Many seek out our help for autoimmune conditions… Healthier, more abundant lives can then grow out of the fertile ground when (autoimmune) triggers are removed and nutrients energize the body. Patients can overcome not only the superficial symptoms, letting them return to normal life, but rest confident in knowing that the deeper unseen processes are no longer harming them.
Autoimmune Diseases – Seen and Unseen
Many seek out our help for autoimmune conditions, both recognized and unrecognized, in order to get their “why” question answered so that they can overcome the root cause of their chronic illness and return to a healthier life.
For some, no one has ever diagnosed the underlying autoimmune condition, leaving them treating the surface symptoms, but leaving the deeper disease trigger untouched.
For others, they have a diagnosis like Hashimotos thyroiditis, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogrens, Crohns disease, Ulcerative Colitis, autoimmune hepatitis or others, but no one has explained why they have this beyond “It’s your genetics”.
At Sanctuary, we don’t stop with diagnosing what you have and then just label you with a fancy medical term, condemning you to lifelong “control the symptoms” therapy. We search for underlying triggers which interact with your genetics so that we can work to stop the process at the deepest level with therapy targeting the root cause. By treating the roots of the disease, we have a much greater chance of restoring health to as close to normal as is possible.
WITHOUT a diagnosis
For those without a diagnosis, just a list of chronic symptoms, we must first identify is autoimmunity is a factor. The symptoms vary from patient to patient and from disease to disease. For generalized autoimmune conditions like lupus, nearly any organ system can be affected leading to a multitude of symptoms. In one, unusual rashes may combine with joint pains, and in another, GI symptoms may combine with the fatigue of anemia. We have to have keep our index of suspicion high when multiple systems are affected.
In those with a single organ system affected, we look for a different list of autoimmune conditions. Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis cause abdominal pain, bloody diarrhea, and weight loss by attacking the GI tract. Rheumatoid arthritis afflicts many with painful, swollen, and even heated joints. If we uncover thyroid dysfunction, we must look for Hashimoto’s antibodies.
WITH a diagnosis
For those with a diagnosis or after we diagnose from the symptoms above, they still need to know why they have autoimmune issues. Why would their body’s immune defenses turn on their own tissues and begin attacking? This is not normal. There is more to the process than just bad genetics.
MORE than Genetics
While genetics plays a role in making someone susceptible to an autoimmune disease, the autoimmune cycle requires an environmental trigger to set things in motion. Not everyone with the genetics gets a disease, just those who encounter triggers. These triggers include food sensitivities entering through a leaky gut, toxins like metals or mold, infections like EBV or Lyme, and even imbalances in GI Tract bacteria.
Without identifying the correct trigger, no one can hope to reverse the autoimmune cascade. With identification, targeted therapy can often present a real hope of restoration. Without treating the root cause, we would have to simply fight trench warfare trying to hold off the inevitable decline. With functional medicine therapy aimed at the root causes, we work effectively to regain lost ground, seeking to eradicate rather than simply control the autoimmune attacks.
The primary goal of autoimmune therapy at Sanctuary will always be finding and removing the triggers which started the cascade in the first place. This is the real hope of recovery from chronic autoimmune illness. While working to find and treat that root cause or causes, we also work to modify the lifestyle factors which amplify autoimmune inflammation and to augment the patient’s anti-inflammatory resources.
Unoptimized lifestyle factors like high inflammatory diets filled with processed foods and lacking adequate nutrients contribute to the fires. Industrial world toxins like plastics and pesticides and petroleum products stir the flames of inflammation also. The stress of a fast-paced world prevent the body from responding to these inflammatory agents. Each of these problems requires attention for optimal recovery.
Increasing anti-inflammatory nutrients assists our bodies in putting out the inflammatory fires. We need adequate vitamin D, vitamin C, vitamin A, and more, along with the less recognized phytonutrients found in fruits and veggies. These collectively turn down inflammation and modulate the immune response so it does what it was meant to do, protect us, rather than destroying us.
Healthier, more abundant lives can then grow out of the fertile ground when triggers are removed and nutrients energize the body. Patients can overcome not only the superficial symptoms, letting them return to normal life, but rest confident in knowing that the deeper unseen processes are no longer harming them.