Treatable Disorders: Autoimmune

Arthritis

There are two major types of arthritis: rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is caused by an imbalance of the immune function, which causes the body to produce antibodies to attack the joints, which causes inflammation. The infected joints will be swollen, red and painful. In acute stages, if a person can combine acupuncture with the medication, the swelling can go down faster, so the joints will not develop severe deformation and limitation of movement. At the mean time, acupuncture can help balance the immune function, so the body will not constantly produce antibodies to damage the joints.

In the case of osteoarthritis, the wear and tear can also cause inflammation in the joints. When humans get older, damaged tissue makes a much longer time to repair than in younger people. That is why in order to protect the function of our joints, we need to cut down on the intense exercise so we can still walk when we reach 90 years old. When people have to do intense exercises such as running, jumping or skiing, there is a higher chance to damage of joint damage. If joint damage occurs, it is good idea to use acupuncture to help your joints to repair as fast as you can. Furthermore, acupuncture on certain points can help your body produce more growth hormones, so your body can repair the joints even more efficiently.

How acupuncture helps arthritis:

  1. Strengthens the muscle around the joints.
  2. Reduces knee joint swelling and pain.
  3. Increases range of motion.
  4. May help the regeneration of cartilage.
  5. Decreases the secretions of the synovial membrane.
  6. May reduce pressure inside the joint.
  7. May change the viscosity and pH of the joint’s synovial fluid to reduce irritation to the synovial membrane.

 

Cystitis

Cystitis is the inflammation of the urinary bladder and ureters.

What can cause inflammation of the bladder?

Hormone imbalance before, during, and after menopause: When estrogen is not balanced with progesterone, mast cells in bladder tissue are easily activated to release many kinds of chemicals that cause inflammation in those tissues, as discovered by researchers from Tufts Medical School in 1998. This is one of the reasons why women between 35 and 55 tend to develop cystitis if they do not eat a balanced diet. 


What you need to know about your friend, the bladder. What can cause inflammation of the bladder?

1. Hormone imbalance before, during, and after menopause: When estrogen is not balanced with progesterone, mast cells in bladder tissue are easily activated to release many kinds of chemicals that cause inflammation in those tissues, as discovered by researchers from Tufts Medical School in 1998. This is one of the reasons why women between 35 and 55 tend to develop cystitis if they do not eat a balanced diet.

2. Imbalanced nervous system: When you get nervous, you tend to use the bathroom more than you should. In addition, the nervous system regulates immune cell activities and the magnitude of the immune response. If immune function is hyperactive from the overstimulation of the sympathetic nervous system, then inflammation in the bladder will become chronic.

3. Chronic stress: Stress depletes our anti-inflammatory hormones such as cortisol. When I was supervising the Chinese Herbal Clinic at the New England School of Medicine, I met a young lady who developed interstitial cystitis presenting constant lower abdominal pressure, an urgency to urinate, and a burning sensation in the urethra that dramatically interfered with her life. Even though she visited many hospitals and physicians and underwent extensive tests, no one could determine what caused these problems. She tried many kinds of medications, but nothing worked. I discussed with her factors that might trigger this disease under certain conditions. She said that at the time, she had tremendous stress and one day drank 10 cups of coffee to try to work more hours. Shortly afterwards, she developed this disease. In this case, stress initially stimulated her adrenal gland to produce more endogenous cortisol. Then, too much caffeine stimulated her sympathetic nervous system to produce more adrenaline. Finally, the adrenal gland, depleted by the great amount of adrenaline in her body, could no longer protect her from inflammation. Although our bodies have tremendous ability to compensate, if we abuse them too much for too long, they will eventually fail us.

4. Feminine hygiene sprays and spermicidal jellies: These products can cause inflammation when your immune system is already out of balance, which is why not every woman will develop cystitis from using the same product for the same period of the time. If you currently have bladder inflammation, try to avoid these products until your symptoms are gone.

5. Carbonated beverages: Carbonated beverages create an acidic environment in the body, which facilitates inflammation. If the inflammation occurs in the bladder, then you may develop cystitis.

Diabetes

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Multiple Sclerosis

Rheumatoid Arthritis 

Sjorgen’s Syndrome

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