Despite growing advances in modern medicine, autoimmune diseases are on the rise and continue to afflict more and more people each day. Due to the complexity of these diseases, many people struggle to find what caused them to develop their condition. What we have found is that autoimmune patients are missing critical components of their immune health. Without these “checks and balances” in place, their immune systems turn against them and end up destroying healthy tissues, ultimately resulting in debilitating chronic illnesses. These people typically do extremely well with our functional wellness programs.
The Pre-Disease State
Like many chronic diseases, autoimmune diseases typically have a “pre-disease” state. This is the period of time where the disease is bubbling below the surface and symptoms are vague, nagging, and becoming increasingly disruptive. At this stage, you are likely aware that something is wrong but struggle to find a doctor or test to confirm it. Since nothing is found, , many of these people are treated with medications for anxiety, depression or insomnia during this time. This approach only suppresses symptoms and leaves the true problem untreated.
Although hard to diagnose, the “pre-disease” state is actually the easiest stage to treat. The challenge is finding the underlying causes so you can begin treatment. For many autoimmune diseases, three key elements are required for the illness to develop:
- Lifestyle Factors That Activate a Genetic Disposition
- A Traumatic or Stressful Life Event
- Miscommunication Between the Gut and Brain
While each autoimmune disease is unique in how it impacts the body, most conditions share common characteristics that indicate immune dysfunction. These include:
Recurring Flu-Like Symptoms
Joint Swelling, Pain, and Stiffness
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Treating Root Causes of Autoimmunity
Unfortunately, there is no cure for autoimmunity — that would require a complete reprogramming of the immune system. The closest modern medicine can get is complete immunosuppression, but these patients have a severely reduced quality of life and are extremely vulnerable to all types of illnesses and infections. Another common approach is treating symptoms only; however, masking symptoms leaves the true problem alone to continue damaging the body’s tissues. This can lead to secondary diseases and more widespread inflammation.
Instead, treatment should focus on eliminating root causes and finding natural solutions to support the immune system. The goal should be to reduce the intensity of flare ups and maximize time between episodes. While we can’t entirely fix autoimmune disorders, we can help patients understand their condition and treatment and teach them to be as healthy as possible in the presence of the illness. We call this “functional wellness.”
The East Wind Approach
We always look at root causes first by doing the appropriate tests. After we find exact triggers, the team at East Wind works with you to implement key lifestyle changes to reduce inflammation and modulate the immune response. These include getting enough quality sleep, avoiding inflammatory foods (especially sugars and bad oils), managing stress, getting regular exercise, and taking certain supplements (vitamin D, vitamin C, zinc, selenium). We also use saliva, blood and urine tests to guide our treatment plans. We typically look for toxins, allergens, and several types of autoimmunity-related markers found in the blood. With this approach, we’ve helped countless patients find relief from rheumatoid arthritis, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Lupus, Sjögren’s syndrome, Crohn’s disease, and more. Call us at 920-997-0511 or make an appointment online to learn more about how our team can help you get started on your healing journey.
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