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The term "Autoimmune diseases" encompasses the spectrum of diseases whose clinical manifestations and, possibly, biological features vary widely. Dysfunction of the immune system manifests as an increased reactivity while at the same time ignoring the normal target of it's action ("non-self") and instead turns on the self-components of our own bodies.

Immune systems develop from the earliest infancy: as soon as we are born there are literally thousands of "immunological challenges" we face externally and even internally, we breathe, eat or come in contact with them in many ways through different organs or tissues. That is, from the point of birth we are under attack.

In the first weeks to months following birth, we are more or less protected through the substances called antibodies passed onto us from our mother's milk, and which teach our developing immune systems to distinguish self from non-self. These substances even allow certain microbes to live and thrive in certain organs because they are useful, but others will be attacked and expelled from the body.

Troughout our lifetime we are exposed to the effects on industrialization Environmental factors destructive to the human immune system include: biologically active substances, fertilizers, pesticides and many chemicals foreign to the food we consume. Modern habits of eating and living foster impaired immunity: infant feeding with formula, as opposed to breast milk, poor nutrition, owing to plants grown on exhausted soil, and animals reared and fed in industrial-scale farming, and poor diet owing to too many refined carbohydrates and sugars.

Our modern mode of eating and living predisposes us to disease. Processed foods full of synthetic coloring agents, preservatives, and many more chemicals associated with the production, preservation, marketing and appeal of foods; smoking; alcohol abuse; root canals and mercury in dental fillings; unresolved viral, bacterial and parasitic infection; low-level chronic infection not detected by medical testing; unresolved medical issues stemming from infancy and childhood; modern hygiene; indiscriminate immunizations; and genetic predisposition to a disorder.

Sedentary life style, low sunlight exposure and other simple-to-manage problems promote the modern-day epidemic of ill health.

While medicine in general has always tried to curb the activity of the immune system in general with the use of so-called immune suppressor drugs, we believe that treatment should be directed toward helping the immune system to respond in a more normal way and to direct its activity against non-self components.

—Javier Vazquez, MD.

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