Diagnosing Autoimmune Disease
Diagnosing Autoimmune Disease
Diagnosing Autoimmune Disease

Diagnosing Autoimmune Disease

Diagnosing autoimmune disease can be challenging.

Each autoimmune disease has it’s own unique set of symptoms – asthma, lupus, graves, hashimotos, multiple sclerosis….they all manifest for each of us a little differently.

There do, however, seems to be a handful of symptoms that many of us share regardless of our specific disease: 

  • Fatigue
  • Weight issues
  • Brain fog
  • Joint pain
  • Muscle weakness
  • Depression/anxiety
  • Gastrointestinal issues

Because allopathic medicine is  geared towards “specialities” they generally fail to see the thread between these symptoms.  All are manifestations of inflammation but they usually have a single root cause.

This is how traditional medicine would typically farm the above symptoms out for treatment…

Fatigue – Endocrinologist

Weight issues – Dietician

Brain fog – Neurologist

Joint pain/muscle weakness – Rheumatologist

Depression/anxiety – Psychiatrist

Gastrointestinal issues – Gastrointerologist

While specific symptoms are important to understand what your main issue is, getting to a proper diagnosis requires looking at your entire life picture as a whole, not as a sum of unrelated parts.  As children we learned a song that went something like this….

The hip bone’s connected to the thigh bone. The thigh bone’s connected to the knee bone. The knee bone’s connected to the shin bone — etc.

It’s seems blatantly obvious and well…just…common sense that most of our symptoms are inter-related.

 

Yet somehow traditional medicine doesn’t seem to clearly understand this concept.  They treat everything as a hyper specialty. There is a different doctor for every inch of your body.

Getting to a proper diagnosis requires looking at your entire life picture as a whole, not as a sum of unrelated parts. Click To Tweet

If you feel like you are playing whack-a-mole with symptoms and your doctor can’t seem to pull a diagnosis out of his ass to save his life, it’s time to consider functional medicine.

Diagnosing autoimmune disease via functional medicine.

Functional medicine takes a holistic approach to health by looking at you as a whole person.  The unfortunate conundrum with functional medicine is it requires time…time with your doctor to review your entire life because the cause of illness can be coming from a myriad of places. 

  • Maybe mold in your house is a problem for you? 
  • Maybe you had Epstein Barr virus as a child and it has become reactivated as an adult.
  • Maybe the stress in your life is throwing your adrenal system and thyroid out of whack.
  • Maybe you had an infection and subsequent megadose of antibiotics and did nothing to rebuild your immune system and gut afterwards with probiotics to get your entire system back into balance.

Completing a full and thorough questionnaire about your entire life before you visit with a functional medicine doctor is the very best way to get to the root cause of your illness. 

You can’t treat what has not been properly diagnosed.

You can’t treat what hasn’t been properly diagnosed. Click To Tweet

Unfortunately, today’s insurance driven medical model doesn’t support the time it takes to review your entire medical history and make a proper diagnosis.  It’s too expensive for them to actually do their job correctly.  For most of us, that means paying out of pocket in order to get the care we need.   

And so begins the cycle of sickness that so many of us seem to never be able to break.  Can’t afford to be sick, can’t afford to pay for the care you need to get better.

Root cause is where it’s at.  Placating symptoms with pharmaceutical bandaids is a short term fix and only complicates your conditions as time passes.  Your best bet for successful care lies in seeing a holistic doctor who will look at your and your symptoms in their entirety and not a bunch of unrelated symptoms. 

You can search for a functional medicine doctor in your area by visiting the Institute of Functional Medicine’ website.  https://www.ifm.org/

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