If you suffer from an autoimmune disorder your immune system is attacking other systems of your body (ie. Thyroid, Chron’s, MS, etc.)
If you have an autoimmune attack, it is like a raging forest fire. Your body is destroying tissue as the attack occurs, damaging critical organs.
You must find out what the gasoline is that is being poured onto your fire, or you will keep destroying tissue.
This is what makes us unique: no stone is left unturned to determine the true cause of your health condition.
There can be many different forms of “gasoline”, so you must run the correct tests. We can check for gluten antibodies, tissue antibodies such as myelin (fatty sheath around the nerves) antibodies, and cerebellar (back part of the brain controlling balance, coordinated movement, and spinal muscles) antibodies.
For example, many hypothyroid patients have tested positive for thyroid antibodies and they were actually mis-diagnosed by their medical doctor for years. If your thyroid tissue anti-bodies (TPO &TBG) are high, you are suffering from Hashimoto’s disease and NOT hypothyroid. The only way to find out is to test for thyroid tissue antibodies via blood work.
Your immune system could be attacking your nervous system, which would cause pain and numbness (this is called multiple sclerosis and peripheral neuropathy). The ONLY way to know is to run the right tests.
If you suffer from tissue antibodies, further blood work will be needed to determine which part of your immune system is not functioning. Specifically:
- Lymphocyte Subpopulation
- TH1/TH2 Cytokine Panels
- Natural Killer Cell Activity
We run tests for H. Pylori bacteria to determine any problems related to gut function (H. Pylori is the most common bacteria to affect the stomach and gut). We are also looking for parasites, mold, yeast and fungi, which is what a majority of patients with gastro-intestinal dysfunction suffer from.
How We're Different?
We focus on a comprehensive approach for managing the autoimmune patient:
- We need to remove the trigger(s) that aggravate the immune system (foods, chemicals, hormonal imbalance, etc.).
- We need to quench the existing body-wide inflammatory cascade (with diet & lifestyle changes and specific supplements that down-regulate pro-inflammatory processes and up-regulate anti-inflammatory processes or simply put ... we need to decrease the inflammation in your body!
- We need to repair any damage to the GI tract barrier (and any of the other 4 barriers that are breached). In other words, we need to fix your gut function.
- We need to support the damaged autoimmune target with specific supplements and/or medical hormone therapy (as in the case of thyroid and pancreas damage).
- We need to mediate any abnormal brain and nervous system function with Brain-Based Therapy (functional neurology—EWOT, IM, etc.).
It is important to consider that the thyroid gland has major influence in the following areas:
- Enhances a portion of the nervous system called the sympathetic nervous system.
- Promotes breakdown of blood sugar; mobilizes fats; essential for protein synthesis; enhances the liver’s synthesis of cholesterol.
- Promotes normal adult nervous system function and mood.
- Promotes normal functioning of the heart.
- Promotes normal muscular growth and function.
- Promotes normal GI mobility and tone; increases secretion of digestive juices–particularly that of the gallbladder and the stomach.
- Promotes normal female reproductive ability and lactation.
- Promotes normal hydration and secretory activity of the skin.
Consider The Influences of Thyroid Hormones on Physiological and Metabolic Function
Bone: Deficiency of thyroid hormones leads to a decrease in bone development and an abnormal architecture of the bone that is created. Generally, a functionally low (which means low but not yet flagged by the lab) serum calcium is noted in hypothyroidism. Elevated thyroid hormones cause an increased serum calcium, as it pulls calcium from the bone, leading to increased risk of pathological fractures of the spine and weight-bearing joints.
Gastrointestinal Function: Food transit time is directly affected by thyroid.
Male Hormones: Hypothyroidism has been linked to diminished libido and impotence. Although a low thyroid condition is rare in men, it must be considered in treating these conditions.
Liver and Gallbladder Function: Low thyroid function causes decreased liver clearance and gall bladder congestion through thickening of the bile, often associated with an elevation of cholesterol. Unfortunately, it is often treated with cholesterol-lowering drugs, while the thyroid function is the cause of the elevated cholesterol.
Body Composition: As you may know all too well, low thyroid function causes an inability to lose weight. This is caused by a slowed conversion of glucose and fat into energy, and by altering the way Human Growth Hormone (HGH) is metabolized in the body.
Blood Sugar Regulation: Low thyroid slows the insulin response to glucose after eating carbohydrates or sugar and it also slows glucose uptake into cells and tissues, and slows absorption of glucose from the intestinal tract. In other words, your entire energy production system is slowed. It is quite confounding to your body and brain, in that the glucose is in the blood, but the tissues are not able to absorb it. This really confuses the pituitary gland and adrenal glands, resulting in a “stress physiology,” even if life is good.
Cholesterol: As mentioned earlier, low thyroid increases your cholesterol and triglycerides, so your doctor tells you your diet is poor and he or she puts you on cholesterol meds. You become even more strict in your diet, and the tissue starvation (low glucose and low energy) gets worse, which makes the stress physiology worse, which makes your cholesterol higher, which prompts your doctor to put you on cholesterol medication, which interferes with energy production, which further stresses your physiology! As a result, you are frustrated!
Depression: Low thyroid impairs the production of stimulating neurotransmitters, which are the chemicals that antidepressants work on. Low stimulating neurotransmitters leaves you feeling depressed.
Female Hormones: Low thyroid changes the way estrogen is metabolized in the body, shifting toward an estrogen metabolite that has been proven to increase the risk of breast cancer.
Stress: Low thyroid slows the elimination of the stress hormone cortisol, which leaves you feeling stressed out, not because of “stress,” but because the stress hormone can’t be removed efficiently.
Detoxification: Low thyroid slows an enzyme critical for metabolic biotransformation, or detoxification, the process by which the body binds and removes all environmental chemicals, and normal byproducts of metabolism, including hormones. “Toxicity” further slows your metabolism, and leads to headaches and other toxic symptoms.
Digestion: Low thyroid reduces the release of Gastrin, which determines the output of hydrochloric acid in the stomach, leading to poor protein digestion, sour stomach, and GERD.
Thermoregulation: Regulation of body temperature is affected by low thyroid, resulting in hot flashes and night sweats, which is especially prominent in peri-menopausal women. This is often blamed on estrogen dropping, but may be directly caused by low thyroid.
PMS and Infertility: Low thyroid affects the progesterone receptors, making them less sensitive to progesterone, which feels like low progesterone, although the progesterone levels may be normal. Since the activity of progesterone is diminished, the health of the uterus is insufficient for implantation in the second half of the female cycle, leading to difficulties getting pregnant and PMS. Low thyroid also reduces sex hormone binding proteins, leading to an increase in estrogen activity.
Anemia: Low thyroid, as mentioned, affects protein metabolism, which then lowers the red blood cell mass, which carries oxygen to tissues for metabolism of energy. Yes, another mechanism for feeling lousy.
Homocysteine: Low thyroid slows a process called methylation, often evidenced by elevated serum levels of homocysteine. Elevated homocysteine in the blood has been proven as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative disorders, and cervical dysplasia.
Since so many body functions are affected or influenced by thyroid hormones, it is vital that your thyroid hormone levels are in the normal functional range. With an autoimmune attack on the thyroid and, very likely, less thyroid gland tissue (as evidenced by high TSH and very high TPO antibodies), it is likely you will need thyroid hormone replacement AND–to prevent further attack on your thyroid gland (OR OTHER glands and tissues of your body)–our Comprehensive Approach For Helping With Autoimmune Illness needs to be followed as well.