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Autoimmune Disease

There are more than 100 different types of autoimmune diseases, including Hashimoto’s Autoimmune thyroiditis, one of the most common autoimmune diseases, which is responsible for 70-90% of all hypothyroidism in the US.
The term “autoimmune” encompasses a number of diseases including rheumatoid arthritis, Lupus, Sjogren’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and Type I diabetes.
One of the functions of the immune system is to protect the body by responding to invading microorganisms, such as viruses or bacteria, by producing antibodies or mobilizing lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell) to attack the invading organism. Under normal conditions, an immune response cannot be triggered against the cells of one’s own body. However, in autoimmune conditions, a person’s immune system attacks his or her own tissues and cells that it is meant to protect.
Persons with autoimmune conditions often feel trapped, and feel as though their only way to overcome the devastating symptoms of autoimmune disease is to take prescription drugs for the rest of their lives. At The Center For Functional Medicine, we are passionate about determining, and resolving, the root causes of your autoimmune disease.
Recent research has shown that all autoimmunity starts with a Leaky Gut or increased intestinal permeability. In fact, for autoimmunity to be triggered in the body, three precursors must take place: 1) you must be genetically susceptible; 2) there must be some environmental trigger (stress, toxins, infections or inflammation); and 3) you must have a Leaky Gut.
Once autoimmunity is triggered and the body begins attacking itself, a viscous cascade ensues where more and more cells and/or tissues become targets. For example, what may have started as rheumatoid arthritis or Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, begins attacking the intestinal lining, the skin, the lining of blood vessels or even the brain.
The good news is that with Dr. Alessio Fasano’s work, The Connection Between Leaky Gut and Autoimmune Disease, we know some of the root causes of autoimmunity. At The Center For Functional Medicine, we thoroughly understand this cutting-edge research, and how to apply it in order to identify and resolve the root causes of your autoimmune condition.
We utilize specialized testing to identify Toxins, Food Allergies & Sensitivities, Leaky Gut and Dysbiosis (an imbalance of the gut bacteria or microbiome). Here are a few of the tests we may recommend to help identify the root causes of your autoimmune condition:
Food allergies and/or sensitivity testing
Comprehensive Nutrient Evaluation testing
Heavy Metal or Environmental Pollutant testing
Comprehensive Digestive Stool Analysis
Inflammatory markers and cytokine testing
Our first goal in treatment is to heal the Leaky Gut, put out the fire (inflammation) and identify your unique factors like stress, toxins, chronic infections or inflammation which are causing or contributing to your condition and eliminate them. We’ll then work on calming down the immune system and identifying potential on-going triggers such as chronic viruses, food allergies, environmental exposures, and stressors which may cause future flare-ups.
This unique approach not only allows us to help resolve many cases of autoimmunity, it also allows us to educate you along the way. Once you understand your condition, and how to identify potential triggers and what to do during flare-ups, you’ll be less reliant on doctors to manage your condition. Why? Because it is my sincere belief that the best doctor in the world is YOU, the patient, educated and empowered with the right tools and knowledge to heal yourself.
If you are ready to take responsibility for your own health, and partner with a skilled Functional Medicine doctor to discover the Root Causes of your autoimmunity, we are here to serve you.
Dr. Alessio Fasano, gastroenterologist and world-renowned expert on intestinal permeability (aka “Leaky Gut”) and its connection to autoimmune disease: The Connection Between Leaky Gut and Autoimmune Disease
To discover more about our unique approach to autoimmune disease, call 541-447-7230. We look forward to partnering with you to identify the root causes of your autoimmune condition, and to create a plan to get you on the road to healing.