Approach to Autoimmune Diseases

Autoimmune thyroid is named Hashimoto’s Disease. Standard medical practice is to replace lost thyroid hormone and stop. The Functional Medicine approach is to supply thyroid hormone, if needed, but also to try to preserve the patient’s thyroid gland and overall health by addressing the over-active immune system. By contrast, traditional Medicine ignores the importance of the immune system by simply replacing thyroid hormone (treating with pharmaceuticals alone). The functional medicine focus on treating the immune system is crucial, because once a patient develops one autoimmune disorder, other autoimmune conditions may follow (e.g. rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, psoriasis, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis).

Other autoimmune disorders can also be addressed through Functional Medicine. One again the problem is not the tissue being attacked, the problem is an immune system that is out of control. There are lifestyle changes that can calm and balance the immune system. The standard medical approach is to only suppress the immune system when it is totally out of control. We need a well-functioning immune system to protect us from foreign invaders (bacteria, viruses, mold etc.) and to protect us from our own cells going awry (cancer).

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