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3 Secret Blood Tests for Autoimmunity August 4, 2010

Posted by Dr. Brady Hurst in Autoimmunity, Lab Testing.
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Autoimmunity occurs when the immune system attacks healthy tissue. These diseases are quickly becoming a major global health problem. The top 10 that are most common in the United States are:
  1. Hashimoto’s Disease (Hypothyroidism)
  2. Graves’ Disease (Hyperthyroidism)
  3. Rheumatoid Arthritis (Joints)
  4. Lupus (Multiple tissues)
  5. Sjogren’s Syndrome (Dry Eyes, Skin, and Mouth)
  6. Celiac Disease (Gut)
  7. Psoriasis (Skin and Joints)
  8. Multiple Sclerosis (Brain Cells)
  9. Antiphospholipid Syndrome (Blood Clotting)
  10. Type 1 Diabetes (Pancreas)

Conventional diagnosis of autoimmune diseases is commonly done through a blood test that looks for antibodies against healthy cells. After these antibodies are found, conventional medicine recommends taking immune suppressive drugs and/or hormone replacement therapy for life – with risks that greatly outweigh the benefits. Functional medicine (advanced natural medicine) has powerful and natural tools that dramatically improve the lives of those with autoimmune diseases without these risks.

The reason why conventional medicine has failed with autoimmunity is because their model is not designed to look for the individual cause (or promoters) of the immune dysfunction. Two different people with Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism will have very different immune dysfunctions therefore will need different protocols. The key is to get a clear picture of the individual’s unique immune system can only be achieve through functional laboratory testing.

The Three Secrete Blood Tests

TH1 / TH2 Cytokine Test– Your white blood cells communicates with each other through proteins called cytokines. You immune system consists of mainly two systems: The first attackers (Th1 cells) and antibodies (Th2 cells). In a properly functioning immune system, the Th1 and Th2 cells should be in balance like a see-saw. When one of these systems becomes more powerful than the other, and autoimmunity can be triggered. The goal is to balance this system. Since many therapies used in natural medicine can influence this see-saw, it is critical to know which side is dominant in order to promote balance.

CD4 CD8 Ratio Panel (Immune System Analysis)– We have cells in our immune system called “helper cells” that help our white blood cells attack foreign innovators.  Other cells help turn off the immune attack (“suppressor cells”) when the fight is over. This important test it allows you and your doctor to know if a foreign innovator (bacteria, virus, food, environmental toxin, and/or heavy metals) are influencing the autoimmune attack or if the immune system is dysfunctional due to other causes like chronic stress or nutritional insufficiencies.

Vitamin D Test– Vitamin D is not actually a vitamin, it’s a hormone. A hormone that plays an extremely important role in the modulation, or balancing, of the immune system. Not only do most people suffering with autoimmune diseases have low levels of vitamin D but they also have genetic changes that keeps vitamin D from being used in the body. This means they many need to take very high doses of vitamin D in order to function properly. Since vitamin D influenced blood calcium levels it is necessary to have your vitamin D levels rechecked often until optimal levels are achieved. (The vitamin D test is also included in our Health Check Plus with Vitamin D blood test)

Lab tests can become expensive when ordered by a clinic or hospital. Many do not know that by ordering lab tests online, they only pay a fraction of the cost and save on a doctor’s visit.

“Good Treatment Starts with Great Testing”

To help you make the right choice, you may schedule a free phone consultation with one of our highly trained doctors.  We will listen to your health concerns and help determine the best lab tests for you.  Regardless of your diagnosis, the picture that these tests creates is extremely useful for anyone suffering with autoimmune diseases.


Terror Plot Lurks at the Bottom of the Food Pyrimid October 30, 2009

Posted by Dr. Brady Hurst in Food.
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Where’s the Terrorist?!

If there were ever were to be a terror plot to effect all of society, it would be the recommended 6-11 servings of processed carbohydrates recommended on the USA’s Food Pyramid. If you asked a room full of doctors that were nutrition experts if they would recommend the food pyramid to their patients, you will most likely see zero hands go up. Here are a few reasons why:

pyramid

  • Process grains are stripped of their husk, the shell that contains most of the nutrients. This is one of the reasons why the FDA recommended fortifying breads with vitamins and minerals.
  • The husk breaks down quickly at room temperature. This means bad news for grain company’s profits and even worse news for you…
  • The husk is dense which allows slow digestion of the carbohydrate center. Since almost all bread companies have removed the husk, the carbohydrates break down very fast. This fast break down causes blood sugar to spike upward. ‘So what’? you ask?. As blood sugar levels rise, insulin is released from the pancreas to shove that sugar into your cells for energy. The higher the sugar level, the higher the insulin levels. Like any hormone, when too much gets produced the body becomes resistant to it as a self-protective measure.
  • High insulin levels can lead to:
    • Diabetes
    • Metabolic Syndrome
    • Increase testosterone in women–> Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)–> greater insulin resistance–> increased testosterone… see the cycle (see blood tests for PCOS)?
    • In men- Increased conversion of testosterone into estrogen–>Erectile dysfunction, low libido, sperm mutation (infertility), depression, cardiovascular issues, insulin resistance, diabetes, prostate cancer (see the 10 most important blood tests for men)
    • Increased cholesterol production by the liver. If the cholesterol becomes oxidized (which it will for those on the SAD diet (Standard American Diet)) it will increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and can create hormone problems (most hormones are made from cholesterol…see the new VAP cholesterol test).
    • Increased cortisol production. Prolonged cortisol exposure can shut down the immune system, further promote insulin resistance, break down muscle tissue, and promote cortical atrophy (death of brain cells, especially in the area of memory).
  • Most processed grains contain a protein called gluten. Gluten makes dough sticky if you will. Outside of breads, gluten is found in many other products like ketchup, ice-cream, salad dressing, toothpaste, and instant coffee (see entire list).
  • Since most people are constantly bombarded with gluten, their immune system may start to sift to an abnormal state and begin to overreact. Gluten is a major factor in Celiac Disease, Autism, autoimmune diseases like Rheumatoid Arthritis, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, Lupus, Sjogren’s Syndrome, and many other conditions (see related tests for autoimmunity).

The good news is that not everyone is gluten sensitive. Since most food sensitivities and allergies are delayed reactions (e.g. if you ate the offending food on Monday, you may not show any signs/symptoms until Wednesday), it makes it hard to pinpoint the problem. IgG food allergy testing is used to identity these foods which then allows you to change your dietary habits and thus greatly lessen the massive burden of  food sensitivities. IgG food allergy testing is avaliable through out website. You may also contact our office for more information.

I hope this helped heighten your knowledge of true health. Feel free to follow me on Facebook where I post very helpful articles and health tips. You can also click on the “RSS Feed” button to get notified every time I post a new article. This site is packed full of useful information so make sure you share it. To paste one of my links in a health forum is simple and could help hundreds of people.

Dr. Brady Hurst
Clinic Director for:
True Health Center for Functional Medicine
TrueHelathLabs.com (Lab Tests Online)