It seemed as counter-intuitive as an Escher drawing. So when he first heard of this odd new concept of autoimmune reactions in the body, the father of modern immunology, Dr. Paul Ehrlich, was so aghast that he dismissed the theory out of hand, calling it Horror Autotoxicus. Almost a half century would pass before Dr. Royal Lee and his colleagues discovered the phenomenon anew, along with early pioneers in endocrinology and organotherapy. A biological fact that seemed stranger than fiction…until understood.
Autoimmune diseases have been found in virtually every organ system in the body. Yet to this day, they remain a virtual mystery to modern medicine – despite the fact that as early as the late 1940s, Dr. Lee recognized, wrote about, and taught that the autoimmune reaction is an inevitable process in late stage progression of every degenerating condition. Before the autoimmune lexicon entered medical vocabulary, Lee’s 60-year head start recognizing this process gave him ample opportunity to understand its intrinsic nutritional component as well as adjunctive approaches that could staunch this devastating yet natural response of the body.
In the aggregate, autoimmune conditions are the largest class of disease, the leading cause of disability, and the number one cause of death. Make no mistake, regardless of what you’ve been formally taught, you treat autoimmune conditions every day in your practice. More than 150 diseases have been reclassified as autoimmune or autoimmune-related over the last decade with more added every year. Eventually, researchers must discover the truth of what Dr. Royal Lee taught over five decades ago: “Left unhealed over time, any degenerative process in any organ can, will, and does deteriorate into an autoimmune process.”
But the NIH still states “the causes of autoimmune disease remain unknown.” NIH estimates annual direct health care costs of treating (known) autoimmune conditions at over $100 billion. These staggering costs are directed almost entirely to immunosuppression drugs. At best, this ultimate example of symptomatic disease care temporarily suppresses the autoantibody assault against the host’s tissues – never mind the potentially debilitating side effects of immunosuppression.
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