Autoimmune patients are some of the most frequently seen in the office. The frequency of autoimmune disease throughout Westernized societies has increased significantly over the last 30 years,1 causing chronic, debilitating dysfunction in those who suffer from these diseases. While much of the conventional treatment for autoimmune disease is aimed at relieving the pain or symptoms through immune-suppressing medications, Functional Medicine offers an alternative to symptom suppression—by addressing the underlying mechanisms that cause autoimmunity, we can prevent, and in some cases reverse autoimmune diseases.
The web of autoimmunity is very complex and deconstructing autoimmunity take some time.
Some of the most common triggers I see in the office are from the foods we eat and do not eat, toxins, bacteria, genetic interplay, viruses, stress, lack of sleep, mold, and the list goes on.
While classified as many different diseases, they have one thing in common. In every case of autoimmune disease, the body attacks itself.
Is there another way to treat these problems than deploying powerful immune-suppressive drugs that put patients at increased risk of infection and even death?
Every autoimmune disease becomes connected by one central biochemical process: A runaway immune response resulting from your body attacking its own tissues.
Functional Medicine provides a map to find out which molecule the cells are mimicking. It looks at the root cause of the inflammation and asks why that inflammation exists.
If we can identify the underlying sources of inflammation, we can heal the body. The underlying causes may include stress, hidden infections, food allergies or sensitivities, toxic exposure, genetic predisposition, nutrient deficiencies, and leaky gut. If you want to cool off inflammation in the body, you must find the source.
Functional medicine seeks to understand the body as a system; to seek the cause of illness; to understand the body’s basic functional systems, where they go awry, and how to restore balance; to understand the interconnections between symptoms and organs rather than segregate diseases into specialties.