Autoimmune natural treatment

Genetics loads the gun, environment pulls the trigger.

Autoimmune disease is like punching yourself in the face and not being able to stop it.

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What is an autoimmune disease?

An autoimmune disease develops when your bodies immune system malfunctions and decides that the healthy cells of your body are foreign and starts to attack itself. Different types of autoimmune disorders can occur based on which tissues of the body are being affected. Whether its the nerves of Multiple Sclerosis or the thyroid in Hashimotos Thyroiditis. The mechanism is similar.

There are over 100 different autoimmune diseases. Some of the most common are Rheumatoid arthritis, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE), Celiac Sprue, Pernicious anemia, Vitiligo, scleroderma, Psoriasis, Inflammatory bowel disease, Hashimotos thyroiditis, Addisons Disease, Graves Disease, Sjogrens, Type 1 Diabetes, and the list goes on, and on, and on. Literally!

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Autoimmune (AI) Diseases are on the rise

Autoimmune disorders(AI) are on the rise significantly! AARD estimates that the total cost of treating AI disorders to be in excess of 100 billion per year. Between the years of 1970 and 2000 there was a 300% increase in the prevalence of AI diseases, and it's continuing to escalate. And that's a low estimate. It doesn’t include the millions of people that suffer from low grade AI disorders and just think it's “normal”.

The current prediction for the year 2020 is that 1 in 9 women will have an AI disease by the time they are 50 years old.

For all the attention that breast cancer and coronary heart disease get, autoimmune diseases occur more than breast cancer and heart disease combined. Currently there are 9.8 million people, mostly women, living with AI disease. In contrast there are 7.2 with heart disease and 2.2 with breast cancer.

This is a HUGE problem that will only get worse with time. The estimated cost for all AI diseases is in the 100 billion range and escalating. The cost to an individual in a cohort study that looked at Rhuematoid patients found that the average out of pocket cost per patient per year to be
$20,000. The cost for a patient with moderate to severe Psoriasis to be up to $27,600 depending on the patients insurance coverage.

I guess if your not lucky enough to have good insurance your out of luck.

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Why are Autoimmune Diseases on the rise?

There is no questioning that all chronic diseases are on the rise. Some of them directly attributable to certain things. Autoimmune disease in not one of those things. But… we do know what contributes to it and what to do about it. Hint: Not drugs.

A common phrase that many Functional Medicine Physicians use is
“Genetics load the gun, and environment pulls the trigger.” What this essentially means is that we are all predisposed to certain things based on what genes we have. However, it doesn’t mean that you will necessarily get that disease.

Some of the most common triggers involved in the development of Autoimmune disease include viruses, bacteria, medications (which are toxins), pollutants, hormones and stress. A lot of these triggers are often involved in causing an inflammatory response thus ultimately leading to an overactive immune response against the body. Other causes that should be considered when determining the cause of a developed AI disease include gluten sensitivity, Immunizations (which contain thimersol, a KNOWN immune toxin), mycotoxins from molds, infections from candida, epstein barr, and herpes simplex. While this list is not all inclusive it does contain the majority of issues that contribute to the development of AI disease.

I would like to point out that the rate of AI disease in the US is significantly higher than in third world countries. While studies do not explain why this is the case, some very smart people have suggested that this is due to 3 possible reasons.

1) Living in a third world country, the population is exposed to a much greater biodiversity of microbiome. What this means is that the good bacteria in their intestines are much greater in number and variety than that of the typical American. The good bacteria in the intestines often contributes up to 50% of immune system health.

2) Living in the US we are obsessed with cleanliness. Which can be a good thing. However this can be a bad thing too. (This reason is kind of a combination of reason 1 and 3.) In trying to be super clean we are exposed to all kinds of antibacterial products(toxins) and in the process we are limiting ourselves to what micro biome we are exposed to. In short, BAD!

3) TOXINS! In my opinion this IS the most common reason for the development of AI disease.

Wrap this around your head real quick.

According to the EPA website, as of the year 2008, there were over 84,000 chemicals in commercial use. Many of them used in products we use every day. Every year there are 1,000 new chemical products in use. Of those 90K chemicals in use by now only 1% have had any type of studies done on them, simply because the chemical companies say, Nah! we don’t want to or thats privileged information. NO OVERSIGHT.
In Another study in 2009, 232 chemicals were found the cord blood of all the babies studied.

How can we think that all these chemicals and toxins are
not affecting our bodies and our babies?

Anyway, For more information on toxins check our my other webpage here.

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The problem with conventional/western treatment
of autoimmune diseases.

Conventional or western treatment for autoimmune disease, or most other diseases for that matter, revolve around covering or controlling symptoms. Not necessarily addressing the root cause of the symptoms. Functional Medicine anyone?

One of the most common treatments include immuno-suppressants. The problem with this route is fairly obvious. You are basically killing the immune system so you don’t have symptoms. This leads to an increased risk of developing severe or life threatening infections and an increased risk of developing cancer. The immune system is responsible for killing all those cancer cells before they multiply after all. Kill the immune system and there is no one to kill the cancer cells. Simple.

Another treatment that is sometimes used for certain autoimmune diseases, particularly Graves Disease, is radiation therapy. Hmmmm. Radiation doesn’t sound too good. But put the word "therapy" behind it, and it suddenly becomes not only ok, but good. I don’t think so! This treatment is sometimes called an “Atomic Cocktail”. We all know what radiation does - Cancer.

Finally, corticosteroids are used for symptom abatement. Initially when people take these they think “great, I'm cured”. Then a month or two down the road reality sets in. They are having to use higher and higher doses of stronger medications to get the same result. Before you know it they have ballooned in weight, have moon face, are diabetic and depressed, with no sex drive. Corticosteroids also increase the risk of adrenal insufficiency, osteoporosis, cataracts, and they inhibit the immune system by “inducing lymphocyte death”. Doesn’t sound too good to me.

So Whats a Gal (or guy) to do?

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Let me make this perfectly clear. The very first thing you should do is contact a Functional Medicine Physician. I highly recommend (me obviously ;-)) finding a physician that has been trained through the Institute of Functional Medicine. Autoimmune diseases can be a difficult and finicky condition. I don’t recommend taking it on alone. Some things that are recommended for one patient can be very detrimental to another. Get some help.

PS. - I do offer phone consultations for those that are “distance challenged” to my office.

Call For an Appointment Today 1-833-372-7244

Treatment for autoimmune diseases can be tricky and are as varied as the type of people that I see in my office. That being said, here are some general guidelines that can help in dealing with your autoimmune disease. While not an all inclusive list it can be used as a starting point. As always, I highly recommend a phone consultation or finding another Functional medicine doctor to guide you on your journey to health.
First I’m gonna list some supplements that are often thought of as being beneficial to the immune system, and they are for the normal person. To the person with AI disease these are to be avoided. They are immuno-stimulative. They boost the immune system. We don’t want to boost the immune system, we want to restore it.

11 General guidelines for the treatment of Autoimmune diseases

1) Find a Functional Medicine Doctor
2) Get Tested for toxins
3) Get tested for food sensitivities
4) Take immune BALANCING supplements
5) Detoxify, Detoxify, Detoxify.
6) Decrease protein intake from animals to plants
7) eliminate milk and milk products
8) More fruits and veggies - NON GMO, More on that in a later blog
9) Eliminate polyunsaturated vegetable oils, margarine, vegetable shortening, hydrogenated oi, trans fats
10) Increase intake of Omega 3 fatty acids - EPA/DHA. Low mercury fish
11) Use more ginger and Turmeric in cooking

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1) Garlic - Contains Allicin, ajoene, thiosufinates. These increase the activity of WBCs, particularly Macrophages and lymphocytes.

2) Echinacea, golden seal, astragalus - these stimulate the immune system by up regulating TH1 cells. Not good for AI disease.

3) Alfalfa Sprouts - Contains L-canavanine. This has shown to increase inflammation. No Bueno

4) Melatonin - Often though of as a sleep aid, and it is, it has also been shown to stimulate the immune system.

5) Rozerem - This is used as a sleep aid medication, but this drugs mimics the action of melatonin, thus stimulation.

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1) Vitamin D - Has been shown to stimulate calcitriol which is an antibacterial protein and acts as a first line defense of the immune system.

2) EPA/DHA - Immune Balancing

3) Gamma Linolenic Acid - Immune balancing

4) Probiotics - Immune balancing, I recommend at least 50billion per serving and limited to no prebiotics which can contribute to SIBO if present.

5) Vitamin B6 - assists in interluekin 2 production. Must be taken in conjunction with right ration of other B vitamins.

6) Antioxidants - Always good for regulating functions of the body.

7) DHEA - used to balance the hormones of the body and battle adrenal fatigue. I always recommend adrenal testing prior to taking this one. See A Functional Medicine Doctor or get a phone appointment.

While recommending one test for autoimmune diseases is a difficult thing to do. If you have already been diagnosed with an auto immune disorder, there are two particular tests that I will often recommend. The first is a stool analysis. The second is a food sensitivity test.

The reason behind recommending the stool analysis is due to the fact that 50-60% of your immune system in in the intestinal system. If you have a digestive disorder then your immune system will not be functioning right. So no matter how hard we try to fix a misfunctioning immune system, If the intestines are not working then we are just beating our heads against a wall.
The most common stool analysis is the CDSA test that can be found on my test guide page.

The second test I will often order is the food sensitivity test. This test will often go along with a properly functioning intestinal tract. Here is the short version of how it works. Your GI tract is essentially considered outside or your body since it is an open tube from the mouth to your anus. I realize it can close, but it does open. Anyway, the lining of your intestinal tract is one cell layer thigh. Normally those cells are tightly packed together only letting the good stuff in and keeping the bad stuff out. What happens when you are eating foods that continually irritate your system is those tight junctions between those cells start to break down and widen. As they widen it will allow other toxins and antigens into the body. This will in turn excite or cause the immune system to continually overproduce antibodies. This over production of antibodies will then start to overwhelm your system and can often start attacking other areas such as the thyroid, joints, nervous system or other areas.

The test I recommend can be found on my test guide page or purchased below. It is the Genova or Labcorp IGG food sensitivity test.
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Hearing testimonials from other people that have been in your same situation often gives hope and encouragement. Take comfort in the fact that we have helped a TON of patients with all kinds of auto immune diseases and not one of them have not reported a significant improvement.


I suffered from relapsing MS for years before finding Dr. Mortensen. He has helped me tremendously.
Natalie M.
I had Hashimotos Thyroidiitis and was just on medications. I still gained weight and felt tied all the time. Dr. Mortensens Natural treatment program was wonderful.
Sarah C.
I have a family history or Lupus, eczema, MS and other autoimmune diesases I cant pronounce. With Dr. Mortensens help I have kept all my symptoms under control and in check!
John A.

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Dr. Craig Mortensen
151 N. Kraemer Blvd., #115
Placentia, CA 92870

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