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Functional Medicine

Autoimmune Disease

Autoimmune Diseases
Four million people (*80% of which are women) are currently living in the UK with autoimmune disease + cases are rising by a huge **9% each year.

Autoimmune disorders vary greatly but often dramatically impair the quality of life on a daily basis.

It’s not unusual for our patients to report that they have multiple unrelated symptoms and when we investigate, they usually have an underlying autoimmune disorder. Rather than treating the symptoms like conventional medicine, our functional medicine approach is to treat the immune system (where the issue stems from) and focus on restoring normal immune function.

Our experienced doctors can provide you with the appropriate personalised treatment to help manage your condition so you can live and enjoy life more.

*Report for parliamentarians into autoimmune conditions

**Female predominance in autoimmune disease

Get in touch to find out more

Autoimmune conditions – when your body attacks itself

What is autoimmune disease?

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A healthy immune system protects us from getting ill, but in people with autoimmune conditions, the immune system mistakenly attacks itself because it can’t tell the difference between your own cells and foreign cells (bacteria and viruses). If we liken the body to a battlefield, the soldiers that fight are essentially being sent to the wrong battlefield.

There are more than 80 different types of autoimmune disorders. They are chronic, frequently lead to lower quality of life, and can even be life-threatening.

Here is a list of common autoimmune disorders:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis

  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBS)

  • Thyroid diseases (inc. Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis & Graves Disease)

  • Raynaud’s

  • Crohn’s Disease

  • Lupus

  • Psoriasis

  • Multiple sclerosis (MS)

  • Type 1 Diabetes

  • Coeliac Disease

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Autoimmune disease symptoms

 

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Symptoms of autoimmune disorders are many and varied but some of those that are reported to us most frequently include:

  • Fatigue
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Achy or painful muscles and/or joints
  • Muscle weakness
  • Numbness and/or tingling in legs and arms
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Weight gain
  • Running hot or cold
  • Gut problems (including bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea or constipation)
  • Skin problems (including rashes, and itchy skin)

What causes autoimmune disease?

At this time, the exact cause of autoimmune diseases is unknown, however, there are a number of risk factors including:

Genetics

A genetic predisposition puts you at higher risk of developing an autoimmune disease. However, if you have a family history of autoimmune disease, this doesn’t necessarily mean you will get the same autoimmune condition – or have one at all.

Environment (epigenetics)

It is thought that environmental stressors can be triggers. Examples of this could include living in a house with mould, moving into a house with new carpets exuding fumes, occupation, smoking, exposure to fuel, and diet.

Personal health

Being overweight can be a major factor in autoimmune disorders as can a very stressful lifestyle. It can cause inflammation in the body which can in turn have a detrimental impact on the immune system.

Unfortunately, once an autoimmune disorder has been triggered and the immune system is already subpar, it can often lead to the development of other conditions.

Our approach to managing autoimmune disorders + MS

The Harpal way

At Harpal Clinic we take a step back. Instead of addressing symptom relief like conventional medicine, we go to the source of the problem – the immune system. We hope to get you to a place where you are comfortably managing your condition and you can start to enjoy your life again.

The treatments we utilise can include one or a combination of the following:

  • Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN): The body has its own innate intelligence and we utilise this with LDN which tricks your body into making more endorphins that modulate immunity.

  • Micro immunotherapy: This reprograms the immune system using very low doses of the immune system’s chemical messengers.

  • Lifestyle changes: We work with you to reduce stressors to restore the fight or flight response to ‘normal’. We also work to restore the stress or adrenal gland’s function so that it can produce cortisol, the stress hormone, in optimal quantity.

  • Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT): Some people’s hormones are so irregular that it impacts their daily life, relationships, and can make them feel out of control. We can utilise BHRT to help optimise the hormones.

  • Nutrition: We address nutrition as certain foods can trigger inflammation, which in turn can have a significant impact on the immune system.

Each patient is treated as an individual, receiving treatment personalised to their condition and their body’s needs. However, in our experience, the sooner and the more intensive the initial phase of treatment (front-loading), the better results we have managing the condition.

Aaliyah, Harpal Clinic

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