Autoimmune Diseases

Autoimmune Diseases

An autoimmune disease is a condition where the immune system attacks healthy cells. The danger of an autoimmune disorder is that immune cells mistakenly attack the very cells that they are meant to protect. This can lead to inflammation and damage to various organs and tissues. With more than 100 different types of autoimmune diseases, some rare and others more well known, diagnosis and treatment can be difficult, especially as symptoms can vary widely and may mimic other conditions. An autoimmune disorder can affect multiple organ or tissue types, including blood vessels, connective tissue, endocrine glands, muscles, red blood cells, and skin. Autoimmune diseases may cause:

  • The destruction of body tissue
  • Abnormal growth of an organ
  • Changes in organ function

The exact cause of autoimmune diseases is not fully understood. Still, known factors include a combination of triggering illness or stressful events, previous infections, genetics, medications, viruses, toxin exposure, and other environmental factors. Almost 80% of people who have autoimmune diseases are women.

Integrative Treatments for Autoimmune Diseases

For many patients, diagnosis of an autoimmune disease can take many years and leads to frustration and confusion. According to an Autoimmune Association survey of autoimmune disease patients, “a majority of those eventually diagnosed with serious autoimmune diseases had significant problems in getting a correct diagnosis.”

  • Many were incorrectly diagnosed with various conditions with no specific blood test to confirm the diagnosis.
  • Many were told their symptoms were “in their heads,” or they were under too much stress.
  • The survey revealed that 45 percent of autoimmune disease patients had been labeled as chronic complainers or were told that they were overly concerned with their health in the earliest stages of their illnesses.
  • On average, autoimmune patients see four different doctors over four years before a diagnosis is made.”

Restoration Healthcare has experience diagnosing these problematic conditions and finding the best treatment methods to reduce inflammation in tissues and organs, restore organ function and overcome pain and discomfort. Physicians at our clinic work to find whole person solutions for individuals with autoimmune diseases as they work closely together to manage their symptoms and prevent complications.

Integrative medicine physicians understand the triggers that spark an autoimmune flareup and contribute to developing autoimmune conditions. For instance, there is a strong correlation between autoimmune diseases and stress. Physical, mental, and emotional stress can compromise the immune system and cause symptoms to develop or exacerbate. There are other known causes connected to genetics. Celiac disease is one example. The primary genetic determinants of celiac are HLA-DQA1 An HLA-DQB1, carried by nearly everyone with the condition.

Another factor that affects autoimmune susceptibility is leaky gut and imbalanced gut bacteria. Healthy gut bacteria help regulate the development and function of T cells and microbial enzymes that support a healthy immune system. The likelihood of developing autoimmune disease increases when a person has a gut bacteria imbalance or a permeable gut with loose junctions. A leaky gut causes intestinal gaps that allow usually harmless bacteria to pass into the body and circulate in the bloodstream. When the body tries to rid itself of these bacteria, it can trigger inflammation and cause an overactive immune response. This is why integrative medicine therapy is vital to treating autoimmune diseases to address gut health, as well as stress, diet, and sleep.

Exposure to heavy metals and toxins like PCBs, PFCs, and PFOAs can cause disruptions in the immune system and lead to autoimmune diseases. Research shows that mercury exposure is linked to autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. Restoration Healthcare has developed integrative care plans to move heavy metal toxins out of the body.

Integrative Therapies for Autoimmune Diseases

Given the complexity of autoimmune diseases and that a person may have one or more conditions that damage the immune system, it is vital to work with a physician with a background in treating all aspects of these conditions. When your physician establishes a care and treatment plan at Restoration Healthcare, you will see why the clinic relies on a carefully managed partnership between you and your medical team. Feel free to establish a dialogue and ask questions, such as What are the advantages and disadvantages of a treatment type? How long will treatments last? What are the expectations as a patient for home care to aid in the treatment process? We encourage our patients to be engaged in their care and,

  1. Be assertive in their diagnosis and care;
  2. Ask questions, then ask more;
  3. Keep records of your family history and treatment plan;
  4. Partner with their physician to establish the best treatment plan;
  5. Take an active role in lifestyle changes to manage symptoms and heal the body.

Integrative medicine techniques include restoring the body’s systems with IV therapy to support a healthy immune response. Your physician will review your lifestyle and dietary habits to reduce exposure to heavy metals, pesticides, and other harmful compounds that can trigger an autoimmune flare-up. Your diet will focus on healthy proteins, fermented foods, probiotics, healthy fats, anti-inflammatory spices, organic fruits, and vegetables that are nutrient-dense and rich in antioxidants. You may be prescribed immune-supportive dietary and herbal supplements.

Other discussions will include adequate sleep, appropriate activity, mindfulness, and stress reduction practices. Restoring the immune system to a healthy state requires a carefully produced plan, so you mustn’t try to heal yourself without a physician’s oversite. If you live in the Los Angeles and Orange County area and believe you have an autoimmune disease, don’t hesitate to contact our clinic to inquire about finding a physician.



What are the Types of Autoimmune Conditions?

It is common for an individual to have more than one autoimmune condition at a time. There are more than 100 types of autoimmune diseases, and a person may have more than one autoimmune disorder simultaneously (see the complete list). The most common include the following:

  • Addison disease
  • Autoimmune liver diseases
  • Celiac disease
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Graves disease
  • Thyroiditis, including Hashimoto thyroiditis
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • Non-MS neurological autoimmune diseases
  • Myasthenia gravis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Scleroderma
  • Sjogren syndrome
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus
  • Thyroiditis
  • Type 1 diabetes

I’ve lost trust in the medical system because no one can help me. How is your clinic different?

According to the Autoimmune Association, “many doctors don’t think to test for autoimmune diseases initially.” Depending on your symptoms, we often start with the notion that symptoms could be autoimmune-related. However, we continue to look for underlying causes. Autoimmune conditions mimic other serious health issues, like Lyme disease and mold exposure. We understand how frustrating it can be if a doctor doesn’t take your symptoms seriously. We want our patients to be assertive about their care. Being sick is frustrating, and it’s easy to feel intimated by the medical system. We take pride in helping patients overcome the post-traumatic baggage from previous experiences with physicians and the healthcare system.

How do I Become a New Patient to Treat a Diagnosed or Possible Autoimmune Disease?

We want to treat any patient from anywhere in California or the country, but that is unrealistic for our clinic. We only take patients from Los Angeles and Orange County who show medical necessity. Restoration Healthcare also only takes patients who have a qualifying insurance plan. Our new patient inquiry process and staff will help guide you through the qualifying process. If you believe you meet these qualifying factors, please request a new patient packet here.

Hear About a New Level of Care and Compassion from Arabella

After being passed around from doctor-to-doctor and multiple emergency room visits, no one knew what was causing Arabella’s nerve, joint and muscle pain, extreme fatigue and inability to walk. Was it multiple sclerosis? Was it Lyme Disease? What it something else? A friend’s recommendation led her to Restoration Healthcare, who confirmed it was Lyme Disease.

She describes the experience as being engaging with high standards of care from people who actually care about their patients. The clinic explored every aspect of Arabella’s health including nutritional status, hormone balance, immunity and even the emotional toll she and her family experienced prior to coming to Restoration Healthcare. “It’s a different level of compassion,” she says.

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