Dr Tiffany Caplan – Getting out of autoimmune pain hell

by | Aug 27, 2020

Dr. Tiffany Caplan is the best-selling author of The Lupus Solution: Your Step-by-Step Functional Medicine Guide to Understanding Lupus, Avoiding Flares and Achieving Long-Term Remission. She speaks internationally on a variety of health topics.

Dr. Tiffany has a Doctor of Chiropractic degree, is a board certified Integrative Medicine practitioner, and a certified Functional Medicine Practitioner. She is an active member and Certified Practitioner for the Institute of Functional Medicine.

Dr. Tiffany’s family history of autoimmune disease spurred her interest in helping individuals impacted by autoimmune disease through a holistic approach.  She has seen first-hand the way the conventional health care model fails patients with chronic disease.  Her goal is to give hope back to those who have lost it.

Dr. Tiffany’s approach involves helping people identify the root cause of a problem rather than masking symptoms to feel better.  When they find and control the true cause of their issue, they can live much healthier lives.

In this episode of the High-Tech Wellness podcast, Dr. Tiffany will discuss the connection between autoimmune disease and pain. She’ll offer practical solutions for dealing with autoimmune related pain.

Highlights include:

3:53 Where Does Autoimmune Disease Come From?

9:10 Identifying When the Problem Began

17:06 The Impact of Food Sensitivities

27:37 Watching for Early Signs

32:28 Strategies That Make a Difference

In my discussion with Dr. Tiffany, she’ll offer the following insights:

Where Does Autoimmune Disease Come From?

Hashimoto’s, Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Crohn’s Disease, Fibromyalgia…the list of autoimmune diseases goes on and on.  There are close to a hundred conditions that fall into the autoimmune category.

Autoimmune disease means the body is attacking itself from the inside.  The immune system, which is supposed to protect your body, causes destruction instead.  And with that destruction comes pain, both emotional and physical.

Why does your immune system turn on your body?  What is behind autoimmune disease?

“There’s so much misunderstanding and mystery around autoimmune disease…usually there’s a predisposition for most people…and then there’s also leaky gut which is a big part of it.”

Sometimes, the problem lurks in your tissues in the form of viruses that many doctors ignore because they’re so common.

“A lot of times there’s underlying viruses in our tissues like Epstein Barr virus. Most of the population has been exposed…”

Identifying When the Problem Began

Autoimmune disease typically begins far before a diagnosis is given.  It’s only when the internal destruction becomes severe that symptoms begin to show up. Autoimmune disease presents differently in each individual, so symptoms are often dismissed or attributed to other conditions.  That’s why it’s important to look at the whole range of lab results and risk factors.

“If you look at all the lab results and look at it together as a whole person instead of bits and pieces, you can get a better sense of everything going on.”

Having risk factors for autoimmune disease doesn’t mean you’ll develop the disease, it’s just one piece of the puzzle.  That’s why it’s important to dig into when the issues began; what was happening the first time the disease flared up?

“We always start with kind of a timeline…a lot of times people can help us pinpoint exactly where things started to go wrong. And that’s a huge indicator of the big underlying factors of why they’re having this problem in their health.”

Knowing the catalyst for the disease allows the practitioner to focus on solutions that will help each individual.

“There is no magic cookie cutter approach that works for everybody.”

The Impact of Food Sensitivities

Diet is one of the best places to begin when looking for solutions to autoimmune pain.  An elimination diet can uncover hidden food allergies or sensitivities.

“We take out the common food culprits from their diet. We keep them out for at least 21 days because that’s how long, usually, an IgG food sensitivity reaction stays active in the body”

Reintroducing foods slowly, one at a time, helps pinpoint the problems.  Often, allergists are looking at only IgE.  Delayed food reactions are a bigger problem, and sometimes a reaction can occur several days later.

“I started out as a patient myself…when I did the elimination diet, I realized when I reintroduced foods, most of my reactions were three days to a week after exposure.”

Watching for Early Signs

Finding solutions that will work takes time to identify, and solutions need time to be effective.  Getting to remission isn’t a quick process, and there is no cure for autoimmunity, but when you identify the triggers, flare-ups can be avoided.

“You can get it into a state where it’s not active anymore and that’s what we want…then it’s not causing tissue destruction; it’s not causing the inflammation; it’s not causing symptoms. And that’s what we call remission.”

Once the condition is under control, staying in remission takes a commitment to lifestyle changes and supporting the immune system.  Learning to identify the signs of a flare-up and catch them early is also important to preventing major flare-ups.

“It comes down to choice.  It’s never going to be perfect, but you can choose the right things that are really going to help…”

Strategies That Make a Difference

The natural approach often includes supplementation to combat nutrient deficiencies or soothe inflammation.

“For autoimmune, turmeric is one of the best anti-inflammatories; most people do well with turmeric.”

Stress reduction is also crucial for avoiding autoimmune flare-ups. Anticipating stressful events and taking steps to handle that stress and support the body prior to the event makes a big difference.

 “I think learning how to help your body cope with stress is the best thing people can do…”

Connect with Dr. Tiffany Caplan

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