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Autoimmune Disease

diet for chronic disease

Getting a diagnosis of an autoimmune disease such as Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, Diabetes, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), Rheumatoid Arthritis, or Parkinson’s is hard. On the one hand, it may have taken years to get a diagnosis so it may actually be a relief to finally have a name to the symptoms and yet it seems so final and concrete with a diagnosis. What now? 

My approach to Autoimmune Disease is to get back to the basics of diet and lifestyle. Since your diet is the foundation of health, you must address your diet. You can’t supplement or medicate your way out of a suboptimal diet and lifestyle – it may help with symptom management but if you have a solid foundation where your diet is giving you the nutrition, nourishment and cell signaling that you need – your basic needs. Supplements, medications and whatever else that may be part of your treatment protocol will be more effective or minimal with an optimized diet and lifestyle.

Digestion and “Leaky Gut”

When it comes to an autoimmune disease, it could be the case where there is undigested proteins entering your bloodstream due to a “leaky gut” and triggering your immune system and causing inflammation. 

If you have taken a food sensitivity test and the results looked like you were intolerant to a grocery list of foods, then it is possible that you have a “leaky gut”.  Some will get frustrated with the results and not know what to eat anymore or what to do.  

With so many “diets” claiming to be the best one and to heal or even cure diseases, it’s hard to know which one to choose. My approach is an “n of 1” approach. Let’s figure out what may work for YOU and I will help you track and monitor your progress. Since this is a process, I don’t give “one-off” diets and I don’t use generic protocols. 

Start healing your “leaky gut” and assess your gut microbiome. Start with food. Are you getting enough healthy protein, fat and carbohydrates? Are you getting enough vitamins and minerals? Are you getting too much? A diet assessment is the first thing to do. Sometimes functional gut tests is recommended to evaluate how you are doing with digestion, absorption, or if you have deficiencies or toxicities or a “leaky gut”, and functional tests may also take a peak into elimination. 

Let’s assess your digestion. Do you have issues with bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea, or any other digestive issues? Then this is something that needs to be resolved since you could be eating healthy foods and yet not digest most of it. In fact, undigested proteins can trigger your immune system if it enters your blood stream from a “leaky gut”. 

Perhaps you even minimize your symptoms by avoiding eating certain foods – that may have minimized symptoms but did not get to the root cause(s) and digestion should be addressed. There are people that only eat 5 foods daily! This is not good for your gut or your health.

How are you eliminating toxins? How much is coming in and how much is coming out? It doesn’t even have to big big players like heavy metals, but even things like sweating and pooping. Do you sweat? Do you have the ability to sweat? If you work with me, I will be asking questions about your poop, an important clue into your digestive health and elimination process. 

When it comes to autoimmune disease, what you eat, what you don’t eat, your lifestyle, your environment, digestion and elimination are all important towards healing. 

If you want help to feel better, understand how food can be healing and nourishing and see how you can optimize your diet and lifestyle so you can live a healthy life, then I would like to help.

Here is how I can help:

Let’s check out your diet and lifestyle. Getting a diet assessment will help to see what is working or what is not working.

Optimize your diet and lifestyle with a personalized nutrition plan. This is a diet that is personalized for you that is realistic and sustainable. It is not a menu plan or generic protocol or the latest fad diet. Your personalized nutrition plan will guide you to see what works, what doesn’t work and why, and it is a process of learning about your body.

I will make recommendations. Sometimes, bloodwork and/or functional testing may be recommended for further assessment.

Track your progress. This is a process that you don’t have to go through unguided.

I create a timeline of your history to see what could have led to the diagnosis of a chronic disease. It goes back to your birth. Were you born vaginally or by c-section? Even further back, what did your mother eat during pregnancy? How was she feeling? This is just to see what could have contributed to your chronic disease and address it if necessary.

I take a food first approach that is science based and personalized for you.

I will also be looking at your labwork and helping you get to “optimal” levels where you are feeling great. If you’ve been told that “everything is normal” but you are still having symptoms and nobody is listening or believing you, then seek help somewhere else where they will be supportive and helpful. 

Supplementation is popular in the integrative world. Some people write down a long list of supplements they are taking and not know what they are for or if it’s even helping. I will recommend supplementation carefully after doing the foundational work of diet and lifestyle. Supplements, for me, is to fill in the gaps that your diet and lifestyle did not meet.

Sometimes you need supplementation to support diet and lifestyle and I will explain what supplements are needed, when, how much, and what to expect. 

Remember…Food is nourishing, food is medicine, food can turn your life around!

I hope to work with you and offer a plan of action to get you healthy and happy!

Here’s what I don’t do

I don’t do “green medicine” where I substitute a pharmaceutical drug for an herbal supplement and not get to the root cause. 

I don’t recommend supplements without working on diet and lifestyle first. Supplements are meant to be supportive as you are working hard on diet and lifestyle. “You can’t supplement your way out of a suboptimal diet and lifestyle”.

I don’t give you a generic menu plan. I offer individualized and personalized nutrition guidance so that you are educated and you have the knowledge and principles on the diet that best suits you.

At RDadvantage, there’s no blaming or shaming. Instead, I will listen to your story, empower you with knowledge and work with you on what you can do today to change your outcome.

Contact RDadvantage

To schedule an appointment or for a free Discovery Call:

go to my Contact Page

or call/text (818) 335-9457 for an appointment or with any questions. 

For online booking, click here

I also accept insurance from Health Net and First Health.

I offer superbill upon request.

If you are scheduling an appointment through Healing Arts Collective on a sliding scale fee, please click here

RDadvantage - registered dietitian nutritionist


On Ki “Kim” Chan, MS, RDN

Los Angeles, California 91040