What is autoimmune disease?

If you have an autoimmune disease, this means that a collection of your immune cells have 'gone rogue' and are behaving in a way that is destructive to your body. Each autoimmune disease involves rogue immune cells that have targeted a different part of the body. Immune cells or white blood cells normally protect you from infection with viruses and bacteria. In an autoimmune disease, a small team of them get fired up and cause collateral damage to your healthy cells. This over-activation and mis-firing can be triggered and exacerbated by a variety of environmental, dietary and lifestyle factors.

 

Some common autoimmune diseases you may have heard of:

  • Ankylosing Spondylitis
  • Autoimmune hepatitis
  • Autoimmune Thyroid Disease
    • Hashimoto's Thyroiditis
    • Graves Disease
  • Celiac Disease
  • Crohn's Disease
  • Diabetes - Type 1
  • Lichen Sclerosus
  • Lupus
  • Mixed Connective Tissue Disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Myasthenia Gravis
  • Pernicious Anemia
  • Polyarteritis Nodosa
  • Polymyalgia Rheumatics
  • Psoriasis
  • Psoriatic Arthritis
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Scleroderma
  • Sjogren's Syndrome
  • Thrombocytopenic Purpura
  • Ulcerative Colitis
  • Vitiligo
  • And many more

The truth is that while each of these conditions has unique, defining characteristics, which are important to understand and take into account during treatment, from the perspective of your overall health and the factors that led to the overactivity and dysfunction of the immune system, all autoimmune diseases share a common thread. 

Dr. Wood's approach to your health is three-fold:

  •  She will work with you to investigate and understand the root causes of your autoimmune disease.
    • These root causes are different for everyone and can include the following: 
      • There is always a genetic susceptibility at the foundation of autoimmunity
      • How you react to stress
      • Sources of stress in your life that are untenable
      • Exposure to and body burden of environmental toxins
      • Hidden infections
      • Food reactions
      • Nutrient deficiencies
      • And more..
  • She will act as your guide as you address these root causes and move toward healing.
  • Together, you will develop a long term plan that takes into account the factors in your life that trigger the autoimmune process and helps you live a life that reduces this tendency and helps you thrive. 

Important Considerations:

  • Dr. Wood requires that each person with a potentially dangerous autoimmune disease have a conventional specialist as a part of their team. My goal is to work with you to reduce the severity of your autoimmune disease and ideally put it into remission. This process can take time and many autoimmune diseases can cause permanent damage in the mean time. It is in your best interest to have a doctor on your team who can help keep your immune system in check using pharmaceutical medications in order to give us time to discover and address the root causes. 
  • If at all possible, it is recommended to establish care in person. Dr. Wood can only order lab testing for you, diagnose your condition if needed and treat you for a specific condition if you establish a doctor-patient relationship. This requires meeting in person initially, and at least once per year. If this is not possible, Dr. Wood can still act as your consultant, but you will need to have testing ordered through a local doctor and run any treatment suggestions past your doctor.