"The suffix "itis" means inflammation. Inflammation is the war between your immune system and one or more types of critters. The base word the suffix is added to describe the place where the war is taking place. "Arthro" indicates joints. Arthritis is inflammation in the joints. Dermatitis is inflammation in the skin. It takes 2 to tango. Inflammation requires a responsive immune system and a critter for it to respond to. Conventionally, inflammation is addressed by killing the critter if our methods of detection can detect it. If you get a staph or strept overgrowth, it's treated with an antibiotic (Remember - it's an infection if the critter does not normally exist in humans. If the problem is from a germ normally found in humans, it's an overgrowth. Important distinction).
For some reason, conventional medicine gets $tuck on stupid when it comes to inflammation that is caused by a critter that is not detected by conventional testing. Again, by definition, inflammation means the immune system is reacting to a perceived threat. However, when inflammation causes "autoimmune" conditions such as asthma, MS, rheumatoid arthritis, and ulcerative colititis; therapies are aimed at the immune system rather than the critter. Steroid and other drugs are given to suppress or even kill the immune system cells or drugs are given to block chemicals produced by the immune system. The newest drugs in this category are called "monoclonal antibodies". They block immune system chemicals such as leukotrienes and tumor necrosis factor(TNF). The problem here is that these are important weapons for keeping you protected from other critters. For instance,the JC virus lives in all our brains. Its harmless when kept subdued by a strong immune system. If the immune system is weakened by the AIDS virus of a monoclonal antibody drug, this virus can overgrow and turn the brain into oatmeal. The condition is called " Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy" (PML).
The mistaken belief in autoimmune disease is that the immune system has gone crazy for some reason and is randomly attacking normal cells. The "scientific" basis is the discovery of antibodies to specific cells. In Hashimoto's thyroiditis, for instance. We find antibodies to thyroid tissue. Normally, the immune system produces antibodies to critters to aid in their killing. Antibodies are biological flashlights that make the critter it attaches to easier for immune cells to find and destroy. However, teleologically it makes no sense for the immune system to attack normal human cells. What happens in so called autoimmune disease is that a critter seeks refuge from the immune attack by hiding inside a normal cell. The normal cell is attacked only because the critter is hiding inside. It's similar to a hijacked plane full of 300 innocent people being shot down by our military if the plane were headed towards the Pentagon.
Myself and other astute physicians address autoimmune conditions by attacking the critters. Candida yeast is a common critter causing autoimmune inflammation. There are other critters that cause other autoimmune conditions. However, the identity of the critter is irrelevant. This is where its important to understand the difference between infection and overgrowths. It makes sense to treat an infection with a drug. Tuberculosis should be treated with anti tuberculin drugs. Overgrowths happen because of a weakness in your "homeland security" system. Its similar to flies getting in through a hole in your screen. To address overgrowths, your doctor must find the weakness and strengthen it - fix the hole in your screen and you won't need so much bug spray. When this is done, the critter overgrowth is brought under control and the immune system stops attacking."
- Roby Mitchell, M.D.