27 Sep Three Stages of Autoimmunity
Autoimmune diseases are at an all time high right now. It seems like no matter where you look – someone is being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease like Hashimoto’s, Crohn’s, psoriasis, colitis, and more! Before autoimmune disease is “official”, there are stages that happen before that. Let’s chat more about the three stages of autoimmunity and what the looks like.
Three Stages of Autoimmunity
The ultimate question – “can I see an autoimmune disease coming before it becomes a disease?” The easy answer is YES, but it comes with being diligent with yearly testing and actively working on your health, even if you seem “fine”. You’ll see why this is important in stage one.
Stage One: Silent
Stage one is called silent. It is exactly what it sounds like. There are no symptoms, so you feel fine, but certain markers start to creep up. For example: when testing thyroid, usually Anti-TPO or Anti-TG is tested on a full thyroid panel. Someone should ALWAYS get this tested, even if you don’t think you have an autoimmune disease. Even though you don’t have any symptoms, those markers can be slightly elevated.
Not elevated enough that a traditional doctor would say “you have a disease”, so it will often get looked over. But small amounts of antibodies can predict an autoimmune diagnosis 10-20 years in the future. This is what’s called predictive antibodies. Can’t you tell having a practitioner on your healthcare team that has this lens is ESSENTIAL?
Because there are many things you can do to reduce the risk of coming into a full blown disease. You can work on gut health, environmental toxin load, chronic viral infections, etc.
Stage Two: Reactive
Stage two is the reactive, which means there is some autoimmune activity, but not enough tissue is damaged yet to be diagnosed as a full blown disease. This stage you can STILL be actively working in supporting your body through diet and lifestyle, but highly recommend going through functional medicine lab panels to start to identify any big underlying chronic issues.
Unfortunately, this stage can STILL be overlooked and you can be told “you’re fine”.
Stage Three: Disease
Stage three is when you are full blown diagnosed with a disease. Medications are more likely in this stage and while you can still actively do things with diet and lifestyle, it does get much harder during this stage.
See how much time you have before it becomes a full blown disease? It’s important to pair up with a practitioner that is knowledgeable in this, so we can encourage good dietary and lifestyle habits that influence potential diagnosis in the future.
Want to book an appointment with our team to go over how we can help you? We see these three stages of autoimmunity in our practice and want to help you from the early beginnings of your journey to where you currently may be! This free 15 minute call can help us learn more about you and guide you toward the best course of action to take – what labs to take, what package to do, etc.