Autoimmune Disease Treatments – Chinese Medicine vs. Western Medicine

Autoimmune disease is viewed and treated very differently by Chinese medicine and doctors as compared to Western medicine and doctors. In this blog, I will explain these differences and how I treat these diseases.

What Is Autoimmune Disease?

Autoimmune diseases, or autoimmune disorders, as they are sometimes referred to, occur when the body produces an inappropriate immune response against its own tissues. The body’s immune system becomes misdirected and attacks the very organs or cells and tissues in which it was designed to protect. This means the immune system cannot tell the difference between healthy body tissues and antigens (bacteria, virus, toxins) and will produce antibodies to attack and destroy its own cells, tissues, or organs. This response of our immune system is also called “Hypersensitivity reaction”.

Organs and tissues commonly affected by autoimmune disorders include:

  • Blood vessels
  • Connective tissues
  • Endocrine glands such as the thyroid gland, adrenal gland and pancreas
  • Joints
  • Muscles
  • Red blood cells
  • Skin

A List of Common Autoimmune Diseases or Disorders:

  • Addison’s disease
  • Celiac disease  (gluten-sensitive )
  • Graves diseases
  • Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Ulcerative Colitis
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Lupus
  • Type I diabetes
  • Dermatomyositis
  • Autoimmune hepatitis
  • Psoriasis
  • Psoriasis arthritis
  • Raynaud disease


Why Do People Develop Autoimmune Diseases?

In modern medicine it is still remain unknown. Thus the treatments are limited. For example, patients with thyroid disease will be treated with thyroid hormone replacement for Hashimoto’s disease and Grave disease will be treated with antithyroid medications.

People with autoimmune disorders that affect the bones, joints, or muscles may need help with movement and pain control medicine. Medicines are often prescribed to control or reduce the immune system’s response. They are referred to as “immunosuppressive medicines”. Such medicines may include corticosteroids (such as Prednisone) and non steroidal drugs such as Azathioprine, Cyclophosphamide, Mycophenolate, Sirolimus, or Tacrolimus.

Most autoimmune diseases or disorders are chronic. Symptoms can come and go. Most patients require long term treatment. Patients may experience possible complications like severe infections that can be difficult to control due to taking immune suppress medicine over a long period of time. Or a patient with hypothyroidism will be required to take Levothyroxine for the rest of their life and the drug’s side effect will affect the patient’s other organs like liver and kidney.

When patients come to my office to seeking an “alternative” treatment with acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine, I will analyze their condition and explain my analysis and treatment according to traditional Chinese medicine theories. I educate my patients when I diagnose their health issues and then start their treatment accordingly. My patients experience dramatic improvements in their health and many patients go into remission.

In my 19 years of practice in New York City, I have successfully treated Thyroid Disease (Graves’ disease and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis), Rheumatoid arthritis, Sinus allergy, Celiac disease, Colitis, and Crohn’s disease.


The Secret to Traditional Chinese Medicine

Why is traditional Chinese medicine successful in treating autoimmune disorders? Detoxification of the liver is the key and priority. Why? We all know that the liver filters toxins from the body. And when liver cannot function properly, then toxins will accumulate in our body.  Our immune system will then be altered to react to the toxins. The toxins can exist in every cell, tissue and organs and the immune system can fight with them accordingly, but at the same time, the immune system will attack the cells, tissues and organs that will lead to autoimmune disease.

Note: I do not think autoimmune disease is due to the immune system becoming hypersensitive. It happens because the immune system is misled by internal toxin accumulation. In my practice I often see patients with symptoms that are caused by poor immune function while they have autoimmune diseases (e.g. recurrent virus infection or cannot recover from colds, frequent yeast infections, etc.).

Once I help patients remove the toxins from their body, it will make the misdirected immune system calm down and get back to their proper position which is to guard our body from outside invaders like bacteria and virus and help our body recovery from illness. At the same time the treatment emphases is on recovery of the organ and tissue function, thus patients recover from and disease and go into remission.

When I treat autoimmune diseases, I suggest to my patients that they change their lifestyle according to their health condition. You can read some of these suggestions in my other blogs.

I did not acquire this knowledge in medical school or somewhere else. I found the secret to treating autoimmune disease after 29 years of serious practice and I put my mind & heart into resolving tough health conditions for my patients. I hope that this blog will open your mind to a new and different way to view autoimmune diseases and their treatment. If you have already sought traditional Chinese medicine treatment, I am happy for you and wish you positive results. If you have not, I hope that someday you will open minded to giving it a try.

To discuss your specific health issue(s), please call me at (212) 779-0468 or e-mail me to set up a consultation.

Dr. Feng Liang