“Collectively, autoimmune disorders are one of the most prevalent diseases in the US and affect up to 10% of the US population, or an estimated 24 million people.” (NIH.gov)
I just completed a wonderful educational offering from the Institute for Functional Medicine about autoimmunity. The IFM notes that while prescription medications remain at forefront of the battle against autoimmune disease, researchers are increasingly identifying other treatment modalities to improve patient’s quality of life. Functional Medicine offers an alternative approach to the focus on suppressing symptoms by actively addressing the underlying mechanisms that cause autoimmunity. Such modifiable lifestyle factors include: nutrition, exercise, and methods to reduce the harmful effects of stress such as mindfulness meditation. Medications have their place, of course, but many are extremely expensive and often have potentially serious side effects. On top of that, many times medications fail or quit working to control the progression of disease. And even more concerning, a from of prescription treatments called DMARDS used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis have been associated with increased risk of cognitive decline and dementia.
This training was made possible by a partnership between the IFM and the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine. Thanks to this training, we have a fresh new set of tools and knowledge about how apply the best approach to these complex cases! If you or someone you know is suffering from an autoimmune condition, reach out to us and find out how we can help.