Auto-Immune Diseases - The Mystery Illness

Note: This is text taken from a talk given by Dr Richards

I have been asked on various occasions to give presentations on lupus, on multiple sclerosis, on rheumatoid arthritis--all of these degenerative diseases that tend to be a very large problem in America. And the thing is, it doesn’t matter what you call it, it’s all the same thing. And that’s what we’re going to talk about tonight. In order to set the scene for this, why don’t you turn on our overhead, that’s our title page of AUTO-IMMUNE DISEASES--THE MYSTERY ILLNESSES. There’s a reason why I termed these "mystery illnesses". They are all considered to be syndromes because in medicine the etiology or the cause is unknown. There are a lot of theories about cause and causation but the truth is our knowledge has not even advanced to the point where we can truly tell you what causes it. I can give you some ideas because we’ve learned a little bit more. I can certainly talk about the mechanism that underlies it. But for me to say to you "X" causes "Y"--there’s none of us that can say that. We now know a little more about diabetes and what causes that and why that’s an autoimmune disease and that was just discovered within the last twelve months. So knowledge is advancing in this area and whereever possible I’ll tell you the latest. But as I said what we’re going to focus on tonight is process more than anything else. Now you may want to turn that off because the first thing I want to discuss isn’t a transparency. It’s this. You folks all have one of these and the reason I’m giving it to you--well we couldn’t make a transparency out of it for obvious reasons--they only come in 8-1/2 x 11, right? And this cuts this thing right in the middle so there would be no way to make it sensible. But if you would open it out I just want to take you on a brief tour of the immune system because unless we understand something about the immune system we will never be able to understand auto-immune disease. This particular article or chart is a simplification, remember this is simple compared to the actual way the immune system works, and it was adapted from a beautiful article that appeared in National Geographic in 1986 and everything was in color, it was fabulous. You may notice it’s annotated here June of 1986 so if you have access to that you can go in and look at it in more detail in color. It actually starts on the right hand side of this page levels 1 and 2 "Creating the Forces." Talking about the stem cells and the bone marrow that big "S" which travel through to the thymus and the spleen where they mature into different kind of T cells. T cells are our lymphcytes and we have several different populations of T cells. We have killer cells, we have suppressor cells, we have helper cells, and we have null cells. We call them null cells because nobody’s quite sure what they do yet. Okay? And in the spleen and thymus these cells which are an extension actually of the nervous system mature and are put out into your bloodstream for a very specific reason. Coming over to the left hand side #3 Recognition of the enemy. This entire process is designed to identify the difference between self and non-self. So a bacteria or virus is clearly non-self. All right? A cancer cell changes so that it becomes non-self. What happens in auto-immune disorders for reasons no one is terribly clear about: certain tissues in the body (certain organs) start to be identified as non-self and the immune system attacks them on an ongoing basis indiscriminately because there’s no turn-off mechanism. They never go away, right? Unless you die. You’re always going to have a pancreas, you’re always going to have joint tissue (synovial fluid, tissue in your joints, that’s rheumatoid arthritis), so there’s a constant and continuous cascade by the immune system. If you look at this chart, let me just briefly tell you what is happening, the helper T cells meet a macrophage that has destroyed a virus. Let’s talk about it in a viral setting. It connects to that macrophage and identifies the antigen which the macrophage has very smartly pushed out to the surface so this T cell can tell if there’s some kind of foreign invader in the body. It identifies that and then goes over to the killer T cells, activates them, the killer T cells turn on the B cells which are these little--they have factories, you may have those little chutes that they have coming out of them are actually supposed to be a factory because they manufacture antibodies ongoingly. And the killer cells turn them on so pounds and pounds of the antibody can be turned out to attack this invading organism. And the killer cells shown down in level 5 in addition go directly on the attack together with these antibodies. Then what’s supposed to happen is level 6, slow down, the suppressor T cells calm this whole response down and allow your immune system to return to normal. In the auto-immune disease, level 6 is missing and so the attack just continues. So the goal of all therapy around these conditions is aimed at minimizing this attacking factor, turning that part of it off, okay? Now we do that in a variety of ways which I will share with you as we go along. On the back of this it’s is a little bit about interleukin and how the actual proteins that the different cells secrete potentiate this response and actually magnify it. So the inflammatory products that are secreted continue to make the immune response higher and higher and higher. That’s why I gave you this piece of paper. I don’t expect you to answer any quiz questions, there will be no quiz this evening, but when you go home you may want to read it in greater detail, I’ve given you a very quick summary because what I want you to appreciate about this is that the immune system is a little bit like a very complex symphony and we’re only starting to learn about it. Any immunology book that’s more than 5 years old is hopelessly out of date at this point because we’re gaining so much information so fast and the goal in therapy for everyone that I work with and talk to in all these national seminars is always to optimize the person’s entire metabolism so that the immune response can be brought under control, okay? And that’s a little bit more about what we’re going to talk about this evening.

Before we do that I’m going to go into some of the common autoimmune disorders, I just touched on them briefly and there are a lot of conditions that (this is an overhead we’re going to turn it off) there are a lot of medical diagnoses now that are recognized to have an autoimmune component some of which you may never have thought of as being autoimmune, okay? I put them in alphabetical order because it was the easiest way I could think of to organize it. Addison’s Syndrome is the frank destruction of the adrenal glands, it’s always fatal in its final stages and in this disease the adrenal glands are destroyed by the body and you finally cannot regulate your blood pressure, cannot regulate your immune system, nothing, heart rate, and the person dies. Asthma, a great deal of asthma is now believed to be autoimmune, there’s a kind of adult-onset asthma where the lung tissue itself is being attacked by the body. Blooddiscresias-that’s a big word-it means things like some of the anemias and the loss of blood cells rather than too many blood cells. We always think of leukemias as the blood disease where there’s too much of something and this kind of disease we don’t have enough—we don’t have enough platelets, we don’t have enough neutrophils which fight off bacterial infections, we don’t have enough red blood cells so we get anemic. There are a whole variety of these, different names, but they’re all the same and they’re all considered to be autoimmune. We now know that diabetes is an autoimmune condition, as I said, this was defined just within the last year. There’s been in the alternative health community a suspicion about this for many many years. People who have diabetes in their family should never take dairy products. We’ve been telling people this for years. Milk is a big offender with diabetes. There was an elegant research done and it was published in I don’t remember, it was either the New England Journal of Medicine or the Journal of the American Medical Association and I always get them mixed up, so it’s in one of those journals, about the surface proteins on the islet of Langerhorn cells, the ones that make the insulin in your pancreas. There’s a 12 amino acid chain that exactly matches the 12 amino acid chain in milk, lactoglobulin and the body is identifying that chain on the milk and then attacking the pancreas and destroying it and as we know there’s a genetic component to it. So the unanswered question is why do certain families have this tendency to not be able to process milk and why does their immune system identify it as a foreigner and start attacking their own body. There’s a lot of unanswered questions, you’ll find that out as we proceed. Fibromyalgia and polymyositis, this is the kind of muscle pain that is seen in chronic fatigue syndrome. People with chronic fatigue start with fibromyalgia, they start with extreme muscle pain. They used to call it muscular rheumatism, that was the diagnosis I was given at 18, told me I’d never be able to make anything of my life, I’d have to spend half of my life in bed if I wanted to function at all, because I had this condition. And I have control of it and I’ll tell you how as we go forward. Glomerulonephritis is an autoimmune disease that attacks the kidneys, that’s what that’s about. There’s a certain type of chronic active hepatitis, there is no etiologic agent for it, there’s no bug, there’s no virus, there’s no nothing. These people constantly have elevated liver enzymes which is hepatitis because their body is destroying their liver cells. Hyperthyroidism, maybe some of you know people who have this, Graves Disease where the eyes will begin to bulge and they get real shaky? Autoimmune. We’ve known for a long time that Hashimoto’s was, Hashimito’s thyroiditis is an inflammation of the thyroid which goes into extreme hyperthyroid and can be fatal because it races the heart so badly. Then it destroys the thyroid and the person goes into low thyroid. There’s a kind of infertility also that is autoimmune where the woman actually destroys her own eggs so that it never implants. Inflammatory bowel disease (you know the one I left out? Crohn’s disease. I look right at it and I didn’t put it in. Well, we’ll put it in here) and Crohn’s disease, they’re both autoimmune conditions. And of course lupus and multiple sclerosis, they’re autoimmune. Myasthenia gravis, perhaps you folks know people, the first sign of it is that they can’t keep their eyelids open, their eyelids just droop. It’s a destruction of the neuromuscular junction that controls muscle contractility, it’s a very specific point that is destroyed in the joining of the nerve right into where the muscle is activated and that’s obliterated for these people by antibodies. There’s a type of allergic bronchitis and pneumonitis which is autoimmune and of course rheumatoid arthritis and Shogun’s Syndrome I don’t know if you are familiar with it by that name, it’s also called scleroderma. These people their skin gets hard and their esophagus becomes like a pipe, it’s gets almost calcified. That’s also an autoimmune condition. Now, these conditions all have some common features, there is no known causative agent, there’s no bug, there’s no, you know, that’s why they call them syndromes for the most part and you have progressive destruction of the body’s organs or tissues by an antibody. That’s the common feature to these conditions. The way they’re differentiated medically and the reason why they all have different names is that the target organs varies from condition to condition and from individual to individual. The process is, as I said, the same, it’s only the target organ that is different and we just don’t know enough yet to know why. We now know as I said about diabetes but for some of these we just don’t know why does one person show up with lupus and the next person shows up with multiple sclerosis, it’s a mystery. So what I’m going to do now is show you an organ system chart. This is the end organ effects of allergies, you may notice I keep coming back to this word allergy. All of this is precipitated by our body’s immune system being allergic to something and we’ll talk more about about that in a moment. In the respiratory tract you’re going to see a runny nose, um, there’s a certain type of otitis media that is very allergic, you get lots of fluid and no pus, treating it with antibiotics is useless, inner ear infections caused by allergies, asthma, and again our pneumonitis and allergic bronchitis. In your gastrointestinal tract you’ll find oral manifestations of food allergy, blisters, sore mouth, all of that stuff, celiac disease, celiac sprew, which is a very very intense diarrheal disease, sensitivity to gluten, no wheat or any kind of grain that has gluten in it, it just scours out the intestinal tract, destroys the intestinal lining and these people can die from malabsorption if it’s not treated properly. Again we have our inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel disease, there’s a slight difference there bascially it’s the same process. Crohn’s disease and then pediatric GI distress secondary to allergies. How many of you folks have known babies who spit up constantly or in the most extreme case have propulsive vomiting? That’s a child who’s allergic and in general that child will remain allergic to that substance throughout their entire life even though they tell you they outgrow it. They just don’t react as severely, right? But if you put this child back on those substances to which they were allergic in infancy the greatest likelihood is they’re going to go on into some of these other conditions. This is why I’m so adamant about it, I treat a lot of children, a very large pediatric population in my practice. You never outgrow an allergy, you may be able to calm it down but you never outgrow it, okay? In our skin we see some of our more common, what we think of when we think of allergy, right? Eczema, something that’s itchy or hives, those are the kinds of things we think of, we’ve been trained to think that way. Lupus, however, in the skin is another one of these phenomena. Now in our central nervous system we see different manifestations, some people get migraines, I used to get migraines all the time until I figured out what was triggering them. In kids you see a hyperkinetic syndrome or attention deficit disorder. Lots and lots of kids with allergic phenomenon go into that. Mood swings is a big feature of this. How many people do you know who are being medicated for panic attacks? And in many instances it’s an allergic phenomenon, it isn’t actually a "psychological disorder" at all. Depression, mania and irritability also go with this. And of course in MS we see it as plaque formation in the central nervous system. You get deposits laid down in the end stages. In rheumatology we have our joint pain and destruction of the connective tissue, that is scleroderma, that is rheumatoid arthritis, that’s the mechanism in those disease, and in the cardiovascular system, Prinzmetal’s angina, this is an atypical angina which does not respond in the normal way. Most people with angina, if they exercise they get pain, if they rest it goes away. That’s the typical classic pattern. This usually comes at rest for no apparent reason. Unfortunately it’s often medicated exactly the same way as classic angina but the medication does no good. And you can see also in this cardiomyopathy which is some destruction of the heart cells in certain conditions. It depends on whether the allergen attacks that part of the body. Then we have a bunch of other organs that are affected as we’ve already discussed, kidneys, adrenals, thyroid, the eyeä There’s a triad, there’s this really funny disease, I even knew a kid who had it when we were in school and it attacks the uvea of the eye and the iris of the eye and the urethra and it’s an autoimmune condition. Again, starting from being allergic to something. Now this whole chart thing comes from Allergy Immunotechnologies, this was a laboratory that did a lot of testing some years ago. I don’t use this lab, I use a different lab, but I do have their bibliography so if anybody’s interested they can receive that. There’s just so much information out there I can’t include it all. Now you do have this next chart. This is Food Allergy Associated Symptoms and I gave you this oneäthis comes out of Dr. Philpott’s book back in 1977, you might want to look at the one you have in your handouts since we have some bottom that’s missing here. The reason why I’m giving you multiple sources and multiple looks as the same material is only for one reason. For some people this material may seem new or startling but there are so many authorities in the field and they are all saying the same thing. Dr. Philpott wrote his book back in 1977. We’ve known about this since at least the early 70’s and probably the late 60’s it was starting to come clear. Back in the 60’s everybody was talking about hypoglycemia, remember, low blood sugar, remember that one? Well we now know that hypoglycemia is a reaction to food allergies. 95% of the time, if you have a person who has extreme episodes of low blood sugar it’s because they’re allergic to something and they’re having a reactive hypoglycemia. So most of the people in the field don’t even run the glucose tolerance test anymore. Thank goodness! I had a 6 hour one and thought I was going to die. It was not a fun test. I don’t know, did anybody else take that test? Where you sit there and shake for six hours? By the time it was over I thought I was going to pass out. Did it effect you that way? (äthey thought you had water. Oh, that’s a good one. That’s very good.) And of course it has it’s dangers, too. You never want to give that test to anyone with incipient diabetes. You will put them into a coma. So Dr. Philpott arranged what we talked about by system in the body and if you read this over you will find the kinds of symptoms that medically they group and give a name to, okay? If you look here with speech, this slurred speech or stammering or stuttering or even speech paralysis. There are two of these conditions, I think multiple sclerosis is one that has scanning speech, where people start speaking in a monotone. Again it’s the effect that the allergy is having on the central nervous system and this is where it shows up is in the speech centers. Um, again the double vision, under vision we have diplophobia, there it is, double vision. That’s another feature that has been assigned to one of these diseases rather than another one. But all of these can be elicited through exposure to just the right allergen for that particular person. One of the reasons is why it’s confusing is that no two people have the same set of allergens. So where do you start, you know? You want to do a double blind study you want to give everybody the same thing and see how they react to it. That doesn’t work in this kind of a situation because each person’s allergies are totally unique. And whereas I might react really bad to polyester you might react to down. You just have to know which it is. So at this point I’m going to take us into how organ imbalance creates immune system dysfunction. This could be subtitled åMore Than You Possibly Ever Wanted To Know About Physiology But You Really Need To Know It’, okay? Because this is the basis for everything and knowing how your body works makes it much easier to understand what’s going on. And you notice I don’t start with the immune system. I start with the bowel because the bowel is outside of your body and your immune system starts at the gut border and for many of us this is where our problems start. We don’t have the right kind of defenses right there where the rubber meets the road, right? Where you’re introducing these things right into your system. Dr. Baker, Sydney Baker, who’s quite a remarkable medical doctor who gives a lot of talks at some of the functional symposiums that I go to, he likes to talk about your bowel as a membrane the size of a tennis court. Because that’s what it is, it’s just about that size, and it’s all folded and looped, it’s inside of you, right, but now the question is is your tennis court dirty or clean? Because for most of us we have some pretty severe problems in this area. The gut gets off because of too many antibiotics, it may not be that you’ve ever taken an antibiotic, but do you eat commercial meat or do you eat chicken? Both of those are laden with antibiotic residues. What do you get, 50%, I’m going to approximate, I think it’s 50% of all the antibiotic produced in this country is used in livestock feeding and those residues get into our food supply. We also have an awful lot of parasites in this country, you know I do bowel testing all the time and I would say something like 30% of the people that I test have some kind of parasite which to me is an extraordinary high number. And I’m not talking about yeast, I’m talking about protozoans and/or worms. There’s a lot of that out there, much more than we like to admit. It’s really interesting, if you send a bowel exam into any of the local big laboratories, you know the commerical laboratories around here, they always come back normal. I just had this happen, I’ve got a little girl in my practice, she’s 8? 7. Seven, and if you looked at her you would know she’s sick. She looks faded and she’s kind of grey and she hasn’t been feeling well for weeks and they sent in a bowel sample and it came back that it’s totally normal. Well it’s not totally normal. We sent it in to the laboratory that I work with on the East Coast, this child has Blastocystis hominis, which is considered to be a normal commencil by the medical community and we’re only starting to find out that it can cause serious malabsorption problems and you’ve got a little 7 year old and she’s in trouble. She’s got gut pain, she doesn’t want to eat, she’s got diarrhea, she just doesn’t feel good all the time. And on top of that she has a couple of abnormal bacteria and no good bacteria in her gut at all. This laboratory cultures for us in addition to doing a microbiology exam, they will do a culture and let us know what’s there. She’s fortunate she doesn’t have yeast but she’s got all this other stuff going on. So you have to find laboratories that specialize in this to get really good information. The other thing that does this to us is chlorinated water or here in Pasadena, hmm, I have to take some Lactobacillus tonight, we have chloramines in the water. Now it kills the fish, you have to treat it before you can put it into your aquarium, but again they have a very bad effect on the bacteria inside of your intestinal tract. And there are other exotoxins, åcause there’s all kinds of things that will kill them. In fact, I recommend people once they get their bowel better, take Lactobacillus every night, take it at bedtime, it can only help you. We call this condition gut dysbiosis, abnormal critters, flora and fauna, and the result of this is something called leaky gut syndrome. Instead of getting good stuff into your system, you know, you’re only supposed to absorb at the most di-saccharides and di-peptides, that means, your body takes protein, chops it all up into little two units of amino acid and that’s what you take into your body. That’s what’s supposed to happen. But when you have leaky gut syndrome all kinds of stuff gets through because the border is not intact, so things are getting into your bloodstream that your body goes, uh-oh, this is a macromolecule, this is a big guy, this is dangerous. And that’s what happens over and over again. And it goes straight to the liver without passing "Go", there is no bypass. The portal circulation drains the intestinal tract and it goes through the inferior vena cava directly into the liver where the liver is like a big huge filter, it’s like, just imagine yourself with a spaghetti strainer, you know one of the wire ones, that’s how the liver acts, and it’s supposed to catch all of this stuff and clean your bloodstream so that when it gets to the heart and goes out to the rest of your body and into your brain everything’s fine. Well, the liver can do that for awhile, but after awhile it does become toxic. It only has 500 known functions, there are probably more we just haven’t discovered them yet, it’s a huge biochemical factory and one of its main things is to detoxify toxins. External toxins and internal toxins. If it wasn’t able to detoxify the estrogen that you gentlemen produce you’d all be walking around with breasts because 15% of your hormone production is estrogen. You can see this in men who drink a lot and are alcoholics, they start developing what we call gynecomastia, their breasts start to grow, because their body can’t detoxify the estrogen. We have the same problem, we have more estrogen than they do, and if your liver can’t detoxify it you increase your risk of breast cancer because the target organ for estrogen is your breasts and all kinds of changes occur because of that. So the liver is incredibly important and a toxic bowel really messes it up and what happens is there are small organelles inside the cells, I think this is like, this comes under my belief of a miracle, okay? Not only do we have cells in our body but inside the cell there are these littler structures known as organelles and these are called mitochondria. The mitochondria are these enzyme factories where they have all these enzymes lined up and they do all of the production of energy, theyä

But the thing about the mitochondria that I find as miraculous, is that every single one of them that you have came from your mother. Mitochondria are only passed through the egg, so they’re like an eternal maternal line, there are no mitochondria in the sperm, sorry guys, so there’s a whole branch of genetics now that is studying cellular mitochondria to try to determine how humanity spread out over the globe, because they can trace it back to the mitochondria change, which I think is just magic, I’m just fascinated by it. So we’ve already talked about the fact that the bowel makes your liver toxic and the other thing that does is environmental insult, you know, chemicals, whether it’s chemicals that you put on your hair, or chemicals you put on your lawn, or chemicals you put in your pool, or something you spray around the house to keep the cockroaches down, or something they put in your food to preserve it, all of that goes through your liver regardless, okay? So that’s the other issue that we face and in the United States, essential nutrient malnutrition. We are the most overfed and undernutritioned (I made that word up) people in the world. Our food is overprocessed, we have almost no antioxidant content in our foods anymore and that’s one of the major things the liver needs for this process. We really are struggling with the fact that the food we are getting into our system is not, it doesn’t contain the food value that our bodies need in order to function. The RDA’s, the recommended daily allowances, fascinating piece of information came out of this last cancer symposium that I was at, they were established at the end of World War II for the United States to decide how much food they needed to send over to Europe just to keep people alive so nobody would get scurvy and beriberi and all those deficiency diseases because you know we were shipping huge quantities over there. And it’s been turned into something entirely different. It has nothing to do with what we need, it has to do with what will just barely keep us alive. And so when you eat enriched flour products you know bread and macaroni that’s been enriched, there’s practically nothing in it, it’s just the bare bare minimum. And for children this is really a big problem, you see it in children all the time. Asthma in children has gone up 30% in the last 10 years. That’s scary, I think that’s really frightening. And the autoimmune diseases were almost unknown before 1940. So something’s going on, and this, it is my belief, is part of it.

So we have a triad of the liver, the bowel and the adrenals. So let’s talk just briefly about the adrenal glands, these little they’re probably no bigger than the end of your thumb and they sit on top of your kidneys which are no bigger than your fist and we call the pituitary the master organ but it’s the adrenals that are the master gland because the adrenal hormones keep everything in a state of balance when your pancreas pumps out insulin and brings your blood sugar down, your adrenals pump out epinephrine, cortisone, whatever you want to call it and bring the blood sugar back up. That’s its job, right, to oppose that process. When your heart rate slows down too far the adrenals pump the heart rate up. If you need to fight or flight or whatever, you know you have some activity, the adrenals are responsible for all of that, they shunt blood into your limbs, they sharpen your mental acuity, they increase your heart rate, they increase your blood pressure so you can get ready to perform. And as the process of metabolic toxicity progresses, the liver has a problem with cholesterol production and the lack of cholesterol, now this is going to shock you folks, we’re so ovewhelmed with the idea that cholesterol is bad for us, if you don’t get enough cholesterol you die, the adrenal glands need it to make coritsone as well as all of your sex hormones. One of the first things that happens to people when they get really sick, especially people with chronic fatigue and to some extent with these autoimmune diseases, is they lose their libido. Their body is not producing the sex hormones they require because their liver is so toxic. And the adrenals become less and less able to compensate and support your whole body function. I mean I have people who can go to stand up and you have to hold them because they’re kind of swaying until their blood pressure rises enough that they can get blood to their head so that they can function. That’s a primary sign of this. And the adrenals use the immune system to maintain your body in a state of balance. That’s really what they do. Both the adrenals and the immune system, I made reference to this before, are extensions of the central nervous system. The center of the adrenal, the adrenal medulla, are neurons, that’s what they look like, and that’s what they are. And if you look at white blood cells under an electron microscope they look like neurons, too. They have all the same receptors on the surface, they’re floating neurons. So we have this whole system which we think of as being just in our brain that regulates our entire body. As I said, I think it’s pretty miraculous.

So, what happens in the immune system? Well, as adrenal regulation fails, your immune system becomes very disregulated and it looks very confusing. There will be both hypervigilance and hypovigilance, a lot of allergies, a lot of these reactions with MS and RA and all this stuff going on and at the same time chronic infections and viruses and things, it’s because the adrenals are not doing their job. You know that medically they treat a lot of these conditions with cortisone. Cortisone is designed to bring the acute phase down. Well when you do that it has two effects: it has a temporary effect on the condition or the inflammation that’s currently happening but it further suppresses your adrenal gland, it turns off the feedback loop in your body that causes your pituitary to secrete to tell your adrenals to make more cortisone. That’s why when you take prednisone or cortisone you’re supposed to taper it. Because if you stop it abruptly you won’t have anything to fall back upon. And so in some ways the treatment is part of the problem. It potentiates this problem, because it’s throwing in another disregulating factor and cortisone is one of the few things I’m really opposed to. It really really worries me. Adrenal function and adrenal hormones are a complex mixture, there’s probably 30 or 40 of them and you take one of them out and give it to somebody you’re upsetting that entire picture. There’s no mineral corticoid regulation in that, that’s a whole different enzyme system and it isn’t in the cortisone. They’ve taken one little piece of it and synthesized it and used it because it does what it really does is it turns off those T-helper cells, right, that we talked back about in the beginning, so it brings the immune response down and it turns the suppressor cells on and the helper cells off and so they feel like they can squelch it by doing that in the short-term and eventually it doesn’t work anymore. That’s the problem. Now, this is a very very important statement. The body always attempts to maintain homeostasis, the bodies want to be well. They always try to come back to a state of health. So the goal, or the challenge, for me is to find where in the process the individual person is and do the proper intervention that will allow the body to do that. So every new person is like a new Chinese puzzle, you have to find out all the answers and all the pieces so that they know what to do for themselves. And the next slide talks about that, how to assess your immune status.

I can only say thank goodness it’s no longer by guess and by golly. You know, we did a lot of by guess and by golly for a lot of years. Um, we now have a number of tests that are extremely valuable and helpful and what this chart does is it shows you what I use to decide what tests we need to do. I guess you would call this my diagnostic paradigm if we had to put a label on it. When I’m taking a history, there are some things I want to know about, okay? I want to know what your appetite’s like. I want to know how your bowels function. I want to know how many times you’ve been ill or how many times you’ve taken antibiotics. Do you get a lot of upper respiratory infections? Do you get a lot of sinusitis? Do you get a lot of chest pain? Do you have reflux after you eat? I mean, I’ve got all of these questions, you can’t imagine, I want to know everything, more than you probably anybody would want to ask you. And out of this I start to get a picture, like frequent headaches? I have it under liver, it can also be stomach but it’s liver mostly. Sensitivity to perfumes and chemicals, that’s definitely a sign of liver problems. If you have back pain, I don’t know if any of you have ever had this experience, you have a sudden fright or an almost car accident that just misses you, something like that? And all of a sudden you feel like somebody’s been beating across here. Has anyone else ever had that experience? I’ve had it happen to me a couple of times because I’ve had a couple of near misses on the freeway. That’s adrenal pain, pure and simple, and when that happens it says your adrenals are under stress. And it tells you where to look if you’re the doctor. Fatiguability and dizziness upon arising, that’s again adrenal, and again we have this swollen gland and severe fatigue, all of this goes into the immune system. So, I go and I do my physical exam and I have a lot of things to look at. There’s a liver punch where if you hit somebody and there’s a jarring pain all through their body on the right side, they have liver inflammation, it’s just that simple we know that immediately. And there are some indicator fibers on the body that will tell you specifcally whether or not the liver is involved. You folks ever get headaches that start right here? That’s the liver fiber, the primary liver fiber in the whole body and I have so many people who come in and say, "Oh, I’ve just got this headacheä" and they put their hands right on it, there’s no way to miss it. I feel really fortunate that I’ve been taught to read the body like that, by the way, it’s a big help. So going down all of these things, including our blood pressure test, if you have a bad adrenal function and you go from lying to standing your blood pressure will drop, sometimes 20 or 30 points. It’s supposed to go up 10, it’s supposed to get your blood to your brain when you’re standing up, right? But I have so many people it just plummets. So from that point we go to the next which are the tests and each person has an array of testing that may or may not need to be done depending on their symptoms. I tend to be an absolute fanatic about bowel tests; anybody who’s been to my practice will tell you that. And there’s a really good reason. I’ve been doing this work for about five or six years now and in that time I’ve had a handful, it’s probably four, it might be five, people who came to me for help, and they’re people who years and years and years ago somebody gave them an allergy test and that was all they did. So these people have been avoiding those foods for all those years and now they’re allergic to everything else they’ve been eating because nobody ever checked their bowel function to see how they were digesting, if there was something abnormal there. These are the most pitiful people you have ever seen, they can’t eat anything, they get these horrendous reactions, two of them are frankly psychotic and can’t be helped. I mean one man we actually had to commit him. And it’s because this allergy phenomenon has gone to such extreme extent and it taught me an invaluable lesson, I feel terrible for them, but you have to start in the bowel. You’ve got to be sure that that gut is working, those people are digesting, they have the right flora and fauna, they’ve got their protections intact. And then anything you do after that is going to be effective, okay? For people with autoimmune disease, the most important test up here is the ELISA/ACT test. The ELISA/ACT test is an allergy test that I’m going to talk a little bit about because there’s a lot of confusion about allergies and the different kinds of testing. And then something else may be indicated. I usually do some kind of stool evaluation and a blood chemistry. We don’t get into the liver cleanse which is this oxidative stress and hepatic detox challenge until the very end, we never go to that until you’re sure everything else is better. What’s the point? Why would you put a clean filter into that stream if you haven’t got the downstream stuff taken care of. I recently had a man come to me. He’d gone through the entire liver detox program. He took time off from school, he went to Hawaii, which isn’t bad, but while he was in Hawaii he was miserable because he was doing this program and it lasted like 13 weeks. And he came to me because he was starting to feel bad again. So we went back here. We did a bowel exam on him. He’s got the worst bowel I’ve ever seen. He’s got 3 yeasts and a parasite just all kinds of stuff. They have a, they call it a dysbiosis index, 0 to 4 is normal, 6, 7 and 8 is mild, above 8 is moderate, 10 is severe. His was 18. And nobody had ever looked at it. So you’ve got to look at all the right things. This is the reason why we work the way we do, and we go into such depth with people. We’ve got to cover all the bases for people to really get well.

Let’s talk now a little bit about the ELISA/ACT test. Put Dr. Jaffe’s article up first. I just want you to know that this is available. This article, Immune Defense and Repair Systems in Biologic Medicine, Autoimmunity, Clinical Relevance of Biologic Response, Modifiers and Diagnosis Treatment and Testing, Dr. Jaffe is the director of Serammune Laboratories which does the ELISA/ACT test. This is one of the best articles I have ever read on the subject. It’s about 40 pages long and it’s quite detailed. You can call our office and we have copies of it if you’d like to receive one we’ll mail it to you. I have a lecture in the back (tapes available this evening, they’re $10.00, right?) that was based on this, and it has a lot of the charts wrapped around it as handouts. And I cover it in a little more English than he does. But if you’re one of those people who really likes the technical and who wants the bibliography, call for this article, we’ll be happy to give it to you, it’s all there.

This is a picture of the ELISA/ACT test. Now, I want you to hearken back to our initial conversation and that chart we looked at with those pictures about the immune system. Everything in that picture was delayed hypersensitivity reaction. Not the kind of thing that happens right away where you eat a strawberry and get a rash, that’s type I, right? You know what that is. That’s type I, acute IgE allergies. That’s the one thing the ELISA/ACT does not test for. That’s about 10 percent of the immune system, and I will tell you that people who have these allergies usually know what they are. They come in and they say to me, "I can’t get around ragweed or I sneeze my head off." You know, or I can’t do this or I can’t do that. The mystery exists in the rest of this, the stuff that’s circulating in your bloodstream. Because these reactions take place where people just can’t figure it out. And this what the ELISA/ACT test tests. And it’s the only test out there that does. The skin pricks, you know the ones that they do in the dermatologist’s office? That’s Type I. That won’t give you any useful information. It’s notoriously inaccurate for foods, and the reason is that most foods are a delayed hypersensitivity issue, they’re not an immediate issue, there’s a few but not very many. Mostly you’ll find inhalants and, you know, what the popular ones? Dust mites and molds and cat dander and you know that kind of stuff. That’s what shows us on those skin tests. But it’s not going to be the kind of thing that is going to help you with moderating what’s going on in your bloodstream. The ELISA/ACT does that. They test 300 foods, chemicals, additives, therapeutic foods (which is herbs) and they’ve added a whole panel of common chemicals (they’ve done food additives for a long time, things like saccharin and food colorings and preservatives and monosodium glutamate and all that stuff) but now they test you all these chemicals that you get exposed to with gasoline, polyester, plastics, all of that kind of thing is included in this test. That is the single most valuable addition they ever made to this panel, because what I have discovered over the years of doing this is that some of my sickest people are the people who are allergic to chemicals because they’re ubiquitous, you just can’t get away from them. And they cause many more problems than foods you can avoid, actually. The ELISA/ACT people send us back a very detailed printout with everything that you’ve reacted to and then they send back a booklet of descriptions that describes common sources of all of these things plus a little handbook of different thing they may or may not advise you to do. I take all that material and I customize it based on what we’ve learned about your history because I’ve worked with you and I prepare a rotation diet. Most people I put them on a rotation diet for 4 to 6 months, avoidance and rotation. That gives us time to get everything else straightened out. And once they start feeling better then you can look at adding some of these things back in. And depending on what the allergens are there’s all kinds of lifestyle modifications and it’s totally unique to every single individual. I sleep in a bed that’s nothing but cotton and down. I’m desperately allergic to polyester. You put me in polyester and I’m just trashed. And for years and years and years like everybody else, right? I had polyester sheets and polyester pillows and thinking I was doing a good thing. And I would get up in the morning like thisäit was absolutely awful. And everybody has a different thing. Some people are allergic to the kinds of chemicals you find in the indoor environment, that come out of the woods and the glues and the different thingsäwe get air purifiers, I mean there are ways to handle each of the different items and there are so many of them that it would be very difficult to go into it in any more depth than that. But the point of this conversation is, let me bring you back to the point. It doesn’t do a bit of good to get a label, right? It’s so interesting in our culture, I remember this because I was 18 years old, and nobody knew what was wrong with me. I was ecstatic when somebody told me I had fibromyalgia, gee, I thought it meant something. But it didn’t, there was nothing to go with it except the label, right? So you can get a label and I’ve had people in my office, they desperately want a label, they want to know what it is. But the truth is, it’s you reacting to your environment and until you know the ways in which that happens, you have no power over it. Being given a name, like somebody says, you have rheumatoid arthritis, to a doctor’s mind that sets you on a course, on a certain therapeutic protocol, they have stage I treatments and stage II treatments and stage III, they start with cortisone and they end up with gold. And all of these treatments one thing after the other there’s further and further tissue destruction, disability and pain. You know, in the doctor’s mind that label means something but it doesn’t mean that you’re going to get better. And I think that’s the piece that we miss so often. We all of us, I know that I did when I went into school, I started to be an M.D., decided about, thank goodness, halfway through before I accumulated a lot of student loan debt that I really wasn’t suited to go into medicine. I don’t like all those machines. I’m not oriented that way. But I had the point of view that it meant I would get better if there was something wrong with me. So it was a great shock to me when I started studying diagnosis in chiropractic school that that’s not what it means at all. A label is nothing more than an indication to the doctor which drugs to give you. Whether or not they’re effective and whether or not they understand the processes that underlie them. Some of my medical books are really scary because there’s so little we really understand. And any doctor who’s honest will tell you that. There’s an awful lot we don’t understand than that we do understand. And this paradigm that I presented to you is a changing paradigm, the liver panel, the oxidative stress, hepatic detoxification work, it’s brand new. It was developed in the last five years. So we’re constantly learning now, and we’re constantly out there looking at health from a functional point of view. Functional medicine is one of the names for it, complementary medicine, alternative health care’s been out there a long time so we’re looking for other names for it, but it’s all the same thing. It’s this idea that you can be well and given a little guidance and assistance that’s what I would wish for all of you. That you can be well. And if you are well then congratulations.

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