On PEERtrainer we have a very active and supportive group of people dealing with Auto-Immune disorders. There are all sorts of different manifestations of this, and I wanted to highlight an interesting discussion on this issue that have had on the site.
Here is a sample of the discussion and I want to point out how the comment deals with both the drug and food component of treating the symptoms. There is also a support group on this site which deals with auto immune issues.
"I have psoriasis and severe psoriatic arthritis. The arthritis effects most every joint in my body, including my spine. Aside from the inflammation and pain there is tremendous fatigue. It's not a terribly pretty picture! But I am lightyears better than I was when I was diagnosed and I've done it without the big guns to this point. So far I have managed with NSAIDs and a few supplements. When I was diagnosed I was supposed to go on methotrexate and was told that Enbrel would be probably 6 months away. I didn't start the methotrexate (same fears you've had) and I have done well. In addition to my regular rheum. I see a naturapath and accupunturist and go for reiki and massage as often as I can. I've been gluten free and vegan for 2 years with great benefit.
However, my turning point came when I read about the benefits of nutrient dense foods. Even though I was vegan, I wasn't getting enough greens (sounds ridiculous, I know!) So, I HAVE to recommend that you read Eat to Live and/or Eat for Health by Dr. Joel Fuhrman. I read his work in April, started with his Eat to Live approach and had a tremendous improvement. I still have significant flares (I've been in a bad one for several weeks now), but eating nutrient dense foods seems to be the best way to fuel your body, especially when it's out of balance. Definitely get your hands on Fuhrman's work --- you will devour it and put it into practice --- there's really no way you can't once you read it and it has the potential to change your life not by putting dangerous drugs into your body but by making "nutrition the prescription". There is an active Eat to Live/Eat for Health team on PT that is excellent for support as well. "
"I had a really frustrating experience with Western Docs when it came to Autoimmune disorders. They just don't seem to have a lot of answers. Anyway, I was "diagnosed" with Hashimoto's Disease (autoimmune of thyroid), and ended up getting treated by an acupuncturist/naturopathic doctor. Can't tell you how glad I am that I did."