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The Immune System Recovery Plan: A Doctor's 4-Step Program to Treat Autoimmune Disease

4.03  ·  Rating Details ·  736 Ratings  ·  68 Reviews
Among the most prevalent forms of chronic illness in this country, autoimmune disease affects nearly 23.5 million Americans. This epidemic is a result of the toxins in our diet, exposure to chemicals, heavy metals, antibiotics, and unprecedented stress levels. It has caused millions to suffer from autoimmune conditions such as Graves' disease, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's ...more
ebook, 384 pages
Published April 2nd 2013 by Scribner (first published March 1st 2013)
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Nov 03, 2016 Mischenko rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-physical
To see this review and my favorite recipe from this book, please visit

The Immune System Recovery Plan by Susan Blum is one of a myriad of books I purchased after I was diagnosed with not one, but two serious autoimmune disorders. I was on a mission to cure myself and this book was just one of my tools.

The book is a doctor’s 4-step plan to overcome autoimmune disease. The author, Susan Blume, was suffering from an autoimmune disease and shares with readers what she bel
May 12, 2013 Carina rated it it was amazing
Having a more rare auto immune condition which can't be cured, I found this book helpful.

While it repeats what I have already learned from other sources regarding wheat and gluten and why we are seeing more sensitive to it now, it also connects the average American diet's over consumption of wheat at every meal, as well as sugar and unhealthy fats to autoimmune disease.

Autoimmune disease is on the rise- and in these cases of immune systems attacking the body's own tissues you can reduce the eff
Iona  Stewart
Aug 06, 2014 Iona Stewart rated it it was amazing
This is an immensely valuable book for those with an auto-immune disease (I have several). The author, who is a doctor, herself developed Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, and this meant that she had to cure this auto-immune disease herself, since traditional medicine had no satisfactory answers.

She found out that the four steps to healing and preventing auto-immune disease are:

1) Using food as medicine
2) Understanding the stress connection
3) Healing your gut
4) Supporting your liver.

The ingestion of glut
Jun 29, 2013 Phyllis rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, food
This book is okay. While my personal experience is that diet does have a major impact on health, it doesn't follow that eating gluten is the root cause of all autoimmune diseases. Putting patients on elimination diets is great, but there are also people who just have messed up health and there's no magic bullet. Nor is it great to take a million supplements. There are some good recipes in the book and its worth a look, but I don't think the anti-gluten movement is fully researched.
Mariah Cherem
May 19, 2013 Mariah Cherem rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you're like me, the main reason you're looking at a review of a health book is to find out if it seems reliable/worth a try/useful vs. if it's somewhat hippie-dippy and not likely to help much.

Thankfully, this book is well written, cites its research (thank you!) so you can do your own critical appraisal if you wish, and does manage to pull together a lot of things that people with autoimmune or other overlapping conditions may know *with* additional/newer research and a practical protocol.

Apr 08, 2013 Jo rated it it was amazing
I've been a health educator in the field of complementary and alternative medicine for a decade. If I were asked to recommend one book for someone seriously looking to improve their health, this would be it. Science-based and heart-centered, Susan Blum's book combines the very best of nutritional, mind-body, and functional medicine in a comprehensive healing plan. Terrific.
Aug 31, 2013 Cathy rated it really liked it
I was especially interested in this as I have an autoimmune disease - MS - and am finding that diet really has an impact on my health. I understand now a lot about how the immune system works and (in the case of autoimmune disease) doesn't. Although I felt the information regarding MS was sorely lacking, I recommend this to anyone with an autoimmune disease -- and there are a lot of us.
I'm done with this. Like not in a "got to the end of the book" way but in a "fed up with nonsense" way. The really frustrating part is that there is some reasonably sound medical advice here, but it's surrounded on all sides by "functional medicine" nonsense and woo woo unscientific theories. Instead of consulting this book, perhaps just visit the Mayo Clinic's website or the National Institutes of Health's website for scientifically-vetted evidence based medicine.

I was recently diagnosed with
Jun 26, 2013 Shelly rated it it was amazing
The recipes in this book alone make it worth the purchase price but it is so much more. I had discovered through trial and error much of what she recommends to be true. I wish I would have discovered the book earlier. It would have certainly helped me regain my health much sooner. It is a must read for anyone with autoimmune challenges or for those who have been told repeatedly by doctors that "nothing is wrong", yet you still feel like crap. As a person who has gone through it, I can assure you ...more
Oct 09, 2013 Maribeth rated it it was ok
She seems to be saying that anyone with an autoimmune disease should just eat better and then it will just go away. It is your own fault if your body isn't working properly because you have been naughty and eating too much gluten. Just eat organic nuts and berries and you will be fine.
Donald Ozello
Apr 18, 2017 Donald Ozello rated it it was amazing
Great book filled with a great deal of useful information. (I took 13 pages of notes.) I recommend this book for anyone who has been diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder, anyone who has a family member with an autoimmune disorder, anyone who is interested in preventing an autoimmune disorder and all medical professionals.
Jun 27, 2016 Cyndi rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I wanted so much to love this book. I'm the perfect target audience. I have many of the medical conditions, believe in the diet changes, am into alternative and holistic medicine, and already understand the link to toxins the author talks about at length. I was hoping for a book that would explain the science behind autoimmune disease and connect it to the rest. That's not this book.

I don't know if the author has farmed out sections to others and didn't check them well enough, or if she really i
Maria Holland
Oct 05, 2014 Maria Holland rated it really liked it
This book was recommended to my by a friend when she heard about some health problems I was dealing with. I ordered it immediately and read it in a few days. I am just starting an elimination diet, but I was mostly impressed with the information it contained and the case it made.

One thing that was a huge sticking point for me was her (repeated!) claim that our ancestors “settled down to farming (only ten generations ago)”. This is clearly not factual. If it was in there only one time, you think
Carrie Daws
Jun 05, 2016 Carrie Daws rated it it was amazing
Shelves: health
I actually enjoyed this book on health and wellness. It is a genre I don't typically pick up, but Dr. Blum provided just enough science in easy-to-understand language to help me understand why she was advocating the plan she put forth within the book without burying me in doctor-speak and medical research. She was also considerate and understanding, making allowances for the life stage you are in, defining words like "moderation", and telling you where you could more easily make allowances if wh ...more
Jun 08, 2015 Kali rated it it was amazing
This is definitely one of the best autoimmune books I've read. My favorite thing about this book by far is her dedication to science. She puts in as much science as she can. In instances where she can't find a study she even said something along the lines of "it would make sense to quote a study here but there currently are none, hopefully there will be soon". That gave me a deep respect for her. Dr. Blum uses several anecdotes from her practice to put a face to the facts and make it more relata ...more
Sep 04, 2014 Velma rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Velma by: borrowed from Carlisle Douglas
Abandoned. Some interesting stuff, but not enough verification/citation. The Functional Medicine crowd, with whom Susan Blum affiliates herself, might be on to something, but as long as they muddy the waters with self-serving sales of the proprietary lab tests and supplements they tout, I can't accept their perspective as anything but the shill's pitch that it is. But, I'll keep the 'eat better food, move around more' tenets that they reminded me about.
Jessica Summerton
Jul 23, 2013 Jessica Summerton rated it it was amazing
This book has changed my life and I will continue to refer to it throughout. I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's two years ago and have been struggling with thyroid issues for six years. It has been a difficult and challenging time trying to figure out what was wrong with me while trying to raise two little kids. I am so thankful to Susan Blum for providing me with the medical explanations and natural ways to go about trying to alleviate my symptoms and help me live a better and healthier life.
Jan 19, 2014 Tanya rated it really liked it
This book was great if you've never read or researched anything on this topic. I found it to be very simple and not as I depth as other books but still was a great read for those just starting a journey and trying to sort themselves. Once on the path outlined by this book there are more advanced things to consider also for healing individual disease pathways. :-)
Jul 15, 2014 Belle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing! I have Graves Disease and highly recommend for anyone with an autoimmune disorder.
I started to have a bad feeling about this when she said more than once that humans have only been farming for ten generations. Seriously? Her doctorate definitely isn't in history.
Jan 17, 2016 Mezzie rated it it was amazing
Part 1: Why I read it.

I've reached a desperation point. I have Celiac disease and a secondary autoimmune disease, and after a good chunk of time doing well on a strict gluten-free diet, my body has decided that's not enough and has been attacking my joints. Currently, six joints are effected, three of them severely limiting my mobility and daily activities.

As I waited (and continue to wait) for test results and specialists to figure things out (my doctor believes there may be a third AI disease
Mj Tam
Jul 16, 2017 Mj Tam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: health-wellness
Life changer! I'm forever grateful to have read this book. It gave me a clearer path in getting control of my health and life in general and that's an understatement!
Jul 22, 2013 Jim rated it it was amazing
This is a great resource for natural healing and thoughts on many health issues with special consideration to your immune system and immunological related disease.

I read this after months recovering from a condition and i was extremely low on energy after experiencing prednisone withdrawl. I literally did not feel energy late at night or early morning until i exercized to get the body flowing. This is after several tests that said i'm okay for someone having been through all that, a little high
Feb 14, 2017 Desirae rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, health
3.5 stars
Feb 24, 2016 Sridhar rated it it was amazing
Every once in a while you come across a book that seems as if it were written just for you. This book was like that for me. As a person who has been suffering from gout for several years and having tried different medicines to no avail, I was at my wits end. I was scouring Kindle store binging on books written about gout. Most of them were unfortunately crap or a collection of blog posts strewn over Internet. I had heard about this book though James Altucher's newsletter and decided to give it a ...more
Oct 29, 2016 Debbie rated it it was amazing
Over 23 million Americans suffer from one of the over 100 different autoimmune diseases, yet only 5% of the National Institutes of Health's budget focuses on research into the potential causes. Hard scientific research is limited and the studies aren't conclusive. In this book, written by a functional medicine doctor, she puts forth that many autoimmune diseases are set off by toxins, infections, allergens, poor diet, and stress. Functional medicine doctors treat the underlying causes of a disea ...more
Feb 22, 2015 J.D. marked it as to-read
Shelves: non-fiction
(I've edited this review since initially posting it.) So, while I don't like the self-promotion, the stories seemed to lack 'oomph' (for lack of a better term), and following her guidelines didn't initially work at all, for some reason I kept trying it. I figured, 'hey, even a clock that's broken and doesn't work is still right twice a day' (if it's analog, anyway). So first I got worse, following the guidelines she laid out, then I eased back on them, and much, much long after I stopped expecti ...more
Nov 29, 2016 Nicola rated it really liked it
Very interesting read for those suffering any type of illness.
A self-help guide to taking control of your health and getting on the road to recovery.

What is annoying is that the ideas are at such odds with conventional medical services. It makes it all confusing to know what is the 'truth'!

This book makes perfect sense to me and is written like it's the truth and I want to believe every single word...but why doesn't my medical doctor just provide this level knowledge in consultations.
Surely medi
Aug 20, 2014 Jenny rated it it was amazing
This is an all-around great read. It's informative without being too complex, it's interesting and it makes sense. It provides a simple and very approachable step-by-step plan to relieving digestive, auto-immune and other chronic disorder issues. She claims to have healed people with auto-immune diseases with her approach... I don't doubt this! But I think her expertise is what makes or breaks it... Even following her plan, I'm not convinced the average person could completely heal themselves as ...more
Eire Boudicca
Nov 02, 2015 Eire Boudicca rated it really liked it
Good! I already know a lot of this stuff, but I still learned a few new things. I really like how the author focuses so much on supporting the liver and also the body's natural detoxing processes, and advocates a sensible and gentle approach instead of the fanatical detox fads that have been previously advocated. This is more in line with my way of thinking about natural health. I only gave it four stars though because she hates gluten so much - and I don't think that everyone needs to be on a g ...more
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