Newly diagnosed or otherwise have no clue how to tackle your lingering symptoms? First of all, register for our forums to connect with other patients and learn what’s worked for them. Read our FAQ and browse our Recommended Reading to get a basic understanding of the science behind autoimmune disease and the various methods to treat it. Here are some other things to consider:
Recommended Lab Work
- Complete Thyroid Panel: Free T3, Free T4, TSH, reverse T3, TPO Antibodies, and Tg Antibodies. Note that once an autoimmune thyroid condition has been diagnosed, there is no need to retest the antibodies.
- Sex/Adrenal Hormone Panel: Estrogen, Progesterone, Testosterone, DHEA, and Cortisol. Saliva-based is preferred, and the cortisol should be looked at over a 24-hour period.
- Deficiencies: Test D3, iron (including ferritin, TIBC, and % saturation), B vitamins, calcium, and any and all other vitamins or minerals. Most of us have multiple deficiencies, especially vitamin D.
- Gut Infections: H. Pylori, Candida, worms, and protozoans are common problems in autoimmune patients. These can be done as stool tests.
- Neurotransmitter tests can be helpful, and are offered as urine-based from Labrix via Canary Club.
Recommended Rx Drugs and Practitioners
- Natural Dessicated Thyroid or a compound of both T4 and T3 is generally better-tolerated and more effective for autoimmune thyroid patients than Synthroid.
- Low-Dose Naltrexone can help modulate the immune system, if needed.
- Functional doctors use a subtler, more accurate range when examining test results, and generally have a better understanding of autoimmune disease than mainstream doctors.
- Doctors trained by Dr. Kharrazian are also a good place to start.
- You may benefit from consulting with a nutritionist during an elimination diet, however, more and more blogs and books are being written for allergen-free and anti-inflammatory diets.
- You may also benefit from a chronic illness counselor, massage therapist, acupuncturist, or other practitioner.
Recommended Anti-Inflammatory Diet
- First of all, get off gluten!
- Try Dr. K’s Gut Repair Diet or The Paleolithic Autoimmune Protocol (AIP)
- Why do an elimination diet?
- How to Reintroduce Foods After Elimination
- Generally, .5-1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day.
- Carbohydrate intake adjusted for your personal activity level or blood sugar needs, from 30-300g per day.
- About 9 cups of mixed vegetables per day, including 3 each of sulfur-rich veggies, leafy greens, and colorful veggies.
- 90+ ounces of fluoride-free water or herbal teas per day.
- Grey or pink sea salt, NOT table or iodized salt.
- No processed foods.
Supplements to Consider
- Common Supplements for Autoimmune Patients
- Probiotics or Fermented Foods
- Vitamins like a B Complex, Buffered Vitamin C, Emulsified D3, Vitamin E
- Minerals like Calcium, Chromium, Iron, Magnesium, Selenium
- Fermented Cod Liver Oil
- Betaine HCl and Digestive Enzymes for low stomach acid, acid reflux, and poor digestion
- Oil of Oregano for infections
- Herbs like Ashwagandha, Dandelion Root, Ginger, Ginseng, Gingko, Licorice Root, Nettle, Peppermint, Raspberry Leaf, and Rhodiola
Exercise and Mental Health
- Control stress, depression, and insomnia with daily meditation.
- Go for a walk, do some gentle yoga, or do some mild resistance exercises every day.
- Get outside and soak up some sun. Any non-burning exposure will help bring up vitamin D levels, give energy, and help fight low mood.
- Practice positive affirmations, optimism, and gratefulness.