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Welcome to the website for Jim Chialtas, L.Ac., and Laurel Acupuncture Clinic of Functional Medicine, located in San Diego. Here you will find information about my clinic and services, as well as many articles about common health concerns that I address in my practice.

In addition to seeing clients privately in my clinic, I also offer many of the same services remotely to US residents. Please feel free to contact me via email or call me at 619-200-8904 to set up a consultation or appointment. Thank you!

10/15/08

A Body Fighting Against Itself

Probably one of the most up and coming of serious medical problems facing Americans today is auto-immunity. An auto-immune condition is one in which the immune system works to attack a particular tissue in the body. This problem can lead to a huge variety of disorders including Type I Diabetes, Multiple Sclerosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Hashimoto’s (auto-immune thyroid), and many many more. The title of this article is actually two fold. It points out that not only are our bodies fighting against themselves, but the medical establishment, and the population as a whole is also caught up in a system that is working towards self destruction.

Let me use the example of a recent patient of mine who came in with concerns about “feeling terrible.” She has been on Thyroid medication for a long time but does not feel that it is helping. After a simple blood test we discovered that she was not classically hypothyroid (low thyroid) as her doctors diagnosed her, but auto-immune thyroid. Her immune system is attacking her thyroid gland which of course led to deficiencies in her thyroid output. One particular antibody specific to her thyroid tissue was over 11,000. It should not be above 40! This indicates that her immune system is attacking her thyroid gland in a big way. Her doctors never caught this fact. It took going to an acupuncturist that she was referred to in order to find this information out. And it was an out-of-pocket expense. So in this case, and millions of others, the patient’s needs were not being met by the system. Therefore, the root of the problem is not being treated. Hence a medical system which has mechanisms in place that work to weaken and disable the people it is trying to help. I consider this an auto-immune condition of society at large.

The reason that these tests are not run on a routine basis in the mainstream is that the therapy would not really change either way. The mainstream medical model is very much a “replacement” model. By this I mean that if there is anything wrong with you hormonally they will prescribe for you replacement hormones. End of story. This most often ends up working against us, and usually does not help the symptoms of the problem for very long. When was the last time you heard of anyone taking thyroid medications that felt “great” about it? It just never happens. In fact in cases of auto-immune thyroid the antibodies that attack the thyroid gland also block the thyroid hormone receptors. It is the hormone/receptor interaction that allows hormones to act on our body. Without a good hormone/receptor interaction you have nothing! So this means that even with supplemental hormone therapy the person won’t feel better because the hormones won’t bind and stimulate the receptor like they are supposed to! It is a self defeating concept to give thyroid hormones to an auto-immune thyroid patient. And it beomes an important concept because 50 - 80% of all hypothyroid patients are estimated to be auto-immune thyroid!

Medical doctors do have some methods for treating auto-immune conditions which involves suppressing the immune system either chemically or by removing certain immune system glands. This lends itself to infectious diseases and a lifetime of worry over contracting a serious illness. In fact a common flu could kill you this way. There may be a time for this, but how about looking into safer and more effective alternatives first? Ones which work at the root of the problem. They are out there, and I can help you with them.

One basic concept is important to understand about all auto-immune conditions… No matter what problem you think you have, like the thyroid problem I mentioned above, it is now an immune system problem and not a problem with the particular organ or gland being affected. You can throw all the support that you want toward the effected organ and you will not get anywhere. You will continue to struggle and feel sick until the root of the problem is dealt with. Moderating the immune system is the only way to take back your health from conditions like these. Only once you have the immune system under control can you begin to effectively support the effected organ or gland.

Allow me the opportunity to help you or the people around you with these problems. Treating auto-immune conditions requires very specific analysis of the immune system. These tests simply are not being done in the mainstream medical system. And remember… Don’t let where you live stop you from contacting me. I can work long distance with great success. Call or email me today and set up a consultation. Let’s start the process of getting you back to feeling good again!

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