Autoimmune diseases encompass a variety of conditions including: Fibromyalgia, Sjogren’s, Scleroderma, Mixed Connective Tissue Disease, Crohn’s, Ulcerative Colitis, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, Grave’s disease, and many more. They can wreak havoc and interfere with your quality of life. The diagnosis can be challenging to accept; and while pharmaceutical medications may be necessary for maintenance of the condition there are several non-pharmaceutical strategies to consider. Our Medical Doctors at our Gilbert, AZ office location specialize in Naturopathic Autoimmune therapies to help people regain their quality of life.
What is an autoimmune disease and who does it affect?
More than 500 per 100,000 people are affected with an autoimmune disease. These diseases are characterized as an abnormal immune reaction where the body attacks itself. The immune system normally functions as a defense mechanism against disease-causing microbes, malfunctioning cells and foreign particles. The cause for the body to shift into attacking itself is commonly multi-factorial. Causes and triggers can be different depending on the person and the type of autoimmune disease. About 85% of autoimmune cases affect women, and it is the leading cause of death in young or middle-aged women.
Depending on your case, the trigger(s) to your autoimmune disease can vary. Our naturopathic medical doctors in our Gilbert, AZ office can help discern the trigger and possible causes. Some triggers can include:
- Foods / Nutrition
- Leaky gut
- Environmental exposures: Exposure to heavy metals, mold, pesticides, herbicides
- Vitamin D Deficiency
- Excess Estrogen
Genetics may account to up to a 30% risk of developing an autoimmune disease condition. If a family member has an autoimmune condition, your risk of developing a similiar condition increases.
Certain foods and food intolerances can also be a trigger to autoimmune conditions. Certain foods can damage the lining of the gut through inflammatory reactions and lead to intestinal permeability / “leaky gut”. A “leaky gut” can lead to larger food particles, toxins, bacteria to enter the bloodstream, leading to a variety of immune responses. SIBO or small intestine bacterial overgrowth can also damage the lining of the gut, allowing undigested, large food particles and bacterial endotoxins to pass the gut wall, leading to an increase risk of your body attacking itself. Additionally, a study was published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed the consumption of 100 grams of sugar can significantly decrease proper immune function.
Stress is a common trigger to autoimmune conditions. According to the NCBI, stress is thought to influence neuroendocrine hormones and lead to dysregulation of the immune system. Stress can also trigger latent viral infections to become active, leading to an increase risk of molecular mimicry and chronic disease conditions.
What symptoms should I look for?
- GI complaints
- Joint pain
- “Never well since…”
What is our goal with every patient?
Many of our patients are limited in their daily life: they can’t play with their kids, they feel limited on what they can achieve in life because they don’t feel well. Our overall goal with every patient is to guide and empower them so they may fulfill their own unique purpose and life fulfillment. Our naturopathic physicians at Gilbert, AZ work to address all the components involved in your case to help you gain the best quality of life possible.
How are autoimmune conditions diagnosed at Atlas Health Medical Group in Gilbert, AZ?
In a conventional, allopathic model, it may take up to 4-5 years until a doctor makes a proper diagnosis of an autoimmune disease. At our Gilbert, AZ office we have developed a comprehensive, naturopathic autoimmune approach to effectively manage these conditions. At your initial visits you can expect:
- Comprehensive case history
- Family medical history review
- Physical Exam
- Detailed lab review
- Basic Blood work
- Specific lab tests
- Testing for intestinal permeability
- Food sensitivity panel
- Environmental exposure testing
- Imaging in some cases
Naturopathic Autoimmune Approaches in Gilbert, AZ
Our Naturopathic Doctors will specifically tailor the treatments to your individual case to get better results. Treatments can include:
- Comprehensive evaluation and diagnostic testing
- Medical Nutrition
- Medical-grade vitamins & mineral supplementation
- Herbal Medicine
- Lymphatic Therapy
- Collaborative care team approach with Rheumatologist
For more information about Naturopathic Medicine, Dr. Michelle Barraza, or our Gilbert, AZ location, please call 480-648-1534 or