Part 3: Stop the Epidemic of Autoimmune Disease

functional medicine treeAutoimmune Disease (AD) effects over 50 million Americans and a large percentage of these individuals around 75% are women. These AD’s are considered to be the top 10 leading cause of death in women under the age of 65. There are over 100 different types of ADs which cause serious chronic illness. It’s estimated that it’s responsible for more than $100 billion in health care costs annually. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is the worlds most common AD and is the number one cause of hypothyroidism. It also has a ratio of 10 to 1 female to male occurrences. AD effects every human organ system and has yet to be embraced by the medical community and the public as a category of disease. Our current conventional western medicine health care system does not recognize ADs as diseases of the immune system as a whole, but are treated as diseases of particular organs and bodily systems. Because AD’s are found in different medical specialties such as rheumatology, endocrinology, neurology, cardiology, hematology, dermatology, and gastroenterology, each specialty of medicine focuses on singular diseases within it’s specific category and there hasn’t been a general focus on AD as a specific disease, such as cancer. Cancer can effect every human organ, gland, tissue, call, and bodily system like AD but with cancer, you’re assigned an oncologist to treat your disease. As of yet, there isn’t a unified branch in conventional western medicine to treat AD’s. There aren’t any auto-immunologists. Each medical specialty doctor will prescribe for AD’s immune suppressing drugs in order to manage the the disease but not cure the disease. They believe that ADs are not reversible or curable but can only be managed.

These immune suppressing drugs are deadly, toxic, and cause cancer as well as other health problems. These drugs leave the body in an immunocompromised state where you are susceptible to cancer and other infectious diseases. These drugs have unwanted side effects such as fatigue, depression, weight gain, and weight loss. Thankfully there is Hope for people suffering with AD’s! There is a new branch of medicine called Functional Medicine which seeks to find/diagnose the root causes/triggers of AD’s with unique specialized tests that conventional Medical Doctors are not aware of, and then treat the AD’s with safe, non-toxic, natural therapies. As a naturopath and Functional Medicine Doctor, Dr. Jenkins offers these services at the Restore TO Health Naturopathic Clinic and Wellness Center.

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