How Autoimmune Diseases Are Treated? To Reduce Inflammation And Pain


Autoimmune diseases occur when the immune system mistakenly attacks the body’s own healthy tissues and organs. There are over 80 different types of autoimmune conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, celiac disease, and type 1 diabetes.

The exact causes of autoimmune diseases are still being researched, but genetics, environmental triggers, and infections are known contributing factors. While not curable, the symptoms of many autoimmune diseases can be managed through various treatment approaches.

What Causes Autoimmune Diseases?

While the root causes are not fully understood, these elements contribute to the development of autoimmunity:

Autoimmune Disease


Family history plays a strong role. Defective genes that regulate immune function can be passed down.

Hormonal influences

Sex hormones and the balance between them are thought to influence risk. Most conditions are more prevalent in women.

Environmental triggers

Factors like viruses, bacteria, toxins, and medications are possible triggers that initiate abnormal immune responses. 

Digestive factors

Increased gut permeability allowing antigens to reach the bloodstream and activate immune cells plays a role. 

How Are Autoimmune Diseases Diagnosed?

Diagnosis involves reviewing symptoms, medical history, and family history combined with a physical examination and several tests:

  • Blood tests check for elevated levels of autoantibodies and markers of inflammation.
  • Imaging tests like X-rays, CT, and MRI detect organ damage and joint issues.
  • Biopsies of affected tissue can confirm an autoimmune attack.
  • Genetic tests identify genes associated with increased risk.

The Conventional Treatment Approach for Autoimmune Diseases

  • Prescription anti-inflammatory drugs like NSAIDs are commonly used.
  • Corticosteroids suppress the immune system but have significant side effects.
  • Immunosuppressant medications slow the immune system’s assault on the body.
  • Biologics are newer genetically engineered drugs that target specific parts of the immune response.
  • Plasmapheresis filters out autoantibodies from a patient’s blood.
  • Surgery may be done to repair damage from chronic inflammation.

The Role Of Diet In Treating Autoimmune Diseases

Emerging research shows promise for dietary and lifestyle changes as complementary treatment for managing autoimmune disorders by reducing inflammation.

  • An anti-inflammatory diet high in fruits, vegetables, omega-3s, fiber and phytonutrients may help ease symptoms.
  • Elimination diets like gluten-free may provide relief for some by removing trigger antigens.
  • Gut healing protocols like bone broth, probiotics and prebiotics aim to seal gut lining permeability.
  • Stress management through relaxation techniques, exercise, and sleep hygiene supports immunity.
  • Fasting is thought to allow the immune system to reset and rebuild properly.
  • Supplements like curcumin, vitamin D, and DHEA provide natural immune regulation.


While more research is still needed, conventional medical treatments combined with complementary dietary, lifestyle, and stress management approaches offer hope to the millions suffering from autoimmune conditions. A holistic management plan tailored to the individual provides the best chance for an improved quality of life.


1. Can you completely cure an autoimmune disease?

There is currently no definitive cure for autoimmune diseases. The goal is to manage symptoms through medications and lifestyle changes.

2. What autoimmune diseases cause fatigue? 

Fatigue is a common symptom in several autoimmune disorders including rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Sjögren’s syndrome, and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. 

3. Can you develop an autoimmune disease suddenly?

In some cases, the onset of autoimmune symptoms can seem sudden, but the disease process develops over time, usually without noticeable symptoms initially.

4. Are autoimmune diseases becoming more common?

Some research indicates that autoimmune diseases are on the rise. Possible reasons include increased awareness and diagnosis, environmental factors, and food sensitivities.

5. Can one autoimmune disease lead to developing more?

Yes, having one autoimmune disease increases your risk of developing additional autoimmune conditions, especially if the root causes are not addressed.

Dr. Jun Ren is a dedicated and experienced registered dietitian and nutritionist who is committed to helping people achieve their health goals through personalized nutrition plans. With a passion for promoting healthy eating habits and preventing chronic diseases, Dr. Ren has been able to assist numerous clients in improving their overall quality of life.

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