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Autoimmune Disease Is Rising, But Functional Medicine Can Minimize Risk

Autoimmune diseases occur when a patient’s immune system mistakenly attacks the body’s tissues as if they were harmful viruses and germs. This attack results in inflammation of a specific body part, as well as other related symptoms such as rashes and stress. Autoimmune disorders can be debilitating depending on the severity and when symptoms first started. Researchers aren’t sure whether science has caught up with this issue or whether the prevalence of autoimmune diseases in the U.S. is new, but autoimmune diseases’ rising statistics are alarming.

Types of Autoimmune Disease

Though people often know about rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease, and lupus as common autoimmune issues, there are many types of autoimmune diseases. The type of symptoms as well as their severity depends on the kind of autoimmune disease someone has. Different types of autoimmune conditions attack different parts of the body.


Chronic Inflammation
Psoriasis occurs when the body attacks its own skin cells and then making more than it needs, leaving behind a thick, red, scaly (and itchy) buildup.

This condition is shown to be more prominent in men than women. According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, 30 percent of people with this disease can also develop psoriasis arthritis, an inflammation of the joints.

What Is Chronic Inflammation

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is caused when the immune system attacks joint tissues, creating inflammation.

Younger people are just as vulnerable to this type of arthritis as older people. Some symptoms include joint pain and swelling. According to a UK study, rheumatoid arthritis rates are decreasing due to early diagnosis and immediate treatment.

Natural Remedies for Aches

Celiac Disease

Celiac disease is triggered when the patient consumes gluten-rich products, which causes damage to the small intestine and the disruption of nutrient absorption. This disease manifests though several symptoms, ranging from abdominal pain and diarrhea, to anemia, fatigue, or joint pain. The Celiac Disease Foundation indicates that the disease is genetic, with someone having a 1-to-10 chance of developing it if an immediate family member also has the disease.

Promote a Healthy Microbiome

Autoimmune Disease and Its Prevalence in Women

Women are more frequently affected by autoimmune disease than men, making up 80 percent of the affected population. There are no concrete reasons for this tendency, but there are some theories around it that involve hormones, chromosomes, and genetic expressions.


Researchers have speculated on the connection between estrogen and the diseases. This conclusion is not entirely proven or definitive.


In recent years, the possibility of women’s chromosomes has gained prominence. Studies speculate that the extra X chromosome could increase the chances for X-linked conditions.

Genetic Expressions

Differences between sexes in susceptibility to environmental factors have been found by researchers. These differences are linked to the genetic expressions found between women and men.

Understanding the Root Causes of Autoimmune Diseases

Autoimmune Disease The exact causes of autoimmune disease are unclear, though genetics and environmental factors tend to play a role. Exposure to toxic chemicals such as smoke, heavy metals, mycotoxins (mold toxins), and other hazardous chemicals can lead to autoimmune disease. These toxins encourage the body’s immune systems to react in an erratic, destructive manner.

Other issues can trigger immune problems. Chronic stress can overwork the body’s immune systems, weaken self-healing, and create inflammation. Stress can leave the body vulnerable to other sources of autoimmune disease, such as toxins and infections. Any type of great stress, such as physical, mental, or emotional can impact the patient’s body. Infections can also cause problems. When chronic infections such as viruses, bacteria, and parasites are detected in the body, the immune system activates to fight back. Healthy tissues and cells are caught in the line of fire, leading to diseases such as psoriasis and scleroderma. Some of these diseases even emerge when the immune system targets cancerous cells.

Additionally, food is often an issue. The consumption of foods such as gluten, sugars, and dairy, is linked to some autoimmune conditions. Specifically, these foods can weaken immunological systems like tight junctions and intestinal mucosa, leaving the body vulnerable to both disease and the auto-immunological cascade responding to disease. Processed foods are particularly connected to multiple sclerosis.

The Role of Functional Medicine

Some autoimmune diseases can go into remission, but there is currently no cure. Functional medicine, however, does offer hope as it minimizes the risks of autoimmune diseases by attacking the root causes. Though medication is important in most cases, functional medicine approaches the condition by removing the factors that trigger the autoimmune response in the first place. Some of the methods used in functional medicine include specialized medications, diets, and lifestyle changes.

  • Specialized Medications

    A functional medicine practitioner investigates a patient’s health history and prescribes medications to treat the root cause, rather than control the immune system itself. Medications can also combine with other methods, such as exercise to combat diseases like rheumatoid arthritis.

  • Diets

    Though it depends on the person, foods can help prevent the emergence of autoimmune diseases. Avoid foods rich with gluten, dairy, and sugar to prevent the onset of immunological conditions .

  • Lifestyle Changes

    Simple changes in daily routine can minimize the impact of autoimmune disorders. Some of these changes range from reducing exposure to toxic chemicals to reducing stress through rest and relaxation.

Help for Autoimmune Deficiency

If you or a loved one has been suffering due to an autoimmune disorder, you are likely discouraged by the available treatment options. For help beyond painful injections and drugs with heavy side-effects, discuss your situation with the compassionate and knowledgeable team at Synergy Lifestyle Medicine. We have the resources and staff to treat the chronic diseases that incite autoimmune disorders.

Contact Synergy to discuss a diagnosis of an autoimmune disease, as well as treatment options:
(480) 868-7420

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