Autoimmune disease, T helper cells, Disease states and natural medicine

The immune system is complex and highly developed, yet its mission is simple: to seek out and destroy potential invaders. Whilst immunity has the amazing ability to recognise and protect “self” tissue from pathogens, sometimes these recognition systems fail. Failure of our self-recognition can lead to over-reactive immune responses and inflammatory, autoimmune conditions.

Identifying Autoimmune Imbalances

Immune balance is well conceptualized by the model of T-helper 1 (Th1) and T-helper 2 (Th2) balance. Th1 cells direct our immune cells to protect us from bacterial, viral and fungal infections, as well as cancer cells. Th2 cells direct our immune system to fight off larger multicellular organisms, such as helminths (worms), and allergens. These two arms of immunity are highly effective when they act together in harmony. Whilst healthy immunity has the ability to recognize and attack infected or diseased “self” cells, healthy cells may be caught in the cross-fire and attacked due to “mistaken identity”; such as the inflammatory attack that occurs on cartilage in rheumatoid arthritis.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an example of Th1 immunity gone awry. Th2 over-activity drives autoimmune conditions such as ulcerative colitis, lupus (SLE) and Graves’ disease.

These cytokine immune profiles assist us in identifying the nature of the specific autoimmune disease in question, helping researchers determine if a particular disease is Th1 or Th2 mediated. Knowing if a condition is Th1 or Th2 mediated gives us clues as to how to effectively treat and manage these complex conditions. Table 1 lists autoimmune conditions that are identified as being either Th1 or Th2 dominant.

Table 1: Th1 and Th2 Dominant Autoimmune Conditions.

Th1 DOMINANT CONDITIONS Th2 DOMINANT CONDITIONS
COMMON CLINICAL PRESENTATIONS COMMON CLINICAL PRESENTATIONS
Rheumatoid arthritis Coeliac disease Allergies Graves’ disease
Multiple sclerosis Polymyalgia rheumatica Hayfever, rhinitis, sinusitis Ulcerative colitis
Type 1 diabetes mellitus Hashimoto’s thyroiditis Asthma Scleroderma
Psoriasis Vitiligo Eczema Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE)
Crohn’s disease Sjogren’s syndrome Urticaria CREST syndrome
Sarcoidosis Ankylosing spondylitis

Whether an autoimmune condition is Th1 or Th2 mediated, there are some very effective, yet simple, Natural Medicines we can use to help our patients manage the symptoms of their condition and to prevent further tissue destruction.

For more detailed help with individual cases of autoimmune, please contact our professional Naturopathic Practitioner at:

A Natural Self,
A Naturopathy Clinic
Dana Kington
Naturopath
244 South Tce
South Fremantle, 6162
Perth

At this natural clinic, you will find all the latest technology, such as Toxicity and Heavy Metal Testing, Live Blood Analysis (Hemaview), and Iridology. We also treat with all forms of Natural Medicine with the nutritional supplementation of Homeopathy, Western Herbs, Chinese Medicine, Vitamins, Minerals, Amino acids and Enzyme Therapy.