According to the American Autoimmune-Related Diseases Association, autoimmune diseases affect up to 50 million Americans. An autoimmune disease develops when the immune system sees healthy cells as foreign, and decides they are dangerous to the body. The immune system attacks healthy cells, affecting one or many different types of body tissue. There are as many as 80 different types of autoimmune diseases. They fluctuate between periods of remission, with little or no symptoms and flare-ups with worsening symptoms. Current treatment for autoimmune diseases focuses on symptom relief, as there is no cure.
While autoimmune diseases often run in families, research suggests that genetics only account for about one-third of autoimmune disease factors. Environmental triggers, and diet and lifestyle may be largely responsible, which suggests that those suffering from autoimmune disease may be able to lessen the inflammatory attacks and attempt to put their autoimmune response into remission.
Dr. William Cole, who specializes in functional medicine and clinical nutrition, put together a list of five nutrients that he strongly recommends for those suffering from autoimmune disorders, to help them fight the disease and eventually remove the problem.