Autoimmunity has become increasingly more prevalent in recent years. There are now over 100 autoimmune diseases with more being discovered all the time. The Immune System is a complex web of agents that protects the body from foreign invaders. It consists of white blood cells and barrier systems. The skin, lungs, mucous membranes, gut lining, and the blood/brain barrier are examples. The human body is in a constant state of transition. Cells are constantly dying and being replaced by new and better functioning cells. On a daily basis, our immune systems are exposed to numerous chemicals and toxins. These toxins are present in our food/water supply, environment, and medications such as pharmaceuticals, vaccines, and immuno-suppressant drugs. If the Immune System is not functioning properly, these toxins, along with the dying cells, will remain in the body too long and can become hazardous to our health.
BALANCE OF IMMUNE SYSTEM
There is always a balancing act between our innate and our adaptive immunity, TH1 and TH2. Our treatment is geared to supporting this complex balance. There are some key disruptors such as inflammation or dysbiosis in the gut. Ultimately these affect our white blood cells and their constituents, lymphocytes, monocytes, neutrophils and eosinophils. Long standing issues with the TH1 system can lead to infections, acute or chronic. It will also have a direct impact on the TH2 or adaptive part of the immune system. When this gets affected it will lead to symptoms like allergies, asthma, respiratory tract infections, urinary tract infections and sibo. When the response becomes too overwhelming and TH1 can not dampen the TH17 (autoimmune response) and the TH2 response, this will lead to autoimmune issues. Discovering the causes and treating the balance along with the regulatory cells, T-reg cells will have a profound impact on controlling the symptoms of the autoimmune disease.
AUTOIMMUNE REACTIVITY VS. AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE
To further understand Auto-Immune Disorders, it is important understand the difference between Auto-Immune reactions and Auto-Immune Disease. Auto-Immune reactions are when the Immune System is attacking the body. This can be an attack on any tissue in the body, such as an enzyme as seen in Hashitmoto’s thyroiditis, the central nervous system as in Multiple Sclerosis, or cartilage as in Rheumatoid Arthritis. In many cases, these reactions can occur for years before the autoimmune process reaches the point where tissue destruction is great enough to cause symptoms. When symptoms begins, the autoimmune process is now considered a disease. It is only once the autoimmune process has reached this point that your medical doctor will recognize it as an issue, despite the fact that you have been experiencing symptoms for years.
EARLY DETECTION IS THE KEY
At Camarillo Functional Health, Dr. Michael Veselak focuses his treatment on recognizing these autoimmune reactions early on. Our goal is to reach it prior to the tissue destruction phase and have the opportunity to progress to an Auto-Immune Disease. As a Certified Functional Medicine Practitioner, Dr. Michael Veselak uses specific lab tests and functional ranges to detect early signs of autoimmune reactions. The key is to address the underlying triggers that are causing the autoimmune reactions. This involves removing the autoimmune triggers from the body and balancing the different parts of the Immune System. Rather than using the medical approach of prescribing medication to suppress the autoimmune symptoms, Dr. Veselak uses a functional medicine approach by incorporating metabolic, neurological and state-of-the-art technologies to find and treat the actual cause of the autoimmune symptoms.
PROPER TESTING IS ESSENTIAL
I utilize Cyrex labs for a lot of my testing. They utilize the gold standard of testing for food sensitivities, pathogens and chemicals. Cyrex labs also tests for leaky gut, gluten sensitivity and reactivity, along with potential cross reactive foods. In our office we see a lot of patients that have been to numerous doctors prior to coming to our office. Once we have taken a thorough history and reviewed the labs often times I will recommend very specific testing to help us identify the problem. When the facts are uncovered as to the cause, the solutions become much clearer.
LEAKY GUT AND INFLAMMATION
One key component to all autoimmune disorders is Leaky Gut syndrome, or intestinal permeability. When foods are consumed which cause an autoimmune reaction, the lining of the intestines becomes inflamed, and after prolonged inflammation, the gut lining becomes weak and permeable. This is the start of Leaky Gut Syndrome, where unwanted molecules and bacteria make their way into the body, causing further inflammation in the gut, body and brain. Because 70-80% of the Immune System resides in the gut, it is imperative that the beginning of any autoimmune treatment begin here. Dr. Michael Veselak utilizes specialized labs in and around Ventura County to test the autoimmune patient for any food sensitivities and immediately removes those foods from the diet.
Once the gut begins to heal, Dr. Veselak will work further into the metabolic and neurological aspects of care by identifying and correcting dysbiosis, regulating abnormal blood sugar, detecting abnormal thyroid function, hormone imbalances, abnormal liver and/or gallbladder function and poor digestion, anemia, and poor brain function. Due to the complexity of Auto-Immune Disorders, the length of treatment may vary depending on the severity of the case and the patients cooperation with Dr. Veselak’s Auto-Immune Repair Protocol.
The inflammatory process and dysbiosis is bi-directional, meaning they both feed off each other. It is equally important to not only heal the gut but to minimize the triggers for inflammation. I will focus on diet and lifestyle factors to help to control the inflammatory process.
Our success with the management of autoimmune issues is based on several factors. Dietary management, nutritional support, balancing the immune system and controlling the TH17 response. It requires proper support of the T-reg cells, TH1, TH2 and TH17. This feedback loop needs to be addressed at every aspect or the process continues. This is why many protocols you have tried in the past have failed. The other key ingredient for our success as I previously mentioned is the proper testing. When you can show the patients the exact causes it makes the process much clearer for patient and doctor.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Multiple Sclerosis