Hi, my name is Dr. Tom Rofrano from the Natural Medicine Clinic in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Today I’m going to talk to you about how to get to the underlying root cause of your autoimmune condition. In particular, I’m going to talk about ulcerative colitis, and in turn, once you find the root cause, how to then find solutions to help you get better.

I’ve been practicing for over thirty years in functional medicine and nutrition, and I’ve seen over one hundred thousand patient visits. Like many of our patients, we had a sixty-two-year-old man come in with typical symptoms we see a lot of: fatigue, depression, anxiety, insomnia, and digestive issues ranging from pain, bloating, gas, and diarrhea.

On top of that, he was obese and had a very hard time losing weight. He also had gout, so he had a lot of joint pain, and high blood pressure, too. He was just feeling completely miserable.    

Two Approaches

There are two approaches to any autoimmune condition, whether it’s thyroid, like we see so much of, digestive issues, or any health condition, really.

This patient had been dealing with his condition for over forty years, had gone to different doctors, and was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease that causes ulcerations, inflammation, bloody diarrhea, cramping, and pain.

Option 1: Dysfunctional Medicine

When you choose medicine, the treatment is medicine, procedures, and surgery. In this case, he was treated with the steroid Prednisone, and biologic’s which have similar side effects to chemotherapy.

The patient’s side effects were so severe that he ended up hospitalized for three months, and he almost died. He got an infection in the hospital, which had him readmitted soon after he left.

After all of this, they decided on surgery, so they actually took out his colon.

The thing is, all of this didn’t fix anything. So, even though that’s the treatment, he’s coming to see me forty years later complaining about the same symptoms.

I call this approach dysfunctional medicine, which is basically doing things that actually impair the normal function of your body. The patient went through all these medications, procedures, and surgery—almost died—and wasn’t left with any solutions. Still, on top of that, they had him taking a lot of other medications for depression and anxiety, blood pressure, gout, etc., but none of that helped either.

If it made him feel good, then it might be worth it. But I call it dysfunctional medicine because even after all of that he was still feeling terrible, actually even worse, and there’s something wrong with that picture.

It’s like having a dysfunctional person in your life. We had a dysfunctional person in our office awhile back. When you have an extra staff member in your office, they’re supposed to be helpful and kind of take the load off, but a dysfunctional person or behavior actually creates more work. Even though we had an extra person, it created so much more work to clean up this person’s messes and the drama and everything else that it was just a mess.

Option 2: Functional Medicine

This is where you actually get to the underlying root causes, and then you can provide long term permanent solutions.

Even though the patient came in with no colon, numerous symptoms, and was feeling miserable, four weeks later:

  • He had lost twenty-two pounds.
  • His digestive symptoms cleared up.
  • He was sleeping through the night.
  • He drastically lowered his blood pressure and went off medication.
  • He was able to get off most of his medications.
  • His pain cleared up.

So he’s doing phenomenally well. What really inspired me to even talk about this is the fact that he went to his primary doctor this week, and he thought he’d be really proud of him. He lost twenty-two pounds, he’s eating really healthy and taking supplements, he’s off his blood pressure and gout medication, and he cut down some of his other medications from another doctor as well.

Bu this doctor wasn’t very happy about. He actually seemed kind of ticked off that he was able to get off his medications, as if he thought, “Well, I guess you have no use for me.”

Choose Health

When you go to a medical doctor, their job is to manage medications. And that’s fine—there is certainly a need for that if you’re the type of person who wants to go that route and take medications for this condition or that condition. Let’s say you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol, and you just want to take the medication and eat what you want and not exercise and you don’t really care. Well, then, that’s fine.

However, if you’re the person that would rather choose health and get to the underlying root cause, and then be provided long term permanent solutions, which is the functional medicine approach—that root cause approach—that we practice, then that’s really choosing health. Because you want to actually get better.

Identify Root Causes

So let’s look at some of the causes for this patient’s ulcerative colitis. The first step is a complete evaluation and whole body health analysis.

The three categories of what cause autoimmune or other chronic health conditions, including thyroid issues like Hashimoto’s disease, nodules, etc. are:

  1. Physical Stress
  2. Mental Stress
  3. Chemical Stress

In the chemical stress area, we look at four separate areas:


The patient was low on vitamin D, some B vitamins, B12—he actually had B12 anemia—and omega 3s. His DHEA was really low, so he had adrenal fatigue, and his cortisol was low as well. This alone could cause exhaustion, insomnia, depression, and anxiety.


Taking too many medications, in his case six different ones for depression, bi-polar, anxiety, etc., can have a very toxic reaction. High levels of uric acid and triglycerides, too, can cause inflammation of the joints.

Infections & Pathogens

Yeast overgrowth and bacterial overgrowth were both going on. One of the primary causes of colitis is infection, so he had this chronic ongoing infection—probably for forty years—of yeast and bacteria causing a leaky gut, which can in turn lead to increased food sensitivities.

Food Sensitivities

He had a gluten sensitivity as well as sensitivity to other foods. Just gluten in itself can cause all of the symptoms he was having, including his digestive symptoms and his anxiety, depression, and bipolar symptoms.

The patient had all of these things going on at the same time. When that happens, when you have so many things wrong and you address all of them at the same time, you can get phenomenal results.

That’s how he was able to drop his blood pressure by over forty points in two weeks and lose twenty-two pounds in a month, even though he wasn’t able to lose weight before. His digestive symptoms cleared up, he was able to sleep through the night, and he was feeling really great. It was really rough going through it, but by the fourth week, he was feeling like a new person. And that’s how you’re able to do it.

The FreeDiet™

The diet we put him on is the FreeDiet™, and you can grab a complimentary copy of the FreeDiet™-Phase 1 right here. The FreeDiet is another important component of the treatment plan, because it’s not only free of gluten, but also grains, corn, sugar, yeast, eggs, dairy, soy, legumes, and GMO’s. These are the ten major categories of foods most commonly responsible for inflammation, chronic digestive issues, and fatigue. So we allow the gut to heal by removing these foods.

Besides the FreeDiet™, we replenished a lot of his nutritional deficiencies with our Natural Medicine Formulas, probiotics, and vitamins and minerals. So that, along with manual treatment for different joint issues he was having, is how we were able to get him doing so well in just four weeks’ time.

If you have any comments, feel free to leave them below, and feel free to subscribe to my YouTube channel if you want early notification of new videos.

Just remember, whatever issue you have going on, whatever chronic health problem, your body has an incredible ability to heal. If you just look into finding those underlying root causes, I believe most every health problem has a solution. Once you find that underlying cause, you can find the solution.

Thanks for joining me today, and I look forward to seeing you next time! Take care.

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3 Responses to Natural Treatment for Ulcerative Colitis & Autoimmune Conditions

  1. Vanya says:

    Thank you so much doctor for sharing this info. It is absolute truth. I was diagnosed with UC in 1997 at the age of 32-two years after moving from Europe to Canada. I’ve taken myself of Asacol and Prevacid 8 days ago. I weaned myself slowly: from 6 tablets of 800m Asacol for the first 15 days, then four, and so on) that my stomach specialist unnecessarily has kept me on for 20 years. He never mentioned nutrition, supplements, he never suggested checking status of my body’s minerals/vitamins, or mentioned any other route that could’ve been taken. Nothing, just meds.
    I’ve seen my naturopath a few months back and she has prescribed me adrenal supplements, some minerals, magnesium and suggested proper diet.
    Regardless of that I started having severe panic attacks recently and ended in the ER a few times after taking Lorazepam 1.25 mg. My heart beats couldn’t go under 105/min. When even I spoke to my stomach specialist he said it’s just my anxieties. I looked into non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications and it turned out they can seriously deplete magnesium in our bodies, magnesium affect production of the vitamin D. I love coffee (I know I shouldn’t and actually now I can’t drink it anymore) which additionally depletes body’s magnesium and since magnesium helps with proper heart work I’m assuming I didn’t have panic attacks to start with, because my heart actually was having a hard time functioning properly. In addition lack of vitamin D causes inflammatory processes in the body, so I just couldn’t get out of these terrible flare-ups the whole year, on the top of anxieties and panic attacks.
    I went to a walk in clinic 10 days ago and asked them to do the basic mineral/vitamin test. My vitamin D was marked low (33 out of 72) and magnesium and iron border line insufficient. This kind of confirmed what I found out on my own, but it’s at the same time sad, because I thought that my doctor had my best interests at heart. I may be off with some things but seeing your video it does confirm what I was thinking, though it’s hard to know for sure first because I’m not a doctor, secondly it’s difficult to think clearly when we don’t feel well.
    So I’m taking all of these supplements, plus hemp seed oil (not cbd) as it is a potent anti-inflammatory natural medication, black strap molasses for my iron, I’m not having any sugar, except honey with my decaf, I eat NON-GMO or ORGANIC bread and crackers, and everything else that has nothing to do with modern way of food production. It’s toxic and my body has hard time keeping up with it. I get sick right away. Today is my first day that my stomach didn’t bleed, terrible aches and pains in my calves and all over my body are going away, there are still swellings inside of my elbows but they are subsiding and I’m still very tired-I’m assuming my iron is still very low.
    What is disheartening is that when I called my stomach specialist he said that all was linked to colitis (of course I’m replacing him). God bless, keep spreading the word. I’m trying to heal myself with food as nature intended it, not the plastic garbage that has been served to us as food nowadays. I’m going to eat some bone broth with celery, carrots, onion, garlic and seasoning now to strengthen my immune system, and some chicken liver with onions for iron…wish me luck… the only thing that bothers me is that I still feel acidity in my mouth from time to time, hopefully it disappears soon…thank you…that is the route to take…medications should be there for emergency management not served as candies for life. They can leave us with serious side effects.

  2. Vera Amato says:

    I love watching your informative videos and reading your articles. It’s too bad functional medicine doctors are not covered by insurance. I have an extremely overactive thyroid with large goiters and my endocrinologist says ” no one knows why goiters grow and not sure exactly what causes thyroid problems” . Even if I have my thyroid removed the underlying problem will still exist.

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