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ADVERTISING: Advertorial — A natural approach to auto-immune disease

| October 6, 2021 1:00 AM

According to the National Institutes of Health, up to 23.5 million Americans suffer from an autoimmune disease. Autoimmune illness affects primarily the young and middle-aged and is growing at an alarming rate of between three and nine percent every year! There are more than eighty types of autoimmune diseases so far identified, with some of the most common including Lupus, Multiple Sclerosis and Rheumatoid Arthritis. Many target only one organ, such as the pancreas in Type I Diabetes, or the thyroid in Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis; others like Lupus affect the whole body.

So, what is autoimmunity? Autoimmunity means your body’s immune system is overstimulated and is starting to attack its own tissues. In health, the immune system can differentiate between foreign cells and “self,” guarding against foreign invaders like bacteria and viruses. In autoimmunity, however, the immune system mistakes part of your body as foreign. It releases proteins called autoantibodies that then attack healthy cells.

How can the immune system make such a critical mistake? The most common cause is connected to disruption in gut health. Seventy percent of your immune system resides in the gut, lying just underneath the very thin single-celled lining of the small and large intestine. Chronic insults to the digestive tract, including the use of antibiotics, antacids, and pesticide-laden food, can damage the fragile lining and disrupt the microflora. A hyper vigilant immune system can then “tag” proteins in foods as “enemy.” Not only can this lead to a host of food sensitivities, but proteins in some of the foods are very similar to proteins in the body. Over time an increasingly hyper stimulated immune system can start attacking its own tissue. To make matters worse, an overgrowth of pathogenic microbes from the disturbed microflora can trigger increased inflammation, and significantly aggravate immune stress.

While most autoimmune disease is handled with strong immune suppressing medications, these have serious long term side effects. Natural approaches that avoid or reduce the use of these medications can be very effective, including individually tailored diets that reduce inflammation, avoid food sensitivities, restore balance to the gut flora, and heal the gut lining. Acupuncture has been shown clinically to reverse or stabilize the progression of autoimmune disease for many patients by calming down the immune response and reversing the body’s sensitivity to the “trigger.”

At Vital Health, we utilize a variety of techniques, especially acupuncture and deep nutrition, to restore balance to the body’s gut and immune health. Special targeted supplements gently direct the immune system away from its target, allowing the body to heal. If you have autoimmune disease, don’t wait! It is important to act as early as possible.

Learn more by attending our upcoming health class, "Battling Auto-Immune Diseases Naturally," 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 13 at Vital Health in Coeur d'Alene. Fee: $10. Attend in-person or online via Zoom. To register, call 208-765-1994 or go to

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Darcy Greenwald holds a master’s degree in Oriental Medicine, is a Licensed Acupuncturist, is certified in Western Herbalism and has extensive training in nutritional therapy. She has more than 20 years of experience in natural medicine.

Darcy is a “Health Detective,” she looks beyond your symptom picture and investigates WHY you are experiencing your symptoms in the first place. Darcy is currently accepting new patients and offers natural health care services and whole food nutritional supplements at Vital Health in Coeur d’Alene.

Visit our website at to learn more about Darcy, view a list of upcoming health classes and read other informative articles. Darcy can be reached at 208-765-1994 and would be happy to answer any questions regarding this topic.

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