Functional Medicine: Nine Steps to Treating Autoimmune Disease

By | October 4, 2012
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INFLAMMATION IS A “HOT” TOPIC IN MEDICINE. It appears connected to almost every known chronic disease — from heart disease to cancer, diabetes to obesity, autism to dementia, and even depression. Other inflammatory diseases such as allergies, asthma, arthritis, and autoimmune disease are increasing at dramatic rates. As physicians we are trained to shut off inflammation with aspirin, anti-inflammatory medication such as Advil or Motrin, steroids and increasingly more powerful immune suppressing medication with serious side effects. But we are not trained to find and treat the underlying causes of inflammation in chronic disease. Hidden allergens, infections, environmental toxins, an inflammatory diet, and stress are the real causes of these inflammatory conditions.

Autoimmune diseases, specifically, now affect 24 million people and include rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, thyroid disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and more. These are often addressed by powerful immune suppressing medication and not by addressing the cause. That’s like taking a lot of aspirin while you are standing on a tack. The treatment is not more aspirin or a strong immune suppressant, but removing the tack.

It you want to cool off inflammation in the body, you must find the source. Treat the fire, not the smoke. In medicine we are mostly taught to diagnose disease by symptoms, NOT by their underlying cause. Functional medicine, the emerging 21st paradigm of systems medicine teaches us to treat the cause, not only the symptoms, to ask the question WHY are you sick, not only WHAT disease do you have. …

When my patient described how he cured his autoimmune disease by finding and eliminating the causes of inflammation in his diet and environment, it was dismissed as a “spontaneous remission.” In the face of a paradigm-shattering medical case, these docs were hardly curious and quickly dismissive, describing what was shared as anecdotal.

My patient on that panel, a hard-working 46-year old father of three was once so inflamed he could barely function. By treating the underlying causes of his inflammation he is now in vibrant good health, enjoying his life with his kids and fully capable of caring for them.

Stories like these (and the many others I have shared in my blogs, books, and on television) are not anecdotes but a giant compass pointing us in the direction we should be looking to find answers to our health problems.

In today’s blog, I will explain what autoimmunity is, how inflammation spirals out of control, describe some of the underlying causes for these fires in the body, and provide you with nine steps to cool the fires of inflammation and overcome conditions that range from allergies to arthritis and more. …

Nine Steps to Treating Autoimmune Disease

  1. Check for hidden infections — yeast, viruses, bacteria, Lyme, etc. — with the help of a doctor, and treat them.
  2. Check for hidden food allergens with IgG food testing or just try The UltraSimple Diet, which is designed to eliminate most food allergens.
  3. Get tested for celiac disease, which is a blood test that any doctor can do.
  4. Get checked for heavy metal toxicity. Mercury and other metals can cause autoimmunity.
  5. Fix your gut. For details, see my blog on irritable bowel syndrome.
  6. Use nutrients such as fish oil, vitamin C, vitamin D, and probiotics to help calm your immune response naturally.
  7. Exercise regularly — it’s a natural anti-inflammatory.
  8. Practice deep relaxation like yoga, deep breathing, biofeedback, or massage, because stress worsens the immune response.
  9. Tell your doctor about Functional medicine and encourage him or her to get trained — go to www.functionalmedicine.org for more information and to get a copy of the Textbook for Functional Medicine.

Via DrHyman.com

Wait, what’s in that “etc.” as far as hidden infections? Well, I can do some of this stuff…. reminds me to get back to exercising, it has been too long now.

I could also just wait until 2016-17 to see if pig parasite whip worm eggs, compared to a placebo, cured people with the autoimmune disease known as Chron’s.

 

2 thoughts on “Functional Medicine: Nine Steps to Treating Autoimmune Disease

  1. Ileana

    Nine Steps to Treating Autoimmune Disease – thanks.
    One more step – Love yourself.
    We tend to blame ourselves for everything. Blaming is not healthy… Acceptance is very healthy (i think). We are like this and we will get better!

  2. Geraldine Robinson

    I’ve got autoimmune hepetitis I had it 24 years ago and it has returned.i am on steroids at moment and have got to take aziaprine when steroids are reduced.im having side effects on steroids so am very worried about the new drug I’m being put on.

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