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Category Archives: Arthritis

Testosterone and Autoimmune Diseases

Testosterone and Autoimmune Diseases

This is part 4 of our 4-part series in how hormones affect autoimmune diseases.

Testosterone is an important hormone in the male and female body. It is similar to the female counterpart, progesterone. This hormone is made in the testicles and the adrenal gland. It has a lot of effects in the human body that help in reproductive growth, behavior, skin, muscles, cardiovascular, bone health and cognitive health. Reproductively, it is used to help make sperm, increase libido, and increase hair production.

Apart from its reproductive effects, testosterone also helps contribute to the cognitive, cardiovascular, muscular and immune systems. High levels can promote aggression and dominance, but also helps increase self-esteem. Low levels can cause low confidence and a lack of motivation. It can also disrupt sleep and reduce energy. It also helps to increase muscle bulk and strength and increases bone density. Men with low levels can be at risk for osteoporosis. Testosterone, and its pre-hormone, DHEA, also have an anti-inflammatory effect. It’s this effect that we are going to talk about today.

Testosterone’s Effect on the Immune System

Testosterone has a strong effect on the immune system. When levels are low, we can see an increase in the production of T-cells. This may lead to certain autoimmune diseases if left unchecked. Many different autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus have been linked to low levels of testosterone and DHEA in both men and women.

The balance between testosterone and estrogen is also important. Testosterone is often broken down into estrogen. When testosterone levels are low and estrogen levels are high, this could be because the body is converting testosterone too fast. This will make it more likely to produce an inflammatory state in the body. Raising testosterone or DHEA levels will often bring inflammatory markers down.

How to Treat Testosterone Levels

If you think that your hormone levels are off, then there are a number of ways to test them. The most common way is a blood test. Testosterone can be measured at any time for men or women. You may also want to have DHEA-S checked as well so you can see how well you are able to make testosterone. Estrogen should also be measured in men and women since there is a direct pathway between testosterone and estrogen.

If your hormone levels are too low, then there are some good ways to support this. Giving DHEA can help to make testosterone. But checking to make sure your DHEA levels are within normal limits is important. Also giving other hormone precursors like pregnenolone can help stimulate all hormone pathways. You may also want to help promote liver function if estrogen is high to help with the break down of estrogen in the body.

In any rate, you should always work with a provider that is well versed in understanding the effects of testosterone on the immune system. If you have questions about therapies that our providers use, or if you are wondering how hormones may be impacting your health, you can contact our office to schedule a phone consult with one of our providers today.

Alternative Therapies for Osteoarthritis

Alternative Therapies for Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis in the US. It affects 10-18% of people over the age of 60. While there is some inflammation, this form of arthritis is mostly from degenerative changes over time. This can be from overuse trauma, or even from damage from other inflammatory arthritis conditions like rheumatoid arthritis.

Many people with inflammatory arthritis also have osteoarthritis. Treatments for osteoarthritis are often different than those for other arthritis conditions like rheumatoid arthritis. Things like exercise and strengthening can be extremely helpful. To learn more about ways in which to treat osteoarthritis, click the link below.

#arthritis #osteoarthritis #alternativemedicine #naturopathicmedicine #herbalmedicine #jointpain #jointhealthContinue Reading

Intermittent Fasting for Autoimmune Diseases

Intermittent Fasting for Autoimmune Diseases

Intermittent Fasting is a hot topic these days. But can it be used for autoimmune diseases? Yes!

Intermittent fasting can be used to help reduce flares, improve pain and help reduce inflammation long term.

Learn more about intermittent fasting and how it can help your autoimmune symptoms in our new blog post!Continue Reading

Alternative Therapies for Gout

Alternative Therapies for Gout

Gout is an inflammatory arthritis that occurs from the precipitation of uric acid into the joint space. It affects more than 3% of the population and is more common in men than in women. This is because uric acid levels in the blood are generally higher in men than in women. Other things that increaseContinue Reading

Alternative Therapies for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Alternative Therapies for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a very destructive inflammatory arthritis that affects approximately 1-5% of the population in the US.  RA can occur at any age but occurs more common after age 50. Women are also affected 2-3x more than men. It is also a fast acting arthritis, and can cause damage to the joint spaceContinue Reading

Alternative Therapies for Psoriatic Arthritis

Alternative Therapies for Psoriatic Arthritis

In keeping with our theme of #arthritisawareness month, we will start off our weekly arthritis condition spotlight with alternative therapies for psoriatic arthritis. Psoriatic Arthritis Diagnosis and Treatment Psoriatic arthritis is an inflammatory arthritis that can be incredibly detrimental to a person’s quality of life.  It is a form of inflammatory arthritis that is calledContinue Reading

BOTANICAL REMEDIES USED IN RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS

BOTANICAL REMEDIES USED IN RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS

Written by Emily Wittenhagen, Community Herbalist   Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that causes chronic inflammation mainly presenting in the joints. The most common type of inflammatory arthritis, RA can cause significant discomfort and decreases in mobility and motor skills for those living with the condition. At Aria, we see many clients withContinue Reading

Living With Autoimmunity Event!  May 9th!

Living With Autoimmunity Event! May 9th!

Living with Autoimmunity Saturday, May 9, 10:00 AM-3:30 PM at Bastyr University in Kenmore Join the Autoimmune Advocacy Alliance (A3) for “Living with Autoimmunity,” an education program for families living with one of the 80+ autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, lupus, Crohn’s disease, and rheumatoid arthritis. In the morning sessions, experts will share information onContinue Reading

Gum Disease and Rheumatoid Arthritis

Gum Disease and Rheumatoid Arthritis

Poor dental hygiene and gum disease may trigger symptom flares in patients with autoimmune conditions, like rheumatoid arthritis.  Fortunately, prevention for oral bacteria overgrowth is simple: 1)     Brush and floss your teeth daily. 2)     Reduce sugar in your diet. 3)     Eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. 4)     Take anti-inflammatory supplements, such as fish oilContinue Reading

The Autoimmune Connection – How Diagnosis with one Autoimmune Disease Increases Your Risk For Another

The Autoimmune Connection – How Diagnosis with one Autoimmune Disease Increases Your Risk For Another

Autoimmune diseases are on the rise in the United States, and despite this growing prevalence, there is still very little public education about which diseases are classified as autoimmune and how each of these conditions are connected.  Statistics from the NIH (National Institutes of Health) show that up to 23.5 million Americans have been diagnosedContinue Reading