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Acupuncture and Natural Medicine for Granulamotosis with Polyangiitis
Granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA), also known as Wegener's Granulomatosis (WG), is a rare autoimmune
disease that causes inflammation of the blood vessels (vasculitis).
This inhibits proper blood flow and damages tissues and organs all over
the body, but typically in the sinuses, lungs
and kidneys. When treated early, patients often make a complete
recovery. Left untreated, or when treatments fail, it is often fatal,
most often due to kidney
GPA is commonly treated with glucocorticoid (steroid) medications like
prednisone. In severe cases, prednisone is combined with
cyclophosphamide, rituximab, methotrexate, or azathioprine, which are
drugs commonly used to suppress the body's immune system. These drugs
should be used with caution, particularly when treating
non-cancer-related illnesses, since all of them have serious, sometimes
fatal, side effects. They can also harm or cause the death of an unborn
The most common side effects of chemotherapy drugs (such as
methotrexate) are nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, dizziness, skin
damage, memory loss or brain fog, and hair loss.
How We Can Help
At Maryland Holistics, we offer acupuncture
and natural care options that can reduce symptoms of GPA and help
restore a sense of control and well being to your life. We emphasize an
inclusive approach to wellness that combines a variety of natural,
non-pharmacological treatment therapies tailored to your individual
needs and circumstances.
GPA sufferers may be relieved to know that acupuncture, when performed
by a skilled and experienced practitioner, can have profound effects on
the immune system. Although it is best known for increasing the body's
immune response, in order to fight disease, it can also suppress the
immune response in patients with autoimmune diseases like GPA. It sounds
paradoxical until one considers that acupuncture is first and foremost a
therapy aimed at restoring the body's natural balance.
Acupuncture is a very broad, deep, and complex field of study. In
general, even a very talented practitioner will need at least 7-10 years
of full-time study to develop a high level of skill.
can reduce fatigue and many types of chronic pain, often reducing the
need for powerful pharmaceutical drugs that come with serious side
effects, especially with prolonged use. It can also restore more restful
sleep and reduce the stress, anxiety and depression
so often experienced by people with autoimmune disorders, and promote a deep sense of well being.
In addition to acupuncture, we offer expert advice on proper diet and nutrition
, the right amount of exercise, work/life adjustments, as well as meditation
and other stress reducing therapies. We believe these are critical
factors in managing GPA as part of an overall medical treatment plan
that can help you reach your personal goals.
"GPA is a rare condition and I have not seen it frequently in practice.
Based on published research and my experience treating a range of
autoimmune conditions, I believe acupuncture is likely to be helpful for
individuals with this condition, but only if the treatment is performed
in a way that is gentle enough to avoid side-effects. To the extent
that it is helpful, it is likely due to acupuncture's ability to help
the body to regulate the inflammatory signals of the immune system, as
well as the stress response signals of the nervous system."
Dr. Eric Windsor, D.Ac.