Autoimmune disorders currently affect up to 50 million people and are often addressed by powerful immune-suppressing medications that don’t always offer a comprehensive solution to the pain symptoms patients experience.
Chronic pain from autoimmune diseases often harms patients’ day-to-day lives. Patients may become irritable, less social, and less active, which can affect their relationships and cause depression and stress.
However, several standard and alternative treatments offer pain relief for autoimmune condition sufferers. Combining standard therapies, lifestyle changes, and alternative therapies often relieves the symptoms of autoimmune conditions.
What Are Autoimmune Diseases?
Autoimmune diseases are chronic conditions that occur when the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys healthy cells in the body.
There are over 80 types of autoimmune conditions, but some common ones are:
Each autoimmune condition presents different symptoms, with the common thread of inflammation and pain caused by an incorrect immune response. However, treatments for autoimmune conditions are complex, as there is a delicate balance needed when suppressing the body’s immune system.
A Multifaceted Approach to Treatment
Autoimmune conditions respond best to integrative medicine, combining conventional treatments with complementary therapies. In aiming to relieve autoimmune pain, four common approaches can work in conjunction to alleviate symptoms.
Over-the-counter (OTC) medicines are usually the first response patients take to manage autoimmune pain. For example, aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, and acetaminophen temporarily relieve mild symptoms, such as pain, stiffness, or inflammation.
Your doctor may prescribe medications for your autoimmune condition to manage symptoms, keep your body functioning correctly, and alleviate pain.
The drugs your physician prescribes will depend on your needs, but common medications include:
- Opioids for more substantial pain relief
- Antidepressants to manage anxiety and depression
- Sleep medications
- Steroids to calm flare-ups
Prescription medications often come with side effects. Maintaining an open line of communication with your physician throughout your treatment allows them to ensure your medication isn’t causing you more pain.
Additionally, many autoimmune condition sufferers experience flare-ups when under high stress. Stress management and techniques such as breathing exercises can calm the body’s stress response.
Many alternative therapies work alongside medications and lifestyle changes to provide a more comprehensive approach to treating autoimmune conditions.
One alternative natural treatment that shows promise is regenerative medicine, also known as stem cell therapy. The regenerative properties of stem cells may benefit patients with autoimmune conditions like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.
Some other natural treatments for autoimmune pain include:
- Physical therapy
- Chiropractic care
- Occupational therapy
- Yoga and meditation
These therapies manage stress, alleviate joint stiffness, build muscle mass, and reduce overall pain. By implementing an integrative approach, you may have potential benefits to reduce the pain and manage symptons of autoimmune disease.
This post was written by a medical professional at Stemedix Inc. At Stemedix we provide access to Regenerative Medicine for ALS, also known as Stem cell treatment for ALS. Regenerative medicine has the natural potential to help improve symptoms sometimes lost from the progression of many conditions.