Peel Off The Label
That moment you leave a doctor’s office with a label to diagnosis, you feel that kind of “relief” and immediately think you have a “plan to healing.” Now, your choice is to follow a medical model or a holistic one. But as long as you keep that label attached to yourself, your chances to succeed are limited. You will ask “why?” Because you will fixate on this reductionist approach how to get of this “problem”. You will either take meds or go online and search how to get rid of this pretty label naturally. Most likely, in the beginning of the healing journey, you will feel somewhat better. But, unfortunately, that won’t last long. Sometimes, it takes years for many to realize that these trending diets with supplements of the month were total failure and pushed farther away from the truth.
First, peel that label off. Second, start using common sense to identify root cause of imbalance that pushed you across the tipping edge. Ask yourself what, how and when it started. Meanwhile, use available functional medicine testing to take guess work out the way to identify triggers. Only when you gather all the pieces of this mysterious puzzle together, you can find answers and employ best strategies to heal.
Autoimmunity is a great example as very often misdiagnosed.
Besides those people, who express obvious and clinically diagnosed autoimmune conditions, there is a vast majority of individuals, who have some sort of autoimmunity component present all times and often mistaken with what they describe as “unexplainable symptoms.” A lot of times, these people can’t describe what is going on, but they can “definitely feel something is wrong.” Unfortunately, most commonly used tests won’t identify the reason for the symptoms. Taking a deeper dive into understanding contribution factors, complete history, proper lab workup is the ultimate way to uncover the root cause. Let’s talk about one factor – systemic inflammation.
Systemic Inflammation is a major driving factor to autoimmunity.
Inflammation is characterized by the body’s line of defense against various triggers (food, allergens, pathogens, heavy metals and other toxic elements). Acute inflammation is the normal initial short-termed process that might present within minutes or hours after the exposure to foreign triggers. When body’s systems and organs are exposed to these triggers for prolonged periods of times, inflammation converts into systemic or chronic process resulting in perpetual cascades of events, releasing proinflammatory mediators that mistakenly “confuse” organs with triggers causing further organ damage. These are some proinflammatory mediators: Cytokines, Tumor Necrosis Factor Alpha (TNF-α), Interleukins and many more.
Let’s take one example – effects of processed foods and foods cooked at high temperatures on “autoimmunity” and how that increase systemic inflammation. Have you heard of “dietary AGEs”? AGEs are advanced glycation end products. More specifically, AGEs are the end-products of glycation reactions, in which a sugar molecule bonds to either a protein or lipid molecule without an enzyme to control the reaction. Some heard the term AGEs associated with diabetes and understand that proteins and lipids become bonded to sugar molecules internally due to blood sugar dysregulation. You can compare this to caramelized proteins that are unable to function in their normal capacity due to the sugar cross linkages. This cross linking is what causes intracellular damage and apoptosis (cell death).
In diabetes, AGEs are well known for their destructive activities and contribute to vascular disease, kidney failure, eye damage, and other kinds of dysfunction, including the nerve damage known as diabetic peripheral neuropathy. It took very long time to understand how dietary AGEs cause inflammation. The food industry however continues to disregard this adverse effect of combination of sugar and protein or sugar and fat cooked under high temperatures, and additionally add artificial colors and food enhancers to make the process worse. We are talking about some family favorites: marinades, barbecued meats, dark crusts on bread, pizza, cookies, pretzels, chips of all kinds, French fries, and breaded deep-fried meats. These sugar-protein or sugar-fat complexes are foreign to our immune system and when we consume these foods, the immune system in our gut is activated and over-reacted. AGEs molecules are perceived as foreign molecules, much like microbes and therefore must be attacked. Cytokines are activated, inflammation is increased.
Human studies have demonstrated that intake of dietary AGEs, promotes the formation of pro-inflammatory mediators, leading to tissue damage. When the intake of AGEs was reduced, decreased levels of inflammatory molecules such as Tumor Necrosis Factor Alpha (TNF-α) and high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) were observed with further reduction in oxidative stress. Patients that are struggling with inflammation, especially autoimmunity, have to focus on healing their gut. It’s thrilling to see how nutritional principles really make drastic changes. And when applied consistently, these principles can enhance productivity and extend quality of life.
What else drives systemic inflammation?
In addition to poor food choices, we have pathogens, heavy metals and toxic chemicals that we are constantly exposed to. Most imbalances and health conditions are attributed by these factors. The immune system of our bodies designed to recognize the offenders, attack and rid of them. When the immune system is not working properly, the response that should last a short period of time will continue to fire resulting in systemic inflammation and disease. The problem with current approach, in many cases including holistic methods, is based on reduction of symptoms and following commonly popular protocols. The goal of functional medicine approach is to understand the interrelation of external and internal environment and create balance using common rules of nature that set foundation of our existence. When we are presented with challenges, the best solution is to: completely understand the problem, create a plan, and execute this plan.
How to Schedule Appointment:
Please contact our office to schedule free 15 phone minutes consultation. After the consultation, we will email to you health form that you will fill out and send it back to us. We have to go over your report of findings to determine the right path so you can start the Journey to Health. All the steps and lab results will be discussed during office visits.
Atlant Health – Chiropractic & Functional Medicine is conveniently located in Midtown East New York.