Finding the Autoimmune Doctor: A Guide to Find Specialists in Natural Treatments

May 29, 2024 | autoimmune doctor

a girl healing naturally from autoimmune disease

As per the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, up to 50 million individuals in the United States are affected by autoimmune disease, ranking it as the third most prevalent disease category after cancer and heart disease.

In a healthy immune system, specialized cells and proteins protect the body against bacteria and viruses. However, in autoimmune disease, the immune system mistakenly targets and attacks normal cells, tissues, and organs as if they were foreign invaders. This can lead to inflammation, tissue damage, and dysfunction of the affected organs, causing a wide range of symptoms and health problems.

In this condition, finding the right autoimmune doctor is crucial for accurate diagnosis and personalized treatment plans. A medical doctor specializing in solving the root cause of autoimmunity can monitor disease progression, offer protocols for reversal, adjust medications (and ideally wean off of them), and coordinate care as needed. So, let’s learn about the factors to consider when choosing an Autoimmune Specialist for Natural Treatments:

Factors to Consider When Choosing an Autoimmune Specialist in Natural Treatments

When seeking an autoimmune specialist, it’s crucial to conduct thorough research and consider various factors to ensure optimal care. Here are detailed insights into each key factor:

Expertise and Experience: 

When looking for doctors for autoimmune disorders, examine their extensive experience and expertise in treating autoimmune disease. This may include physicians specializing in functional medicine, integrative medicine, or naturopathic medicine. Also, do a review check on their background, education, training, and years of practice in this specific area.

Check their Credentials, Certifications & Patient Reviews: 

Credentials, certifications, and memberships verify that the specialist holds a relevant degree in integrative or functional medicine from a reputable organization. Many doctors will have profiles online where you read first hand patient reviews.

Ask for their Treatment Approach: 

Consider understanding their treatment philosophy and approach to treating autoimmune conditions naturally. Besides that, inquire about their use of natural therapies that are based on scientific data such as dietary modifications (e.g., anti-inflammatory diets like Mediterranean or autoimmune protocol diet), targeted supplementation (e.g., vitamin D, TUDCA, Butyrate), stress management techniques, exercise protocols, and alternative therapies like acupuncture, or mind-body practices.

Do they Provide Patient-Centered Care?

Seek an autoimmune disease doctor who prioritizes patient-centered care. Research if they conduct thorough assessments of patients to know the unique medical history, symptoms, genetic factors, environmental triggers, lifestyle habits, and goals for treatment and reversal.

Evidence-Based Practices:

Choose doctors who specialize in autoimmune disorders, integrate evidence-based practices, and stay updated with the latest research in natural and integrative approaches to autoimmune disease. Check if they use clinically validated diagnostic tests, monitor treatment progress effectively, and adjust therapies based on individual responses and evolving scientific evidence.

Integration of Nutraceutical Grade Supplements by Specialists:

A knowledgeable autoimmune disease specialist understands the importance of being thorough with nutraceutical grade supplements and the potential adverse effects of traditional medications in long-term use. Nutraceuticals support organ function like liver detoxification and promote overall well-being without harsh side effects. Make sure your doctor integrates nutraceuticals skillfully with lifestyle changes, to promote overall healing without relying on pharmaceutical interventions. 

Patient Reviews and Testimonials: 

Review patient testimonials, success stories, and online reviews to assess the specialist’s track record in helping patients manage autoimmune conditions naturally. The positive feedback regarding improvements in symptoms, quality of life, and overall satisfaction with care can be indicative of a skilled and compassionate practitioner.

Accessibility and Communication: 

Keep in mind the practical aspects such as the specialist’s location, availability for in person and telehealth appointments, communication style, responsiveness to inquiries, and ability to provide clear explanations about treatment plans, expected outcomes, and potential risks or benefits. Effective communication promotes trust, collaboration, and better treatment adherence.

Cost and Insurance Coverage: 

Some specialists offer flexible payment options or package deals for comprehensive care plans. Understand the financial aspects of consultations, treatments, laboratory tests, and follow-up care and learn about insurance coverage for natural therapies and any out-of-pocket expenses. 

Red Flags When Selecting a Specialist

Pay close attention to the following red flags when finding the best doctor for autoimmune diseases:

  • Beware if the specialist lacks training in autoimmune disease like rheumatoid arthritis or lupus. And if they are promoting unproven or irrelevant therapies without scientific backing.
  • Avoid specialists who dismiss symptoms without thorough evaluation or explanation and provide limited treatment options. 
  • If they disregard the patient’s input and prioritizes numbers over patient symptoms and well-being.
  • Lack of collaboration with other autoimmune specialists or healthcare professionals is a big no. Always seek specialists who are open to collaborating with other healthcare professionals for comprehensive care.
  • Watch out for unclear explanations about treatment plans.
  • Steer clear if the specialists instill fear or make absolutist statements about treatment options.
  • If they are unwilling to consider a variety of options and do not adjust plans as needed.

Understanding the Importance of Natural Treatments for Autoimmune Disease

Understanding the importance of natural treatments for autoimmune disease is crucial for healing and long-term wellness. Here are the benefits of natural treatments for autoimmune diseases:

  • Reduced Side Effects: Many conventional medications for autoimmune disorders, like corticosteroids or immunosuppressants, come with significant side effects, including increased risk of infections, weight gain, and bone thinning. Natural treatments, such as nutraceutical grade supplements, sunlight exposure, removal of artificial blue light at night or dietary changes, on the other hand, have fewer and less severe side effects.
  • Mind-Body Techniques: Natural treatments use meditation, yoga, and acupuncture to reduce stress and improve mental well-being alongside managing physical symptoms in autoimmune diseases.
  • Detoxification Support: It aids natural detox pathways with early morning sunlight exposure, time in Nature, hydration, and sauna therapy, reducing inflammation.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: Some natural treatments are more cost-effective compared to pharmaceuticals. Simple things like early morning sunlight, removing artificial blue light at night, spending time in Nature, cortisol balancing strategies like yoga, meditation… are all virtually free to do. 
  • Support of General Health: Natural therapies often promote the general health of the immune system, mitochondrial function and improve energy levels. In contrast, traditional methods generally focus on suppressing the immune system to reduce symptoms, which can sometimes lead to a deterioration in overall health.

Highlighting a Leader in Autoimmune Care: Dr. David Bilstrom

Dr. David Bilstrom is a renowned leader in autoimmune functional medicine, with 20 years of expertise in reversing and preventing autoimmune and chronic conditions. As the Medical Director of the International Autoimmune Institute at Bingham Memorial Hospital, he specializes in Functional Medicine, aiming to uncover the root causes of autoimmune disease without solely relying on immunosuppressant medications.

Dr. Bilstrom adopts a revolutionary approach to autoimmune care and emphasizes that autoimmune disease can attack any part of the body. His focus lies in identifying “why” an individual has an autoimmune disease and addressing the underlying dysfunctions to enable the body’s natural healing process to function optimally. His treatment protocols are grounded in science and incorporate advanced testing, nutritional therapies, lifestyle changes, and personalized interventions customized to each patient’s unique biochemistry and health history. Dr. David Bilstrom’s mission is to change the way autoimmune disease is addressed globally and offer hope to those struggling with these conditions.

Conclusion

Seeing an autoimmune Dr gives you the specialized care and continuous support needed to reverse autoimmune disease while improving your health. Trusting in their expertise can greatly improve your quality of life and long-term well-being.

Click here to schedule a consultation with Dr. David Bilstrom, an expert in autoimmune functional medicine. Rediscover hope and personalized care for your autoimmune condition today.

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