Do Paleo-Friendly Autoimmune Specialist MDs Exist?

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stethoscope wrapped around an apple

“Before you examine the body of a patient, be patient to learn his story. For once you learn his story, you will also come to know his body.”
~ Suzy Kassem


The Short Answer

Yes, they exist, but they are a rare breed. I searched long and hard, scouring websites and directories, polling my readers and fellow autoimmune bloggers. When I first published this post back in 2015, I had only found 25. Since then, the list has doubled, and it continues to grow. Last updated 7/8/22.

What Do I Mean By Paleo-Friendly?

They don’t need to prescribe the paleo diet and lifestyle to their patients. This list would be much shorter if that was the requirement. They simply need to be open to the idea that diet and lifestyle does impact autoimmune health. They need to respect our efforts. I’m hoping this rare group of autoimmune specialists will grow in numbers, as they see more and more patients improve through the paleo diet and lifestyle.

What This List is Not

Many of us see functional medicine practitioners either alongside, or in place of, conventional autoimmune specialist MDs. Some examples are health and nutrition coaches, naturopaths, chiropractors, acupuncturists, and even some general practice MDs who specialize in functional or integrative medicine.  They are valued members of our medical team, and you can find them relatively easily by searching the directories I’ve already published on this blog. The article I’m writing today, and the list I hope will grow, is a very different group of doctors.

What Do I Mean By Autoimmune Specialist MD?

People with autoimmune disease often still need to see a conventionally trained autoimmune specialist MD, even if they’re following the paleo diet and lifestyle. We might need monitoring of our condition, certain tests and procedures, and sometimes medication, because not everyone achieves a medication-free remission. The challenge, as patients, is having to face the doubts of these doctors when we try to explain the steps we are taking to maximize our autoimmune health. Most rheumatologists, neurologists, gastroenterologists, endocrinologists, etc. believe that diet and lifestyle choices don’t matter. It’s not uncommon for patients to be dismissed and disrespected for believing otherwise. My goal with this article is to create a growing list of the rare breed of autoimmune specialist MD, who can see that diet and lifestyle can play a powerful complementary role in treating autoimmune disease.

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40+ Paleo-Friendly Autoimmune Specialist MDs
Listed alphabetically by US state, with international doctors at the bottom of the list

Before Recommending a Doctor For This List

Please read the “What This List is Not” section above. Functional Medicine and Integrative MDs are already listed in other directories. This list is specifically the rheumatologists, endocrinologists, dermatologists, gastroenterologists, etc. who are open to paleo as a complementary approach. If you know one of those, please share below.


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Credit: image at top of page from George Hodan via Public Domain Pictures.

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