"Look, Dr. Johnson", exclaimed Sarah as she entered the center nutrition testing treatment room at Johnson Chiropractic Neurology & Nutrition. Sarah excitedly used her index finger to repeatedly and exuberantly poke her forearm.
What's the big deal with that, you may ask? For Sarah it is a huge deal. Just a few weeks earlier, Sarah who doesn't drive herself because of having had a seizure, entered my office with the diagnosis of fibromyalgia. She was in so much pain that she couldn't stand anyone even LIGHTLY touching her skin anywhere on her body. For Sarah, giving or getting a hug was torture. The family cat laying on her was exceedingly painful even after a minute or two.
So, the fact that Sarah was poking herself in the forearm was a HUGE milestone. With an emerging sense of glee, I said, "Let's test this", and I wrapped my arms around Sarah and gave her a big hug and asked her if it hurt and she said, NO! Wow - no pain!
Sarah recounted to me that in the previous week she could give hugs, stand the cat laying on her and a number of other seemingly mundane things that were now a source of excitement and happiness.
In addition, Sarah stated she didn't bump into her Grandmother or Mom while shopping like she was in a drunken state....she used to, though, even if she was pushing a grocery cart.
What lead up to all these wonderful LIFE CHANGING improvements? Finding the cause of Sarah's symptoms! Instead of labeling my patients, I look for the underlying cause or causes that create the malfunction of the patient's body (and in turn cause the various symptoms they suffer with).
I start with an in-depth history and thorough review of previous tests that the patient has had in the past 6 months or so - a process I call a Case Review. Next I determine what specialized tests to order to understand what went wrong with the patients physiology.
In Sarah's case (and that of many other chronic condition patients) we found she was sensitive to gluten and other foods, had gluten genes and had autoimmune attack on the intestines, leading to intestinal barrier malfunction (AKA Leaky Gut). In addition I found functional imbalances in brain function that needed rehabilitation.
After implementing Johnson Neuro-Metabolic Therapy which entails using diet and lifestyle changes, specific supplementation and brain-based therapy, Sarah's body responded in a very favorable way - just like I expected.
The treatments that we use are not complex, per se, but habits (diet and lifestyle) die hard, so I am very picky in who I select for my Johnson Neuro-Metabolic Treatment program. The applicant must be willing to do everything I ask for 6-12 months for the best long term results.
Results like Sarah is experiencing are what I live for in my professional life and I am overjoyed to be able to report this life changing story.
This question is asked of me all the time. My first thought is to say, "just do it", but I usually refrain because I understand the frustration and the yearning to eat what ever you want - hey, I'm human too.
I have an autoimmune condition and I am working on a plan to significantly reduce the chances of succumbing to disease processes that I have witnessed my dad, grandpa, grandma, mom, aunts and uncles develop as they aged.
I have a high motivation to stay healthy and active with a mind that works well into the next half of my life. That's the key - you have to keep you motivation constantly in front of you.
For some, the motivation is to stay away from bad things...for others, it is to move toward good things. Still others of us are motivated by a combination of both.
Autoimmune processes, like autoimmune thyroid (Hashimoto's and Graves), celiac disease, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes and a host of others can be SIGNIFICANTLY affected by diet. Not only that but heart disease, peripheral artery disease or just being over-fat are directly related to diet.
The bottom line is you just have to find your motivation and keep that squarely in your mind....and speaking of that....use your mind, not your tongue or old habits to determine what you can or cannot eat any longer for your health's sake.
I was just on vacation to Jamaica for the first time. I can honestly say that both my wife and I were able to totally stay on our chosen health restoration/supporting diet while we were away. The picture at the beginning of the article was just one example of a breakfast I had. Whenever we went to a restaurant we would first browse the menu and determine things we could most safely eat and then we tweaked recipes with the help of the chef and our waiter or waitress. Restaurants these days are more than accommodating. Since we ate out every day (all inclusive) we also were sure to take our GlutenFlam enzymes to break down inadvertent gluten. When I eat out, I take 3 capsules just before I start eating.
I can say, it feels good to have some control of your health's destiny and to choose to be an active participant in the process of staying healthy. You can choose to do it too!
Did you ever rush up to someone you caught a glimpse of and then when you tapped them on the shoulder, you realized it was not who you thought it was? it's a simple case of mistaken identity. They had enough attributes of someone you know, to trick your brain into believing it was really them. Well that is basically how it goes in your body when molecular mimicry occurs and an autoimmune process develops. In this article I would like to demystify why having gluten sensitivy often leads to autoimmune thyroid - which is the most common cause of hypothyroidism in North America.
Much study and research has been going on in the last decade or so on autoimmunity, which can be defined as a loss of immunological tolerance (the ability for your immune system to discriminate between self and non-self). Our immune system has a difficult job to do. It has to constantly police our body and discern between the proteins we are made of and all the proteins in foods, bacteria, viruses and many other proteins that come in contact with our bodies.
Our immune system consists of many components and it would be folly to attempt to fully discuss these intracasies of the immune system in one article. For the purposes of this article, I can say that part of the immune system consists of cells called T-cells. T-cells act like specially trained military assailants. These T-Cells are born in the bone marrow and then are "trained" to "understand" and recognize proteins that make up our body parts and are given instructions to leave them alone in the thymus gland (boot camp). Only T-Cells that make the grade are allowed to mature - those that don't are programed to die early (apoptosis). 99 out of 100 T-Cells don't make the grade. The training process continues in other parts of the body as well. Obviously it is a very selective process...and for good reason. You want your T-Cells to tolerate your own parts and protect you, not "chew you up", right?
Basically, autoimmunity can be defined simply as, exceptions to the tolerance "rules." By doing this, an immune response is generated against self-tissue and cells which are made of proteins and peptides.
Peptides are a group of amino acids bound together in a short chain. Think of peptides like different words. Words are made up of varying sequences of the 26 letters that make up our alphabet. Proteins are longer sequences of amino acids and would be analagous to a sentence, which is made up of many more letters in varying sequences. The food we eat, and all of the cells of our body, are made or proteins and many of the chemicals that are part of our makeup are comprised of peptides.
One of the most prevalent peptides in gluten containing grains (wheat, rye and barley) is alpha gliadin 33-mer. Let's say the amino acid sequence (in letters) for alpha gliadin 33-mer starts with A-A-B-C-D. When someone who has gluten intolerance, their immune system will often target alpha gliadin 33-mer with antibodies, which in turn will trigger T-Cells to destroy alpha gliadin 33-mer with its A-A-B-C-D amino acid sequence. It turns out that the cells that make up parts of our thyroid gland are made of proteins that also begin with an amino acid sequence A-A-B-C-D, too!
I'll bet you can guess what happens in the gluten sensitive individual (like me)! You are right if you deduced the immune system in a gluten sensitive individual not only targets alpha gliadin 33-mer with its A-A-B-C-D amino acid sequence, but also the individuals' thyroid gland cells (molecular mimicry)! This is the essence of how gluten sensitivity often leads to developing autoimmune thyroid disease (AITD). The link is so well-established that researchers suggest all people with AITD be screened for gluten intolerance, and vice versa. You can read about the BEST testing for gluten intolerance can now be done through our office.
This case of mistaken identity occurs in many disease processes including celiac disease, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases.
The good news with celiac disease and often autoimmune thyroid, is that you can steer away from molecular mimicry by eliminating the offensive protein (gluten) from your diet - for life!
The latest numbers indicate that as many as one in every 5 people
(yes, that's right) have some form of gluten-sensitivity.
Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2010 Jun;14(6):567-72
Until next time...
If you found value in this article, please use the social sharing icons at the top of this post and please share with those you know who are still suffering with low thyroid symptoms despite having medical managment. Thank you, help me reach more people so they may regain their zest for living!
All the best – Dr. Johnson – Digging Deeper To Find Solutions