Did you know that autoimmunity is the third most common disease in the world, surpassed only by cancer and heart disease?
It’s confusing because this type of disease comes in many forms. At its core, it is the immune system malfunctioning. The force of the body’s immune defence, inflammation, is turned on its own tissues—but the particular part of the body attacked varies from individual to individual.
For some, the immune system will turn on the skin, contributing to psoriasis. For others, it will turn on the thyroid, leading to Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. For another group of people, their joints will come under fire, leading to rheumatoid arthritis.
There are over 80 known autoimmune conditions. They are not mutually exclusive, and often a person will present with two or more conditions simultaneously. They also exist on a spectrum, so can lead to differing symptoms in individuals.
Most people (including some healthcare professionals) do not appreciate the severity of these conditions. However—as anyone who deals with one or more of them will know—they can dramatically affect your quality of life. Ordinary tasks become difficult, social engagements are a source of anxiety and even relationships can suffer.
“You can support the body and bring it back into balance. You can quieten an aggravated immune system”
What’s more, the conventional medical approach is limited when it comes to many of these conditions. Immunosuppressive drugs, a common prescription, are neither effective nor advisable as a long-term solution. So where does that leave you?
Autoimmunity is complex, and there are lots of interlinking factors that drive the disease. There may be a genetic susceptibility, oestrogen imbalance, underlying infection, food intolerances, chemical exposure and/or gut permeability, all of which affect your chances of developing an autoimmune condition. The key to addressing autoimmunity is finding the root cause of the aberrant inflammatory response.
Through appropriate testing, Functional Medicine principles and nutritional and lifestyle intervention, it is possible to pinpoint the triggers and mediators of your particular condition. You are unique, and the genesis of your condition is also unique.
You can support the body and bring it back into balance. You can quieten an aggravated immune system. You can achieve optimum health and wellbeing.
All of this results in a much higher quality of life. You just need to know where to start—and how exactly to progress. As a multi-faceted approach that puts the individual first, Functional Medicine and nutritional therapy provide a powerful toolbox to do this.
To find out how I can help, please get in touch.