Three Myths You Need To Know About Autoimmune Disease

Autoimmune Disease

Being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease can be overwhelming.  While you may have many questions about treatment and how to manage you condition, a few myths can complicate the full picture. Let’s dispel a few myths about managing your autoimmune disorder.

Myth 1: Your Diet Has Nothing to do With Your Illness

Conventional medicine will tell you that you have an autoimmune disease simply because your immune system is over reactive. What is often left out of the picture is that your diet can be making your symptoms worse. Chronic gut inflammation, food sensitivities, low-grade gut infection and toxic chemicals in our diet are thought to be related to our increased incidence of autoimmunity. Addressing gut dysfunction and food sensitivities are critical aspects of healing and thriving with autoimmune diseases.

Myth 2: You Are Destined for a Life of Illness and Disability

Statistics show that autoimmune disorders are one of the top causes of disease and disability in young women today. However, that does not have to be the case for you.  By finding a functional medicine practitioner and a trusted medical team you can approach your autoimmune disease to treat your entire body, mind and spirit.  A multifaceted approach that includes diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes can not only give you symptomatic relief but also change your outlook on your diagnoses and health.

Myth 3: Prescription Medications Are Your Only Hope

Often times patients believe that prescription medications are their only hope in relieving symptoms associate with their diagnoses.  While prescription medications can be necessary in cases of severe autoimmunity, supplements like probiotics, vit D, turmeric and omega-3 fatty acids can decrease the inflammation and aid your immune system.  Taking nutrients to heal the lining of your gut and finding supplements to support your current therapies can help ease your autoimmune inflammation.  Mind-body interventions such as yoga, meditation, and acupuncture are also wonderful in treating symptoms associated with autoimmune disease.

Finding a health practitioner to help you approach you autoimmune disorder with a variety of methods such as your diet, your stress level, sleep habits, and reducing your toxic exposures can be key to unlocking restored health and wellness.

Learn more about functional medicine at the Eleven Eleven Wellness Center (What is Functional Medicine?) and how functional medicine can help you with your autoimmune disease (7 Reasons Why Functional Medicine Rocks).

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  • Val

    Thanks for the article Megan. I wholeheartedly agree. I was diagnosed with Lupus in my early 20’s and while I was already pretty healthy I decided to not only take my meds but also focus on food and fitness. Eating clean, limiting alcohol, working out, and taking the supplements you mention above have made a huge difference! I’m 48 now and in better shape than in my 20’s. I recently saw my Rheumatologist and she told me my a lupus markers (blood test) no longer showed active lupus. I know I’m not really cured per se but it’s still very reassuring to know my efforts have yielded very positive results.

  • Arlene

    Great article! It is so helpful to a newbie!

  • KC

    It is frustrating that I live in a Midwest city with an abundance of quality medical care focused on the disease model and NO functional medicine providers. A year ago I went to the endocrinologist my internal medical doctor referred me to. When I inquired about diet, toxicity and other lifestyle changes, he said “Your thyroid is going to fail eventually. There is nothing you can do about it.” What I did DO was not return to him and instead have chosen to follow Dr. Lipman’s advice in Revive and the Sarah Gottfried’s protocol in The Hormone Cure.

  • xTeros

    Hope this isn’t an indication of what Obamacare has in store for us.

    http://goo.gl/XGPQSR

  • tammie

    Hi Megan,
    First. Thank you for all you do! I find you articles simply amazing! I just read your article on the Ultimate Paleo Guide, regarding autoimmune and inflammation! I do have a question for you. I have been living with chronic pain 10 years. I have had serveral surgeries to reinforce my spine with rods and screws. Just found out there is another section that I must have surgery on. My entire neck, from c2-t2 is fused together and I have fusion to L5-S1. Going in soon for L2,3 &4. So complete cervical and complete lumbar fusion. In your article you mention that motrin could actually make the inflammation worse. I don’t understand that as its the first thing I grab. Can you please explain how a anti inflammatory creates inflammation? I appreciate all you do! Thank you much.