Part II: 8 Truths About Autoimmunity
It’s time for Part II of my special series on eight life-changing truths about autoimmune disease!
I created this special series for you based on everything I’ve learned over the years as an autoimmune patient and a functional medicine physician. It’s built on years of experience helping my patients, and tens of thousands of people around the world, reverse their autoimmunity.
In this post, I dive into the truths about the prescription medications conventional doctors use to “treat” autoimmune conditions.
Truth #3. You CAN banish your symptoms WITHOUT harsh medications.
It’s sad to say, but most doctors dismiss the importance of nutrition as a major factor in your health. Most are also unaware of the researched, and documented link between gluten and chronic illness, and the powerful effect of removing it from your diet. Conventional doctors also tend to dismiss the harmful power of the toxins that lurk in your food, air, water, and body products, and the tremendous benefit of reducing this toxic burden in those with autoimmunity.
As a result, when it comes to reversing autoimmune conditions, conventional medicine really only has one weapon in its arsenal: drugs.
One especially dangerous class of drug used to treat autoimmunity is known as “immunosuppressants” – medications that suppress your immune system. The reasoning is that if an overactive immune system causes the problem, then suppressing your immune system should fix it.
However, you need your immune system to cope with the bacteria, viruses, toxins, and other threats that you encounter every day. And, you can’t disable a major system in the body without expecting significant repercussions. As a result, this type of treatment has a lot of unwanted side effects including suppressing your immune system too much, leaving you open to infections, inhibiting your normal daily life, and even possibly leading to some types of cancers.
Yet, day after day, those of us with autoimmunity are being told by our doctors that these drugs, along with their harsh side effects, are our only hope of keeping our disease under control and possibly having a normal life again.
But, I am here to tell you that is absolutely not true! I see it time and time again in my functional medicine clinic and in those around the world who have followed The Myers Way®, that you can use real whole foods and supportive supplements to strengthen your immune system, rather than harsh drugs to suppress it. When you eat real nutrient-dense food, focus on healing your gut (which is where 80% of your immune system lives) and easing your toxic burden, healing your infections and relieving your stress, you can heal your immune system and get your body back in balance. All without the use of immunosuppressive drugs.
The best part is that it’s not hard, there are no bad side effects, and it does not potentially lead to cancer – quite the opposite, you will be protecting yourself more now than ever!
Truth #4. You SHOULD be concerned about the side effects of harsh medications.
I wish this wasn’t true – but it is. Conventional medicine doctors who are trying to bring aid and comfort to their patients are likely to reassure you that your medications won’t cause side effects and that the side effects they do cause are minor. As a former “conventional medicine patient and doctor” I know this all too well.
In fact, the side effects of these medications are common, frequent, and disruptive across all of the drug types most often used to treat autoimmune disorders, including immunosuppressants, NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), DMARDs (disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs), and biologics.
There are some exceptions, such as Hashimoto’s and Type I Diabetes. These patients are prescribed the supplemental, life-saving hormones (thyroid hormone and insulin respectively) that their thyroid or pancreas is simply unable to adequately produce. Most people with autoimmune conditions, however, are not so lucky.
Here’s a list of just some of the side effects commonly seen with the standard prescribed drugs:
Steroids/Immunosuppressants – including Prednisone
- nausea or vomiting
- sleep problems
- irregular heartbeat
- muscle pain or cramps
- weight gain
- depression, mood swings, agitation
NSAIDS – including Advil, Aleve, Motrin
- stomach pain
- gas, heartburn
- nausea or vomiting
DMARDS – including Cellcept, Enbrel, Imuran, Trexall Plaquenil
- easy bruising or bleeding
- night sweats
- anxiety or depression
- abdominal pain
- skim cancer
Biologics – including Humira, Kineret
- hepatitis B
- heart failure
- vision problems
- upper respiratory infections
- joint pain
The great news is that you CAN eliminate autoimmune symptoms and reverse your condition without harsh medications! By addressing the root causes of their autoimmune disease, most patients are able to reduce and often come entirely off of their harsh medications.
I hope Part II of this series made you think twice about your medicine cabinet, and that you’re fired up for Part III! If you haven’t already, sign up for my free weekly newsletter to get the next truths about autoimmunity delivered straight to your inbox!
Did you miss Part I of the series? You can find it here!
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