At a workshop I gave over the weekend I had a woman come up to me afterwards to ask about her auto-immune disorder. She ate amazingly clean but was still having many ups and downs with her progress and symptoms. I could tell in the first minute of this conversation that she was someone that always had to be in control of her life.
So I asked about her home life and marriage. “They’re great but my husband and son won’t do what I tell them to improve their health.”
Would you say you are often frustrated and irritated by their lack of drive to seek health like you do? She said, “yes, they just don’t get it.”
I said, that’s why your symptoms go on roller coasters. You like control and the easiest thing to control is what you put in your mouth. You can’t control other’s motivations, especially grown men and children.
Your immune system has 2 basic branches. TH1 and TH2. Simplistically, the TH1 side is more responsible for the symptom side of sickness like coughing, runny nose, fever, vomiting, diarrhea, etc. The TH2 side is more for antibody formation.
In times of stress (physical, chemical, emotional, social, and spiritual), your body, via Cortisol, will suppress the TH1 side. It’s not going to be efficient to your survival if you have to stop and throw up or stop to fill your pants if there is a lion chasing you down. Short term, no problem.
Long term, you suppress your first line of defense (TH1) enough to the point that the antibody side (TH2) gets over enhanced and makes your auto-immune progress up and down. I know this first hand.
As a kid I was always sick. Ear infections, bronchitis, strep throat, obesity, and I can’t count how many rounds of antibiotics I had growing up. When I got to college, I developed eczema so bad I would open my hand to a bloody mess. Enter the steroid creams and any lotion that would give an ounce of relief from the itching and eventual pain.
It wasn’t until chiropractic college until I started connecting the dots of what I was eating to my skin lesions. As I cleaned up my diet of sugars, grains, and dairy in addition to adding some key supplements to support my gut, did I see major improvement in the eczema symptoms.
For 2 -3 years I was symptom free…until I took my first chiro gig at a clinic that had me the most emotionally stressed of any situation in my short life at that time. Let’s just saw pretty much any and all of my values were incongruent with what the boss was wanting us to do clinically. Though my diet was good, I was having major flare ups; not just my hands but also on my arms and neck.
Though diet was a huge factor in the flare ups, even when controlled, the emotional toll took over. If you’re struggling with auto-immune flare ups from thyroid, MS, eczema, or anything else, you have to attack it from all aspects of life, not just what you’re putting in your body. Nutritional can be the best place to start as it can be the easiest to control but it’s the beginning steps of a journey that will force you to tackle many other life obstacles.
You have to look at your movement routine, your relationships, your life purpose, financial burden, environmental exposure, etc. Your greatest control will come through what you eat but it’s not the only aspect of your life that needs addressing. Many times you need some help to stay on track. That’s my role and having been through it, know it can be a frustrating journey. If you need some guidance, you know where to find me.
Good stuff Dr. Kurt. Helps possibly explain some recent flair ups we’ve seen in GH, however hard to help him deal with what he finds stressful. Glad to understand it a bit more though.