The Women's Journal

Functional Medicine & Autoimmune Disease

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By D
r. Cynthia Crosser  

Autoimmune disease affects 1 in 12 women and 1 in 24 men in the US. Many patients go from doctor to doctor; some are diagnosed, and some are not, but both groups do not know what to do to help themselves, even if only to relieve symptoms naturally. For many patients it takes over 20 years and many practitioners to get a diagnosis. By this time, their family stops believing them, they feel judged, and their spirit becomes broken as they suffer the physical effects without a diagnosis.  

In order to understand why they have physical effects without a diagnosis, understanding the stages makes it plausible. In Stage 1, they have elevated antibodies against a particular tissue, but no symptoms. In Stage 2, they have elevated antibodies with symptoms, but no destruction of tissue. In Stage 3, they have elevated antibodies, symptoms and tissue destruction. One can stay in Stages 1 and 2 for as long as 20 years. Many are not diagnosed until Stage 3 where there may be deformity and their lives may have become difficult, often unmanageable.

Many times, the patient has been given a diagnosis, but does not know it is autoimmune, such as inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis, rheumatoid arthritis, Lupus, or even adrenal autoimmunity. And rarely is one tissue affected in the body. Most often there are multiple areas involved. In every case, it is important for me to address several variables with my patient. Lifestyle triggers such as sleep, exercise, and relationships are discussed. Dietary protein triggers such as gluten, nightshades, lectins, cross-reactive foods, and insulin surges are reviewed. Chemical triggers such as pollutants/toxins, chemicals and the ability to eliminate them must be assessed. Viruses, bacteria, parasites and mold must be considered as well as the lung, the blood-brain barrier and the nasopharynx barriers.

With each patient the lifestyle factors and the detective work of testing, consulting and putting together the protocols and changes to help heal the body where it has been challenged and broken down is vital for success. Why and how the body started to attack itself as foreign is important and the more my patient understands their individual physiology, the better the outcome and the quicker the body repairs. Where were the barriers insulted? What caused that? How do we heal them? Without specific and individual lifestyle recommendations, the patient continues with more tissue destruction with each relapse. The goal is to prevent the relapses.

Although my autoimmune patients are very challenging and all require different strategies, they are also very rewarding as they experience improvement in their symptoms, and they see the testing indicative of repair. They know they can get better and when it comes to your health…never give up!

For more information contact Dr. Cynthia Crosser at or call 302-994-1010.


“Dr Crosser has knowledge, background, experience and sincere passion for her work, coupled with a true commitment to help her patients. In my opinion, it is not comparable to any medical professional I have worked with throughout a very serious medical journey the last several years. I had the pleasure of beginning treatment with her a few months ago and can truly say that her ability to recognize, diagnose and understand some of the serious challenges I am facing are quite remarkable. I am in the early diagnostic stages with her of what I know is a long journey ahead back to a state of full wellness. However, I can comment sincerely on what capable and committed hands I know I am in and what a partnership we have in tackling the issues I am facing. I am truly blessed to have met her.” ~ Cynthia E.


Wellness within reach!

Pike Creek   302-994-1010

5700 Kirkwood Hwy., Suite 101, Wilmington, DE 19808

Chiropractic, Acupuncture, Weight loss, Neurofeedback, Nutritional Counseling