No Cure for Autoimmune Diseases
According to the medical community, there is no known cure for myasthenia gravis, or any autoimmune disease, for that matter. That is not surprising, given the complexity of autoimmunity and the approach of conventional medicine to disease treatment. Western medicine uses pharmaceutical drugs to deal with the various symptoms of different types of autoimmune diseases by suppressing the overactive immune system. But an autoimmune disease involves not just the mind, but also many different organs of the body—in fact, the whole body or the personality of the individual afflicted with an autoimmune disease.
Myasthenia gravis can be so varied and different in each individual that treatment also becomes so highly individualized according to the severity of the disorder, age, sex, as well as the degree of functional impairment. The need for medication may even vary considerably from day to day in response to emotional stress, infections, and even the hot weather.
Mestinon, Regonol, and Prostigmin are the most commonly used oral medications to treat muscle weakness without affecting the underlying disease that causes it. Therefore, these drugs are often given in conjunction with other treatments. All these drugs have different side effects: narrowing of the muscle of the iris in the eye, causing the pupil to become smaller; increased nasal and bronchial secretions, as well as increased saliva and urination; loose stools, diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal cramps; and urinary tract infections, among many other undesirable side effects.
Other possible treatment may include thymectomy, which is the removal of the thymus to increase the frequency of myasthenia gravis remission.
Corticosteroid drugs, such as prednisone, are given to reduce antibodies, as well as to prepare for thymectomy. Patients may become temporarily weaker after taking prednisone, while others may have significant improvement in disease symptoms.
Immunosuppressant drugs, such as imuran, may also be used to suppress the activity of the immune system. The effects of these drugs are slow (over a year), and symptoms may recur once the drug is discontinued.
Plasma exchange, which involves an exchange of the plasma (blood) with another healthy individual, is a temporary treatment to increase muscle strength prior to surgery, or to treat temporarily severe symptoms and conditions.
According to Western medicine, steroid medications, such as corticosteroid drugs, are medically necessary to treat many conditions and diseases, including lupus, multiple sclerosis, and myasthenia graves. But steroid medications have major effects on the metabolism of calcium and bone, which may lead to severe bone loss, osteoporosis, and bone fractures. As a matter of fact, high dosage of steroid medications can cause rapid bone loss, up to as much as 15 percent per year. If you are on steroids, you are more than twice as likely to have a fracture on the spine or the ribs as compared to a person not taking steroids.
In addition, there are even different rates of bone loss among individuals on corticosteroids. Bone loss occurs most rapidly in the first six months after starting oral steroid medications. After 12 months of chronic steroid use, there is a slower rate of bone loss. Fracture risk generally increases as the daily doses of steroid medications increase, although not all patients who take steroid medications experience bone loss.
Other adverse side effects of steroid medications are elevation of blood pressure, weight gain, decreased resistance to infection, indigestion, thinning of skin, and potential development of cataracts and glaucoma.
Four factors should be carefully considered prior to the use of steroids, especially if your myasthenia gravis is related only to ocular muscles:
Can steroids improve or eradicate your autoimmune disease symptoms?
Are there other safer forms of therapy to treat your myasthenia gravis?
Does the severity of the symptoms warrant the risk of steroid adverse effects?
Do steroids reduce the chance of a relapse of your autoimmune disease?
It stands to reason that the high risk of taking pharmaceutical drugs to treat only the symptoms without producing a lasting cure may not warrant the continuation of the medications over a long period.
Therefore, have second thoughts about continuing your medications indefinitely. Instead, believe in the miracle of self-healing
As previously mentioned, Albert Einstein once said: “There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle.” Believing that you can cure your myasthenia gravis is living your life as if everything is a miracle. Yes, self-healing of myasthenia gravis is a miracle of life. Even Western doctors are taught in medical schools that illnesses are self-limiting—that is to say, we can get better on our own. If that is the case, then self-healing is not a myth, but a reality—and a miracle at that.
Therefore, no cure for autoimmune diseases is only a myth, and not a reality. However, the cure does not come from pharmaceutical drugs.
The bottom line: Set your goal to ultimately stop all medications. It may take weeks, months, or even years, but that should be your ultimate goal in your health pursuit to overcome your autoimmune disease.
Do not stop all your medications right away; that is not safe.
Talk to your doctor first about all your concerns. Express your wish to reduce your medications slowly and gradually.
If your doctor does not agree to your suggestion, look for another naturopathic doctor. Seek second or even third opinion if necessary.
No matter what, make it your ultimate objective to stop all medications eventually.
Copyright© by Stephen Lau