There has been a sharp rise in the incidence of autoimmune disorders over the past several decades. The question is why has there been such a sharp rise of these disorders? The answers may very well be found in current medical research, but you would probably never know it by visiting a doctor. This is because there is a big disconnect between medical research, which is often outstanding, and the practice of traditional medicine, which often leaves quite a bit to be desired when it comes to the management of chronic disorders.

The typical allopathic clinical approach to autoimmune diseases focuses on the management of symptoms with various anti-inflammatory medications and often the use of chemotherapeutics, and very potent immuno suppressive agents with serious potential side-effects like leukemia and lymphoma. These approaches certainly can provide substantial relief to the patient, but do not really get to the cause of these conditions and some research suggests that these approaches may result in a furthering of the pathological process.

The functional medicine approach I take with patients is congruent with modern research that most doctors are not reading. It places a strong emphasis on early detection with predictive auto-antibodies and focus on optimizing gastrointestinal function. This approach has a long history with functional medicine but is now emerging in mainstream medical journals.

75-80% of the immune cells of the body are found in the gastrointestinal tract. There are many conditions that can benefit from a stool analysis such as inflammatory bowel conditions, skin conditions, and autoimmune disorders. Who do you see if you have an autoimmune condition? A Rheumatologist. How many of their patients have they done a stool analysis on? 0. See the problem? Traditional medicine is separated with all these specialties when multiple systems need to be addressed at the same time because they are related, otherwise you never get to the cause.

As part of my regular lab panels I run on patients, I often test different antibodies as predictors of disease. Once an antibody is positive, it usually takes years for the destructive process to take place or become diagnosed. If we know this, we have plenty of time to investigate into the cause and prevent further destruction. Unfortunately, this approach never happens in traditional doctors’ offices. If a patient has a positive antibody, they typically just monitor and do nothing until the patient has symptoms years later. At this point, the cause is never addressed and the drugs just provide symptom management and disease maintenance.

Every patient with autoimmune disorders needs a comprehensive stool analysis in my opinion, which modern research supports. There are several other factors that play a role in autoimmunity such as, gluten intolerance, food sensitivities, gastrointestinal infections, and heavy metal toxicity, vitamin D deficiency, etc.


Molecular Mimicry, the Hygiene Hypothesis, Stealth Infections and Other Examples of Disconnect between Medical Research and the Practice of Clinical Medicine in Autoimmune Disease. Dr. David Brady. Open Journal of Rheumatology and Autoimmune Diseases, 2013, 3, 33-39

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