Autoimmune Disease Natural and Holistic Approach

In the realm of Functional and Holistic Medicine understanding the complex mechanisms behind autoimmune diseases is crucial for developing effective treatment strategies. As a patient with an autoimmune disease seeking to improve your health holistically, this blog post will provide you with valuable insights into functional medicine’s approach to managing autoimmune conditions.

We will explore topics such as intestinal barrier function in autoimmunity, gender differences in immunity, and changes in Th-cell immunity that can trigger autoimmune responses. Furthermore, we’ll discuss Functional Medicine Autoimmunity solutions like dietary modifications, sleep hygiene improvements, and low-dose naltrexone therapy.

Finally, we’ll delve into personalized treatment plans offered and share tips on living well with an autoimmune disease. By the conclusion, you’ll have the knowledge to make sound decisions regarding your health by Integrative Medicine Doctor.

Understanding Autoimmune Diseases

Autoimmune diseases are chronic conditions where the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue. It often takes years to get an accurate diagnosis, and conventional treatments involve using powerful immune-suppressive drugs. By understanding the environmental triggers for autoimmune disease, functional medicine services offers a different approach to treatment.

The Role of Intestinal Barrier Function in Autoimmunity

The gut is a vital part of sustaining general wellbeing, including the functioning of your immune system. The intestinal wall acts as a shield, barring harmful substances from entering the bloodstream while permitting necessary nutrients to pass through. When this barrier becomes compromised due to factors such as poor diet or stress, it can lead to increased permeability, commonly known as “leaky gut.” This increased permeability allows toxins and undigested food particles into the bloodstream, triggering an immune response that may contribute to autoimmune diseases.

Gender Differences in Immunity and Their Impact on Autoimmune Diseases

Compared to men, women are more likely to suffer from autoimmune diseases. Hormonal differences between genders play a significant role in this disparity – specifically estrogen levels which have been found to influence the development of autoimmunity. Understanding these gender-based differences can help tailor prevention strategies and individualized treatment plans for those affected by autoimmune conditions.

Changes in Th Cell Immunity as a Trigger for Autoimmunity

T-helper (Th) cells are vital components of our adaptive immune system that regulate other types of white blood cells involved in fighting infections or eliminating damaged cells within our bodies. However, sometimes things go awry: imbalances between various subsets such as Th1, Th2, and Th17 cells can lead to autoimmune reactions where healthy tissues become targeted instead. Research suggests that targeting these imbalances through lifestyle changes or specific therapies may help in managing autoimmune diseases more effectively overall.

Incorporating functional medicine principles into your treatment plan for autoimmune disease can provide a more holistic approach by addressing the root causes of autoimmunity rather than just suppressing symptoms with medications alone. Keep reading further sections below in our blog post series about how this works together alongside additional strategies like dietary modifications, stress reduction techniques, and even potential benefits from low-dose naltrexone therapy options available today.

Autoimmune diseases are complex and multi-faceted, but understanding the underlying causes can help inform effective treatment plans. Functional medicine can be used to address autoimmune disease, helping us achieve a greater state of health and wellness.

Key Takeaway:

Functional medicine offers a different approach to treating autoimmune diseases by understanding the environmental triggers. Unhealthy dietary habits or emotional distress may weaken the gut wall, resulting in a heightened permeability that can prompt an immunological response which could be linked to autoimmune conditions. Targeting imbalances between Th cells through lifestyle changes or specific therapies may help in managing autoimmune diseases more effectively overall.

Functional Medicine Solutions for Autoimmune Disease

Functional medicine focuses on treating the root cause of illness rather than just managing symptoms. In the case of autoimmune disease, this means addressing environmental triggers such as diet, sleep quality, exposure to chemicals or toxins, stress levels, and more. By implementing functional medicine solutions in your daily life, you can take a proactive approach towards improving your health and overall wellbeing.

Eliminating Gluten from Your Diet

Research has shown that gluten can contribute to inflammation and autoimmunity in some individuals. Removing gluten-containing foods like wheat, barley, rye, and their derivatives from your diet may help reduce inflammation and improve kidney function. Try incorporating nutritious alternatives such as quinoa or buckwheat to replace wheat, barley, rye and their derivatives.

Eating Nutrient-Dense Foods

A well-balanced diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants is essential for supporting optimal immune system function. Focus on consuming whole foods like fruits, vegetables, omega-3-rich fish, lean meats, or plant-based protein sources like legumes or nuts. Avoid processed foods high in sugar or unhealthy fats, which can exacerbate inflammation.

    • Fruits: Berries (blueberries), apples (organic), cherries
    • Veggies: Leafy greens (spinach/kale), cruciferous veggies (broccoli/cauliflower)
    • Fish: Salmon (sustainably sourced), sardines, mackerel
    • Nuts & Seeds: Almonds, walnuts, chia seeds
    • Legumes: Lentils, chickpeas, black beans

Prioritizing Sleep Hygiene

Poor sleep quality has been linked to increased inflammation and autoimmune disease activity. Prioritize getting at least 7-8 hours of restful sleep each night by establishing a consistent bedtime routine. Create a relaxing environment in your bedroom by keeping it cool, dark, and quiet. Avoid exposure to screens or stimulating activities close to bedtime as they can interfere with your ability to fall asleep.

Reducing Exposure to Heavy Chemicals and Toxins

Toxic chemicals found in everyday products like cleaning supplies or personal care items can contribute to the development of autoimmune diseases. Choose natural alternatives whenever possible and consider using an air purifier in your home for improved indoor air quality. Additionally, drinking filtered water can help reduce exposure to contaminants that may harm kidney function.

Incorporating Daily Exercise

Regular physical activity has been shown to support immune system function while also reducing stress levels – both crucial factors when managing an autoimmune condition. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week such as walking, swimming, or yoga. Always confer with your healthcare professional before initiating any new physical activity program.

Functional Medicine Solutions for Autoimmune Disease can help to improve health naturally and holistically, but it is important to consider the potential risks associated with any treatment. Low-Dose Naltrexone (LDN) Therapy offers a promising alternative that has been observed across multiple types of autoimmune conditions; let’s take a closer look at how this therapy works.

Key Takeaway:

Functional medicine offers solutions for autoimmune disease by addressing environmental triggers such as diet, sleep quality, exposure to chemicals or toxins and stress levels. Removing gluten, consuming nutrient-rich fare, emphasizing sleep hygiene, minimizing contact with harsh chemicals/toxins and exercising routinely are some potential strategies for diminishing inflammation and optimizing body performance.

Low-Dose Naltrexone (LDN) Therapy

If you’re looking for an alternative treatment option for your autoimmune disease, low-dose naltrexone (LDN) therapy may be worth considering. LDN is a medication that has demonstrated potential in aiding those with assorted autoimmune diseases by adjusting the immune system’s reaction without entirely suppressing it. It’s essential to speak with your doctor about whether LDN therapy may be suitable for you based on your specific condition.

How LDN Works at Low Doses Compared to Higher Doses Used for Addiction Treatment

Naltrexone is primarily used in high doses to treat opioid and alcohol addiction, yet lower doses (typically 1-5 mg daily) can modulate the immune system for those with autoimmune conditions. However, when used at much lower doses (typically around 1-5 mg daily), it can have immunomodulatory effects that benefit those with autoimmune conditions. At these low doses, LDN works by temporarily blocking the body’s opioid receptors, which leads to increased production of endorphins and enkephalins – natural pain-relieving chemicals in our bodies. This increase helps regulate the immune system and reduce inflammation associated with autoimmunity.

Benefits of LDN Therapy Observed Across Multiple Types of Autoimmune Conditions

A growing number of studies have demonstrated the potential benefits of using low-dose naltrexone therapy across various types of autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis and more (source). Some common improvements reported by patients include reduced pain, increased energy levels, and better overall quality of life. It’s important to note that LDN is not a cure for autoimmune diseases but can be an effective tool in managing symptoms alongside other functional medicine approaches.

Potential Side Effects and Precautions When Considering LDN Therapy

While low-dose naltrexone therapy has been generally well-tolerated by most patients, it’s essential to be aware of potential side effects before starting treatment. Some common side effects may include insomnia, vivid dreams, headaches, or gastrointestinal issues (source). If you experience any adverse reactions while taking LDN, consult your doctor immediately. Opioid medications may cause withdrawal symptoms if used alongside LDN, so it is advised to avoid this combination.

Incorporating LDN into your healthcare regimen may bring potential advantages when guided by a clinician who is familiar with this form of therapy. Remember always to discuss any new treatments with your doctor before making changes to ensure they’re safe and appropriate for your specific situation.

LDN Therapy is a possible natural treatment for autoimmune disorders with both advantages and risks that must be weighed before beginning. Personalized Treatment Plans through Functional Medicine Practitioners can help to identify environmental triggers and customize dietary recommendations based on individual needs in order to monitor progress and adjust treatments as needed.

Key Takeaway:

LDN may provide a potential treatment alternative for autoimmune diseases, which involves adjusting the immune system’s reaction without completely suppressing it. LDN works by temporarily blocking the body’s opioid receptors, which leads to increased production of natural pain-relieving chemicals in our bodies and helps regulate the immune system. Before beginning LDN therapy, it is important to be aware of potential side effects and consult a healthcare professional.

Personalized Treatment Plans through Functional Medicine Practitioners

If you’re struggling with an autoimmune disease, it’s essential to recognize that each individual experiences unique triggers and symptoms. Conversely, a tailored approach to treatment is likely to yield more beneficial outcomes. By working with a functional medicine practitioner, you can develop personalized treatment plans tailored specifically towards addressing those factors contributing most significantly within your life situation while also supporting overall health improvement goals.

Identifying and Addressing Specific Environmental Triggers

A functional medicine practitioner will work closely with you to identify potential environmental triggers for your autoimmune condition. This may involve comprehensive testing such as food sensitivity tests, heavy metal toxicity assessments, or hormone level evaluations. Once these triggers are identified, your practitioner will help you implement strategies for reducing exposure or mitigating their impact on your immune system.

Customizing Dietary Recommendations Based on Individual Needs

  • Nutrient-dense foods: Your functional medicine doctor will recommend incorporating nutrient-dense foods into your diet based on any deficiencies discovered during testing. Nutrient-rich edibles can be beneficial in supplying essential vitamins and minerals to help strengthen the body’s immunity.
  • Dietary restrictions: If specific food sensitivities are uncovered during testing (such as gluten intolerance), dietary modifications will be recommended accordingly in order to reduce inflammation and promote healing of the gut lining.
  • Micronutrient supplementation: In some cases, targeted micronutrient supplementation may be advised by your functional medicine diebetes doctor if lab results indicate deficiencies that cannot be addressed solely through diet changes alone.

Medication Adjustments for Expectant Mothers

Certain medications used to treat lupus nephritis may not be safe during pregnancy, so it is crucial to discuss any necessary adjustments with your healthcare provider. Some common changes include:

Monitoring Progress and Adjusting Treatment Plans as Needed

As you embark on your personalized treatment plan, it’s crucial to maintain open communication with your functional medicine practitioner. Regular check-ins will allow them to monitor your progress and make any necessary adjustments to optimize the effectiveness of your interventions. This ongoing collaboration ensures that you’re receiving the most appropriate care for your unique needs, ultimately leading to improved health outcomes.

Personalized treatment plans through functional medicine practitioners can help to identify and address specific environmental triggers, customize dietary recommendations based on individual needs, and monitor progress while adjusting treatments as needed. By taking a proactive approach to living well with autoimmune disease such as self-care management strategies, building support networks for emotional wellbeing, and celebrating small victories along the path to improved health; individuals are empowered in their journey towards better kidney health.

Key Takeaway:

Functional medicine practitioners offer personalized treatment plans for individuals with autoimmune diseases, identifying and addressing specific environmental triggers through comprehensive testing. They also customize dietary recommendations based on individual needs, incorporating nutrient-dense foods and recommending dietary restrictions or micronutrient supplementation as needed. Regular check-ins ensure progress is monitored and treatment plans are adjusted to optimize effectiveness.

Living Well with Autoimmune Disease

While autoimmune diseases may not be reversible, functional medicine solutions can significantly improve your quality of life by reducing symptoms, inflammation, and damage to healthy tissues. Taking a comprehensive strategy that targets the sources of autoimmunity can empower you to take charge of your health and maintain an excellent quality of life despite having an autoimmune disease.

Importance of Self-Care in Managing Autoimmune Conditions

Self-care is crucial for managing autoimmune conditions as it helps reduce stress levels and promotes overall wellbeing. Some effective self-care practices include:

  • Practicing relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing exercises or meditation.
  • Maintaining a consistent sleep schedule to ensure adequate restorative rest.
  • Taking time for hobbies and activities that bring joy and fulfillment.
  • Scheduling regular appointments with healthcare providers to monitor progress and adjust treatment plans accordingly.

Building a Support Network for Emotional Wellbeing

A strong support network is essential when living with an autoimmune disease. This network should consist of friends, family members, and healthcare professionals, such as functional medicine practitioners, who understand your condition’s unique challenges. To build this support system:

1. Educate loved ones about your condition so they know how best to offer assistance or encouragement during difficult times.
2. Join online or local support groups where you can connect with others who share similar experiences and offer valuable insights into managing your condition.
3. Establish open communication lines with your healthcare team by asking questions and discussing concerns openly during appointments.

Celebrating Small Victories Along the Path to Improved Health

Living well with an autoimmune disease involves recognizing and celebrating small victories on your journey towards better health. This might include:

  • Acknowledging improvements in symptoms or overall wellbeing after implementing lifestyle changes.
  • Taking pride in successfully navigating social situations while adhering to dietary restrictions or other treatment protocols.
  • Setting achievable goals, both short-term and long-term, which provide motivation and direction throughout the healing process.

Key Takeaway:

Functional medicine can significantly improve the quality of life for those with autoimmune diseases by addressing root causes. Self-care practices, building a support network, and celebrating small victories are crucial in managing autoimmune conditions and promoting overall wellbeing. It’s important to take control of your health journey despite having an autoimmune disease.

Frequently Asked Questions Lupus Nephritis Treatment

What is the current treatment for lupus nephritis?

The current treatment for lupus nephritis includes a combination of medications such as corticosteroids, antimalarial drugs, and immunosuppressive medications. Additionally, diuretics may be prescribed to manage high blood pressure. Treatment aims to reduce inflammation, control symptoms, and prevent further kidney damage. More information on treatments can be found here.

What is the recommendation for lupus nephritis?

The recommendations for managing lupus nephritis involve regular checkups with your healthcare provider to monitor kidney function through blood tests, urine tests, and imaging studies like ultrasounds or CT scans. Lifestyle changes including dietary modifications tailored towards optimal kidney health are also essential.

How is lupus nephritis treated according to NCBI?

Lupus nephritis treatment as per NCBI involves using corticosteroids in conjunction with other immunosuppressive agents like mycophenolate mofetil (MMF), cyclophosphamide (CYC), or calcineurin inhibitors (CNIs). The choice of medication depends on factors such as disease severity and patient-specific considerations.

What are the treatment goals of lupus nephritis?

The primary goals of treating lupus nephritis include reducing inflammation within the kidneys; controlling symptoms like proteinuria and hypertension; preventing progression towards end-stage renal disease; preserving overall kidney function; minimizing side effects from medications; improving long-term prognosis; and enhancing quality of life.


Overall, managing lupus nephritis requires a combination of medical treatment and lifestyle changes. Corticosteroids, antimalarial drugs, immunosuppressive medications, and diuretics can all be used to reduce inflammation and manage symptoms. Regular checkups are important for monitoring kidney function and overall health.

In addition to medical treatment, lifestyle modifications such as dietary changes, exercise recommendations tailored to individual needs, and stress management techniques can also support lupus nephritis management.

If you or someone you know is struggling with lupus nephritis treatment or wants more information on holistic approaches to kidney health improvement then visit