First, the more I have read over the years, the more I have become convinced that the many different chronic diseases such as Crohn's, lupus, psoriasis, CFS, MS, RA, etc., are not really so different after all..... I see the symptoms as non-specific alerts that something is interfering with the body's ability to heal and be well, usually the immune system, and how the underlying problem manifests as symptoms--which symptoms an individual develops-- depends on a combination of environmental and genetic factors.
Conventional Western medicine has primarily used a reductionist approach in its quest for treatments, meaning it has taken common clusters of symptoms and labeled them as "Crohn's" or "RA" or "(insert disease name)", and treated them as if each type of symptom cluster (each "disease"), such as every case of RA for example, were always caused by the same thing, and that underlying cause has not been discovered, and therefore there is no cure. While reductionism has its place in medicine, I believe it has caused conventional medicine to fail its patients with respect to chronic illnesses.
The more I research, the more information I come across which strongly suggests that there is no single cause for all cases of RA, or all cases of polymiositis, lupus, or Chron's, etc. Many autoimmune patients with varying diseases get well when they change their diet or lifestyle in profound ways. Some RA patients get well when they remove gluten and dairy from their diet or go vegan or organic. Others get well when they have all their amalgam tooth fillings removed or have mold-generated mycotoxins removed from their environment. Still others get well after becoming regular meditators and improving their stress management. And many get well using antibiotics. Two different people can suffer very different symptoms that are caused by the same underlying problem.
So I truly believe that a "one size fits all", maximum efficiency approach to diagnosis and treatment does not work for chronic autoimmune diseases. The frustration only increases, though, when one is faced with the daunting task of figuring out exactly what is causing a particular case of disease. The potential causes identified so far tend to fall into about 4 categories, and a particular person can have more than one of these factors going on at the same time:
- Bacterial or viral infections;
- Chronic stress overload;
- Toxins (especially heavy metal toxins such as mercury in amalgam tooth fillings; but also mold mycotoxins, pesticides, herbicides, plastics, sodium fluoride, benzene)
- Diet (such as gluten, dairy, GMOs, non-organic foods and many more)