Autoimmune Disease: Stop Your Body’s Self-Attack

by

THE INCIDENCE OF AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE has tripled in the last few decades. 24 million Americans are now affected. In fact, it affects more women than heart disease and breast cancer combined. But autoimmune disease isn’t just one condition.

You’re probably familiar with the most common autoimmune diseases, like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease, type-1 diabetes, hypothyroidism, and psoriasis. But there are many more autoimmune diseases that affect the nervous system, joints and muscles, skin, endocrine gland, and heart.

Simply put, autoimmune diseases are conditions where the body’s immune system attacks its own tissues rather than a foreign molecule like bacteria. This happens when something confuses the immune system. Increasingly, that “something” appears to be the enormous load of environmental toxins to which we are all exposed.

The groundbreaking book, The Autoimmune Epidemic, by Donna Jackson Nakazawa is a breath-taking piece of investigative journalism that seeks the real causes for this epidemic. Her desire to find answers was fueled by her own struggle with autoimmune disease.

Donna lays out very clearly a radical, but unfortunately very true, picture of what’s happening. But she also provides clear solutions for changes in diet, supplements, and our environment that can help people deal with and even reverse autoimmune diseases.

Donna calls the environmental toxins that are, in part, driving the autoimmune epidemic “autogens” — foreign compounds that create an “auto” reaction, a reaction against the self. The fact is, these toxins may be the most important cause of autoimmune diseases.

In today’s blog I will review how these toxins influence your health and lead to autoimmune diseases, share some of what Donna explains in her book, and provide 9 tips to help you address autoimmune disease.

Environmental Toxins: The Leading Cause of Autoimmune Disease

We are exposed to astounding amounts of pollution. Over 80,000 chemicals have been introduced into our society since 1900, and only 550 have been tested for safety. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), about 2.5 billion pounds of toxic chemicals are released yearly by large industrial facilities. And 6 million pounds of mercury are poured into our air every year.

In fact, a recent government survey – “The National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals” issued in July 2005 — found an average of 148 chemicals in our bodies. And those were only the ones for which they tested. (i)

It gets worse …

The Environmental Working Group examined the umbilical cord blood of children just as they emerged from the womb. They found 287 industrial chemicals, including pesticides, phthalates, dioxins, flame-retardants, Teflon, and toxic metals like mercury. And this was before these infants even entered the world!

That’s not to mention the toxins found in our foods and other chemicals typically found in the home, like certain cleaning agents or pest control products – all of which add to the total toxic load on our bodies.

One wonders what all of this poison is doing to our children …

In his foreword to The Autoimmune Epidemic, Dr. Douglas Kerr, M.D., Ph.D. professor at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, says that “there is no doubt that autoimmune diseases are on the rise and our increasing environmental exposure to toxins and chemicals is fueling the risk. The research is sound. The conclusions, unassailable.”

That environmental toxins are a major cause of autoimmune disease is clear. Yet conventional medicine doesn’t take that into account when treating autoimmune conditions.

Instead, it tries to shut down the immune response with powerful medications including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like Advil and Aleve, steroids like prednisone, anti-cancer drugs like methotrexate, and new drugs like Enbrel and Remicade that block the effects of a powerful inflammatory molecule called TNF alpha.

But those new drugs shut down your immune system so powerfully that they increase your risk of cancer or life-threatening infections. And they have frequent and serious side effects and often give only partial relief. These drugs may be lifesaving for some in the short run — but in the long run they do NOTHING to deal with the causes.

There’s a better way.

I have successfully treated hundreds of patients with autoimmune diseases by addressing the underlying causes, including toxins, infections, allergens, poor diet, and stress. The roadmap of functional medicine takes us right to the root of the problem.

I have even seen the results of using functional medicine to treat autoimmune disease in myself, in my wife, and in my patients.

Using Functional Medicine to Heal from Autoimmune Disease

Years ago, I had chronic fatigue syndrome. This condition has autoimmune features and my blood tests clearly showed that my body was attacking itself. Getting rid of my mercury poisoning reversed my chronic fatigue and autoimmune problems.

Similarly, my wife developed debilitating autoimmunity with joint pain and fatigue. Getting rid of the heavy metals in her body with an intensive detoxification program cured her, too.

And this has been true of so many of my patients.

For each one, I have to find all the causes — toxins, allergens, infections, poor diet, and stress — and deal with all of them while adding back the things the body needs to function optimally, like whole, clean food, nutrients, exercise, stress management, clean water and oxygen, community, connection, and meaning. When I do this, the results are amazing.

One of my patients had crippling psoriasis and related arthritis. She was 42 and couldn’t walk up and down stairs, get into a bathtub without help, or properly care for her children. Yet just nine months after we started treatment — including eliminating gluten and other food allergens, removing her heavy metals, and balancing her immune system — she walked back in my office, not only 30 pounds lighter (remember, being inflamed makes you fat), but completely free of pain and psoriasis.

She’s not alone.

Another man suffered for years with the bloody diarrhea and pain of ulcerative colitis. Dietary changes and various kinds of digestive support helped but he never got better — until we removed the toxins and mercury from his body.

And a recent patient with debilitating fatigue and scars on her brain from multiple sclerosis got nearly complete relief of her symptoms after she had the mercury fillings removed from her teeth and went on a comprehensive detoxification program. When she repeated her MRI, all of the scars from the MS were gone!

So there are ways you can address autoimmune disease if you or someone you love is suffering. Here is what I recommend.

9 Tips for Addressing Autoimmune Disease

  • Read The Autoimmune Epidemic. This book will tell you why we have this problem, and how to fix it.
  • Find a functional medicine doctor who can help you address autoimmunity.
  • Get tested for mercury and other heavy metals.
  • Get tested for celiac disease (an autoimmune reaction to wheat and other gluten-containing grains), which causes over 60 autoimmune diseases. And consider eliminating other inflammatory foods from your diet such as dairy, eggs, corn and animal fats for a few weeks to see if it makes a different your symptoms.
  • Take immune-balancing nutrients and supplements, including vitamin D, essential fats (like EPA/DHA and GLA), and probiotics.
  • Practice deep relaxation daily through yoga, meditation, biofeedback, or anything that reverses the stress response.
  • Practice the precautionary principle, which says that we should avoid anything with the potential for harm. In the US, something has to be proven harmful before it is taken off the market. In Europe, something has to be proven safe before it is allowed on the market. This is also known as “better safe than sorry.”
  • Learn how to boost your body’s own detoxification system.
  • By addressing the root causes of autoimmune disease, you can start feeling better and getting well today.Now I’d like to hear from you …Have you been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease?How have conventional treatments worked for you?Do you plan to try any of the lifestyle approaches mentioned here?Please let me know your thoughts by adding a comment below.

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110 Responses to Autoimmune Disease: Stop Your Body’s Self-Attack

  1. Grace Johonson February 6, 2013 at 3:36 pm #

    I have ankylosing spondilitis, and the are checking me for temporal neuralgia, I have tried, NSAIDS, pain medications, Simponi, Humira, plaquinel, methotrexate, sulphates. All butSTNF blocker upset my stomach. Simponi is giving me cataracts. I do plan to try natural methods, as these meds are making me sick, i found your site helpful.

    • Helena Hayes April 9, 2014 at 12:14 am #

      I became sick to the point of being almost bed ridden 7 years ago. It was a very gradual process. In addition I thought I had early onset dementa. Just about every one of my teeth had amalgam fillings. I had them all removed and the dentist told me that in my root canals, there was even amalgam the length of the canal. I went on a mercury detoxification program using alpha lipoic acid. Using DMSA made the process faster but my liver wasnt strong enough to cope with the DMSA. I’ve been on the detox program for over 2 years now – and my osteoarthritis (that the doctors said was moderately severe after looking at X-Rays) no longer causes any pain and I no longer take medication. My brain fog (I was so bad that I got lost one street away from my own home, couldn’t absorb anything I read and didn’t know what day of the week it was) improved to the point where I could complete my law degree – though with difficulty. My terrible depression departed. I can now walk a mile, with breaks. However I seem to be going downhill and I wonder if it has to do with the long term effects of mercury passing through my body. My liver cant detox anything and the only food I can eat really is vegetables, fsih, tofu. Even bananas and almonds make me sick now and any sort of fatty food. I have hashimoto’s which seems to have gotten worse over time – particularly in terms of chronic fatigue in the afternoons and depression later in the day. I get mild sore throats on the days that I do mercury detox, and I wonder if its collecting in my thyroid. Not sure if I should stop the mercury chelation on the grounds that it may be causing damage to other organs etc in the long term.

    • RogueNaturopath July 29, 2014 at 11:39 am #

      My goal is to help educate people on health. Medicine is undergoing big change. It’s a mess. Come to RogueNaturopath.com and learn about why many treatments are still only treating the symptom (in the medical philosophy section), thus leaving the deeper imbalance not addressed. Watch my video on Intestinal dysbiosis and see what else you can do to strengthen your body. I also teach about other factors which are not being addressed in the management of illness. Health is a process. So is understanding the philosophy of medicine which is a must if you want to be well. Health, it’s your only true source of wealth.

  2. Gerald Thomas Stills February 7, 2013 at 1:36 am #

    I have been dealing with reactive arthritis for 25 years,I have been on every medication there is,and still no relief…I would love to try to detox my body and see if that makes any difference to get rid of these swollen joints….I know it sounds crazy but sometimes I think coffee is doing it to me I drink 3 to 4 cups a day..

    • Anna October 25, 2014 at 4:43 am #

      It is really quite simple to be healthy but most people won’t do it. The following are really extremely toxic for the body – wheat (and almost all grains bar a small amount once or twice a week), diary (milk, voghur, cheese) is extremely toxic, meat and fish (toxic and full of other pollutants and parasites), coffee, aspartame, msg and anything artificial. Drink water only, eat vegetables, small amounts of fruit, ground seeds and a few nuts. Vegetables sprinkled with nuts and seeds for breakfast, fruit (one a day) away from main meals, lunch and diviner plate full of steamed veggies (sprinkled seeds and nuts) if needed. Maybe small amount of grains and tiny piece of organic meat once a week. It’s not so hard once you get used to living on veggies – rotate them. Do exercise – some gentle (yin) and some more active (yang). Listen to your body (after the withdrawals from all the toxins you are consuming), laugh, learn new things if you want to, love.

  3. Sandra Hiser February 10, 2013 at 6:17 pm #

    Dr. Hyman ….Bravo!

    It took years, my life savings, going from doctor to doctor, and thousands of hours of my own research to find relief from the broad spectrum symptoms of an autoimmune crisis triggered by CO2 poisoning. Even after solving the CO2 source, my body was still in an autoimmune reaction. I also needed to heal the damage the CO2 and immune system had already done to many vital organs. This takes commitment, patience, money and courage.

    The immune crisis triggered celiacs disease, adrenal fatigue, food allergies to dairy, gluten and soy, skin rashes, arthritis, hair loss, brain fog and depression.

    The good news is, the protocol that Dr Hyman recommends works! The arthritis, hair loss, rashes, brain fog and depression are gone. I still have to manage the celiacs and adrenal fatigue, but it’s just that, managable. I no longer feel that my body is out of control and on a downward spiral.

    If you’re out there wondering if there’s reason to hope, have faith, dig in and do the work, there are big payoffs!!

    Wishing you all good health and a soft place to nurture your Being.

    • prateek kashyap April 17, 2014 at 9:14 am #

      hey sandra, i am also suffering from autoimmunity, plz help me assure that i’ll get well.. plz contact me on my id which is prateekk97.bhu@gmail.com or on facebook. your assurance can help me a lot… plz reply as soon as possible…

    • Selma July 11, 2014 at 5:59 pm #

      What did you do? Nothing seems to be working for me-

  4. katlin February 15, 2013 at 9:25 am #

    I am 20 and have had hashimotos disease for 6 years. I just finally figured out what it was however a couple months ago. I am exhausted, medication doesn’t work, GF diet alone isn’t working, I’m trying to work on sugar gluten and dairy.

    • Melissa November 10, 2013 at 11:56 pm #

      Katlin, I am in the same boat!! Any new news or relief since February?

  5. Heather February 16, 2013 at 7:37 pm #

    I was recently diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis. It seems to be under control for now, although I am on medications that my GI Specialist required (and I am not fond of them). I have done my own research and want to take other healthier approaches to handle this disease. But for now I am in debt due to medical bills and cannot see a functional medicine doctor until I get a job and pay off some bills. Sad but true. So far I have changed my diet completely and practice yoga, meditation and have recently discovered the Tapping Solution. I wish something would change in our healthcare system, so we could afford to get the treatment we wish. I am too young to be on such unsafe medications. I want to be healthy all the way around and LIVE!

  6. Patty Johnson February 20, 2013 at 9:37 am #

    My sister was diagnosed with primary biliary cirrhosis 5 years ago and is in need of a liver transplant. My question to you is this…Is there any way to repair her autoimmune system?

    • Profile photo of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff February 20, 2013 at 5:14 pm #

      Hi patty,

      Fortunately there is a lot she can do to work with her body’s immune response. Careful attention to diet and lifestyle as well as wise use of supplementation are key players in keeping triggers at bay. Many of the tips shared here are really simple and accessible for all of us to employ.

      For more personalized nutrition advice, Dr Hyman’s nutrition coaching team would be happyhttp://drhyman.com/wp-admin/edit-comments.php?comment_status=moderated#comments-form to work with you on an individual level to help you reach your goals. To work with the nutrition coaching team please go to: http://www.bloodsugarsolution.com/nutrition-coaching/ OR call (800) 892-1443 to get started.

    • ty May 30, 2014 at 11:21 am #

      …………..fresh fruits and vegetables….

  7. Kari February 25, 2013 at 1:04 pm #

    Last year in July I started developing pain in my big toe joint. It came and has never left. I also have pain in my fingers and recently lower back. I am tired quite a bit more than I think I should be. I have muscle aches and weakness at times. I get slight tightness in my chest at random, which is scary.
    I went to the doc and after tons of testing they say I have a positive ANA and high levels of RNP. The rheumatologist suspects that I have Mixed Connective Tissue Disease, but because I don’t have all of the symptoms they are calling it Undifferentiated Connective Tissue Disease. He gave me a prescription for plaquinel, but I haven’t taken it yet because I read all the side effects. I don’t want to poison myself with drugs if I can control the disease in a natural way. Will not taking the drug allow the disease to progress more and become worse?

    • Profile photo of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff February 27, 2013 at 2:56 pm #

      Hi Kari,

      Thank you for your interest in Dr Hyman’s work. Unfortunately Dr Hyman cannot provide personalized medical advice in this forum. For more personalized nutrition advice, Dr Hyman’s nutrition coaching team would be happy to work with you on an individual level to help you reach your goals. To work with the nutrition coaching team please go to: http://www.bloodsugarsolution.com/nutrition-coaching/ OR call (800) 892-1443 to get started.

      Or, to make an appointment at Dr. Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, MA please go to: http://www.ultrawellnesscenter.com/becoming-a-patient/ When you are finished reading through the material you may call the office at After you have reviewed this, please contact our office to make an appointment. By phone, (413) 637-9991; by email, office@ultrawellnesscenter.com

    • Lizzy January 6, 2014 at 2:48 pm #

      Hi Kari,

      What you describe is remarkably similar to what I experienced starting about 6 or 7 years ago. In fact until this moment of reading your history I did not even include the Big toe pain as part of my autoimmune issues. But I wonder now if that wasn’t the start of it all. ( a bit of hope for you is that the pain in my toe joint is gone and the swelling has lessened to the point that the toe has almost returned to normal)
      But every other symptom you listed happened to me…. and since I refused to pay them any heed at the time, my body went into shut down mode about four years ago. I could barely walk for the pain in my muscles and joints and it felt as if a Mac truck had parked itself on my chest. Then strange red hard quarter sized nodules started appearing on my limbs and torso and were extremely tender to the touch.
      Same diagnostics for me… first lupus then the Rheumatologist refined the diagnosis to be the same as yours… UCTD…. and has treated me with Hydroxychloroquine (Plaquinel) ever since.
      BUT ….and I share this as hopeful news to you… I went to a Naturopath and started researching Whole foods based diet….went to Kripalu…started meditation, restorative yoga and have lessened my stress ( which unfortunately meant I had to leave my job…also because of extreme fatigue)…. and I am beginning to see some light at the end of a very long tunnel.
      I am closely monitored for ill effects from the anti-malarial drug…. and I declined the offer of methotrexhate…. simply by asking the specialist if in the same circumstance would he use it ( and he admitted he would avoid it if possible too)… and so far, so good in that department.
      But as long as I pace myself and set boundaries as to what I am needing to accomplish in a day, I have a reasonable quality of life. I can’t do what I used to do in terms of amount of activities, work and socializing but still I am grateful for what I can do.
      I believe what Dr. Hyman and staff recommend because it has been of great benefit to me… and I wish you well with your journey.

    • Omar October 3, 2014 at 10:58 am #

      Kari and Lizzy,

      Amazingly I have the same exact story.
      Pain in joints and they thought it was RA.
      Then they suspected Lupus because of the ANA being positive.
      My RNP is high (8) and I am seeing a specialist next week. Of course, we suspect it is MCTD or UCTD.

      I eliminated dairy and red meat from my diet 2 weeks ago and my pain is manageable so far.
      I am looking into functional medicine and hope that it could help me.
      I want to be there for my 4 little ones as they grow.
      My concern is the cost of functional medicine as it seems insurance may not be covering tests, labs, dr bills, etc…

      Also, I found so many attacks from standard medicine Drs on Dr Hyman and the Functional Medicine.
      They confuse you with the way they attack but I am hoping they are wrong.

      Best of luck to all.

    • Sue Pritchard November 9, 2014 at 11:26 pm #

      Functional medicine makes sense and gives hope in the remarkably confusing world of autoimmune diagnosis. I have believed for years that our environment was causing much of the world’s diseases. I have markers in my blood for several including Lupus. The more I learn the more I accept the difficulty of specific diagnosis. Connective tissue and pain and fatigue and brain fog all go together in my case. I am stubborn and do not plan on giving up. I pray for a good doctor.

  8. Scottie Stewart February 26, 2013 at 3:06 pm #

    I am 49 years young and all my life I’ve enjoyed a vigorous fitness routine and had a pretty healthy diet. I was diagnosed with an underactive thyroid in 1997 and RA in 2008. I have been taking a synthetic thyroid and methotrexate every since. Even though I don’t feel like I’ve been beaten with a baseball bat, I still have flare ups that shut me down and last for days at a time. Currently I am doing a full body detox (not sure it will work) and slowly eliminating certain foods from my diet. I definitely plan to follow the recommendations made in this article. Any other suggestions are greatly appreciated.

    • Profile photo of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff February 27, 2013 at 2:42 pm #

      Hi Scottie,

      The suggestions here are a great place to start. There is so much you can do with your diet to address AI conditions so it is important to follow the proper detoxification protocol!

      For more personalized nutrition advice, Dr Hyman’s nutrition coaching team would be happy to work with you on an individual level to help you reach your goals. To work with the nutrition coaching team please go to: http://www.bloodsugarsolution.com/nutrition-coaching/ OR call (800) 892-1443 to get started.

  9. Angela February 27, 2013 at 6:28 pm #

    My name is Angela and I have been diagnosed with Palmer pustular psoriasis, Hashimotos Disease and chronic fatigue. I am currently taking high doses of thyroid medication and have started losing my hair. My gut tells me the reason for this is the medication being increased. It was not a problem until my dr. increased my dosage, I am about to try a diet program called Isagenix which is Gluten Free with a mix of supplements a cleanse and weight loss system. Can I stop the hair loss through diet? I really want to stop taking this medication but Im afraid it would make my symptoms worse. Any suggestions?

    • Profile photo of HymanStaff
      HymanStaff February 27, 2013 at 6:46 pm #

      Hi Angela,

      Thank you for your message and your interest in Dr. Hyman’s work. We are unable to answer your question in a responsible manner over the internet.

      Wishing You the Best of Health!

      Dr. Hyman Staff

  10. Vanesa March 2, 2013 at 1:37 pm #

    At 14 I would get flu-like symptoms co-occuring with painful bruise-like spots alll over from my waist down. At 17 I suffered from joint pain, joint locking, stiffness, and energy problems. At17 I was diagnosed with autoimmune hepetitis. At 18 my gallbladder was found to be diseased and had to be surgically removed. I suffered from depression starting at age 9 through 18, then at 18 was diagnosed with Bipolar II. At age 27 I was diagnosed with Sjogren’s. I ran fevers for month long periods, occasionally not able to keep food or liquids down. I test severly allergic to all pollens, plants, and animals except ironically molds. The only clear thing throughout the testing is the autoimmune nature of my health problems. I have had several symptoms (besides those listed). At age 30 my bipolar went away. At that time however my metabolic issues became very prevalent. I am currently being diagnosed with thyroiditis. The way I manage to function is by eating a completely unprocessed vegan diet with no refined sugars. I stay away from gluten because it causes . unpleasant inflammation. I meditate daily, have never smoked or drank and have no vices, and am working on a chemical free environment. I still have very low energy, but I fit in wirkouts. I am on disability and am struggling with under 9000 dollars a year (disability) so I don’t spend money except where it is needed and any extra goes to suplements (currently maca powder, vitamineral green, hemp protein, and bee pollen. With my budget I can afford conventionally grown (non-organic). I am struggling but have improved my health to the point of fuctioning and being able to. exercise 2 to 4 times a week, have lost weight, and though I’m in pain I can move. I still have to rest during the day but I use that time to do research, meditate, and recuperate. I cannot hold a conventional job, but I am constructive even so. I still have symptoms but feel that if I was able to switch to organic I may be able to heal. I am currently working on finding honest unconventional means to be able to afford to improve my diet and my health.

  11. Pradeep March 4, 2013 at 8:48 am #

    Hi,

    I’m suffering from AIED. It started with my left ear and and moved to right. I’ve taken intratympanic injections and it has helped my right. Left is still bad. I’ve been on low salt diet, No coffee/tea, No chcacolates.

    My left ear improves sometime and goes back. I have started multivitamins also. Any help is appreciated to improve my condition.

    • Profile photo of HymanStaff
      HymanStaff March 26, 2013 at 4:24 pm #

      Hello Pradeep,

      Thank you for your message and your interest in Dr. Hyman’s work. Your question and constellation of symptoms represents a complex medical condition. Questions regarding conditions like these cannot be answered in a responsible manner via the Internet.

      Wishing You the Best of Health!

      Dr. Hyman Staff

  12. Michele March 4, 2013 at 10:44 am #

    In the last 13 years, I’ve had hypothyroidism, alopecia, shingles, lichen planus and now an ulcerative cornea due possibly from the same virus that causes shingles. I have seen an autoimmune specialist who said to me “Who sent you, I don’t see any reason that you should be here”. Any advice?

    • Profile photo of HymanStaff
      HymanStaff March 26, 2013 at 4:25 pm #

      Hello Michele,

      Thank you for your message and your interest in Dr. Hyman’s work. Your question and constellation of symptoms represents a complex medical condition. Questions regarding conditions like these cannot be answered in a responsible manner via the Internet.

      Wishing You the Best of Health!

      Dr. Hyman Staff

  13. Toni Turpin March 5, 2013 at 1:54 pm #

    I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis two years ago but have suffered for the last three (took them a year to diagnose it). The pain has been unbearable and I’ve read that food intolerance and leaky gut are at the root of the problem. I have started to implement some of your points but have found for me that the triggers seem to be dairy, onions, coffee, tomatoes, mushrooms. I’m fine with wheat but understand that eating gluten is not good for me anyway so will cut that too. Finding a functional practicioner here in Belfast is difficult and so I’m trying to go it alone. I did a home IGg test and tested positive for dairy so that’s a definite no no. However, with regard to the other tests for heavy metals I’m not sure where I can get that done. I so wished I lived in the US as I’d be at your clinic yesterday!! Thanks for all your imformative information and any other information you print will be extremely gladly received.
    Best wishes
    Toni

    • Profile photo of HymanStaff
      HymanStaff March 26, 2013 at 3:32 pm #

      Hi Toni,

      Thank you for your message and your interest in Dr. Hyman’s work. Not sure if you have checked this site, to locate a practitioner of functional medicine in your area see the “Find a Functional Medicine Practitioner” link at the Institute of Functional Medicine website: http://www.functionalmedicine.org/practitioner_search.aspx?id=117.

      Wishing You the Best of Health!

      Dr. Hyman Staff

  14. Denise March 10, 2013 at 8:29 pm #

    I have alopecia areata, started at age 18 then I was DX with hasimotos in my 30’s and now have chronic idiopathic urticaria, I had it 3 years ago and it lasted for 8 months and it has started again and is much worse this time with angioadema. I have used a gamit of drugs, steroids, antihistimines, doxipen and they just keep coming. I am now in my 60’s do you think a diet change can help at this point?

    • Profile photo of HymanStaff
      HymanStaff March 26, 2013 at 2:27 pm #

      Thank you for your message and your interest in Dr. Hyman’s work. Your question and constellation of symptoms represents a complex medical condition. Questions regarding conditions like these cannot be answered in a responsible manner via the Internet.

      Wishing You the Best of Health!

      Dr. Hyman Staff

  15. Profile photo of Esther
    Esther March 11, 2013 at 10:12 am #

    Hi! My name is Esther. I am a 42 year old mother to 7 children and was diagnosed with postpartum hypothyroidism recently. Through diet and homeopathy, my TSH has come down from 28 to 5 and t3 and t4 are also now in range. Along with this I have a very high TPO and have also tested positive for ANA and lupus antibodies. I am very thankful that things are moving in the right direction and that I have remained for the most part with very few symptoms -mostly stubborn weight that I would love to release. I exercise and do yoga and eat very well.I am not 100% gluten free but feel like I might need to be and am checking for celiac this week. My question is what diet should I be following? I am confused if the BSS diet is for diabetics or also for auto immune? What more would you suggest? Thanks!

  16. Mandy March 11, 2013 at 11:38 am #

    Hi, I found your blog particularly intriguing. I am a work-in-progress. I do not have a definitive diagnosis. I actually see my 2nd rheumy today. I am ANA+, SSB9la)+, and am really having alot pain in my neck, back, hips, and pelvis (mostly bilateral groins). I am educated and almost completed my MSN-FNP with a strong interest in autoimmune disease and rheumatology. My pain is worse when immobile, and improves with movement. However, the main reason I am commenting is because of my strong interest in healing without medication. I have tried several methods on my own. I have eliminated dairy, beef, pork, and alcohol. I have failed both plaquenil and MTX. My PMD is leaning toward IBD related arthritis. I was dx with Crohn’s disease as a teenager. I am very foucsed on feeling better, I am too young to hurt this way. This condition controls my life. I cannot stand at the sink and do dishes, cook, or throw the football with my son. I cannot take long car rides due to horrible neck and back pain. I am ready to be free. I am definately going to try harder!
    Thank you for this wonderful information.

    -Mandy

  17. Ian March 26, 2013 at 10:49 pm #

    My Girlfriend has dealt with autoimmune her whole life as she has said. But for the past year or so she has betting getting worse and by worse I mean the attacks are to the pont where I cant even hold her. I eould love to say its going to be alright but I know its not. She has been to many doctors and specialist but they all say the same thing “her body is clearly attacking herself but they dont know what it is specificely”. To this I am asking is there any way I can help her so that I can truthfully say shell be alright?

    • Profile photo of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff April 5, 2013 at 12:14 pm #

      Hi Ian,

      Thank you for your interest in Dr Hyman’s work and for sharing about your girlfriend. Check this article out for some starter ideas: http://drhyman.com/blog/2010/07/30/how-to-stop-attacking-yourself-9-steps-to-heal-autoimmune-disease/

      If you would like to make an appointment at Dr. Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, MA please go to:http://www.ultrawellnesscenter.com/becoming-a-patient/ When you are finished reading through the material you may call the office at After you have reviewed this, please contact our office to make an appointment. By phone, (413) 637-9991; by email, office@ultrawellnesscenter.com

      For more personalized nutrition advice, Dr Hyman’s nutrition coaching team would be happy to work with you on an individual level to help you reach your goals. To work with the nutrition coaching team please go to:http://www.bloodsugarsolution.com/nutrition-coaching/ OR call (800) 892-1443 to get started.

    • Mark July 12, 2014 at 5:05 pm #

      I am not a doctor but I can tell you that my wife has Chron’s autoimmune disease and when she has a bad flare up we go on prednisone for a couple of months. It works wonders for her but we are seeking a long term solution as we have to do a run of steroids almost every year. The GI’s want her on remicade and humira but we have resisted so far to their dismay. My thing is why would I go to such extreme drugs before we try everything possible with diet. So far we have cut out caffeine and now we are going to try and go gluten free since most of her problems are inflammation related. We are going to also go with probiotic kefir and fish oils starting this week to see if that helps. Life is also painful for us. If we get one day a week to enjoy pain free we consider it a blessing from the sky. Best of luck hope it helps.

  18. Norma Hemberger March 28, 2013 at 4:31 pm #

    I am 36 and have been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. I had a positive ANA was told I had Lupus and Rhuematoid Arthritis, but since I didn’t have any inflammation I was then diagnosed with Fibro. I have changed my diet by eating alot of veggies and fruits. I don’t eat red meat but I feel I still have a long ways to educate myself on how to eat foods that help eliminate toxins. I need help, I experience pain and fatique on a daily basis. I have 5 children that I can no longer take care of cuz I’m always tired and with pains. Please help

  19. kwb April 10, 2013 at 8:04 pm #

    Hello,

    Four years ago afterhaving the opportunity to breast feed my daughter for almost a year, I was positively diagnosed with MS. In the last seven days I have been diagnosed with Tachachardia, Graves Disease (may be what is causing the tachachardia) and optic neuritis as the MS is affecting the eye tissue of my left eye. I am very interested in taking an active approach to working on my health. My children are not quite 2 1/2 and 4 1/2 and I want to be the best me I can be for them. I will do whatever it takes. I am taking your advice above, and plan to call your office for an appt.

    Thanks,

  20. Janet April 14, 2013 at 5:07 am #

    Thank you, Dr Hyman, for your wonderful commonsense approach to medicine. I have been a vegetarian for many years and had absolutely no health problems that required continuous medication. Then out of the blue came these strange headaches and a diagnosis of Temporal Arteritis? The palliative? Prednisone, of course.
    I went into that unknowingly and suffered horribly: Hair loss, weight gain, mood swings, leg pain, swollen feet, even breast cancer, glaucoma, and last but not least, it affected my high soprano solo singing. In my estimation, the effects of the prednisone were much worse than the symptoms it was meant to “cure”. I even told my doctor “I’d rather die if this is what I have to suffer to get “better”‘.

    This started two years ago. Late last year, I was eventually weaned off the medication. But now the TA symptoms are back and I am devastated. For many weeks I ignored the headaches, but I can’t any longer. Yesterday, I succumbed to another ritual of daily steroids.

    I will certainly do everything this good doctor has advised here to rid myself of this health problem and of the advice I’m now following. I only wish we were blessed with more of your ilk, dear Dr. Hyman.

    • Profile photo of HymanStaff
      HymanStaff April 17, 2013 at 1:54 pm #

      Hi Janet,

      Thank you for your kind words and your interest in Dr. Hyman’s work. If you would like to locate a practitioner of functional medicine in your area please see the “Find a Functional Medicine Practitioner” link at the Institute of Functional Medicine website: http://www.functionalmedicine.org/practitioner_search.aspx?id=117.

      Wishing You the Best of Health!

      Dr. Hyman Staff

  21. Gin April 18, 2013 at 6:13 pm #

    Great tips, Dr Hyman. I have your books, you make perfect sense and I didn’t listen, and now I’m paying the price. Had my hair dyed with semi permanent dye 3 weeks ago (thinking safer than permanent). Couple days later hair falling out by the hundreds and is still falling out (i have 1/4 the volume I used to have). Going from dr. to dr. this week, blood work all beautiful. except for the ANA antibodies, which nobody explained to me. I have a good diet, i exercise, do everything else right. So far nobody can figure it out (it was suggested I put a popular hair growing chemical on my head–the last thing I want to do). Now that I read, I’m fairly convinced it was the toxic chemicals. You’re so right Doctor. Keep getting the word out. To everyone else – be an informed consumer know what you’re ingesting and putting on your skin.

  22. Klaudia April 24, 2013 at 8:37 am #

    However, it does contain some very healthy fatty acids.
    In these areas of the world, there is usually less access to meat, but people do have access to virgin coconut oil.

    Saturated animal fats are notoriously linked to
    obesity, heart disease and cancer.

  23. Babette May 16, 2013 at 11:35 am #

    Hi there,
    My 27 year old sister has been diagnosed with idiopathic gastroparesis. She is also experiencing chest pains and has had shingles. She’s done all kinds of allergy tests and is not a coeliac. She’s tried eiliminating all kinds of foods from her diet to little avail. The doctors think she may have an autoimmune disease. She lives in a rural area of Ireland. Any advice on where we should go from here?

    • Profile photo of HymanStaff
      HymanStaff May 30, 2013 at 3:45 pm #

      Hi Babette,

      Thank you for your message and your interest in Dr. Hyman’s work. To locate a practitioner of functional medicine in your area see the “Find a Functional Medicine Practitioner” link at the Institute of Functional Medicine website: http://www.functionalmedicine.org/practitioner_search.aspx?id=117.

      Wishing You the Best of Health!

      Dr. Hyman Staff

  24. Shelley Buhler August 14, 2013 at 11:45 pm #

    Hi,

    18 months ago I took my 16 year old daughter to a nutritionist because of recurrent headaches and stomach aches. Blood testing showed inflammatory reactions to eggs and dairy. When she mostly cut those out the headaches and stomach aches stopped. However, in the past year she has had other symptoms which have lead to a diagnosis of probable Behcet’s. She gets mouth ulcers, skin rashes, and eye floaters and the eye doctor just identified retinal vasculitis. Because of this vasculitis, he is putting her on Prednisone followed by immune suppressants.

    I believe there is a link between the auto immune symptoms and her food intolerances, but as I am simply a mother she won’t buy in to my theory. She loosely avoid eggs and dairy, believes they are linked to the stomach and head aches but no the the rest of her symptoms. Does one of Dr. Hyman’s books address this directly? Would his nutrition specialists online help? I need to understand the link, need her to understand it, but she will only give it credence if the information is coming from a doctor.

    The eye doctor has a national reputation as an expert in this area, but he seemed focused only on treatment, not on what could be the root cause. I mentioned the food intolerances but he didn’t really seem concerned about them.

    Thank you

    • Profile photo of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff August 16, 2013 at 11:49 am #

      Dear Shelley,

      Thank you for your interest in Dr. Hyman’s work. Yes, auto-immunity is linked to diet. Have you seen this article? http://drhyman.com/blog/2010/07/30/how-to-stop-attacking-yourself-9-steps-to-heal-autoimmune-disease/

      Have you seen this book? http://store.ultrasimplediet.com/

      Functional medicine includes personalized lifestyle medicine. This is an individualized approach to health and nutrition. Specific treatments will affect each person’s system differently, based on their unique “terrain” or constitution. In order to treat the symptoms and get to the root cause of what’s making someone sick, we first need to know what specific imbalances are occurring in the individual’s body. Because of that, there is no single diet or therapy available to everyone. We need to address the person’s unique health status and medical history in order to provide the ultimate diet therapy for that person. As you can see, there are a lot of options to treat your daughter.

      Due to this Dr. Hyman cannot provide personal medical advice in this forum. If you would like to make an appointment at Dr. Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, MA please go to:http://www.ultrawellnesscenter.com/becoming-a-patient/ When you are finished reading through the material you may call the office at After you have reviewed this, please contact our office to make an appointment. By phone, (413) 637-9991; by email, office@ultrawellnesscenter.com

      For more personalized nutrition advice, Dr Hyman’s virtual nutrition coaching team would be happy to work with you on an individual level to help you reach your goals. To work with the nutrition coaching team please go to:http://www.bloodsugarsolution.com/nutrition-coaching/ OR call (800) 892-1443 to get started.
      In Good Health,
      The Nutrition Team

  25. Big Al October 5, 2013 at 9:08 am #

    I’m a 41 year old male, and was just diagnosed with dermatomyositis 2 months ago. I went from running 4 miles a day to not being able to put on my socks. After blood work, skin biopsy and EMG test, I was put on prednisone and Imuran, which I did not research before taking. Now after research on these meds, I am straight up concerned. Luckily my friends have been filtering info to me about my diet, and how I fuel my body. Before the disease, I ate straight garbage; all GMO’S, highly processed junk food and just all around crap. I feel my body deteriorating on a daily basis, so I have decided to alter my diet drastically, and look into the leaky gut syndrome, as well as anything else I can get my hands on. I look forward to any and all recommendations Dr. Hyman may offer. This disease sucks.

  26. Profile photo of Monica
    Monica October 11, 2013 at 11:15 am #

    Hi Dr. Hyman,
    I have always struggled with fatigue and depression all my life. Over the last 2-3 years the fatigue has been progressively worse and I decided that getting test after normal test at the regular doctor was not getting me anywhere. I cried and begged that something feels very wrong. He finally agreed to do an MRI to rule out MS as I am now getting neuro symptoms. The results came back with mild signs of demyelinization.
    I am now seeing a functional med doc to try to get to the root of this, as conventional docs give a blank stare when I mention hormone imbalances and adrenal fatigue/exhaustion.
    I have a ton of mercury fillings and two functional docs suggested I remove the Essure birth control devices I have implanted in my body as they suspect it may be exacerbating my autoimmune system inflammation. Apparently they have nickel, titanium and plastics in them.
    Have you heard anything about implants of any kind causing autoimmune flare ups?
    Thanks for your response.

  27. Rima October 11, 2013 at 11:52 pm #

    2 months ago when my rashes covered my entire body including my face and neck. after 1 and a half month i was diagnosed by PITYRIASIS LICHENOIDES CHRONICA which makes me feel depressed and totally hopeless when my GP told me that the cause of it is unknown and there’s no such medicine to make it heal. It affects my life and confidence I can’t even go outside I covered my entire body whenever i go to office. I’m still on the process of grieving I dont know what will be my first step. PLEASE HELP :(

    • Profile photo of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff August 27, 2014 at 10:38 pm #

      Hello Rima,
      Thank you for your interest In Dr. Hyman’s work. Unfortunately he cannot provide you personalized medical advice in this forum. In order to provide you the proper care you need we hope you will seek the attention of a local qualified Functional Med practitioner soon. To locate a doctor near you who practices functional medicine like Dr. Hyman, go to http://www.functionalmedicine.org/practitioner_search.aspx?id=117 and scroll down to where it says “locate a practitioner” and enter your location. Progress accordingly from there.
      Wishing you the best of health,
      Dr. Hyman Staff

  28. Millicent Blum November 7, 2013 at 10:22 am #

    I have been diagnosed with autoimmune hepatitis for about 15 years now and take 10mg of prednisone daily. Over the last 4 months I have had pain in both shoulders and arrms, sometimes extremely painful, keeping me awake at night and full of tension throughout my body. I have been to a reumatologist, my primary care doc (a recent blood test shows that I have a dramatic loss of iron, we’re not sure why and has me on an iron supplement), an endocrimologist has me scheduled for a coloscopy and upper GI screening for 11/20 and 11/25 respectively, and an orthopod (received a cortisone injection to no avail). I am seeing a nutrionist now that believes I have celiac (not confirmed) and has me on a regiment of shakes and is planning on adding supplements to balance out the insufficiencies.

    I’m desparate to find a solution, soon!! Please help!

    • Profile photo of Team Hyman
      Team Hyman December 30, 2013 at 10:59 pm #

      Thank you for your interest in Dr Hyman’s work with IBS. Unfortunately Dr Hyman cannot provide personal medical advice in this forum. If you would like to make an appointment at Dr. Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, MA please go to:http://www.ultrawellnesscenter.com/becoming-a-patient/ When you are finished reading through the material you may call the office at After you have reviewed this, please contact our office to make an appointment. By phone, (413) 637-9991; by email, office@ultrawellnesscenter.com

      For more personalized nutrition advice, Dr Hyman’s nutrition coaching team would be happy to work with you on an individual level to help you reach your goals. To work with the nutrition coaching team please go to:http://www.bloodsugarsolution.com/nutrition-coaching/ OR call (800) 892-1443 to get started.

  29. Jeannine November 13, 2013 at 8:09 pm #

    I’ve had sarcoidosis, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, and have been living with a diagnosis of celiac disease for nearly 18 years. Over the years I have developed multiple food allergies. In fact, the list of what I can’t eat is probably longer than the list of digestible foods for me. I am now being evaluated for autoimmune hepatitis. How can someone like myself get proper nutrition when the good, wholesome foods incorporated in most peoples diets are toxic to me?

    • Profile photo of Team Hyman
      Team Hyman December 30, 2013 at 10:50 pm #

      Thank you for your interest in Dr Hyman’s work with IBS. Unfortunately Dr Hyman cannot provide personal medical advice in this forum. If you would like to make an appointment at Dr. Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, MA please go to:http://www.ultrawellnesscenter.com/becoming-a-patient/ When you are finished reading through the material you may call the office at After you have reviewed this, please contact our office to make an appointment. By phone, (413) 637-9991; by email, office@ultrawellnesscenter.com

      For more personalized nutrition advice, Dr Hyman’s nutrition coaching team would be happy to work with you on an individual level to help you reach your goals. To work with the nutrition coaching team please go to:http://www.bloodsugarsolution.com/nutrition-coaching/ OR call (800) 892-1443 to get started.

  30. Syrus ofnava November 25, 2013 at 5:42 am #

    Hi Dr. Mark Hyman. Thanks for the knowledge and the insightful teaching. My wife is 52, and recently, specially during the past week, started to complain of stiff joint on her left shoulder. It is very painful for her to raise her left hand. The night before she woke up and complained of pain. sometime she feels a sharp pain in the left shoulder. Her most regular diet is milk and feta cheese as breakfast. Its about 3 months that she eats red grape every morning. She eats fish about two times a day, usually fried perch,Mullet or carp. ( I do not know of these fishes, but I know mahi-mahi, mackerel and salmon have less mercury). She eats basmati rice once a day, and bread and feta cheese and avocado(since last 7 years) with her hot tea as breakfast. she also uses about two or tree eggs in a week. Mostly the whites. Since last year she complained that she can not raise her left hand to her head, due to pain. The first 40 years of her life she lived in Iran, and for the past 5 years she spends the 3 months of summer in there. After a short search I concluded that her case may be Rheumatoid Arthritis, which as you know is an Auto immune disease. We are not employed, and can not pay a visit to you, but are willing to pay for few minutes of you advice. Her only other two problems were A: Irregular and elongated bowl movement which fortunately for the past three months there has not been any issue. B: She has sensitive skin against chemicals and during the spring becomes allergic to pollens. I know you do not give advice, but in case if you have made a safe comment in regard with the probability of the case, it will try to call your office to donate a humble amount. By the way I like your philosophical and creative mind. Best Regards: Syros Ofnava

    • Syrus ofnava November 25, 2013 at 6:21 am #

      Correction: Fishes are taken two times a week and not two time a day!

  31. Lee Dror December 8, 2013 at 6:11 pm #

    Hi,
    I wonder if Dr. Hyman and his team is treating teenagers with Type 1 Diabetes . Could you please refer me to any articles or ant information he wrote regarding T1D.
    Thank you in advance,
    Lee

    • Profile photo of Team Hyman
      Team Hyman December 27, 2013 at 2:55 pm #

      Hi Lee-While TII is vastly different from TI, the kind of medicine we practice here drastically affects the quality of life for TI diabetic. So the answer to that question would be yes.

  32. Teresa December 9, 2013 at 5:13 pm #

    I’ve been sick for about 3 years. It started when I was 17 and I am 20 now. At one point the doctor told me I had iron overload even though I was vegetarian at the time and taking nothing with iron it. Later another doctor tested my autoantibodies and found that my anti-RNP antibodies were through the roof (at a value of 8.0 when supposed to be between 0.0 and 0.9). My face is twitching all the time for three years whenever I smile or talk too much. All my muscles feel weak. My fingers/toes don’t wrinkle in water anymore (controlled by the autonomic nervous system). It just seems like all the doctors think I’m crazy. I just don’t feel right and the twitching is really getting to me. I don’t understand how my rheumatologist could just dismiss the RNP value because “I have good muscle tone.” I don’t feel right.

  33. shelley anne halpin December 10, 2013 at 5:31 pm #

    i was just browsing sites to try and find out why the immune system attacks itself because i was just diagnosed with a chronic condition. im 49 and the medicine they gave me (did not take them) are cancer prevention drugs that have chemotherapy in them. no at my age to start taking these would cause more harm than good. now coming across your site has not only filled with joy but hope that i will regain my health, through dentist,diet, and detox.
    thankyou

  34. cancan December 21, 2013 at 12:21 pm #

    Stunning ѕtory there. What happened after? Take care!

  35. Michael December 24, 2013 at 11:55 am #

    Hi, I was told by a neurologist recently that I have myasthenia gravis. About a year ago i was a very fit active fairly healthy guy. Im only 24 years old and am not nearly as active or fit lately since I have found out that I have this and since it has been affecting my face muscles in chewing smiling talking and my muscles for working out. I went to see a naturopathic Dr because I did not want to take all the drugs the neurologist prescribed for me i.e. steroids and others and also because I heard if you have an autoimmune disease you should always go see a naturopathic Dr because there can be so many underlying issues a neuralogist would never see. The naturopathic Dr prescribed me with copper and histamine and vitamin B1 that I take every morning and night, Ive been taking it for about a month now but havent yet starting seeing any results. I want to start getting my life back and excercising again, This website has encouraged me to do that, as well as eating healthy again. Do you have any other tips and or advice for me in beating this myasthenia gravis or whatever I may have? Shoud i go an get blood work done for something else that may be causing these symptoms? Thankyou very much.

    • Profile photo of Team Hyman
      Team Hyman December 27, 2013 at 1:41 pm #

      Thank you for your interest In Dr. Hyman’s work. Unfortunately he cannot provide you personalized medical advice in this forum. In order to provide you the proper care you need we hope you will seek the attention of a local qualified Functional Med practitioner soon. To locate a doctor near you who practices functional medicine like Dr. Hyman, go to http://www.functionalmedicine.org/practitioner_search.aspx?id=117 and scroll down to where it says “locate a practitioner” and enter your location. Progress accordingly from there.
      You can also make an appointment to be a patient at Dr.Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, MA. Please go to: http://www.ultrawellnesscenter.com/becoming-a-patient/
      Did you know you can work with Dr. Hyman’s nutritionists virtually? For personalized nutrition coaching, please see: http://store.drhyman.com/Store/List/Coaching-Programs
      In Good Health,
      Dr. Hyman’s Wellness Staff

  36. Trude Ersvik December 29, 2013 at 12:27 pm #

    Hello,

    I have been reading online about autoimmune illnesses and find it facinating how different the oppinions are.

    I got autoimmune hepatitis diagnose half a year ago and have been put on prednisolon (cortisone).
    My doctor has not recomended any diet change. Last time i saw him i told him i have been feeling more tired lately, and i asked if it could have anything to do with my diet changing. He said no right away…

    When i first got out of the hospital, coffee and chocolate didnt taste nice, so i didnt drink coffee and didnt eat chocolate. I also ate a lot of salad and vegetables.
    Now that i got the taste for coffee and sweets my diet is a lot less healthy, and as i am feeling tierd, a lot of the time i cant be bothered to make a healthy dinner.

    I might try eating salads with every dinner again thogh, and try to stay off the chocolate and coffee and tea, its just a bit of a bad habbit i guess.

    It leaves me with a dilemma though. It would be good to get tested for mercury and other heavy metals, but i doubt my doctor would see the point or even know what to do with the results. Even just metioning it to him… I think he wouldnt listen, he seems a bit old school and also a bit hard to talk to or understand.

    Thanx for the information though. :)

  37. Irina January 3, 2014 at 1:41 am #

    My now 12 year old was diagnosed with Alopecia when he was 9 yrs old his hair grew in one spot fell out in the other. In the last 3 months he lost all his body hair and mow has Alopecia totalis. His dr never seen a case like that. My son has no hair, no eye lashes nothing. Please guide us in tje right direction. Thank you in advance.

  38. Beverly Duvall March 24, 2014 at 10:28 pm #

    I started with autoimmune thyroid after each of my pregnancies. Then I had vitiligo. Next was Hashimotos. Then after several years and many doctors shrugging their shoulders and sending me away, passing out for unknown reasons was diagnosed with Addison’s disease. Now I have NASH and scarring on my liver. I’m 46 and tired of being sick and miserable. I want to enjoy life again. I take hydrocortisone 3x a day, fludrocortisone, 275 of Synthroid, Vitamin D and C. Now have to see what the plan is for my Liver. Has the doctor had any patients like me and would he be able to help me get my life back? I live in MD but would be willing to come to MA if he could help me. Feel like I’m running out of options and time.

    • Profile photo of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff August 20, 2014 at 7:26 pm #

      Hi Beverly,
      Thank you for sharing your story and for your interest In Dr. Hyman’s work. Unfortunately he cannot provide you personalized medical advice in this forum. In order to provide you the proper care you need we hope you will seek the attention of a local qualified Functional Med practitioner soon. To locate a doctor near you who practices functional medicine like Dr. Hyman, go to http://www.functionalmedicine.org/practitioner_search.aspx?id=117 and scroll down to where it says “locate a practitioner” and enter your location. Progress accordingly from there.

      You can also make an appointment to be a patient at Dr.Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, MA. Please go to: http://www.ultrawellnesscenter.com/becoming-a-patient/.
      Wishing you the best of health,
      Dr. Hyman Staff

  39. Gobi M. Rahimi April 5, 2014 at 11:23 am #

    Hi Dr. H. I was diagnosed with Shulman’s disease (Eosinophilic faciitis) 2.5 years ago. I’ve been on cortisone ever since. I started off on 60mg and am now down to 20mg. The cortisone is kicking my ass and the disease doesn’t seem to be stopping. Mobility in my right wrist is down to 50% and i can’t make a fist anymore. It’s slowly starting my on left wrist. The whole situation is very depressing. I know I’m not going to get any “personalized medical advice”, but i was wondering if anyone else has dealt with this with any success?

  40. Louise April 8, 2014 at 7:45 pm #

    I have been diagnosed with CRPS and told there is no cure. I cannot accept that as I am a healthy 45 yr old woman and very active. Can you help

    • Profile photo of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff August 20, 2014 at 7:10 pm #

      Hi Louise,
      Thank you for your interest In Dr. Hyman’s work. Unfortunately he cannot provide you personalized medical advice in this forum. In order to provide you the proper care you need we hope you will seek the attention of a local qualified Functional Med practitioner soon. To locate a doctor near you who practices functional medicine like Dr. Hyman, go to http://www.functionalmedicine.org/practitioner_search.aspx?id=117 and scroll down to where it says “locate a practitioner” and enter your location. Progress accordingly from there.
      Wishing you the best of health,
      Dr. Hyman Staff

  41. Rebecca Johnson April 22, 2014 at 9:58 am #

    I have psoriasis, Sjogren’s Syndrome, Leukocytoclastic Vasculitis, as well as other chronic diseases (hepatitis c, hypothyroidism, hypertension, supraventricular tachyardia, dilated cardiomyopathy) and I am in remission for stage 3B Hodgkin’s Disease. I have also had multiple skin cancers (Squamous Cell, Basal Cell, Melanoma).

    Conventional therapies do not work for me, though, they are all I am using. I take a pill to sleep, I take pills for muscle and joint pain, pills for my heart, pills for my thyroid and high blood pressure. Too many pills and all they do is make me irritable. They do very little to actually improve my life or make me feel better physically. My hepatologist won’t treat the hep c because of the autoimmune problems and my rheumatologist won’t treat the autoimmunes because of the hep c. So, I am given medications to mask the symptoms – and those don’t work well at all.

    I have tried eating every 3 to 4 hours, I have tried many things to get sleep – nothing works, and I have tried yoga and other exercises (walking, weights, etc) to help me physically. I have not experienced any change – my muscles still feel deeply bruised, my joints ache and have sharp pain, my heart still beats way too fast and far too often jumps to 180 bpm, without a sleeping pill, I don’t sleep at all. With it, I sleep exactly 4 hours. Not good sleep.

    My goal is to not take any medication. I currently take 12 pills daily. I want them all gone. Unfortunately, I do not know what to do to make any of this better – physically or mentally. I try to remain positive and keep a joyful outlook, but it’s difficult. I am a 44-year old woman with no visible signs of what is going on in my body. People expect that I am healthy and can/should be doing more. Chronic disease is an insidiously ugly thing… having multiple chronic diseases consumes my life – doctors appointments, testing, procedures, biopsies, surgeries, medications, physical therapy, etc. I do not have much of a life outside of my health. This is a detriment to my marriage and my teenage daughter.

    I wish I knew how to make any of it better. I am happy to hearing thoughts, suggestions, etc. from Dr. Hyman and/or others here who have commented and have experience with chronic illness and/or autoimmune disease.

    Thank you.

    • Profile photo of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff August 15, 2014 at 5:24 pm #

      Hi Rebecca,
      Thank you for your interest In Dr. Hyman’s work. Unfortunately he cannot provide you personalized medical advice in this forum. In order to provide you the proper care you need we hope you will seek the attention of a local qualified Functional Med practitioner soon. To locate a doctor near you who practices functional medicine like Dr. Hyman, go to http://www.functionalmedicine.org/practitioner_search.aspx?id=117 and scroll down to where it says “locate a practitioner” and enter your location. Progress accordingly from there.

      You can also make an appointment to be a patient at Dr.Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, MA. Please go to: http://www.ultrawellnesscenter.com/becoming-a-patient/
      Wishing you the best of health,
      Dr. Hyman Staff

  42. halina April 28, 2014 at 5:19 pm #

    What are you thoughts recommendations for treatment, survival on autoimmune disorders such as systemic capillary leak ranging into fibromyalgia, RA, Lupus, etc all the way to tumors from the xenoestrogens that may be produced post foreign body implants such as polypropylene mesh or oxidized cellulose meshes made with metal catalysts? What labs would you recommend be run to get to the root of the issues?

  43. Christie May 4, 2014 at 8:22 pm #

    I have has psoriasis for over 20 years and did not know until recently it was an autoimmune disease or issue (I still do not know if it is a disease). I also 20 years ago started having odd things happen once in a blue moon (rarely), then more frequently and now weekly and daily. Odd things such as fatigue that I can not shake for a few day, my hips ache, my thighs tingle or have numb spots or just feel heavy and my legs don’t want to move but I make them. When I get fatigued my upper arms and shoulders become tired and weak. my legs are restless at night, my vision is blurry quite often, sharp pains every once in a while in my kidneys and I suffer from Aura migraines.There is more. I very recently found out my titer level is 1:640 and was told to see a rhuemetoid doctor. Additionally I had an MRI of the brain and thankfully it is all normal. I started juicing over the past month including 3 day juice fasts and my migraines had subsided but not the blurry vision. I do feel overall better but all my symptoms are still there especially when I work out to hard. Any advice you can give would valued and appreciated!

    • Profile photo of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff August 8, 2014 at 5:03 pm #

      Hi Christie,
      Thank you for your interest In Dr. Hyman’s work. Unfortunately he cannot provide you personalized medical advice in this forum. In order to provide you the proper care you need we hope you will seek the attention of a local qualified Functional Med practitioner soon. To locate a doctor near you who practices functional medicine like Dr. Hyman, go to http://www.functionalmedicine.org/practitioner_search.aspx?id=117 and scroll down to where it says “locate a practitioner” and enter your location. Progress accordingly from there.

      You can also make an appointment to be a patient at Dr.Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, MA. Please go to: http://www.ultrawellnesscenter.com/becoming-a-patient/.
      Wishing you the best of health,
      Dr. Hyman Staff

  44. Phyllis Methot May 7, 2014 at 2:30 pm #

    Dr. Hyman,

    I was wondering if there are any Functional Medicine doctors in the New Mexico area. I have several autoimmune issues. I have read your article and think that Functional Medicine would be great for me. The doctors that I see now just put a bandaid on the issue and wait for the next flare-up. I have Idopathictrombocytopenia, Evan’s Syndrome, and Neutropenia, plus a whole host of other immune issues. I would like the name of a practicing Functional Medicine doctor in my area. I would like to get to the bottom of these issues. Thank you for your concern in this matter.

    Sincerely, Phyllis Methot

    • Profile photo of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff August 8, 2014 at 5:00 pm #

      Hi Phyllis,
      Thank you for your interest In Dr. Hyman’s work. In order to provide you the proper care you need we hope you will seek the attention of a local qualified Functional Med practitioner soon. To locate a doctor near you who practices functional medicine like Dr. Hyman, go to http://www.functionalmedicine.org/practitioner_search.aspx?id=117 and scroll down to where it says “locate a practitioner” and enter your location. Progress accordingly from there.
      Wishing you the best of health,
      Dr. Hyman Staff

  45. Mary Cole May 11, 2014 at 12:48 pm #

    I am 64 years old and in the year 2010 I started having excruciating headaches. I was eventually diagnosed with temporal arteritis. My consultant put me on a high dose of prednisolone which resolved the headaches immediately but I hate them with a vengeance. I reduced very slowly and then started getting polymyalgia. Prednisolone was increased again. I had got down to 2mg a day last year and then was very ill with my liver. I was then diagnosed with autoimmune hepatitis. I was told that once you have one autoimmune illness you can get others. I am now on azathioprine with a view to getting off the prednisolone. I am back down to 4 1/2mg a day but get painful joints as I try to reduce. My GP and specialist tell me I will be on the azathioprine for ever because if I come off it the hepatitis will come back worse. I am told the azathioprine can cause various cancers and other illnesses. I am now going to a naturopath who gives me acupuncture and Chinese herbs. He tells me he has got other people with autoimmune hepatitis off their drugs. He gives me more hope than the doctors do. I just feel that if I had never been on the prednisolone I would not have got the other illnesses. Of course the doctors do not agree!

  46. DC May 16, 2014 at 3:05 pm #

    For the last two years I’ve been dealing with chronic flare ups that cause painful disfiguring facial lesions and swelling, heart palpitations, burning, stinging, itching welts, extreme swelling of the eyes and fatigue, that have resulted in numerous stays in the E.R.. I’ve been from doctor to doctor, prescribed an enormous amount of drugs with Prednisone being the only one to temporarily suppress the symptoms/pain. There’s a history of Lupus in my family, however, I’ve tested negative on several occasions. The doctors have thrown around Chronic Idiopathic Angioedema, Chronic Idiopathic Urticaria and Histamine Intolerance.

    However, my symptoms have now thrown everyone for a loop, and all that can be agreed upon, is that it’s autoimmune. They’ve recently started me on Xolair in the last three weeks. I’m still experiencing discomfort, and the fatigue has increased tremendously! But it’s early in the treatment (trying my best to stay positive). I simply want a definitive diagnosis. Why do I eat certain foods and careen into a painful flare up/hospitalization? Why can I no longer workout without the onset of painful swelling and welts? I’m in a brain fog most of the time and have become completely debilitated. At times I find it difficult to think or spell elementary words.

    Is there something I should push for the doctors to test for? I really can’t bear to continue on this way!

    I’d be most grateful for a response, and appreciate the article.

    Thank you.

    • Profile photo of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff August 5, 2014 at 6:34 pm #

      Thank you for your interest In Dr. Hyman’s work. Unfortunately he cannot provide you personalized medical advice in this forum. In order to provide you the proper care you need we hope you will seek the attention of a local qualified Functional Med practitioner soon. To locate a doctor near you who practices functional medicine like Dr. Hyman, go to http://www.functionalmedicine.org/practitioner_search.aspx?id=117 and scroll down to where it says “locate a practitioner” and enter your location. Progress accordingly from there.

      You can also make an appointment to be a patient at Dr.Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, MA. Please go to: http://www.ultrawellnesscenter.com/becoming-a-patient/.
      Wishing you the best of health,
      Dr. Hyman Staff

  47. bucket May 17, 2014 at 11:43 pm #

    It’s impressive that you are getting ideas from this piece of
    writing as well as from our discussion made at this time.

  48. Linn May 18, 2014 at 6:30 pm #

    Hi Dr. Hyman,
    I have read all conditions, but I have not yet read of anyone having vitiligo. The discoloration is starting on the upper corner of my lip. Is is one of the autoimmune disease your treatment cures

  49. Julie May 23, 2014 at 8:27 am #

    Hi my name is Julie and I was diagnosed with auto immune hepatitis 2 years ago and am now on chemo drugs for ever, is there a better solution for this as I have been told there is no cure. I also have bad reactions to the chemo.

  50. Mrs Sandher May 26, 2014 at 4:54 am #

    Hi I’m 41 years old and have been suffering from rheumatoid arthritis for many years I have tried different medications methotrexate and now on Enbrel injection , which has kept inflammation pain at bay however I have noticed tiny white patches on my skin and I’m really concerned. Could you advise what type of foods should I avoid eating to help reverse my immune system attacking my organs. any other advise from you would help.

    Thank you

  51. Kim Frodel June 3, 2014 at 3:48 pm #

    My very dear friend is entering her 2nd year of ailing from burning and itching breakouts, severe rashes, pustular staph breakouts and severe large patches of 2nd degree burn looking dermatitis after a reaction while getting her hair colored in a local salon. She cannot find relief after going to multiple doctors. It is affecting her physically and mentally and any information would be helpful. We are reasonably positive this was caused by p-phenylenediamine, also known as PPDA. From the top of her head to the soles of her feet and everywhere in between has been affected. Can you lead us to more studies/materials to get educated? This lady is desperate, as am I just watching her live through this.

    Thank you

    • Profile photo of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff August 1, 2014 at 7:08 pm #

      Hi Kim,
      Your friend is lucky to have you! Thank you for your interest In Dr. Hyman’s work. Unfortunately he cannot provide you personalized medical advice in this forum. In order to provide your friend the proper care she needs we hope you will seek the attention of a local qualified Functional Med practitioner soon. To locate a doctor near you who practices functional medicine like Dr. Hyman, go to http://www.functionalmedicine.org/practitioner_search.aspx?id=117 and scroll down to where it says “locate a practitioner” and enter your location. Progress accordingly from there.

      You can also make an appointment to be a patient at Dr.Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, MA. Please go to: http://www.ultrawellnesscenter.com/becoming-a-patient/.
      Wishing you the best of health,
      Dr. Hyman Staff

  52. Iftikhar Shaffi June 13, 2014 at 2:52 pm #

    My granddaughter, Khadija, (now seven years old) was diagnosed type 1 diabetic at the age of 10 months and is since on insulin, diet management etc.
    A few months ago we noticed white spots on corner of lips — diagnosed vitilgo – blood tests also showed deficiency in vit-d as well as some thyroid problem — proper medication for vit-d and thyroid is now being administered. For the vitilgo we need adivice.

    • Profile photo of Team Hyman
      Team Hyman June 29, 2014 at 4:02 pm #

      Thank you for your interest In Dr. Hyman’s work. Unfortunately he cannot provide you personalized medical advice in this forum. In order to provide you the proper care you need we hope you will seek the attention of a local qualified Functional Med practitioner soon. To locate a doctor near you who practices functional medicine like Dr. Hyman, go to http://www.functionalmedicine.org/practitioner_search.aspx?id=117 and scroll down to where it says “locate a practitioner” and enter your location. Progress accordingly from there.

      You can also make an appointment to be a patient at Dr.Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, MA. Please go to: http://www.ultrawellnesscenter.com/becoming-a-patient/

  53. Donna June 22, 2014 at 6:53 pm #

    So happy to have found this site. My 14 year old son has recently been diagnosed with Ulcerative colitis. We were desperate to find an alternative to heavy chemical drugs and surgery and I think we are doing some of the right things. He is currently taking the commonly prescribed drug Asacol but I would REALLY like to get him off of that. For now, we are practicing a vegan diet, mostly starch based while he’s sick (rice and potatoes) with some cooked veggies. I make a smoothie every morning with cooked blueberries and spinach (he is still in a flare), banana, psyllium husk and organic aloe gel and either rice, flax or almond milk. He is taking turmeric, oregano and peppermint supplements to name a few as well as heavy probiotics. We have to get this flare under control before we see the doctor again next week or he will likely move us up to the next level of treatment. I realize that we have the right to decline but as a layperson I don’t feel comfortable taking his health into my own hands knowing that some of the complications can be quite serious if not fatal. We don’t know which foods are triggering it but at least sticking with this bland starchy diet for the past week or so, has resulted in no sign of red in the bowl. We’ve already paid so much money to traditional medicine and organic foods and supplements…. I don’t know how we could afford a functional Dr. at this moment. I know that you and your staff don’t work for free…. but is there any additional help you could offer us? It would be so, so appreciated.

  54. EmilyAnn Haygood July 15, 2014 at 12:09 am #

    Hi there,

    I am 24 and was diagnosed last year with sjogrens, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus. I don’t want to be on all the pills I am and want some relief. Willing to try anything! I want some more info about detoxing and changing my diet. I am also trying to have children but need to get healthy to ensure a safe pregnancy. Thank you God Bless!

    Emily

  55. Kim Taylor July 19, 2014 at 11:21 am #

    I am writing to you you about my fiance. His immune system is working to fast and is killing him. He has plac psoriasis so badly VA put him on Embral weekly. He is also in kidney failure and just this week was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. I’m going to lose this great man if I don’t find a cure for him. I love him dearly and don’t want him to die. Please help me! Thank you.

    • Profile photo of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff July 26, 2014 at 2:18 pm #

      Hi Kim,
      Thank you for your interest In Dr. Hyman’s work. Unfortunately he cannot provide you personalized medical advice in this forum. In order to provide your fiance the proper care you need we hope you will seek the attention of a local qualified Functional Med practitioner soon. To locate a doctor near you who practices functional medicine like Dr. Hyman, go to http://www.functionalmedicine.org/practitioner_search.aspx?id=117 and scroll down to where it says “locate a practitioner” and enter your location. Progress accordingly from there.

      You can also make an appointment to be a patient at Dr.Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, MA. Please go to: http://www.ultrawellnesscenter.com/becoming-a-patient/.
      Wishing you and your fiance the best of health,
      Dr. Hyman Staff

  56. valerie July 23, 2014 at 1:39 pm #

    Has anybody here had food issues,,where you eat for a few days and then come down with a dibilitating migraine followed by vomiting

  57. Ken August 6, 2014 at 3:01 pm #

    I was diagnosed in 2004 and I begun traditional (pharmaceutical) treatment under a board certified neurologist with an immune-modulating treatment. I continued this treatment for about 5 years. I experienced an average of 3 episodes a year, most requiring medical attention. In 2009, unhappy with the outcome of the treatment I was receiving, the strategy of “managed decline” and as a result of much self education I decided to make a break with traditional medicine and start a holistic treatment approach that required lifestyle changes (incorporating what’s in the books below). Although during periods of high stress I have had occasional flare-ups of preexisting symptoms, they are diminishing in frequency and severity. I have not received (nor required) medical care for MS since 2009 and have relied exclusively on diet, lifestyle and detoxifying to manage my MS symptoms.
    I will echo what Terry Wahls talks about in that the eventual repair of existing damage is possible.
    God created us with an auto—genetic capability. (For example, when you cut your finger you don’t have to consciously do anything to heal it. Maybe depending on severity you will try to curtail the bleeding and probably keep the wound clean, but it scabs over and heals on it’s own.) If we have the right building blocks available (nutrition), God has put all we need in the natural food He created, minimize the harmful aspects of our environment (toxicity) and practice the right choices (lifestyle) our bodies can heal themselves of many diseases.

    I. The following information might be summarized simply as eat a diverse diet as close to nature as possible.
    Hippocrates, widely regarded in the West as the father of modern medicine has said, “Let food be your medicine…”.

    Minding my Mitochondria [Terry Wahls, M.D.]
    A Dr.’s personal experience with nutritional healing of Secondary Progressive MS.

    Nutrition and Physical Degeneration [Westin A Price, D.D.S.]
    A 10 year study that contrasts the health of people groups (from 14 countries) in relation to diet. For example inland Aborigines eating thier native diet vs. reservation Aborigines eating a westernized diet and then succumbing to the disease’s of the West. He basically studied what healthy people did (ate) to have high levels of health.

    Nourishing Traditions [Sally Falon & Mary Enig, Ph.D]
    Of the Westin Price Foundation, includes some of the research of Dr. Westin Price with many other contributors. Arguably one of the best practical books on nutrition. Nourishing Traditions has a lot of recipes but the value is in the chapter (subject) intros. Every recipe page has relevant sidebar information that revolves around the food in the recipe.

    Excitotoxins (The taste that kills) [Russell L. Blaylock, M.D.]
    Substances added to foods that literally stimulates neurons to death. Found in MSG, Aspartame, cysteine, hydrolyzed protein and aspartic acid.

    Know Your Fats [Mary G. Enig, Ph.D]
    Very important, the brain (as well as the myelin sheath) is primarily fat. Misinformation (disinformation) abounds concerning dietary lipids.

    The Gerson Therapy [Charlotte Gerson]
    The Gersons have reported great success with “terminal cancer” patients combining comprehensive detox and intense nutritional treatments. Based on the life work of her father Dr. Max Gerson an early practitioner of nutritional healing. He believed most disease (esp. autoimmune) could be attributed to 2 things- inadequate nutrition & build up of toxins in an individual.

    Lastly I want to mention-
    The Multiple Sclerosis Diet Book [Roy L. Swank. M.D., Ph.D]

    II. Theories about the origins of MS. As well as practical things you can do to help yourself.

    Solving the MS Mystery [Hal A. Huggins, DDS, MS]
    Mercury toxicity from a researching dentist’s point of view.

    While Science Sleeps [Woodrow C. Monte, Ph.D.]
    Presents a good case against methanol. Methanol metabolizes into (highly reactive) formaldehyde. Indeed it’s this metabolic byproduct that is responsible for methanol’s toxicity. Aspartame (diet soda) breaks down into methanol.

    (NaturalNews) New research published in the journal, JAMA Internal Medicine, has verified that the vast majority of the 10,000-or-so chemical additives currently allowed in food are backed only by industry-funded and supported safety assessments. And a large percentage of these have never even been submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for review, which means the general population is essentially being used as a collective guinea pig in a giant food additive safety experiment.

    Between 1997 and 2012, the FDA reportedly received 451 voluntary notifications about new food additives, 100 percent of which came from individuals and groups connected in one way or another to the food industry. Rather than be accompanied by independent safety research, every single one of these new additives came with “safety data” conjured by the companies that produce them, a serious conflict of interest that apparently has become the standard rather than the exception.

    Researchers from The Pew Charitable Trusts (PCT), a non-profit organization serving the public interest, decided to review data on the new food additive notification process after the Government Accountability Office (GAO), a federal watchdog agency, issued a report back in 2010 raising concerns about it. And what they found is astounding, particularly as it pertains to public health and safety.

    Building upon a previous study they conducted of a similar nature, Thomas Neltner and his colleagues determined that roughly 43 percent of the 10,000 additives currently allowed in food are on the FDA’s GRAS list, which means they are “generally recognized as safe.” The other 57 percent, according to the data, were approved through other means, or never submitted or approved at all. And practically all of them lack independent analysis to verify their safety.

    “Rules governing the chemicals that go into a tennis racket are more stringent than (rules for) the chemicals that go into our food,” said Neltner regarding the findings. “At least when you put a new chemical on the market, you have to notify the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). But there’s no requirement that you notify the FDA when you make a new food additive.”

    Food additive companies not even required to submit GRAS requests to FDA
    In order for a new food additive to be included on the GRAS list, its manufacturer is supposed to furnish the FDA with sound scientific evidence that it is actually safe, a process that obviously has its own inherent limitations and biases. But the fact of the matter is that food additive companies are not required to do this — it is a completely voluntary process that allows the processed food industry to call the shots when it comes to food additive safety.

    “In 1958, Congress gave additive manufacturers the right to decide on their own what food additives were GRAS without FDA being involved,” writes Elizabeth Weise for USA Today about the scam. “Companies are not required to tell the agency when they’ve decided an additive is safe. If they choose to do so voluntarily, the company submits a letter to FDA outlining the scientific literature that supports its decision.”

    So naturally, food additive manufacturers have largely chosen to avoid the process altogether, as it really does not matter whether or not they notify the FDA about the use of new food additives. As a result, an overwhelming 99 percent of all food additives currently in use are either untested, were never submitted to the FDA at all or were submitted by industry insiders along with industry-funded safety data. In other words, the fox is guarding the hen house when it comes to food additive safety, as there is little-to-no credible oversight governing what millions of trusting Americans feed their families.

    Sources for this article include:

    http://www.reuters.com

    http://www.usatoday.com

    http://www.pewtrusts.org

    http://science.naturalnews.com

    Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/041703_safety_assessments_food_additives_processed_industry.html#ixzz2cbQJ29Ey

    • Ken August 6, 2014 at 3:05 pm #

      That was supposed to read. I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis…

      • Ellen August 20, 2014 at 9:58 am #

        Thank you so much for taking the time to share all of this helpful info, especially including references and further reading titles. Much appreciated!

  58. Shirley August 9, 2014 at 1:12 pm #

    Both my daughters have alopecia areata. For years I’ve been looking for some way to help them. Any suggestions?

    • Profile photo of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff August 13, 2014 at 8:52 pm #

      Hi Shirley,
      Thank you for your interest In Dr. Hyman’s work. Unfortunately he cannot provide you personalized medical advice in this forum. In order to provide you the proper care you need we hope you will seek the attention of a local qualified Functional Med practitioner soon. To locate a doctor near you who practices functional medicine like Dr. Hyman, go to http://www.functionalmedicine.org/practitioner_search.aspx?id=117 and scroll down to where it says “locate a practitioner” and enter your location. Progress accordingly from there.

      You can also make an appointment to be a patient at Dr.Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, MA. Please go to: http://www.ultrawellnesscenter.com/becoming-a-patient/
      Wishing you and your daughters the best of health,
      Dr. Hyman Staff

  59. Wendy August 13, 2014 at 11:08 am #

    Dr. Hyman,

    I have for years suffered with chronic yeast. I went to five different doctors before finding one that would even believe that there was such a thing. I stayed with this doctor for five years off and on while my yeast greatly improved. I went on to have several good years after this. Then my yeast problems returned after a severe allergy and asthma winter and rounds of broad spectrum antibiotics and steroids.
    Unfortunately, the doctor who treated me for my yeast related problems for all those years had retired. So I have struggled with finding someone who would put me on an anti fungel for more than a week. Most doctors just don’t understand that you can’t treat severe yeast with a week of diflucan. I finally found a doctor who was willing for one time only to put me on Nyastatin for one month, I felt so much better after this, but eventually started back down hill. No matter how well I ate it didn’t seem to keep it from coming back strong. I went to this same doctor and he said no to another round of Nyastatin, and that. I needed to see my OBGYN and get treated for yeast. Of courses my OBGYN said no to anything other than a three day treatment of diflucan. She just kind of smiled when the word candida came up and patted me on the knee as if to say, you poor thing you have no idea about science and medicine,
    So I had to resort to trying my own antifungels at home with oil of oregano, garlic, organic teas and lots of probiotics.
    While on vacation recently we did a lot of sight seeing and my legs were swollen that night with a slight rash. By the next day the rash was all the way up my calves and I looked as if I had something awful. We went to an Urgent care where the doctor diagnosed me with a bad case of vasculitis. She suggested I see my primary care doctor when I returned home because she highly suspected an autoimmune disease.
    I am really upset and angry that I couldn’t get a doctor to treat my symptoms of candida and most likely leaky gut for several years because I truly believe this wouldn’t have gotten so bad if doctors educated themselves on how to treat Candida. I don’t live in small town America, I live in Charlotte NC, a town of close to one million people. Why is it so difficult to search out a doctor to treat ones gut related problems? It’s really frustrating to know you’re ill and feel yourself getting weaker each day. To be so tired that you have trouble staying out of bed for three or four hours, and then to have to spend what energy you do have on getting someone to listen to you is beyond draining. Talk about putting stress in your life!
    So my question is this… How does one find a doctor who will treat me as you did this man with candida and leaky gut? I am more than willing to follow the diet no matter how limited it is. I just need a doctor who understands this treatment you’ve done and will do the same with me. Is there a resource that I don’t know about for finding a Functional medical doctor? I googled both functional medicine and doctors who treat candida and so far no luck with my area. If you know of anyone within the charlotte area or even outside, but within fifty miles… Would you please recommend them to me?

    I just found out about this site and your books. Thank you for providing both!

    Sincerely,
    Wendy

  60. Desiree October 30, 2014 at 10:32 am #

    My son is 5 years old and was diagnosed with autoimmune hepatitis. i don’t know where to begin or how to help him i feel lost

    • Profile photo of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff November 1, 2014 at 9:04 am #

      Hi Desiree,
      Thank you for your interest In Dr. Hyman’s work. Unfortunately he cannot provide you personalized medical advice in this forum. In order to provide your son the proper care he needs we hope you will seek the attention of a local qualified Functional Med practitioner soon. To locate a doctor near you who practices functional medicine like Dr. Hyman, go to http://www.functionalmedicine.org/practitioner_search.aspx?id=117 and scroll down to where it says “locate a practitioner” and enter your location. Progress accordingly from there.
      Wishing you and your son the best of health,
      Dr. Hyman Staff

  61. Patrick Franc November 8, 2014 at 4:17 pm #

    Dear Dr Hyman,

    My question is: Can you recommend a “functional medicine” doctor in the Montreal, Québec area?

    Below is my story,

    I have been suffering from Psoriatic Arthritis for 22 years – I’m now 44. It’s been long tough road. I’ve had both hips replaced, I’ve had talonavicular fusion done on my left foot, and I have had considerable involvement in my spine and sacroiliac joints. The disease has fused my neck and sacroiliac joints and has stiffened my spine overall.

    I have used all the common drugs available, and more recently (past 9 years) have used Enbrel, Hunmira, Simponi, Remicade, and now Stelara. I’m also taking methotrexate and Prednisone as well as Mobicox. 3 years ago I developed peripheral neuropathy, so I now take Gabapentin as well. I’ve also been taking small doses of Nucynta since March to help with the pain, although I’ve been off of it for 2 days now.

    In the 90’s, I read the book “Healing Psoriasis, the Natural Alternative” and adopted the program for 1 year. I saw impressive results, especially with regards to my skin. But the diet was very hard to follow and over time, I stopped adhering to it. I’ve been on a new wellness journey since January 2013, when I hit rock bottom physically and emotionally. I take a holistic approach to my health. Diet, daily meditation, exercise, hydrotherapy, and lea sure are all part of the program. I’ve been working from home for 15 years now so that I can better manage my stress and energy levels.

    For the past year, I have been Gluten and Dairy free. I saw an immediate improvement in my condition – within the first week actually! I did an inflammatory response blood test which revealed which foods I should be avoiding. I’m also basically following a mix of RAW and Paleo diets which has helped as well. I don’t have any noticeable inflammation, but I do have a lot of chronic pain because so much damage has occurred – especially in my back.

    I’m going to get the book “The Autoimmune Epidemic”!

    Thank you!

  62. Rob December 1, 2014 at 8:26 pm #

    I’m currently being treated for Autoimmune hepatitis and stage 3/4 cirrhosis. I started taking prednisone back on April 11 at 40 mg. Initially my liver function tests showed dramatic improvement, but by June 2 the drug had turned on me and my numbers were starting to again climb at an alarming rate. I’ve been seeing a doctor of integrative medicine and have been tapering off the prednisone since mid June–and it’s been beneficial, as my liver function tests have been improving–and am down to 7.5 mg. But since the beginning of November the improvements are starting to plateau.

    One thing has angered me greatly about my hepatologist: I was on a naturopathic detoxification fast back in March, for five days. My ALT and AST numbers went down by over 600 points EACH and my hepatologist didn’t even bother to ask what I was doing. He told me it was because there was nothing left of my liver to destroy, so I got discouraged and abandoned the detox. At the time I had no idea how significantly the numbers had improved since the whole thing was new to me and I wasn’t yet getting my weekly blood test results in the mail. Having said this, my doctor put me on prednisone and when the numbers–which zoomed up again immediately after I stopped the detox–started coming down again–this time, this time of course it was okay. Because the MD was making the calls and not the naturopathic “quack.”

    But the prednisone stopped working and has taken a heavy toll on my body. I am desperate to be off Satan’s tictacs for good and to stop this autoimmune attack. I’m glad I found this blog.

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