Minnesota Autoimmune Disorder Doctor

autoimmune doctor

The Growing Problem of Autoimmunity

There is a tragedy unfolding today, an epidemic that goes underdiagnosed and many times improperly treated. Today approximately 20% of the population suffers from autoimmune diseases and 75% of those affected are women. Could you be one of them? In our modern world of poor diets, increased stress and environmental toxins, autoimmune diseases are on the rise. They are now one of the top 10 leading causes of death in women under the age of 65!

Autoimmunity Defined

It is the result of a misdirected immune system that causes one’s own immune system to attack the self. Even though they are a very common disorder, today most individuals with chronic symptoms rarely get tested for them. The ANA Autoimmunity test is standard for all my new patients to screen for the possibility of autoimmune disorders.

Researchers have now identified over 100 different autoimmune diseases, possibly you’ve already been diagnosed with one. They come with wide variety of strange names such as: Hashimoto’s and Graves’ thyroiditis, Lupus, Multiple Sclerosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Psoriasis, Sjögren’s, Reactive Arthritis, Crohns and Colitis, Fibromyalgia Syndrome and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

Symptoms of Autoimmunity

If you are experiencing chronic health problems with a combination of any the following symptoms you may have an autoimmune disorder: chronic joint and/or muscle pain, chronic fatigue, difficulty concentrating or focusing, weakness, numbness or tingling in the hands or feet, recurrent rashes or hives, sun-sensitivity, a butterfly-shaped rash across your face, dry eyes, mouth or skin, abdominal pains, blood or mucus in your stool, diarrhea or mouth ulcers, multiple miscarriages or blood clots.

Because they come with so many different names and symptoms there is a misunderstanding among the medical community and general public that these are separate and completely different disease disorders. Even though they come with different names and can affect many different tissues and organs, at their core they all involve the same underlying correctable mechanisms.

Causes of Autoimmunity

There is evidence that there is an underlying genetic component. However, these genes only get expressed or turned on by specific environmental triggers. I explain it to my patients this way: "You were diagnosed with this autoimmune disorder when your 48, yet you had the same genes since you were born. What was the trigger that made you manifest this disease now and not when you were in your 20s, for example?"

An autoimmune response is generated when your immune system overreacts with antibodies and inflammation that targets your own tissues. Your antibodies are meant to target pathological microbes such as bacteria, viruses and fungus. However, in an autoimmune disorder your immune system fails to differentiate foreign substance from your own tissues.

With increased antibodies against its own self your immune system wreaks havoc on your tissues and organs. Factors that can trigger this autoimmune response are a "leaky gut" leading to food allergies, nutritional deficiencies such as vitamin D3, chronic infections and toxic metals and chemicals from our environment.

The Conventional Medical Response

The usual response is to prescribe a drug that suppresses your immune system. This may turn down the inflammatory response and some the symptoms for a while, but it comes at a tremendous cost. Your immune system keeps you safe from cancerous cells and infectious invaders, therefore these drugs do increase your risk for certain cancers and chronic infections. Other common side effects are rashes and G.I. disorders. Additionally, they can be toxic to the liver or bone marrow. A better approach would be to go after your personal environmental factors that triggered your autoimmune response in the first place.

Leaky Gut and Food Allergies, a Primary Cause

As previously mentioned, a primary triggering event for an autoimmune response is an altered gastrointestinal system that eventually manifests as Leaky Gut or more scientifically, Increased Intestinal Permeability. Very recent research has now established that this Leaky Gut is the primary driver of systemic inflammation and autoimmune responses. This makes sense when we realize that 70% of the immune system lies in our G.I. tract. (See my article and video on Leaky Gut) .

A gut disorder known as SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth) damages the G.I. lining and leads to Leaky Gut. SIBO is also the cause of the symptoms of IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). There are specific laboratory tests to identify if you have autoimmunity, systemic inflammation, SIBO and/or a Leaky Gut. Once identified there are specific gastrointestinal healing programs that can be implemented to reverse this condition and improve your immune response. (See my article and video on SIBO)

Leaky Gut also leads to increased food allergies, which I find in most of my autoimmune patients. Many times, the autoimmune response can be reduced by identifying and removing the patient’s food allergies or sensitivities by using a sophisticated Alletess IgG food allergy test for 184 foods. There is a profound link between food allergies and autoimmune diseases.

Other Triggers of Autoimmunity

Another underlying factor that can trigger an autoimmune response is when your genetic predisposition is turned on by toxins from heavy metals like mercury and lead, mycotoxins from molds, and chronic viral infections such as herpes simplex and Epstein-Barr.

All these triggers must be identified and then removed for you to conquer your autoimmune disease. This can all be achieved with proper laboratory testing. Want to know more on Reversing Your Autoimmune Disorder call the Pain and Brain Healing Center in Blaine at 763-862-7100 to schedule a personal consultation with me at no charge.

Author Dr. Greg Fors

About Dr. Greg Fors

Dr. Greg Fors, D.C. is a Board-certified Neurologist (IBCN), certified in Applied Herbal Sciences (NWHSU) and acupuncture. As the director of the virtual Pain and Brain Healing Center, he specializes in a functional medicine approach to fibromyalgia, fatigue, brain fog, digestive disorders, depression and anxiety. He is a sought after international lecturer for various post-graduate departments and state associations. Dr. Fors is the author of the highly acclaimed book, “Why We Hurt” available through booksellers everywhere.