September 2012

Autoimmune Diseases – Causes, Cases, and Treatment Options :: Quick Tip – Improve Your Concentration – Just Add Water! :: Someone You Should Know – Brain & Spinal Cord Organization :: Events

Autoimmune Diseases – Causes, Cases, and Treatment Options

What Is Your Immune System?

Your immune system is a group of cells and organs which is designed to protect your body from outside harm. It includes your spleen, lymph nodes, tonsils, bone marrow, and white blood cells which all work together to protect your body from bacteria and viruses which cause illness.

Part of your immune system is made up of B cells. B cells make antibodies. Antibodies are produced when your immune system identifies an antigen. Once the antigen is identified, B cells eliminate them by creating specific antibodies to knock out that specific problem. Your immune system will remember how to make this specific antibody from then on, and if you come into contact with the same antigen again, the immune system will destroy it before you have the chance to become sick.

When Your Immune System Is Working Well:

When your immune system if functioning normally, it can tell the difference between “good” cells that keep you healthy and “bad” cells that cause sickness and only sends antibodies to knock out those that are causing you harm.

When Your Immune System Is Not Working Well:

Sometimes your immune system doesn’t know when to stop fighting the “bad” cells it has detected. This can happen when you have an allergic reaction to things such as dust, pollen, foods, etc. In other cases, it can happen when your immune system sees your own body as the enemy, and creates antibodies to attack your own organs, causing an autoimmune disease.

Difference Between Autoimmunity & Autoimmune Diseases

There is a difference between autoimmunity and an autoimmune disease. Autoimmunity exists within all of us to some degree, but doesn’t cause our bodies harm.


If immune cells mistake your body’s own cells as foreign and attacks them, it is called autoimmunity. It can affect any part of the body, or many parts of the body at the same time. This is considered “friendly fire” and is normal for our body to defend against.

Autoimmune Diseases

Autoimmunity transforms into an autoimmune disease when your immune system doesn’t have the good sense to stop the “friendly fire” attack. It keeps going and actually damages the body, causing a disease.

What Causes Autoimmune Diseases?

The hard part about autoimmune diseases is that there is no simple, single cause. Research suggests that there are two major factors though; genetics and environmental triggers.

Genetic Predisposition

There are studies that show there is a connection between your DNA and the likelihood that you will develop an autoimmune disease. It is not a condition that’s inherited, but the genes that are passed down are the tendency for autoimmunity to progress into a disease. Even with a genetic connection though, there is no guarantee you will develop an autoimmune disease. Something has to “turn on” your immune system to trigger an autoimmune response.

Environmental Factors

These are the triggers that can cause an autoimmune response. More than half of the risk of developing one of these diseases lies in this portion of the causes. Examples include Silica which has been seen to trigger Scleroderma, certain drugs triggering Lupus, and even pregnancy in certain women can launch an autoimmune disease. Other triggers include drugs, viruses, bacteria, foods, pollutants, hormones, and stress.

Who Gets Autoimmune Diseases?

The American Autoimmune Related Disease Association estimates about 50 million Americans suffer from autoimmune diseases of some kind. It affects women in 75% more cases than men, and is among the ten leading causes of death in women under 65yrs old.

Of the 100+ Autoimmune Diseases, 10 Most Common Are:

1. Graves’ Disease
2. Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
3. Celiac Disease
4. Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis
5. Vitiligo
6. Type 1 Diabetes
7. Pernicious Anemia
8. Multiple Sclerosis
9. Glomerulonephritis
10. Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE)

What Can You Do To Prevent / Treat A Disease?

Come to one of our seminars and find out! We will be hosting wellness seminars throughout the Fall and Winter, discussing the connection between spine health, autoimmune diseases, blood chemistry, and nutrition. Dr. Beebe also has some great information on new, natural treatment solutions for these diseases. For more information, call the office at 503-620-1280 or email

Quick Tip

Improve Your Concentration – Just Add Water!

Keeping up on your water intake is a great way to ensure you’re operating at your full potential. On the contrary, a 4-5% reduction in your water intake may reduce your concentration and performance by as much as 30%! (

Someone You Should Know

Brain & Spinal Cord Organization

Focusing on connecting and educating people with spinal cord injuries, aims to be the most reliable, timely and complete resource on the internet for brain and spinal cord injury survivors. Their site is relied upon as a trustworthy resource for the community, and for those in search of injury information. Based out of Florida, they offer extensive information, phone conferences, video guides, and a place to share and discuss your own journeys. If you know someone who has dealt with a brain or spinal cord injury, this site is a great resource. For more information visit them on the web at


Wed. 19 September
Dinner Discussion with Dr. Beebe
FREE to attend
Dinner provided, along with the latest health infoFri. 21 September
Forest Hills Elementary
Massage-A-Teacher Program

Wed. 26 September
Rock Creek Elementary
Massage-A-Teacher Program

Thurs. 27 September
Jackson Middle School
Massage-A-Teacher ProgramFri. 28 September
Jackson Middle School
Massage-A-Teacher Program

Fri. 12 October
Rock Creek Elementary
Massage-A-Teacher Program

Fri. 26 October
Catlin Gabel School
Massage-A-Teacher Program