Understanding Auto-Immune Disorders

One of the most misunderstood and improperly described conditions are auto-immune disorders. The problem is that people are treating a lot of different symptoms, symptoms that are actually causes of autoimmune issue, and they’re never actually getting to the root cause of the problem.

My goal is to help people have a better quality of life.  What that really means is we have to dig deep and find out what might be at the root cause of people not feeling their best and living the life they are designed to live.

  • What might be causing energy to be pulled out of their body. 
  • What is causing problems to keep resurfacing and 
  • What is causing us to just treat symptoms.

Our job as functional medicine practitioners is to figure out the root cause of the problem, and THEN develop a way to help our patients live life to the fullest. This is why I love talking about autoimmune diseases because they are often overlooked and misunderstood. 

One of the big problems is thyroid autoimmunity, which is typically referred to as Hashimoto’s. So if you’re not familiar with Hashimoto’s, we are going to explain that. The other common problem with the thyroid is called Graves’ Disease.  Many people have heard of Graves’ Disease, which is actually less common than Hashimoto’s. 

To better understand autoimmune disease in general we have to understand that the body is basically identifying healthy cells as unhealthy or as invader cells and the body fighting those cells.

Basically, your body can be attacking your own thyroid because it’s identifying it as abnormal cells. 

Hashimoto’s would refer to the two antibodies that would be producing an underactive potential thyroid disorder.

Since thyroid issues are often times misunderstood many doctors don’t test all of the antibodies associated with thyroid problems.  While you might get a couple of thyroid markers and they might be normal, you still have these symptoms going.

Symptoms like weight gain, low energy, trouble sleeping, hormone changes, hair loss, joint pain, inflammation, digestive issues could all describe what Hashimoto’s would look like. 

Your thyroid knows what it’s supposed to do.

Your brain communicates to your thyroid and it produces thyroid hormone.

Now, if your body identifies the tissue as unhealthy or abnormal then it starts to attack those healthy cells and the autoimmune process starts. It can take a long time for the body to be attacking your thyroid before the thyroid actually shows problems in your blood work. 

It’s something that could be worked on from a functional medicine standpoint long before your thyroid is actually underactive.

The antibodies that would be Hashimoto’s disease technically are just a basic part of our blood panel, because we know that we can start working on that before the thyroid becomes a bigger problem.

There was recent research that showed 90% of people with hypothyroid issues actually had Hashimoto’s. 

Graves Disease is the opposite. It would correlate more with hyperthyroid or overactive thyroid.

It’s less common but more people have heard of Graves Disease compared to Hashimoto’s. We don’t see it a ton, but it definitely exists.  Unfortunately, medically, the treatment is to do something to make the thyroid stop working.  And then you’re setting yourself up for a lifetime of underactive thyroid. 

There are a lot of different auto-immune issues like Lupus, Sjogren’s, Scleroderma, Psoriatic Arthritis and some believe even Crohn’s disease falls into the autoimmune spectrum.

There is a lot there…

And the way to know if you have an autoimmune disease is by testing blood.   And specifically looking for autoimmune diseases.

And that is why so many autoimmune diseases aren’t diagnosed until it’s causing real problems.

We have a really great article coming up soon where we’ll write about what can be done for specific autoimmune issues and thyroid issues.

If you’re looking for a more natural way to manage your health your thyroid and autoimmune diseases, please contact us for a discovery call to see if our approach would be appropriate for your situation.

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DISCLAIMER:  The information in this email is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content is for general informational purposes only and does not replace a consultation with your own doctor/health professional