A big thank you to everyone who made it out on 4/22 for our first Origins Medicine workshop, Autoimmunity: 3 Steps to Cool the Fire Within. For those who couldn’t make it I wanted to post the handout. The talk was extremely popular and we’ll be giving it again in the very near future!
Duncan Macdonald, L.Ac.
Jonah Larkin, L.Ac.
Harry McIlroy, MD
Autoimmunity: Three Steps to Cool the Fire Within
This is your cheat sheet! No need to take notes. We are also going to cheat and do your homework for you by delivering you a comprehensive resource list in a couple of days. This will give you a clear path to dive deep into your own healing!
The three body systems:
Somewhere in the interaction of these systems is the root cause of your autoimmunity. Here are the action steps to figure it out!
1. Neuroendocrine a.k.a. Stress!
The stress response is always examined and treated first in every patient walking through our door. Without regulating these hormones the body cannot maintain a healthy immune response.
Meditation: meditation is a general term for a large number of relaxation practices. If you’ve never found a practice that sticks it’s because you haven’t found the right style for you! As a simple intro we suggest trying the apps Headspace or Insight.
Breathing exercises: the nervous system can be powerfully calmed with simple belly breathing. We will get start with the 4-7-8 breath at our first meeting.
Circadian rhythm: All creatures are governed by hormonal rhythm. Try to get fifteen minutes of sun exposure first thing in the morning. After the sun goes down try to limit blue light exposure by downloading filter apps, swapping out light bulbs to warmer light, and blue light blocking glasses also work well. You will be amazed at how your sleep deepens!
2. Gastrointestinal a.k.a. Digest!
Eliminate common immune and inflammation provoking foods! We cannot emphasize this enough. It’s time to ditch gluten, dairy, soy, corn, and seed oils until we know how they affect you. Bye, bye processed food!
Nourish yourself! Try to eat at least 2 cups of vegetables, 1 – 2 palm sizes of protein, and 1- 2 thumb sizes of fat at every meal (including the meaty part by your palm!). Always emphasize food quality i.e. organic, grass fed, etc.
Absorb: Try to eat in a relaxed state. Realize that an overtaxed and under functioning stomach may require some supplemental enzymes for a period of time to help absorption. Common infections will inflame the gut and block absorption of nutrients. When in doubt… test!
Supplement: There are some extremely common nutrient deficiencies associated with autoimmunity. It is nearly impossible to achieve the necessary levels through food alone (although, check out Terry Wahls, MD!). The RDA for nutrients such as B-Vitamins, Magnesium, Selenium, antioxidants, etc. is not sufficient when addressing autoimmunity. Solution: Multi-pack (we like Twice Dailies by Designs for Health)
Impaired mitochondrial function, protein malabsorption, methylation issues, etc. are all extremely common in autoimmune conditions, so if no improvement with dietary changes then… test and correct!
3. Detox System a.k.a. Liver
All inflammatory and immune byproducts are broken down in the liver.
The rise in autoimmunity has correlated strongly with the increasing toxic burden of the environment and its effect on the human body.
Common environmental toxins are introduced through the air, our skin, water, and food. Reduce the toxicity of your environment!
The solution to pollution is dilution! Drink a minimum 64 ounces water daily.
The two main detox pathways of the liver rely on antioxidants and sulphur compounds. Eat lots of colorful fruits and vegetables, cruciferous vegetables, and lots of greens!
Impaired liver detox leads directly to inflammation and autoimmunity.
This is so imperative that most Functional med docs will begin autoimmune patients with a 2 week liver detox plan. This can be critical to success, as it prepares the patient for more therapeutic treatments.
Detox allso serves as a diagnostic tool. Patients often experience dramatic improvement, which reveals the extent of liver involvement.
Solution: we strongly believe the best formulated and comprehensive detox plan is PaleoCleanse 14-day by Designs for Health. It can be purchased on Amazon or through originsmedicine.com at a discount. Our detox program also includes email and video coaching.
Parting thoughts: Medicine is not an us vs. them profession. There is no conventional vs. natural, Chinese vs. Western. There is only the proper medicine for the patient, at the right time, with the greatest efficacy, and least amount of side effects. Functional medicine is a bridge between all of these models. This is the guiding philosophy of Origins Medicine. Pharmaceutical immune suppression is necessary on occasion to prevent irreversible tissue damage. This is not a failure. Suppressive therapy is a tool that can be helpful until the underlying cause of disease is discovered and corrected. Never mistake the tool for the solution. Let’s get you healthy!
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