Autoimmune conditions occur when the body produces antibodies against its own tissues. When the immune system attacks the body, it causes inflammation and damage to body tissues. For example, in Hashimotos thyroiditis, the body produces antibodies to the thyroid, which eventually break down the thyroid and cause hypothyroidism. Rheumatoid arthritis damages joint tissues, and Lupus affects the kidneys and vascular tissues.
Medications may help symptoms, decrease inflammation and reduce the immune response, but often only partially and with significant side effects. Naturopathic medicine seeks to address the underlying causes of autoimmune disease. In treating patients, I have seen great benefit of using natural therapeutics to accompany medications or work alone. Naturopathic therapies seek to treat the underlying triggers of autoimmunity, decrease the inflammation in the body and rebuild the systems that have been damaged. These are my main steps in addressing autoimmune disease.
- Optimize your diet. Remove any food intolerances from the diet and eat an anti-inflammatory diet.
- Optimize nutrients. Take immune modulating herbs and supplements. Replenish deficient nutrients.
- Heal the hormonal and digestive systems.
- Decrease the stress response.
- Detoxify the body using gentle techniques such as diet, sauna, herbs and supplements.
Simple first steps that you can take are removing gluten and sugar from the diet for 3 months, and taking a quality Omega 3 supplement, such as Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega. In an appointment, I can give you individualized direction and support.