Irsfeld Pharmacy Blog
I indicated in my last article that we would look at some non-drug ways to deal with autoimmune disorders. Before we dive into that lets take a look at something that I have spoken about many times in the past, the gut. As Hippocrates was quoted as saying in 4th century, “All disease begins in the gut”. Why would he say that? And wow did he hit the nail on the head.
Our guts or our gastrointestinal tract, are really outside of our body. Think of a tube running through the middle of our body from our mouths to our backside. They are in our body but not really in our body. Think of it as being similar to our skin however several things make it rather unique.
The lining of our gut is only 1 cell thick. These tightly packed cells are what protects us from a sewer system. We absorb nutrients through this lining, which is designed to absorb 1, 2 and 3 chain amino acids through and in between these cells. If our gut is not healthy, we can develop leaky or hyper-permiable gut ,which are gaps in the tightly packed cells that line the gut.
As I had indicated in my last article, if our bodies detect something that is foreign, it creates an inflammatory response. If larger chain amino acids or proteins are absorbed and distributed throughout our bodies, the natural response will be inflammation.
This response is not an anaphylactic response similar to a person with a peanut allergy whose airways close off and they could die from coming in contact with the allergen. The reaction is more low level and is harder to pin down. I like to pick on gluten because it is easy these days as many people prefer a gluten free diet. I personally choose that because I find my knees to be less achy when I don’t eat gluten.
If you eat gluten, or potentially any food, every day, and you have a leaky gut, those proteins being absorbed and your body looks at it as foreign creating an inflammatory. How would you know you had a gluten issue? The same can be said about a microbe, a toxin or any food.
The closest thing we will come to for a cure is to pinpoint the thing that is causing the inflammation and avoid it. In the case of a leaky gut, fixing the gut and taking care of that natural defense mechanism.
Fixing the gut can be done with the use of products like probiotics, glutamine, aloe vera and colostrum. Keep in mind that once we fix the gut, we need to take care of it. That goes back to many tenants of the Magnificent 7: Eat, Drink, Sleep, Move, Think, Talk and Poop right. For many, this will be an overhaul of the way they live and will not be easy but then again not feeling well for the rest of your life is not easy either.
I hope you found this information helpful. Stop by the pharmacy for more information on leaky gut and how to fix it . Until next time, be vigilant about your health!!
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It seems like more and more patients that we see in the pharmacy are dealing with autoimmune disorders (AD). According to Amy Myers, MD, author of the Autoimmune Solution, "In the past 50 years, the incidence of autoimmunity in the US has tripled”. Statistics show that up to 5% of the US population suffers from AD, which adds up to about 15 million.
Some of the most common AD’s include: rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, multiple sclerosis, sjorgrens syndrome, and hashimoto’s thyroiditis. The AD spectrum or umbrella may have up to an additional 80 disease states.
In todays article we will discuss some of the causes and conventional treatments with a follow-up article discussing ways to deal with the disorder without medications.
The way our bodies handle inflammation is really quite amazing. When we come in contact with something that is foreign or if we sustain an injury, our natural response is to create an inflammatory reaction. We send “inflammatory mediators” such as white blood cells, macrophages and lymphocytes to the site to address the breach in our defenses.
Eventually when our bodies have the issue under control, the inflammation subsides and we get back to a normal state. In an autoimmune state, we start the inflammatory process like we normally would but instead of things returning to normal, the inflammation is ongoing and does not subside.
A common question is “why does inflammation continue?” The answer lies in determining what the cause is. Microbes (bacteria, virus or parasite), toxins, allergens, poor diet and stress can all be causes of this ongoing inflammation. For some, it can be a lifelong search to find the cause, for others taking medications to deal with the problem may be the only option that they know of.
The pharmaceutical options work well for many but come along with a huge price tag, up to $60,000 per year, with serious side effects and in the end are only a band aid to the ongoing disease process, they are not a cure.
A better potential band aid would be the use of low dose naltrexone a drug that has been around for 50 years. The patent has expired many years ago and therefore drug companies are not willing to invest in it because they would not have the exclusive rights to the drug.
It is a safe, low side effect and inexpensive way to treat autoimmune conditions. In its low dose, it needs to be compounded by a compounding pharmacy. It is, once again, a band aid, but in my opinion it is a better band aid than what is currently available. The cure, however, lies in the cause and I will discuss that in my next article.
Stop by the pharmacy for more information on low dose naltrexone or research for yourself online https://www.ldnresearchtrust.org . Until next time, be vigilant about your health!!
The definition of a Drug Induced Nutrient Depletions (DIND) is quite simple, you take a medication and over time it depletes a necessary nutrient from your body. This is a subject that you will be hearing more and more about and it can have a significant effect on your long-term health if it is not addressed.
One of the most commonly recognized forms of this is taking a water pill also called a diuretic that depletes potassium from your system. Your practitioner monitors potassium closely and will often times prescribe a potassium supplement to counteract what is going on in your body.
Here are some of the side effects to low potassium:
• Weakness, tiredness, or cramping in arm or leg muscles.
• Tingling or numbness.
• Nausea or vomiting.
• Abdominal cramping, bloating and constipation.
• Palpitations (feeling your heart beat irregularly)
Unfortunately diuretics are not the only medications that can cause DIND’s. A class of compounds called statins is famous for depleting the body of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), which can cause muscle aches and other troublesome side effects. CoQ10 is required for the conversion of carbohydrates to ATP, which is energy and it happens in the mitochondria of our cells. It is hard to function without energy production so depletion can have significant consequences. Energy production is accomplished by good nutrition from our diets but also by replacing CoQ10 being depleted by statin drugs.
Magnesium is another nutrient that is commonly depleted. I have talked about magnesium in previous articles and how it plays a role in approximately 300 functions in the body. There are over 100 medicines that cause magnesium depletion such as diuretics, atenolol, omeprazole, estrogen, and numerous antibiotics such as doxycycline.
How do you know if you are taking medications that deplete nutrients? The best way would be to ask your practitioner or pharmacist. The solution is often an easy fix with replacing the nutrient being depleted. If you want to dig deeper, micronutrient testing from a company such as Spectrocell is an option.
Stop by the pharmacy for more information on DIND and for help in reviewing your current medications for potential depletions. Until next time, be vigilant about your health!!