Sick and Tired and Tired of Being Sick: The future of immune health

Bonnie Feldman DrBonnie360@gmail.com

Abstract

The convergence of information technology with patient activism is accelerating interest in self-care for chronic disease. Autoimmune diseases strike more Americans than cancer and cardiovascular disease combined, but R&D and clinical practice are decades behind. Thus, a growing number of autoimmune patients, frustrated by a passive care system; seek tools to manage their own lives. In sickness and in health, they seek tools to interpret symptoms, guide diagnosis, treatment, and lifestyle changes, and most urgently, moderate or prevent acute episodes (flares).

As we are nearing a critical mass of activated autoimmune patients who are using digital tools, actively seeking or supplanting professional help, and making personal advances against autoimmune disease, how can we lead this movement towards developing individualized autoimmune care?

How can we use these new self-management tools to empower ourselves, help other patients, support clinical practice, gather and analyze data, develop resources, and enable new approaches to tackle the spectrum of autoimmune disease?

This conversation will begin with a discussion of how to use technology to track, measure and guide your own personalized disease management. We will explore how:

• -Omics and Systems biology support a new view of mind/body medicine.
• Coaching and technology can help us make personalized lifestyle modifications.
• Structure meets function: the importance of musculoskeletal integrity and movement therapy.
• The role of personalized nutrition and microbiomics: diets and supplements.
• Why healthy sleep is essential: a nightly boost to immune system function.
• The importance of coordinating healing team members, conventional and functional.

Next, we will explore how to spread the knowledge of chronic disease self-management in the MedX community to further activate patients and improve public health.
• How can we formalize anecdotal stories, collect data and shorten the time to finding and treating root causes?
• How can stories and data help us understand who responds and who doesn’t?
• How we can join forces (crowdsource) to spur R&D?
• How can sharing data between conventional and functional providers give patients an expanded toolkit of treatment/management options?
• How can pediatricians empower the next generation of activated patients?

Together, as top-down initiatives begin to merge with grassroots efforts, we can inspire and create a culture where self-care is accepted and health is valued. 
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