Autoimmune disease occurs when your body’s immune system mistakes some part of yourself for an enemy and mounts an attack.
It’s the job of your immune system to seek out and destroy invaders such as bacteria and viruses. To do this it must be able to distinguish between what is a threat and what is not. When the selectivity of your immune system isn’t working as it should, autoimmune diseases can develop.
There are over 80 diseases classed as autoimmune and they’re estimated to affect around four million people in the UK, meaning more than 6% of the population is suffering.
A Functional Medicine approach to Autoimmune Disease
The amount of toxins humans these days are exposed to every day plays a significant impact on autoimmune disease. These toxins include mold exposure, heavy metal exposure, steroids, processed foods, pollutants, and many more.
Understanding the root causes and how they influence the autoimmune process is essential to improving and preventing autoimmune disease.
At the clinic, we are always working to restore balance while allowing the body to heal. Our practitioners listen, acknowledge and establish the answers that you seek, while simplifying what can feel like a complicated and overwhelming process.
There are over 80 classified Autoimmune Diseases (AIDs). Some of the most common include:
- Celiac Disease
- Diabetes Type 1
- Grave’s Disease
- Mix Connective Tissue Disease
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Crohn’s Disease
- Hashimoto’s Thyroditis
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Raynaud’s Phenomenon
- Sjogren’s Syndrome
Once an autoimmune process has been activated, any of the vital organs, glands and tissue can be attacked. As they become damaged, their function reduces creating an array of symptoms.
Milder symptoms might include chronic joint inflammation (Arthritis) and hypothyroidism (Hashimotos) whilst more serious symptoms can include liver failure from autoimmune hepatitis.
There is often a genetic predisposition, which becomes activated by environmental influences. The health of the gut also plays a vital role. As the lining becomes damaged, holes are created that allow undigested food particles and toxins into the blood. This process is known as leaky gut and not only creates a chain reaction of chronic inflammation, but also increases the toxic load on the liver and detoxification pathways.
Another common and overlooked cause is undiagnosed bacterial and viral infections.
- Proteus Mirabilis – Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Chlamydia pneumoniae – Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinsons
- Epstein Barr Virus and Yersinia – Hashimoto’s
- Klebsiella pneumonia – Ankylosing Spondylitis and Crohn’s
- Borrelia burgdorferi – Lyme and MS
We have a wealth of experience across our practitioners in working with many different autoimmune diseases; helping people to manage their conditions, and in some cases, to live a symptom-free life. Without understanding the root cause of the problem, conventional medicine has little to offer sufferers of autoimmune diseases. At the London Clinic of Nutrition, we use a different approach – based on the latest research in functional medicine.
Some of the areas we pay particular attention to are gut health (healing the leaky gut), toxicity (such as heavy metals) and identifying any bacterial and viral infections present. It is also important to identify undiagnosed gluten sensitivity. All of these causes can be identified using accurate state of the art testing.
An autoimmune disease diet will normally consist of the avoidance of foods that trigger symptoms. Personalised nutrition is important and can be discussed in more detail at a consultation.
- Understand the root causes of your symptoms
- Find the appropriate meal plans for you
- Optimisation of nutritional status
- Improvements in gut function and microbiome
- Reduction of inflammation and chronic infections
- Stress reduction
- Healthy movement and exercise
- Lifestyle adaptation
Schedule an appointment in our London clinic, or via an online consultation
We offer a range of appointments in-person or online. Of course, with our virtual, online clinic, you’ll receive the same exceptional service from your expert Functional Medicine practitioner as you would seeing us at our London clinic.
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