Treatments for Autoimmune and Inflammatory Disorders and Oncology
Treatments for autoimmune and inflammatory disorders share some common characteristics. All of these disorders are treated by both medication and diet. Autoimmune disorder is a result of the body responding to diseases as if they are foreign and threatening elements, even though they are healthy body parts. In this case, the body believes that its normal parts are diseased, and it attacks parts of it. This attack can occur in many places, including the lungs, skin, liver, among others. Autoimmune diseases are common illness, such as rheumatoid arthritis, narcolepsy, allergies, psoriasis, and many others.
Treatments for autoimmune illnesses are often aggressive, especially when these disorders and disease are life-threatening. They are very serious ailments that greatly affect the patient’s life. Approximately 80 illnesses have been identified that are thought to be caused by autoimmune disorders.
Inflammatory responses are the body’s natural response to any disease or foreign cells that invade it. If the inflammation is not stopped, it can cause heart attacks, stroke, cancer, or destroy brain cells in addition to causing pain and other disorders. Inflammation is swelling deep within the tissues, and it happens when the body’s white blood cells attack the organs.
Oncology related disorders can be treated in similar ways since all produce similar symptoms in those who are affected. An elevated body temperature, pain, and unexplained weight loss are shared by those affected by autoimmune and inflammatory disorders as well as by prostate cancer. In addition, all of these diseases increase the body’s autoimmune response. The difference is that in oncology, or cancer, the body actually does respond to a foreign invader, whereas in autoimmune and inflammatory disorders, the body attacks itself.
A common and helpful treatment for autoimmune and cancer patients is an exercise routine and a healthy diet. Some physicians recommend eliminating sugar from the diet. Some research has shown that all forms of sugar, including fructose, sucrose, and glucose lessen the white blood cells ability to destroy foreign agents in the body as they are meant to do. Fish oil with vitamin E has been shown in research to delay autoimmune response in mice, and doctors believe that it is helpful to patients with autoimmune and inflammatory disorders as well. Supplements with omega-3 essential fatty acids from fish or flax, combined with omega-6 fatty acid gamma-linolenic acid can lessen inflammation as well.
Patients are recommended to consume plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits, eat dairy products that are low in fat, eat poultry and fish, brown rice and whole grains. Part of the treatment also includes the antioxidants vitamins C and E as well as green tea, which has been shown to have anti-inflammatory characteristics. Beta-carotene and selenium are also helpful, so patients are generally advised to take a multi-vitamin supplement each day.
In severe cases, doctors treat these disorders with corticosteroid drugs, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, immunosuppressant drugs that stop the immune response and progression of the disease. Sometimes radiation of the lymph nodes is used as well as plasmapheresis, the removal of harmful molecules and cells from the blood.
Cancer treatment usually involves removal of a tumor through surgery, and follow-up with radiation or chemotherapy is also required for cancers that may not have been completely removed from the body through surgery. If the cancer is located in a part of the body that is inoperable, radiation or chemotherapy may be used to treat this disease as well.