Auto Immune System Attack!

digestive systemI found a great explanation of the way your immune system can be attacked, written by Dr. Kharrazian.  I wanted to share it with you all:

Let’s say you are a house. Like a house you have barriers that protect you from the outside world, the way windows, walls, a roof and doors protect the inside of a house. Except your windows and walls are your skin and the lining of your intestines, lungs, and brain. You can imagine what it’s like to live in a house where the roof leaks, the windows have holes in them, and wind can blow through the slats of the walls. The same thing can happen to your body when holes develop in its protective barriers. A cut in the skin is an obvious example. Less obvious are leaks that develop in the lining of the gut, the lungs, and brain due to stress and an unhealthy diet and lifestyle. After these barriers become leaky, it’s not wind or rain that gets in, but instead “antigens” — that is, undigested particles of food, bacteria, parasites, molds, or haptens, environmental toxins.

This intrusion triggers a wonderfully orchestrated immune response. The first units on the scene are macrophages, a Greek word meaning “big eaters.” These cells are stationed in body tissue and constantly on the lookout for intruders, poised to attack and sound the alarm whenever one enters. I like to think of them as overweight security guards carrying clubs but no guns. Although they are the first on the scene, they need help to overcome the antigen. The macrophage envelops the intruder, creating an antigen presenting cell (APC) that acts like a burglar alarm, summoning the rest of the immune system to come help. The first to respond to the alarm are T-helper cells, dispatchers who organize the attack. The T-helper cells send messengers to bring the elite police force — natural killer cells and cytotoxic T-cells to swarm the intruder and destroy it.

Back at central headquarters, police sergeants, T-regulator cells, monitor the scene to ensure there are enough T-helper cells and T-suppressor cells, cells that stop the immune reaction once an intruder is disarmed, and that they are doing their jobs. The immune system takes no chances at another attack, and assumes the intruder is a member of organized crime. T-helper cells fetch the detectives, B-cell antibodies, which attach to the intruder and put all his information into a memory bank. This identification process makes the natural killer and cytotoxic T-cells more efficient at recognizing and destroying the intruder if he comes around again. Although the natural killer and cytotoxic T-cells are like an elite S.W.A.T. team, they nevertheless also have poor vision and rely on the B-cells to spot intruders.

Reference:  Kharrazian, Datis (2010-02-02). Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms? When My Lab Tests Are Normal: A Revolutionary Breakthrough In Understanding Hashimoto’s Disease and Hypothyroidism

Stress, Hormones, & Belly FAT

file0002062211258It’s gut-wrenching for me to see a new patient walk into my wellness center who is too far gone for me to help them reverse their pain and ravaged health. Sadly, they’ve allowed too much damage to take place for too long. Oh, yes, I can almost always make them more comfortable without some drug-store product clouding and numbing their senses, but I just can’t get used to serving these troubled ones and their faded hopes for restored health.

 

I’m no wimp by a long shot, yet sometimes I cry at night having examined them and listened to their stories of anguish. I wish it could be different for them.  The problem is that these broken souls have been accepting a slowly diminishing quality of life for years — maybe even decades. They’ve been riding a slow-moving “conveyor belt to hell” that leads to the pits of misery. In truth, their quality of life began slipping from their grasp long ago, with plenty of forewarning.

 

Now, their “conveyor belt” future (or perhaps their present) contains things like:

 

  • Chronic disease symptoms such as obesity, diabetes, cancer, and heart/circulatory disorders.
  • Female problems, prostate problems, and hearing problems.
  • Wheel chairs, canes, walkers, motorized carts, oxygen bottles, and adult diapers.
  • Brittle bones and shrunken, stooped bodies, plus a medical specialty  designed just for “old people” called geriatrics.
  • Heart bypass scars and the horrors of Alzheimer’s.
  • The life-altering and often life-destroying devastation of chemotherapy.
  • Financial ravages resulting from explosive medical fees, drug costs, and “assisted” living expenses.

 

Of course, there’s more to the picture, but you get the idea. It’s a credible overview of the state of public health, yes? All you have to do is look at the people around you to see what is going on.  Does that picture contain a future that you want to experience? Even more important, are some of the images in the picture already hitting a little too close to home?

 

Let me tell you what creates such a picture in case you don’t already know. The vast majority of those who ride the conveyor belt to hell have made many, many poor health choices over a long period. The saddest thing is that most of the riders didn’t even know they were making poor choices. They listened to trusted voices, but those voices were not coming from those versed in protecting health. Rather, the voices were coming from those versed in sickness care and symptom-masking through drugs. Although both sickness care and drugs are necessary under certain conditions, they are not the tools of wellness and prevention.

 

Other “trusted” voices that have been leading our country on a rapid downward spiral in health are those coming from the processed and fast-food industries. Those voices tell us in their endless advertising and world-class marketing lingo that they are bringing good things to life.

But it’s a big, FAT lie.

 

It’s not our lives that are reaping the “good” things. Instead, it’s the food processors’ lives that benefit because cheap, denatured, calorie-loaded, fat-dripping, trans-fat-impregnated, chemical-laden, and chemically addictive products are so very profitable! That junk is everywhere!

 

Look. Everyone is destined to leave the planet. In the end, our bodies just stop working because that’s part of nature’s blueprint.  But must we create and experience a personal decline over many decades because we embrace sickness care and junk food?  No.  I don’t want that for myself or my family.  I don’t want it for you and yours either.  Give us a call if you are ready to get started on reclaiming your youth and vitality.  No excuses, just progress, results, and a healthier happier you!

 

 

IODINE: Throwing Gasoline onto a Fire:

fibroIodine is a hot supplement these days. Many people and practitioners have come to value iodine’s therapeutic potential, especially for breast and uterine fibroids. Iodine is also vital to thyroid function, as it is a major cofactor and stimulator for the enzyme TPO. But for the person with Hashimoto’s, supplementing with iodine is like throwing gasoline onto a fire. Because iodine stimulates production of TPO, this in turn increases the levels of TPO antibodies dramatically, indicating an autoimmune flare-up.33 Some people develop symptoms of an overactive thyroid,34 while others will have no symptoms despite tests showing an elevated level of TPO antibodies. Therefore, I rigorously advise anyone with an autoimmune thyroid condition to avoid supplements containing iodine, as many thyroid supplements do.

This may seem like confusing advice to the person with hypothyroidism who as been told her condition is the result of an iodine deficiency. Although iodine deficiency is the most common cause of hypothyroidism for most of the world’s population,35 in the United States and other westernized countries, Hashimoto’s accounts for the majority of cases of hypothyroidism.36 Also, studies show that when iodine is used to correct iodine deficiency in countries such as China, Turkey, and Sri Lanka,37 38 the rates of autoimmune thyroid disease increase.

Also, when iodine is added to table salt in some parts of the world, the rates of autoimmune thyroid disease again increase.39 Iodine supplementation isn’t causing Hashimoto’s per se, but it does seem to be a triggering factor.40 Some popular books on iodine therapy recommend supplementing with large doses of iodine to quench symptoms of Hashimoto’s. That’s because taking mega-doses of iodine will shut down the production of the TPO and inhibit thyroid hormone formation. As a result, the thyroid becomes less active, suppressing hyperthyroid symptoms. If you are considering supplementing with iodine but your symptoms strongly suggest Hashimoto’s, be tested several times to rule out an autoimmune thyroid condition. An autoimmune condition can fluctuate, and negative tests are not always definitive. In addition to a gluten-free diet and supporting overall health, which is discussed in later chapters, avoiding iodine supplements is another strategy for preserving thyroid tissue.

Reference:  Kharrazian, Datis (2010-02-02). Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms? When My Lab Tests Are Normal: A Revolutionary Breakthrough In Understanding Hashimoto’s Disease and Hypothyroidism

The Big Five Stress Agents

You need to know that most of the fault for any failures you might be having comes at the hands of the BIG FIVE STRESS AGENTS:happy pills

1.  Big Myth – Poor information that continues to fool the public year after year, leading the unaware to poor choices about health, dieting, and fitness.

2.  Big Medicine – A ―sickness care‖ system that bills itself as ―health care.‖ Because it is so misused, traditional medicine has become the leading cause of death and injury in the U.S. (not cancer, not heart disease, not car accidents, and certainly not the bird flu or swine flu).

3.  Big Pharma – Huge pharmaceutical companies interested in huge profits and lifelong customers who will deliver those profits day in and day out. Goal: Get people onto drugs as early as possible and keep them on those drugs as long as possible without intentionally killing them (lost profits).

4.  Big FakeFoods – The gigantic processed food industry interested in—you guessed it—profit, profit, profit from selling its cheap, denatured, calorie-loaded, fat-dripping, trans-fat-impregnated, chemical-laden, and chemically addictive counterfeit food products. Your health and wellness are of little concern to Big FakeFoods despite its self-serving, deceptive claims to the contrary. Their products are slowly killing you … legally!

5.  Big Chemistry – The chemical industry that poisons our environment, bloodstreams, and organs while supposedly making life more convenient for us. How well is it working?

Read more about how you can start overcoming the obstacles and reclaiming your health today, in the book, Metamorphosis, by Dr. Charles Webb.

Do My Adrenals Make Me Look Fat?

Your walnut-sized adrenal glands, which sit on top of your kidneys, cannot distinguish among the various stresses that are present in your life — whether they are physical, mental, or emotional. The adrenals just pump out hormones to counteract stress — any stress! They are “fight or flight” hormones intended to serve us for short periods only. But today’s stresses are anything but short term … so the hormones just keep flowing! If this persists, you can become an “adrenal type” of person — one who has overactive and/or exhausted adrenals.

This is very serious business because your quality of life depends so very much upon how well your adrenal glands work. Visible symptoms develop with persistent adrenal imbalances. Chief among them is hanging fat in the midsection that sags downward over the belly.

Thinned-out arms, legs and buttocks generally accompany this fat because the key hormone that prevails during stress (cortisol) converts these muscles to sugar in an attempt to create more energy for a continually stressed body. With thinned muscles and a large abdomen, adrenal types often have a hard time finding clothes that fit. Moreover, stress hormones in excess will steal protein from the bones, leading to osteoporosis.

Sometimes a fat pad develops in the lower neck and upper back called a “buffalo hump.” Also, fat accumulation in the face may give a round or “moon face” appearance, a face that may redden because of weakened blood vessels.

So why does the extra fat appear? With all this sugar pouring into the bloodstream through the action of stress fighting hormones, the fat-burning hormones of the liver get turned off. Not even high-protein or low-calorie diets will turn them back on again! Then fat accumulates on the belly because of the excess sugar thrown into the blood to meet “dangers” that don’t exist. In the meantime, insulin stores the extra sugar as fat to keep your blood sugar levels out of the danger range.

In other words, stress hormones prevent fat burning. Counting calories or eating more protein simply will not help you.

To make matters worse, some adrenal types will try to work off fat with heavy exercise. But this just creates more stress and more stress hormones. Result? Less muscle and even more fat!

Sounds strange, doesn’t it, but it’s true. Many of those with adrenal weakness will actually get fatter with the wrong types of exercise! Can you imagine how frustrated adrenal types can get with their exercise programs?

What a predicament!

Fortunately, adrenal imbalances can be corrected to turn muscle-burning adrenal types into fat burners again.

Is this you?  Call our office today if you are interested in a consultation about our programs that WILL change your life – a healthier, happier YOU is just around your future’s corner if you take the right path today.  480-657-2282

Functional Medicine: Growing Support for Health in the 21st Century

Traditional Western medicine and its doctors are the finest in the world for dealing with acute care such as the diagnosis and treatment of trauma or short-duration illnesses in need of urgent care. For example, a traumatic car accident, appendicitis, or a broken leg. For such harrowing situations, I want traditional medicine in my corner!

 

But to stave off chronic problems or diseases, to better control or even reverse disease states and debilitation, and to train people in the art and science of wellness and self-healing, functional medicine is called for. It is much better suited for developing and maintaining a higher quality, drug-free life well into one’s senior years.

 

Functional medicine is personally tailored medicine. It deals with primary prevention and underlying causes of chronic disease rather than simply removing or masking symptoms once they arise. Functional medicine emphasizes true healing, treatment of the person rather than a disease, and a partnership of joint responsibility between doctor and patient, with the patient carrying most of the load. It also embraces the most current science in diagnosing early abnormalities that eventually lead to chronic illness.

Functional medicine uses botanicals and other forms of nutritional supplementation rather than pharmaceutical agents that create high levels of stress damage to an individual—sometimes hidden for years and sometimes irreversible. Under the influence of functional medicine, “old age” is not what it used to be, anti-aging is now a science, and optimized living is the “new normal” for people of every age.

In light of the above points, I view functional medicine as a complement to the acute care of traditional medicine and not an alternative. Systems of health protection should work together where possible. One approach cannot serve all of “heaven and earth.”

Chronic disease, as a rule, is slow to develop. Examples are diabetes, cardiovascular damage, hypertension, low thyroid, cancer, mental illness, autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis, and back problems. Long-term predictions for such chronic diseases keep rising because the physical, emotional, and mental effects of stress are overwhelming us as a western culture. This stress comes from poor diet, a toxic environment, drugs, accidents, nervous system impairments, emotional reactions to life, mental overload, lack of exercise, and insufficient or poor sleep. Even falling in love is stressful (eustress)!

Diabetes is quickly becoming an epidemic. Traditional medicine is planning to target “high risk” individuals with ever-more dramatic drug interventions. Researchers, of course, hope to enhance quality of life (or at least long-term grants) while Big Pharma hopes to enhance profits. Yet, the physical, emotional, mental, and economic side effects of drug interventions leave us with a sobering message, one having little to do with healing or quality of life. Isn’t it an ideal time for that “reality check”?

Functional medicine works to keep you from becoming a high-risk disease candidate in the first place. The rule is simple: prevent disease states from developing now so there are no symptoms to “treat” later. But if you already happen to be riding the risk rollercoaster (typical for people over 30), you can start reversing some or most of the acquired stress damage by enabling your body to heal itself. This is very different from suppressing disease signs or symptoms with drugs, as is done with statins, thyroid, or diabetes meds to make lab measurements look better.

Here’s the catch. People must qualify themselves to follow the prevention approaches of functional medicine and optimized living. Although a prevention or wellness lifestyle is highly rewarding, it is not for the timid. Such a lifestyle requires us to understand how the Big Five Stress Agents deceive us and reduce our collective wellness. The problem is that most people have fallen victim to the harmful mental pattern of hoping rather than (pro)acting. They hope they will somehow fare better than others whom they know are suffering degraded lifestyles. Hope, however, doesn’t have a good track record for preventing chronic disease. But hey, it’s easy to hope! No heavy lifting required.

So, what are some of the harmful mental patterns you may inadvertently hold because of Big Five Stress Agent influences? Here are a few examples. Do any fit you?

 

  • You’ll pop a pill as a quick fix for almost anything to improve your short-term quality of life.
  • You think your doctor’s job is to take charge of your health and “fix” you when symptoms arise.
  • Your physical activity has decreased with each passing year because you think you’re supposed to slow down as your calendar age rises.
  • You want your body to act and recover as it did in your teens and 20s. Hint: It can’t and won’t without ongoing lifestyle adjustments.

 

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Please consider this: Most cancers incubate 10 years or more before they are finally detectible. An even longer incubation period applies to the metabolic abnormalities that lead to diabetes. What environmental stresses and biological imbalances occur during those incubation years to serve as such fertile ground for cancer and diabetes? It’s the job of functional medicine to answer such questions and provide tailored rebalancing programs for individuals before they find themselves needing drugs, surgery, or medical appliances.