This is an extraordinary story about a holistic doctor and his patients.  This doctors’ work with autoimmune disease has changed the lives of so many- for the better. Including little 10-year-old Isabel, from Texas.

When well known Holistic Doctor, Dr. Hyman,  first saw her, he reports that she had the most severe case of autoimmune disease that he had ever seen. “Her face was swollen, her skin was inflamed, her joints were swollen, her immune system was attacking her entire body—her muscles, her skin, her joints, her blood vessels, her liver, and her white and red blood cells. Isabel couldn’t squeeze her hand or make a fist. The tips of her fingers and toes were always cold from Raynaud’s disease that inflamed her blood vessels. She was tired and miserable and was losing her hair. Isabel was on elephant doses of intravenous steroids every three weeks just to keep her alive, and she was taking prednisone, aspirin, acid blockers, and methotrexate, a chemotherapy drug used to shut down the immune system daily,” he recounted to the Huffington Post.

Despite all the drugs she was on, she wasn’t getting better. Because her doctors didn’t know what was wrong with her, they wanted to add another drug to her list- this time a powerful immune suppressing drug, one that increases the risk of cancer and death from overwhelming infection (because it prevents the immune system from fighting infections normally). Her parents were unwilling to take this last step and brought her to see Dr. Hyman.


When she first saw the Dr. her muscle enzymes and liver function tests showed severe damage. She also had multiple autoimmune antibodies (anti-nuclear antibodies, rheumatoid factor, anti-SSA, anti-DNA, anti-RNP, lupus anticoagulant) in her blood, which meant that her body was attacking itself. Her white blood count and red blood cell count were low, as were her Vitamin D levels. He also reported that, “She had elevated levels of antibodies to gluten, which is a common cause of autoimmune disease and triggers significant intestinal inflammation. And her mercury level was extremely high in her urine after a provocation test (the only way to assess total body burden of metals). Normal is less than three. Hers was 33.”

From the article:

“Two months after I first saw Isabel and discovered and treated the underlying causes of her inflammation—after, as she says she, “stopped eating gluten, dairy, and sugar and took some supplements” she was symptom free. In less than a year, she was completely healthy, her blood tests were normal, and she was off all her medication.”

So in just two months, a sweet little girl had her life back. What if other doctors were to deal with the underlying issues of autoimmune disease RATHER than prescribe medications that only mask symptoms? If they did, they could potentially give people freedom from diseases like type 1 diabetes, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, colitis, Crohn’s disease, and many others.

More from the article:

“Historically medical discoveries originated from physicians’ keen observation of their patients’ diseases and responses to treatment. Doctors reported their findings to their colleagues or published them as case studies. Today these “case studies” are often dismissed as “anecdotes” and have become increasingly irrelevant. Instead, we now focus on randomized controlled trials as the only standard of “evidence”. Sadly, this dismisses the experience of thousands of patients and physicians as they apply new scientific findings to treat difficult conditions.”

Sadly, today most Dr.’s are more adept at prescribing drugs to suppress, cover up, or block symptoms rather than treat the underlying problems that lead to the disease in the first place. “For example, cholesterol medications block an enzyme that produce cholesterol (among other important molecules like CoQ10), but they don’t address why cholesterol may be high in the first place (factors like diet, exercise, stress, and genetics).” Great point.

And this is where functional medicine comes in. Instead of focusing on symptoms, they look at the CAUSE. It’s a method of diagnosing and treating disease based on an understanding of the dynamic way that genes interact with their entire environment. It looks at the body as a complete and whole system and that allows physicians to understand that when the body is out of balance- disease is possible. Put the body back into balance- cure the disease.

Ultimately, the Dr. found that in Isabel’s case, her body couldn’t detox from the large amounts of mold, mercury, antibiotics, sugar, dairy, and gluten that she was being exposed to. In order to restore balance to the body, they would need to remove all those potential triggers.

More from the article:

“At the first visit, I simply put Isabel on an anti-inflammatory elimination diet to remove possible triggers of inflammation from food allergens. She stopped eating sugar, dairy and gluten (from wheat). I gave her a multivitamin; vitamins D, B12, and folate; fish oil; and evening primrose oil all of which are anti-inflammatory. I also gave her nystatin (a non-absorbed anti-fungal) to treat suspected yeast because of her multiple courses of antibiotics. I gave her NAC to support her liver, and told her to get off the acid blocker, the calcium channel blocker, which she used for her Raynaud’s, and the intravenous steroids she had been taking.

At the second visit two months later, I added probiotics to support healthy digestive function and reduce gut inflammation. I also started her on DMSA (a chelating agent) to help bind the mercury from her tissues and cells and help her excrete it. To help her get off the prednisone I gave her herbs to support her adrenal gland function.

Seven months later, her tests were normal, including her white blood count. Her mercury came down from 33 to 16. After 11 months, her mercury was down to 11 and her gut inflammation was gone. She was off all her medications and feeling happy, normal, and was able to ride and show her horse again.”

While that diet might seem extreme, would you do it if it meant freedom from meds? Would you ask that of your child, and listen to them cry about missing cake and ice cream, if it meant they could have a normal life? And why aren’t scientists and physicians motivated enough to test diet for autoimmune disease? Why won’t the National Institutes of Health fund studies to test this model? I’m sure you can hear what I’m thinking.

SO MUCH of what happens to our body is because of what we ingest. Understanding that, and teaching that simple truth to our children, is so important.

To learn more about autoimmune disease or functional medicine, please visit

Source: Huffington Post