In case you suffer from some kind a chronic autoimmune condition, you are probably advised to take some disease-modifying drug to inhibit progression of damage.
Yet, these drugs often cost too much and cause various side-effects. These are the 10 most commonly prescribed ones, together with their total sales during a period of one year, and the condition it is supposed to treat.
- Abilify, $7.2 billion, antipsychotic
- Humira, $6.3 billion, biologic autoimmune
- Nexium, $6.3 billion, lowers stomach acid
- Crestor, $5.6 billion, lowers cholesterol
- Enbrel, $5.0 billion, biologic autoimmune
- Advair Diskus, $5.0 billion, asthma / autoimmune
- Sovaldi, $4.4 billion, hepatitis C antiviral
- Remicade, $4.3 billion, biologic autoimmune
- Lantus Solostar, $3.8 billion, diabetes
- Neulasta, $3.6 billion, colony stimulating factor to help low white blood cell counts after chemotherapy
Three of these are potent biologic drugs that treat autoimmunity by turning off a specific step in the immune pathways and cost $45,000 to $100,000 annually.
These drugs manage to control the symptoms, but only for a short time. Yet, these prices add to the high costs of healthcare insurance premiums for individuals and businesses and the cost of long-term medications for Medicaid and Medicare patients.
Other than the hepatitis C drugs, patients are expected to need these medications for the rest of their lives. Studies have found that symptom reduction using biologic autoimmune drugs last for a year in most cases, and they do not actually cure the diseases.
More than 75 million Americans suffer from fatigue, pain, brain fog, and autoantibodies, and 25 million of them have enough damage that physicians can make a specific autoimmune diagnosis, often several of them.
In the last three centuries that physicians have been diagnosing autoimmune conditions, the rates of these diseases have steadily increased, and more and more diseases are found to be autoimmune in nature.
Autoimmunity is a condition where the immune cells of the body get confused and start to attack the healthy and undamaged body parts, using issues like asthma, multiple sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and systemic lupus.
Yet, the drugs used to treat them only suppress the immune cells and give short-term effects, so we should detect the roots of the autoimmunity and address them instead.
Dr. Eric Udell recounted her own experience with autoimmune conditions, as she suffered from secondary progressive multiple sclerosis. This condition kept her in a tilt-recline wheelchair within three years of diagnosis.
“I went to the Cleveland Clinic and saw the best MS specialists there and at the University of Iowa. I took the newest drugs, including the biologic autoimmune drug Tysabri. And for 7 years, I kept getting steadily worse.”
This made her start researching the issue and experimenting with herself. She learned many facts about epigenetics, and the way one can switch genes on and off with the help of diet and lifestyle.
She became aware of the effects of exercise, meditation, electrical stimulation of muscles, nutrition and the microbiome. During this research, she found the Institute of Functional Medicine and started taking their courses on treating the root cause of poor health.
“In 2007 I was too weak to sit in a regular chair. I could walk 20 yards slowly with two walking sticks. I suffered from profound fatigue and brain fog.
Then I started a diet and lifestyle program designed specifically for my brain. In just three months, the brain fog was gone. So was the fatigue.
After six months I was walking easily without a cane and after a year on the new diet and lifestyle program, I did an 18-mile bike ride with my family. “
This made her change her understanding of overall health and disease. She altered the way she practiced medicine, as she focused on lifestyle changes and an autoimmune diet.
She is currently evaluating her protocol in other people with progressive multiple sclerosis, and claims they experience positive effects.
She says that their therapeutic lifestyle clinic treats people with all kinds of issues, including asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic pain, fatigue, lupus, psoriasis, brain fog, fibromyalgia, neuropathies, diabetes, traumatic brain injury, mood disorder, and memory loss with amazing results.
She adds that physicians hide the truth about biologic drugs, which only reduce the symptoms for a short period of time.
“Those drugs are very big business, bringing in billions of dollars each year to insurance companies. But those drugs do not get to the root cause of why immune cells attack a person’s body.”
She says that lifestyle changes and an autoimmune diet are extremely powerful in stopping the progress of the disease and even cause a regression of symptoms, as “within weeks of making changes to their diet and lifestyle, the patients report less pain, better memory, and more energy. “