Autoimmune Disease

Autoimmune Disease

Autoimmune diseases are extremely prevalent, with numbers of Americans who suffer from an autoimmune disease ranging between 23 and 50 million. In fact, it is one of the top 10 leading causes of death in female children and women up to 64 years of age.

What is Autoimmune Disease?

An Autoimmune disease is a chronic condition in which your immune system produces antibodies that attack healthy tissue such as your thyroid, skin, joints, etc. Essentially, your immune system sees a part of your body or a process as a disease and attacks itself.

There are over 100 known autoimmune conditions. Some of the most common include:

  • Type 1 Diabetes
  • Psoriasis/Psoriatic Arthritis
  • Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis
  • Lupus
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (Crohn’s, Ulcerative Colitis)
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Celiac Disease
  • Addison’s Disease
  • Grave’s Disease

What Causes Autoimmune Disease?

The cause of an autoimmune disease isn’t random or even entirely genetic or lifestyle-driven. It results from a combination of root causes that affect people differently. The three main root causes include the following:

  1. Genetics
  2. Environment
  3. Intestinal hyperpermeability (aka gut health)

Our autoimmune disease specialists serving Chicago and the surrounding areas will help you get to the root cause of your autoimmune disease to conquer your symptoms once and for all.

Is Autoimmune Disease Reversible?

Autoimmune disease is not reversible; however, it can be put into remission. Achieving successful remission depends on several factors: the severity of the condition, the amount of damage that’s been done, and proper diagnosing and treatment. How much the patient is willing to invest and stick to the changes necessary to heal is another big factor.

Treatment focuses on reducing your symptoms and improving your quality of life. This might look different for each person, for example, having enough energy to enjoy your life again, losing weight, falling asleep easily and staying asleep, having clearer skin, getting pregnant, or finally getting rid of brain fog.

While you are unable to technically “reverse” your autoimmune disease, you can still feel like yourself again.

Treatment for Autoimmune Disease

The first step towards treating autoimmune disease is to get a proper diagnosis through labs and other diagnostic techniques. Once you have a diagnosis, a strategy can be created to address your specific situation. This strategy will look different for everyone based on their unique health history, environmental triggers, specific gut health issues, autoimmune symptoms, co-infections, symptoms, food sensitivities, goals, timeline, etc.

That being said, here are some common protocols for treating autoimmune diseases.

  • Eliminate gluten and other trigger foods.
  • Eat a nutrient-dense diet
  • Cut back or eliminate refined carbs, refined sugar, artificial sweeteners, and alcohol.
  • Reduce stress
  • Get enough sleep
  • Remove heavy metals from your life
  • Eliminate as many chemicals from your environment as possible
  • Exercise daily
  • Talk to your doctor about supplements that support a healthy inflammatory response

Functional Medicine Approach to Autoimmunity

Conventional approaches to treating autoimmune disease generally use immunosuppressants, but these can lead to long-term side effects. Using a functional medicine approach, we can get to the root cause of your autoimmune disease and put your symptoms into remission. Reach out to our autoimmune disease specialists serving Chicago and the surrounding area to get started and get your health back!

Schedule a Consultation Today!