9 Steps to Heal Autoimmune Disease (+ Why it’s Wise to Treat Inflammation)

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Editor’s Note: This website is not designed to, and should not be construed to, provide medical advice, professional diagnosis, opinion or treatment to you or any other individual, and is not intended as a substitute for medical or professional care and treatment. For serious. 

What does inflammation mean, how does an autoimmune disease work, and what exactly are doctors doing to treat these conditions? This writer explains, plus steps you can take to heal from autoimmune diseases.

Inflammation is a “hot” topic in medicine. It appears connected to almost every known chronic disease—from heart disease to cancer, diabetes to obesity, autism to dementia, and even depression.

Other inflammatory diseases such as allergies, asthma, arthritis, and autoimmune disease are increasing at dramatic rates. As physicians we are trained to shut off inflammation with aspirin, anti-inflammatory medication such as Advil or Motrin, steroids, and increasingly more powerful immune suppressing medication with serious side effects.

But we are not trained to find and treat the underlying causes of inflammation in chronic disease. Hidden allergens, infections, environmental toxins, an inflammatory diet, and stress are the real causes of these inflammatory conditions.

Autoimmune diseases, specifically, now affect 24 million people and include rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, thyroid disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and more.

These are often addressed by powerful immune suppressing medication and not by addressing the cause. That’s like taking a lot of aspirin while you are standing on a tack. The treatment is not more aspirin or a strong immune suppressant, but removing the tack.

Getting at the Root of the Problem to Treat Inflammation

If you want to cool off inflammation in the body, you must find the source. Treat the fire, not the smoke. In medicine we are mostly taught to diagnose disease by symptoms, not by their underlying cause.

Functional medicine, the emerging 21st century paradigm of systems medicine, teaches us to treat the cause, not only the symptoms, to ask the question why are you sick, not only what disease do you have.

I recently participated in a group discussion with a conventional doctor, a rheumatologist, and patient with an autoimmune disease, and one of my patients who was cured of a complex autoimmune disease by addressing the causes.

The focus of the other doctors, however, was on how to suppress the inflammation with medication, not finding and treating the cause. Functional medicine is a different way of thinking about disease that helps us understand and treat the real causes of inflammation instead of finding clever ways to shut it down. Medicine as it is practiced today is like taking the battery out of a smoke detector while a fire burns down your house!

Autoimmune conditions are connected by one central biochemical process: A runaway immune response also known as systemic inflammation that results in your body attacking its own tissues.

When my patient described how he cured his autoimmune disease by finding and eliminating the causes of inflammation in his diet and environment, it was dismissed as a “spontaneous remission.” In the face of a paradigm-shattering medical case, these doctors were hardly curious and quickly dismissive, describing what was shared as anecdotal.

My patient on that panel, a hard-working 46-year old father of three, was once so inflamed he could barely function. By treating the underlying causes of his inflammation he is now in vibrant good health, enjoying his life with his kids and fully capable of caring for them.

Stories like these (and the many others I have shared in my blogs, books, and on television) are not anecdotes but a giant compass pointing us in the direction we should be looking to find answers to our health problems.

In today’s blog, I will explain what autoimmunity is, how inflammation spirals out of control, describe some of the underlying causes for these fires in the body, and provide you with nine steps to cool the fires of inflammation and overcome conditions that range from allergies to arthritis and more.

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What is Autoimmunity and How Does it Work?

We are facing an epidemic of allergic (60 million people), asthmatic (30 million people), and autoimmune disorders (24 million people). Autoimmune diseases include rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, celiac disease, thyroid disease, and the many other hard-to-classify syndromes in the 21st century.

These are all autoimmune conditions, and at their root they are connected by one central biochemical process: A runaway immune response also known as systemic inflammation that results in your body attacking its own tissues.

Your immune system is your defense against invaders. It is your internal army and has to clearly distinguish friend from foe—to know you from others. Autoimmunity occurs when your immune system gets confused and your own tissues get caught in friendly cross-fire.

Your body is fighting something—an infection, a toxin, an allergen, a food or the stress response—and somehow it redirects its hostile attack on your joints, your brain, your thyroid, your gut, your skin, or sometimes your whole body.

This immune confusion results from what is referred to as molecular mimicry. Conventional approaches don’t have a method for finding the insult causing the problem. Functional medicine provides a map to find out which molecule the cells are mimicking.

Interestingly, autoimmune disorders occur almost exclusively in developed countries. People in poor nations without modern amenities like running water, flush toilets, washing machines, and sterile backyards don’t get these diseases.

If you grew up on a farm with lots of animals, you are also less likely to have any of these inflammatory disorders. Playing in the dirt, being dirty, and being exposed to bugs and infections trains your immune system to recognize what is foreign and what is “you.”

The Health Status of Autoimmune Diseases in America

In this country, autoimmune diseases, when taken all together, are a huge health burden. They are the eighth leading cause of death among women, shortening the average patient’s lifespan by eight years. The annual health care cost for autoimmune diseases is $120 billion a year representing nearly twice the economic health care burden of cancer (about $ 70 billion a year). (i)

Unfortunately, many of the conventional treatments available can make you feel worse. Anti-inflammatory drugs like Advil, steroids, immune suppressants like methotrexate, and the new TNF-alpha blockers like Enbrel or Remicade can lead to intestinal bleeding, kidney failure, depression, psychosis, osteoporosis, muscle loss, and diabetes, not to mention overwhelming infection and cancer.(ii)

When used selectively these drugs can help people get their lives back. But they are not a long-term solution. They shouldn’t be the end of treatment, but a bridge to cool off inflammation while we treat the root cause of the disease.

There is another way to deal with autoimmune conditions. Let me share the same story I told the doctors on that panel.

Recovering from Autoimmunity: Addressing the Causes of Inflammation

My patient Sam ended up on a long misadventure through the medical system before he came to see me. For years he went from doctor to doctor getting all kinds of labels for his problems but no real help in treating them.

This hard-working, once healthy trade professional had suddenly developed a series of inflammatory conditions including chronic sinus and prostate infections. Many doctors gave him many antibiotics for these infections.

Shortly thereafter, he developed severe chest pains and went to the emergency room. While he was there, doctors found swollen lymph nodes and told him he had lymphoma, a form of cancer. For three weeks he lived in despair until the biopsy results came back. It turned out he didn’t have cancer but an autoimmune disease. Which autoimmune disease? The doctors weren’t quite sure…

He had many abnormal blood test results—like low white blood cell and platelet counts, high levels of auto-antibodies of all types (antibodies that attack our own tissues), high immunoglobulins (the foot soldiers of the immune system), and autoimmune thyroid disease. But doctors had a hard time putting their finger on what was wrong. They couldn’t label him.

Meanwhile, Sam developed metabolic syndrome and weight gain (pre-diabetes) as a result of the runaway inflammation in his body.

Here is a quote from one his specialist’s notes:

“Whether he has lupus or Sjogren’s syndrome is a bit unclear. Regardless, he merely needs observation and no therapeutic intervention at this time.”

This unfortunately is all too common. What exactly did they plan to observe, how bad he felt? Or would they just wait for him to get worse before intervening?

That’s when he came to me. Using a functional medicine approach, a new way of thinking about the underlying causes and imbalances in chronic disease, I began by asking Sam some simple questions. Then I went hunting for toxins, allergens, and infections—all common causes of inflammation—and found the real causes of his symptoms.

He had taken so many antibiotics that altered his gut flora or bacteria and promoted yeast overgrowth. Fungus and yeast flourished in his body, growing between his toes, on his toenails, in his crotch, and scalp. He had Helicobacter pylori bacteria in his gut. He had a leaky gut and reacted to many foods, including dairy and gluten. He was exposed to toxins at his job and had high levels of mercury. And he had chronic sinus infections.

So we went to work cleaning house. I treated his yeast with anti-fungals and the H. pylori with antibiotics, got rid of his food allergies, fixed his gut, detoxified him from metals and cleaned up his sinuses.

Then I helped heal his immune system by supporting it with nutrients. I gave him zinc, fish oil, vitamin D, herbs, and probiotics, and put him on a clean, whole-foods, allergen-free, anti-inflammatory diet.

At his next follow-up visit, I asked Sam how he was doing, expecting him to say that he felt a little better. However, his response surprised even me. He said he felt fine.

“What about the fatigue?” I asked.

“I have great energy.”

“What about the bloating and gas?”

“Nope.”

“What about the reflux?”

“Gone.”

“What about your sinuses and chronic phlegm?”

“All clear.”

“What about your memory and concentration problems?”

“All better.”

And he lost 15 pounds.

When his labs came in, they confirmed what he told me—they were all back to normal. His white cells increased and his immune markers calmed way down.

Sam’s results simply reflect the application of a new model of thinking about problems called functional medicine—it’s a way to get to the root of health problems and treat the underlying causes of what ails you instead of suppressing symptoms with medications.

If you have an autoimmune disease, here is what you need to think about and do.

Nine Steps to Treating Inflammation and Autoimmune Disease

1. Check for hidden infections—yeast, viruses, bacteria, Lyme, etc.—with the help of a doctor, and treat them.

2. Check for hidden food allergens with IgG food testing or just try The UltraSimple Diet, which is designed to eliminate most food allergens.

3. Get tested for celiac disease, which is a blood test that any doctor can do.

4. Get checked for heavy metal toxicity. Mercury and other metals can cause autoimmunity.

5. Fix your gut. For details, see my blog on irritable bowel syndrome.

6. Use nutrients such as fish oil, vitamin C, vitamin D, and probiotics to help calm your immune response naturally.

7. Exercise regularly—it’s a natural anti-inflammatory.

8. Practice deep relaxation like yoga, deep breathing, biofeedback, or massage, because stress worsens the immune response.

9. Tell your doctor about Functional Medicine and encourage him or her to get trained—go to functionalmedicine.org for more information and to get a copy of the Textbook for Functional Medicine.

Give these steps a try—and see if you don’t start feeling less inflamed. As I said earlier, the answers are right in front of you. Treat the underlying causes of your illness and you will begin to experience vibrant health once more.

Now I’d like to hear from you…

Have you been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease?

How is your doctor treating you?

Have you been frustrated by the medical advice that you’ve been given?

What steps have you taken to get to the root of the problem, and what have your results been?

Please leave your thoughts by adding a comment below—but remember, we can’t offer personal medical advice online, so be sure to limit your comments to those about taking back our health!

Inflammation

 

References

(i) Nakazawa, D. (2008). The Autoimmune Epidemic. Simon & Schuster. New York.

(ii) Siegel, C.A., Marden, S.M., Persing, S.M., et al. (2009). Risk of lymphoma associated with combination anti-tumor necrosis factor and immunomodulator therapy for the treatment of Crohn’s disease: a meta-analysis. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 7(8): 874-81.

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Relephant:

High fiber, low carbohydrate diet dramatically lowers inflammation. 

Natural Remedies to Heal your Thyroid.

How to Reboot & Stop Feeling Like Crap 

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Bonus: Interiews with Dr. Mark Hyman:

 

And The 3-Season Diet—How & Why to Eat Ayurvedically: 

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Author: Dr. Mark Hyman

Editor: Catherine Monkman

Photo: Author’s Own, Pixoto

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Mark Hyman

Mark Hyman, MD, believes that we all deserve a life of vitality—and that we have the potential to create it for ourselves. That’s why he is dedicated to tackling the root causes of chronic disease by harnessing the power of Functional Medicine to transform healthcare. Dr. Hyman and his team work every day to empower people, organizations, and communities to heal their bodies and minds, and improve our social and economic resilience.
Dr. Hyman is a practicing family physician, a nine-time #1 New York Times bestselling author, and an internationally recognized leader, speaker, educator, and advocate in his field. He is the Director of the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine. He is also the founder and medical director of The UltraWellness Center, chairman of the board of the Institute for Functional Medicine, a medical editor of The Huffington Post, and has been a regular medical contributor on many television shows including CBS This Morning, the Today Show, CNN, The View, the Katie Couric show and The Dr. Oz Show.
Dr. Hyman works with individuals and organizations, as well as policy makers and influencers. He has testified before both the White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine and the Senate Working Group on Health Care Reform on Functional Medicine. He has consulted with the Surgeon General on diabetes prevention, and participated in the 2009 White House Forum on Prevention and Wellness. Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa nominated Dr. Hyman for the President’s Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health. In addition, Dr. Hyman has worked with President Clinton, presenting at the Clinton Foundation’s Health MattersAchieving Wellness in Every Generation conference and the Clinton Global Initiative, as well as with the World Economic Forum on global health issues.
Dr. Hyman also works with fellow leaders in his field to help people and communities thrive—with Rick Warren, Dr. Mehmet Oz, and Dr. Daniel Amen,he created The Daniel Plan, a faith-based initiative that helped The Saddleback Church congregation collectively lose 250,000 pounds.  He is an advisor and guest co-host on The Dr. Oz Show and is on the board of Dr. Oz’s HealthCorps, which tackles the obesity epidemic by educating American students about nutrition. With Drs. Dean Ornish and Michael Roizen, Dr. Hyman crafted and helped introduce the Take Back Your Health Act of 2009 to the United States Senate to provide for reimbursement of lifestyle treatment of chronic disease. Dr. Hyman plays a substantial role in a major documentary, produced by Laurie David and Katie Couric, called Fed Up (Atlas Films, September 2014)which addresses childhood obesity. Please join him in helping us all take back our health at his website, follow him on Twitter and on Facebook and Instagram.

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anonymous Mar 30, 2016 1:05am

I completely agree, all the western medical system does is treat the symptoms, and not the root underlying causes. 6 weeks ago i was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and told i there is no cure and i was going to live with it for the rest of my life. At first i was very shocked and started to accept it was the truth. Until my step-mother mentioned that she knew a Chinese Traditional Medicine Naturopath, which has successfully treated her thyroid issue, and her sons golden staff disease. After 3 days in hospital and 2 days at home taking insulin injections i went to see this doctor and he put me on a very intense herbal detox and treatment. I am now 6 weeks into the treatment and although still on small amounts of food, haven't had any insulin since, and my pancreas is slowly recovering. I am keeping positive and believing that i am going to fully recover and i think that is also a major contribution to my healing. The question i have is that i have done a lot of research, and have seen many studies linking A1 cow's milk proteins linked to triggering diabetes if entered into the bloodstream through leaky gut (which i definately had as i was perscribed multiple rounds of antibiotics over the course of 2 years and did not look after myself or take any probiotics to restore my gut microbes) as the casein may contain a similar structure to those of the insulin producing cells in the pancreas. Although i have been completely fine with drinking milk all my life, would testing for a dairy allergy or intolerance possibly determine weather this was the case for me? Would love to hear anyones thoughts!

anonymous Mar 5, 2016 8:29am

Almost 3 years ago I started having unexplained facial swelling. My Dr. said that it was a food allergy and sent me to an allergist. The allergist did not do the food allergy tests thinking it was an autoimmune disorder. She only treated me with antihistamines. I then went to an endocrinologist to get my thyroid tested as I was already taking levothyroxine for hypothyroid. He only increased they levothyroxine. My Dr. still thinks it's a food allergy, but I can find no connection as I have eliminated some of the foods that I thought might have triggered the swelling. When the swelling occurs I just use an epi-pen to reduce it. I have started using Keto/OS to reduce swelling. It seems to be working. I also have gut issues so need to change my diet to try to fix that. Has anyone else experienced unexplained facial swelling?

anonymous Feb 12, 2016 8:06pm

I was a personal trainer for 5 years when I was diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis. I had exercised regularly for 20+ years out of high school, yoga, strength training, swimming, etc. It was my daily routine and I loved every minute of teaching.

Being diagnosed with AS definitely changed my life. I am now on etodolac and Humira and those two medications have saved my life. I am now at 85% improved health but have had to change my routine quite a bit but am slowly working back to my normal routine again. My rheumatologist helped me immensely and didn’t stop with tests until he knew for sure what I had developed. Seeing as I don’t carry the gene or follow the normal “image” for AS, he was able to figure it out in a timely manner. I am not happy about my diagnosis and the changes I’ve had to make but I am happy I’ve been able to be rid of so much of the pain now- when I was diagnosed I could hardly walk, blink, or breathe.

I know other people have different experiences but I am so happy with my rheumatologist, he’s been fantastic.

anonymous Feb 1, 2016 9:11pm

I was diagnosed with a periodic fever syndrome in 2008 after having been wrongly diagnosed and treated for Hodgkins Disease in 2000. Chemo and everything. I experience episodes of inflammation ranging from pericardial effusion, meningitis, and high fevers and sweats. With a gene mutation such as this, can these natural remedies make a difference?

anonymous Jan 27, 2016 2:04pm

Autoimmune disease is due to heavy metals in your body that amplifies the effect of immune problems. This steps might help.

1. Remove heavy metals in your body using this method.
https://rootsandbarks.wordpress.com/water/

2. Drink natural anti-inflamatory tea – Ginger, Turmeric, Black Pepper, etc
https://rootsandbarks.wordpress.com/teas/

3. Cleanse your Lymphatic system, liver, kidneys …

I will post easy to make the teas later @ https://rootsandbarks.wordpress.com

4. Stop eating, drinking processed food, canned / bottled drinks, GMO foods … those have a lot of presticides, herbicides

5. Eat only organic, fruits and veggetables

anonymous Dec 17, 2015 4:42am

Hello, first of all! Thank you so much for writing this article; I feel
this could change the course of my life with a little further research and some dedication. I am a 35 year old female from upstate NY in a smaller town. I have a difficult time finding non-traditional doctors therefore do a lot of research on my own. I have been diagnosed with the following disorders/disorders.
Multiple Sclerosis dx 2002
Thyroid Disease dx 2002
Depression began treatment 2007
Anxiety began treatment 2007
Rheumatoid arthritis dx 2004 via X-ray; was shown in all joints
Lyme disease dx 3 separate times this past year
Severe fatigue I’m whooped and don’t remember what it is like to feel good
So, if you’d like to give me any further recommendations I could and would surely use it!!!
Thanks Again!!!

anonymous Dec 16, 2015 7:12pm

Like any biological system, our immune system evolved to work on it's own without help from pharmaceuticals. In the last 100 years, medical practitioners decided that what took millions of years to evolve needed help in the form of antibiotics. We feed them to our babies, ourselves, and even our food supplies. If you confined a child to a wheel chair, he would never learn to walk. The same holds true for our immune systems. Given the crutch of antibiotics our natural immune systems weaken. We get sick and take even more antibiotics. We become allergic to everything under the sun. I'm not saying they should never be taken but only in the direst situations. Not because Stevey has a sniffle or Sally has a sore throat. Or because corporate food producers want to maximize their profits. I'm 57 and have taken antibiotics twice in 32 years. I'm alive and well. But what do I know? I'm not a doctor.

anonymous Dec 16, 2015 6:52pm

I am 42 and have had alopecia areata since childhood. I was also diagnosed with crohns 2 years ago. I do not like taking immune suppressants but it works. I was also put on pentasa 8 pills a day. I haven't been taking them. I try to keep my dress levels down but that proves to be difficult.

anonymous Oct 8, 2015 3:05pm

Let maintaining health before the disease came to us

anonymous Sep 8, 2015 5:26pm

I had a bacterial infection is my nose, then broke out in a rash on my face. Went to doctor – blood test – all negative. left hip would go out when I got in and out of my car. Couldn't sleep – couldn't move in bed – roll to my side, etc. Need support get up & down from seated position. Horrible pain, aching, shooting pain. Diagnosed w/ tick-born illness – 3 wks ceftin – still sick after 2 weeks – go see neurologist – nothing Now I can barely walk/move – go to new really great doctor – puts me on doxy – 30 days, which was a good thing! . See a rheumatologist – polymyalgia – prednisone – blow it off – yeah right! – Cardiologist / lyme specialist – all about my heart – stress tests – I'm in pain – no way to that! – Now into this 3 months! Go to yet another new doc. – 5 minutes – diagnosed my with polymyalgia -now it's just my shoulders – arms & right knee in pain. prescribed prednisone. Here I am – I've been sick since May 15 2015. All my blood work shows is that I have an elevated ESR. Lyme doesn't have enough bands to be positive – CDC b.s. Refuse to give in & give up & take drugs to treat my symptoms. Following Naturopathic doctor's recommendation – activated charcoal – naturopathic mold kit – coiling – chinese traditional healer – all else fails – the Morrison Center in NYC. Mostly all out-of-pocket & I'm on unpaid medical sick leave from work! Things need to change!!!!

anonymous Aug 25, 2015 11:58pm

My friend and i also have been simply discussing above this unique problem, linda is consistently planning to demonstrate myself incorrect! I am going to show her this type of article and also apply it in a little!

anonymous Aug 15, 2015 8:37am

This was very eye opening for me. I have recently fell ill due to an infection that I knew nothing about an in result they lost me twice on the table. Not knowing this myself of course. But I've takin metitre ate for over a year an I strongly think thats what messed wit my immune system. Five yrs to this day Im able to now walk talk an go on bout my new life. I have not takin any meds in 4yrs but still suffer in alot of pain. I would luv to learn more so I can better my health for myself so I can better care for my children. I've been diagnosed wit dvt, 3rd neverve pasly, neuropathy, mrdo klebsiella pneumonia thats just to list a few. I can't wait to learn more. I faught a long fight so Im not giving up now. Thank you an GOD BLESS US ALL

anonymous Aug 13, 2015 8:35pm

The antibiotics, additives and food coloring the FDA allows is slowly making all of us sick. But that's not all, it is also leading to psychological issues in our society. My son was almost put into an impatient mental ward at the age of 9 because he would flip out at school when he ate something that would set him off and the chemicals they use to clean were also causing him issues. Thank God we found an environmental doctor who did food allergy testing on him and gave him preservative free antigen therapy. He literally saved my son's life. We tried everything through main stream medicine and it only made him worse, all they did was push more drugs with more side effects. I applaud you and the other doctors out there that are taking a stand against the pharmaceutical companies and working to find the root cause instead of push pills. Keep up the great work!
Another great website: https://www.aaemonline.org

anonymous Aug 13, 2015 4:48pm

Autoimmune friends, don’t lose hope!!! I was diagnosed with Crohns Disease 15 years ago,

and have spent half of my life battling all of the terrible symptoms of the disease, mixed with the symptoms of all of the prescribed medications (Prednisone, Asacol, Sulfasalizine, Imuran, Remicade, Humira, etc). I have also battled with kidney stones, pyoderma, fistulas, anemia, anxiety, all extra bonus side effects when your body is deficient in nutrients and attacking itself. I decided I did not want to be injected with meds and covering up the symptoms, not being able to listen to my body. I started taking Balanced Green (www.balancedgreen.org) daily, while still taking my biweekly Humira shots. It is so much easier than juicing or smoothies, and costs fractions compared to prescriptions and doctor visits/procedures. I got to a point where I felt no Crohns symptoms, and had my blood drawn to check for inflammation. My iron levels were normal (finally!) and my inflammatory markers were almost nonexistent. I made the decision to start managing my disease naturally, and stopped taking the Remicade shots when my yearly prescription ran out. That was almost 2 years ago, and since then I have not been on ANY prescription meds. I feel great, have normal energy levels, and am not living in fear of being hospitalized. Many friends and family members are now on it, and are reducing their symptoms of autoimmune response and diseases. I also take liquid Vitamin D and Vitamin B, and Fish Oil supplements daily. I am not as careful as I could be with diet restrictions, and I know I would feel that much better if I did find out what my trigger foods are. This has been a game-changing, life-saving experience for me! It feels so good to be able to listen to my body, instead of put silencing the natural alarms. Like it said in the article, heavy duty drugs can be used to help you get your life back, but no one should ever have to base their quality of life on a drug. We can do so much more for ourselves by listening to our bodies!

anonymous Aug 13, 2015 3:55pm

I enjoyed this article, as I have allergies and they make my life miserable, although it bothered me a little bit that it recommends an allergy free diet, but then recommends fish oil, which fish allergic people can not eat and is one of the “big 8”. Otherwise its great to know that there is work, however minimal, out their being done to try and fix these types of the disease. It gives me some hope

anonymous Aug 6, 2015 4:37pm

I would like to know if autoimmune dysfunction caused by radio iodine treatment responds to these interventions or if it is somehow different because of its resulting from thyroid cancer treatment.

anonymous Aug 5, 2015 9:12am

This post is amazing.I live in Jamaica and i have been "sick" since age 16 or 17..and noone can tell me what's wrong with me. Each flare up is worse than the one before and i am going downhill.I now suffer faily from anxiety and depression and am so underweight it makes me worry.my doctor keeo saying i have an autoimmune condition…he has been testing me for lupus for years.no results there.so now he thinks i have fibromyalgia.I too like sam have chronic sinus infections…behind my eyes look like racoons…the ethmoids they say are infected.and I too have had lots and lots of antibiotics..and I too have yeast in my body.i suffer from upper and now also lower GI issues.i cannot seem to process stress anymorw.Its like my stress levels are permanently high and if a leaf falls off a tree it will send me spiralling.i suffer from fatigue and have to take b12 shots.Aside from that..i also have motion sickness and eustacian dysfunction.i am just so sick of being sick.and no one can seem to tell me why nor are they trying to find out.They just treat symptoms until the next flare up..but I am really really concerned about my weight.I am a very very petite girl from afamily of petite women…but in the last 5 years or so..i have been losing body mass..people keep asking me if i am shrinking and it had made me so self conscious. I need a solution to this.

anonymous Aug 4, 2015 4:19pm

ok mr miracle doctor so you cured crohns because far as i know there is no cure and i tried every which way to cure it myself so dont be so righteous unless you can prove to me the cure.

anonymous Aug 3, 2015 9:00pm

Great article and I’ve been that road. Two years ago, I was Dx with a “nonspecific autoimmune disease” however we are treating it like Lupus. I couldn’t take the initial treatmentme (methotrexate) which was originally a chemo drug so Doc put me on hydroxychloroquine. Helped but not completely. Through doing some research, I added fish oil, vit. D, a woman complete with lots of B vitamins, a kelp supplement and instead of using soap on my body I wash with 3 parts EVOO to 1 part Tea Tree Oil, swim three days a week (25 laps in 30 minutes) and gym twice a week. BINGO! 90% of the issues went away, but I still have some flares (swollen hot joints in my back and hands) which aren’t controlled with OTC anti-inflammatories. Contemplating natural “herb” but will lose my job if there is a random drug test and would prefer to not go that route! After reading this article, I will do the ultra simple diet and see what happens! Thanks for all the wonderful info!

anonymous Aug 3, 2015 6:06pm

I was recently diagnosed with Lichen Planus and Psoriatic arthritis. I am currently on methotrexate but do not like how it makes me feel. I want to take a more natural route. I am going to start Probiotics and clean eating tp hopefully bring down the swelling. Thank you for this article. It was very informative.

anonymous Jul 29, 2015 8:11am

Very very interesting! I’ve been to many doctors for 23 years. I was finally diagnosed with Lyme disease almost three years ago and have been off and on antibiotics ever since. I see a reputable Lyme doctor who has me on antibiotics and probiotics and many vitamins. I’ve gotten much better but still struggle with terrible fatigue and joint pain. I avoid gluten and sugar and eat organic whole foods. I also do yoga and a weight lifting class. But, I do wonder if there are other issues causing my body fatigue that my doctor can’t see. I wonder if I have leaky gut or allergies. How do I know? What can I do? This article brings back some of my list hope.

anonymous Jul 29, 2015 12:47am

Díagnosed with Wegener's Granulomatosis a little over 2 years ago. It's a vasculitis disease which nearly killed me, I was given a 5 percent chance to survive. Although I'm so thankful that my doctors at Emory University Hospital saved my life, this has been so overwhelming since I basically woke up from a month long coma to find out what had happened to me. The last thing I remembered was being admitted to the hospital after I'd finally taken myself to the hospital after multiple signs something was wrong … My stubborn self just thought I was getting old, I'd had joint pain,sinus problems, love st my sense of smell and terrible night sweats.
It would turn my kidneys were shutting down , everything's a blur after that, I called my family and 3 days later both lungs collapsed and I woke up over a month later to find find out I'd almost died. They treated me with, ECMO, a tracheotomy, plasmapheresis, blood transfusions, chemo, and high doses of steroids. I' m very blessed to be alive! And this has been hard! So, please contact me…I am still overwhelmed but not giving up!

anonymous Jul 27, 2015 1:44pm

Thanks for the article! Diag w/psoriatic arthritis (finally) 3 yrs ago. I suspected as much, but a top rheum missed the diag exclusively based on my labs. Subsequently dispatched him and 2 others who merely wanted me to accept and adapt to the progression of my disease. Tried methotrexate and every Rx antinflammatory to no avail. Dropped the drugs, started on turmeric, krill, Vitamin D and starting testing which AI foods work on me (cherry juice mixed w red wine is my A+ combo). Also started warm water exercise classes. After getting “clean”, I interviewed rheumatologist stop see if they would partner w/me on combo therapy. I finally found one! I have Enbrel and it has helped me get my life back. However, the goal is to knock this into remission, not stay on it terminally. It really irritates me that my ins will shell out several thousand per month for my Enbrel, but won’t cover most of my supplements, my super foods or my water classes.

anonymous Jul 27, 2015 7:14am

I had acid reflux for years and was taking a prescription. I finally made a correlation between the reflux and hearty – heavy wheat breads. After eliminating something I really loved to eat I no longer have the problem and nor meds.

anonymous Jul 27, 2015 6:21am

My consultants response to me asking about underlying causes and holistic approach to my r.a. was to explain that he can only advise medicated response namely get me on methotrexate as quick as possible. He said if alternatives were working for people they weren’t returning to him and so he had no experience of other treatments working bar drugs. It strikes me as crazy that someone with his level of training is so limited. The only study the hospital is doing is for people on methotrexate. I will try more research myself and maybe ask my gp to help me. I know there is a link to my hormonal cycle and i have sneezing attacks and other signs of being more prone to allergic reactions since just prior the onset of my r.a. . Also preceded by two pregnancies in quick succession. would love to participate in regulated study that into alternative or holistic treatments into R A. thanks Sarah.

anonymous Jul 27, 2015 5:51am

I recently tried to go off Methotraxate for severe psoriasis. It was a nightmare. I ended up in the ER my body exploded within days. I had cleaned up my diet to whole fruits and vegetable no meat and I was mostly clear. I had no idea what I was about to experience.

anonymous Jul 27, 2015 5:23am

Most of this is rubbish. Yes, treat the inflammation… but the root cause is not as simple as this. These issues are biochemcal which are not going to be healed with yoga!!! Steve Jobs thought that and an apple a day would cure him and didn’T. These are at best adjunct modalities and this man may be sending many a person doen a serious health path. Would a Type 1 diabetic try to heal his inflammed beta cells? Until we can shut off the autoimmune mechanism that starts on the genetic and cellular level we will be plagued with these illnesses. To say that undeveloped countries do not have these is misleading at best.

anonymous Jul 26, 2015 10:47pm

Greetings,

Thank you so much for sharing this. I was diagnosed with Shulmans Syndrome (Eosinophilic Faciitis) 3 years ago. They started me off on 60mgs of prednisone and now I’m down to 20mgs a day. My rhumitologost wants me to try biologics to get off of Prednisone.

anonymous Jul 26, 2015 9:54pm

During an intense sinus infection that caused a double ear infection my lips started to swell. The lip swelling then progressed to outbreaks of hives. It has been a year and a half and I have hives almost daily. Along with angiodema/deep tissue swelling. Hives don't "sound" to bad, but living with them day in and day out has greatly reduced my quality of life. They also come with many of the other autoimmune symptoms such as heartburn, brainfog, fever, fatigue, stomach issues etc. I have not been able to work, often times I must spend the day unclothed and in bed. I have been to 9 doctors, allergist, immunoligist, internalists, DO's, functional, etc. All my thyroid and IGE tests come back normal. Endless blood tests. I found your article very very interesting. The best relief I have found is cleaning my gut and avoiding ALL antibiotics. While taking antihistamines and anti inflammatory drugs. My question refers to your chart, hives are labeled to be helped with massage. However with the intense inflammation in my vascular system (causing my blood cells to burst, making hives) I feel massage would amplify the problem. Also NSAIDS are one of the worst medications for our condition. The frustrating part for me, as well as 1500 people worldwide in my support group, is the disease isn't well known. Chronic Urticaria isn't necessarily recognized as an autoimmune disease in the medical community. About 40% can attribute it as a symptom to some other autoimmune disorder. The rest idiopathic. Education in the medical community is none existant. I would be so interested in any research you have on this issue. I believe many of the things you mention are essential to autoimmune health. It is certainly refreshing to read this point of view. Please respond if you have any information that might help. Thank you for your time and research. I'm sharing this article with my support community.

anonymous Jul 26, 2015 2:30pm

Curious if all functional medicine doctors are equal? I went to see one when I first started with my symptoms, she gave me a prescription for a heavy duty fungus killing medicine. It seemed to push me over the edge resulting in a trip to the ER.
When I went back to her she couldn't really offer anything thing to help. I paid $500+ for my 20%, insurance paid the rest thankfully. That's a lot of money for one apt that made me sicker.

anonymous Jul 26, 2015 10:33am

I was diagnosed with an autoimmune last November and have yet to receive a diagnosis or have any treatment or ideas after hundreds of tests including, blood, stool, and urine lab work I hae paid for out of pocket. I have had Chronic fatigue since 2007 and chronic mono since then as well… it is now 8 years later and I still am on my own, even though I have a naturopathic primary (who put me on HRT unnecessarily) I am 28 and have been to doctors all over the country for my medical mystery dilemma…I have spent thousands and thousands of dollars on supplements that have never once improved my quality of life and am scehdualed for surgery in August to get my tonsils removed due to chronic tonsil stones and now a bad bacterial infection in my throat and toungue. I have given up on medicine, after 8 years of nohing but being run around by these so called health care professionals. I am trying to figure it out on my own since doctors don’t have any leads or even seem somewhat interested in figuring me out, but instead send me off to this or that kind of specialist. I am being treated by a naturopath, ENT, fertility specialist , rheumatologist, and dermatologist…in 8 years I have had no clear diagnosis other than the common, oh its fibromyalgia (which we all know is just a cop out diagnosis for lazy doctors) chronic fatigue, and my autoimmune (whatever it is) is stress induced, as well as my mono and CFS..

I have lost all hope in medicine since it seems all the doctors don’t know jack shit, but also have their own agenedas of pushing tons of worthless and unhelpful supplements.

anonymous Jul 26, 2015 8:52am

I’ve had decades of migraines with absence seizures, IBS and GERD, plus depression and anxiety, along with decades of neurologists, gastroenterologists, psychiatrists and counseling, hospitalizations, and too many prescriptions to list. I blacked out and ran into a pole while driving, lost my livelihood, and am now on disability. I have read everything i can on these subjects. I finally found info on Functional medicine and found a local Functional practitioner who has currently found other deficiencies and sensitivities that can cause all of the above problems. Ive eliminated gluten, dairy, sugar, caffeine, chocolate, corn, soy, and added probiotics ànd vitamins. The only prescriptions Im on are for migraine relief ( imitrex), and a small dose of hydrocortisone for adrenal deficiency. He is still testing for more and treating underlying, or causes for my symptoms. I meditate daily, daily walks, and I was doing yoga until a fall took me out of commission until I see an orthopedist. The biggest change so far is that my IBS hardly effects me anymore. Ive lost some weight and migraines are fewer. I understand its a process and that he is still identifying other underlying problems that still need to be addressed ( hypothyroidism and menopause). I’m so thankful to have found this doctor!

anonymous Jul 26, 2015 6:30am

Thanks for this article. Very interesting. I was brought up on the farm. I’m almost 82 years old and still working part time (my choice) and take only one pill. It is a diurectic that I take 2 or 3 times a week. I will absolutely inform my friends of this article as I think it would be so helpful to so many people. Thanks again for posting.

anonymous Jul 26, 2015 4:26am

Give up vaccines for starters and never take antibiotics unless your life literally depends on it. Make sure you drink pure water and eat food which is as natural and chemical-free as possible and as varied as possible. Avoid medication wherever possible including painkillers which damage soft tissue.

Reduce chemicals in cleaning and skin products and ensure any electrical equipment in the bedroom is turned off at the socket before sleep. Make sure you have sunblock effectiveness so the room is dark, ensuring sound sleep which is when the body repairs and restores.

Ensure time outdoors and open windows in the home to improve oxygen levels.

anonymous Jul 26, 2015 3:56am

How refreshing to hear a doctor confirm that the solutions offered for autoimmune problems by the medical profession are not a cure. Something I had to painstakingly research and find out for myself.
I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis about ten years ago, although I suspect I had it longer. The pain was mainly in my hands and wrists and it was only when I was wiped out by periods of fatigue that I sought help. I was offered drugs that I was told were used for cancer treatment and not to worry, they'd check my liver for damage
With blood tests every month. No other remedies were discussed and the rheumatologist almost scoffed at my suggestion of alternative therapy, as though I would be taking my life into my own hands.
After going onto RA forum and reading people's comments, I came to the conclusion that no-one was cured and they now had a different set of problems to deal with – the side effects of the drugs. Often worse than they originally had. Instead of taking responsibility for their illness and being curious about what caused it, they seemed happy to join a club of sick people and compare ailments. That was not for me.
I read and researched as much as I could on the Internet, convinced that diet and exercise had to be the answer, but I needed proof of it working to continue on what seemed to be a lonely path. Friends and loved ones thought I was bonkers for refusing the drugs. Then I remembered my friends detox retreat. She'd been studying nutrition for the past 7 years, raw food diets. Maybe I should talk to her.
She booked me into the retreat for 5 days and I began a programme of juices, disgusting green stuff, spirulina or wheatgrass (all I remember is it made me retch) and colonics. I was also given a live blood test and told I had a leaky gut. Something my research had brought up. After the second colonic, one with coffee added, I took to my bed with the worse headache I'd ever experienced. It continued for two days. I told my friend I thought I was dying, she told me I was having a healing crisis.
On the fifth day, the headache was gone, I felt energised, re-born even. Although that could be the euphoria of not having died. But what was most amazing was the lack of inflammation in my hands and wrists. I hadn't seen them looking so normal in ten years. That was my eureka moment. When I knew I could cure myself.
To begin with, I went on a completely vegan diet, believing it to be the way forward. For me, it wasn't. I became too weak and too thin. That's when I realised it was not going to be as easy as I thought.
Then I became a little more systematic. Gradually reintroducing food groups but not before I got checked for intolerances. Alcohol was high on that list – not just wine, but beer and spirits too. No wonder I suffered such awful hangovers. I'd gone through periods of cutting down but this time I knew I could give it up if it made a difference to my RA.
Having some control over what had previously seemed hopeless, gave me the impetus and faith to carry on. I began to realise that I needed to treat my whole self and that meant mentally as well as physically. I tried homeopathy, crystal healing, Bach flower remedies, massages. You name it, I tried it.
My daily run and sessions with my personal trainer we're making me more and more exhausted so I swapped them for two yoga sessions per week and walking.
My diet is gluten free, weighted more towards vegetarian with a small proportion of red meat. I eat plain organic full fat yoghurt and milk in my tea and coffee. Dairy wasn't one of my intolerances although coffee was. I keep it as a treat and a trade off for not drinking alcohol. Water is my main drink, I don't have juices, sodas or anything that contains sugar.
I'm currently working on getting meditation into my daily life as I know I have a tendency to worry. I've learned that healing is an ongoing process. I'm very happy with the choices I made and continue to make as I am mostly pain free, and you certainly wouldn't know there was anything wrong with me to look at me.
So thank you for believing.

    anonymous Aug 5, 2015 7:37am

    wow, you are amazing! Everything you said just confirmed that I am NOT crazy! You gave me a lot of hope and inspiration with your comments 🙂 I felt like you were my twin somehow! I knew I had to change mind and body to get better. Thank you for confirming! (most of what you said was in my head) Now I just have to figure out what fits me (I am very thin already, can't afford to lose any pounds) and start heading toward a healthy life! Thanks again!

anonymous Jul 26, 2015 12:02am

Diagnosed with Crohn’s disease 20 years ago. Take azathiaprine and steroids and also various vitamins and iron. I am vegetarian as meat seems too dense for me to process. I do yoga and swim. I am single and have to work so have not been able to come off medication as they seem to keep me upright and functioning. The lethargy gets me though. No energy for interests or hobbies at the weekends. Female, age 48,UK,

anonymous Jul 25, 2015 10:55pm

Please help me ! I’m almost 40. After a car accident 3 years ago my left hand swelled up and I had TMJ and neck problems. After 3,years of ortho surgeons giving me cortisone injections, I saw one that referred me to. Rheumatologist this Jan. test came back positive and since then it’s spread to my right hand – left wrist and fingers. Whenever I get stressed – my whole body gets inflamed. I exercise (lift weights) regularly and this has caused me to be so depressed and scared.

I’m on Humira and don’t want to stay on this. I’m not sure where else to turn

Please give me advise

Cindy

anonymous Jul 25, 2015 7:12pm

Manitoba, Canada. I am 49 years old. At age of 18, I was going through severe belly pains and nausea, my folks took me to doctor and food poisoning was one diagnosis. A few days later, same issue and same result, by this time I was vomitting as well. Ended up in emergency, took almost 2 weeks to find out I had a small hole in pancreas. For 11 years I was in and out of hospital, following their guide lines, do’s and don’ts.

I was with a fella who was deeply into herbal, etc medicine. It saved my life. To this day doctors here do not acknowledge what I have accomplished in my research. I still suffer some problems and know I need to fix those underlying issues as you mentioned. BUT I have discovered recently that the test they do to diagnose pancreatitis now is NOT the correct enzyme for me. A different one was the one which almost killed me years ago. By the grace of God I’m still kicking and will continue to do more to “fix” myself. Thanks for the extra bit of knowledge. The research and hard work I’ve done WILL save others and that means so much to me.

anonymous Jul 25, 2015 9:05am

I am 37 years old, and diagnosed with Celiac Disease 8 years ago. I follow a strict GF diet, but still experience terrible symptoms, such as chronic sinusitis, extreme fatigue, head aches, hand and feet pain, nausea, heartburn, MEMORY LOSS (the worst symptom), loss of what word to use, etc etc. I am at a loss. I was told I had MS, but the MRI was clean, so I was just depressed. Autoimmune disease runs rampant in my family. At this point, I would do anything to feel better. Anything.

anonymous Jul 22, 2015 2:15pm

Thank you – I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis last year. I wasnt surprised because at 56 I was well enough wasnt taking any form of medication because I was fine until my my kness and some finger joints started swelling. Anyway I was prescribed sulphalazine and steroids.

I hated taking them so after 4 weeks stopped and decided to go to my locsl health shop.I had over the years been going there for advise and healthy alternatives to minor illnesses. I talked with Estelle n she advised a Gut Repair that supports intestinal wall repair and health and a Stress Zone tablet for Adrenal support. I have eaten ONLY organic wholefoods including meat & chicken lots of fruit and vegetables ans Paleo cereals and rolled oats for breakfasts for the last 3 weeks – I feel well and havent had any pain or swelling, no bloating and generally well. I have yet to weigh myself ( will wait a little longer – certain i have lost weight) .Its more expensive to eat these clean foods but well worth it.

anonymous Jul 20, 2015 12:43pm

I am just impressed, how is it, that doctors do not realize this? If your immune system is attacking something, it MAY be, it attacks you too. So simple!

Raw-vegan did miracles for me. Probblem was, I did not realized, I was suffering all my life! I went vegan, and once tried something of milk – and an hour or so later, joint-pains came all over. I realized that in an instant, but more important, I suddenly understood, that for more than 20 years, as long as I remember myself, I USED TO GET that all the time. And took it as normal.

People, stop attacking yourselves, and good health for all of you.

anonymous Jul 19, 2015 8:56pm

I am happy a friend posted this on FB. It has made me feel more sure that my Allergist is truly a partner in seeking the cause of my extremely elavated IGE count. ( 2500. but has come down to 1167). We are focusing on my response to Mold…particularly Aspergillus. While I have had to take steroids repeatedly to help me through flare-ups in my asthma, I know it is not his desired course of treatment. He has been very upset with my blood levels, but has encouraged me that we will find the source. My husband and I have been on ‘a mission’ to take room by room to see where it might be. We redid the bathroom shower area, and that seemed to help…now onto the other questionable areas. I also take a probiotic, and Vitamin D, as well as working on my stress response to caring for aging parents.
Thank you for such an informative article.

anonymous Jul 19, 2015 8:35am

Loved this article, I completely related to everything you said. My experience was very similar, I have the early stages of lupus and my RA Dr could care less about the natural way I went about healing myself. My RA Dr had no plan for me bit with a long list of drug Rx. I was not about to kill myself with drugs so I did research on my own and took my health in my own hands. I did a 7 day juice cleanse to clear as much inflammation as possible, I did a elimination diet to find what foods trigger flair up, I stopped my job that was causing me horrible stress and I drink tons of water, stretch daily, meditate and get massages. I get inflammation once and a while depending how good I stick to my diet but I treated myself and healed my self so much! I still have on set of lupus but I plan to stick to this forever. I Dont want to take the drugs and my main Dr is great and I work with her as new symptoms arise but its amazing how the specialist who is supposed to treat me and make me feel better, doesn’t care how I’m feeling better, he doesn’t want to know how I did it. I should get paid for treating myself. Sometimes Dr s Dont know what’s best for your own body. This article was so great!

anonymous Jul 19, 2015 3:10am

Can I heal celiac disease?

anonymous Jul 19, 2015 2:25am

Hello, I live in the UK and for 52 years I was fit and healthy and working 2 jobs, I then moved to Brighton and Over 5 years I was told I had, Helibactor Pylori, Polymyalgia rheumatica, Pleurisy, Gallstones, Coeliac Disease, Fibromyalgia, Ostopinia, High Liver Function, Degenerative Disk Disease, Blocked Bile Duck, Carpal Tunnel, Cubital Tunnel, Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo, all in 5 years, I was put on tramadol, citalopram,amitriptyline, I was either asleep or on the toilet, I slowley stopped all the opiots, and am trying to make my self better somehow

anonymous Jul 18, 2015 11:02pm

Eat well, lots of fibre, and organic foods. less stress and I also find sleep is very important too… Most of us need to sleep more. Hydrating ourselves with pure water is a must. No gluten and minimal dairy, and if you eat meat make sure it's organic. Exercise but not too much… otherwise that can stress you out too… meditation and yoga etc… think positive… negative thoughts can also pollute the body.

anonymous Jul 18, 2015 4:58pm

1. Check for hidden infections—yeast, viruses, bacteria, Lyme, etc.—with the help of a doctor, and treat them.

2. Check for hidden food allergens with IgG food testing or just try The UltraSimple Diet, which is designed to eliminate most food allergens.

3. Get tested for celiac disease, which is a blood test that any doctor can do.

4. Get checked for heavy metal toxicity. Mercury and other metals can cause autoimmunity.

5. Fix your gut. For details, see my blog on irritable bowel syndrome.

6. Use nutrients such as fish oil, vitamin C, vitamin D, and probiotics to help calm your immune response naturally.

7. Exercise regularly—it’s a natural anti-inflammatory.

8. Practice deep relaxation like yoga, deep breathing, biofeedback, or massage, because stress worsens the immune response.

9. Tell your doctor about Functional Medicine and encourage him or her to get trained—go to functionalmedicine.org for more information and to get a copy of the Textbook for Functional Medicine.

How would any of this help someone who was born with an autoimmune illness, such as Type 1 Diabetes(where the pancreas does not create any, or creates so little that it is not noticeable, beta cells, which create insulin. Insulin takes food and turns it into energy. So no beta cells=no insulin=no energy and a massive excess of sugar from the liver)?
I have type 1 diabetes, and have had it since I was 15, a friend was diagnosed when he was 2 months old(yup got Type 1 diabetes while still on breast milk only). How would this type of system help either of us?

anonymous Jul 18, 2015 4:03pm

Hi my granddaughter has bald spots and it is getting worse. It seems to happen after she is unwell. I have hypothyroidism and my grandfather had celiac disease. I suffered from Allergies and my daughter does too. My Granddaughter has eczema and there is asthma in the family. My granddaughter is seeing a dermatologist soon and I am worried they will put her on steroids. She is 9 years old. Where can I start first? Her diet isn't great and she eats a lot of sugary things. I'm very worried about this. My granddaughter has been through a lot emotionally within the family and at school. Sh is very sensitive and a worrier. She has had some bullying issues too. She is a very loving little girl. She worries a lot too.

anonymous Jul 17, 2015 1:30pm

Hi, I don’t know what my illness or condition is but I have been battling GI disorders for about 15 years now. I have a lot of food intolerances and high antibody coount in my blood. I got told recently that I have SIBO but the treatment and specific carbohydrate diet arent helping. Im really frustrated and want to feel better.

anonymous Jul 17, 2015 11:02am

this is right! this is what i did. 🙂 worked like a charm.

Autoimmune.

The cells have been neglected due to abandonment of heart.
The suppression of soul is reflected in struggle.
The “dis-ease” has found a home.
The struggle becomes too much for the spirit and the body.
The cells take on an uncontrollable race.
A fight to the death to survive…slowly and methodically killing the host.

All must stop.
The body must be put forth as priority.
No toxic foods in.
No toxic environment.
If encountered, must be counter balanced immediately.
“one cannot afford such behavior at this juncture.”

All worry must cease.
Therefore, all worry must be replaced by heart‘s desire.
When worry tries to creep back in (because who in their right mind does….), it must be replaced with trust in the rightness of things (including the autoimmune that caught one’s attention.)

Patience must be added to the trust.
Let the mind take on the role of detective.
Investigate to find the cause of inflammation or dis-ease.
Let the mind form a plan and be in charge of follow through with necessary shifting.
Let the mind hold the focus for health.
Let the mind catch the patterned victim thinking and dissolve it into the rightness of things.

Lift the heart.
Relax the shoulders.
Draw the belly button back towards the spine.
Relax the sacrum.
Breathe.
Lift the heart….

In the now moment, you are one with the absolute.
Do not leave the now……ever.
As if you are at a crossroads.
Do not head north. Do not head east. Do not head south. Do not head west.
Allow all to pass through the crossroads, reworking the urge to control or hold on or direct…rerouting your cellular norm.
Weeble wobble in the very center of the crossroads until you stand tall, sound in your heartbeat, comfortable in your skin.

Support yourself in every move you make.
Drink plenty of water (apx. One gallon a day.)
Drink aloe vera liquid in your water once a day (don’t worry…it has no taste and will heal your stomach lining.)
Take a digestive enzyme to support the processing of food.
Eat all healthy foods that you crave.
Eliminate chemicals and processed foods (it’s not forever, just while you are low). This includes many things you won’t suspect: regular sandwich buns, ketchup, pasta (industrial wheat is harvested using roundup.)
Drink apple cider vinegar (especially if you crave pickle juice) or dill pickle juice (once you’ve eaten all the pickles unless you live alone) to ease the ache in the body (a gulp a day.)
Follow your craving for munching fresh fennel while walking the gardens.
Eat nasturtiums and nasturtium leaves by the handful as they are a natural antibiotic.
Move: Pump the lungs and circulate the blood to a level that feels good.
Stretch.
Use mycelium (mushroom…reishi, morel, shitake, etc) to reconnect the internal pathways that have grown used to disconnect.
Know that everything is perfect.
This is your path.
Turn Towards.
You were a bit off path, that is all.
Turn Towards.
Listen well to the heart.
Turn Towards.
Five Elemental Acupuncture, Osteopathic Manipulation and Yoga for support.

anonymous Jul 17, 2015 10:02am

Dr. Hyman, Thank you for this wonderful article. In '92 when I was 40 I was diagnosed with Candidiasis by my ND, Naturopathic Doctor. I had a lifelong history of URI and antibiotic use, a lifelong since-by-age 5 sugar addiction and a long history of chronic illnesses and multiple complaints including asthma, IBS, joint pains, GERD, major recurring depression. I've had many tumors in and removed from my body including fibroids of breasts and uterus, adenoma of thyroid, lipomas, ganglion cyst, breast cancer both ductal and lobular, acoustic neuroma treated twice, a lifelong struggle with obesity, Focusing on recovery from sugar addiction I am now much healthier after receiving the tool of VSG in 2013. I no longer have borderline diabetes, sleep apnea or hypertension. All of my labs are within normal limits. I still struggle with sugar addiction and emotional eating. I lost 130 lbs and have kept well over 100 off – could easily lose 50 more and still be quite round. My mobility has greatly improved and I can now walk 2 miles at a time easily, no more joint pain except when I overstress my joints, then taking 2 Aleve at night takes it away. I think I could probably be even more well but I've come far and am grateful http://wp.me/p3ulOi-6P Today's Blog Post.

anonymous Jul 17, 2015 2:43am

Thank you for this article. I was diagnosed with an auto immune disorder called AS ( Ankolising spondylitis) in March. The inflammation in my blood was really really high. I first went to see a rhumatologist who has put me on a bunch of medications, 2 of them being called disease modifying drugs methotrexate and Salazopyrin. After doing some personal research I found an integrated doctor who is trying to find the underlying root of my disease. We have found out that indeed my gut hasn't been functioning well for years and having ignored most symptoms I have realize that it all started there. We are now working together with my nutrition and supplements to repair and restore my gut, I feel positive that eventually I will be able to get off all or most of my medications.Being only 39 I do not wish to take meds for the rest of my life. Seeing a doctor who works with integrated medicine has been the best thing I could have done. I now follow an AIP ( Auto Immune Protocol Diet) that eliminates all allergens from my diet, it is pretty hard to follow but well worth it! I also meditate every day to keep my mind healthy and positive as stress is really bad for this disease.

anonymous May 24, 2015 4:26pm

I was always considered a “weak child”: I had low energy, was small and chronically underweight, had a poor appetite and found food generally unappealling. I was often sick with colds and flus and was usually the last to be picked on sports teams in school. In adulthood, I developed (relatively) good eating habits and an active lifestyle, but despite this had chronic inflammation in my right shoulder, chronic adult acne (inflammed pustules) and was still often sick and congested with colds and flus . On my 40th birthday, my health took a steep and sudden downturn: chronic diarrhea, painful cholicky stomach cramps and bloating and overwhelming lethargy set in. Doctors were stumped, some suggesting I may have a parasite, others suggesting I may have intestinal cancer. A fortuitous meeting with an old acquaintace who had been through a similar experience convinced me to try eliminating gluten from my diet – I was willing to try anything, because at that point, I was rapidly losing weight, my hair was falling out and my skin tone was yellowed (I am caucasian). I felt like I was dying. She strongly encouraged me to eliminate gluten for a period of six weeks, saying that if that were the cause, I would know within a week. She was right, and I have been off gluten, and subsequently dairy, ever since. I eat essentially a “paleo” diet: meat, eggs and plenty of vegetables and some non-gluten grains such as rice and quinoa. I do still eat some cheeses (thank you Lactaid). I am healthy and energetic, my skin tone is glowing, my hair is thick and shows no grey (I am 44 years old). I was completely unsupported by the medical system throughout this journey back to health. Thank God for the internet and for friends who share their exerience and guide us back to the right path. Thank you for this article; I hope that “functional medecine” will one day become the norm in the medical profession.

anonymous May 18, 2015 6:27pm

I have been fighting for a long time. My last diagnosis is Fibormialgha. I am at a loss….. I hurt every moment of every day with no REAL relief. Thank you for your blog.. Sincerely S.Moffett.

anonymous May 1, 2015 6:18pm

I have been diagnosed with 3 autoimmune diseases's amd I'm only 25. The first was autoimmune kidney disease at age 15. The next was transverse myelitus at age 22, and the 3rd was rhumatoid arthritis at age 25. I feel sick all the time and fatigued beyond belief. I'm only 25 but I want my life back. I'm now confined to a wheelchair and always in pain. I loved reading this blog post. I hope this will help.

anonymous May 1, 2015 1:57pm

one question —where is your practice and how would we contact you for treatment ?? Please post info! Thank you!

anonymous Apr 30, 2015 10:34pm

I am full of osteo arthritis throughout my body and fibromyalgia. i am fatigued all the time. I have to work to support myself and am in retail. I am on my feet 8 hrs a day, 5 days a week. Sitting at a different type of job, in my opinion, would be just as bad. I have tried many medications to treat the pain I'm in. The only thing that works for me is taking 4 20 mg ibuprofen tablets, twice a day, 12 hrs apart. I take them on a full stomach. I am now iron deficient at the age of 65 and my doctor ordered a colonoscopy to rule out bleeding. Results showed no bleeding. I am now experiencing stomach pain and believe it is due to the ibuprofen. Without it, I cannot function. The arthritis is in my spine, feet, hands, and neck.
I don't know where to begin to get well. I can't take time off from work because I lose too much income. Your ideas are great but overwhelming to me.

anonymous Apr 30, 2015 5:29pm

Yep! You nailed it , Doc! I was diagnosed with eosinophilic esophagitis about 6-7 years ago. The standard treatment was swallowing (rather than inhaling) flovent and upper endoscopy treatments whenever my dysphagia got out of control. When I was first diagnosed, I asked for allergy testing, citing info I had found on the net. The doc said "That doesn't really work in adults for this, only children," So I suffered for years. This last winter I went in for another endoscopy because my symptoms were out of control–the dysphagia was so bad that at times I was so inflamed, I literally could not swallow the spit that we swallow all day without realizing it. I would have to stand and spit into a sink or toilet until the inflammation subsided. My symptoms were so bad and my esophagus so tight that he I was scheduled for another endoscopy two months later. however, this time the the doc told me: cut out dairy, wheat, eggs and soy. These are the most allergenic foods. I was desperate and I did. Guess what? After two month, I was able to CANCEL the second procedure. Gas and bloating gone, constipation gone–these were just added bonuses. It's been hard of course, I miss crusty bread and butter. And I REALLY miss cheese. But to be symptom free? Priceless.

anonymous Apr 29, 2015 12:39pm

I have celiac disease, hypothyroidism, cervical dystonia, bulging discs in my neck and on a lot of medications. I have a lot of allergies, the one they can’t figure out is my face gets hot, red and I get swelling of the face. It lasts for about 5 days where I take Prednisone and Benadryl and ice packs. I was told it could be environmental ? Any ideas???

anonymous Apr 29, 2015 11:51am

Great article! I am dying to onownone thing – how did you heal the patient’s food allergies? All the other things you mention I’m familiar with. I have food allergies so I’d love to know how you healed his! Thanks!

anonymous Apr 29, 2015 9:06am

I was diagnosed with Sarcoidosis last week. I’ve had asthma for 17 of my 43 years which developed after some very bad eating habits during my first pregnancy. Smack my head. And, in the last 2 years, developed a gluten intolerance from hell. Never got diagnosed as Celiac since other siblings have it…just assumed I do too.

My siblings all have various inflammatory conditions that require diet changes. No one is medicated at this point, since It doesn’t fix, it masks.

About to embark on a vegan diet with supplements, probiotics and chiropractic care to attempt to remedy my own circumstances. Doctor will undoubtedly prescribe Prednisone and I’m not willing.

Wish me luck!

anonymous Apr 29, 2015 7:35am

i was diagnosed with RA after several months of testing and trying to figure out what was wrong. I was placed on a series of meds for the next 3 years ending with enbrel. I am now med free because I started taking a supplement from It Works called Greens. Its equivalent to eating 8 servings of fruits and veggies. I drink two servings a day and properly alkalized my body. I feel better than ever! However I find it sad that I had to figure it out on my own!

anonymous Apr 29, 2015 6:11am

Rheumatoid arthritis cured by diet. Aged 38 I developed R A and after many years of pain, stiffness and disability was officially assessed as 30% disabled and heading for a wheelchair and offered the usual round of NSAIDs, gold, methotrexate etc. Tried many different complementary treatments – Chinese herbs, acupuncture, homeopathy, allergen desensitisation. After chance eavesdropping on someone elses conversation I gave up dairy foods and this cleared up the rhinitis / nasal congestion Id had since childhood and I suspected the RA might also be due to diet so saw a nutritionist who took me off gluten, peanuts, tea, coffee, alcohol, sugar and citrus and put me on megadoses of vitamins. Within a month I was completely cured of all symptoms, including brain fog, and what’s more would wake up with the joyous energy of a child. Now I can tolerate small amounts of those foods but know when to stop. No recurrence of RA and I enjoy dancing, walking and am pain free. I also have an avid interest in how food affects not only our long term health but our moods and feelings – chocolate or coffee anyone? I would encourage anyone who is suffering from chronic AI disease to let food be your doctor and wish you all success in your journey to full health.

anonymous Apr 28, 2015 11:31pm

I was diagnosed with Hashimotos 6 years ago. I was lucky to find a family doctor who found it right away. But the only advice for treating it was ‘take this pill every day for the rest of your life’.
I wasn’t feeling any better so I was reading and reading and reading about it from other fellow sufferers who had success stories. It took me years to finally follow the AIP Paleao diet and eliminate all those foods like grains, sugar (most of it), dairy, corn, nightshades, legumes etc plus I started doing coffee enemas for liver cleansing support plus juicing. Get toxins out, nutrients in. I just have completed 2 years. I also supplement with fish oil, vit D, probiotics, methyl B12 (I also have pernicious anemia) etc. I can say I feel mostly better, still having Hashimotos days 🙁
Mostly tired and muscle/joint pain issues. I have no health insurance, so I never know any blood results. I am thinking maybe I have still an infection going on because I am still feeling sick. I am also not sure if I got rid of all heavy metal yet or parasites/candida/dysbiosis… It’s a challenge! Everyday! Making juices smoothie, having fresh local organic food in the house, make enough money ,being alone (after a long stressful toxic marriage which was probably the trigger for my disease). I am very hopeful that I will heal now as my husband finally left and I can have peace now.
I want to encourage everyone who is struggling! There is hope! And changing lifestyle is challenging but it’s possible!!!
Good luck everybody! And get your green juice on!

anonymous Apr 28, 2015 9:48pm

Do you know a good dr in south Alabama
Or within maybe 3 or 4 hours from Troy, alabama? I have hashimotos and can’t find any one to help.
Thanks!

anonymous Apr 28, 2015 8:17pm

I agree that eating healthy is important part of self care if you have any chronic illness. However, to imply or suggest that by changing your diet or environment that it can lead to remission or a cure is so incredibly irresponsible, I find it appalling. Before the advent of current autoimmune medications and treatments many of these diseases were considered TERMINAL, as in you would die, often within a few years time. Sadly, the problem with tracking these statistics, even in the modern age, is that these diseases often cause health complications that are deadly. Things like, heart attacks, strokes, kidney failure, increased rates of certain cancers, ischemia and infections are just a few and these are the causes listed on death certificates. So if you have, lets say Lupus and you die from a heart attacked, guess what it says on your death certificate… It won't say, the patient died from a complication of said autoimmune disease, it will say Myocardial Infarct. So not only are people being lead to believe that their disease can be controlled, but that the complications from the disease can also be… but if you happen to die from an infection it's okay, because you ate organic lettuce so it had nothing to do with your underlying disease… (please note sarcasm) It is incredibly misleading, irresponsible and dangerous, to lead people to believe that if you 'remove the tac', you'll have better health. WRONG, you will still have a disease that needs to be treated with science based medicine. Are the side effects horrible? Sometimes yes, they are. Do you know what the side effects of an untreated autoimmune disease are… well those are even worse and one of them, in serious cases, can be death. I do have an autoimmune disease, I eat healthy, I've done elimination diets, tried acupuncture and some other holistic treatments, I exercise, I use organic as much as possible, I use things like turmeric tea, massage, I even moved away from the large urban center I lived in to have better air quality and quality of life… and wouldn't you know it, I AM STILL SICK. If I stop taking my immunosuppressants and other medications that control my disease, I get really, really sick. I can't get out of bed for 14 – 18 hours a day, my hair falls out, I develop confusion and memory loss, rashes, extreme pain, fevers & infections, just to name a few. I do take an active part in my care and to suggest that I could 'heal' by adding supplementation or whatever other snake oil treatment that is the current trend is frankly shaming to people who suffer from a chronic illness. It's like saying it's your fault you're sick. Having this type of disease is demoralizing, painful and it steals your life from you. So please don't insult me or my doctors who try their best to help me lead a better quality of life by treating me with… wait for it… science based medicine. This idea that food is medicine may have some merit for better over all health, but what it CAN NOT do is cure a disease that you already have. If I were to relay on healthy living to treat my disease, I'd be dead. Please, please stop telling people that local honey, blueberries and yoga is a cure, it's simply not true.

    anonymous May 17, 2015 4:03am

    I have to agree with you. I always wonder why there is no scientific data to back up their findings. Where is the real research? If you have these findings then show us where you came up with reliable and valid results from your testing. It is that simple. Show me the real data that backs up your claim.

anonymous Apr 28, 2015 7:54pm

I am a 40 yr old female. I was diagnosed with alopecia areata 3 yrs ago. I was getting cortisone shots for a while but stopped about 7 months ago because i didn’t think it was helping. My hair grows in and then falls out, i am missing a lot of hair on the back of my head above my neck. I’m able to cover it up, but am afraid I’ll need a wig someday because it’s only getting worse. At the same time i stopped the cortisone shots i eliminated gluten from my diet as well as most dairy. I started chiropractic treatment for chronic headaches and migraines which are now gone. I’ve noticed that my anxiety is not as bad as it used to be. I take iron pills because my ferritin level is low. I try to make all my meals organic and have just now eliminated corn from my diet. I would like to know if alopecia areata is something that can be cured, have you successfully treated patients with this condition? Is there anything you recommend me doing? I appreciate your time. Thank you and God bless!

anonymous Apr 14, 2015 1:33pm

I was diagnosed with me/cfs 13 years ago, my sister and mother both have SLE. I received no help in the uk from doctors in the uk and spent many months in despair. I was housebound and some days unable to work, i got sick of doctors just prescribing pills to me that often made things worse so i decided to try researching the symptoms and trying to cure myself 4 years ago. I started with a diet to treat my candida symptoms which is actually also an autoimmune disease and it improved my symptoms by 50%, i kept going and tested myself for lymes which came back negative on a uk test but positive on a usa test so i treated myself with a substance advised by an autism writer, this improved my condition by 70%. I then followed a wormer protocol for six months whilst still on the diet and treating the lymes, i also added hyperbaric treatment into the mix anf now i am 95% better. I run, bike and have horses again, i still suffer from multiple allergies and still stick to a lesser version of the diet but i have my life back, my doctor stated its remission but its actually 5 years of hard work and determination on my part to get well. My sister and mother have followed the pill route and are both still seriously ill even though i have tried to talk them into diets and moderation. I applaud the chap who wrote this article if only more doctors would start looking for the cause instead of treating the symptoms we would all be in a better place.

anonymous Apr 10, 2015 10:59pm

I began having sever headaches on one side of my brain in 2005 that Mysteriously went away after several months; then began having really bad neck, shoulder, arm and hand pains; then my hands began to burn really bad and became so weak that I can no longer write; then my right leg began to hurt so bad to the point where I can barely stand or walk for any extended period… After seeing a dozen doctors I was finally diagnosed with MS, but am not able to take the MS drugs because I have low white blood cells. MS drugs further destroy white blood cells. I welcome any suggestions that could help me get better and reverse this terrible disease.
Thank you, Sonia

anonymous Apr 10, 2015 3:02am

Found this article fascinating and confirms what I’ve thought for many years. Sadly my rheumatologist consultants do not agree. However, they have been excellent in treating my symptoms ie the swelling, pain and fatigue that goes with RA.
My history is jeuvanie rheumatoid arthritis. Onset was at about 9yrs old and manifested itself with painful feet, swollen knees and sore thumbs! It wasn’t diagnosed as RA until I was 19! Then treatment was to remove fluid and inject with steroids – which for many years was successful. I was very fit and healthy.
Problems started following births of my children. Within a few months of each birth I would have a huge flare resulting in being unable to walk. Durring this period following excruciating pain in my jaw and being unable to open my mouth properly the diagnosis of jeuvanile RA was made as the jaw had been eaten away by the disease ( apparently the first joint to be affected in children – last in adults!).
Then followed the methotrexate along with other drugs alongside. The only drug tolerated was methotrexate but not without it’s side affects and not working ( has to be used for 2yrs and shown not to work before other drugs prescribed) .
Before moving into anti TNF drugs I did try to ‘sort myself out’ looking at exercise, diet and minimising stress levels – unfortunately I suffered a flare.
Am now on Enbrol ( 2nd anti TNF tried). It’s early days and does seem to manage the symptoms. The drug is ‘new’ in terms of long term side affects but the heightened risk of diseases such as cancer is not ideal.
It would be so much better if more research and training was put into looking at the cause of these autoimmune illnesses.
I have asked for help re diet etc but was told there was no research indicating a consistent link – so ‘no’.
From my own personal research the Mediterranean diet seems to be the most beneficial for RA sufferers.
I’m sure sufferers like myself would be more than happy to try the more holistic and logical means to minimise if not eliminate the disease.
In the meantime like many who have replied, I remain thankful I am not suffering with a terminal illness and that currently medication does manage some of the symptoms.

anonymous Apr 9, 2015 11:07am

I was diagnosed with lupus, Sjogren's, Raynauds, and MGUS in 2012 after years of seeking help, and being passed from one doctor to the next. I tale Plaquenil, Nephidipine (whcih usually passes through me undigested), and meloxicam. I am still in constant pain, and deal with debilitating fatigue and dizziness, plus constant gas and bloating. I did not test positive for any food allergies. I have eliminated gluten, nuts, and nightshades as well as drastically reducing my intake of dairy. I take vitamin D3, tumeric, probiotics, hypericum, the list is endless. I avoid toxic chemicals as much as I can, in both my home and the products I use. I just want to feel human again.

anonymous Apr 9, 2015 10:04am

Diagnosed with UCTD 9 years ago. Severe pain throughout body. Took prednisone for 4 yrs. Began methotrexate injection .6 ml weekly 6 yrs. ago. Weaned myself from pred. Still have pain wherever pressure is applied for over a few minutes. Sitting, tail hurts, standing, feet hurt, seat belt painful if tight. Still use methotrexate, still hurt. Many Doctors, no help, just drugs. I do try to eat healthy and take all vitamins recommended above. No cure known to man.

anonymous Apr 9, 2015 9:55am

I was diagnosed with GAVE or watermelon stomach in 2006. Last year I was diagnosed with Primary Biliary Cirrhosis. No stage was given. Prior to PBC diagnosis I went to an alternative Dr who did a blood allergy test. I came back positive to bananas and she said that I had candida. I actually did not believe her, as the itch that I was suffering from came literally from the inside out and nothing I did … changing my diet, drinking lots of water, exercise etc. changed anything. The specialist that diagnosed me with GAVE ordered blood panels for my liver and thus the PBC diagnosis. It was later that summer that I also tested positive for Limited Scleroderma, or CREST. The only medication I am taking at the moment is Ursodiol and Cholesyramine for the itchiness when it gets too bad.

anonymous Apr 9, 2015 8:48am

I have been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. I was a very physically active, strong, young for my age, 55 year old that suddenly began to wake up each morning with pretty severe pain in the joints of both my feet, hands fingers, etc. The pain took several hours of activity to dissipate and nothing I had been doing physically the day before would explain a cause for the pain. Then I began to experience a lot of swelling in feet, ankles, and knees that was so painful and debilitating that I couldn’t walk after I had been doing a lot of walking or standing . There were several instances where the pain was so debilitating that I had to be taken to the doctor for pain medication and treatment (steroids) in a wheelchair because I couldn’t walk at all. This typically occurred after doing a lot of activity which I would classify as normal for me. So in fear of the pain it would likely cause, I became less active which caused a lot of weight gain. However, I was still experienced pain and swelling in my joints even though I had reduced my activity. I googled my symptoms and overwhelmingly saw these symptoms were typically associated with rheumatoid arthritis. I scheduled a complete physical and the Dr. confirmed this was likely based on symptoms and extremely high inflammatory markers from blood tests. The Dr. had me on Prednisone (steroid) which did help, but did not stop the symptoms entirely and I was so concerned about the side effects of long term steroid usage I just wanted to get off it. I saw a couple of Rheumatologists, and the idea of taking Methotrexate, was a horrifying prospect to me with all it’s attendant damaging side effects. Eventually we settled on one of the biologics (Enbrel) as a course of treatment. I have been on Enbrel for about 6 months now. I have to say it has been a miracle drug as far as allowing me to return to my normal activity level without having those severe incidents of inflammation and pain. However, recently in the last few months some of the pain and inflammation has returned, particularly in my fingers, not on a debilitating level, but enough to let me know that the Enbrel is not completely stopping the inflammation. I worry that the effect of the biologic is

wearing off? I am so concerned about permanent joint damage which I understand is caused by the inflammation – my immune system attacking my joints. Thanks for the helpful information you have provided here. My biggest question has always been why a healthy, active, middle aged woman would suddenly, like overnight, develop an autoimmune disease when there is no family history of this disease. I wish more doctors focused on the “Why” trying to focus of the cause of the problem and resolving it, instead of just medicating it. You have given me some things to think about and try. Thank you.

anonymous Apr 8, 2015 1:09pm

I was diagnosed with auto immune disease, Primary Biliary Cirrhosis, about 6 years ago. I am a stage 3. I suspect I have had it several years prior to diagnosis. I recently was diagnosed with Stage 1 breast cancer and have concluded treatment. Due to my PBC, my body does not process the same as others. I also have many allergies and asthma. I take allergy injections and take about 12 different pills daily, in addition to a Tears Hydrate and Calcium Citrate with D. I want to get off this tremendous amount of education. I have not found a functional medicine doctor in Oklahoma, but believe they would be such a tremendous help in coordinating my care and help me begin down the path to decreasing these medicines I take daily. I have changed eating patterns…more veggies, no alcohol, no milk, Greek yogurt, plant fusion smoothies and beginning exercise program. I am about 30 pounds overweight. VERY tired of my many doctors who rarely communicate with each other and are not open to alternative/holistic medicine.

anonymous Apr 8, 2015 12:39pm

ANKYLOSING SPONDYLITIS – I take sulfasalazine. I have the genetic marker: HLA-B27. I really need more exercise which I plan on when I move back to where it is warm from NY. I feel stable but not good. Always feel foggy and achy. I take Vitamin D, probiotics, shots for allergies, meds for high blood pressure and cholesterol (again genetics). Previously had 5 sinus surgeries (not yeast related). I’m 5’4″, 135 lbs. I eat fairly clean and low or no salt added. I get aggravated watching people eat crap but have no health issues (yet). LOL

anonymous Apr 4, 2015 6:33pm

Diagnosed 7 weeks ago with Undifferentiated Connective Tissue Disease. Fatigue, pain in hands, dry mouth, skin, eyes, hair loss. I've seen a rheumatologist for about 5 minutes, then 2 appts with a nurse practitioner. Supposed to see dr again after 3 months on plaquenil but he had to reschedule and will now see the nurse practitioner. I want to get to the cause of this and not just treat the symptoms. I have taken gluten out of my diet but other than losing about 7 lbs, I haven't seen much change. Should I change drs, change diet, or just be patient with the prescribed drug?

anonymous Apr 1, 2015 12:01pm

I was diagnosed with scleroderma in 2003 which caused the skin on my legs to harden and tighten leaving me in constant pain. I was directed by various doctors to have PUVA treatments (light therapy) which was basically a mild form of radiation therapy increasing my chances of skin cancer and leaving me nauseous all the time. After a year of this I decided to stop and looked I to holistic medicine. I sought the help of Tulsi Holistic Center in Georgetown DC where I was put on an anti inflammatory diet, given various vitamins to take, acupuncture and required yoga/meditation practice and eliminating various stressors. Within a few weeks I felt like a new person and my symptoms of the Scleroderma begain to disappear. I am huge supporter of alternative medicine and can vouche for it first hand. I do have to say it is expensive and hard but very worth it.

anonymous Mar 9, 2015 4:43am

I’m currently in Nursing school (LPN) and, having studied Ayurveda for 6 months, was excited to find we are studying not just nutritional therapies but also discuss yoga, meditation and herbal therapies. We need to keep the discussion going with great articles like this one. Thank You.

anonymous Mar 5, 2015 3:24am

My father was diagnosed with multiple blocks in arteries and was asked to rush for bypass surgery by more than half a dozen doctors.But one cardiologist after enquiring the details from him found that his capillaries are strongly supporting him ,as he found him at ease climbing 100 steps at one strtch and climbing mountain with no fatigue. He treated him on meicine and change in life style, deep breathing exercise and meditation. It is now over 15 years and he is 69 .By God's grace, he is as active as ever.

anonymous Mar 5, 2015 2:46am

Wow. What a bunch of lies and bull in this post and I hope anyone suffering from any disease or condition looks for other opinions and takes the time to thoroughly research their condition and any treatments they may engage in. That being said, I've lived with lupus since before I was even a teenager. My knees would swell to the point that I would be unable to walk and would need to have them drained. I've suffered with debilitating headaches, nausea and vomiting, chronic infections, weight loss, weight gain, skin problems, organs swelling, broken bones, hair loss, chronic fatigue, fevers, depression, anxiety. I can't take any anti-inflammatory or lupus medications after a certain prescription ate holes in my stomach and caused ulcers and GERD and I've almost died from blood loss. I've had kidney stones since I was 11 or so that cannot be removed and form faster than I can pass them. I've passed over forty and the last CT scan two years ago showed nine. I have bunions and other bone and cartilage deformities. And I can tell you right now I've tried all kinds of diets, supplements, medications and nothing has worked or made any difference for me. And I lived a healthy and active childhood, playing outside exposed to all kinds of germs and whatnot. I've tried these suggestions and I'm far from cured. So you know how I deal with so many awful conditions? I live my life. I avoid things that I know are triggers, such as being in the sun, weather changes, over activity, tanning beds, exhaustion for Lupus. Medications, orange juice, caffeine, pickles, acids for the ulcers. Or grapes and being dehydrated for the kidney stones. I manage my stress levels and changed my way of thinking so I don't become stressed out and overwhelmed and learned to live in the moment and take each day as it comes. I eat fairly healthily but don't follow any specific diet. I don't go out of my way to read labels or avoid GMO's or eat organic. I can't say I exercise the way I should by any means although I have dogs and keeping up with them and the walks we do take are probably adequate. I keep a good relationship with my doctors and care team. I avoid any more X-rays, ultrasounds or CT scans because I've been overexposed to the point I should have super powers and they aren't really needed knowing what my disabilities are. And since I've given up the diets, medications (other than painkillers when needed), and stress I don't have nearly as many lupus flare ups or stone attacks. By accepting this is now my life and recognizing I can't do anything to change it, while enriching everything I care about and the things I can control, I can say I'm a much happier and content person. I still have days that I wake up and can't walk, I still have to watch what I ingest for fear of ulcers bleeding out, and I have insomnia pretty much every night but I'm happy. I look the best I ever have, I'm at a healthy weight, the days sick are down to a minimum, and I take those days to pamper myself and don't feel guilty about it. I allow myself to feel the anger and outrage that I'm only 28 and classified as disabled when I need to, but I won't dwell on it. The pain and infections have gone down incredibly. Even the fatigue and vomiting are pretty much under control. My mind is clear and I have systems in place to deal with the bad when it happens. Such as taking naps, hot baths, someone to walk the dogs for me, people to call or come over and wake me up if I have appointments during the day that I just can't reschedule for a later time, a parking pass for disabled parking should I need it. It's all about attitude and learning about what works best for you, compromise, and not giving up. I'm grateful for the good days and that my diseases aren't terminal. I learn everything I can about my conditions but I take any advice with a grain of salt. Only I know my body, broken as it may be, so I know what works and what doesn't to maximize my existence. It's entirely possible to have too many vitamins or supplements in your system that would cause adverse affects. Becoming a vegetarian could be a massive shock to your system and would cause a lot of health problems if you weren't careful to supplement the nutrients lost from that diet. The body cannot absorb calcium supplements naturally and ingesting them really doesn't do much good at all. Making money off the suffering of others is big business, and there are way too any snakes out there looking to exploit it. Only take advice from a trusted source and only after you've researched it inside and out, I can't stress this enough! Good luck to you all, I wouldn't wish our daily trials on anyone but you aren't alone in it!

anonymous Mar 4, 2015 12:56pm

I take immune suppressant medications due to a kidney transplant . I had the transplant in 2004. I am now experiencing allergies to pollen and dust as well a sinus condition . A couple of weeks ado I had two dental appointments with a week in between . I had to premeditated for both with antibiotics. My digestive system is destroyed . My stomach rumbles constantly and I belch with out let up. Can you please give me some advice ?

anonymous Mar 2, 2015 3:44am

I have an Ana of 1:640 and my doctor said it was “alarming”. She sent me to a rheumatologist who agreed -but both doctors said the same thing to me as they did with the gentleman in your story-just sit and wait for something to happen. I have several symptoms-but non that have really affected me yet. But-I do feel sort of like a ticking time bomb.

anonymous Mar 1, 2015 8:42pm

I have had Lyme ,and in August of 2014 was treated for rocky mountain spotted fever ,which has been cured ? I have bad headaches ,and fatque ,I keep getting upper respiratory crude and have had a rash that come and goes ,for over three years .I have seen infectious disease ,Dr ,and neurologist, and pulmonary Dr , the drs say I am an unusual case ,blood test show different signs of immune problem. I have no infections,h I v ,or Lupe’s or m s or venerial disease ,I have an appoint for rhemotolgist, and immune allergists, I never seem to get rid of one thing when another problem comes around. I am allergic, to a lot of out door stuff ,and have been tested for that. I do smoke ,and have epidurials ,for seven blown discs .

anonymous Mar 1, 2015 8:49am

I have been diagnosed with IBS because all my tests (blood work, CT scans, ultrasounds, X-rays, MRI, GI testing, Gallbladder test, Uria Breath test, colonoscopy, endoscopy, ) you name it I have had it… and the all came back "NORMAL" but I get this FIST & Pain in my mid ab which sometimes spreads to my right side & back & sometimes left side an back. I have tried cutting Gluten, Dairy, sugar from my diet. A natural path put my on bacteria killers & 250B probiotics. I am now on FODMAP and GI med's but nothing seems to be working. This has been going on for 10 years & the last 6 months have been the worst as it is not going away, when normally it comes & goes a month or so long. What the heck is this?

    anonymous Apr 13, 2015 7:03pm

    I have similar symptoms. I was diagnosed with eosiniphilic esophagitis/gastroenteritis. An auto immune disease. Ask your GI about it. They have to take a biopsy to diagnose it.

anonymous Mar 1, 2015 4:32am

Wow!
I was diagnosed with RA 22 years ago aged 37.
I couldn’t move, I was in pain in every single part of my body, I ached, I hurt, I cried, I was fatigued and it happened within the space of a few months. First some stiffness in one finger…then, well the rest is history. My then GP was brilliant, he advocated rest and a change in diet, he gave me anti inflammatories as a low dose and warned me off the usual strong drugs. I live in the UK and found someone who had promoted a healthier lifestyle and diet to push RA right back into remission (non existence!), she’d suffered from the disease herself and being medically trained she set about devising this cure. I can’t tell you the amount of ridicule I encountered -from people who have the disease themselves mainly!!!! But within 12-18 months I was without symptoms and any of the previous pain. I was in short, back to the person I used to be.
Prior to falling ill I’d been a dancer, I was fit and strong and very healthy (though prone to migraines) so the RA was a complete surprise. However after a brilliant 16 years or so stuff started to change, personally that is. My marriage was falling apart and all sorts of stressors came back..culminating in divorce, the loss of my dad and a very close young friend….and possibly a spell of the worst eating habits ever. High carbs, high sugar and so on and of course the RA came back with a vengeance. I was told that the disease always comes back, that I’ll never be free of it and what happened previously was just luck or spontaneous remission! I’m sad to say that I’m now on pain meds, anti inflammatories and enbrel. Initially I’d been put on DMARDS and had horrific problems, from my hair falling out to feeling suicidal….I was taken off those and given anti TNF therapy. I’m doing fine….but after recent surgery have got myself back into the healthy eating and am feeling that the way forward is to kick these drugs out of my system and go back to what I know works. Whilst I was off them prior to and immediately after surgery I had no signs of any RA activity.
Thanks for highlighting this, people are still cynical about using diet to help and doctors generally even more so.
I’m always astounded that we do not see the connection with what we put into our bodies affecting us health wise.
I really hope the approach to auto immune treatment changes as pumping these toxins into our bodies cannot be the way forward.
There’s big money in sickness…they don’t really want us well it seems!

    anonymous Apr 29, 2015 2:48am

    Hey Lyn,
    I was diagnosed with hashimoto’s (autoimmune) 4 years ago and haven t found a good functional practitioner yet. I’ve seen you live in the Uk and are happy with your practitioner. Do you nlive in London? Can you share the name of the doctor you’re seeing? Thanks a lot!

anonymous Feb 25, 2015 7:57am

I came down with RA at the age of 39 while in a stressful marriage. I am now 64. After many failed treatments I was put on Remicade in 1999. Last year I started getting constant infections, staph, bladder, ear, etc and was taken off the Remicade. Changed my RA Dr and now am having terrible flare ups which I am now being treated with Nsaids, Prednizone and methotrexate. Just started these yesterday. I became lactose intolerant about 2 yrs ago. I would love to find a way to help myself heal enough to remove these medications and get more healthy. Loved your article and plan to see my PCP Dr tomorrow with a list of your suggestions. Hope he is open to this.

anonymous Feb 24, 2015 6:52am

This article pretty much describes my frustrating medical journey. I have been dealing with autoimmune problems for years with no real diagnosis. My tests are all inconclusive. The pain and loss of strength got so bad that I had to quit teaching yoga and scale my own practice back to mostly just restorative and Self Awakening Yoga. I have been on so many different meds with no help and am currently working on getting off everything to reset my body. The scary thing is that my mom has been dealing with the same issues and no diagnosis for almost 40 years and now my 13 year old daughter is starting to go through testing for similar issues. I pray that more physicians expand their training and insight so that we can get help and live a happier healthier life.

anonymous Feb 19, 2015 8:18pm

Our daughter got PANDAS disease at age 6 1/2. Essentially, she got a case of strep throat and her immune system attacked her brain, causing sudden onset OCD, Anorexic behavior, hallucinations, rages, loss of creativity…the doctors said their “best guess” was to treat it like rheumatic fever, with antibiotics every day until she’s 18 or 21. We felt led a different direction. We knocked out the strep with 3 weeks of antibiotics, then we started a different route. We had huge success with Camel Milk (the poor man’s IVIG), and then when we switched to Donkey Milk she said “I love you Daddy” for the first time since onset months before. We also switched to the Autoimmune Paleo diet, and do epsom salt baths regularly. Our story and more info here, hope it can bless someone else struggling with autoimmune disease! https://buttercupfarm.wordpress.com/2015/01/08/tr

anonymous Feb 19, 2015 1:15pm

I started losing patches of hair after the birth of my second daughter, I was 35. I had blood drawn and was told everything was normal but that I have Alopecia. For the past three years in the fall my hair starts falling out. I receive steroid injections monthly and use a lotion on my scalp as well. Hair begins to grow back but in fall it starts all over. This year is the worst it has been and half of my hair is now missing. It's devastating. I am a very healthy person and exercise every day. I eat very week and am of good weight and body fat composition. I also have had a huge increase in my migraines which can be deliberating.
I am desperate to find help. Reading this article has given me hope and I welcome any more info or ideas.
I just don't believe that I have to suffer from this. Something is off balance in my body and I am hoping to find a doctor that will help me not just dismiss me.

anonymous Feb 18, 2015 7:36pm

As a 'scleroderma' diagnosed 'patient' and given 8 years to live, I could not believe the quantity of meds the medical world shoved on me. At one point? 14 prescribed meds/day. About 4 years into this circus…..I had enough! The side effects were so bad, I would rather have been dead! Research, chiropractic care and a change in eating changed my life! This was an exceptional article that described to the 'T' what happened to me. With more holistic & focused efforts, I am 15 years beyond my original diagnosis! Praise God and praise people like you who expose auto immune disease for what it is…..a money maker for the medical & pharmaceutical worlds.

anonymous Feb 18, 2015 10:25am

Thank you for this article. I am 38 and have Vitiligo since I was 3 years old and a chronic sinus problem for 20 years (it's the same in any state and any season). I'll try going through your 9 steps. I suspect sinus is food related but I have a difficult time being disciplined with the elimination diet.
I just need to commit. I had all my blood work done recently and it was really good. I know the Vitiligo is a much more complex issue but it would be interesting if a holistic approach could at least cause some re-pigmentation.

Anyway, thank you.

anonymous Feb 17, 2015 8:09pm

You are looking at the triggers of inflammation, but not the root problem. I was diagnosed at age 4 with Hashimoto's thyroiditis, an autoimmune-induced disorder leading to severe hypothyroidism. That was 59 years ago. In that time since I have had to work through severe allergies to many different allergens from such things as, foods, medications, environmental, clothing, etc. I was officially diagnosed with SLE 20 years ago, as well as since then also Celiac disease, Raynaud's, Sojgrens, Type-I diabetes, peripheral neuropathies, pulmonary fibrosis, to name but a few. My major problem is inflammation resulting from one or more of the aforementioned triggers. Two additional things exacerbate the problem, cold and stress. The cold constricts the diameter of the vessels in the capillary beds making it next to impossible for the antigen-antibody-complement complex to flow through. The complexes get stuck, cause localized vascular necrosis, resulting in death of surrounding tissues which in turn stimulates a continued inflammatory response. This flare/crisis continues until it finally burns itself out. The missing tissue is then replaced with nonfunctional scar tissue and the.organs slowly lose their function.

I agree that one can lessen the disease by identifying the triggers and staying away from them. But one is never safe following that route. To be truly safe one needs to replace the hyperactive immune system with agents that are.missing. In my case I am missing the enzymes necessary to degrade nuclear material (DNA, RNA, histone proteins) to their smallest forms for removal. The body senses that the intermediate forms of this material is foreign and mounts an attack against resulting in a flare. My method of "treatment " was/is to receive multiple stem cell transplants. While my own stem cells were good, stem cells from people without the disease are even better. And you do not have to kill your immune system to replace it with another. Just add the stem cells with normal genes to the existing system. In that respect you get the best of all possible worlds, a hyperactive immune system that will wipe out bacteria, viruses and cancer cells before they have a chance to do harm and normal agents released during the inflammatory response to nullify antibodies to yourself. Before my first transplant I was SLE Stage-IV, two weeks terminal with every "-itis" immaginable. That was almost 4 years and 10 stem cell transplants ago. While my treatments have not been a "cure" for the diseases they have given me a better quality of life. And I have lost most of my allergies, Celiac disease being one of them.

anonymous Feb 17, 2015 7:41pm

You're wrong about people who played in dirt on farms growing up and their bodies not attacking itself. My family were all farmers in Minnesota and they passed a plethora of autoimmune diseases down to all the kids who also lived on and off the farms. We have RA, Addison's, COPD, Hashimoto's, CFS, fibromyalgia and who knows what else in our family, widespread. I don't think immunity to soil organisms has a thing to do with it.

anonymous Feb 17, 2015 7:14pm

I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism at age 11. Then I was diagnosed with type one diabetes at age 12. I have been on insulin therapy since day one. I have been on thyroid pills since I was diagnosed, minus when I was pregnant and the following year. I was diagnosed with celiac disease about 1 1/2 years ago. I am now on a gluten free diet. I still have bloating issues, but feel somewhat better since cutting out gluten. I have tendonosis in my hip and knee and have had multiple injections to try and help that. I haven’t been able to find a doctor that wants to find out what is going on with my body. So far, everyone wants to treat symptoms. Very frustrating.

anonymous Feb 17, 2015 5:22pm

I have been so sick for over a year. In the past I had chronic sinus infections (monthly) and was on antibiotics and steroids everytime. Last January I got a bad sinus infection then the flu and never recovered. I will be in bed in a coma like sleep for 3 to 4 days then have a good few days. It's a vicous cycle. Got every medical test under the sun. Went to a natural doctor who treats people with Adrenal Fatigue. I changel my diet and take different vitamins, no more sinus infections but I still have these horrible sleep cycles. I'm in such a deep sleep it's like when the doctor knocks you out for a procedure and you don't hear or remember anything. It's scary. I'm wondering if it's really Adrenal Fatigue. Any insight would be greatly appreciated!! I can't take living like this!

anonymous Feb 17, 2015 11:04am

Great article, I suffer from psoriasis (not severe) but still a struggle. I have been watching my diet, stress levels, shampoos, soaps (not using wash clothes, simply hand wash body), and household cleaners. ANYTHING!!! I have had multiple areas clear up but some are stubborn. I plan on working even closer with my Dr. Now, and do blood tests mentioned in this article. Thank you for this article, best one I have read to date!!

anonymous Feb 17, 2015 10:22am

I am a 43 year old mother and I can finally say I am healthy. However, that was not always the case. At 18 I was diagnosed with Ulcerative colitis. I took prednisone for 10 years. When that did not work they added immuran and that is to say nothing about the 12 daily pills that had no obvious effect on my health.

I was young, sick, and following my doctors advice. NO fiber. No nuts. Just eat a bland diet!!! White foods. Processed foods are fine.

I discovered the SCD and within months I was off my medication. I stopped eating white foods. Basically I did the opposite of what they said and I was on my way to a cure. Thankfully I went to an ND who gave me supplements to help my body with any remaining inflammation. She tested me for food sensitivities – what an obvious idea that my GI docs still don’t do – and I have a sever allergy to Milk. Now I avoid milk and enjoy a healthy life, medicine free.

Get tested!! You do not have inflammation for no reason. Find the root and free yourself.

anonymous Feb 17, 2015 6:33am

I was diagnosed with poly myalgia rheumatica over two years ago and have been on prednisone and methotrexate. I am still having some pain but would like to get off these drugs

anonymous Feb 17, 2015 6:07am

Great protocol and insight! But I’m confused: did you really treat the h-pylori etc., with ANTIbiotics? Or did you mean to say PRObiotics. I’m hoping that’s the case.

anonymous Feb 16, 2015 4:22pm

I have reduced my inflammation with eating whole foods, acupuncture, Yuan Gong Qigong and focusing on unhealthy thoughts and habits with myself, family and friends!

anonymous Feb 15, 2015 4:52am

Wonderful article, very empowering …. Thank you

anonymous Feb 14, 2015 5:47am

Great article! I have been dealing for years with all sorts of problems my physicians have told me were all related to stress and depression – IBS, all-over pain, joint pain, fatigue, extreme low-energy, abdominal and stomach pain…I could go on. Finally, after a 2 month bout with pretty severe stomach pain, difficulty sleeping, and some weight loss, it's been discovered I have a high intolerance for gluten. My celiac panel came back positive, although my doc wants to do a biopsy to confirm, but after trying the gluten free diet for just a week-and-a-half, I feel like a brand new person! I canNOT believe the difference! I still have a ways to go, and would love to find a doctor who practices functional medicine, but am so happy I am finally on the right path.

anonymous Feb 13, 2015 3:54pm

During last December I caught a flu and had a severely sore throat and cough. When I was just getting better I wake up one day with pain in my muscles, numbness in my face and thumbs, and a droopy left eye. I got admitted to the hospital after checking in the emergency. In addition to left eye ptosis i had Diplopia coupled with a left upper side weakness. An MRI was undertaken and results were negative for stroke. Doctors asked for a series of blood tests and a lumbar puncture and all results were negative except for a high Esr rate (62). Doctors suspected a case of myasthenia Gravis and administered 1/2 tablet of Mestinon followed by another full one with zero positive effect on eye.

My health situation started to deteriorate during my 4 day stay at hospital and Doctors had no visibility on what my case could have been. They asked for EMG and results were normal along with thymus X-ray. Then they decided to treat me for Myasthenia Gravis and prescribed Mestinon 3 times a day. I felt much worse after taking the medicine and my eye was as bad with increasing weakness in my muscles in the lower body . I wasn’t eating nor sleeping and my morale was bottom low. I requested to continue the treatment at home and Doctors accepted under the condition of me coming back the next day to conduct another EMG test The minute I was discharged and reached home I got better and my eye started opening up gradually. The next day I went for the EMG test while under severe side effects from Mestinon. Second EMG results came out normal. The neurologist examined me, found I had no reflexes. He decided that the treatment would be for Myasthenia (disregarding Guillain Barre) and requested to admit me again to the hospital to do this time IVIG for 5 days.

I left his clinic, stopped the medication and decided to never step foot in his clinic or hospital ever again.

The next day my eye opened up totally. I started regaining my forces bit by bit day after day with no meds except Advil and vitamin supplements . Diplopia was gone gradually in a week. I felt much better after one week with some mild weakness left over.

I did again the ESR test and result was 22.

I regained my yoga routine 3 days after I left hospital.

Today, I am ok with no symptoms. Except for some mild stiffness in 2 of my right fingers when I wake up especially. I also feel a very mild numbness in my upper scalp. Am always worried I may do a relapse. I work in a stressed environment and when u had the sickness I was under a lot of pressure. Thanks for your assessment.

anonymous Feb 13, 2015 3:29pm

Try Vitamin C. I had high mercury levels and taking Vitamin C helped flush it out of my system. Sounds so simple but it worked for me.

anonymous Feb 13, 2015 12:58pm

I've had rheumatoid arthritis for 5 years. Last year was the worst year, I had 5 steroid injections and had to come of methotrexate in October due to the pains in my stomach and bladder. I switched to sulfasalazine and hydroxychroloquine but after 12 weeks they hadn't touched me. Before I had RA I was a competitive runner, I carried on for a while but in the end it was putting too much in my body. This January, I decided to take control and start making changes to my life. I cut out dairy and gluten and the pain had eased after 4/5 days. I also take probiotics, digestive enzymes, l-glutamine and some other good supplements/vitamins. I now feel like a different person, 90% of my pain seems to have gone. I did go to the docs but he told me that this is just a coincidence and I have to think objectively. Have I listened? NO!! I have cut down to just half of the medication. I did want to get a celiac test but I'm told you need to have gluten in your diet for a few weeks, I can't go back to that pain, I'm hoping once I fully heal my 'leaky gut' my food sensitivities might go away but we'll see. This has made a huge difference to my quality of life already. Thank for for this fantastic article, it's good to know this is being more widely recognised & communicated now.

anonymous Feb 13, 2015 11:51am

I have learned that no matter how much I beg I can't find an MD that is willing or has the knowledge to help me. I have been fighting crohn's, hashimotos and RA for years now. Nothing has helped and each MD dismisses my pain and issues until I end up in the ER with blood levels so out of normal or, most recent, an SBO. I am currently taking Humera, Simponi, Entocort and 60mg of prednisone daily. All I can say is that this is getting old for me and I wish I had an MD like you that could dig and find my underlying reasons for all of these issues.

Thank you for the article… It does give me some hope.

anonymous Feb 13, 2015 9:17am

I’m 26 years old, and I have Rheumatoid Arthritis. I was diagnosed when I was about 15 years old. I’ve had days where I couldn’t walk or move my hands, and I was on a lot of medications… I’ve taken Enbrel and Methotrexate, and hated being on them. Changing my diet changed my life. Yoga and meditation have also been a huge help in treating my stress and pain. I cut out all inflammatory foods and started eating only organic whole-foods. After detoxing from everything, I slowly tested the foods I had cut out, and sure enough, I had painful reactions to them. Gluten turned out to be the biggest offender, so I never eat it anymore. I highly recommend a book called “Clean” by Alejandro Junger.

anonymous Feb 13, 2015 9:05am

I have Hashimoto disease also rosacea back problems causing stiffness and pain headaches. I take Advil almost every day. Gabapentin and Levothyroxine. I don’t feel better. My drs only give medicine. I take a lot of probiotics and fish oil because of my own research. I go to a chiropractor for my back. It seems to give some temporary relief but never goes away. I am going to try some of your suggestions. Thank you

anonymous Feb 13, 2015 8:54am

After reading this, I have every intention of becoming certified in functional medicine. I wholeheartedly agree with holistic care that looks at the entire picture of a person and not one piece. With the emerging epidemic of chronic illnesses, I want to give my patients peace of mind and their lives back. There is just too many underlying causes being overlooked in traditional medicine. Thank you for the read and a new direction in practice!

anonymous Feb 8, 2015 5:49pm

this is so good, Jasmin~!

anonymous Feb 6, 2015 3:24pm

Maybe we should be looking at all the vaccines that throw off our immune systems from an early age as a precursor to autoimmune diseases on the rise.

anonymous Feb 5, 2015 2:14pm

April, 1986: Chernobyl Nuclear blow-up. We were living in Switzerland at the time. A few weeks later, population was warned not to go out into the radioactive rain…however, I didn't hear the warning. Exposed for about 10 minutes. Soon after, dark, thick patches began to develop on my wrists…didn't think much of it. In October, 1986, now back in Canada, we lost our daughter, stillborn due to the fibrosis of the placenta, not allowing oxygen and nutrients to the fetus. My own symptoms of swelling, dizziness, incredible fatigue, carpal tunnel syndrome, itchiness, darkening and thickening of the skin on the upper arms and chest, mouth beginning to get smaller, nose beginning to get pinched, and high levels of Autoimmune Antibodies in blood tests, eventually were diagnosed as Scleroderma, an autoimmune disease, most probably due to the brief exposure to radiation in rain that fell out of the Chernobyl fall-out..
What followed was a nightmare. Rheumatologists wanted me to take a medication which would leave me blind and had only a 50% chance of helping me. I felt like I was a Guinea pig as Drs. wanted to test me and look at me. I was told I had 10 years to live, considering what Scleroderma was doing to my body. I refused the medication and did a lot of book research at the UBC Medical library. I found that Scleroderma produced too much collagen, which in turn, blocks out the nutrients and oxygen from the cells of the body, resulting in suffocation of the cells in any of the organs, thus death of the organ(s) involved, and eventually death to the person. I found out that collagen is made up of protein, glucose with Vitamin C being a catalyst in making the collagen. Our bodies need protein, glucose and Vitamin C but I decided to seek Naturopathic assistance in determining which is the safest protein, and form of glucose that I could still eat and slow down the development of Scleroderma.

The diet therapy I adopted was no refined sugars (ie./ glucose), only fish protein and a powder Vit. C. in an ascorbic acid form. I read labels of everything I was about to consume to determine if it had any sugars in it. If it did, I didn't consume the product. If I had any sugar, I would be dizzy and get swollen, so I avoided refined sugar in absolutely everything. For a time, I only ate fish, rice and pears. I drank only water but within days, began to feel better. The swelling in my body went down, dizziness disappeared and I had energy. Within three months, I was back to working, taking care of my family and enjoying life. I gradually introduced other foods, such as meats, fruits and vegetables and other grains but for 5 years, I stayed away from refined sugars of any kind and milk products. My carpal tunnel syndrome disappeared ( had been wearing splints at night) and the dark patches of skin on my wrists, upper arms and chest disappeared.

Within those 5 years, I had also been seeing a Homeopathic Doctor who, I feel, helped a great deal. Since 1992 – now I have lived a pretty healthy life. I have had flair ups of gall bladder attacks, but no gall stones found. I have had a couple of Angina-like attacks and now am being treated for Pericarditis which is an inflammation of the sac around the heart. This may be a one time occurrence but it is an inflammation of the heart area, just as the gall bladder attacks are an inflammation of the gall bladder. It would appear that I, once again, have to figure out what is causing the inflammation and try to do something about it. Thank you for the article and all the other posts about inflammatory diseases. Anecdotal research is a valid way to do research! Hopefully the medical profession will begin to listen if enough of us tell our stories. I wish all other people with inflammatory diseases courage and stamina to keep up looking for what might be helpful to you. For me, refined sugars are definitely triggers for inflammation.

anonymous Feb 5, 2015 4:03am

I am 54. my body itches after having a bathe and when I sweat at night this has been on since 1981. I have not had any help from any doctor. am leaving with it. now am diabetic since 2010 and believe it can be cured and not this metformin I take. can I get help?

anonymous Feb 4, 2015 6:52pm

I was diagnosed about 5years ago when I returned from a trip to England. I was tired all the time. I suffer from anemia but also have thalassemia. I went to see a rheumatologist who explained that I have sjogrens disease and lupus however I was also sent to a nephrologist as I was leaking large amounts of protein.
I was put on plaquenil and with the nephrologist was put on prednisone with approx 4-5 relapses. Then I was given neoral which also did not work, from there I was given a rituximab infusion which still had not worked.
From there I went to see a homeopath and have changed my diet to a gluten free with no foods that have been processed. Also stopped foods that cause inflammation e.g. Corn, tomato pastes etc. I do feel much better and have lost a few kilos. I have finally stopped my prednisone as it hasn't helped however I still take 2 x plaquenil a day. I notice when I do eat some foods that I am not supposed to the next day I have swelling and bloating. I have been tested for
Celiac and has come back negative. I have also had a few iron infusions and take approx 50000 units of vitamin d a week.
I do yoga on a weekly basis which helpd with the pain management for my joints.
Positive thinking also helps

anonymous Feb 4, 2015 10:47am

I have Psoriasis, Psoriatic Arthritis. 3 DNA blood clotting mutations and Multiple Sclerosis and I think that it is irresponsible to advise the use of vitiamns/supplements/herbs without also stressing that all of these can cause dangerous interactions with Rx’s and other treatments…don’t just read something online and try it without having your Dr. And Pharmacist agree that it is safe for YOUR usage. Huge list of herbs/supplements/vitamins that could kill me if taken with my blood thinners.. Or others.

anonymous Feb 4, 2015 8:23am

I was diagnosed 5 1/2 years ago with aggressive RA. My number were super high. I went the Rheumatologist because when I’d wake every morning it would be about 2 hours before I could take a semi normal step. The pain was excruciating. I was put on Methotrexate and Enbrel. The medication helped but I hit a plateau. About 1 year after my diagnoses I was tested for Lupus and tested positive. Drug Enduced Lupus compliments of the Enbrel!! My Dr switched me toe Plaquenil and it helped a lot. Even thought the meds have helped I do experience terrible flares where I’m basically stuck in bed. I can’t do the things I used to do and have had to learn to ask for help more than I’d like to. I would prefer to try an treat myself through diet and holistic treatments rather than medicating.

anonymous Feb 4, 2015 8:14am

I was diagnosed with Sarcoidosis in 1998 @ age 38. I followed my pulmonologists prescription to the letter, until I began have sever side-affects from the steroids. In 2000, I discussed these side-effects with my doctor. His prescription…I’ll need to be on steroids for the rest of my life, I’ll need to be completely sedentary and I’ll need oxygen 24/7.

Essentially, I’d be in a wheelchair with a bottle of oxygen strapped to my back for the rest of my life. Needless to say, I did not share his vision of my future. I began researching holistic medicine and using herbs and vitamins therapy. I presented my findings to him and indicated that was the course I wanted to follow. He quickly dismissed me, telling me that he could not treat me if I was not going to follow his prescription. I gathered my papers, shook his hand, thanked him for everything he did for me and left his office, never to return again.

In 2008, I ran into my former pulmonologist who happened to be the doctor on rotation the weekend my boyfriend was in the hospital. We recognized each other instantly, yet said nothing to one another. He was telling my boyfriend about his test results, but he was looking at me. He was ASTOUNDED!!!

Fifteen years later, I have an active life. I’m symptom and steroid free, without that bottle of oxygen strapped to my back. Quality of life is what it’s all about.

anonymous Feb 3, 2015 11:58pm

In December 2012 I was diagnosed with polymyalgia rheumatica, an autoimmune condition causing pain and joint stiffness, mainly in the shoulder and pelvic girdles but also in the knees and wrists in some cases. The conventional treatment is a long course of steroids (a minimum of two years in the opinion of the rheumatologist).

I had been caring for my elderly mother for a number of years until her death two months previously. The last few months of her life had been extremely difficult and stressful for me. By the time I saw the rheumatologist I had adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder) and inflamed nerves in my right arm.

I took the steroids for a couple of months but began to turn away from the conventional approach when the rheumatologist wanted me to take methatrexate because he had decided that my wrist and hand symptoms indicated rheumatoid arthritis. I disagreed with his diagnosis and refused to take the medication. I made an appointment with a physician who practices what is called Integrative Medicine hear in Australia, and sounds very much like your Functional Medicine.

By this time I was in a world of pain and I had great difficulty with normal, everyday functioning. He listened to me and tested me for heavy metal poisoning, food allergies and adrenal function along with the usual blood chemistry tests. In other words he looked for the reasons my immune system had gone out of control. He recommended some mineral supplements, food-based anti inflammatories and I eliminated some foods that were stimulating an immune response. I also stepped up my exercise program (within the limitations of the condition).

I began to feel some improvement right away. This continued steadily for the next 6 months until the next round of testing indicated that all the markers were back to normal. By the end of 2013 I had no pain and had regained most of the range of movement in my hips and shoulders.

I have continued to improve since then and even contemplated going back to the rheumatologist to see what he would say but I suspect his response would be that I was in spontaneous remission. I know, however, that changing my diet, getting regular exercise and reducing stress levels have made the difference. I know when I need a “mental health” break these days because I start to feel the same pain in my arms again that I first felt in the weeks leading up to my mother’s death. Now I respond with good food, meditation and a few days away. The pain disappears every time.

anonymous Feb 3, 2015 10:54pm

Hello:-) Excellent information! After over 20 years of chronic joint pain, hundreds of visits to my doctor and specialists, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. All of the serious autoimmune diseases were ruled out, however an exact diagnosis could not be made. I chose to treat myself. I still went to my doctor for any medical issue that needed a doctor, but threw out all of my prescription meds, heaps of medical files and transformed my life through what you have explained:-) Diet and enviornment was the issue and it took me a while to fine tune my treatment, but eliminating all processed foods, lowering stress in my life and daily exercise including weight training to build my overall muscle mass has resulted in an amazing recovery! On the “bad” days I get up and move, drink extra water and make sure to take a yoga class. Fructose, glucose, grocery store bread, salad dressings – anything processed was the culprit. Some of my joint issues were actually caused by muscle atrophy, which was found out by physiotherapy and by building these muscles I am almost symptom free:-)

anonymous Feb 3, 2015 4:54pm

Ayurveda also has profound food rules which take into consideration your personal constitution, as well as the strength (and aim at strengthening) your metabolism. All key in healing any disease. <3

anonymous Feb 3, 2015 3:18pm

I'm currently undergoing testing at Mayo to find underlying causes for high ANA & other abnormal test results. So, NO, Mayo does not recognize anything like this. In fact, when I try to talk about a lot of research I've done online regarding my symptoms & results, they make you feel stupid & disregard your comments. It's SO wrong that supposedly the best clinic in the world isn't willing to even test me for rare or "complex" disorders. Even when I have abnormal results, like low IgGs, high alkaline phosphatase, high B12 & Folate, Osteoporosis & positive ANA…they all just say, "No, it's not within my field". And consequently, no one is getting to the bottom of my problems. Then they come up with Chronic Fatigue & Fibromyalgia (which just means they don't know what's causing your symptoms & bad test results, so they call it this!). I'm going to keep reading. I've found the best resources to be "patients" talking about their symptoms & diseases, and what worked to help them, or even help them to diagnose what's really wrong. You have to be your own advocate if you're sick, that's for sure! Good luck

    anonymous May 20, 2015 10:13pm

    Chronic Fatigue Syndrome – the ridiculous name they still use here in the states – IS a real problem. In countries where it is being studied in depth (mostly socialist countries) it is actually referred to as Myalgic Encephalomilitis, as these countries realize that calling this disease CFS, is like calling stomach cancer "Chronic Tummy Upset." This DISEASE is currently being coined 'The Last Great Undefined Disease of the 20th&21st Century." You speak of it as if you don't believe it exists, or that if it does, it certainly could not be the cause of the *serious* distress/es YOU are dealing with. Other countries are now placing it on death certificates as "Cause of Death". This is a perfect example of how it is not just the doctors you speak of that could use a change in their 'medical paradigm'. Just because these US doctors you are complaining about, yet still hang on to their every 'academic' answer, aren't acknowledging ME/CFS as a significant and debilitating set of problems, doesn't mean it's not.

anonymous Feb 3, 2015 12:17am

I love your journal. I have been here several times and wants to express my gratitude towards your efforts. Interesting and informative post which covers of many aspects of chronic inflammations. Glad for sharing.

anonymous Feb 2, 2015 9:10pm

I went from being diagnosed from arthritis to ra to lupus to finally ms. My son had died the year before the symtoms began. I was exposed to mono (my daughter) and then in a car accident. My wrists were damaged and the inflammation began there. More and more doctor visits. More and more meds. Until they said I had ms. I quit believing what I was being told. The meds were making my fall down and ruining my life. Slowly I went off the meds (took 1 1/2 years) left my husband and began accupuncture treatments. I am now drug free, doctor free and stress free. My friends and family are constantly saying go get tests…no more! It is now 8 years since I began the struggle toward health. I sleep well, rest when needed, and have brought peace into my life. I am always aware of my attitude. I plan to live my life drug free and doctor free…if I die early I have lived to my fullest. And what more could I want? I am now 62 …

anonymous Feb 1, 2015 6:12pm

The steroids my doctors gave me only dampened the pain and hives for a few hours at a time and came with a lot of unpleasant side effects. By checking for food reactions, I found that if I don’t eat any nightshades – tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants or bell peppers (other kinds of peppers seem fine for me) I have no symptoms. The tiniest bit of tomato powder, or potato flour (found is some gluten free food) cause a lot of pain for me. I miss some of my favorite foods, and it’s tough to eat out etc., but it’s great to have no pain or hives despite my 2 autoimmune diseases.

I know doctors aren’t nutrition specialists, but why did my doctor not even know enough to suggest I try some dietary restrictions?

anonymous Feb 1, 2015 8:31am

I was diagnosed with HS Disease. I had open heart surgery from a hole in my heart that didn't heal which caused my artery to clog. Patched the hole and a bypass. 2 years later another major surgery to remove my uterus, tubes, and cervix. I went into cardiac arrest after hysterectomy. No follow up call from OBGYN. Then constant ear, kidney and urinary infections. Once we learned diet plays a big role we started the paleo diet added tumeric and probiotics. I do feel better already, chills and fevers gone. I still feel exausted. I am seeing a mental therapist because of the emotional toll. For years I was told, you are pretty and smart. There is nothing wrong with you. I will not give up this fight. I believe that this awful superbug is in my spine, rectal, gut and urinary tract. I have been complaining of burning in my vulva area since I was 12 years old. No doctor has ever tried to help me with the suffering. I grew up projectile vomiting, ear infections, strange skin rashes and low energy. Was always given antibiotics, codeine and told "your fine go play" And the depression. I tried to committ suicide 3 times before the age of 25. Once I had children, taking my life wasn't an option. I still feel overwhelming sadness. I have shingles now on top of flares on my clitoris. Which not one freaking doctor cares about. My doctor said it was because I couldn't refrain from sex. What a joke. My bowel movements are null unless I take 4-5 dulcolax a night. The GI doc gave me Linzess without checking that I'm a open heart survivor. Linzess caused loborous breathing and heart palpations. The ass wipe cardiologist ignored the correlation of Linzess and proceed to prescribe a beta blocker. What a joke…I stopped Linzess and did not take beta blocker. Symptoms of dying from a heart attack gone. You would think that instead of giving me an unlimited supply of nausea meds, they would want to find the cause of the nausea and vomiting. We can not find one doctor in Rochester NY that specializes in HS Disease. Finally I am horrified about the way the doctors take notes. My next plan of action is to get all my records and insist I see what notes the medical system is inputtting. The GP said as she was looking at IDS comments there was nothing mentioned about HS Disease yet the IDS gave me a printout that said ASSESSMENT: HS Disease. My god the treatment or lack of seems almost criminal.

anonymous Jan 31, 2015 10:21pm

Hi, I am just an average American Mom who over the last few months feels like I have had been in an uphill battle to help my 5 yr old son get well. I am so frustrated & disappointed by the American medical system I once trusted. My son has spent the last year fighting one upper respiratory problem after another finally ending up with large swollen tonsils & adenoids. My pediatrician sent us to an ENT who after 1 quick exam & an x-ray recommended a “T & A” (surgical removal of his tonsils & adenoids.) He had no interest in addressing any other treatments or the cause of his swollen tonsils & adenoids. He never even asked if he had any food allergies, which he for sure does to peanuts. I have researched non-stop since. I felt dairy could be an issue & removed it. I was told emphatically by my pediatrician this was a waste of time & won’t do anything, to do what the ENT says. She too had no interest in the cause. I called his allergist MD about an IgG test and was essentially treated like I was crazy by the nurse and told “we DO NOT do that test, it is not AMA approved & nobody knows what the results even mean.” The doctor disagreed with me but listened & at least did IeG testing. I removed dairy anyway & feel I’m getting results. Before he was snoring loudly, mouth breathing, having sleep apnea & trouble sleeping, coughing, circles under his eyes, bad breath, congestion and generally not himself. He is not 100% normal but way better, sleeping & no apnea or snoring or coughing. I did give 3 days of predilisone & still on Nasonex too which I know they will say did it. I just think before u put a child under anesthesia & permanently & surgically remove body parts, you should look for a cause. I’m just a Mom, but I know swollen tonsils & adenoids are inflammation and something is causing that. What is it? Anyone have any other suggestions for non-surgical treatment & clues to what is causing this.

anonymous Jan 31, 2015 10:48am

I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis at age 23 and it came on after a bad bout with the flu. I was given all kinds of med’s, that made me sick, like Naproxen and other related drugs. Throughout the 28 years of RA I was left with severe difformities to my hands an feet and have both knees replaced. I’m now 50 years old and 10 years ago I decided I needed to figure this out on my own, in order to get better, so I began researching holistic ways of curing myself and a change in my diet. I do many of the things you mentioned in your article and it workes. My RA factor is down I no longer have diabetes. I exercise everyday and try to keep the stress level down. I’m so happy to read an article that is filled with a natural approach to medicine.

anonymous Jan 31, 2015 2:47am

My diagnosis is hashimoto – the hospital said there was no way to be cured – thei solution was a little pill – just as the article sais. Thanks to facebookgroups I stopped the medicin and began a journey. My first year I did it all alone: no sugar, no gluten, no soy, vitamins and recently I found a holistic doctor in Germany who now takes bloodtest and other things. I feel so much better already and the doctor said after he saw the first test results that he sees alot more potential to feen even better. So I agree to the article 110% and thank all the professionals who see the whole person and work for healing instead of a quick fix with severe consequenes later.

anonymous Nov 6, 2014 12:55am

I recently was diagnosed with Transverse myelitis, a lesion on my spinal cord causing tingling and numbness. Then told I have antibodies for lyme and RA. But since my symptoms improved I'm not on meds anymore and doctor taking a wait and see approach. I actually tested negative for lyme with the blood test and still feel confused as to how that works. I felt my neurologist was on top of searching out the possibilities but besides repeat scans there is not much that can be done and she thought diet changes (elimination of wheat and dairy) would actually be bad for me.

I've gone gf, drink 24 hour bone broths aide from organic bones, kombucha, lemon water, apple cider vinegar and green smoothies. And I plan on being tested for all the above suggestions with a nautrapath. It's been recommended to go vegan by another TM person. I find all the dietary restrictions hard since I'm feeding a family as well but perhaps I can keep my kids from experiencing this.

anonymous Oct 15, 2014 5:51pm

In 2012 I went on a holiday and I've got sick. My symptoms were headache, low energy, lymph nodes swollen, high fever, red dots on my face and scalp. It was Christmas so everything would cost a lot in America, but I didn't have another option. I went to a GP, and the first thing she said was that the symptoms were similar ho HIV or Tuberculosis, so from that day until I received my results back I was extremely anxious and stress, which made all the symptoms worst. When I got my results back it was all negative and only showing that my white blood count was low and I had an infection. When I came back to Australia, I went back to another GP, and he said it could be psoriasis and gave me a steroids cream to put on my face and scalp, which didn't change a bit for a month. After that I decided to go to another GP, which said that I should get a biopsy of my swollen lymph node. This was on for nearly 8 months and nothing was getting better or closer to know what was wrong with me. When I got my results back to my biopsy, it came back that I had Kikuchi disease. Exactly. What is that?? My rheumatologist told me that this disease imitate lupus so the symptoms were the same. So he gave me steroids pills (5mg a day), and nothing changed. Then I decided to go to another rhematologist, but at the same time I went to a Naturopath and a homeopath. The other doctor of course prescribed me with more steroids and plaquenil, on the other hand the naturopath and the homeopath, tried to find the cause for it all and ways to help my body to recover from food and minerals. Since then I completely changed my diet and my life style and since 2012 I have been healthy and completely energetic. I believe that I was wrong diagnosed, and if you have that mentality, everything is possible to heal. Your body has the power to heal everything, from a little cut to a dis- ease. The supplements that I take is: turmeric, garlic, probiotic, vitamin C and chlorophyll. Also I don't eat sugar or regular salt (only hymalain salt). The water that you drink is also extremely important, the PH has to be above 7.5, which is an alkaline water. no bacteria or virus lives in a alkaline body it only lives in an acid environment.

anonymous Oct 5, 2014 3:18pm

Have you been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease – No

How is your doctor treating you – They aren't, they don't believe me

Have you been frustrated by the medical advice that you’ve been given- Very

What steps have you taken to get to the root of the problem, and what have your results been. After a lifetime of pain issues (from the age of 10) leading up to debilitating back pain, joint pain, head aches, numbness of the hands, feet, face and legs, seizures, rashes, mouth sores, fatigue, depression and losing control of my limbs, doctors had no idea what was wrong. They told me it was all kinds of things neuropathy, slipped disk, fibromyalga, and plain depression. I was also tested for lupus, MS, and ALS. Every test came back negative, and the Dr's kind of gave up on treating me. A family friend that happened to be a Dr. recommended a very limited diet to try and take some weight off me (lack of mobility had put 60 lbs on me). The diet was gluten free, and cut out breads and starches. A week and a half later I was off my cane for the first time in two years. After such a dramatic recovery my parents told me my maternal grandma had celiacs and my dad is allergic to wheat (he doesn't follow his Dr's orders so he's never mentioned it). 8 months later I have maintained a gluten free diet and I have zero symptoms. I am in the best health I have ever been, no pain, no swelling, no numbness, no rashes. Unfortunately to find out which problem I have I will need to go back on a gluten filled diet and make myself sick again (even cross contamination causes my mouth to swell then break into blisters, then my chest breaks into blisters and I have severe intestinal symptoms for a week), It's not worth it to me to have a label. I'd rather just continue with a gluten free diet and enjoy life. My doctors roll their eyes at me when I tell them what fixed my issues.

My son who is 16 has suffered from pain, tremors and headaches since he was little (tremors started at 3). Doctors have never been able to figure out why he has them (MRI's, blood work, x-rays, CT Scans). When I started having good results he asked if he could try it too. Everything is gone, when he gets hit with cross contamination (school lunches, he is 16 and doesn't always think things through) his tremors come back and he basically has the stomach flu for 3-5 days. Two of my sisters have also gone gluten free and their chronic health issues are gone. It is obvious that there is something genetic to this, we just don't know what.

anonymous Oct 1, 2014 8:02pm

For over 7 years I suffered with acid reflux and was treated with Nexium. Around the same time, I developed high blood pressure and was put on tenoretic and potassium. Then about 3 years ago, I started having chronic pain throughout my entire body. I went to the doctor who prescribed cymbalta stating it was most likely fibromyalgia. Although this helped, I have always been bothered by the thought of someone telling me it was either live with the condition, or take medication for the rest of my life. I also suffered from IBS for so many years I couldn't begin to remember when I didn't have it. By chance, I spoke with my gynecologist about this. She said she had just come from a seminar about chronic pain. She said that gluten and wheat sensitivity (not necessarily crones disease) has been linked to chronic pain and even though my test for crones was negative, I should try going gluten/wheat free. I am happy to say that I have been gluten/wheat free for nearly 2 years and no longer need ANY medication and not a single IBS symptom…ever!!! It amazes me how quick doctor's are to prescribe a lifelong medicine without trying a dietary change first!

anonymous Oct 1, 2014 5:13am

I have lichen sclerosis which I've had for 25 years now (I'm 50). It has always been treated with steroids but 25 years of steroid cream isn't a solution. What else can I try?

    anonymous Oct 15, 2014 5:31pm

    Have you tried cannabis oil cream? it is not that easy to get outside America, but it cures even skin cancer.but the best thing is starting from inside out. change your diet and your habits that they will reflect in you skin and health. 🙂

anonymous Oct 1, 2014 4:47am

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anonymous Sep 30, 2014 5:00pm

I recently was diagnosed with PBC and still quite baffled. I'm obese allergic with high IGE, C reactive protein, pre diabetic. I had a basic allergy test for dairy egg which was offered when I tested for auto immune, both resulted at low end of the range but was positive for AMA. So far testing hasn't shown I have the developed PBC and will need a liver biopsy to confirm. I'm not symptomatic but have issues with asthma and salicylate intolerance, gluten makes me miserable but 2 blood tests for celiacs have been neg. I do have a history of antibiotic use for repetitive tonsillitis and urinary tract infections but have been well the last 7 years due to cleaning up my diet and lifestyle, but weight and asthma (salicylate I think), I'm trying very hard to decipher what is going on finding a functional medical doctor here in South Australia is a challenge. I have improved but need to address it in the right order. Thanks for this article it was a great help!

anonymous Sep 30, 2014 12:45pm

I went to the hospital with a swollen tender inflamed elbow thinking it was a fracture.
They told me it was gout. Gout??? I am super healthy, this has got to be a reaction to something that I am eating.
They told me to take Indocine. I checked out this drug and it raises your BP. They saw how high that was and did not care.
I am sure there are other alternatives.

    anonymous Jan 30, 2015 5:48pm

    It took two years of not understanding that the pain in my right big toe was connected to eating a particular meal, curries! It turned out to be gout and what affected me was/is nightshade veggies (tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, bell peppers). I eliminated them from my diet, aling with other inflammatory foods hugh in purines and the gout went away. I can get away with the occasional potato or high purine food but never on a regular basis.

anonymous Sep 30, 2014 5:53am

Imbalanced Omega fats feed the fires of inflammation…. the Western diet is way too high in Omega 3. Also there's growing evidence (see the film Microbial Birth) that elective cesarean section births are seriously compromising our health… we need the microbes obtained through naturally birthing
Thanks for all the interesting comments

    anonymous Sep 30, 2014 7:44pm

    I think you meant to say, "way too high in Omega 6", not 3. 6 is in junk food and 3 is in salmon, avocado, olive oil and flax seed, etc.

anonymous Sep 29, 2014 3:23pm

A great article! When I was diagnosed in 2008 with PMR, I began to change some of the ways I was eating. I began taking supplements which were suggested to me via a live blood cell session. I added a mega dose of probiotics. I stopped eating dairy and processed foods. I was later told I had developed RA. I do take medication for the condition. I have been in remission now for 2 years. I continue to eat super healthy, other than a very special treat now and then when I give in to a craving, but I would say 99% of my diet is fruits, vegetables, and no crap!
I am a yoga instructor. I swim. I walk. I remain very active. I am also thankful that I do have the medication which has been prescribed for me. It gives me a wonderful quality of live! Together with eating right, eliminating bad foods, making sure the food combinations are appropriate and healthy, getting plenty of exercise, and practicing gratitude everyday I feel I have kicked RA in the ass!!!

anonymous Sep 29, 2014 12:15pm

I am a 78 year old female with RA, Type 2 diabetes, chronic congested sinuses and post nasal drip, IBS, a vibrant spirit and a desire to live past 100. HELP ME! I need to get rid of these symptoms which are not my soul, but my stumbling blocks! Around 2000 I had 3 angiograms with 1 stent at about the same time I was diagnosed with diabetes (Prednisone induced).I had previously been diagnosed with asthma (result of multiple testing). And my IBS was determined to be caused by food allergies by the internist. I then moved to another town, lost touch with the internist and am once again in dire straits.I was veryn recently on Prednisone for over a year, went to Enbrel (a previously effective medication) which is ow ineffective and a week ago went on Orencia which is causing severe pain and disability. My BP is 200/110 and will not come down with increases in medication (cardiologist appt tomorrow). I have pitting edema in both hands and both calves, and to a lesser extent in both thighs. My treatment of choice has been essential oils and teas for various symptoms but they now don't work. I'm willing to go anywhere to see a physician who will look for the source of the problem and not just treat the symptoms. Does Mayo have this philosophy? How about Univ of Madison, WI? West Coast? East Coast? Where can I find a list of Functional Physicians?

    anonymous Oct 5, 2014 7:58am

    You can start here to try to find a functional physician: https://www.functionalmedicine.org/practitioner_s
    Or a naturopathic physician: http://www.naturopathic.org

    You didn’t mention anything about your diet, have you tried changing that? I have had some success with the GAPS diet, it was recommended to me by a friend who is a naturopath. http://www.gapsdiet.com
    I rarely respond to any comments on articles like these, but for some reason your post really touched me… I sincerely hope you can find someone to help you, I know how frustrating and disheartening this all can be.

anonymous Sep 29, 2014 9:45am

I suffer from extreme inflammation and arthritis in neck back hands knees and feet, and also bowel and stomach issues, hot flashes and sleep disruption. I have began to detox my home. I use vinegar, lemon and peroxide and baking soda and soap nuts for laundry and dish cleaning(vinegar in the rinse aid slot, no film no spots) Next I will start on me. (Btw my ss sink is shinier then any I've seen with baking soda and lemon cleaner!) I already use natural chemical free body soap (Dudu osun) and shampoo.

I'm told I am the most vitamin d deficient person my doctor has ever seen. I moved to the country and I have 2 grandchildren I adopted, I'm 43 they are 3 and 4 and the 3 yr old is severely autistic.. I want to protect them and add life to myself.

I'm terrified at the meds my doc put me on… I wish I knew a better way to fix myself. I know I'm on the road I just wish I had a faster greener vehicle..

Any suggestions are appreciated..

PS: if you start to use SOAP NUTS think of it as a detox for your clothes, the fist wash removes fragrances so your clothes my smell odd, re wash, you are trying to remove the chemical build up and this can take 3 to 5 washes! But once that's done the coolness of your clothes on your skin is amazing! Your skin is the largest organ and important! Laundry soaps are 95+% chemical! Soap nuts are a natural soap berry actually and they work! Instead of bleach I use baking soda and peroxide or lemon juice. I use woollies dry balls with essence oils in the dryer. I know this seems foreign, but we need natural solutions to our everyday lives!

anonymous Sep 29, 2014 5:06am

I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in 1998. I have varied treatments, mostly by doing my own research, seeing as doctors had nothing to give me. I know there have been more advancements in researching and understanding FMS. Now they are looking at nerves, I believe. I have been on a low dose of amitriptylene since then and have tried to go off of it numerous times to no avail. Turns out I really "need" it for sleep. The things that have helped; yoga and meditation, staying clear or reducing things like sugar, wheat and dairy. Low impact exercise. I feel best when I do all of this AND be sure to take my vitamins. Magnesium and B's…..and for some reason, evening primrose oil had truly helped. I usually slip up here and there, like around the holidays. If there are any recommendations you can extend my way that would be helpful!

anonymous Sep 28, 2014 9:02pm

I was diagnosed with bechets about three years ago after going to many drs and specialists. I went through many antibiotics and pain killers for swollen knees, Sores in my mouth, and baseball size lumps on my arms and legs. My knees were drained and treated with cortisone and my immune system was suppressed with suffazine, folic acid, and methatroxate treatment. After two years my wife and i decided to start a family so i told the dr i wasnt going to take all this stuff. I now only have the odd swelling in my wrists and toes but keep it under wraps with naproxen. Im not cured and have accepted pain as a fact of life but do not want to be a pill popper. Not sure what the best way to treat my swelling and minor cuts that turn infectious but i do them one symptom at a time. Thanks for listening and any advise is helpful.

    anonymous Oct 19, 2014 9:01pm

    Hi Gary,

    I’ve also been diagnosed with Behcet’s and been living with it for 2 years now, only a year on treatment. I take azathioprine to keep the uveitis and mouth sores in check. I flat out refuse methotrexate! And I take vitamin D and C daily. But I use magic mouthwash and naproxen to help with the occasional mouth sores. Magic mouthwash is something any doctor or dentist can prescribe. It’s a mix of lidocaine, antacid, and antihistamine and works well for me. Naproxen is my go-to when I get swelling in my knees, but trying to stay active helps too. I try to walk a couple miles every day and yoga is great for keeping the joints strong. The fatigue is still an issue, but I’m learning to be kind to my body and give it the rest it needs sometimes. I wish you and your wife the best of luck!

anonymous Sep 28, 2014 5:30pm

My son has PANDAS which is an autoimmune condition. We practice all the suggestions listed and have for about a year. He is definitely doing better but he does have high levels of metal toxicity, I believe from vaccines. Anyway, his integrative doc recommends chelation therapy but we are not really wanting to take that road. Any suggestions as to other ways of decreasing metal levels?

    anonymous Feb 4, 2015 12:03am

    Hi Mary Jo…look into infrared saunas. My understanding is that they can help rid the body of toxins, including heavy metals. And there are no bad side effects. I'm keeping good thoughts for you and your son!

anonymous Sep 28, 2014 4:44pm

I was showing autoimmune blood markers, so ill I could hardly walk, or function,rheumatologist suspected Lupus. My Tibetan Dr. said I was headed for RA. I was beggining to have serious joint pain and problems. Four months of Tibetan herbs and very specific diet and my blood markers test normal. 10 months later and symptoms are beggining to stabalize. The Tibetan diagnosis is toxic digestion, colon and small intestine turning the essence of digestion into poision, if the stomach goes out it would become rheumatoid arthritis. If I even sleghtly deviate from the prescribed diet illness returns, illness which includes many symptoms of poisioning. In Tibetan system some are not curable, but if one does respond to medicine and diet one is curable unless crippled, within several years.

anonymous Sep 26, 2014 2:12am

My rheumatologist is very commercial doctor. He just checks his patients for 5 minutes. He has prescribed me meds nsaids. I’m 24 I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis a year back. What should I do?

anonymous Sep 17, 2014 9:35am

Hi, I have Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. I was diagnosed when I was 17 and I’ve been on immuno suppressants since then. This was almost a decade ago.

My doctors have never bothered to figure out the underlying cause of the disease and mostly just kept me on a daily dose of steroids and Methotrexate.

I am fairly active and I live in Delhi which means that I am in a developing country with all sorts of allergens and pollutants.

I’m quite helpless when I have a flare and I would be more than grateful if someone could help me out with managing JRA.

anonymous Aug 23, 2014 6:36am

I agree with everything you have said but in the real world, I can't eliminate stress as I have to work. I am an anxious person who also suffers depression because go the stress. I believe my auto immune conditions were "triggered" by an extreme case of stress in my life. My conditions seems to worsen with age. How do you explain advanced arthritis type conditions??? I'm 45 and MRI shows my back is like 80 year old. I'm such a fussy eater to eliminate foods is even more "stressful"….what do I do? I wish someone could tell me how to fix myself rather than swallow all these pills…

anonymous Aug 22, 2014 4:58pm

Hi. My 2 autoimmune diseases both kicked off after childbirth: thyroid from my first daughter and RA from my second. After taking NSAIDs, steroids and methotrexate for 2 yrs, gaining weight and still having flare ups I decided to do my own research into how I could improve things outside of the drugs the doctors insisted were the only cure.

Research found online explained how foods could trigger autoimmune diseases so I decided to eliminate all key trigger food groups for 6 weeks……after 2 I was off all meds apart from methotrexate. The doctors response? Spontaneous remission. Coincidence.

4 yrs later and I suffered from a flare up….why? Because I let the diet slip…happy to say it is back under control again! I have however developed an even stronger and dare I say violent reaction to wheat/gluten so wonder if I now have celiac disease too? I have eliminated it all from my diet now anyway so probs not worth being tested.

Keep spreading the word. ..people need to know they can fix stuff themselves and don’t need to rely purely on medication.

anonymous Aug 22, 2014 3:22am

Wow! Never realized that being hypothyroid was classed as an autoimmune disease!
Being hypo started in my late 30's the 1st symptons being kidney problems which went on for about three years , the doctor just gave ural powders and sent me on my way. After 3 years like this I then found suddenly all my energy was gone and took forever to do anything. I thought that maybe this was normal as you got older and put up with it. Many visits to doctor over this time. Then had all the classic symptons of a heart attack so scuttled off to the doctor and was laughed at and told it was probably a blood clot not a heart attack but nothing was done to check it out. Said that everyone was telling me my skin looked yellow but when I looked in the mirror it just looked brown to me. The doctor peered a bit closer & said it did look a bit yellow so sent me off for blood test for thyroid. I nearly died while she dithered around taking more blood tests to send to a specialist. He apparently had a fit and told her to get me on medication straight away. My metabolic rate was 0.01 normal was 22 to 26. Medication got me back to normal after a few months and was good for years until our thyroxine was tampered with. Govt got rid our medication and brought in the horrid eltroxine, known here in NZ as helltroxine. This was brought in July 2007 and so many of us throughout the country got extremely sick on this as the fillers used were the problem. Our immune systems were severely compromised. Glandular fever, always getting sick, swelling of feet and legs, fibromyalga were just a few of the problems we ended up with. Still got the swelling and fibromyalga getting worse and the hair loss, well am now on sythroid and have never gained back all my hair as apparently a side effect of synthroid is hair loss. just great! About 9 years ago I picked up a bug from a dirty guest house I stayed for one night and it got into my stomach and got very sick with that and then found it had given me IBS. I take probiotics for that off my own bat and helps with bloating and flatulence. IBS can swing both ways either constipated or diahria . cant remember how to spell that sorry. Still can be embarrassing though. Also I take iodine pills which help a bit with tiredness from thyroid and managed to get Vit D from doctor as cant go in sun as my feet swell up even more. Some things I would like to try I cant get as here doctors have a very narrow view and to find one who is knowledgeable about thyroid is like looking for a needle in a haystack.

anonymous Aug 21, 2014 10:45pm

I am a 33 year old mother of 2 school aged boys. My problem is that I have yet to be diagnosed with anything. I have been stuck in an endless cycle of lab work, thyroid ultrasounds and role out tests. Seven months ago I had to practically beg my primary care doctor to help me, and order some tests because of the weight gain, fatigue and body aches. All my thyroid function tests came back in range, but after more begging, she sent me for ultrasound of my thyroid where it came back as enlarged with some small nodules. Off to an endocrinologist specialist who ordered more tests, all back normal with an exception of my vitamin D, which was low. No RA, no Lupus. The plan was to just monitor the thyroid every 6 weeks with ultrasound and blood work and take a mega doses of Vd3. In the meantime, I started experiencing more symptoms – pain, swollen joints, numbness, brain fog and poor focus, disorientation at times, mucus cough/wheezing in the mornings, calf cramps, teeth are chipping, ear pain and ringing… and back to my check up of 7 weeks on 50,000iu of Vd3…more blood work that continued to show normal thyroid but now in addition to the vitamin d deficiency, my b12 and magnesium were low. She sent me to get a colonoscopy and upper scope, all normal – no colitis, crohns, celiac… My fatigue has gotten so bad, some days I cant get out of bed. I am at jeopardy of losing my full time job. I decided to get a second opinion and seen another endocrinologist. She's also following the same treatment plan as the first – only monitoring the thyroid function, on a ton of supplements (Vd3, magnesium, b12, calcium) and actually said all of my symptoms could be from me being overweight or sleep deprived. I laughed, as the weight gain isn't stopping, and impossible to lose, and I wish I can actually stay awake for more than 2 hours at a time without needing a nap. For the heck of it she ordered some A1C panels as I've developed some brown patchy skin changes to which she thinks is diabetes, some cortisol and parathyroid tests. All normal. She did want to look into the cortisol more and ordered the ACTH Stim test…Its just more and more tests with nothing to help me. The pain and fatigue are unbearable at times, and I've attempted to remain in good mental health, but as of lately I have started to feel a loss of hope to ever feeling better and finding an answer. On top of it all, I carry an individual health insurance policy for my sons and I, and the medical bills that have been piling up are becoming overwhelming. I feel I have lost faith in Mainstream Medicine practices and the US healthcare system in general. What I am going through, if its an autoimmune disease, I wish it on no one.

anonymous Aug 18, 2014 10:16am

Doctor Hyman, I read your article with interest but noticed that you did not mention type 1 insulin dependent diabetes. It seems to me to be one of the more common autoimmune disorders. I have had it for over 20 years; I have a strong family history, and I had dysentery as a child a few years before becoming diabetic. I know we are a cash cow to the pharmaceutical industry and the only way a cure would be released is if it's a medicine you have to take every day of your life, so they can keep making money. I am in good diabetic control and have a very good diet (almost all local organic produce, mostly vegetarian, nothing from a box, etc.) and exercise regularly, but of course I am still diabetic. Have you ever treated any type 1 diabetics?

anonymous Aug 14, 2014 2:09pm

I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease not specified and I was treated with Plasmoquin a malaria prophylactic. It helped for a while but not long term. Found your article very interesting. Thank you

anonymous Aug 10, 2014 11:00pm

My first indication of an autoimmune disorder was in 2002 when my eyes were attacked & my epithelial layer began tearing. I was diagnosed with Corneal Dystrophy by me eye dr. Who advised me that he thought my immune system was attacking my eyes. Then in 2008 I began vomiting & diarrhea with a great loss of blood. Put into hospital & diagnosed with severe pan ulcerative colitis. Went on Remicade infusions every six weeks after all oral meds failed. Diagnosed with Vasculitis in 2011 taking Prednisone for outbreaks, Dapsone 100 mg daily, & Clobetasol Propionate 0.05 % as needed. I have sleep apnea since 1998 & on CPAP. Type II Diabetes in 2003 on Metformin 1000 & insulins. COPD diagnosis in 2006. In July 2014 went on oxygen due to advancing COPD. Take probiotics, Gas-X, Fish Oil, & other supplements for Ulcerative Colitis. Doctors just keep giving me more med. I am a 66 year old white male who is obese & sedentary. That's a capsule of my health.

anonymous Aug 10, 2014 5:44pm

How do I find a doctor who will know about these therapies and treatments and not just throw antibiotics at my 9-year-old daughter?

anonymous Aug 10, 2014 8:11am

I found your article so interesting and inspiring….. is there someone in the UK who has similar methods to you? I would be so grateful to know…

I am in London.

Jane.

anonymous Aug 9, 2014 4:44pm

I have had RA SINCE 2009. I went through the alternative treatment for 3 years and detox, vegan, green smoothies, Lyme titters, antibiotic treatments and never got relief. Now I’m on humira, methotrexate and prednisone. It’s not perfect and I get sick a lot, but I’m not in excruciating pain anymore. I’d love to have my health back. Suggestions?

anonymous Aug 9, 2014 4:18pm

My experience is that most mainstream medicine seems to complicate autoimmune problems rather than solve them but can be a necessary adjunct to the complete healing process. I was first diagnosed with an autoimmune illness 38 years ago and have gone through a series of different kinds of autoimmune illnesses since then. The only treatments that work are those that deal with the underlying causes of STRESS, which can either be caused by the inflammatory responses taking place or the cause of the the inflammatory responses. Either way, food, exercise and rest coupled with getting into one's own rhythm seem to be the only clear answer to what comes up. Each person's path will be different and each of us must find what works for our particular body but as the saying goes, All Roads Lead to ROME.

anonymous Aug 9, 2014 3:10pm

I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism in the mid-1990's and was instantly put on levothroid and later synthroid. In 2008 after still feeling like crap with my fatigue, my hair still thinning and still not being able to get to a weight that I thought was healthy for me I got off of the thyroid medication all together. Every time I went to the doctor to tell them an update on how I felt and to get my blood work done they just said well stay on the medication. I couldn't do it anymore and I told them that. If they weren't going to see that I still felt awful and the only thing being on synthroid did was give a regular period, but all other symptoms stayed the same I was done with them. I felt like I was being fed the attitude you have this and you'll take this little pill for the rest of your life. I'm not to be told things like that. I said thank you and no I won't. I have since been an awesome journey of healing. At that time I was already practicing meditation, yoga, and I am a massage practitioner. I started to educate myself on the mind/body connection and today I am not only healing myself but I can now give my clients a better understanding of the importance of mind-body connection. Thank you for sharing this wisdom. ~Jennifer

anonymous Aug 9, 2014 11:49am

I'm somewhat surprised that this article didn't address the role of nutrition in inflammatory issues and autoimmune problems. The average American diet – full of "factory food" – disrupts organ function and affects mental performance from many perspectives, which creates a vicious cycle from which many do not recover. There's a wonderful book – "The Schwarzbein Principle" – that lays out the problem and solution pretty clearly (in a nugget – EAT REAL FOOD). It was ahead of its time when first published about 15 years ago. It would be good to hear from Dr. Hyman on this topic.

anonymous Aug 9, 2014 9:07am

I was sick a lot as a child. I remember always seeing mold n our apt when i was little. I was always feeling drained, even in my teens. I was diagnosed w lupus, sjogrens syndrome and fibromyalgia. I hurt everyday, especially my lower back along w my sciatica. My mother is staying w me to help. She is 63, I’m 31 and she has way more energy than I do!!

anonymous Aug 9, 2014 7:06am

Been through the gamut with my sister. This info and responses are all too familiar. Making most sense now – HISTAMINE INTOLERANCE. Google it.

anonymous Aug 8, 2014 8:15pm

WOW! Finally someone that gets it. I was bed ridden and frustrated, doctors got mad at me when i finally said no to all teh drugs that numbed the pain. Finally was diagnosed with R.A and auto immune disease. I did a bit pr reading and talking to others and noticed that food played a big part, So I made a drastic change. I quit eating processed foods. I grow, can freeze and dehydrate my own food. I have figured out what restaurants have what I call safe foods, that will not upset my stomach ans send me into a flare up. When i cheat I pay for it. I garden, take care of my chickens have a few cats and a dog. Live in country and am moving to a cabin in the Ozarks. Staying hydrated is a big help. No soda unless you can find ones that have real sugar and not the other stuff. Only home made wheat bread. little to no carbs. It is not an easy diet, but beats being bed ridden and in pain all the time. My flare ups are only once or twice a month and not as bad. I do still take one of the meds from the doc. but only 1/2 and 1 time every 2 weeks. The other meds I dot like how they make me feel. make me worse cause i cannot eat at all on them. I am determined to live the best life i can for as long as i can and live my dream as long as i can.

anonymous Aug 8, 2014 7:20pm

I have just recently achieved a state of being fibromyalgia pain free after a long journey of 17 years. The success came about when I finally approached fibromyalgia as a food allergy issue *and* that my diet (SAD at the time) was causing inflammation. By eliminating wheat and dairy, then following a paleo *and* low FODMAP diet with the goal of managing my blood sugar and IBS symptoms. The final touch was adding bone broth, and digestive enzymes to my diet. I am not pain free, as now the only remaining pain, is due to degenerative arthritis in my spine, but I was actually unable to realize this because I had so much pain all over from fibromyalgia that I could not tell the difference! I now have a lot more energy, no more brain fog, and just over all feel so much better.

anonymous Aug 8, 2014 11:06am

Dr., how or what kind of questions do you ask to find the type of Dr. that does this kind of treatment? Is the Dr. a Natural pathic or D.O.?

anonymous Aug 8, 2014 10:35am

I found your article really interesting. I would love to find a doctor who would look at these issues for me.

I have asthma (since my childhood), Crohn’s disease, IBS and now apparently the start of arthritis.

I have had three burnouts, shingles twice and various other problems.

I take immune suppressants.

I have a known peanut allergy but I know I also react to many other foods. I can’t seem to cope with a lot of vegetables and all of the healthy wholemeal stuff gives me such bad stomach cramps I am doubled up.

I’ve tried completely removing dairy etc from my diet, but it didn’t change anything. I’ve tried vitamins/supplements and probiotics and they do help but only for a limited time.

I have a very stressful life my son is autistic and has many health problems and I also have three other children two of whom also have conditions.

I have no family support (apart from that from my very lovely husband) which means it’s very exhausting.

I keep trying things to try and help myself, but I feel lost. On top of that it’s hard to find time to look after myself because the children have such enormous needs, and there are regularly situations which just cannot be left.

I’ve also tried therapy, physiotherapy, massage.

    anonymous Aug 8, 2014 3:50pm

    Another suggestion is NAET. It has worked for me and my daughter. I had CFS and she had multiple allergies. It turned out I actually had lots too but didn't realise. It is a process but we are both 80% better than we were. The practitioner has also ben a huge support to us both.

    anonymous Sep 6, 2014 6:31am

    I've been doing the IsaGenics program. I have lupus, but no swelling issues, mostly pain in my joints. A friend also with Lupus introduced me to this product – for some reason it really works for people with autoimmune. It provides you with a complete meal with a whey protein. My husband is really skeptical about these kinds of programs and researched it. My friends Dr said this was a really good product. Could be worth checking in to. Have read successful feedback that includes Chrone's, IBS, and arthritis. If my statement gets approved and you see this, I wish you luck!!!

anonymous Aug 8, 2014 10:04am

I was diagnosed with Wegeners's Granulomatosis in 2002. I was treated with Cytoxan and Prednisone, I relapsed in 2003 and in 2004 put on Methotrexate, in the fall of 2004 I got on an elliptical for two minutes, a year later 45 minutes, a year after that 1 hour. From the beginning I looked at this terrible disease as my teacher; I learned extreme self-care and never looked back. I've been in remission for six years. Today I'm healthier than I was before the illness!

    anonymous Aug 9, 2014 8:28pm

    Can you please tell me what an elliptical is as I too have Wegeners and have never heard of that . Thank you

      anonymous Feb 18, 2015 7:53pm

      My father has wegener's granulomatosis. Diagnosed (probably) 2008 or so. I will forward him a link to this article.

      His latest troubles relate to sinus and ear problems. He has been referred to an ENT with experience treating Wegener's. The doc will likely recommend another round of cytoxan.

      I too am curious about the "elliptical" mentioned above. Does that mean an elliptical machine at the gym?

anonymous Aug 8, 2014 9:20am

I have suffered with hypothyroidism for over 8 years and have always taken Levothyroxine. Since diagnosed I gained 50 pounds, had a mental breakdown causing me to need anti-depressants, have become so fatigued I can barely function. Finally, 6 months ago my family was so concerned over my weight, depression, and fatigue my mom went with me to doctor to convince them there was something wrong. My labs were always "normal" and the docs just would never believe me. It was then we discovered my thyroid antibodies were over 5000 and I was referred to an endocrinologist. I went to a specialty clinic 3 hours away to be told I have an auto-immune disease, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. At first she was concerned I had developed encephelopathy due to my sudden problem remembering things (I had been having problems communicating at work, not able to remember words, and having horrible headaches). She ran the labs and referred me to neurologist. I was put on 80mcg levothyroxine and told to come back in 3 months after seeing the neuro. Since then, I've had MRI of brain, overnight sleep studies and the daytime nap study. They ruled out narcolepsy but said I "do have unexplained excessive daytime sleepiness". My labs are "normal" so no change in thyroid medicine. Endo says thyroid is almost dead but levo is the only treatment. When I ask about WHY my body is attacking itself, she has no answer and just says I'm reading too much and to be patient with the levo. She won't test for food allergies or any other deficiencies. I have been reading all about this disease and have been gluten free on my own for less than a week and have already lost weight with reduction in the swelling and stomach issues. I also tend to have a UTI or blood in my urine at every regular doctor visit this past year and wonder if that has something to do with it. They ignore the blood and usually put me on an antibiotic for the uti. But it does make me concerned that there is more to it than just a gluten sensitivity. Thanks for your story and allowing me to share a synopsis of mine.

    anonymous Sep 17, 2014 9:44am

    Hi – I was on synthroid and then eltroxin for Hashimoto's and tolerated it poorly. My skin was incredibly itchy at one point the skin on my face was peeling off – long story short, I cut back my eltroxin (now on 1/4 – 1.2 of .05 per day) and I take a selenium 200 mcg per day. AND most importantly, I started treating my uncorrected adrenal insufficiency with Adrena Plus herbal combo. All these meds are contraindicated for adrenal insufficiency. I was having a horrible time handling stress and I'm a pretty solid person. For a month I stopped all meds, got my adrenals on track (added B complex at the beginning and I take it now and again if I'm feeling jumpy). I sometimes wonder if I have a mix of Hashimoto's and Graves because I feel hyper thyroid too. It is frustrating that it takes so long to find solutions.

anonymous Aug 8, 2014 8:08am

I was told I have wegners disease ten years ago and almost died from it I had a cleaning of my blood and was put on high doses of prednisone along with cytoxin for one year I've been off of everything since then but now because of the effects it had on my kidneys I have to take blood pressure meds and I'm depleted of vitamin d and have a large gut I can't get rid of any ideas that could help would be appreciated

anonymous Aug 8, 2014 6:40am

You are a true pioneer for millions of us that the "modern" form of medicine does not help AT ALL!! After 20 years of Graves, my auto immune disease into Hashi's. I finally found a doctor last year that is doing exactly what your article is about. I am slowly beginning to heal. The best information I have found has come from support groups, not from the current medical community. They are closed minded and dismissive of the millions that have auto immune disease. Fortunately, we do have pioneers that are stepping out and truly finding answers. Every idea in your article works. Hope the leaders in medicine wake up and see the antiquated treatments they now do, is killing people not healing people.

anonymous Aug 8, 2014 12:51am

My daughter was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at the age of 22. Did not want to be on lifelong medication so went to a Naturopath who sent her for full blood allergy testing. Extremely allergic to dairy (the proteins) and eggs. Arthritis has settled really well, no need for medication although still having some tummy troubles that we can't quite put our finger on the cause. Caffeine seems to be one trigger though

    anonymous Feb 3, 2015 4:55pm

    Have you heard of ayurveda? The food combining rules, as well as understanding how our digestion works can help remove the cause. check out healingdietayurveda.com <3 wishing you all the best.

    anonymous Jul 17, 2015 8:08am

    Ditto. I'm 57 now and 8 years ago went to a naturopath…same tests, off the chart sensitivities to 75% of 300 foods tested. I didn't have rheumatoid arthritis but calming the gut down by eliminating foods for a few months allowed me to heal the gut and start up taking the nutrients from the food I ate…result, my bloated, swollen body dropped 30 lbs and my energy returned. My itchy skin calmed down…and though I hadn't realized depression was part of the sad state I was in, it lifted and I became more productive in my thinking and actions. Coffee was the 1st thing I quit cold turkey, before the allergy tests came back. I still avoid caffein. Best of luck to you Mandy…this is doable. I came from 4 generations of western medicine doctors and trusted the science but have recognized that the body has an amazing ability to heal itself and though western medicine definitely has a place, it's been my experience that patients are most often just a number (Drs don't listen to the patient) and the doctors are owned by the pharmaceutical industry.

anonymous Aug 8, 2014 12:35am

I have been saying this for years "Your body is fighting something—an infection, a toxin, an allergen, a food or the stress response—and somehow it redirects its hostile attack on your joints, your brain, your thyroid, your gut, your skin, or sometimes your whole body." and people just look at me like I am crazy.

I have never believed that the immune system just gets stupid one day. It is just far to amazing.

I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia 20 years ago, I quickly came to see it merely as a symptom. I needed to find the cause and 10 years ago I was diagnosed with Lyme Disease as well as several co-infections. I began treatment and now use primarily alternative, natural means to manage the Lyme and am nearly symptom free and I was a mess prior.

Because of this I have become a holistic health counselor, so much of the healing starts right at home.

Thank you! I hope it doesn't take to much longer for mainstream medicine to catch on. There are far to many people suffering needlessly,

    anonymous Feb 15, 2015 4:50am

    Hi a Rebecca what is a holistic health councillor?

anonymous Aug 7, 2014 9:46pm

Lyme Disease, known as the Hidden Plague, can be responsible for many auto-immune disorders. It's difficult to diagnose. Cut out sugar, stress, processed foods, dairy and gluten. This tremendously helped me with my inflammation problems. Lyme patients should not take steroids or ibuprofen. Good health to all.

anonymous Aug 7, 2014 9:33pm

Flax seed oil capsules have been a miracle worker for me. They have relieved my psoriasis and inflammation like nothing else has. If you Google flax seed oil, you'll see all of the great qualities — works better for me than fish oil.

anonymous Aug 7, 2014 6:31pm

The thinking here dangerous! Antidotal at best.

anonymous Aug 7, 2014 5:54pm

Thanks for this article I will be bringing this up to my doctor as I'm labeled the "mystery patient". My blood results all come back perfect but the fatigue and issues keep coming I'm hoping to research more and adopt a few of the ideas in this article in order to get back to feeling like my normal bubbly self again.

    anonymous Sep 6, 2014 6:02am

    I think this is where I fall as well. My blood work indicated Lupus, but the numbers keep going down, but the joint pain is there in spades and tired + early mornings where I cannot fall back to sleep. Major reaction to the Hydroxychloroquin, so have to look for other ways. Good luck to you!

anonymous Aug 7, 2014 4:58pm

I love the method of thinking that you use! As a beauty therapist, people come to me with all sorts of ailments and the doctors they have seen are no help to them. I wish there were more doctors that follow functioning medicine! I am trained in manual lymphatic drainage massage and my first response is often to start with some LDM as it reduces inflammation, however, if you’re immune system is attacking your body, would this aggravate the problem?

anonymous Aug 7, 2014 4:46pm

Thank you for this article. I was sick, with flue like symptoms (nausea, bone ache and extreme fatigue) all of last winter and it took a lot of prodding on my side (half a year of it) until my doctor sent me in for tests. Eventually I was diagnosed with low levels of anti bodies, however not low enough to give me any treatment. Now in the summer my symptoms are better, but because we live in a State with harsh winters I am concerned about this coming season. I am suffering under more frequent ocular migraines than ever in my life and though I try to exercise I tire very quickly, so much that by 5 p.m. I am feeling fatigued most of the days. We eat very healthy, as much organic as possible, I am a vegetarian and on a gluten free diet. All I know is that once I started eating hot peppers on a regular basis it seemed to help a bit (at least concerning the bone aches). I would love to to the elimination diet, but if all my food allergies and the vegetarian and gluten free diet I am concerned that I may not get enough nutrients. I would be very happy about advice, thank you again.

anonymous Aug 7, 2014 4:27pm

I'm just starting down this road I'm 72 and have been getting bronchitis and asthma attacks for almost 9 months now. They come and they. I am given prednisone and antibiotics. They go away for a short time, but always come back. We never treat the cause, whatever that is, just up the steroid and pills. I've changed my diet, cook organically, and think I eat healthy. Your article tells me, perhaps, that I should look for a doctor interested in finding the root cause. That I will try to do, although I don't know where to start.

anonymous Aug 7, 2014 2:35pm

Thank you for this article – It really resonated with me. I was diagnosed with Celiac 3 years ago by a doctor who simply "checked all the boxes" on a blood test form after I had explained that for 10 years my health was getting worse and nobody was able to figure out why. I live and travel abroad, so doctors often blamed my "Illness" on my lifestyle.
I adopted more of a paleo lifestyle and I instantly felt better. The headaches I was having every other day disappeared, I had more energy, my mental clarity returned, and so much more! I have not depended on medicines, and the doctors in the country I live in still believe in mostly natural remedy, which is good. There is still a lot of work to be done on my part – and I still have some struggles, but I definitely appreciate the attitude about treating the root cause as naturally as possible as opposed to the symptoms with pharms.

anonymous Aug 7, 2014 2:15pm

So Mark, along this same thinking and using these same guidelines, can we create such strong immune systems thereby establishing natural IMMUNity and rendering vaccines/IMMUNizations unnecessary (for our children)?? I wholeheartedly believe that we can, but would very much appreciate your thoughts on this matter. Thank you.

    anonymous Dec 16, 2014 12:27am

    Collette: my 33year old daughter has been diagnosed with Sarcoidosis, then gastroparesis and had to have a subtotal gastrectomy. And still has problems and can't eat! She has lost almost 200 pounds in 1 year. All the time she has complained about pain all through her body and was finally diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Then she went to her pulmonaligist for her check up and he insisted she have her Flu shot! We he failed to tell her that in her compromised health issues. She might have a bad reaction to the shot! Well week later she started to get weaker and it got worse every week till she callapsed on the floor trying to get out of bed. We had to call for a ambulance cause she had no control over her legs. We were at the emergency room for hours then they said there was nothing wrong with her so they put her in our car and sent her home. Well 2days latter after arguing with her doctor about her health we called the ambulance to pick her up and we were there for 10 hours fighting with the hospital to admit her and they finally did! She was in there for 13. Days. She had a bleeding ulcer, bladder and kidney infection, and her paralized lower half of her body was diagnosed as Guillian Barre Syndrome, Which was from a Flu shot that her doctor demanded she get! It attacked her central nervous system and stops the brains from sending messages to the body to move. She could be this way for up to 6 months to 1 year. And she my not get back all of her feeling and movement . She is at a rehabilitation center right now and could be there for many months all because a stupid doctor did not warn her off the side affects of the flu shot she received! I have lost faith in a lot of the medical profetionals

anonymous Aug 7, 2014 1:58pm

Been dealing with this for a long time. My case presented itself as psoriasis and has moved on to psoriatic arthritis and IBS, along with chronic tendinitis in my Achilles. My case is mild compared to a lot of others but, after seeing a number of MDs and dermatologists and being fed up with their lack of help, I only now see an acupuncturist and practice Yoga and meditation on a daily basis. I've modified my diet and try to be as vegetarian as possible but, as others can attest to, when your body reacts unfavorably to innocuous foods like olive oil (among others), sometimes you have to pick your poison and choose the item that will least affect your system. Just another form of ahimsa in my opinion.

anonymous Aug 7, 2014 1:57pm

This article is right on. I have had so many issues with my "gut" and have had to change my diet, my mindset, the people I surround myself with and even the work that I am doing for my livelihood. All of these changes have impacted me positively and in a healthy manner. I am now in a good place. Mind, body and spirit work together – and when one is off, they are all off. Our bodies have the ability to heal on their own. People have been around much longer than modern medicine. Remember that the next time you are offered a medication that you may not really need. Our bodies have the abilty and they WANT TO heal. Get yourself into a space where you can heal, if that means changing jobs or diet or the people you surround yourself with daily, do what you need to do to be healthy! Your health and well being are worth it. There is hope!!!

anonymous Aug 7, 2014 12:54pm

I have multiple autoimmune diseases, including systemic lupus, myasthenia gravis, autoimmune hepatitis, as well as fibro and several secondary illnesses from the primaries listed. I have done everything listed, been tested for all of these things and I find no relief. If for not the medications of western medicine, I would not be here today. I was that kid growing up on the farm exposed to animals, bugs and germs. I have been tested for everything under the sun and have lived a healthy life following the rules of a healthy lifestyle as best as I can.

I hope this article helps some people, but it does have the potential hurt many. This article gives the impression to the public that autoimmune disease can be prevented and cured by following these nine steps, and that if you are not doing these things it could be your fault.Taking healthy steps is always good, but if a person is still ill and needs medication, they should not be made to feel guilty or inadaquate in their struggle.I have not felt relief with any of this.

This upsets me! It's no wonder healthy people come up to me and recommend this or that new multilevel marketing product with claims of a cure when they can't even pronounce the names of my diseases. But they know how to cure them! Or other healthy well intentioned people who just don't get it because they read an article like this and they wonder if you are doing everything you can to make yourself healthy? Gosh, you must be doing something wrong? Have you tried…??? No one wants to live like this! No one! It's right in the title of this article that this is the answer. How to stop attacking yourself: 9 steps to heal autoimmune disease. That's quite a claim. Try telling this to the people who have died from it!

    anonymous Aug 8, 2014 1:36pm

    I whole-heartedly agree with multipleauto. I have grown very wary of "helpful advice" that well-meaning people like to give after reading an article or two. I am also very skeptical of anyone claiming to "cure" an auto immune disease. More than anything, I am tired of the blame being put on the patient.
    I do believe that changes in lifestyle and diet can help many people, but I know that it can't help everyone. I also know that the traditional medicines really do work for many people and for others they do not. Auto-immune diseases are not one-size-fits-all.

      anonymous Sep 25, 2014 10:52pm

      Agreed! And if the doctors were not going to treat the 'either sjorgren's or lupus' it must have been VERY mild. Possibly not there at all. Easy to 'cure' something that was never there. Diet will most certainly help metabolic syndrome and diabetes, but diseases like lupus, sjorgrens, rheumatoid arthritis, if they are of any severity, will require medication.

    anonymous Sep 29, 2014 12:52pm

    Thanks so much for your comments, mulipleauto and Andrea! I, too, have multiple health problems including myasthenia gravis. I know friends who keep telling me to try this, that, or the other want me to be well but they really don't understand the complexities involved. It does make me feel upset also! I do a number of the things on the list already and found that some help a little in managing my situation — however, that is not a "cure."

    anonymous Sep 29, 2014 3:23pm

    This has been my experience as well. Husband chef, we are vegans, and I have tried all the naturopathic cleanses, injections, and IV's known, and I began to crumble, unable to walk or function at all. I take a biologic now, and it works very well, gives me my life back, and I stay as healthy as possible. I walk 2k a day, yoga 3x a week, but that is my limit. The fatigue is challenging. But I am thankful for biologics.

    anonymous Feb 26, 2015 12:27pm

    I would just like to say THANKYOU Multipleauto, I to have multiple autoimmune diseases, I wish it was as easy as articles say or people with good intentions who recently read an article on one of my many autoimmune and or other diseases I have but I hate to say it's not as easy as changing your diet or eastern therapies . I've had autoimmune diseases for 25 yrs., I recently read an article "WELL YOU LOOK GOOD".THIS WAS ABOUT HOW TO THE UNKNOWING AND EVEN THE KNOWING will say with ignorence comments that just make you wanna scream, sure if you see me sitting down on a good day I may appear fine but truth is the spasticity, pain, cognitive disorders, burning, lack of feeling just to name a few are tearing me apart as I'm sitting there.I find some relatives and friends (not all) are saying what they think will help you, that I'm grateful for the concern) but it only makes me dwell on what they don't see and don't know about my multi autoimmune diagnosis and either don't have or take the time to ask. Personally I would rather have them ask me about my illnesses, I have no problem explaining my situation, or offer or say I don't know anything about what to suggest but if you ever wanna go to a conference say or a benefit to educate the public and raise funds to help support ones suffering from and research to help in finding A CURE.IT is such a hard road and western medicine has definitely saved my life and allowed me to be writing this, any new information that can be informative or help with symptoms for some I say sure but what works for the goose doesn't work for the gander, just like another sufferer said even if you share the same disease doesn't mean they suffer the same, and another good point is if was so easy to cure but hard to diagnose might not have been Lupus.

    anonymous May 30, 2015 5:23pm

    I agree with you, multipleauto. I have Behcet's (which, BTW occurs in mostly non-caucasian countries, many of which are impoverished.), Lupus, Raynaud's and Fibromyalgia. I was completely unable to work or function until my diagnosis. Thankfully I have amazing western doctors whose treatment allows me to not only work, but own my own business. I watched a friend, with R.A., deteriorate so severely she had to be in a wheel chair and later had to have all her major joints replaced after getting unsound medical advice like this. People with serious debilitating chronic illnesses need medical care. I have NEVER had a doctor say to me (with Lupus) that my treatment did not matter. My doctors are very concerned with even a slight cold I may develop. And yes, I am even prescribed fish oil and Vitamin D, B, Calcium, B Complex, bio-identical hormones and DHEA. This upsets me too. It's irresponsible to put this out there for people who have degenerative deseases who may, as their joints deteriorate, or their eyesight be impacted, beleive that healthy food and votamins will cure them

    anonymous Jul 21, 2015 8:19pm

    Thank you all for being so honest. My daughter was diagnosed with lupus SLE when she was eleven two years ago.
    It was so out of the blue. She has an identical twin sister. Same household, same diet, level of activity, same DNA.
    Docs say it is in your DNA and a traumatic event can (trigger) or release the disease. Well, she suffered a mild concussion sledding and was never right after. Fatigue, joint pain, swelling, a climbing fever with excruciating headaches.
    A Malar rash made it easy to diagnose in just a month or so. Lots of meds and 10 months later she was admitted with sever kidney involvement and treated with chemotherapy.
    Thank goodness for Boston Children's hospital. I don't think if she followed this plan above that she'd be here today.
    Lupus is a real, devastating disease. I don't hear of people dying from IBS. I'm sure it's painful, and happy for them that these things listed above will beneficial. Everybody should take care of themselves and eat a clean healthy diet.
    Try telling a diabetic to manage with diet alone.
    However, I believe in eastern medicine and read these articles with hope and excitement. I want to run to her with this and "cure " her but not willing to put my sweeties life on the line.
    I just cringe when people through around the "auto-immune" blanket.
    🙂

    anonymous Jul 26, 2015 4:07am

    Glad to see someone saying this – I've been ill 10 yrs, tried everything, and am infuriated when people seem to think that I've been suffering for nothing, and all I need to do is drink this or take that or do this. It's fucking patronising.

    anonymous Jul 27, 2015 2:21am

    I agree completely with this post. And THANK YOU for saying what those of us who have these diseases have found out the hard way. I developed auto-immune diseases (ulcerative coltis, ankylosing spondylitis, reactive arthritis, chostochondritis, oral lesions, etc.) and everyone I knew had some holistic "cure" None of them worked for me and my disease got worse and worse. It took me years before I discovered that all of these problems had the same root cause, namely exaggerated and aberrant immune response. I actually went back to school to study physiology and immunology so I could better understand what was going on. I've also discovered that I carry many genes that result in a higher chance of developing these auto-immune problems. I feel it is harmful to mislead people into thinking they can cure themselves with diet and lifestyle alone. Real autoimmune disorder will not go away just because you remove the things that trigger antibody production. Obviously you will be less symptomatic the fewer antibodies are produced in response to environmental pathogens and allergens but that is not the same as curing the disorder. Its not the same for everyone, so if someone can improve symptoms or go into a remission from diet alone, great, but for most people medication may be the thing that saves their life or greatly improves their quality of life. Auto-immune diseases are not fun to live with.

    anonymous Jan 21, 2016 5:48am

    Your so totally right. I do all the things listed and then some. I have inflammatory Arthritis and I take a biologic. Yes, expensive, I am fortunate to have a good health plan. It is live injection 1x weekly, and it gives me my life back. It supposedly slows your immune system as a TNF blocker. I think I am a good candidate, because I am healthy to begin (grew up on farm, and continue to have multpile pets), and I had a strong immunity to begin with. My condition is reactionary, the trigger was surgery, and it may resolve, probably not, since, what is missing in this article, is, some of us have genetic predisposition and will be plagued with a variety of diseases, not by anything we did, or did not do.

anonymous Aug 7, 2014 11:45am

Ten years ago, after a sudden flare up of itinerant joint pain along with lower back pain, fatigue, alopecia, and labored breathing, the doctor ordered numerous tests and a week later the diagnosis of lupus was suggested as the reason for these symptoms. I was stunned since the most severe disease I experienced was pneumonia in one lung two decades prior. The rheumatologist prescribed plaquenil for the pain but I decided to go the holistic route. A good friend who is also a nurse practitioner suggested I find a functional doctor in my area to treat the disease. After following the functional doctor's recommendations to change my diet as well as see an acupuncturist to assist with the pain, in 6 months I was pain free and many of the other symptoms abated after a few years. The last time I saw the rheumatologist, she stated if I were to present to her on that day, she would not diagnose me as having lupus. Patience for me was key to feeling better. I have been practicing yoga and meditation consistently the past 5 years which, in my opinion, has helped me deal with everyday life stress. I have not had another flare up since the first one ten years ago. I am grateful to all my alternative/complementary doctors, friends, and teachers.

    anonymous Aug 10, 2015 3:34pm

    Hi Monica,
    Did your hair grow back from the Alopceica?

anonymous Aug 7, 2014 10:55am

I was diagnosed with Crohns' disease some 12 years ago or so, after a debilitating flame up put me in the hospital. I have an interest in health and fitness and started reading about gluten free diets, cutting out all processed foods, etc. Not to mention, my husband is from a small wonderful town in Romania, where they ate only natural, whole foods, most of which they grew themselves. He was always telling me how horrible the American diet is, and would give me so much grief when I would go for fast food or anything in a box. So, over a year ago I cut out gluten, most sugar, etc. My last colonoscopy, my Doctor was amazed. I was healing, plus, my bloodwork was 'fantastic' as he said. This was the first time in the 12 years that he has said anything so positive to me about my test results.

    anonymous Aug 3, 2015 2:33pm

    I have Crohn's and I just started on the same path – My goal is to stay med free! Loved seeing your post, gives me so much hope!!

anonymous Aug 7, 2014 10:55am

About 10 years ago, I developed what I thought to be a one-time episode of uveitis (inflamed eye, basically). Over the next few years, it returned with increased regularity, to the point where it would return every four to six months. For those who don't know, it's extremely painful and is treated with steroid drops. My eye doc became concerned that I must have some underlying autoimmune disease, so sent me in for blood tests. Nothing came back as conclusive (though I found out recently that I did, in fact, have elevated levels of CRP, an indicator of inflammation…no one discussed that with me). Soon after the blood work, I began experiencing all-over joint pain. More doctor visits and a recommendation that I see a rheumatologist for more tests. He was booked six months out, but I made an appointment anyway. In the mean time, I decided for completely unrelated reasons to go vegan. After just a couple of months, the joint pain was gone, and I hadn't had a flare-up of the uveitis. Months later, still symptom-free, I went through the rigorous testing with the rheumatologist. Nothing showed up. I explained to the doc that I hadn't had any symptoms at all since cutting all animal products out of my diet. He shrugged. I've now been vegan for over five years, and I haven't had a single occurrence of joint aching or the uveitis. I try to eat as clean as possible, but the only real thing I focus on is having no animal products. I've never felt better in my life.

anonymous Aug 7, 2014 10:22am

I totally agree with all that you are saying and I have done 8 of your nine steps, however reducing stress seems to have me stumped. I am a 61 year old male who has been a stutterer all my life and the stress of speaking has become a habit for me and it always around and I am at a loss as to how to reduce the self imposed stress that I have?????

    anonymous Aug 8, 2014 3:43pm

    Have you tried any therapies such as Hypnotherapy, Thought Field Therapy, Reflective Repaterning or Energetic NLP.? Plus Yoga , Tai Chi, Qi Gong or meditation? All of those have really helped me with anxiety, stress and depression. As well as avoiding gluten and alcohol (as they really affect my moods) I feel good.

    anonymous Aug 11, 2014 1:06pm

    Jim, try talking to your subconscious. 3 times a day and especially before going to sleep, say out loud something like this: "My speech flows easily and clearly. I am relaxed when I speak. Speaking is enjoyable for me and those who hear me. I am at ease." It might surprise you how quickly results come. All the best.

    anonymous Sep 30, 2014 2:09am

    I just want to say that I also have and have had different conditions that people don't understand and they the things they advise me to do suggest that they haven't listened to a word I said to them, and that they think I'm either stupid, born yesterday, or am causing the problem myself and can simply decide not to have it. The conditions they think they know the simple answer to include type I diabetes, celiac disease and herniated disks. The single-plan-fix solutions include adding flax seed to all my food, standing up straight and simply eating wheat every day and *deciding* that my hereditary gluten intolerance does not exist. I imagine you have tried every method you have heard of to try and cure your stutter and while there may well be a cure or method that will work for you, it is probably not simple. And I do understand that you were *not* saying that stress causes your stutter, as the woman below assumed without reading your actual words, but that your stutter is the cause of your stress and this permeates your life in every aspect because the simple act of speaking is traumatic for you. I don't have any advice or experience with stuttering, but I wanted you to know you're not alone in having to listen politely to people with mostly well-intentioned but untenable or too-obvious solutions to your affliction. Good luck. -Gil

    anonymous Nov 30, 2014 4:50pm

    Studies have shown stutterers do well with headphones on when they talk or also play music in them. Something about the distraction of your own stuttering makes it worse. If you can not hear yourself it seems sometimes to work better.

    anonymous Feb 17, 2015 8:47pm

    Have you read about Annie Glenn's story?
    Might have some value to you. She was cured of debilitating stuttering late in life and is now an advocate. http://www.snopes.com/glurge/annieglenn.asp http://www.cnn.com/2012/02/19/opinion/greene-john
    Also, mindfulness training might be helpful for reducing stress.
    Best of luck to you!
    Jenna

anonymous Aug 6, 2014 10:30pm

I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's 23 years ago; in the last 6 years they have added "mixed autoimmune disease" to the mix, which means that my blood tests show lupus, sjogren's, reynauds, RA. I was doing pretty well, keeping myself healthy, eating well, until husband and I split. I needed income, so I took the only job a person with very little work experience can get – a grocery store. I continue to look for a lower stress job, but my RA is consistently flared, I have gained 40 pounds, and I find myself uncomfortable. I have recently started walking and biking and taking yoga, but thus far have seen little change. My rh doctor has me on gabapentin, cymbalta, plaquenil and synthroid. I look ten years older than I did 2 years ago, and am always tired.

    anonymous Feb 3, 2015 7:41am

    From another RA sufferer, with 6 other autoimmune issues also:( try Apple cider vinegar( raw , organic, with mother) directions on bottle for an "energy", it relieves the inflammation! Really works! My mom is the baby of seven kids and the only one who never got RA, TRULY believe it was due to her chiropractor who told her to drink ACV daily. I do it when my.inflammation flares up and within a day my joints are almost normal!

    anonymous Apr 8, 2015 3:13pm

    More Yoga, more good clean foods, and clean water. Now that you have experience, get a job at a health food store!!! And run away from those meds… did you read the literature they come with? Look'em up. None of these things are "good" for you. Find a functional medicine doctor or naturopath that can help you find the right supplements to get you going again. Homemade (I stress homemade) chicken broth has worked wonders for my joints, actually rebuilding cartilage by eating cartilage. I've 17 cysts in my thyroid according to the Endo from my original scans 25 years ago and have always been prescribed extremely high doses of thyroxine. I don't take it. I weigh 120 pounds and do Yoga everyday. Read Light on Yoga by Mr. Iyengar. There are many wonderful poses to keep that old thyroid working the best it can. Stick with the Yoga. Be gentle and consistent. You will heal when you walk away from the fear mongers and take control of your own healing. I'm 39 years old and stand on my head daily and occasionally get carded for alcohol 🙂 when I buy my hubby's beer. Mind you I didn't always feel that way. I had my years of docs and pills too.

    anonymous May 25, 2015 11:37am

    I don't know how long you have been on the cymbalta but you may want to do some research on it. Withdrawing from it is a nightmare! I was on it for 8 years and only stayed on it that long because every time I tried to stop I could not handle the withdrawals. I eventually tapered myself by literally dumping beads from the capsules for several months. I would dump 20 or so and is feel a little dizzy for a few days and once that went away I'd dump 20 more until I was down to none! I had so much more energy once I was off of it and my thinking was much clearer. I don't know what you take it for but one thing it is prescribed for is anxiety so it slows you down.

anonymous Aug 6, 2014 8:44pm

I was 13 when I was exposed to high levels of environmental mold and fumes from a kerosene heater. Within a few months, my hair started falling out, I had chronically swollen lymph glands, was in and out of doctors' offices with antibiotic prescriptions to treat chronic sinus infections. And I started having epileptic seizures so was put on medication for that. (Epilepsy is an inherited condition in this case, my father also has idiopathic epilepsy). I found and followed a similar cleanse program to Dr. Hyman's when I was in my late teens, that focused on systemic candida control. This would have been in the mid 1990's. With supplementation and guidance from an alternative health practitioner, I gained back a measure of health in my life. Now in my 30's, I recognize that I have allowed my health to deteriorate, while not as severe as my initial situation, we go back to our "old" patterns of eating and behaving, we lose the health and vitality we thought we had recovered. There comes a point in life where extreme cleansing becomes tougher on the body. I have been instructed by both a conventional medical professional and an alternative health practitioner to be gentle with my body. This is my advice to anyone looking to make big changes. Be gentle with your body, and be gentle with your mind & emotions.

anonymous Aug 6, 2014 7:57pm

Thanks for a great article! I had a plethora of issues and was finally helped by a functional MD. She refused to give up when no one else was able to figure out what was going on in my body. With her guidance, I healed. I am so, so grateful for the burgeoning science of treating the patient, not the symptom. We have a long way to go, unfortunately, before this is considered mainstream in our society, but it's available for those of us willing to seek it out and be made whole again.

anonymous Aug 6, 2014 12:13pm

I am a Chiropractic student and fully understand the power of the body as a self-healing organism. When we provide the body the proper nutrition, exercise, and create a positive environment for ourselves, we can live life at an elevated level beyond just the absence of disease. While functional medicine is a beautiful approach to restoring the body's innate ability to heal itself- this idea of "medicine and treating the cause" is by no means a new concept. In fact- aruvedic and traditional practices all over the world have been doing this for years. There exist many natural ways to restore health to the body- have have been throughout history. Functional medicine is ONE of these.

anonymous Aug 6, 2014 12:12pm

One thing about Western medicine, or non-functional medicine, Dr. Hyman, is the belief system that you've got something, and you basically always have it and are never cured, unless it's cut or radiated out of you. Thus, you must be on medications the rest of your life for whatever you've got, and the side effects are slightly less noxious than the original symptoms. Over the past seven years of a massage therapist, I've become more observant of clients and myself, and know that functional medicine, including functional nutrition, are the way to go. About 8 years ago, a naturopathic dentist diagnosed me with a "wicked wheat allergy" while muscle testing for substances that would help to heal my gums after dental surgery. Since then, I have been up and down with inflammation, going off and on wheat at various times. Now I am 100% off wheat (the proliferation of gluten free products really helps), and never felt better. I had some setbacks–I picked up a severe intestinal parasite eating shrimp at a local restaurant, that ruined my intestines. Over time, I realized I would have symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, and the next I would be fine. My teeth got bad, painful and sensitive. With sunshine and supplements, I no longer have any problems with my teeth.(Magical Vitramin D). It's this ebb and flow of symptoms and problems that must be acknowledged, as the body does its best to heal itself. We want to be in balance, our bodies want the same, and I suspect functional medicine is looking to help that along.

anonymous Aug 6, 2014 7:42am

I have been battling an autoimmune issue for about 10 years. It has been diagnosed as Rheumatoid Arthritis but I still have my doubts. What I know for sure is my body is on fire with inflammation!! And my hands are starting to cripple. I was briefly on Methotrexate and Prednisone but got off because the side effects listed scared me! I now only take 800 mg prescription Ibuprofen daily to function. I have always believed my symptoms are the result of food allergies. I would love to feel normal again as I am only 54 and hopefully have a long life ahead of me. I haven't even been able to work because I am so fatigued and experience so much discomfort. I will take your advice and try to find some relief. Thank you for this article!

    anonymous Aug 7, 2014 12:12pm

    Tracey, Don't give up! I was where you are about 9 years ago. My day would start at 5am with 800 mg of ibuprofen in order for my hands to relax enough to be used (usually by 11am) – and I was only 33 at the time. I've seen more doctors than I can count. Ultimately, this article is right. Adjusting my diet to fit my needs (everyone is different – you need to listen to your body and learn what's right for you), was assisted with injections of B-12 and Vit D, along with Iron supplements. But nothing took the fatigue away until I began to eliminate processed, high fructose foods and began to exercise regularly. I am still on my own journey, but feel so much better than I have in the past. Herbal teas (dandilion and camomile) also help with stomach discomfort. Wishing you all my best! Dorothy

      anonymous Aug 16, 2014 4:36am

      Thank you Dorothy!! I need to find a functional medical Dr like Dr Hyman as well to help me with this process. It seems so overwhelming and I am not sure how to begin. Do you have a medical professional helping you? Were you dealing with R A? Are you completely cured or in remission?

    anonymous Jan 31, 2015 4:50pm

    Tracey,
    Do you drink diet coke or any diet sodas? Or do you eat/drink other sugar-free foods regularly?
    I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis and suffered for 2 years on Humira shots. I finally quite Diet Coke and sugar free yogurt and noticed a HUGE change in how I felt. I now take zero mediation and my symptoms have disappeared! I have tried to share this link (Aspartame can mimic RA and many autoimmune symptoms in your body).
    Good luck!

      anonymous Aug 11, 2015 6:03pm

      I have had RA for 20years, and it has nothing to do with diet food ,as I've never consumed any diet drinks or food. I hate the stuff! I have on occasion gone off my meds and shots and tried alternative methods. I suffered greatly for doing so. My doc said because I've had it so long, nothing will really help. The great results I have far outweigh any side effects of the drugs. I have regular blood work to make sure none of my organs are being affected. All my blood work is normal !

    anonymous May 30, 2015 5:08pm

    Take your meds or you really will become crippled. I have seen this happen to a friend with R.A. She has had to replace all her major joinys and fingers & toe joints are permanantly fused. This after she stopped taking her meds.

      anonymous Aug 11, 2015 6:05pm

      Exactly right…I'd be in a wheelchair if I stayed off the meds.

anonymous Aug 6, 2014 6:49am

I had a long slow decline for 15 years. Finally removed amalgam fllings, analyzed hormone levels, did I.V. chelation sessions, balanced thyroid hypothyroidism, removed wheat , etc. Went to The Tree of Life and cleansed which helped hugely… Still had low energy, and had developed Hasimotos.The biggest and most import discovery I made on my own after seeing 8 doctors throughout this process ,who never had the answer — I read Dr. Bronstein's book on IODINE. I had stopped iodized salt when sea salt became the rage, I never eat fish, I am exposed to lots of bromine, chlorine and fluoride. I took the iodine uptake test. In three months on 12 mg. of iodine I lost 22 points and have the energy of a 40 year old. People think I'm in my mid50's, I will be 70 next year! My thyroid numbers, even TSH, ARE ALL NORMAL. Sugar is the only real trigger for me now…my naturopath now feels like 12 mg is the standard dosage for us all. I use Iodizyme-HP BY Biotics as I don't tolerate nascent iodine. I lost 15 years but feel terrific and know I have another 20 great years ahead of me!

    anonymous Aug 10, 2014 5:28pm

    I have Hashimotos and it is an awful state of being ……im soooo tired all the time no interest in anything i flucuate between 0.001 >29……….i should be overweight but i am quite opposite ……48 kgs……my quality of life is zilch ……sleep all the time…..and i take between 100-200 mg Eutroxsig meds per day …..sometimes it makes my heart beat so fast…..i am only 53 but feel 83…..so much depression goes with this disease also …i hate it …..

Riska Stella Feb 26, 2017 8:46am

My name is Riska Stella from USA i am so very happy to testify about this great herbal Dr Ojie I was browsing through the Internet searching for remedy on LUPUS and i saw comment of people talking about how Dr Ojie cured them. I Was scared because i never believed in the Internet but i was convince to give him a try because i having no hope of been cured of LUPUS so i decided to contact him with his email that was listed on the comment { [email protected] } Or check his website: https://drojiespelltemple.wixsite.com/spelltemple when i contacted him he gave me hope and send a Herbal medicine to me that i took and it seriously worked for me, am a free person now without problem, my LUPUS result came out negative. I pray for you Dr Ojie God will give you everlasting life, you shall not die before your time for being a sincere and grate men. Am so happy, you can also contact him if you have any problem Email:{ [email protected] } or call the dr number +2348105074556

Riska Stella Feb 26, 2017 8:45am

My name is Riska Stella from USA i am so very happy to testify about this great herbal Dr Ojie I was browsing through the Internet searching for remedy on LUPUS and i saw comment of people talking about how Dr Ojie cured them. I Was scared because i never believed in the Internet but i was convince to give him a try because i having no hope of been cured of LUPUS so i decided to contact him with his email that was listed on the comment { [email protected] } Or check his website: https://drojiespelltemple.wixsite.com/spelltemple when i contacted him he gave me hope and send a Herbal medicine to me that i took and it seriously worked for me, am a free person now without problem, my LUPUS result came out negative. I pray for you Dr Ojie God will give you everlasting life, you shall not die before your time for being a sincere and grate men. Am so happy, you can also contact him if you have any problem Email:{ [email protected] } or call the dr number +2348105074556

Gray George Feb 24, 2017 9:17am

Hello every one reading this testimony, am here to give my testimony about a doctor who helped me in my life. I was infected with HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS in 2011, i went to many hospitals for cure but there was no solution, so i was thinking how can i get a solution out so that my body can be okay. One day i was in the river side thinking where i can go to get solution. so a lady walked to me telling me why am i so sad and i open up all to her telling her my problem, she told me that she can help me out, she introduce me to a doctor who uses herbal medication to cure HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS and gave me his email, so i mail him. He told me all the things i need to do and also give me instructions to take, which i followed properly. Before i knew what is happening after two weeks the HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS that was in my body got vanished . so if you are also heart broken and also need a help, you can also email him at :[email protected]

Patty Noll Feb 16, 2017 5:34pm

I'm 60 now I have had RA in remission Thyriod Diease Addisions I'm now retired yoga excercise walk bike ride I feel so much better with no stress.