DOCTOR REVEALS How She Cured Her Autoimmune DISEASE! | Cynthia Li & Mark Hyman

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Think about how different our medical system would be if all doctors were required to have an extreme health crisis before practicing medicine. It’s through those toughest times with our own health that many of us turn to Functional Medicine, as we realize conventional care isn’t getting us what we need. But sometimes, being so involved in treating others’ diseases makes it difficult for doctors to even see our own symptoms for what they really are. This week’s guest on The Doctor’s Farmacy, Dr. Cynthia Li, is here to share her personal journey through autoimmunity and realizing her symptoms had deeper meaning.

Dr. Li received her medical degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. She’s practiced as an internist in many settings, including Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, San Francisco General Hospital, and St. Anthony Medical Clinic serving the homeless. She currently has a private practice in Berkeley, CA and recently published her first book which I highly recommend, Brave New Medicine: A Doctor's Unconventional Path to Healing Her Autoimmune Illness.

This episode of The Doctor’s Farmacy is brought to you by Thrive Market and by SomniFix.

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Dave McKinnon

  • Dakota Knight says:

    This should be required listening for every doctor. It’s so frustrating when doctors lable people with mental illness or being a “difficult patient.” The exact same thing happened (is happening) to me. Everyone including my own wife thinks it’s all in my head.

    The arrogance/ignorance of so many doctors is just tragic.

    • Kay's Moving With Purpose says:

      So true!!! I’m in Texas as well and almost cried to see she is no longer here:(.

    • Kay's Moving With Purpose says:

      @robinhood 46 this is so true. Many doctors feel they should not be questioned because they are the “expert”….

    • Claudia Amendt says:

      I truly feel like this is an epidemic and so many people struggle with a similar story. Mine was 10 years ago and it took so much for me to heal. But even the functional medicine doctors were not helpful. It took so much strength to heal.

    • robinhood 46 says:

      @Claudia Amendt It is an epidemic. The quality of the air on the planet has reached the point where many peoples lymphatic systems can’t cope well enough. It’s a more crap coming in than going out situation, it all builds up at different speeds for each inividuel. Women are more affected than men because the gas exchange in the lungs is different,they have smaller lungs.
      Eating a more healthy diet reduces the crap intake and helps the body cope better with what we are breathig. It’s not rocket science.
      Eat a vegan diet or a carnivor diet,filter the air and the water and they will both help. It cannot be because of the specific diet they are totally contradictory.

  • Nirvana1010 says:

    I have a chronic illness and my ex rheumatologist laughed at me. Changed to a different one in the same office. Total difference! Be your own advocate!

    • SatKA2 Mau says:

      Diet will be crucial in your healing

    • S I says:

      If your open to it. Check out ayurveda or TCM. They tend to be good with chronic issues.

    • Nirvana1010 says:

      @Dino Miles Yes, I’m vegan. I do eat very healthy. Thanks.

    • Linda Clouston Wendt says:

      Yes indeed!

    • K M says:

      My rheumatologist was no help so I got a second opinion. The 2nd did some tests and concluded “I wasn’t 25 anymore.” Finally, I found a doctor who wanted to solve the mystery and discovered I have intrinsic factor antibodies and needed B12 shots. I feel like myself again! And it only took lots of struggling with doctors and thousands of dollars worth of tests!

  • iztheterrible says:

    okay to save time, she tried to get more sleep, changed her diet by studying her ancestral diet, which led her to cut out most gluten, and that made a major impact. she did detoxes which removed toxins from air pollution, . she slowly weaned off thyroid meds over 14 years, and she studied her estrogen and progesterone levels , then slowly weaned off those hormone replacement drugs as the sleep and diet improvements made a positive impact. also she had a witchdoctor or some clairvoyant come into her house to burn smudge sticks of Southwestern US Native Indian sage and herbs around her home to rid the house of negative energy from the previous home owner. she didnt see that one coming,. she didnt in believe any of it but it opened her mind to think positively and to work on a positive healthy mindset. went to some functional medicine conferences and gradually over a decade , everything worked out and healed her.

  • Beardseii beard says:

    I wanted to briefly share how I got my Hashimoto’s thyroiditis in remission. 3 years ago I got a infection in pancreas which cause me to be nauseous so I didn’t eat for 9 days (basically fasting, however definitely not planned) but tried to keep up my fluid intake. It just happened that when I recovered I needed to have my labs drawn and my doctor was so surprised because my labs reflected 90% remission of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Asked all kinds of questions and once found out I hadn’t eaten for 9 days, only had fluids asked if would wait 6 months and do another long fast (5-9 days) and see if we would get it in complete remission. That is exactly what happened after the second fast and now 3 years later, I am still in remission from Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. 🙂

    • srslywth says:

      wow, very impressive 🙂 Did you have only antibodies for Hashimoto or also low t3/t4, and had to take hormones? and now dont?

    • Living The Dream says:

      Did you have to take in special foods after the fasting?

    • Shanni Jones says:

      that’s amazing! congratulations!

    • Beardseii beard says:

      Sometimes the T3 T4 was out of balance and sometimes spot on. Antibodies were for Hashimoto was always high until I did the 9 day fast and by the 2nd time (6 month later) no more. I had my immune system chinking away at my thyroid for 35 years, so it will take some time to have it recover/regenerate and we are working on that. After the fast, to break the fast (especially since this was a longer fast) I would break it with bone broth and after an hour or so, depending on how I felt, I would have half of an avocado and wait and see how my gut was doing and slowly introduce different food again. Also before the bone broth I would take ion biome on empty stomach to restore gut balance. Dr. Mindy Pelz is a wealth of information on fasting, especially for women (find her on youtube)

    • Living The Dream says:

      @Beardseii beard thank you so much for the information! I wish i would of found this out a long time ago! My medical Doctors never ever mentioned any of this! But I am going to pursue as much as i can; unfortunately medical insurance wont cover most of the Functional services

  • ePCA says:

    I had subscribed to your channel in the past, but this has brought me to a new level of trust in your guidance.
    Nearly everything you talk about in this video matches my experience (recovering for about 20 years now with about two years as a near invalid due to pain). One area (for both you and Dr. Li to consider well) is that I learned that while I have had serious inflammation/issues due to Gluten/Dairy/Peanuts etc. (since birth), after spending a decade in Mexico (where GMO’s are illegal), it is much more likely that it is the modification/processing of the U.S. foods that is the greater threat. (FYI, I believe this is equally true for the chemicals in the tobacco processing, but that is a story for another day.) As one small example, when I eat Jif peanut butter (which, of course, I have always craved), I nearly ALWAYS have constipation issues… When I eat the Mexican brand (Aladino), I do not. While still doing so a bit cautiously, I now eat glutens freely (with few to no side affects).
    P.S. – Intuition is the Spirit of God. Listen well…

    • Rosemary McCammond says:

      Although it’s been a year, I was intrigued by your comment about no GMO in Mexico. I’ve seen Mexican brands in the groceries (US stores), especially spices, and was wondering if these imported items are the same as in Mexico or if they have been altered for the US market. I’m thinking that GMO foods are what is causing my issues too.

    • Dwayne Diesel says:

      Sugar, Flour, and Dairy. Causes of most disease!

    • kalpana rajgopal Kalpana says:

      Pls ..summarise solution to d problem in a nutshell.. hope v.imp.
      I am going through over 2 years of traumatic experience now they say hypothyroidism..low Vit D Dr hs yet solved d issue..

    • DavidOM says:

      so true – one of the reasons I was happy to leave USA was to avoid GMOs – the worst idea ever!

  • Radhu Murlidhar says:

    Thank you for this video. It’s so wonderful to hear modern medical professionals make the paradigm shift and talk about it. That’s so brave and absolutely priceless to the patients and the world at large. Ancient medicines and practitioners were so clued in but unfortunately negated. Thanks to ppl like you , for shining the flash light on it. Kudos for talking about the brave OLD concepts . 🙏🙏🙏🙏

  • Heather Thornton says:

    This story with Cynthia Li is MY story too! Becoming violently ill in Mexico while on honeymoon – and I was “never the same since.” Later finding out I had chronic Lyme, Endometriosis, Hashimotos Thyroiditis, Celiac Disease, PCOS….and so on after seeing a string of specialists. It was finally a homeopathic doctor that was able to educate me of the cascade effect of the food I was eating and stressful lifestyle I was living (Lean Cuisine was a “healty meal” and running 8-10 miles per day on the treadmill followed by an hour of heavy weight lifting FOR YEARS). I thought I was “so on top of things” and boy was I wrong. After years of coming to terms with my food sensitivities and hormone imbalances, I’m finally starting to recover. After gaining 85 pounds due to exercise intolerance and overall fatigue (and depression) I’m about 75% back to a healthy body. Food is medicine, and so is rest, self care, setting boundaries, finding peace and silence within. Thank you for spreading this message and for helping bring awareness to this very real, very debilitating issue that affects so many.

  • Mark Hyman, MD says:

    Get my FREE guide 3 Steps to Reverse Aging when you sign up for my weekly health picks 👉

  • Julia K says:

    One very important point the doctor made here was the spiritual/emotional awareness and healing. In my personal experience, emotional baggage tends to get stored in the body and eventually manifests as physical symptoms. Being in touch with your emotions, healing trauma through writing, praying, meditation, forgiveness of self and others is paramount. Finally, l agree with the anti inflammatory/detox/clean diet are important in healing and prevention. But l would also add fasting as an important ingredient in staying healthy. I highly recommend it to all my patients as a means to lose wait and heal/prevent chronic disease and cancer.

  • Reuben Germain says:

    Wow ! I am a doctor, I caught Lyme disease in 2010, I moved into a house with a mold problem in 2015 and got sick, Hypothyroid in 2018, I went to China for training in 2019 and got sick, I had G.I issues and got sick. I had normal traditional test results and kept getting worse. I felt like I was being gas lighted by my colleagues. Functional medicine saved my life, now I am looking forward to Bioenergetics APM this Friday…😊 P.s I love you guys, thanks for leading the way into this paradigm.

    • Nomade says:

      What was your process for healing in on a similar path it’s been debilitating please if you don’t mind sharing

    • Reuben Germain says:

      @Nomade My big turning points were, Elimination diet, staying gluten and dairy free afterwards. Magnesium and B1 and B12 supplementation. Getting better sleep, breathing exercises, and massively increasing phytochemical diversity…More variety in fruits, vegetables and spices. At one point I needed digestive support.

    • Not me says:

      Did you prescribe yourself all sorts of toxic drugs that dont’ work? That should be a requirement for a doctor. Then don’t listen to yourself complain.

    • Reuben Germain says:

      @Not me No I faithfully listened and followed my doctors advise, no self medicating. The only self medicating thing I did was rage quit taking the meds.

  • Georgette Mayberry says:

    Your candid conversation about putting the care back into healthcare post medical school was deep! Thank you both for your perseverance and personal sharing.

  • Natural Options says:

    Just got done reading Cynthia’s book and found this video. I cried so many times reading it because it was like reading my own health decline and debilitating symptoms. The dehydration the need for salt, the ER visits, dizziness, fatigue like I ran a marathon etc etc etc reading it felt like a ray of hope in a hopeless situation. I feel overwhelmed that I have so far to go and I wonder if I can ever really get better

    • Sheree says:

      You can do it sweetie 😘💪💕💖💓✨. Stay strong. One day at a time !!❤❤ GOD BLESS YOU AND HAPPY NEW YEAR 😊🙏❤✨☺.

    • Felicia Brewer says:

      How’s your journey going? Did the book help? 🙏🏽

    • Chantal Gagne says:

      You will get better. Just follow her recommendations. I have to get her book too and follow her…I’ve had scalp eczema for 2 years, nothing works except to relieve the itch but I’ll get on this new way of life and eating and will get rid of it. Wishing you well soon.

    • Joanne Clark says:

      What’s the book?

    • K Respect says:

      Most of these problems are the result of B1 deficiency.

  • tlalc12 says:

    This was a very interesting video for me. I went through something very similar ten years ago and I finally healed myself. I’m not a doctor but I would read and listened to everything I could find that I thought would help. I basically went through detoxing and trying to get my gut in a better shape. I learned a lot especially about nutrition. There are many people suffering this type of illnesses (?) so these videos are so necessary, thank you both

  • 13Dreams says:

    This is my story. After more than 15 years of trying to figure out what was wrong with my body, I ended up with a Psychiatrist telling me that I had Clinical Depression. I explained to him that if I had Clinical Depression why do I still have goals? People with depression lose hope. That was not me. I just wanted my body to help me achieve, and my body was tired and in pain, so that was frustrating me. I explained that my body is making me get frustrated, and that leads to depression. He wouldn’t listen to me. A couple of times he even dozed off in front of me…like sorry for boring you sir. He waived me off and just handed me the slip for the next appointment.
    I have found my own remedies, and today, I own my own wellness clinic specializing in massage. I see many people who are this same position, and I am happy to fast track them to wellness. Now, I refer patients to functional medical doctors who they can go to to get real answers.

    • Jester Riddles says:

      This is exactly what is happening with me. I’ve been sick 13 years which has caused depression. I also have dreams and goals but this pain and suffering is stopping me from Doing anything which is making me depressed. 😢 No ones listening.

    • Just Relax says:

      Kindly share your solution it might help me and other people with similar situation

  • The Belle Familly🔔 says:

    She can definitely help patients better than doctors who don’t face their problems own medical experiences. That’s tough but beneficial at the end.

  • L R says:

    I commented in more detail on the thread below regarding the summary of the interview, but overall I’d say, this interview was worth it and think every PCP and medical student should watch it. She clearly expressed what every single person who’s suffered from any type of chronic pain and gone through the usual channels in our “healthcare” system feels when no answers are found and every specialist sees you with a narrowed lens and no answers mean it’s in your head type of thing

  • Hannah Swann says:

    Great conversation with a lot of takeaways. I’ve dived deep into dietary healing over the past 5 years due to my declining health with symptoms described by both of you. But ‘ah-ha!’ moments for me were using intuition, grief healing and mould. I’ve been renovating an old house for 6 years with a lot of mould and have had 12 years of grief ++ I came across this vid purely by chance searching something entirely unrelated. I was meant to see it. Thank you so much. I’ll be getting Cynthia’s book xox

    • Brandy harris says:

      Your generosity towards my infection is incomparable. You assured me of getting healed and surprisingly after 11days of taking the medication I was tested Negative. Thanks Dr OBALAR Herbal Cure I will keep letting the world know about your YouTube channel ..

  • Integrative Thyroid says:

    I went through every single stage of illness that Dr. Li went through. I’m year 6 into my healing journey but KNOW that my autoimmune journey started YEARS before I hit rock bottom. I decided to take control of my health and saw major improvements and can now say that I absolutely put my autoimmune disease into remission. It propelled me to spread the message as far and wide as I could. I switched careers and made my life mission to help people get over their thyroid/hashimoto’s disease!

    • Victoria Austin says:

      Where do you practice? I recently took myself off my meds and feel better already. But weight gain and some other issues are a problem. I have growths in my thyroid that so will get rechecked every year or six months. But the meds were giving me heart issues.

  • marzy Marrz says:

    What a story. I thought it would be easier on her because she is a physician, but it looks like it was maybe harder. Its one of those things where you have to trust instinct.

    • Brandy harris says:

      Your generosity towards my infection is incomparable. You assured me of getting healed and surprisingly after 11days of taking the medication I was tested Negative. Thanks Dr OBALAR Herbal Cure I will keep letting the world know about your YouTube channel .

  • tiffany bittman says:

    I honestly have both fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. 😩 amazing I can function. I understand the keep going, keep pushing. This episode is sooo enlightening. Many thanks.

    • Blake says:

      Ever been checked for mold? I heard someone say that those can be caused by mold infections.

    • Brandy harris says:

      Your generosity towards my infection is incomparable. You assured me of getting healed and surprisingly after 11days of taking the medication I was tested Negative. Thanks Dr OBALAR Herbal Cure I will keep letting the world know about your YouTube channel.

    • Brandy harris says:

      Your generosity towards my infection is incomparable. You assured me of getting healed and surprisingly after 11days of taking the medication I was tested Negative. Thanks Dr OBALAR Herbal Cure I will keep letting the world know about your YouTube channel.

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