Autoimmune and Inflammatory Disorders
It has been estimated that 50 million Americans have an autoimmune disease, compared with 13 million Americans affected by cancer.
Over 80 autoimmune disorders exist, including Crohn's disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis, and Diabetes.
Autoimmune disorders describe conditions in which the immune system attacks other tissues, systems and organs of the body. This is abnormal response is a consequence of chronic systemic inflammation, which weakens the immune system’s ability to differentiate between foreign invaders and healthy tissue. In turn, the immune system mistakenly attacks all bodily tissues.
Autoimmune conditions develop when a person has increased intestinal permeability, genetic susceptibility and environmental triggers, or a combination of these. Recent research has suggested that adverse dietary changes contributing to autoimmune diseases in recent decades involve gluten intolerance, ingestion of highly processed foods, and vitamin D deficiencies. When infections, toxic foods, medications and stress damage the gut, the intestinal lining becomes permeable, allowing many toxins and microbes to directly enter the blood stream. This leads to systemic inflammation and opens the door for autoimmune disease development. Increased permeability of the gut also reduces absorption of essential vitamins and minerals, which further diminishes the immune system response to inflammation and makes the body vulnerable to infection and disease.
To treat autoimmune disorders, the trigger that aggravates the immune system—foods, toxins, infections—needs to be identified and removed. In addition to stopping the widespread inflammatory cascade, it is necessary to promote anti-inflammatory processes with diet, supplementation and lifestyle modification. Unfortunately, immunosuppressant pharmaceuticals are commonly used to manage symptoms of autoimmune conditions, which lead to devastating long-term side effects.
Functional Medicine offers a whole new way to understand and look at autoimmune illnesses. By supporting the immune system, rather than suppressing it with medications, our bodies’ ability to function properly can be restored. Use of the latest scientific research to develop an individualized treatment plan will reduce the need for unnecessary pharmaceutical use and reverse chronic disease.
“Autoimmune Disease Statistics.” American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association, Inc. 2018.
Diabetes remains the 7th leading cause of death in the United States in 2015, with 79,535 death certificates listing it as the underlying cause of death, and a total of 252,806 death certificates listing diabetes as an underlying or contributing cause of death. Diabetes disrupts all bodily systems and paves the way for serious complications such as heart disease, blindness, kidney failure, lower-extremity amputations, impaired immunity and nerve damage. The link between diabetes and nutrition is a fundamental one that should never be ignored.
Learn how you can treat your diabetes and reduce or eliminate your need for medication.
Systemic Lupus Erythamatous
Systemic Lupus Erythematous (SLE) is a complex, multifactorial genetic and environmental etiology affecting various organs, resulting in widespread loss of immune self-tolerance.
To effectively treat SLE, it is necessary to decrease systemic inflammation to improve symptoms and reduce risk for comorbidities commonly associated with SLE. It has been estimated that over 50% of patients with SLE have successfully utilized complementary and alternative medicine treatments to reduce symptoms and manage their health.
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that results when inflammatory cells mistakenly invade and destroy joints and cartilage. Although drugs are commonly used to treat this condition, they will not fix the problem. Standard medical treatment is of limited value in most cases of RA as it fails to address the complexity of this disease in an appropriate manner.
The Functional Medicine approach looks beyond the pain centers to evaluate the relationship of all bodily systems and find the culprit behind the pathophysiology. There is potential to relieve the pain from Rheumatoid Arthritis.
The association between autoimmunity and cancer is well established.
As the relationships between autoimmune conditions and cancer become more apparent through current research, an increasingly greater need to prevent and treat the cause of autoimmunity with natural methods grows.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a neurodegenerative disease of the central nervous system that is often erratic and disabling.
Effective treatment strategies can help modify or slow the disease course, increase functional capacity, address emotional health and safety and avoid secondary complications.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most prevalent form of arthritis, with an associated risk of mobility disability for those with affected being greater than that due to any other medical condition in people aged 65. OA is a multifactorial process in which changes in structure and function of the whole joint occur.
The Functional Medicine approach will dig deeper into what is contributing to your condition and give your the tools you need to heal naturally without drugs or invasive procedures.