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Autoimmune Disease Care & Treatment

Quality Compassionate Healthcare for Vista, California and Surrounding Areas

At Clancy Medical Group, we believe in treating the whole patient, not just the symptoms you present. We combine a lifestyle approach with the latest medical technology to provide comprehensive, holistic care for true wellness.

Autoimmune Disease written on chalk board held by doctor.

How we treat autoimmune disease

Clancy Medical Group provides autoimmune disease testing and counseling. We also offer tools and training to help you manage your condition. We work with you to help you better understand your condition and manage your symptoms through sustainable lifestyle changes. Autoimmune diseases can be debilitating, but you can certainly limit their burden with the proper treatment.

Important Autoimmune Disease Facts

Your body’s immune system represents its primary defense against disease, infection, and other illnesses. When it detects an “invader,” it attacks the invader.

In people with an autoimmune disease, the immune system sees threats where none exist, attacking healthy, normal cells and destroying them. The condition may affect a single organ, multiple organs, or even be non-organ-specific. Nearly 150 different autoimmune disorders can affect every part of the body.

Over 23 million Americans have some autoimmune disease, with women of childbearing age having a greater risk than any other group. There is also a genetic link to autoimmune diseases like lupus and multiple sclerosis.

Researchers have also found links to some environmental factors that may cause autoimmune diseases or make them worse. Finally, ethnicity plays a role in some autoimmune diseases; lupus is more common among African Americans and Hispanics, while Type 1 diabetes is more common among Caucasians.

Why Should I Choose Clancy Medical Group for Autoimmune Disease Care?

Clancy Medical Group’s holistic approach to medicine is essential in autoimmune disease care. Treating autoimmune disorders requires a well-rounded approach that involves the patient monitoring and managing their condition. We support you each step of the way by providing professional care and guidance.

Through careful monitoring after your initial diagnosis, we help you recognize the triggers that cause “flares,” which are the severe and sudden onset of symptoms. Understanding and identifying these triggers helps you first avoid them and second to know what to expect and how to manage symptoms when you cannot prevent such an occurrence.

At Clancy Medical Group, we help you design and implement lifestyle changes to manage your condition. This approach includes a healthy diet without processed foods, saturated and trans fats, or simple carbohydrates. Instead, people with a diagnosed autoimmune disease should eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and complex, plant-based carbohydrates.

We also encourage patients to adopt a more active lifestyle. Your exercise regimen depends on your autoimmune disease type, so talk to your physician about the best plan. Reducing stress also reduces flare-ups, so discovering ways to lower stress helps manage your symptoms. Finally, we encourage you to increase the amount of sleep you get each day, which helps your body rejuvenate and repair itself.

Autoimmune disease symptoms manifest with different severity, frequency, and duration, so getting diagnosed correctly and approaching your treatment from a personalized perspective is vital.

Autoimmune Disease Frequently Asked Questions

How can I tell if I have an autoimmune disease?

Unfortunately, diagnosing an autoimmune disease is a long, sometimes complicated process. Not only do many autoimmune diseases share the same symptoms, but they even share the same symptoms with other types of diseases and disorders.

There is no single test to diagnose autoimmune diseases. Diagnosing your condition revolves around specific symptoms combined with particular blood markers. In some cases, doctors require a tissue biopsy as well.

Patients often become frustrated with this process, especially if they feel their doctor isn’t listening to them. Do not give up! Even if that means trying out new doctors until you find one with whom you feel comfortable and confident that they take your concerns seriously.

Keep a journal of your symptoms, review your family history, and share this with your doctor. If your symptoms seem to center on a specific body part, schedule an appointment with a doctor specializing in that area.

What are the autoimmune disease symptoms?

Autoimmune conditions can manifest in many ways. The most common symptoms include fatigue, muscle weakness, joint pain, low-grade fever, swelling, redness, skin rashes, trouble concentrating, dry eyes, or bulging eyes.

Sometimes patients can also experience elevated blood pressure, weight gain, hair loss, numbness, and tingling in the hands and feet.

Specific autoimmune diseases can also cause unusual symptoms, such as thirst and weight loss with type 1 diabetes, stomach aches, bloating, and diarrhea with Irritable bowel disease.

Knowing when your symptoms flare up and go into remission is vital to diagnosing your condition and triggers.

What kind of doctor treats an autoimmune disease?

As autoimmune diseases affect nearly every part of the body, it is common for patients to combine the care of their primary physician and a specialist. People who suffer from an autoimmune disease often seek help from a rheumatologist, gastroenterologist, or dermatologist, depending on which part of the body their condition affects.

Patients spend an average time of 4.5 years to diagnose their condition. During this period, they typically see four doctors. Justifiably, this journey can feel challenging and discouraging. Because of this, our clinic aims to conduct proper diagnosis early so that we can move on to discuss treatment options.

What are the most common autoimmune diseases?

There are nearly 150 types of autoimmune diseases that affect the body in different ways. These vary in severity and frequency regarding how often they affect the general population. The most common autoimmune diseases are:

  1. Type 1 diabetes
  2. Celiac disease
  3. Rheumatoid arthritis
  4. Inflammatory bowel disease
  5. Multiple sclerosis
  6. Systemic lupus erythematous
  7. Psoriasis/psoriatic arthritis
  8. Graves’ disease
  9. Addison’s disease
  10. Myasthenia gravis
  11. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
  12. Sjögren’s syndrome
  13. Autoimmune vasculitis
  14. Pernicious anemia

These diseases can affect your musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, dermatological, digestive, mental, and sexual health.

How does stress affect autoimmune diseases?

Stress can trigger neuroendocrine hormones that lead to immune dysregulation. When the severity, frequency, and duration of psychological stress increase, such dysregulation can alter or amplify cytokine production, leading to an autoimmune disease.

A large-scale retrospective cohort study found that stress-related disorders were associated with an increased risk of subsequent autoimmune disease. The findings appear in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Therefore, a medical examination should consider stress factors during diagnosis, as they often precede disease onset.

Are there any medications to treat autoimmune diseases?

You cannot cure your condition with medication. However, you can manage its symptoms, such as pain relief, swelling, rashes, and sleep disorders.

There is a wide variety of medications to treat the symptoms of autoimmune diseases. However, many of these medications, such as those designed to suppress the immune system, have severe side effects, such as a highly increased risk of certain cancers. Discussing the risks and benefits of these medications with your physician is vital.

Some diseases, such as diabetes, affect the body’s ability to produce necessary substances like insulin. In that case, medications replace these substances, mitigate the autoimmune disorder, and promote homeostasis.

Are there new findings on how to treat autoimmune disease?

Research on autoimmune diseases is continually underway. Given the range of autoimmune conditions and the number of people they affect, plenty of funding goes towards updating the relevant literature. The total spending for autoimmune diseases reached one billion dollars in 2020, which marks 2.8 percent of the National Institute of Health funding obligations.

Most of these obligations go to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.

Clancy Medical Group continually reviews new findings, and our health care options reflect this practice. Once you request an appointment, we will consider the most appropriate treatment options for autoimmune disease related to your condition. Then, we will work together towards effective care and disease management. Living with an autoimmune disease doesn’t have to be debilitating.

What happens if autoimmune disease is left untreated?

Apart from creating everyday difficulties and being an unnecessary burden, autoimmune disorders can also lead to serious complications when left untreated. They can cause severe damage to body tissue, increase the risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease, and reduce overall mobility.