Q. Why did you decide to write The Autoimmune Solution?
A. I know firsthand how frustrating and painful autoimmune disease can be. During medical school, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune thyroid condition called Graves’ disease. When conventional medicine failed me, I had to develop my own solution—now my mission in life is to help others on their own journey to recover from autoimmunity.
Q. What is this book about?
A. The Autoimmune Solution is my answer to what I see as growing problems: the rising rates of autoimmune disorders, and the conventional way we deal with them. It’s the same approach I use with the patients in my clinic, laid out in a step-by-step, thirty-day program that restores the body to its natural healthy state by getting to the root of disease.
Q. Who is it for?
A. This book is for the hundreds of millions of people out there who are affected by autoimmune disease. Whether you want to reverse your autoimmune disorder, keep from getting an autoimmune disorder, or support someone who has an autoimmune disorder, this book is for you.
Q. Who is going to benefit the most?
A. You can benefit from this book if you have an autoimmune disorder, if you suffer from autism, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, or any other condition that is closely related to an autoimmune disorder, or if you’re on what I call “the autoimmune spectrum”—a path where diet, lifestyle, and/or genetics puts you at risk for developing autoimmunity.
Q. What makes your approach different than a conventional medicine approach?
A. The conventional medicine philosophy is that autoimmune disorders are inevitable, that your genes are in charge of your health. Patients are given a cocktail of toxic medications to manage their conditions and told they’ll have to learn to live with the side effects. The truth is, genetics actually play a much smaller role in the development of autoimmunity. My approach is a whole body approach that looks at all of the environmental factors that can make you sick or keep you well.
Q. Can you tell me more about what you mean by a “whole body approach”?
A. Conventional medicine looks at the body in terms of distinct organ systems, with a specialist for each one. If you have an autoimmune disease, you will typically see a specialist who focuses on the organ system that is being affected: a rheumatologist for rheumatoid arthritis; an endocrinologist for Hashimoto’s and diabetes, a gastroenterologist for celiac, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s; a dermatologist for psoriasis; and so on. If you have multiple autoimmune conditions, as many people do, you will see several different specialists. By contrast, I look at how all the body’s systems interact and seek to get them all functioning optimally.
Q. Your book contains numerous meal plans and recipes. What makes this different than other dietary protocols on the market?
A. The difference is that The Autoimmune Solution isn’t just about diet. The diet, while extremely important, is just one of several environmental factors that contribute to autoimmunity. I delve into each one and provide treatment protocols for those in addition to my dietary recommendations.
Q. What are the environmental factors that lead to autoimmune disease?
A. Through my own extensive research and years of practice as a physician, I based my treatment approach on the following five factors: leaky gut, diet, toxins, infections, and stress. These can be the missing pieces of the puzzle for someone who is struggling with an autoimmune disorder.
Q. You outline several common myths about autoimmune disease. What’s one of the biggest misconceptions you want to dismantle in The Autoimmune Solution?
A. The idea that going gluten-free doesn’t make a difference is one of the most dangerous myths about autoimmune disorders. A lot of people believe it’s just a fad, and most conventional doctors are no different. In The Autoimmune Solution, I explain how gluten might be making your autoimmune disease worse, even if you don’t have celiac disease.
Q. What’s the most exciting thing to you about this book?
A. When I set out to write this book, I wanted to provide people with the tools to prevent and reverse autoimmune disease, and I wanted to give them the science to back it up. One of my favorite things about this book is that anyone, whether or not they have any prior understanding of how the immune system works, can walk away with a real working knowledge of why and how autoimmune disease occurs. I know not everyone can come to see me at my clinic, and my goal with The Autoimmune Solution is to help as many people as possible. It was a real labor of love!