Five Millennia of History: the contributions of Traditional | 56399



Five Millennia of History: the contributions of Traditional Chinese Medicine to manage Autoimmune Diseases

Eleonora BeltrameComucci

More than 80 diseases occur as a result of the immune
system attacking the body’s own organs, tissues and
cells. Some of the more common autoimmune diseases
include type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic
lupus erythematosus, and inflammatory bowel disease.
Although the causes of many autoimmune diseases remain
unknown, a person’s genes in combination with
infections and other environmental exposures are likely
to play a significant role in disease development. With
unusual autoimmune diseases, patients may suffer years
before getting a proper diagnosis. Most of these diseases
have no cure. Some require lifelong treatment to ease
symptoms.1 The study of these diseases has intensified
within the past two decades, paralleling the virtual explosion
of information and research conducted on the immune
system. With an increased understanding of innate
immunity, adaptive immune recognition, lymphocyte
activation and the principles of immune tolerance, the
tools are in place for creative approaches to the prevention
treatment and remission of autoimmune diseases.2
Despite having different understandings and treatment
methods from Scientific Modern Medicine, Traditional
Chinese Medicine has one of the most ancient histories
of all medical theory bases, with clinical techniques that
have been used, adapted and modified over a 5000-year
period. Happily, the discoveries made by classical Chinese
Medicine and from its modern scientific research
have led to greater knowledge and the best techniques to
be applied by practitioners to prevent, treat and recover
patient’s health. It’s undeniable that Acupuncture is the
best-known therapeutic resource in the West. Yet, the
use of dry extracts made from natural substances (algae,
fungi, plants, minerals and animals) along with Dietetic
Therapy are two of the strongest pillars in this ancient
medicine. Nowadays, the available scientific literature
provides a solid basis for these substances to be used safely
and effectively in many patients. Part of what is not
known concerns to some drug-to-drug interactions and
molecular actions mechanisms – in part due to the high
number of compounds present in these ingredients, the
speed of detailed studies and publications with a large
sample is perfectly understandable.