A Functional Medicine Approach to Autoimmunity

The prevalence of Autoimmune diseases and their related conditions is rising at an alarming rate. According to the American Autoimmune and Related Conditions Association (AARDA) approximately 50 million people suffer from some form of autoimmunity. Researchers have now listed over 100 of these conditions and the number is growing. Often patients that are diagnosed are told that not much can be done and that although there is no real medical cure, certain medicine may modulate their immune system and help relieve some of their symptoms.

Functional medicine takes a much different approach by addressing the body in an integrative and comprehensive way. According to Dr. Deborah Anderson at the Huffington Post “You can get to the root of why you feel so bad, heal your body in a non-invasive and natural way and embrace a new life that’s full of health, energy and vitality”. In functional medicine, you will often hear phrases like “looking upstream” or “finding the root cause”. This is the obvious logical approach when healing patients with these conditions. Why just treat the symptoms when through functional medicine we have the ability to find the cause and help correct the underlying imbalance? “Why keep baling the boat when we can plug the leak”?

Some of my patients have a long history of illness and also treatment that has done little to help them back to health. They may even feel discouraged that not much can be done to help them. These patients often become our greatest success stories. By partnering with our patients, developing the right treatment protocol and providing ongoing support and counseling, our patients once again find the better heath they have been seeking.