Jamieson Health Center Newsletter
December 7, 2010
Volume 2, Number 10
Dear patients, dear friends,
In this month’s newsletter, I would like to shed some light on autoimmune diseases: what they are, what can cause them, how you can avoid them and the clinical options you have when you are diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder.
Autoimmune diseases are on a precipitous rise in industrialized countries, sending researchers scrambling for explanations and cures. According to the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association Inc., approximately 50 million Americans, 20% of the population or one in five people, suffer from autoimmune diseases. Women are more likely than men to suffer from these disorders. Some experts estimate that 75 percent - some 30 million people affected - are women.
When you have an autoimmune disease, your immune system mistakenly attacks your own body. Thyroid autoimmune diseases are the most common autoimmune disorders, mostly due to Hashimoto’s disease. But it’s possible to develop an autoimmune reaction to anything in your body, including your organs, joints, brain, hormones, nerves, muscles, etc.
The development of an autoimmune disease is influenced by the genes you inherit together with the way your immune system responds to certain triggers and/or environmental influences. Once a gene is turned on, it can’t be turned off. Although it is important to know whether you have such a gene, it is even more important to know what you can do to avoid having this gene switched on. In this newsletter I give you insights on how to avoid such disease. In general, it is extremely important to maintain integrity of the mucosal membranes of the barriers that protect us from foreign invaders: gut, lungs and brain. A leaky gut is detrimental for autoimmune diseases since it allows foreign substances in the blood stream. Therefore a healthy diet is key.
If you have been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, the conventional way to treat it is to take Prednisone to suppress the immune system in combination with hormone replacement therapy once the attacked organ loses its functionality. Their focus is on the gland rather than on how the immune system behaves.
Amazing progress has recently been made in understanding how to modulate autoimmune diseases from a nutritional perspective. Focus is on restoring and balancing the immune system to avoid or turn down the volume on autoimmune flare ups and restore the intestinal membranes. A healthy glutathione recycling system and the modulation of nitric oxide, in addition to Vitamin-D, have a big impact on restoring the balance of the immune system, and also on optimizing intestinal membrane integrity. A restricted diet along with the right nutritional supplements and probiotics can help you restore and maintain a healthy gut.
For more information about autoimmune diseases and how we can help you, give us a call and receive a free consultation.
Yours in good health,
Dr. Samuel Jamieson, D.C.
Autoimmune Diseases on the Rise.
What are autoimmune
· Multiple Sclerosis attacks your brain
· Crohn's disease attacks your gut
· Rheumatoid Arthritis attacks your joints and sometimes other organs
· Celiac disease attacks your small intestines
· Systemic lupus affects different tissues and organs and this varies among individuals with the same disease. It may affect skin and joints in one person and skin, kidney, and lungs in another.
· Type 1 diabetes attacks the pancreas
· Hashimoto’s disease attacks the thyroid
· Psoriasis attacks the skin
damage to certain tissues by the immune system may be permanent, as with
destruction of insulin-producing cells of the pancreas in Type 1 diabetes.
What causes an autoimmune disease?
The development of an autoimmune disease may be influenced by the genes you inherit together with the way your immune system responds to certain triggers and/or environmental influences. It is not always possible to pinpoint what exactly triggers your genes to turn on an autoimmune disease. However numerous triggers and factors exist that can be avoided. Read my next paragraph on how to avoid an autoimmune disease. The weakening of the immune barriers, such as the lining of the digestive and respiratory tract, and the blood-brain barrier play a big role. As health weakens due to poor diet, unstable blood sugar, gut infections, chronic stress, and adrenal malfunction, these barriers weaken and become porous. The result is leaky gut, leaky lungs and leaky brain. Over time the immune system is working around the clock to battle invaders penetrating barriers from every direction. An army pushed too far for too long is at risk for mutiny, attacking the very thing it is designed to protect, your body.
Proper care is based not on the tissue being attacked, but on how the immune system is behaving.
Unfortunately, conventional health care has no model to successfully manage autoimmune disorders. Typically, the immune suppressant Prednisone is a standard treatment. The immune system is being shut down making the patient vulnerable for all kinds of infections. For some autoimmune diseases, Prednisone is too aggressive. In this case, doctors “wait” for the organ to “burn out”, meaning to lose function due to extensive tissue death. Then they will prescribe hormone replacement therapy of the hormone the gland can’t produce anymore, like thyroid hormone replacement therapy for Hashimoto’s, or insulin for diabetes.
Focus is only on the gland when in truth, the immune system is the one running the show, and that’s where we need to turn the spotlight.
How can an autoimmune disease be helped?
Once the gene for an autoimmune disease has been turned on, it can’t be turned off. However, there are several things that can be done clinically to modulate the disease. The main focus is on restoring balance of the immune system, to avoid and turn down the volume of flare ups and help with rapid recovery when they do happen.
It is very important to maintain healthy levels of glutathione in your cells by ensuring that your glutathione recycling system is working properly. Numerous clinical tests have shown that the immune system is only activated after the glutathione levels are depleted. This is absolutely critical for patients with autoimmune disorders. Glutathione also helps to balance your immune system and restore intestinal health.
Another important mechanism to regulate autoimmunity is the modulation of nitric oxide. Depending on which isomer is expressed, it can be either protective or destructive. Certain nitric oxide isomers can optimize neuronal synapses and increase plasticity in your brain. They can also help regenerate blood vessel tissue and enhance blood flow. However other isomers can promote the destruction of tissue in your gut, and increase inflammation and autoimmune attacks. Therefore, do not simply use products to raise nitric oxide levels, because they can increase autoimmune attacks. Rather, get professional advice on how to modulate your nitric oxide system.
As described in the next paragraphs, maintaining high levels of vitamin D also keeps your immune system balanced while a restricted diet in combination with nutritional supplements and probiotics, helps restore and maintain a healthy gut, along with curtailing leaky gut and bacterial and yeast overgrowth.
For more information about autoimmune disorders, call our office at 408-517-0706 or visit our website at www.jamiesonhealthcenter.com.
Modulating the immune system for autoimmunity.
Four clinical steps are needed to restore the balance of the immune system.
First we need to discover which side of your immune system is more active, the one that deploys natural killer cells and cytotoxic T-cells (causing TH-1 dominance) or the side that deploys B-cell antibodies (causing TH-2 dominance). If you are dominant in one or the other, your immune system is out of balance and autoimmune disease is either highly likely or already underway. Blood tests measuring various cytokines can determine TH-1 or TH-2 dominance. Hashimoto’s, Type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis and chronic viral infections are often associated with TH-1 dominance. Lupus, dermatitis, asthma and multiple chemical sensitivities are often associated with TH-2 dominance.
Second, we need to increase TH-3 activity. The TH-3 system is the regulatory part of the immune system. It balances out the TH1 and TH2 systems and regulates over-zealousness.
Third, we need to dampen TH-17 activity. The TH-17 system contains the T-helper cells that ultimately destroy the cells tagged by the TH-2 system. The stronger the TH-17 system, the more destruction is done. And fourth, we need to restore and optimize mucosal membrane integrity especially of the intestines.
Restricted dietary program to restore your intestinal membranes.
Nutritional supplements, probiotics and a restricted diet can help break the vicious cycle of a leaky gut and support intestinal health. The dietary restrictions are not caloric, so you are allowed to eat whenever you are hungry. However, you must only eat from the list of allowed foods.
Foods to avoid:
· High-glycemic fruits
· Gluten-containing compounds
· Lectins (found in nuts, beans, eggplant, etc.)
· Processed foods
· Canned foods
Foods to eat:
· Most vegetables except tomatoes, potatoes and mushrooms
· Fermented foods
· Low glycemic fruits
· Herbal teas
· Olives and olive oil
Ask us for a complete list of foods you can eat to maintain a healthy gut and a healthy body.
Avoiding autoimmune disorders.
Certain genes predispose people to autoimmune disorders. However genes don’t cause you to have a disease. Rather what you expose your body to can cause a disease. In other words, what you eat, what you breathe, the amount of stress and your lifestyle define whether genes will be turned on to express a disease or stay off.
Here are some guidelines how to avoid autoimmune diseases:
1. Reduce your stress.
Stress does many things to upset immune regulation. It suppresses immune function, promotes immune imbalances, weakens and atrophies the thymus gland, and thins the barriers of the gut, lungs and brain.
2. Avoid gluten.
One of the main functions of the immune system is to protect the body from foreign invaders. Sometimes it begins to recognize a frequently eaten food as a dangerous invader. Gluten, found in wheat and wheat-like grains, causes an immune reaction in many people.
· Because the molecular structure of gluten so closely resembles that of the thyroid gland, your immune system also starts attacking your thyroid tissue. Every time undigested gluten slips into the bloodstream, your immune system responds by destroying it for removal but also attacks the tissue of your thyroid.
· Gluten itself can weaken the intestinal tract, increasing permeability, and allowing more undigested proteins in the blood stream. In this case, you are at risk for developing either gluten intolerance or celiac disease.
· Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks the lining of your small intestine.
· Gluten intolerance causes inflammation in the gut, but can also affect your joints, skin, respiratory tract and/or brain.
It is important to know if you have a genetic predisposition for gluten intolerance, as so many Americans do. According to the research by Kenneth Fine, M.D., up to 81% of Americans are predisposed to gluten intolerance, and 43% to celiac disease.
3. Avoid sugar and high carbohydrate diets.
Sugar and diets high in carbohydrates can cause insulin resistance, a condition in which the body’s cells become resistant to insulin (the cause of type II diabetes). Insulin resistance promotes inflammation and immune system problems, both of which increase your risk of autoimmune diseases.
4. Get enough Vitamin D.
Adequate vitamin D helps keep your immune system balanced so it does not swing out of control into an autoimmune disease. Modern diets are often lacking in vitamin D-rich foods like liver, organ meats, many forms of seafood, butter and egg yolks. Sunlight is another form of vitamin D, but many people avoid the sun.
5. Don’t neglect chronic inflammation, infections and viruses.
Rare is the American with a well functioning digestive tract. Just consider the billions of dollars spent on over-the-counter antacids, laxatives and diarrhea medications. Intestinal permeability, poor digestions, bacterial and parasitic infections are common digestive ailments that can lead to autoimmune disease. Other immune stressors include chronic viruses and infections such as hepatitis C, Epstein-Barr virus, Lyme disease and mold infections.
6. Avoid environmental toxins.
Eat organic foods and use organic and green cosmetics and cleaning products. We all have, to some degree, a heavy metal and environmental pollution toxicity. Your immune system can attack those compounds and this could be a factor in developing autoimmune diseases.
For more information about autoimmune disorders and any of the treatments mentioned, call our office at 408-517-0706 or visit our website at www.jamiesonhealthcenter.com.
JAMIESON HEALTH CENTER
Samuel R. Jamieson, D.C.
Emotional Stress Relief
Total Body Modification
1175 Saratoga Ave, Ste 8
San Jose, CA 95119
We’re on the Web!
Seminars we’ve taken.
Since I want to make a difference in your lives and that of your children, I’m constantly trying to keep up with the latest developments in healing practices and new discoveries in the area of alternative holistic medicine. To that end, I have attended the following seminars and conferences over the last several months:
· NeuroIntegration therapy– Level 1 and Level 2 training
· Autoimmune regulation
· International College of Applied Kinesiology Annual Meeting 2010
· Doctor of the Future – The Practice of Rational Intervention
· NeuroEndocrine-Immune Axis of Andropause
· Metabolic Biotransformation: an overview of detoxification and weight management
· Restoring Gastrointestinal Health
· Practical Blood Chemistry
· Functional Neurology for the Primary Care Provider
· Neurotransmitters and Brain
· Applied Brain Concepts
· The Thyroid-Brain–Immuno Connection
· Restorative Endocrinology: Balancing Female Hormones in Menopausal Women
· Restorative Endocrinology: Balancing Hormones in Cycling Women
· The Impacts of Estrogen on the NeuroEndocrine-Immune Axis
· Restorative Endocrinology: Balancing Male Hormones
· Advanced Nutrition Therapeutics for Addictions and OCD
Some patients have asked about previous newsletters and they can be found on our website at http://www.jamiesonhealthcenter.com/archive.htm
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