Endobiogenic Medicine and Integrative Physiology recognizes the human body as a complex system and as such, it follows the rules we understand regarding complex systems. One of these is that systems have a manager which has to meet certain criteria - able to communicate and influence with every part of the system, present from beginning to end, and able to manage itself. The endocrine system (our system of hormones and their intricate relationships to one another) meets the criteria for manager. When we look at physiology from this perspective, we have a really beautiful understanding of why certain patterns arise, why people are unique, have their own gifts, super powers, and ways of growing, developing and adapting and why they are vulnerable to certain diseases, symptoms or imbalances.
Autoimmune diseases are often a state of hyper immunity, a dysregulation of the immune balance which is managed by the endocrine system. There are any number of aggressions, stressors, demands or unmet needs on or within the body which can solicit an immune response, and can solicit a particular endocrine response dependent on each person’s unique endocrine patterns, management and ways they have had to adapt previously in life. These aggressions are often multiple, involving unmet nutrient needs, digestive compromise, mental/emotional patterns, beliefs, thought forms, physical aggressions, infections - anything that demands an adaptation response and that inhibits or compromises the bodies ability to adapt with ease. When the body forms a new pattern of adaptation, like autoimmunity, it is often initially a protective pattern, a way of adapting to chronic or intense stimuli when the various tools the body has have become depleted or overwhelmed.
While immunity is managed by several hormones all working together, estrogen is the hormone that initiates the building of protein in the body. White blood cells and immune elements are protein based. In an excess estrogen environment along with other aspects of immune and endocrine dysregulation, the system may be more prone to a hyperimmune and then autoimmune condition. While all humans have estrogen and androgen activity in varying relationships depending on the individual, in general, women, during their reproductive years, have both relative and absolute higher estrogen activity and circulating hormone. This is one of the factors that makes women more vulnerable to an autoimmune response, but also certainly recognizes the great potential for immune dysregulation and autoimmunity in men as well.
This model also helps explain why one person might develop lupus while another develops an autoimmune inflammatory bowel disease and another an autoimmune demyelinating disorder. In contrast, and for example sake, men, with a relative and absolute higher testosterone activity and circulating hormone in reproductive years are more prone to heart disease. Again, the development of heart disease is a complex physiology that is based on multiple areas of dysregulation, but the androgen activity is a part of the picture.
The beauty of this model is that we can look at individual physiology like a map. Who is the person who is developing this disease and what are the many factors through their life, exposures, experiences, and patterns of adaptation have led to this place? This gives us a more precise direction for treatment and for prevention as well that is catered to the individual. It is important to first look at the person, their individual patterns, strengths and unique ways of adapting. Then, recognizing the areas of vulnerability, the aggressions that can be removed, and the places where needs can be met more effectively can allow the body to resume a more balanced adaptive pattern which allows for thriving rather than simply managing disease.