Your Autoimmune Diagnosis
Did you recently get a "label" aka "diagnosis from your physician?
Told you have Graves Disease, Hashimoto's, Rheumatoid Arthritis or one of the other over 100 autoimmune diagnoses?
Do you feel overwhelmed, scared or perhaps relieved? It is not uncommon to have had symptoms over over five years and bounced around from doctor to doctor in search of an answer.
So What's Next?
Most likely, if you are under the care of a traditional, allopathic physician, you may be offered immunosuppressants to get the inflammation under control. These medications are attempting to "dampen the fire" of autoimmunity.
While this approach can be so welcome, as pain and swelling often have short-term immediate relief, there is something missing in this approach.
Sitting on a Tack
Physicians 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 they 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.
It's been said that it'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 root cause. Functional medicine focuses on finding the cause to ask the question WHY are you sick, not only WHAT disease do you have.
More than that, functional medicine focuses on three aspects of the root cause.
Aspect #1 - Genetics (DNA as a light switch)
Aspect #2 - Environment (Something turns "on" the light)
Aspect #3 - Gut permeability (The body reacts to intestinal permeability known as "leaky gut")
This approach is universal for all autoimmune diseases. Autoimmunity for all is the same, it just happens to manifest in different parts of body tissues depending on the individual.
Functional Medicine + Lifestyle
If you have recently been given your diagnosis, and you are wondering what's next for you, I encourage you to look into working with a Functional Medicine Practitioner. Functional Medicine is a paradigm, an approach and a philosophy.
Using a functional medicine approach, a new way of thinking about the underlying causes and imbalances in chronic disease, I ask my clients a lot of questions. I learn their story and uncover triggers to their illness. I go hunting for toxins, allergens, infections and even emotional (stress) patterns that have caused changes in my clients' guts and microflora.
Often I find a long history of antibiotic use or other medications including oral contraception, SSRIs. I find many dietary changes that need to be made. I find low stomach acid, digestive enzymes and bile production which leads to nutrient deficiencies (it's not just what you eat but what you digest and absorb). Sleep problems, stress, constipation and diarrhea both contribute and are side effects of autoimmunity.
If you would like to learn more about how functional medicine can help support your health journey, I offer a free "meet and greet" session. I'll get to hear your story and I'll share with you why functional medicine and my approach may put you back in control, remove the tacks and enjoy optimal wellness for the rest of your life.
You can schedule your free meet and greet session here. I look forward to talking with you.