Autoimmune Illness

At Plum Spring Clinic we can help you explore the underlying causes of autoimmunity, support the process of behavior change to address those causes, and seek non-pharmaceutical approaches to relieve symptoms that do not cause side effects or impaired immunity.

As part of this process, it is especially important to determine the health of your digestive system and its role in both the treatment of as well as the development of autoimmunity. This is because 70-80% of the immune cells in the body lie within the digestive system and the digestive system plays a critical role in educating immune cells. The flora contained within the digestive system also plays a major role in how our immune system operates. Even if your autoimmune disease did not arise due to circumstances within the digestive system, the disease process will involve the digestive system on some level.

We consider the following areas critical to the treatment of autoimmune disease:

  • Assessing the integrity of the absorptive membrane of the digestive system (leaky gut);
  • Assessing the health of the gut microbiome (dysbiosis);
  • Detecting undiagnosed allergies and sensitivities (food, airborne, and chemical);
  • Establishing an anti-inflammatory diet customized to an individual’s needs and preferences;
  • Correcting poor stress reactivity, including the assessment of stress hormones and adrenal health;
  • Assessing and correcting micronutrient deficiencies;
  • A holistic approach that incorporates support of a whole person including healthy sleep, physical activity, and mental health.

The treatment of autoimmune disease is challenging and the results are uncertain whether conventional or alternative approaches are utilized. The Plum Spring Clinic difference is in helping our clients gain greater knowledge and confidence, providing support for behavior change, and in keeping the hope for a drug-free and symptom-free life alive.

Dr. Michael Sharp, our Plum Spring Clinic medical doctor, is a Harvard trained physician. He served on the UNC School of Medicine faculty for 20 years before embarking on his career in holistic medicine. He has spent the 20 years since then building experience and expertise understanding and treating chronic illness.