Unraveling autoimmune disease
When your body starts to attack itself…
Autoimmune diseases are strange. Your immune system—the part of your body that protects you from harmful bacteria, viruses and other forms of sickness—gets confused and begins to go after one or more of your own organs. An autoimmune disorder is a case of friendly fire, and one that can significantly affect your overall health.
Tens of millions of Americans live with an autoimmune disease. Women are especially affected, with rates of diagnoses three times as high as men. Some of the most common autoimmune or immune-related disorders include Addison’s disease, Hashimoto’s disease, Graves’ disease, Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, Lupus, Type 1 diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis. Although exact causes are unknown, AD is linked to leaky gut, toxin exposure, infections. food allergies, inflamation, and hormone imbalances.
Autoimmune diseases are frustrating. An autoimmune disease can seriously impact your quality of life, and even lead to dangerous complications over time. Common symptoms of most autoimmune diseases may include:
- Tingling sensations
- Trouble with concentration and memory
Autoimmune diseases are not just treatable but potentially reversible—through the functional medicine approach. Doctors have traditionally focused on masking the symptoms of an autoimmune disease using medications like immunosuppressants and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. However, as a functional medicine physician, I’m more interested in exploring and treating the root causes that are creating your symptoms in the first place. This can open up a whole new level of healing.
One of the most important parts of my approach to treating autoimmune disease is that there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach to treating autoimmune disease. Your case is unique, and in order to figure out how to help you, I need to understand your health history, life circumstances, and anything else that could be contributing to what’s going on in your body. So the first thing we’ll do is sit down together. I’ll ask questions, but mostly, you’ll talk and I’ll listen.
I’ll also order detailed laboratory testing, and search for any other available evidence to discover what originally caused your body to begin attacking itself. Then, we’ll work together to create a comprehensive, custom treatment plan that addresses the particular combination of factors that have led to your specific case of autoimmune disease. Typically, I suggest dietary and lifestyle changes, supplements and other measures if needed. We’ll also talk regularly to adjust the plan.
When we heal the root causes, your life opens up.
Healing from an autoimmune disease is a process. It won’t happen overnight, and everyone’s recovery is different, but I am often astonished by the results I see. It can be useful to think of an autoimmune disease as a signal—your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong. When we figure out what that problem is, and support your body in working through it, substantial change can happen.