words autoimmune disorders

The Nature of Autoimmune Conditions

In autoimmune conditions like multiple sclerosis (MS) or rheumatoid arthritis (RA), the body gets its signals crossed and begins damaging itself. What causes this mix-up?

Research points towards various factors: genetics, environment, and even certain infections that could trigger this self-destruction mode.

The Role of TH17 Cells in Autoimmune Conditions

You might ask why these specific TH17 cells are essential. They play an active role when things go wrong.

These little guys are typically responsible for protecting us against pathogens, but when over-activated they contribute to inflammation and tissue damage that characterize many autoimmune diseases.

Chronic Inflammation: The Primary Problem in Autoimmune Conditions

Chronic inflammation wreaks havoc on your body and is often a result of autoimmune diseases.

The Connection Between Chronic Inflammation and Autoimmune Diseases

In simple terms, chronic inflammation occurs when the immune response doesn't turn off. This overflow can lead to tissue damage and eventually autoimmune diseases. But why does this happen?

Well, think about what happens when you cut yourself - swelling or redness around the wound are signs of acute inflammation working to protect you. However, imagine this reaction happening inside your body non-stop.

Your cells become overworked from constant battle mode; they get tired and start making mistakes by attacking healthy tissues instead. That’s how chronic inflammation exacerbates autoimmune conditions.

Vitamin D as a Treatment for TH17-Mediated Diseases

Have you ever considered the power of sunshine? More specifically, vitamin D, as this nutrient is essential in managing autoimmune diseases.

The Importance of High Doses of Vitamin D in Managing Autoimmune Diseases

Comparing TH17 cells to an overly aggressive sports team, vitamin D can be considered the coach that helps manage autoimmune conditions by calming them down.

Studies suggest that high doses of vitamin D can help tame these unruly cells and manage autoimmune conditions.

You might wonder if more sun exposure would do the trick. Well, not quite. You'd also need to get your daily dose from supplements or fortified foods because sunlight alone isn't enough.

Natural Remedies for Reducing Inflammation

It's no secret that inflammation can significantly affect autoimmune diseases. Have you ever thought about natural remedies to reduce inflammation? Let's take a closer look.

Curcumin's Role in Reducing Inflammation

Research shows curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, has powerful anti-inflammatory properties and may help manage symptoms associated with autoimmune conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis.

The Benefits of Small Chain Fatty Acids and Sulforaphane

Moving on from spices to veggies - cruciferous vegetables pack quite the punch. They contain sulforaphane and small-chain fatty acids with potent anti-inflammatory effects.

You might know these as broccoli, cabbage, or Brussels sprouts. Incorporating them into your daily diet can help support your immune system.

Intermittent fasting on a notepad

Intermittent Fasting and Autoimmune Disease

The question often arises for individuals with autoimmune diseases: Does intermittent fasting work for managing autoimmune conditions?

Intermittent fasting may offer some potential benefits in this context. While research is ongoing, some studies suggest that intermittent fasting could help reduce inflammation, a common hallmark of autoimmune disorders.

It's crucial to approach fasting carefully, ensuring it aligns with an individual's condition and consulting with a healthcare provider.

Autoimmune diseases are diverse, and what works for one person may not work for another.

Therefore, anyone considering intermittent fasting as part of their autoimmune management strategy should do so under medical supervision and tailor the approach to their unique needs.

While intermittent fasting shows promise in promoting health and wellness, it's crucial to prioritize individualized care and seek guidance from healthcare professionals familiar with autoimmune conditions.


Understanding autoimmune diseases is essential for effective management. These conditions involve the body's immune system attacking its tissues, often leading to chronic inflammation and overactivation of TH17 cells.

Treatments such as vitamin D supplements, natural remedies like curcumin and sulforaphane, and intermittent fasting show promise in reducing inflammation associated with autoimmune conditions.

However, individualized care tailored to each person's unique needs is crucial, and consulting healthcare professionals familiar with autoimmune diseases is recommended to develop personalized management strategies.

By gaining insight into autoimmune diseases and exploring diverse treatment options, individuals can take proactive steps towards managing their condition and improving their quality of life.

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