What Is Autoimmune Disease and What Can You Do After You’re Diagnosed?
Autoimmune diseases are on the rise in the United States.
By the year 2020, experts are predicting autoimmune disease will outpace cardiovascular disease and cancer. The statistics are compelling.
First off, it’s important to understand what exactly an autoimmune condition is. An autoimmune condition involves your body’s immune system attacking your OWN body!
You heard right – instead of protecting you against infections, your immune system is now destroying tissue in your very own body.
This article will break down autoimmune conditions, explain the current issue with autoimmune and Western medicine, then move on to offer guidance, solutions, and a plan of action.
The 10 Most Common Autoimmune Conditions Are:
- Type 1 Diabetes
- Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Hashimoto’s Hypothyroidism
- Grave’s Disease
- Celiac Disease
- Pernicious Anemia
The problem with most autoimmune conditions is that they are commonly misdiagnosed. Many patients go years without the proper diagnosis, which leads to a merry-go-round of doctor visits – not to mention years lost due to their health declining.
The problem with most autoimmune conditions is that they are commonly misdiagnosed.
When I consult with patients, I am not surprised anymore when a patient shares that they have been to 10+ doctors, with no progress to show for it.
Not sure if you have an autoimmune condition? Check out 7 Signs You May Be Suffering from an Autoimmune Condition
Why Are Patients With Autoimmune Diseases Misdiagnosed?
The medical model works rather well if you are having a heart attack or you break an arm and need surgery.
But when it comes to helping patients transform their lives by healing the body . . . the medical model falls short.
Understanding what the traditional medical model does and does not do will explain why many autoimmune patients are routinely prescribed expensive medications and hurried out of the doctor’s office.
In the past 12 years, I have heard almost every story under the sun. It boggles my mind when a patient tells me that they have been treated for X condition for 7-years, and then I run in-depth testing only to find out they actually have Y condition.
Without the proper diagnosis, how can a patient receive the proper care?
In-depth testing to determine WHY a patient is having an autoimmune attack seems like a great place to start. Yet more often than not, the in-depth testing is kept to a bare minimum. More on this later!
It’s So Important to Find the Right Doctor
Most traditional medical doctors, and even immunologists, are trained to write prescriptions for medications that do little more than mask the symptoms patients are struggling with. Or, they are trained to do surgery.
When it comes to helping patients transform their lives by healing the body . . . the medical model falls short.
Medications will never HEAL the body, nor will removing vital organs.
Thankfully, we are seeing a rise in integrative doctors. Many medical doctors are starting to focus more on healing the body versus masking the problems, but shouldn’t this be the goal of EVERY doctor?
I say let’s heal the body and not slap a Band-Aid on the symptoms.
Unfortunately, most autoimmune patients are left struggling because their doctors are not trained in calming down and preventing autoimmune attacks.
There is not a pill in the world that will HEAL the body, yet all too often, this is the only “treatment plan” autoimmune patients are given.
The Problem With Medical Insurance (And How It Impacts Autoimmune Patients)
This is where things can get a bit tricky.
Did you know that most insurance companies only pay medical doctors to spend 10-15 minutes with each patient? 10-15 minutes? Per patient?
Do you think doctors can take a detailed history, evaluate blood tests, formulate a treatment plan, and review that plan with a patient in 10-15 minutes?
Not only that, but if the insurance company does not agree with running in-depth testing, they may not cover it. The potential out-of-pocket costs prohibit patients from having certain important blood markers tested, which is necessary for a proper diagnosis.
For example, if you are a thyroid patient, you know that most routine thyroid blood tests only involve looking at TSH, T4 and maybe T3. Did you know that there are 10 thyroid markers? All 10 markers need to be evaluated to determine an accurate diagnosis.
Why would your insurance company deny your doctor from running more in-depth testing? Money! In the medical model, if the treatment plan will not change a patient’s course of care, why does the insurance company need to approve more in-depth testing?
All too often, this type of care leaves patients without the proper answers. Without the proper answers, how can a patient know what to do to calm down and prevent autoimmune attacks?
The Autoimmune Paradigm Shift
If you have been diagnosed with an autoimmune condition, what you are about to read will change your life.
Rather bold statement, wouldn’t you say? What I didn’t tell you is this: my wife has Hashimoto’s disease.
What I am about to share with you is exactly what I have done to improve the quality of her life, and it can improve your quality of life as well.
We have been through what most autoimmune patients have been through. I know your pain and frustration, as we have gone through the merry-go-round as well.
So, this is what you must do, right away . . .
Figure out what is causing your autoimmune attack in the first place.
MOST traditional doctors are going to fail you. Why? Because when it comes to autoimmune conditions – whether it’s your endocrinologist, gastroenterologist, or your primary care physician – their thought process and treatment methods are wrong.
I say let’s heal the body and not slap a Band-Aid on the symptoms.
There is a time and place for these doctors, but healing your body when it is fighting an autoimmune condition is not the time.
If You Have an Autoimmune Disease, Take These Action Steps:
You need to figure out what is causing your autoimmune attack, and this is where your NEW paradigm shift will come into play.
1. Blood Work
Look at your blood work as the ‘end result.’ Yes, we must see blood work, but we need to see enough markers to understand what is occurring at this point in your life.
Even though we may find positive results in your blood work, that doesn’t mean we have all the answers.
Click here for a list of all the basic blood markers I run on my patients
2. Genetic Mutations
Look at your genetic mutations. Your genes make you who you are. They are passed down from generation to generation, and they can be altered, or mutated, over time.
Mutated genes will impact necessary metabolic processes in your body.
Ultimately, these genetic mutations will impact how well your body can handle toxins and life stressors. For some, this could lead to autoimmune conditions and even cancer.
If you are looking for one secret to improving your autoimmune condition, this is it: check your genetic mutations!
If you’re interested in learning more, click here to view my webinar on genetic mutations
Not many doctors are addressing genetic mutations, yet this area is a HUGE piece of the puzzle for helping autoimmune patients live life to the fullest.
I recommend gxsciences.com if you want to learn more about genetic testing. There are some great educational videos on this site.
3. Check For Environmental Triggers
It’s important to evaluate your potential environmental toxins, or triggers. Environmental toxins like mold, toxic chemicals and heavy metals all break down the body.
Genetics dictate how well one person’s body can handle those triggers versus another person’s body. Take a husband and wife that are living under the same roof, eating the same foods, and living with similar stressors (granted we all have different stressors in our lives).
Many autoimmune patients have lost the ability to cope with environmental toxins
The next thing they know, the wife is struggling with health symptoms. Doctor visit after doctor visit goes by and she is not receiving any answers to explain why she feels crummy.
Many autoimmune patients lose the ability to cope with environmental toxins. Thus, these toxins are triggers that are driving their autoimmune condition.
Without testing for these toxins/triggers, how can you get rid of them? What if these toxins/triggers are driving your autoimmune condition? Will you heal?
Proper testing needs to take place. Unfortunately, most insurance companies will not pay for specialized mycotoxin or environmental testing. If you want to learn more about these tests, greatplainslaboratory.com is a great resource.
4. You Are What You Eat
What you eat MATTERS. Regardless of what most traditional doctors will tell you, the food you eat will either heal you or destroy you.
Yes, there are food allergy/sensitivity tests out there, and for some of my patients we will run these tests to show them what their body is reacting to. But besides running expensive food panels, it makes sense for us to think about the foods we are eating as either healing or destructive.
The food you eat will either heal you or destroy you.
If a patient is living off of carbohydrates, they will most likely have candida overgrowth in their intestinal tract. You would be surprised to know how many patients are diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, or even Hypothyroidism, when they really have an infection.
Did you know that candida causes the following symptoms:
- Chronic fatigue
- Brain fog
- Digestive issues
- Recurring yeast infections (males and females)
- Oral thrush
- Sinus infections
- Food allergies/intolerances
- Fungal infections of the skin and nails
- Weakened immune system
- Joint pain
- Low mood
If candida’s symptoms mimic those of Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Hypothyroidism . . . don’t you think testing for this fungal infection would be a good idea?
Granted, this is just one avenue of testing to think about. The point here is to stimulate your thought process to begin thinking outside of the traditional medical model’s box!
The Takeaway on Autoimmune Disease and What You Can Do About It
If you want to recover from your autoimmune condition, you must start thinking differently, and you must start taking your health seriously.
Begin reading about the different testing methods, think about this autoimmune paradigm shift. Search out a new doctor to begin helping you with your condition.
If you would like to find a doctor that specializes in integrative medicine, jump on Google, or book a free consultation with me at askdrking.com.
GET DR. KING’S FREE EBOOK
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Once you embrace the autoimmune paradigm shift, I am confident that you will begin finding the answers you need to heal.
All included information is not intended to treat or diagnose. The views expressed are those of the author and should be attributed solely to the author.
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