Our society of today has a very large population dealing with chronic conditions and diseases. Many of these diseases are due to a malfunction of the body’s ability to protect itself against bacteria, viruses, parasites or anything that can cause infection. This malfunction presents itself in what’s known as immune-mediated inflammatory diseases (IMIDs) or autoimmune diseases. Immune-mediated means the immune system attacks healthy cells instead of the invaders. Among the more than 80 types of autoimmune diseases, are diabetes type I, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, systemic lupus Erythematous, multiple sclerosis, and psoriasis just to name a few.
The exact causes of these conditions are unknown, but it is believed that they result from a combination of heredity factors, chemicals in our foods, and the environment. Many of these conditions have very similar symptoms (inflammation, stiffness, joint pain, and loss of mobility) and can affect more than one body part, which makes diagnosis difficult. They all also have in common periods of exacerbation and remission but no cure. Treatment is geared toward reducing symptoms and slowing disease progression.