Autoimmune Conditions Treatment
Autoimmune Conditions Treatment in Minnesota
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What are Autoimmune Conditions?
Autoimmune disorders manifest when your body’s immune system mistakes healthy cells and tissues as potential threats. At Newbridge, we look at your entire medical history as well as your current symptoms to gain a full understanding of how we can approach your autoimmune disease and offer you the best path toward greater health.
Your body’s immune system contains a powerful security system that helps protect against foreign invaders such as viruses, toxins, bacteria, and blood and tissues that are foreign to your body. All of these substances contain antigens, and the immune system is responsible for producing antibodies that fight these antigens.
An autoimmune disorder occurs when the immune system cannot tell the difference between normal, healthy tissue, and potentially harmful antigens from invaders that should not be there. This results in a reaction from the immune system that can harm or destroy your body’s healthy tissues.
Areas of the body that are primarily affected by autoimmune disorders may include:
- Muscles & connective tissues
- Thyroid gland
- Blood vessels
- Red blood cells
- Nervous system & brain
- GI system
Currently, there are over 80 types of known autoimmune disorders – and the exact causes for many of these disorders are unknown.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an inflammatory autoimmune disease that mainly attacks many joints at once. This disorder can cause chronic pain, stiffness, and swelling, and lead to loss of function in the body’s joints.
In addition, RA can damage connective tissues over time and it often occurs in a symmetrical pattern – meaning that if one joint such as the knee is affected, the other joint may also be affected as well. This condition can also cause other medical problems in the eyes, heart, lungs, blood, nerves, and skin. Treatment often includes anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy, and changes to diet and lifestyle.
Systemic lupus erythematosus, more commonly known as Lupus or SLE, is a chronic autoimmune condition that causes widespread inflammation that can affect multiple organs. While lupus can affect skin and joints, it can also severely damage vital organs such as the kidneys, lungs, heart, and brain.
Lupus is known to occur more often in women than men, and is often diagnosed in children as well. Symptoms can include extreme fatigue, fever, weight loss, a butterfly-shaped rash on the face covering the cheeks and the bridge of the nose, skin lesions, and discoloration of the extremities such as fingers and toes. Treatment of this condition may include a variety of medications and anti-inflammatory drugs, rest, and lifestyle changes – particularly avoiding sun exposure.
Celiac disease is a common autoimmune condition that is caused by eating gluten – a substance found in rye, barley, wheat, or any food made from these ingredients. This condition can damage the lining of your small intestine and cause the inability to absorb vital nutrients and minerals from food.
Celiac disease can develop at any point – from infancy to adulthood – and symptoms can vary from person to person. Common symptoms include abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, foul-smelling stools, weight loss, and lactose intolerance. Treatment includes strict adherence to a gluten-free diet.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a debilitating autoimmune disorder that affects the central nervous system – the brain, optic nerves, and spinal cord. In this condition, the immune system attacks the central nervous system and damages myelin – a protective layer that insulates nerve fibers – and disrupts the signals traveling to and from the brain.
Those with MS experience a range of symptoms including, tingling, numbness, changes in mood, problems with memory, chronic pain, and fatigue, and can also develop blindness, disability, and paralysis. Treatment of this condition varies by severity but often includes an optimized diet, regular exercise, lifestyle changes, and medications.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is a term that refers to two inflammatory autoimmune disorders – Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis. Most people diagnosed with these conditions are under the age of 35 and experience extreme abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, diarrhea, weight loss, anemia, and even anxiety or depression, among other symptoms.
These two forms of IBD affect the intestinal tract. Crohn’s disease in particular typically affects any part of the digestive tract, from the mouth to the anus while Ulcerative Colitis may affect any part of the large intestine. However, a third category of this disease – considered a combination of both Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis – is known as indeterminate colitis inflammatory bowel disease. Treatment for these conditions usually combines medications, changes to diet and lifestyle, and sometimes surgery.
Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition that causes extreme itchiness and discomfort of the skin. This condition manifests with varying levels of severity, but the most common is plaque psoriasis which can cause the skin to develop thick, and scaly patches. Psoriasis is also a chronic condition that can go through periods of flaring.
Psoriasis can affect any area of the skin but the most common areas affected are the elbows and knees, face, inside of the mouth, scalp, genitals, lower back, palms, and feet, as well as fingernails and toenails. Symptoms often include discomfort in the skin and joints. And this condition is primarily treated with skin creams, moisturizers, medications, vitamin therapy, and changes in diet or lifestyle – particularly those which reduce stress.
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What Our Patients are Saying
Our daughter had Ulcerative Colitis symptoms starting age 5, and we started seeing Stephanie shortly before our daughter’s 7th birthday… Through Stephanie, we had comprehensive stool/blood/urine testing done which were VERY helpful IMHO… Over this time (2 years) our daughter’s health has continued to improve – it’s currently been about 4 months since the last visible trace of blood in stools occurred! Lord-willing, if we can continue the gut-healing approaches through Stephanie (diet/supplements), our daughter will eventually not need the sulfasalazine prescription.Robert
The care at Newbridge is just something almost miraculous because they treat you with compassion, they know you, they listen to you, they take their time with you, they make sure that they’re uncovering every little piece of the onion.Kitty F.
After years of going to doctor after doctor and not getting better, I can’t thank Dr. Dolan enough for helping me figure out what was wrong with me, treating my gut, methylation and detox issues and underlying infections, and for helping me feel better than I have in years. I now have energy to go to work and play with my kids, my joint and muscle pain is gone, and I am now sleeping through the night. I have my life back. You are incredible!Michael V.