Most people want a linear answer when it comes to answers about their autoimmune illness or other health challenge. I'd say that a majority of the time when it comes to chronic illness, the solution is more like solving a jigsaw puzzle.
What would you do if you had a LARGE unsightly collection of callous laden warts on the bottom of your right foot, autoimmune attack of your gut, gluten sensitivity and a family history of many autoimmune diseases like Parkinson's disease and rheumatoid arthritis?
The majority of patients would go from doctor to doctor just to find out that the tests ordered came out negative (because the wrong tests are ordered). More often the various symptoms are treated with dangerous drugs that have their own health robbing side effects. Some people just try to ignore their problems, hoping they will go away.
I can tell you what I would do...because this little article is about a journey I have taken recently. I sometimes participate in self treatment experiments - purely by chance. Let me explain about my most recent experiment.
About 4 years ago I developed one tiny wart on the bottom of my right foot, right in the depressed area just below the third toe. I started putting the typical treatment of salicylic acid on this wart, but it didn't do a thing. I tried other remedies to no avail as well. Eventually over the course of many months, almost the entire ball of my foot was a massive family of warts with outposts of other warts on my little toe, between my big toe and my first toe and on my heel and on the outside side of my foot. The curious thing is that no other part of my body, including my left foot had any warts. I figured I needed to see if I could beat this thing on my own, knowing that warts are caused by a virus - the human papiloma virus. After all, I had helped many of my patients get their warts handled - why not me?
Well 4 years went by and no luck! Meanwhile I discovered I had a celiac gene, a gluten sensitivity gene and autoimmune attack on my intestines. This discovery was due in large part to incredible new testing available to me and other doctors nationwide. When I consulted with familiar colleagues in other states to get help with what my tests showed I was dismayed that they didn't seem to either have the time or willingness to help me. I felt dismayed and betrayed by those I looked up to.
Instead of bemoaning my situation, I enrolled in Functional Medicine University (FMU) and found that one of the principals was willing to give me a hand in deciphering my many tests and helping me with my various health challenges. In fact he asked me to get another very special test - the Metametrix Organix Profile. "Since 1992 Metametrix has offered the Organix Profile, a complete quantitative organic acids test. The Organix provides a view into the body's cellular metabolic processes and the efficiency of metabolic function. Identifying metabolic blocks or problems with detoxification, gut dysbiosis, or oxidative stress that can be treated nutritionally allows for individual tailoring of interventions. Targeted treatment can help maximize patient responses and lead to improved patient outcomes."
The weird thing was that one of the findings showed I was overloaded with Xylene! The doctor helping me questioned what habits I had that may have led to this over exposure. It remained a mystery to me until about a week ago.
While attending a webinar from FMU on thyroid testing and treatment, the subject of obesogens came up. According to Wikipedia; "Obesogens are chemical compounds foreign to the body that are hypothesized to disrupt normal development or homeostasis of metabolism of lipids ultimately resulting in obesity. Obesogens may be functionally defined as chemicals that inappropriately alter lipid homeostasis and fat storage, change metabolic setpoints, disrupt energy balance or modify the regulation of appetite and satiety to promote fat accumulation and obesity."
Wikipedia goes on to say; "There are many proposed mechanisms through which obesogens can act, including alterations in the action of metabolic sensors; dysregulation of sex steroid synthesis, action or breakdown; changes in the central integration of energy balance including the regulation of appetite and satiety; and reprogramming metabolic setpoints."
During the obesogen portion of the webinar the presenter suggested the attendees go to a website that allows you to put your zipcode and then find out what pollution is spewed into your local community. Guess what the number one substance was for my county?....Xylene!
Armed with this new revelation and with the information from the Metametrix Organix test, I set out on an additional treatment for my health challenges. I had already changed my diet to remove gluten, soy, yeast, eggs and dairy and I was taking specific supplements to aid in repairing my gut and quench systemic inflammation. The information in the Metametrix Organix test indicated I would benefit by taking some specific B vitamins to enable the enzyme systems that detoxify compounds like xylene to work properly....so I started taking these vitamins.
I was shocked one day to see that the warts on my foot were turning black - they were dying...just a couple of weeks later they were virtually gone. My massage therapist of 25 years was totally surprised last week when I went to her for a massage as well. Apparently the xylene was causing an immune weakness or a toxic load that compromised my immunes system. Once the dextoxification enzymes were able to work to eliminate teh toxic load (due to the specific supplementation), my immune system was abel to perform at a higher level and get rid of the virus and thus the warts.
This journey of health recovery for me is a great lesson for helping me deal with patients who seek my advice and expertise for healing. My many life events have occured for a purpose - and that purpose, in part, is to spur me on to learn important lessons that serve to be the impetus for helping those I am blessed to help participate in their health recovery.
Hopefully this post shows there are many things that can trigger our body to lose its adaptation abilities (homeostasis) that in turn cause a health challenge. Secondly, having the proper tests done to unravel the underlying malfunction in altered body physiolgy and then taking action with diet, lifestyle changes and specific supplementation can help many health challenges.
I look forward to helping you in your health recovery journey as well! Learn more about what makes my methods unique.
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All the best – Dr. Johnson – Digging Deeper To Find Solutions