Doctor Uses Functional Medicine to Help Treat Autoimmune Diseases

Amy Myers is a doctor who started as a patient. She was diagnosed with Graves' Disease as a med student.

"I was getting all these panic attacks. I was losing weight. I was having tremors. My muscles were breaking down," she says.

Graves' is one of many autoimmune diseases.

"Multiple sclerosis, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, Shogrin's syndrome, Hashimoto's," Myers says.

Autoimmune is when the body sees an organ as something foreign and attacks it. That sent Myers on a journey for answers.

"Conventional medicine failed me, and it's my mission to not have it fail you, too," she says.

You could say she wrote the book on autoimmune diseases. Her take on treatment gets back to the basics, from what we eat to the stuff we breathe. Myers calls it functional medicine.

"We are getting rid of grains and legumes and gluten. We're healing their gut. We're trying to tame some toxins, and then we're relieving their stress and healing infections," she says.

And changing patient Sierra Vellinga's diet. She suffers from Hashimoto's disease, where the body attacks her thyroid.  She was a burger-and-fries gal until Dr. Myers stepped in.

"This has really taught me to learn how to cook, and I've had to learn to read," Vellinga says.

Sierra says conventional medicine helped, but she still had symptoms. Myers tries to change that.

"You don't just have to take that drug to suppress your immune system," Myers says. "75 percent of it is things you're doing day in and day out that likely you can change and will have an effect on your immune system."

Boatwright: Would you call this a cure?
Myers: I don't ever call anything a cure. So I call it reversal.

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