• Nikki Ostrower (Nutritionist)

You’re Not at the Mercy of Autoimmune Disease – A True Story


I was in the room with my dear friend, who was on the phone with her doctor reviewing blood work. She found a scary lump near her thyroid and needed some answers. “You have Hashimoto’s Disease and there’s not much you can do about it. Schedule a biopsy next, but I don’t believe it’s cancerous.” My roommate ended the call in tears.


Having been a Nutritionist for doctors for many years, I knew that the prognosis of “nothing you can do” was not true. I told her: “There are so many things you can do to minimize and/or eliminate symptoms of an autoimmune disease altogether. You can put this into remission - I promise you are not at the mercy of this disease, and there are many who have conquered it and are ready to help and guide you.”

Autoimmune diseases affect 23.5 million Americans and counting. There are currently 80 different autoimmune conditions, many of which show signs and symptoms on the surface of your skin, like psoriasis, eczema, excessive dryness, premature aging, etc. An autoimmune condition occurs when the body’s immune system attacks healthy cells.


"Stress is a leading cause of disease in the body, and there’s more than anecdotal evidence to show its effects. The great news is there are so many healing therapies now to help manage stress and teach resilience to the mind, which translates to the body’s wellbeing."

While proper testing is needed to officially diagnose an autoimmune condition, your treatment options go well beyond medications. Here are 5 things you can do to overcome Autoimmune symptoms (especially skin-related) with diet and lifestyle:

  1. Balance your Gut Health. Using nutritious whole foods to support the Gut Microbiome, you can quell inflammation and keep flares at bay. Doing a gentle detox and testing for microbial imbalances, heavy metals, mold, Lyme, or other toxins can also provide much-needed information for your healing journey. At NAO, we offer testing for micronutrients, antioxidants, food sensitivities, and more to begin understanding what’s really going on.

  2. Work on Emotional Health and Healing. A doctor once shared with me how his patient managing a very stressful divorce noticed their scalp psoriasis disappear when they began healing their feelings around the divorce. Stress is a leading cause of disease in the body, and there’s more than anecdotal evidence to show its effects. The great news is there are so many healing therapies now to help manage stress and teach resilience to the mind, which translates to the body’s wellbeing. We love Emotional Freedom Tapping, Meditation, Reiki, Chiropractic Adjustments, and especially Acupressure Ear Seeds!

  3. Take Note of Your Environment. The quality of the air you breathe, the water you drink, and products you use on your skin and in your home matter! Immunocologie has you covered for skin care. We also refer our clients to the best meal delivery, cleaning supplies, and products on the market.

  4. Practice Sobriety. Unfortunately, alcohol is not your friend with autoimmune conditions, let alone desiring to live your best, healthiest life possible. It spikes your blood sugar, lowers your inhibitions potentially leading to overeating/late-night binging, raises inflammation, and increases cortisol in the aftermath. Teas and mocktails go a long way towards boosting quality of life while keeping Autoimmune symptoms quiet. Focusing on self-care, setting boundaries, and creating deeper connections in social interactions goes a long way.

  5. Sleep! Rest is imperative to help your body detox and recover, especially when dealing with an Autoimmune condition. Start tracking your sleep, practice sleep hygiene techniques, and work on your rest and recovery game towards better health.


If you were wondering, my friend made immediate diet and lifestyle changes - eliminating alcohol, sugar, gluten, and dairy. She also did biohacking like PEMF (Pulse Electromagnetic Field Therapy) and amped up her self-care routine. Weeks later, she went to her scheduled appointment to check the lump on her thyroid and it had shrunk so much they couldn’t even test it and sent her home! This is the power your choices have on your body.


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