Autoimmunity

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Autoimmune issues are becoming more and more common these days.  This includes conditions such as thyroid problems (especially Hashimoto’s), rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, multiple sclerosis, Sjogren’s, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and some cases of diabetes. Sometimes triggers can be identified, but in many cases there is no specific trigger or there are so many triggers that a person does not know how to avoid them.

 

Once all issues that require urgent medical attention are ruled out (infection, malignancy, uncontrolled inflammatory autoimmune disorder,etc.), functional medicine can be vital to finding out the cause and correcting any issues found.  Let’s take a look at some of those possible causes.

 

Lifestyle

 

A review of a person’s social habits and lifestyle can give clues as to potential causes of autoimmunity.  Common causes include stress (work, family, lack of sleep) and diet (wheat or dairy intolerance).

 

A full assessment of these potential causes and much more is done as part of the functional medicine consultation. Modifying exposure to known irritants is vital towards correcting this problem.

 

Underlying Root Causes

 

In addition to investigating a person’s daily habits, specialized testing can be done to identify any sub-optimal functions in the body as well as any nutrient deficiencies.  In the case of autoimmunity, there is usually something chronically irritating the system such as a stealth gut infection, or something is allowed to irritate it such as in leaky gut syndrome.  This puts the immune system on high alert causing it to be triggered and attack the body’s own healthy cells.

 

Here is a list of common underlying causes of autoimmunity that can be exposed by testing.

  • Nutrient deficiencies (especially omega 3’s, vitamin D, B-vitamins, anti-oxidants)
  • Chronic infections (abnormal gut bacteria, parasites, viral)
  • Toxic exposure/poor detoxification (mold, chemical exposure, heavy metals)
  • Hormone imbalance (chronic stress, cortisol)
  • Poor gut function leading to systemic inflammation(flora imbalance, leaky gut syndrome)

 

If you are suffering from autoimmunity, schedule a consult today to find out more about our program. Our approach is simple.  Modify lifestyle factors and test and address any issues that are interfering with the ability of your body to function optimally. Often when this is done, the body will heal itself and correct the dysfunction.