Center for Integrative and Holistic Medicine
Rubina Azam, MD, FAAP, ABIHM
Integrative Holistic Medicine located in Panama City, FL
Your immune system is designed to protect you from disease. However, if you have an autoimmune disease, your immune system attacks your healthy cells causing symptoms that affect quality of life that can lead to chronic illness. At the Center for Integrative and Holistic Medicine in Panama City, Florida, the medical team led by board-certified integrative and holistic medicine physician, Rubina Azam, MD, uses functional medicine to find the root cause of your autoimmune disease to alleviate symptoms and improve quality of life.
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Autoimmune Diseases Q & A
What are autoimmune diseases?
Autoimmune diseases refer to a group of chronic health conditions that occur because of a malfunction in your immune system.
Autoimmune diseases are on the rise in the United States and affect three times as many women as men. These diseases are also one of the top 10 causes of death in people younger than 65.
Though researchers aren’t certain of the exact cause of autoimmune diseases, the conditions tend to cluster in families, suggesting a genetic component.
What are common types of autoimmune diseases?
With more than 80 types of autoimmune diseases, it can sometimes be difficult getting an accurate diagnosis. Some of the most common types include:
With rheumatoid arthritis, your immune system attacks the lining of your joints, leading to inflammation and pain.
Hashimoto’s thyroiditis occurs when your immune system attacks your thyroid and destroys the cells responsible for producing thyroid hormones.
Grave’s disease also affects the thyroid, but the immune system increases production of your thyroid hormones.
Lupus is a systemic autoimmune disease in which your immune system attacks many areas of the body, such as the joints, lungs, or kidneys.
Psoriasis, multiple sclerosis, and Type 1 diabetes are also autoimmune diseases.
What are autoimmune disease symptoms?
Autoimmune disease symptoms may vary in type and severity depending on the autoimmune disease and the area of the body being attacked. Common symptoms include:
- Weight changes
- Joint pain
- Swollen glands
- Digestive issues
- Unexplained, recurrent fevers
Due to the variation in symptoms, getting an accurate diagnosis can be difficult.
What happens during an autoimmune disease evaluation?
Dr. Azam specializes in the diagnosis and management of autoimmune diseases and conducts a comprehensive evaluation to identify the underlying cause of your immune system malfunction. Because of her background in functional medicine, Dr. Azam takes the approach that your symptoms and disease are due to an imbalance in your pathophysiology caused by an environmental agent. Once the environmental agent has been identified and removed, symptoms and disease resolve naturally.
During your evaluation, Dr. Azam reviews your symptoms, medical and family history, lifestyle, and diet. Based on the information gathered during your evaluation, she orders cutting-edge diagnostic tests to identify the root cause of your autoimmune disease.
Once the triggers have been identified, Dr. Azam uses a combination of diet, lifestyle modifications, nutritional supplements, and/or conventional medications to help you manage your autoimmune disease.
To get the answers you’ve been searching for, call Center for Integrative and Holistic Medicine or request an appointment online today.