You CAN Fix Your Chronic Tiredness, Pain And Infections!
07 Jan, 2018
Traditional medicine puts us in the mindset of thinking A causes B, and you take C to cure it. The body doesn’t work that way. You are a system of systems! What’s more, with the right Functional Medicine Approach, YOU CAN FIX Your Chronic Tiredness, Pain And Infections Forever….
Using the Accuracy of Functional Medicine Diagnostics and Natural and Herbal Supplements!
Common contributing factors to chronic disease and infections are….
Adrenal and thyroid hormone imbalances. Cortisol, produced by the adrenal glands, should be highest in the morning to wake us up and lowest in the evening so that we can sleep. Oftentimes you find yourself feeling exhausted all day long. As for thyroid imbalances, a number of scenarios are common. One may experience low body temperature, decreased tolerance to cold, decreased bowel movements, both mental and physical fatigue, hair loss, and more.
Gut dysbiosis: A healthy human large intestine should have between 7,000 and 10,000 bacterial species. Due to the popularity of C‐sections, a rapid decline in breast feeding, overuse of antibiotics, artificial sweeteners, processed foods, meats containing antibiotics and several other factors, the average human microbiome—the collection of bacterial species in the colon—has drastically decreased in diversity.
This has far‐reaching implications, affecting everything from blood sugar balance to immune function. Researchers have just scratched the surface in determining the roles and functions of our gut microbiome. Every species plays an important role in the overall niche. Some species help to decrease inflammation while others directly contribute to it. But, they balance one another out. Decreased levels of “good” bacteria leave space for harmful bacteria, yeast or parasites to set up shop in the large intestine.
Common gut infections include Candida Albicans, H. Pylori, Giardia, Blastocystis hominis, several species of Streptococcus bacteria and many more. Some of these are classified as gram‐negative bacteria and release lipopolysaccharides from their outer cell wall into the bloodstream. This creates a pro‐inflammatory immune response and raises cytokines (immune molecules), such as tumor necrosis factor‐alpha, interleukin‐1 Beta, and interleukin‐6. These are the same molecules that make you feel like you’ve been hit by a truck when you have the flu or a cold. If these molecules remain elevated for long‐enough, they begin to punch holes in the blood‐brain barrier. So, what started out as a leaky gut has now led to a leaky blood‐brain barrier. This further contributes to brain fog and short‐term memory loss.
Toxicity: Humans are now exposed to more synthetic environmental chemicals than at any time in recorded human history. Only a small fraction of these chemicals have been tested for long‐term safety. And scientists ultimately have no idea of the danger that these chemicals pose when they interact with one another and bio‐accumulate in human tissue over many years. Obvious culprits are mercury, aluminum, lead, persistent organic pollutants, industrial solvents, and many more. While some scientists claim that small amounts of these chemicals are safe, they fail to realize that no one has that level of ONE chemical in their body. We are a walking chemical soup. Some of these we inherited in utero from other mothers. Others we acquire during our first few years of life. Many of these compounds are stored in the adipose (fat) tissue. Others are stored in the lymphatic system.
Today, many people suffer from a congested lymphatic system. The lymph serves as our toxic waste dump but also where several immune cells are located. When the lymphatic system is not moving properly, the body becomes increasingly toxic. Lymph fluid requires muscular contractions to move it back toward the heart. Thus, exercise and movement are crucial to keep this fluid moving. Because of the toxic overload the average person is exposed to on a daily basis, the lymph is frequently overburdened. When this happens, it becomes viscous and thus does not move well throughout the body. Therefore, toxins aren’t excreted through the kidneys at the rate that they should be.
Neurotransmitters: These are the chemical messengers used both in the brain and peripherally to communicate within the nervous system. They also communicate between the nervous system and the endocrine and immune systems. They include serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine, epinephrine, histamine, acetylcholine, phenylethylamine (PEA), and GABA. Imbalances amongst the neurotransmitters can lead to depression, fatigue, insomnia, issues concentrating, decreased motivation, anxiety, short term memory loss, irritability and more.
As discussed above, the causes of Chronic Infections And Chronic diseases are multi‐factorial.
I generally begin by assessing the toxic state, food selection and eating behavior process as well as the adrenals and thyroid in order to provide further stabilization for the other interventions. If cortisol is too low or too high, it can interfere with thyroid function. When the body is under any type of stressor, it increases the production of reverse T3, the body’s brake pedal. It slows everything down and directly opposes the function of T3, the active form of thyroid hormone. It is important to also examine for the presence of thyroid antibodies, as these will functionally decrease the effectiveness of thyroid hormone.
Next , I typically assess gut function. A good stool test will examine pancreatic enzyme levels, fat absorption, “good” bacteria levels, look for the presence of pathogenic yeast, bacteria, or parasites, provide a general overview of microbiome diversity, and list the sensitivities of any pathogens found. A good gut restoration program will address biofilm, a slimy substance produced by pathogens to hide from the immune system and to exchange DNA with one another in an effort to become more virulent. Breaking this substance down allows the antimicrobials to work more effectively.
Antimicrobials may be needed anywhere from 8 to 12 weeks, depending on the amounts used and whether combinations of nutrients and/or prescription antimicrobials are employed. A plan should also be in place to repair the gut mucosal lining.
Many nutrients help repair the gut mucosa and often they are used in combination, on an empty stomach for 10‐12 weeks. This helps to soothe any irritation to the gut lining caused by inflammatory foods, infections, stress, etc. To repair the gut mucosa long‐term, any pathogens discovered must be eradicated as they will cause significant irritation.
Any deficiencies of stomach acid, pancreatic enzymes, or bile should be addressed to optimize digestive chemistry. If the pH of the digestive tract is not optimized, it becomes a haven for pathogens of all types and makes it easier for them to exist. It can also cause “good” bacteria to behave badly.
From there, I generally move to testing for and addressing chronic infections, including, but not limited to, HHV‐6(Human herpes virus 6), Epstein Barr Virus, CMV(Cytomegalovirus), Coxsackie B Virus, Mycoplasma, Lyme, Babesia, and Bartonella. I test a person’s IGG and IGM response to the previously mentioned pathogens. The typical thinking in traditional medicine—and even in some integrative medicine circles—is that an elevated IgG response indicates a past infection.
Most of the pathogens listed above are chronic, nagging infections that contribute to symptoms such as brain fog, insomnia, trouble concentrating, decreased energy, the development of thyroid antibodies, microglial activation in the brain (the microglia are the resident white blood cells in the nervous system and, when chronically activated, produce damaging compounds that irritate the other neurons), joint pain, mood swings and many more. Some of these bugs have even been connected to certain types of cancers.
There are many natural antivirals available. As a general rule, viruses take longer to treat than Candida (yeast) and most bacteria. So, you will need to be on the anti‐viral compounds at least 4‐6 months. Technically, we’re not killing the viruses because they were never alive in the first place. But we are working to lower the total viral load (amount) and to silence the expression of viral DNA.
Then, we gradually increase the dose as tolerated. After reaching the max dose of one antimicrobial, I have them start on a very low dose of the 2nd antimicrobial. The number of anti‐viral/anti‐bacterial agents that I use depends on the person’s immune system and their total body load of these pathogens. It is important to maximize a person’s Natural Killer Cell level, helper and suppressor T‐cells, glutathione levels, their total IgG (and we check the subclasses 1‐4 levels), their total IgM, their total IgA (and the 2 IgA Subclasses) to make sure their immune system is robust and ready at a moment’s notice. There’s also a nasty compound called nagalase that is produced by many viruses and most cancer cells.
Toxicity is another important component to almost every health issue we are faced with today. Several of the functional labs have tests for different environmental compounds, metals, toxicants, etc. I know everyone is toxic today, so typically I don’t even test levels in the beginning in order to conserve resources. Instead, I proactively open up and optimize your detoxification pathways and lymphatic system.
This starts with the gut. The gut is involved in the removal of many toxic compounds. If there are imbalances in your gut flora, they need to be corrected to optimize detoxification. If there are too many gram‐negative bacteria in the colon, they will release a highly inflammatory compound known as LPS, or lipopolysaccharides. These compounds create a potent inflammatory response when they are released into the bloodstream. And when they make it to your liver, they cause congestion in your Phase I and Phase II Detoxification Pathways. In short, correcting any flora imbalances, optimizing stomach acid production, bile levels, and pancreatic enzyme amounts goes a long way toward successfully detoxing harmful compounds from your body.
Another important aspect for detox is to get your lymphatic system moving. Your cardiovascular system has the heart muscle to help it distribute blood and nutrients to all areas of the body. The lymphatic system has no such pump: It relies solely on muscular contractions to push it back towards the heart. This is why exercise is so important. Something as simple as a brisk walk will help to mobilize your lymphatic fluid, which is basically the body’s garbage dump. Weight‐lifting is likely the most helpful for moving this fluid, especially lower‐body exercise that involves multiple muscle groups.
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