Autoimmune conditions affect over 50 million Americans, a large percentage of which are women. Autoimmune diseases are considered a top 10 leading cause of death in women under the age of 65. They come in different varieties, including rheumatoid arthritis, type I diabetes, thyroid disease, lupus, psoriasis, multiple sclerosis, and more, and can cause many different types of symptoms all over the body that range from mild to severe.
My wife was part of the statistic, having had an autoimmune disease called Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. I’ll share a little more about her journey in a moment. It was her health journey that lead me on my path to becoming a Functional Medicine practitioner and to complete years of research to become a true expert in healing Autoimmune conditions at the cause.
What are Autoimmune Diseases?
What are they, what causes them, and how can they be treated? Although there are many different types of autoimmune diseases and they can affect many different organs, at their root they are all similar in that they are an immune response caused by systemic inflammation that leads your body to attack itself. Your immune system has a very sophisticated system for keeping you safe that leads it to identify all the foreign substances that enter your body or that you come into contact with. If your immune system deems anything dangerous, it will produce antibodies to ward off the harmful intruders.
Autoimmune diseases develop when your body is working hard to defend itself against something potentially dangerous, such as an allergen, a toxin, an infection, or even a food, and it fails to differentiate between the intruder and parts of your own body. Mistaking certain types of tissues for harmful substances, your body turns these antibodies against itself, wreaking havoc on your organs.
There are many underlying factors that can cause people to develop an autoimmune condition. There certainly is an underlying genetic component. However, whether these genes get expressed (turned on) is actually caused by a host of other factors, such as toxins from heavy metals (lead, mercury) or mycotoxins (molds), infections (Candida, Epstein-Barr, herpes simplex virus), and most significantly, chronic inflammation tied to food sensitivities — particularly gluten intolerance. There is a significant link 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.
- Joint pain, muscle pain or weakness or a tremor
- Weight loss, insomnia, heat intolerance or rapid heartbeat
- Recurrent rashes or hives, sun-sensitivity, a butterfly-shaped rash across your nose and cheeks
- Difficulty concentrating or focusing
- Feeling tired or fatigued, weight gain or cold intolerance
- Hair loss or white patches on your skin or inside your mouth
- Abdominal pain, blood or mucus in your stool, diarrhea or mouth ulcers
- Dry eyes, mouth or skin
- Numbness or tingling in the hands or feet
- Multiple miscarriages or blood clots
What should you do if you suspect you have an autoimmune disease?
If you suspect that you have an autoimmune disease, the most important steps to stopping and reversing your disease and symptoms are to identify and then to treat the underlying cause. Conventional doctors only treat the symptoms of autoimmune diseases; they don’t look to find the root cause. Often, they prescribe medications such as anti-inflammatory drugs, steroids, or immunosuppressants. All of these treatments fail to address the underlying cause of the autoimmune condition in the first place and, while they may be effective in the short term, they are not a long-term solution. Treatments involving immunosuppressant drugs increase the risk of severe infections and cancer when taken for long periods of time.
Identifying which autoimmune disease is affecting you can be a difficult process. Symptoms may be vague, and autoimmune diseases can present themselves in so many different ways, affecting the thyroid, brain, skin, or other organs. Working closely with a Functional Medicine physician to review your family medical history, understanding your risk factors for infections, food sensitivities and toxic load, as well as listening to you closely to discover how all of your symptoms are related are essential parts of getting well. A Functional Medicine physician will help to narrow down which labs will be most optimal in order to find the root cause of your condition.
I mentioned my wife suffered from Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis autoimmune disease. We were in your shoes once, searching for answers and unsure where to turn. Her symptoms were on overload, from fatigue, hair loss, mood swings, body aches, insomnia, to hormone imbalance. Once we understood her blood work and labs showed an autoimmune response was occurring, we took proactive measures to not only manage her symptoms without medications, but we actively worked through eliminating the causes of her condition in her body to calm her symptoms and heal her body over time. Today she no longer labels herself with Hashimoto’s. Today we share that there is hope for healing autoimmune disease at the cause, so you, too, can live a full and vibrant life again!
Remember, all autoimmune diseases are a problem of the immune system. By addressing the root causes you can ease the burden on your immune system that caused it to go rogue and attack your own tissues in the first place. Then, once your optimal immune function has been restored and your body is no longer attacking itself, your symptoms lessen or even disappear completely. The important thing to keep in mind is that YOU have the ability to take your health back into your own hands. Your genes do not control your destiny, and if you’re willing to commit to addressing the true underlying causes of your condition, you can eliminate your symptoms and reclaim your vitality!
My specially designed Autoimmune Reset Masterclass can help you get to the root cause of your symptoms. This program is packed with step-by-step resources and empowering tools that will allow you to uncover the five root causes of autoimmune disease and nourish and support your immune system. Stop masking your symptoms with harsh medications and get to the root cause of your autoimmunity so that you can take your life back! In this intimate masterclass, you’ll meet with me for a one-hour training to discover how to reverse your condition naturally using simple, yet proven lifestyle changes. Take home a healing plan to follow for 90 days. I’m also including body composition and metabolic testing, to understand where your body is at right now and what the first thing is you need to do for healing. Click here to register now!