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Autoimmune Disorders Specialist

OC Integrative Medical Center

Integrative Medicine located in Newport Beach, CA

Autoimmune disorders are potentially chronic conditions in which your immune system attacks your body, mistaking it for a foreign disease or infection. Chitra Bhakta, MD, knows how frustrating it feels to live with a chronic autoimmune disorder. At OC Integrative Medical Center in Newport Beach, California, Dr. Bhakta uses holistic treatments to eliminate the symptoms of common autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease. To schedule an appointment, call or book online today.

Autoimmune Disorders Q&A

What are autoimmune disorders?

Autoimmune disorders happen when your immune system begins attacking your own body, mistaking it for a foreign virus or bacteria. Your immune system can normally tell the difference between your cells and foreign cells, but if you have an autoimmune disorder it can get confused and send T-cells (fighter cells) to attack.

What are the most common autoimmune disorders?

While there are more than 100 autoimmune disorders, the most common types are:

Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis causes inflammation of your joints. It’s most common in the joints in your hands, wrists, feet, elbows, and knees.

Psoriatic arthritis

Psoriasis is a skin condition that causes patches of red, scaly skin. It happens when your skin cells multiply quicker than they shed. Psoriasis can lead to a chronic condition called psoriatic arthritis, which leads to joint swelling, redness, and stiffness, along with this skin disorder.


Lupus is an autoimmune disease that causes your immune system to attack your skin and organs. In addition to affecting the kidneys, lungs, brain, and blood cells, lupus can cause flare-ups of a butterfly-shaped rash on your skin.

What causes autoimmune disorders?

The cause of many autoimmune disorders is still a mystery to medical researchers. However, certain risk factors can raise your chances of developing one, including:

  • Being a woman
  • Family history
  • High-fat, high-sugar diet
  • Eating processed foods
  • Infections
  • Being overweight
  • Smoking
  • Exposure to chemicals and toxins

Experts also believe that certain allergens, food sensitivities, and a leaky gut can also contribute to autoimmune disorders.

What are the symptoms of autoimmune disorders?

Every autoimmune disorder is different. However, they share similar symptoms due to your immune system’s response of attacking its own cells. The most common autoimmune disorder symptoms include:

  • Joint pain
  • Stiff joints
  • Fatigue
  • Swollen joints
  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • Fever
  • Skin irritation

One of the hallmarks of most autoimmune disorders is chronic inflammation. When you’re feeling stressed or overworked, your body’s inflammatory response can aggravate your symptoms.

What are the treatments for autoimmune disorders?

Dr. Bhakta takes an integrative and holistic approach to treatment of autoimmune disorders. She regularly sees patients who haven’t responded well to conventional treatment. Once you have an accurate diagnosis, she creates an individualized treatment plan that addresses your unique needs.

Depending on your autoimmune disorder, Dr. Bhakta may recommend diet and lifestyle modifications, such as limiting your sugar intake and quitting smoking. She can help you figure out which foods may help relieve your symptoms and which foods cause inflammation.

Dr. Bhakta has a proprietary line of supplements that she manufactures and prescribes to patients with autoimmune disorders. Along with supplements, she may recommend IV therapy, which delivers vitamins, minerals, and nutrients directly into your bloodstream for maximum potency.

If you’re ready to take control of your autoimmune disorder, call OC Integrative Medical Center or schedule an appointment online today.