What Is Autoimmunity?
Feeling “off” all the time, and not like yourself?
Struggling with digestive issues on a regular basis no matter what you eat?
Constantly dealing with low energy, skin issues, or sleeplessness?
Experiencing cold and flu symptoms but never getting really sick? Having a generalized feeling of inflammation and pain, and not being able to pinpoint the true reason?
You could be at the door step of an autoimmune illness.
Autoimmunity occurs when an overburdened immune system becomes hypersensitized, attacking healthy tissues along with foreign invaders.
How do you become so sensitized? Normally, your immune system is already very busy fighting off a wide variety of invaders – including allergens, toxins, bacteria and viruses.
Unfortunately, many people overload their immune systems every day, in a wide variety of ways – from poor food choices, to absorbing toxins from their environment, water and even cosmetics. Apart from toxic overload, gut issues are a major catalyst for compromised immune functions. In particular, leaky gut (when cracks or holes in the lining of the intestinal tract allow toxins to leach into your blood) is considered a precursor for many autoimmune illnesses.
As a result, your immune system stays on “high alert” all the time. This can cause it to start to attack healthy tissues as well and even entire organs. Various systems in your body can suffer including your joints, brain, skin, and thyroid glands.
There are hundreds of autoimmune illnesses, each of which have their own unique symptoms. Symptoms of autoimmune thyroid diseases (like Hashimoto’s) can include depression, fluctuations in weight, difficulty sleeping, and anxiety. Celiac Disease manifests itself through digestive problems and/or neurological issues, rashes, and the sudden loss of control of your body’s movements. Those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis (RA) will often notice joint pain or swelling in the wrists and hands.
The conventional approach to treat autoimmune disease centers primarily around prescribing powerful immune-suppressing medication such as injection biologics like Humira, Remicade and Enbrel – rather than identifying and addressing the root cause like toxins or gut issues.
Sadly, many of these medications are extremely expensive – even if you have health insurance – costing thousands of dollars a month and in some cases upwards of $80K a year!
What’s worse is that people still report feeling poorly on these medications which do nothing to address the inflammation and underlying imbalances that caused autoimmunity in the first place.
The Functional Medicine Approach
The Functional Medicine approach is to look at the multiple root causes of autoimmune conditions and to recalibrate the many areas of health, to give your body the best healing environment.
In each person, autoimmune triggers are different. Dr. Angela determines your unique set of triggers in order to decrease the severity and progression of your autoimmune condition.
Her goal is to help you maintain an excellent quality of life, for you to be well informed about your condition. She also empowers her clients to have control of their health and to no longer feel disempowered by the health care system.
She teaches you how to maintain remission for as long as possible and be well informed on how to manage flare-ups when they happen.
The possibilities for triggers include proteins from certain foods, underlying infections, hormonal balance, impaired detoxification, gut dysbiosis, and environmental toxins including heavy metals, and additional lifestyle factors.
That’s why it’s so important to partner with a Functional Medicine provider who is trained to untangle these chronic issues that are so complex. Together, we determine the Functional Medicine testing needed, on a case-by-case basis.
After running the correct lab tests to figure out what’s amiss, Dr. Angela will then craft a customized protocol specifically for your situation.
If you don’t feel well on a day-to-day basis, and have chronic symptoms mentioned on this page, you may still have autoimmune reactivity even if it isn’t full flown diagnosis. Some can be in autoimmune reactivity for many years before they are given a diagnosis.
Avoiding an autoimmune condition involves addressing your unique set of triggers, on-going support to implement lifestyle changes, and eating your optimal diet
Dr. Angela specializes in using the most advanced natural methods to help rid yourself of life-draining symptoms and avoid the detrimental effects of autoimmune illness through an in-depth program.
If you have been experiencing symptoms that may suggest an underlying autoimmune process and are looking for answers, schedule an appointment with Dr. Angela Carlson, ND today.