What is autoimmunity and what does it mean to have an autoimmune condition? I hear these questions go back and forth between patients. The simple definition is that an autoimmune condition is when a person’s body attacks itself. Being autoimmune means your body is attacking its own tissue, globally and systemically. When your body’s immune system “turns on itself,” you will experience symptoms. The causes for being autoimmune are vast, however, autoimmunity stems from parts of the body not working correctly. Whether it’s from improperly functioning organs, bacterium in the body, or poor diet, the critical piece to treating autoimmune conditions is understanding the body.
The most common question that I receive from autoimmune patients is “Dr. King, I have an autoimmune condition, how can I cure it”? Unfortunately, there are no cures for autoimmune conditions. I tell my patients, the only way to treat an autoimmune condition is to locate what is causing the problem and treat that area of the body individually. In doing so, a patient can keep symptoms under control and improve their quality of life.
Think of an autoimmune condition like a forest fire. The embers of the fire represent your autoimmune condition, let’s say Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. The flames represent your symptoms (i.e. fatigue, weight issues, brain fog and hair loss). In order to put the flames of the fire out, you must remove the gasoline that is driving the fire in the first place. Continuing to poor gasoline on the fire will cause further destruction; therefore, causing more symptoms. This is what happens with most patients. They will take medications and drugs, even natural thyroid support, to treat the thyroid gland, yet continually experience more and more symptoms. It’s because something keeps reigniting the embers in the body. To stop them from flaring up, it’s important to locate what’s triggering the fire.
Once the cause (the gasoline) of the fire is located, in a patient’s case it’s normally bacteria, parasites, blood sugar dysregulation, anemia, poor diet or organ dysfunction, you can remove it from the body (no, not removing the organ itself, rather healing the organ). After this removal process, there’s still more work to be done. The flames do a significant amount of damage to the body. As a doctor it’s my job to go back in the body and patch up all the damage that has been done. Simply removing the gasoline and putting the flames out is not enough, I must rebuild the areas that have been destroyed. This part of the process is why patients begin to see an improvement in the quality of their life because the WHOLE body is treated.
To diagnose and manage an autoimmune condition, I have to find out exactly what is going on. This is where most patients come in to see me, yet their doctors have not run sufficient blood work to actually determine the cause of their condition. At the Tustin Chronic Condition Center, I use a complex of testing arrays to determine exactly what is going on. You can visit Cyrex Labs and see the different arrays I order. Arrays 5-8 are used to see what type of tissue your body is attacking; allowing me to diagnose and manage you appropriately.
For example, I see lots of diabetic patients and a majority of them are Type 2 diabetics. However, every now and then, some Type 2 diabetics will walk through the door and they are actually an autoimmune Type 2 (most people are use to hearing that only Type 1 Diabetics are autoimmune). Approximately 20% of Type 2 Diabetics are struggling with an autoimmune component to their condition, which is what is making it tough for them to completely heal.
The big picture is this, the right lab tests must be ran in order to correctly diagnose your condition and then manage it.
If you feel your doctors are not addressing your health condition correctly, please call us at the Tustin Chronic Condition Center for a consultation: (714) 731-7680
Remember, nothing will change until you do!