Dr. Alison shares the basics of autoimmune disease and how functional medicine can support those who struggle with autoimmune conditions such as Hashimoto's, Crohns and colitis, and more!
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Hello and welcome. Are you struggling with an autoimmune condition and wondering if you can ever get better than this video is for you. Welcome. I am Dr. Alison DiBarto Goggin and if we haven't met yet, I am a functional medicine physician and the doTERRA wellness advocate. I help women overcome chronic health issues, weight gain, and anxiety, so they can feel like themselves. Again, let's start with what is an autoimmune disease. There are many different types of classifications of this disease and autoimmune disease is when the body mistakenly attacks itself, the immune system can attack the thyroid, the brain, the pancreas, the joints, the gut, the skin, really any tissue in the body.
I take Auto-immunity very personally very seriously because it's what I personally struggle with and my ulcerative colitis and psoriasis condition. So my first and most important note for you is that autoimmune diseases can not actually be cured.
And I understand this is a hard truth to grapple with and miles. Some people will dispute that. That is actually the truth. My research and continuing education has always focused on the current research. And I have studied with the top neuro immunologists and researchers and doctors in the world. And once the immune system has the instructions to attack tissues in the body, those instructions never go away. It's kind of like riding a bike. You never forget how, but that doesn't mean you have to be continually riding a bike. The key is that we want to focus on getting you into a continual state of remission, where your body is not under attack. Your symptoms are gone. Your blood work is normally out. The difference between curable and incurable is that when you have something that can be cured, it means that the treatment system is really complete.
So if you have an infection, you can eliminate it. And then you don't have to treat the infection again, or take more antibiotics. If you break a finger, you can set it, let it heal. And then that's complete. You're done, right? If you have an incurable disease, especially once it's auto-immunity or say something like you lose a finger, you won't be able to regrow your arm is an uncurable condition.
And most people will find that simple nutritional lifestyle changes will drastically change their health and life in a positive way. But we also have to be realistic and have realistic expectations of our healing process. We might feel like we're cured. And honestly, that's the end goal. So women have an incredible incidence of auto-immune diseases. 78% of those diagnosed with these types of diseases are women. This is possibly related to estrogen levels, high estrogen and fake estrogen, and also related to pregnancy lowering the immune system, which is why so many women are diagnosed post-pregnancy.
We can test for autoimmune diseases through blood and look at the immune system and antibodies in which tissues there are, that are being attacked. I like to use Cyrex lab for full in-depth testing, but there's a lot of different options. Functional medicine provides a different option for treating auto-immune disease. We focus on treating the root cause allowing the body to heal itself. Traditional medicine tends to focus only on stopping the attack through medications, suppressing the immune system and reducing inflammation. And those are all wonderful things because I'm alive today because of Remicade, the biologic drug that suppresses my immune system to stop the ulcerative colitis. Before I had this medication, before my colitis was triggered, I was successfully able to manage my disease through diet supplements and essential oils. It wasn't until I was harmed during a colonoscopy that triggered my downfall. So we have to be mindful of what state we're in.
Right? So please stay on your medications. Always talk with your doctor about any diet nutrition changes. Hopefully they're open and they'll most might not be. So make sure any supplements that you take won't interfere with your medications. And that's the bottom line with talking with any doctors. Right? So now when I brought up supplements to my doctors, they told me they don't believe in them, food doesn't affect your health. It doesn't affect the clitoris. And nobody's actually ever asked me about my diet, which I find surprising. But again, not really because most people are taught. Most doctors are taught that food doesn't affect the body, which is obvious if you've ever eaten in the hospital. So what can functional medicine do for you? If you have an autoimmune disease first, we cannot cure. We cannot cure overnight. There's no such thing as a simple protocol.
If you find any doctors who are natural or not, who will tell you that they're going to cure you with their supplements or diets or teas or heavy metal treatment, runaway comes, they don't really understand that they aren't curing their patients. They don't understand that the immune system is working in the way it is. And you need a team that understands that your goal is to figure out why you're having the attacks, which we're going to talk about here in a minute and address every aspect of what is happening with your body and keep the focus realistic. So, first I already talked about testing, but let's run through it again. We have a number of tests to determine where the auto immune system is, what organs and tissues are being attacked and why your body has entered into a state of hyper immunity. From there, we can address those issues and know exactly what tissues are, having the problem and help your body calm down the immune response.
There are many underlying causes of auto-immunity and they start so simply, but build over the years to bring your body into a full attack. So yes, leaky gut food sensitivities long-term can lead to autoimmunity and taking care of the gut through food. Nutrition, stress will help slow down the attack, which is what I was able to do for my health. But there's so many other things that we need to focus on as well. Environmental exposure, such as mold and toxins can also play a part, which is why we like to use the great Plains lab to test for these issues. Chronic viral infections, such as Epstein-Barr can lead to autoimmune disease. And we can also have lifestyle triggers like emotions, stress, meaning more, sleep, higher, quality, sleep, healthier exercise. All of these things can calm. The system puts you into remission and keep you in remission.
And also remember that if you do have a relapse or flare that is completely normal, you can't control every single aspect of your auto-immune disease. So keep going, don't focus on blaming yourself and remember that the initial goal is to figure out what else is going on in your body, and then address those issues to decrease inflammation and naturally balance the immune system. While your body's immune system will always have the training to attack, whether it's your thyroid or your pancreas, you can slow and diminish the attack through functional medicine and natural support. So if you're someone like me who is so far advanced or end-stage auto-immune disease, you can still use the best of both worlds. Take your medication, use food and supplements to continue to heal. But imagine that you have a chronic infection like Lyme that is triggering your immune system, no amount of steroids or medication will stop triggering you until you address this underlying condition.
I have hope for myself that in a year or so, I will be able to stop the medications and continue on my path of healing with healthy food and my lifestyle. And while it takes time and honestly, a lot of effort and focus, it is worth it because your life is worth it. My life is worth it. So thank you for tuning in, and if you're looking for personalized help, you can click the link below and schedule a free health consult with me. Thank you so much for tuning in today and make sure you like subscribe. So you never miss an episode and we'll see you next week.