Common Conditions

Treating and Managing Autoimmune Diseases

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Autoimmune diseases occur when the body’s immune system mistakenly targets healthy cells, tissues or organs. This can cause inflammation, pain and dysfunction in various parts of the body. There are over 80 known autoimmune diseases, and they can affect any part of the body.

We’ll work closely with you to uncover any underlying, undiagnosed issues such as gut health imbalances, infections, toxins, nutritional deficiencies or stress. From there, we’ll be able to determine the right approach to suit you, whether it be all natural or combination. 

Treatments at Merge Health include tailored advice on diet, exercise and stress management to support the body’s healing processes and mitigate symptoms, as well as mind-body therapies like meditation and mindfulness to reprogram the body’s response to chronic pain.

Autoimmune diet

Diagnosing and testing for Autoimmune Diseases

The first step to get help if you suspect you have an autoimmune disease is to book your wellness kickstarter. See our unique approach to treating autoimmune diseases here.

Lupus disease

Lupus is a systemic condition that affects the skin, joints, kidneys, brain and other organs. This can lead to a range of symptoms including, but not limited to, fatigue, joint pain and skin rashes. The cause is believed to involve genetics, as well as the environment and your hormones.

Stiff person syndrome

Stiff person syndrome is a rare disorder that leads to severe muscle stiffness and painful spasms. These can be triggered by sudden movements, loud noises or even emotional distress.

Sjogren’s syndrome

Sjogren’s syndrome primarily affects the body’s moisture-producing glands, causing dry eyes and mouth.


Scleroderma is a group of autoimmune diseases together which cause the hardening and tightening of the skin and connective tissues. Symptoms vary and can include skin thickening, stiffness, difficulty swallowing and digestive issues.


Hashimoto is a condition that leads to hypothyroidism—an underactive thyroid. The immune system attacks the thyroid gland, causing inflammation and impairing its ability to produce thyroid hormones. Symptoms include fatigue, weight gain and depression.

Graves’ disease

Graves’ disease is a condition that leads to hyperthyroidism—an overactive thyroid. It occurs when the immune system attacks the thyroid gland, causing it to enlarge and produce excessive amounts of hormones. Symptoms include weight loss, rapid heartbeat, increased sweating and eye problems.

Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS)

GBS is a rare neurological disorder where the body’s immune system attacks the peripheral nerves, leading to muscle weakness and paralysis.

Polymyalgia Rheumatica (PMR)

PMR is an inflammatory disorder that causes muscle pain and stiffness, especially in the shoulders and hips, and mainly affects adults over the age of 50.

Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

Multiple Sclerosis is a chronic autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system. This can result in a wide range of neurological symptoms, including muscle weakness, difficulty with coordination and balance, vision problems and cognitive impairment.

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

RA is an autoimmune disorder that primarily affects the joints, causing inflammation, pain, swelling and eventual damage to joint tissue.

Coeliac (Celiac) disease

Coeliac disease is triggered by the ingestion of gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. Gluten consumption leads to damage of the lining of the small intestine, impairing nutrient absorption and causing symptoms such as diarrhoea, abdominal pain and bloating.

What is the best doctor to see for autoimmune diseases?

For managing autoimmune diseases, seeing a doctor who practises Functional Medicine can be highly beneficial.  

Functional Medicine focuses on identifying and addressing the root causes of diseases rather than just treating the symptoms. A Functional Medicine doctor will take your history, physiology, genetics and lifestyle factors into consideration to understand the origins of your autoimmune disease. They will then use tailored treatments that can include diet changes, supplements and stress management techniques. This approach is particularly effective for autoimmune diseases as it aims to restore balance and function to the immune system.

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