And why you could have undiagnosed autoimmunity
Are you experiencing ongoing symptoms without a diagnosis? Many individuals come to us with similar experiences. Despite seeing doctors and undergoing various investigations, they are told everything appears normal. However, they still don’t feel well.
Living with chronic and unexplained symptoms can be a daily struggle. Fatigue, brain fog, difficulty focusing, and unexplained reactions to food become part of everyday life. Symptoms can vary greatly from one day to the next, leaving individuals feeling uncertain and uncomfortable.
Unfortunately, 45% of people with autoimmunity are often labeled as hypochondriacs by their doctors in the early stages. This can lead to feelings of being misunderstood and not taken seriously. Many individuals become hesitant to discuss their symptoms with their doctor due to fear of not being believed.
If this resonates with you, we understand your frustration and are here to help. Our clinic takes a comprehensive approach to investigate further and provide support. We believe in addressing the underlying causes and finding solutions that improve your well-being.
Autoimmunity has been described as the “invisible” epidemic by author Donna Jackson Nakazawa in her book “The Autoimmune Epidemic.” It often begins with subtle changes, with symptoms gradually creeping in and initially going unnoticed. People may adapt and live with these symptoms until they become more challenging. When they eventually seek medical help, they are often told that nothing is wrong. Can you relate to this experience?
Signs that you may have autoimmunity:
Fatigue, poor tolerance to exercise
Brain fog, changes in your cognitive function, poor memory
Joint pain, weakness, tremors
Dry mouth, dry eyes
Hair loss, either diffuse or bald patches
Loss of skin pigmentation in specific areas
Digestive symptoms such as pain, bloating, diarrhoea, chronic acid reflux, blood and/or mucus in stool
Tingling and numbness in your extremities (hands and feed)
An under active thyroid
Depression, low mood, anxiety
Why does it take so long to get a diagnosis?
- Autoimmunity is a gradual process that often takes years, if not decades, to progress from silent autoimmunity to full-blown autoimmune disease. Many individuals find themselves in the middle, experiencing autoimmune processes within their bodies and experiencing symptoms, but struggling to receive a diagnosis due to insufficient damage for identification.
Unfortunately, some doctors may adopt a wait-and-observe approach, delaying intervention until the autoimmune condition progresses enough to warrant medication. For instance, in the case of Hashimoto’s, doctors may wait until the thyroid gland is significantly damaged before prescribing thyroid hormone replacement.
However, it is crucial to recognize the missed opportunities in this approach. The more advanced the autoimmune disease becomes, the greater the damage inflicted on the body, making it more challenging to reverse the course. Early intervention is key to changing the disease’s trajectory and achieving better outcomes.
In Depths Consultation
We take a comprehensive approach by considering your medical history, symptoms, lifestyle factors, and family history. We understand that a brief 10-minute appointment with a general physician may not allow sufficient time to discuss all the important details, whether they are big or small. It is essential to gain a thorough understanding of your nutrition, lifestyle choices, and environmental factors to uncover potential triggers or contributors to autoimmunity.
Unlike the one symptom per appointment rule followed by many doctors, we recognise that autoimmunity can manifest in a wide range of seemingly unrelated symptoms. This rule simply does not work for autoimmune patients, as their condition requires a more holistic and in-depth examination.
We carefully review your existing blood results to assess their status. We don’t solely rely on conventional laboratory ranges; instead, we consider whether your results fall within the optimal range. Our goal is to ensure that nothing has been missed and to identify any early patterns of autoimmunity that may have been dismissed by other healthcare providers.
By reevaluating your blood work, we strive to uncover potential signs and markers that may have been overlooked or dismissed as insignificant. We understand the importance of thorough analysis in identifying early indications of autoimmunity, even if they don’t align with the traditional interpretation of results.
We utilise cutting-edge laboratory testing methods to assess autoimmunity. We collaborate with reputable laboratories like Cyrex Laboratories and others to conduct specialized blood work. Unlike the approach of waiting for your health to deteriorate or for you to reach a certain threshold of illness, we proactively investigate and test for autoimmunity if there is suspicion.
Through our advanced laboratory testing, we aim to identify potential autoimmune markers and detect autoimmunity at its early stages. Our goal is to intervene and provide targeted support before your health worsens. We believe in being proactive rather than reactive when it comes to investigating and addressing autoimmunity.