Welcome To MYautoimmunemd

Micah Yu, M.D.
Integrative Rheumatologist

My Autoimmune disease became a lifelong passion to help others.

According to the National Institute of Health, there are 24 million Americans who have autoimmune disease and the number is rising.

Health Starts in the Kitchen

HEALTH & WELLNESS COURSE

A proven plan to beat burnout, boost your energy and get your life back.

PLANT-BASED RECIPES

Tasty recipes for better health and good mood!

LIFESTYLE BLOG

Tips and tricks for the best things in life to nutrition, science, and mental.

Integrative Rheumatologist

Dr. Micah Yu

Hi, I’m Dr. Micah Yu, and I am both a physician that treats autoimmune disease as well as a patient with autoimmune disease also.  Just like you, I am a patient who is fighting autoimmune disease each day.

Treating autoimmune disease has made me realize that its more than just pills.  It is about the daily habits that we form that can help us fighting this epidemic.

Being a patient made me realize that it takes more than one form of medicine to truly understand how to fight this, holistically.  That’s why I combine allopathic medicine with integrative medicine.  This approach gives me the most flexibility and tools to help my patients all over the world.

There is still a lot of mystery and unanswered questions when it comes to autoimmune disease.  That is why I have made it my mission to find the root causes to these problems.

My “WHY” is to get people to live and enjoy life again as if their autoimmune disease never happened.  I want people to understand that there is more than one way to fight autoimmune disease and that is with an integrative approach.  We have the power to heal and get better.

An integrative approach to healing

Healing and Restoration starts with each meal.

One of the most important factors to chronic inflammation is the food we eat.  A majority of the population eats a Standard American Diet and I am here to change that.  

My integrative approach to healing not only focuses on nutrition, but also focuses on overall lifestyle.  We have the power to transform our bodies into a much healthier state.  We are stronger than we think.

It’s not only food, think about:

Exercise

Wellness

Stress

I’ll show you how I did it, and you can do it too.

Personalized Service from Personal Experience.

Read My Latest Blog

What is Spondyloarthritis?

What is Spondyloarthritis?

Did you know that there are many types of arthritis and not all arthritis is equivalent? Spondyloarthritis is a family of arthritis encompassing multiple forms of arthritis including the ones below. Types of spondyloarthritis: Ankylosing spondylitis Psoriatic...

Excess Salt and Inflammation

Excess Salt and Inflammation

Autoimmunity has increased in many western countries in the past decade. The typical “Western diet” includes high protein, high salt, and high sugar and this helps promote obesity and metabolic syndrome. Genetic and environmental factors play a role in the development...

What is Autoimmune Disease?

What is Autoimmune Disease?

So what exactly is autoimmune disease? Simply put, an autoimmune disease is a condition in which the body’s immune system attacks the healthy cells in your body instead of foriegn bodies. Lets begin with your immune system. Normally, your immune system is designed to...

LISTEN UP! ⠀

I keep seeing and hearing about a RA diet, a MS diet, a lupus diet, etc....There is no disease specific diet. These are all autoimmune diseases. Autoimmune disease has nutrition principles that are anti inflammatory and that centers around fiber and phytonutrients. ⠀

It doesnt matter if you look at functional, integrative, lifestyle....fiber and phytonutrients is key. If you look at WFPB, mediterranean, and paleo...they all have fruits and vegetables. So don't go chasing down a specific diet for a specific disease because it doesnt exist. There is no research backing to say that eating a specific item for a specific autoimmune disease will put it to remission.⠀

I know what each field of complementary medicine is teaching because I am learning them all. Don't lose the big picture. We are all going to have our individual sensitivities on food so no one diet is going to fix everyone. There is no perfect diet for every individual. But if you keep this principle in mind you will be on your way to a better health.
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Is coffee beneficial for the immune system?⠀

Caffeine has shown to increase the release of interleukin 10, which is anti inflammatory and mediate release of TNF, IL-2, and IFN-y.⠀

RA - Interestingly, caffeine has shown that it can worsen RA. For patients taking methotrexate, theres a study that showed that coffee consumption worsened outcome. ⠀

Thyroid - In patients taking levothyroxine and coffee it showed that coffee showed lowered average rise of thyroxin in thyroid patients. It could potentially interfere with levothyroxine absorption from the gut.⠀

Multiple Sclerosis - the studies are mixed on caffeine consumption. In one study it showed that coffee consumption was associated with MS development while several other studies showed that opposite. In a meta-analysis, MS was found to be inversely associated with coffee intake. ⠀
Lupus - coffee consumption was not associated with lupus development.⠀

Caffeine consumption has immunomodulatory effects and can possibly help with an anti inflammatory effect. Overall these are the studies out there but there's not much directly on coffee intake. If you like coffee, then drink it. The studies aren't not strong enough to say yes or no. There are other ways to get caffeine such as tea and those have polyphenols that can help you. ⠀

What is your experience with coffee? How about other caffeinated drinks?⠀

#caffeine #coffee #autoimmune
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It's #SmoothieTuesday and today I have a super delicious and protein-rich smoothie for you! This smoothie is seriously my go-to when I am having a craving for chocolate but want to ensure I am putting foods with a high nutrient density into my body! Throw all of these ingredients into your blender and see what I'm talking about, it tastes like dessert! 🍫🍌⠀
⠀⠀
Ingredients: ⠀⠀
⠀⠀
👉 2 cups of almond milk (or your favorite plant milk) ⠀⠀
👉 1 frozen banana ⠀
👉 2 tbsp hemp seeds⠀
👉 1/2 tbsp natural peanut butter (or your favorite nut butter)⠀
👉 1 tbsp of chia seeds ⠀
👉 1/4 cup of oats ⠀
👉 1-2 tbsp of cacao powder, to taste⠀
👉 1-2 pitted dates, to taste ⠀
⠀⠀
#MyAutoImmuneMD #Autoimmune #DrLifestyle101 #plantbaseddoctor #onthego #healthysnakcs #gutmicrobiome #autoimmunedisease #rhumetoryarthritis #recipe #nutritionaltherapy #plants #oats #breakfastforchamps #breky #doctor #plantbaseddoc #mentalhealth #chocolatelovers #protein
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Nothing beats a solid foundation of a healthy lifestyle. ⠀
This means eating a diet filled with fruits and vegetables. Exercising. Minimizing Toxins. Removing unhealthy relationships and having a solid support system. ⠀

You can take all the supplements, medications, and alternative therapies in the world but the most powerful thing you can do for yourself is creating a solid foundation. Diseases and illnesses can still happen but at least you set your body for a more powerful fight.⠀

When I preach a plant predominant diet I am not only preaching immune health. I am also talking about heart health, brain health, gut health, etc. There is no magic trick to a solid foundation. Even if you decide to eat other foods that you enjoy at least get those phytonutrients and fiber in everyday. ⠀

LET'S GO
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Missing Hawaii already.⠀

I have seen multiple patients in the past several weeks that are very complicated. This world of integrative medicine is like a complete new specialty. There is integrative medicine then there is INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE. Currently listening to lectures on mold toxicity as I have seen multiple patients that potentially have mold problems.⠀

Its a complicated world and there is nothing standardized at this time. Autoimmune disease is a complete different beast in medicine. Mold toxicity is not a diagnosis in allopathic medicine. It is what integrative doctors believe exist and the data is scattered. Its research is in the infancy. There are multiple docs out there who are very good at this. Dr. Shoemaker is one and Dr. Neil Nathan is also. I am going to have to look at the data and treatment plans for chronic lyme as well. When I trained in rheumatology, one of our attendings was a lyme expert. Chronic lyme does NOT exist in the field of allopathic medicine. In naturopathic/integrative medicine field? It exists and I want to know why and the how of it. Its important to understand both sides and their viewpoints. CIRS or chronic inflammatory response syndrome is another diagnosis that is in the integrative world. ⠀

I have seen patients who have autoimmune disease who have tried different diets and have had multiple procedures as well as medications and have gone to prestigious academic centers and still have not improved. WHY? What are we missing? Whats the root cause? ⠀

You dont know what you dont know. Lets keep learning and figuring this out.

#lymedisease #cirs #mold #moldtoxicity
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Low Starch Diet and Ankylosing Spondylitis? ⠀

There are several studies that have shown potential benefits of a low starch diet with AS. It all ties to the bacteria called Klesbsiella in the gut. ⠀

It has been shown in some studies that AS have higher levels of antibodies vs various parts of the Klebsiella bacteria compared to healthy controls. Molecular mimicry could be the main mechanism that explains Klebsiella infections and development of AS. ⠀

Studies suggest that the raised amounts of Klebsiella in the intestines could be related to the rising incidence of ankylosing spondylitis. Nothing is conclusive at this time and there are individuals who eat starch that have AS that are doing well also.⠀

I recommend a general anti inflammatory diet to patients with ankylosing spondylitis. I keep preaching a plant predominant diet or a plant based diet if you can tolerate it. I would not go low starch if you don't want to or need to. There are many patients that have done well eating a general anti inflammatory diet that is high in fruits and vegetable intake. I have patients who eat starch who are doing well with their AS also. Everyone's microbiome is different and no two ankylosing spondylitis patients are the same. ⠀

My posts are here to educate you. Data like this are evolving. What is your experience with a low starch diet? ⠀

PMID: 25385438⠀
PMID: 8835506⠀

#ankylosingspondylitis #AS #rheumatology #antiinflammatory #plantbased #mediterranean #inflammation #autoimmune #myautoimmunemd
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It's #SmoothieTuesday and today I have a super healthy and delicious anti-inflammatory smoothie for you! Throw all of these ingredients into a blender and take this smoothie on the go or sip it in the sunshine! This smoothie is a great cold treat on a hot day 🌞 ⠀

Ingredients: ⠀

👉 1/2 cup chopped carrots⠀
👉 1/2 inch of fresh ginger⠀
👉 1 cup of pineapple ⠀
👉 1/4 inch of fresh turmeric ⠀
👉 1/2 cup orange juice⠀
👉 pinch of black pepper⠀

#MyAutoImmuneMD #Autoimmune #DrLifestyle101 #plantbaseddoctor #onthego #healthysnakcs #gutmicrobiome #autoimmunedisease #rhumetoryarthritis #recipe #nutritionaltherapy #plants #oats #breakfastforchamps #breky #doctor #plantbaseddoc #mentalhealth
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Lectins! What about lectins? This has been requested multiple times through DMs.⠀

Lectins are carbohydrate binding proteins that are found in many different types of plants. They are mainly in beans, lentils, and various legumes. They can also be found in potatoes as well. Some say they are inflammatory. They are avoided in the autoimmune protocol diet as well as in the anti lectin movement as well.⠀

Are lectins really as bad as they are and should we really be avoiding them? Most lectins are actually destroyed in high heat when you cook them. Research has shown that cooking foods with lectins such as beans for over 100 celsius for over 30 minutes will inactivate them.⠀

There's no strong evidence that lectins are causing autoimmune disease at this time. I have patients and myself eat lectins with no problems. If lectins are posing a problem for you, it may be that your gut microbes are already in dysbiosis because of your autoimmunity so that you can't digest these foods properly. It may be prudent to introduce these foods slowly back into your diet. Research has shown that lectins can increase intestinal permeability and has shown to potentially activate the inflammasome(an inflammatory signal in the body). ⠀
Studies have shown that lectins can pose a problem if you do eat them raw...but who eats raw beans??? You can't even digest them. ⠀

You don't want to eliminate groups of plants if you don't have to. Studies have shown that our health is tied to a diverse gut microbiome and we can do that by eating >30 plants per week. Beans and these foods with lectins are part of a healthy diet and have been a part of many cultures. ⠀

The mediterranean diet is filled with foods with lectins and has the most evidence for an anti inflammatory diet in scientific literature. Many of these foods with lectins are filled with nutrients and should be part of a healthy diet if tolerated. More research needs to be done on these lectins. Peas and some other foods have very amount of lectins. Beans have more⠀

What are your experience? ⠀


Tips:⠀
- Soak your beans and legumes. Cook > 100 celsius for at least 30 minutes⠀
- Dont eat your legumes raw =)
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FINALLY BACK!! Did you miss me? I was so burned out the past 2 months from working and hustling that I had nothing left in the tank. This is why you havent seen me posting here the past 2 months...I simply had nothing left to give on social media. I spent the past 2 weeks in Hawaii getting in touch with nature and getting reenergized and it feels so good. ⠀

I finally have that energy back for social media and to get going again. Even though I had ideas on what I wanted to post on and I made a schedule out...I simply couldn't write out and actually create a post. I haven't hit that kind of block in a long time. In the background I have been doing podcasts and webinars which is where my energy has been also.⠀

This picture sums up our trip. Lots of water, beach and snorkeling. We saw turtles and lots of fish. Coral was alive and well in the parts of Hawaii where we were. ⠀
Alright time to post, study, and keep grinding. Get ready for some new and exciting stuff coming in the future from both @melissamondala.md and I!

#burnedout #hawaii #vacation #rheumatology
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I am flying away to HAWAII!!! I will give you a tropical smoothie in honor of this trip.⠀

Do you use guava for your smoothies at all?⠀
Who loves tropical fruits? This is a must try!!
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Happy birthday to my beautiful wife!! Today is her birthday and I am so blessed to have her with me in our adventure together!

We have fought through med school and residency together and now private practice!

She keeps me grounded and is so strong. We had an eventful weekend celebrating her birthday as well as both of our mothers day.

We are continually learning and striving to be better doctors and people each and every day.

Cheers to Melissa and to changing how we practice medicine!
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Not gonna lie, this path that I am taking is extremely difficult. Going to private practice straight from training is so hard. No on teaches you how to run a practice during your training. I am grinding 7 days a week learning business, filming, and educating myself on more medicine.⠀

On top of that going through my 2nd fellowship in integrative medicine and learning functional medicine has me running around. In this profession, I could have easily done what most physicians do...get a job and live a comfortable life. But that's not what my passion is. After having experienced my own autoimmune disease and realizing how important food as medicine is, I now have a message to send to the world. Physicians laugh at integrative and functional medicine but in medicine you dont know what you dont know. There is much value to taking extra training and knowing when and how to apply these philosophies to patient care. ⠀

No there is no mentor out there that is going to teach me how to combine these with rheumatology and figure out how to fix autoimmune disease. This is the path I must go on and figure out on my own by learning from people who know more than me in these fields. There is much mystery to why these diseases happen and the more I learn these practices, the more of an idea I have of the potential root causes. At the end of the day, patients dont really want to go on medications if they dont have to. Conventional medicine is there for me when I need to use it but as a patient I understand how it is to be a patient. This is why I am here on social media, to share this message as well as the education that I am continually going to obtain.⠀

#integrativemedicine #entrepreneur #arthritis #autoimmunity #functionalmedicine⠀
#business #roadlesstravelled #rheumatology #pain #chronicpain #multiplesclerosis
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INSOMNIA!!! Patients with and without autoimmune disease suffer from insomnia quite frequently. There's more to insomnia support than melatonin. Although melatonin is probably the most popular supplement for insomnia, it is not the only one.

These are different herbs and supplements that you can use for insomnia. Proper sleeping habits and hygiene should always take priority over taking these supplements. However, sometimes we optimize all the proper sleep habits and we still have insomnia.

You can find supplements that have a mix of these different herbs.

- Valerian
- Passion Flower
- Skullcap
- California Poppy
- Magnolia
- Kava

🔹 Always optimize your environment in addition to these supplements:
- Remove TV from bedroom
- No screen time 1-2 hours before bedtime
- Get dark curtains
- Avoid having light in the room
- Meditate prior to sleeping can help
- No caffeine before bed
- Avoid meals several hours to bedtime

Which one of these have you tried?
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Website is now live! Myautoimmunemd.com

Subscribe to my newsletter to keep up to date with my blogs where I dive into both conventional and alternative medicine talking about all things autoimmune. This website has been several months in the making and now I can announce it to you all!! Check it out
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My first big talk at a university as an attending is complete. I gave rheumatology grand rounds at UC Irvine today. The department was very interested in complementary medicine and i hope to give many more talks like these in the future.

It was a 100 slide PowerPoint.

Topics discussed
🔹What is integrative medicine?
🔹Anti inflammatory diet
🔹Mind body medicine
🔹Ayurveda
🔹Herbs and supplements
🔹Energy medicine
🔹Environmental medicine

LOVE IT! Love to push this space in medicine and being uncomfortable.

What was the highlight of your day? What do u want me to talk about next?

Up and coming. I heard your requests.
🔹Lectins
🔹Low starch diet and ankylosing spondylitis
🔹Environment
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Talking about different allergies and mast cell activation syndrome. Talking about different allergies and mast cell activation syndrome ...

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I love smoothies. I think they are one of the easiest ways to get down the fruits and vegetables that you need. If made correctly, they can be anti inflammatory and be soo good for our joints and autoimmune disease.

One of my favorite ways to incorporate flax seeds and chia seeds is to simply throw it into my smoothie. I get the FIBER in high amounts and I LOVE IT!

What are some of your favorite anti inflammatory smoothies?
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Plastic plastic plastic, If you look at the bottom of your plastic, you will find a number there. The number describes what material the plastic is made from. Below are some examples

1) Polyethylene Terephtalate - soda bottles, water bottles, shampoo bottles
2) High Density Polyethlene - milk, detergent bottles, grocery bags
3) Vinyl - shampoo bottles, clear food packaging
4) Low Density Polyethlene - bread bags, frozen food bags
5) Polyprophylene - ketchup bottles
6) Polystyrene - cups and plates
7) Other - Juice bottles, 5 gallon water bottles

Vinyl chloride is a known carcinogen and makes up #3.
No plastic should be heated and frozen food in plastic should not be heated.
In general, 1,2,5,4 are safer than 3,6,7.

Generally, BPA is found in #7. If it says BPA free, we still have to be careful of the other BPS and other BPs as they can also be endocrine disruptors.

In general, we should avoid plastic as much as possible. Not only is it good for our environment but for our health. There is much more research that needs to be done but the research on environmental toxins has revealed to us that we need to be more careful of our surroundings. Not only do they affect our endocrine system but also our immune system.

#environmentaltoxins #plastic #plasticfree #endocrinedisruptor #Bpafree #bpa
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Environmental medicine is a key piece to integrative medicine. We don't talk about environmental toxins enough but they are integral to our health. While I have been away I have been learning more about these toxins that play a role in our health. These chemicals can be endocrine disruptors and also affect our immune system. Some of the toxins I have been learning about are:
🔹 PFAS
🔹 Phthalates
🔹 Parabens
🔹 VOC
🔹 BPA
🔹 Heavy metals
🔹 Dioxins
🔹 Insecticides
🔹 Styrene

This is just a very small list of so many different important environmental toxins that exist. Some of these are carcinogenic. For example, styrene is known as a probably carcinogen by the international agency for research on cancer. Different universities have departments that have research and talk about these toxins. There are also different healthcare groups that are shedding the light on these toxins such as the group Doctors for Social Responsibility. We don't learn about environmental medicine in traditional medical training. Thats why i am doing integrative medicine to get a well rounded perspective for my patients. There are natural ways for your body to get rid of these toxins and thats through biochemical pathways in the liver. Food matters as well as decreasing exposure as well.

We as patients need to educate ourselves because your doctor isn't going to teach you about these toxins. Prevention is key and by learning about these toxins we can learn to minimize risk of disease in the future.

#integrativemedicine #environmentalmedicine #toxins #environmentaltoxins
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I'm so ready to be with my tribe of Integrative rheumatologists!! Going to be linking up with like minded folks next week through my Integrative medicine fellowship. There are only a handful of us in the whole nation.

As integrative doctors we understand that pills are not always the answer. There's a time and place for each field of medicine. There a place for natural medicine and a place for conventional medicine.
So pumped to have all these different options to help patients.

My next module is going to be favorite: integrative approach to pain and Integrative rheumatology.

😊😊😊😊

#lupus #autoimmunedisease #autoimmunewarrior #intregativemedicine #multiplesclerosis #fibromyalgiawarrior #functionalmedicine #chronicpain
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