Real Talk about Autoimmunity

Autoimmunity and the disorders associated with it have become somewhat of a passion of mine. At least 3 out of 5 people I treat suffer from one, whether they are aware of it at the time or not. Additionally, diagnosing them can be tricky because they’re silent and every person with one is so different. So if you’ve ever wanted to know about autoimmunity or why your body might be feeling “off,” you’ve come to the right place!

What classifies as an autoimmune disease?

Arthritis, Celiac Disease, Hashimoto’s, Multiple Sclerosis, Type 1 Diabetes—these are just several of the dozens of known autoimmune disorders affecting millions of Americans today. These diseases don’t just pop up overnight either. They manifest through a variety of vague symptoms over time.

What triggers these unfortunate chain of events?

Genetic predisposition, environmental exposures, the immune system, diets, past medications one has been on can all impact a person’s health. Autoimmunity is a situation when the body starts seeing itself as the enemy; specifically the immune system. For many reasons, the immune system can’t distinguish between what is a friend and what is a foe. There’s a period where the immune system starts attacking specific areas of the body, which includes anything from joint or brain tissue, the thyroid, pancreas, intestinal tract, and so on.

How are autoimmune diseases treated differently through functional medicine?

The treatment of autoimmunity through traditional medicine vs. functional medicine could not be more different. For example, a person may be experiencing pain, inflammation, or tissue damage to which a traditional doctor may prescribe a pill or regime to ease those flare ups. That is because traditional medicine focuses on the outcome of the disease or symptom management—nevermind how it got there in the first place.

From a functional medicine perspective, our questions are different. How did the disorder start in the first place? What is the foundation of one’s health? You can’t just separate the disease from the person and say, “This is how we treat this one disease.” We must treat the whole person and factor that into their own individual disease expression.

What can be done about autoimmunity?

If we just keep chasing the symptoms, we’re not going to get anywhere. We need to discover the source of where it’s all coming from in order for true healing to occur. I’m a big believer in our approach and that it can have great impact. Our blood panels and full diagnostics may provide the questions that your body has been asking for years. There’s still time to live the life you want. And we’ll be ready for you once you have made that decision.

Live well,
Dr. Zac

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