AUTOIMMUNE PROGRAM: Part 1
What is Autoimmune Disease?
Autoimmune diseases arise from an overactive immune response of the body against tissues and cells normally present in the body. In other words, the body actually attacks its own cells. The immune system mistakes some part or organ of the body as a pathogen and attacks it. Sometimes a specific organ is the target of the attack such as the thyroid gland (Hashimoto's Thyroiditis or Graves Disease) or the joints (Rheumatoid Arthritis) or the intestines (Celiac Disease). In other cases the attack is on a bodily system such as the connective tissues system (Lupus). There are approximately 100 autoimmune disease known and many other diseases are suspected to be autoimmune in nature. Autoimmune diseases are known to attack the liver, heart, brain etc.
Examples of Autoimmune Diseases are:
- Celiac Disease
- Type 1 Diabetes
- Lupus (SLE)
- Hashimoto's Thyroiditis
- Graves Disease
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Psoriatic Arthritis
- Pernicious Anemia
- Crohn's Disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Sjogren's Syndrome
More than 50 million Americans suffer with autoimmune disease-that is one in every five! 75% of these 50 million sufferers are women. Conventional medical treatment of autoimmune diseases is with the use of steroids and immunosuppressant drugs to suppress the immune system.
Functional medicine takes a different approach to autoimmune conditions. Rather than suppress the immune response with drugs, natural treatments are used to support and modulate the immune system.
What Can Trigger Autoimmune Disease?
The development of an autoimmune disease may be influenced by the genes a person inherits together with the way a person's immune system responds to certain triggers or environmental influences such as:
- Chronic stress (emotional/physical/chemical)
- Environmental toxin exposure
- Viral/Bacterial/Parasite infections
- "Leaky gut"(decreased immune response due to compromised intestinal barrier)
- Estrogen fluctuations from birth control pills, hormone replacement therapy, pregnancy, peri-menopause
- Gluten (wheat/rye/barley) and other food intolerances
- Lack of Vitamin D3
- Chronic sugar handling problems (hyper and hypoglycemia)
One of the above triggers alone usually does not cause autoimmune disease. Rather, it is a combination of triggers that cause ones genes to "turn on" and cause an autoimmune response. For example, we have all heard of a person who has a history of chronic stress and contracts a viral infection such as Epstein-Barre and is later diagnosed with an autoimmune disease.
Although true autoimmune disease can not be cured, the body's response can be dampened so that there is a great decrease in symptoms and a person can live a healthier normal life.
Autoimmune Treatment Program:
The main goals of our autoimmune program are to:
- Remove any autoimmune triggers such as inflammatory foods and environmental toxins
- Reduce any inflammation and tissue damage caused by your immune system
- Restore healthy gut function by repairing the leaky gut to normalize the immune response
- Correct nutritional deficiencies caused by intestinal/gut mal-absorption
- Balance sex and adrenal hormones
The traditional healthcare system is limited in its approach to supporting the immune system. The pharmaceutical model, with its use of immunosuppressant drugs and steroids creates many side effects and is not clinically effective.
The Functional Medicine approach deals with specific immune system evaluation and natural therapeutic intervention.
Women's BestHealth is a functional medicine and nutritional health center specializing in women's health issues and wellness. Dr. Marianne Beck, founder and director, provides natural treatment for menopause, perimenopause, adrenal fatigue/stress, thyroid problems, Hashimoto's, osteoporosis, gastrointestinal problems and autoimmune disease. We offer our services locally in Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach Counties.
Serving: South Florida (South Fl), Ft. Lauderdale, Miami, West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Sunrise, Oakland park, Pompano Beach, Deerfield, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Miramar, Coral Springs, Cooper City, Pembroke Pines, Tamarac, Coconut Creek, Weston, Hollywood, Plantation, Wellington, Palm Beach Gardens. Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach Counties.
Marianne Beck, D.C., Functional Medicine Practitioner and Director, Women's BestHealth