+ Medicine Articles

Autoimmune disease is complex, and while diet and lifestyle are powerful factors in improving health, sometimes they aren’t enough on their own. Below are articles from both conventional and functional medicine perspectives. It doesn’t have to be an either/or choice. If you’re an audio learner, I’ve also recorded expert interviews on a wide variety of topics.

What Are Digestive Enzymes and When Do You Need Them?

If you’re eating well but still have digestive issues, what do you do? Are there simple foods and drinks that can support digestion? When should you try a digestive enzyme supplement? And how do you choose a high-quality one? Can enzyme supplements expand food tolerance? Can they help digest gluten? I answer these questions and more in this blog post.

illustration of the GI tract

Abdominal Massage for Constipation

Many people with autoimmune disease struggle with constipation. It might be a result of physical changes to the body, a side effect of medication, or a shift in diet. In my prior career, I was a massage therapist for 15 years. I fell in love with abdominal massage back then, and it’s been part of my self-care ever since. In this article, you’ll find videos demonstrating three different styles of abdominal massage. Experiment to find the technique that works best for you.

Illustration of letter D in a sunny field

Vitamin D and Autoimmune Disease

Vitamin D is essential to immune system regulation, which is why it’s a commonly recommended supplement for people with autoimmune disease. Can we get all the vitamin D we need from sunshine? What about food? If we need a supplement, how do we choose a high-quality one? What’s the optimal level of vitamin D in our bodies? I dive into the research to answer these questions and more.

Turmeric and Autoimmune Disease

Turmeric tops the list of medicinal foods for good reason. It’s anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, immune-modulating, promotes gut health, and protects all our major organs. There are also studies that show it can reduce autoimmune disease activity and help us achieve and maintain remission. Yet nothing in life is easy, and turmeric comes with a challenge: it’s hard for our bodies to absorb. That’s why supplements use special techniques to increase the bioavailability. Can we also boost the health benefits in the recipes we cook at home? When it comes to supplements, which ones are the best? I answer these questions and more.

CBD Oil and Autoimmune Disease | Phoenix Helix

CBD Oil and Autoimmune Disease

Can CBD oil alleviate autoimmune flares and symptoms? Can it sometimes harm instead of help? What does the research say? Are some brands more trustworthy than others? What’s the right dosage? In this article, I answer these questions and more.

What’s the Difference Between Collagen and Gelatin?

Gelatin and collagen are highly recommended on a healing diet, but what makes them so special? And what’s the difference between the two? Are they interchangeable in recipes? Do they support health in the same way? I share all the details in this post.

If You Still Need Medication, What’s the Point of Paleo?

When I first turned to the paleo autoimmune protocol, I wanted to avoid immunosuppressant medication. In fact, I don’t know if I would have embarked on such a challenging diet if I hadn’t held onto this hope. 4 years later, I realized that for me, diet and lifestyle changes weren’t enough on their own, so I made the difficult choice to go on medication. Now, I’m in remission through a combination of medication, diet and lifestyle, and I have no regrets. Some of you might wonder: What’s the point of paleo if you still need medication? I answered this question myself in my prior posts, but I thought it would be helpful to ask some of my friends and colleagues the same question. In this blog post, I share answers from people with a wide variety of autoimmune diagnoses, who combine medication with paleo to feel their best.

Is a Healing Crisis Really Healing?

In theory, a “healing crisis” is when your symptoms get worse before they get better, and this is a sign that you are healing. But what if the opposite is true, and pushing through causes an autoimmune flare? In this article, I explain how to tell the difference between a healing crisis and a harmful one.

Is DNA Testing Worthwhile?

When it comes to genetic testing, is knowledge power, or is ignorance bliss? It’s not an easy answer. In this article, I go into the pros and cons in detail and also share my personal experience. If you decide you do want to take a DNA test, I walk you through the process step-by-step, including making sense of the raw data you receive.

Eileen's hand with medication pills held in her palm

Starting Medication After 4 Years on the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol

This was one of the hardest posts I’ve ever written, because it was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made. In 2016, I went on immunosuppressant medication for the first time. In this post, I do my best to share where I started (for those of you who don’t know my whole story), and what changed that led me to this choice. All of us with autoimmune disease face medication decisions at different points in our lives. If you’re facing this choice now, I understand how you’re feeling. This post isn’t meant to be advice for anyone else. I’m just sharing my journey. At the bottom of the article, you’ll find an update with the results of my personal medication experiments.

Where Medication Fits on a Healing Diet

When we embark on a healing diet, the hope is that we can reverse our autoimmune disease, heal our bodies at a deep level, regain abilities, and reduce or eliminate our need for medication. But that’s not something that happens overnight. Today, I’m answering the most common questions people ask about medication and the paleo diet.

How to Find a Good Functional Medicine Practitioner

When it comes to reducing autoimmune symptoms, diet and lifestyle are the foundation, but when you hit a plateau it makes sense to seek help. The problem is that not all practitioners are created equal. So how do you find a good one? When you’re about to make a large investment of your money and time in trying to heal, you want to find a guide who can truly help. In this article, I share my best advice for finding the right person to add to your healthcare team.

row of lab vials

Why Food Sensitivity Testing Doesn’t Work

Let’s face it: the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) is hard to do. If we could just take a test to identify our food sensitivities, it would be so much easier! So, why don’t we? Unfortunately, food sensitivity testing is unreliable, giving both false positive and false negative results. An elimination diet (like the AIP) is the only accurate way to test for them. It’s called the Gold Standard. This is actually one area where conventional doctors and paleo doctors agree. I realize that this can be very frustrating to hear if you’ve spent a lot of money on these tests already. Click through to read the scientific evidence.

a spiky desert plant covered in thready tangles

Navigating Setbacks

You’ve embraced the paleo diet and lifestyle, noticed a reduction in your autoimmune symptoms, and overall you’ve been feeling great and grateful. Suddenly, out of nowhere, your autoimmune symptoms flare and remind you of where you started. What’s happening, and how can you return to feeling better? Today, I share my best 10 tips for overcoming a healing setback.

Do Paleo-Friendly Autoimmune Specialist MDs Exist?

Yes, but they are a rare breed! I searched long and hard, scouring websites and directories, polling my readers and fellow autoimmune bloggers, and created this list. While the vast majority of autoimmune specialist MDs believe diet makes no difference and we are fooling ourselves to think otherwise, I found over 40 doctors who are open to the paleo lifestyle. This doesn’t mean that they prescribe a paleo diet. It means they understand that diet can be powerful complementary medicine and respect those patients who take steps to maximize their autoimmune health. My hope is that they are the pioneers of a growing movement in medicine, where doctors will embrace the simple truth that what we eat, and how we live, affects how we feel.

The Difference Between Reversing Autoimmune Disease and a Cure

My 2 year healing diet anniversary brought with it feelings I didn’t expect. It got me thinking about the language of healing, and the difference between reversal and cure. What do these words mean? What’s really possible? In this post, I take an honest and thorough look at healing autoimmunity.

Where Supplements Fit on a Healing Diet

When is food enough, and when do you need something more? What is supplement fraud? Do supplements contain allergens that can set off an autoimmune flare? How do you know which supplements will help you? I answer these questions and more in this blog post. 

Paleo Functional Medicine Practitioner Directories

Finding a healthcare team that understands “food is medicine” can be as hard as finding Waldo in the famous children’s book series. Thankfully, there are a growing number of directories to help, and I’ve linked to them in this blog post. If you aren’t getting better independently on a healing diet and lifestyle, troubleshooting with an expert can make a world of difference! Many of these practitioners work with patients around the world, so you aren’t limited to local offices. And if you’re interested in becoming a healthcare practitioner yourself, I share my favorite training programs in this article as well. 

When Painkillers are GOOD for You

When Painkillers are GOOD for You

Did you think that NSAIDs weren’t allowed on the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol? Here’s my opinion on this controversial issue. It’s time to bring some balance to the discussion of pain in the alternative and real food communities.

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