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Autoimmune conditions affect more than 50 million in the US alone, and a large percentage are women. In fact, I myself had an autoimmune disease called Graves, which is the main cause of hyperthyroidism.

Autoimmune diseases are considered one of the 10 leading causes of death in women under 65 years of age.

They come in many different varieties, including rheumatoid arthritis, type I diabetes, thyroid disease, lupus, psoriasis, multiple sclerosis, and more, and can cause many different types of symptoms throughout the body, ranging from mild to severe. In its nature. But what are its causes and how can they be treated?

What are autoimmune diseases?

Although there are many different types of autoimmune diseases and they can affect many different organs, at their core they are all similar in that they are an immune response caused by systemic inflammation that leads your body to attack itself.

The immune system has a very sophisticated system to keep you safe that leads to identifying all foreign substances that enter the body or with which you come in contact. If your immune system detects something dangerous, it will produce antibodies to protect itself from harmful intruders.

Autoimmune diseases are born when your body is working hard to defend itself against something potentially dangerous, such as an allergen, toxin, infection, or even food, and does not differentiate between the intruder and parts of your own body.

Confusing certain types of tissues with toxic substances, the body turns these antibodies against itself, wreaking havoc on your organs.

What Causes Autoimmune Diseases?

There are many underlying factors that can cause people to develop an autoimmune disease. There is certainly an underlying genetic component.

However, if these genes are expressed or turned on it is by a number of other factors, such as heavy metal toxins such as mercury and mycotoxins from fungi, infections such as candida, Epstein-Barr virus and the virus herpes simplex, and most importantly, chronic inflammation related to food sensitivities – particularly gluten intolerance.

There is a significant relationship between autoimmune diseases and gluten intolerance.

10 signs you may have an autoimmune disease

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, especially a combination of several of them, you may have an autoimmune disease.

  1. Joint pain, muscle pain or weakness, or tremors.
  2. Weight loss, insomnia, heat intolerance, or a fast heartbeat.
  3. Recurrent rashes or hives, sensitivity to the sun, a butterfly-shaped rash on the nose and cheeks.
  4. Difficulty concentrating or focusing.
  5. You feel tired or fatigued, weight gain, or intolerance to cold.
  6. Hair loss or white patches on the skin or inside the mouth.
  7. Abdominal pain, blood or mucus in the stool, diarrhea, or mouth ulcers.
  8. Dry eyes, mouth, or skin.
  9. Numbness or tingling in the hands or feet.
  10. Multiple miscarriages or blood clots.

What should you do if you suspect that you have an autoimmune disease?

If you suspect you have an autoimmune disease, the most important steps in stopping and reversing the disease and its symptoms are to identify and treat the underlying cause. Conventional doctors only treat the symptoms of autoimmune diseases that are not seen to find the root cause.

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Often they prescribe medications such as anti-inflammatories, steroids, or immunosuppressant’s. All of these treatments fail to treat the underlying cause of the autoimmune disease in the first place, and while they may be effective in the short term, they are not a long-term solution.

Treatments that involve immunosuppressive drugs increase the risk of serious infections and cancer when taken for long periods of time.

Identifying which autoimmune disease is affecting you can be a difficult process. Symptoms can be vague, and autoimmune diseases can present in many different ways that affect the thyroid, brain, skin, or other organs.

Working closely with a functional medicine physician to review your family medical history, understanding risk factors for infections, food sensitivities, and toxins, as well as listening closely to discover how all of your symptoms are related, it is an essential part to improve.

A functional medicine doctor will help narrow down the tests they recommend to help find the cause of your condition.

What is my approach to treating and reversing autoimmune diseases?

My approach to a patient who has a known or suspected autoimmune disease is to immediately put them on a diet of complete elimination of the twelve best inflammatory foods.

I also recommend eliminating all grains and legumes from your diet if you think you can. Lectins in grains and legumes have been implicated in autoimmune diseases.

I have ordered extensive tests to see the levels of good bacteria, infection and leaky gut. Then I apply a functional approach to healing the gut. This is essential.

More than 80% of your immune system is in the intestine. If you have an autoimmune disease, then by definition you have a leaky gut that needs to be repaired, otherwise you will not be able to reverse your condition.

I check blood levels for various antibodies and look for hidden or underlying infections.

After I’ve done all of this, if the symptoms haven’t completely gone I look for hidden toxins like mercury and mycotoxins. If we come across heavy metals, I often put the patient on oral chelation treatment to see if we come across mycotoxins.

I know from personal experience how the diagnosis of an autoimmune disease can be overwhelming, confusing, and scary. I also know that conventional medicine only offers the treatment of symptoms, not a real solution to the disease.

I urge you to find a functional medicine physician in your area to help you get to the root of your disease and to help reverse it. Can be done.

 

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