Conventional Medicine FailsConventional Medicine Fails Most Who Suffer with Autoimmune Diseases.

If you’re dealing with a chronic inflammatory condition that has turned into autoimmunity you’ve probably been bouncing from doctor to doctor. With each doctor visit you may have found something small but nothing that really explains your long list of symptoms.  As a result, you are frustrated and most doctors are at a loss for what they could do for you. They may even suggest an antidepressant – as if that would help.

The problem is there are more than 100 recognized autoimmune diseases. What makes this situation more frustrating is the way conventional medicine is fractured into specialties. If you’re diagnosed with an autoimmune disease or condition you don’t go see an immune specialist. They don’t exist.  In situations like that you’re sent off to the specialist who focuses on that system or organ that’s being attacked.  So, for example if you’re experiencing pain in your joints you will be sent to a rheumatologist. If you’re experiencing celiac disease symptoms you’re going to be sent to a gastroenterologist. When you have Hashimoto’s disease you go to an endocrinologist. You get the idea here.

Fast forward and suddenly you have separate specialists dealing with you, along with a primary care physician and nobody really talks to each other.

This fragmentation ends up with each doctor dealing with a particular organ or affected part of your body instead of the whole body or whole immune system which has gone rogue.

I had one experience in which my primary care physician sent me to a rheumatologist.   I had been to this DR before. I told my primary I didn’t like him – but instead of pushing for a new one  I went with the status quo. This rheumatologist (who knew my history) didn’t touch me, he didn’t take my vitals, and didn’t measure anything. He didn’t even pull blood. He basically told me “it is what it is and deal with it”.

He suggested that perhaps I could add an antidepressant to my medicine regimen.  I expressed my displeasure with the outcome of our visit & indicated I had hoped for next steps. I shared I was looking for the root cause and a way to get off meds.. He then asked me …”what else do you want me to do?”  (I thought to myself I just told you?!!)  He curtly brushed me off  and told me to live with it.  Boy was I fuming!

Here in lies the problem:

Conventional medicine doctors really don’t know what to do with autoimmune diseases. As a result, you muddle through this journey of frustration, let downs, and despair…. trying one remedy and drug at a time. With each new remedy or drug you get hopeful until and then a letdown. Meanwhile, the personal price you pay for having this disease affects your lifestyle, your relationship with friends, your finances and your activity level. This further affects your mood. Maybe that’s why they try to give you an antidepressant lol?

So what do you do?

Well, there are couple things that really make big differences. Seek out a functional medicine doctor that you like and then start attacking your diet, lifestyle, environmental factors, and stress.  You have to reduce your inflammation too.  I will give you the steps that helped me in the next blog post.

In the meantime know there are really two types of inflammation. You burn your finger while cooking and moments later it’s red, tender, and radiating heat. Those are all signs of acute inflammation. Acute inflammation is good for you. It is the healing process that makes that makes the finger feel better by tomorrow.   Chronic inflammation however is bad or you. Instead of helping your body heal, it’s linked to problems including autoimmune diseases.  That’s the kind folks with autoimmune problems need to eliminate.

Check out the next post on Ask Mama Frat for PART II which offers steps to take with your diet, lifestyle and environmental factors to put your autoimmune diseases in check.

Living well is possible.

October 26, 2016