There has been a steady worldwide rise in autoimmune disease incidence in the last 30 years. Israel, Netherlands, USA and Sweden, have the highest increase in rheumatological, gastrointestinal and endocrinological autoimmune diseases, pointing to a strong correlation between environmental factors as opposed to genetic factors on autoimmune disease development. http://pubs.sciepub.com/ijcd/3/4/8
There are two main factors associated with autoimmune disease besides genetic predisposition; celiac disease or gluten sensitivity and overuse of antibiotics. Celiac disease has been known since the 1940’s and can be directly correlated to the use and overuse of antibiotics that started at that time. This use and overuse of antibiotics can give rise to Candida overgrowth, cause gut dysbiosis (overgrowth of “bad bacteria” and not enough beneficial bacteria in the gut) and Leaky gut syndrome.
According to Dutch researchers (2003) it is possible that Candida Albicans can stimulate formation of antibodies to gluten as well as other types of auto-immune antibodies found in many gluten-sensitive individuals.
In Australia, over five hundred individuals with lupus were cured when their doctor, Dr. Reading, put them on a gluten and dairy free diet as well as avoidance of other foods they were allergic to, accompanied by IV administration of minerals. http://www.faim.org/the-root-cause-of-your-autoimmune-disease-and-why-treating-it-can-be-easier-than-you-think
Autoimmune disease is “a modern’ disease, not mentioned in classical Chinese Medicine theory, however modern scholars have identified patterns of pathology, based on the principles of Chinese Medicine. Treatment is based on those patterns and is different for each autoimmune disease as the pathology differs. For example the pathology of Multiple Sclerosis and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis are very different even though the etiology is the same.
Having said that a common factor in all autoimmune disease is inflammation and it needs to be addressed with the proper medicinal herbs.
Autoimmune diseases are more difficult to treat and require a longer course of treatment along with lifestyle modifications, often in conjunction with western medicine.