In the 20 years I’ve been working with autoimmune patients, three things have always stood out that separates them from other patients:
- No autoimmune diagnosis. Despite seeing numerous doctors and healthcare practitioners, they have not been diagnosed with autoimmunity. Without this step, treatment plans rarely succeed.
One of my patients had been to 125 different practitioners. Turns out her symptoms were due to early autoimmune neurodegeneration.
Patients like this go from one healthcare practitioner to another with no success. Whether it’s a specialist or generalist, conventional or alternative, few practitioners truly understand autoimmunity and how it relates to chronic, undiagnosed symptoms.
- Nothing seems to really help them. These patients are looking for an actual cure, and many of their practitioners have been trying to give them one without understanding the mechanisms.
Many standard remedies — leaky gut protocols, heavy metal chelation, parasite cleanses, etc. — may work for a while but then seem to lose effectiveness.
This is because the underlying autoimmune mechanisms are not being addressed, and this sets them up for unrelenting failure.
However, there IS hope.
While autoimmune disease is incurable, with proper management it can go into remission, or its progression can be slowed and symptom severity reduced, sometimes significantly.
However, it’s important to understand that flares and relapses still happen. Patients can feel great for a while and then all of a sudden, wham, they are miserable again.
If neither the patient nor the practitioner understands the mechanisms, this can be very frustrating for them both. Understanding the underlying mechanisms motivates the patient to stick with their dietary, lifestyle, and supplement protocols. It also helps the practitioner feel more confident.
- Multiple food and chemical sensitivities. The typical undiagnosed autoimmune patient is on a very restricted diet, which continually shrinks as they develop new food sensitivities.
They usually have to bring their own food with them wherever they go because they cannot tolerate food in restaurants, and many also carry around a lot of supplements they depend upon.
These people become very sensitive to environmental chemicals and have to be careful about where they go and what they are exposed to.
Proper autoimmune screening is key
For patients with unexplained symptoms, it’s vital that they are screened properly for autoimmunity.
The standard health care model only checks ANA antibodies, which misses the most common autoimmune diseases today, such as Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism.
Every patient’s combination of issues is unique, and it’s necessary to understand how the entire puzzle fits together before trying to unwind it.
In my practitioner course Autoimmunity Clinical Strategies and Treatment Applications, I teach the latest research on autoimmunity and the immune system so that when a patient has “mystery symptoms,” the practitioner has a sequence of steps to go through in identifying the underlying mechanisms.
The KI courses are designed for practitioners, but after hearing so many patients ask to take my practitioner courses, I’ve opened them to the public.
Here is some of what I cover in this course:
- A breakdown of immune responses into basic concepts pertinent to autoimmunity.
- The multiple mechanisms of autoimmune disease known thus far, as there are many — such as agglutination, molecular mimicry, cytotoxic T-cell activity, and regulatory T-cell dysfunction — and more.
- Other impactful factors such as environmental chemicals, social relationships, stress management, and other lifestyle related factors.
- The pros and cons of different treatment approaches, such as which diet works best when (AIP, GAPS, FODMAPs, etc.).
Knowing these autoimmunity basics supported by the latest published science will allow patients to better understand the underlying mechanisms and keep the motivation to follow dietary, nutritional, and lifestyle protocols. This betters their chances at success.
To learn more, please visit the Autoimmunity Clinical Strategies and Treatment Applications course page.