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What Can Photobiomodulation Do for an Autoimmune Disorder?

An autoimmune disorder occurs when your body’s immune system attacks your own tissues. No one knows what causes autoimmune disorders, but triggers can include genetic malfunction, viral infection, or environmental factors. There are more than 80 autoimmune disorders known, including celiac disease, diabetes type 1, inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus.

Because the cause of autoimmune disorders is unknown, there is no real cure. According to the Merck Manual, “Some autoimmune disorders resolve as inexplicably as they began. However, most autoimmune disorders are chronic. Drugs are often required throughout life to control symptoms.” In other words, you treat an autoimmune disorder by fighting not the disease but the symptoms.

An autoimmune reaction happens when your immune system interprets your own tissues as intrusive. The immune system sends immune cells to fight the “intruder,” which causes inflammation and tissue damage. The inflammation and tissue damage cause the symptoms, which can include pain, weakness, breathing problems, itching, deformed joints, or delirium — depending on the organ or body part affected. Some autoimmune disorders are even fatal. According to Healthline, “Women get autoimmune diseases at a rate of about 2 to 1 compared to men — 6.4 percent of women vs. 2.7 percent of men. Often the disease starts during a woman’s childbearing years (ages 14 to 44).” 

There are two types of medication used to treat the symptoms of autoimmune disorder: 1) Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, which can help manage pain and inflammation and 2) immunosuppressive drugs, which reduce the body’s immune response. Because they suppress the immune system, immunosuppressive drugs are only used in the most serious cases. But even NSAIDs, although often available without prescription, have risks and side effects.

Is there any alternative treatment for autoimmune disorders? There is considerable excitement right now about photobiomodulation (PBM) therapy, formerly known as low-level laser therapy. It is non-toxic and non-invasive, and it has no side effects. PBM Therapy consists of specific wavelengths of light delivered to your entire body while you lie in the PBM bed. It takes as little as 10-12 minutes. Users report reduced levels of pain as well as relaxation of muscle spasms. PBM reduces oxidative stress at the cellular level, which means it reduces inflammation. Inflammation, of course, is the principal cause of symptoms in an autoimmune disorder.

You won’t find PBM being recommended for autoimmune disorders by the mainstream medical websites, such as WebMD. But there are currently over 400 clinical trials and 4000 laboratory studies on PBM Therapy, with 30 new research papers a month being reported on Pub Med. For an overview of how PBM works, see our video. PBM won’t cure your autoimmune disorder, but you can find out whether it’s capable of relieving your symptoms by booking at a session at Peak Recovery & Health Center. It will take 10-12 minutes of your time, but if it helps manage your symptoms, it could change your life.