Chronic illness is any kind of disease process that continues for extended periods of time. People can feel miserable for weeks, months, or even years at a time with no relief in sight. For many of the conditions we treat, the regular medical world either had difficulty making the diagnosis, or with finding an effective treatment.
Why do people have chronic illness?
Chronic illness can have a number of causes: genetics, dietary habits, allergies, autoimmune disorders, toxins, chronic infections, and sometimes even cancer. Many symptoms of several different chronic illnesses can be very similar, often making diagnosis difficult. In “conventional" western medicine, merely making a diagnosis is typically the most important thing, which leads to many laboratory tests, X-rays, CT scans, etc. Oftentimes, however, chronic diseases can be lumped into one of a few major categories.
How do we treat it?
While there may be many causes for a patient's chronic illness, there are some treatments that can work very well for many different conditions. Things that are common among several chronic illnesses are decreased oxygen, increased acidity, nutrient deficiencies, and inflammation. Because of this, many of the treatments we have work for a variety of different classes of chronic illness.
low dose naltrexone
Using a very low dose of this "anti-drug" can often boost people's immune systems, fight chronic illness, decrease pain, and much more.
Naltrexone is a medicine sometimes used to treat people with narcotic addiction and alcoholism. In very low doses (less than 10% of a usual dose), naltrexone is believed to help regulate people's immune systems, helping with several different disease processes.
Naltrexone was developed in the 1980's as a treatment for heroin addicts. The concept was that if someone was on naltrexone and took heroin it wouldn't do anything.
At the time, Dr. Bihari was the head of the New York City health department and found that his patients on the medicine got depressed so they didn't want to take it long term. He tried using a MUCH lower dose and found that at this dose it helped with multiple sclerosis.
Over time it has been found to make a significant difference with numerous other medical conditions.
how it works
At the regular dose, naltrexone blocks the opioid receptors in the body for a full 24 hours. At a very low dose it blocks them for only 2-4 hours, during which time your body makes more endorphins (the body's natural morphine). When the naltrexone wears off, this new, larger supply of endorphins can help cut down on chronic pain. Endorphins also help modulate the immune system, allowing your body to better fight the things it should be fighting (like infections or disease) and not fight the things it shouldn't (i.e. autoimmune disorders).
some conditions treated
SOME CONDITIONS TREATED
(per the Low Dose Naltrexone website)
ALS, Alzheimer's, Autism, MS, Parkinson's, PTSD, etc.
AS, Behcet's, Celiac, Chronic Fatigue, Crohn's, Fibromyalgia, Hashimoto's, IBS, MG, Pemphigoid, Psoriasis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, etc.
Bladder, Breast, Carcinoid, Colon/Rectal, Liver, Lung, Melanoma, Ovarian, Pancreatic, Prostate, etc.
Other Diseases Common Colds (URI's), Emphysema (COPD), HIV/AIDS, Depression (Major; and Bipolar)
dosing and side effects
LDN is usually taken at night time just before going to bed. Occasionally patients take it in the morning. Most people tolerate it very well, with the only common side effects being:
low dose alLergy
With Low Dose Allergy (LDA) therapy we have the ability to treat most forms of allergies: foods, inhalants, chemical sensitivities, etc.
Low Dose Allergen (LDA) therapy is an amazing option for treating most forms of allergies. This includes most forms of inhaled allergens (hay fever, pollen, pet dander, etc.), food allergens (dairy, gluten, corn, etc.), and even chemical sensitivities (perfumes, formaldehyde, etc.).
LDA therapy stems from the research of Dr. Leonard McEwen, a British physician who developed Enzyme Potentiated Desensitization (EPD) therapy out of research done in the 1960's. This was used quite successfully here in the U.S. until 2002 when it was banned by the FDA. Dr. Butch Shrader continued Dr. McEwen's research and developed a next-generation form of the same kind of therapy he named Low Dose Allergen (LDA) therapy.
how it works
With LDA therapy hundreds of different antigens (things people might be allergic to) are premixed and injected into the skin along with an enzyme called "beta glucuronidase." This enzyme tells your body to quit reacting to those antigens so much. It does this by raising the levels of the T-Regulator cells, which calm down the immune response to that particular antigen.
not an "allergy shot"
At first glance, LDA appears similar to "regular allergy shots." Both involve intermittent injections to treat allergic conditions. But that's where the similarities end.
low dose immunotherapy
Low Dose Immunotherapy (LDI) aims to treat different autoimmune disorders, Parkinson's disease, Lyme disease, and more.
Low Dose Immunotherapy (LDI) is a almost identical to the Low Dose Allergy (LDA) therapy. While LDA works very well for many types of allergies, LDI can work for various autoimmune disorders and chronic infections.
lda vs. ldi
After Dr. Shrader developed LDA for multiple different types of allergies, he noted that various autoimmune disorders tended to be associated with possible low-lying infections caused by various bacteria. He made some LDA formulations using antigens for some of these, and had very good success treating several different autoimmune disorders including Rheumatoid Arthritis, Crohn's, and others. Dr. Ty Vincent later came along and extended the idea to treat Lyme Disease and came up with several other formulations which work very well for several other diseases and infections.
differences between lda/ldi
Probably the biggest difference between LDA and LDI is who came up with the therapy - Dr. Shrader trademarked the LDA name, so Dr. Vincent coined LDI. There are also some differences in how they are dosed and used - LDA typically has relatively fixed doses while LDI requires everyone to have their own specific dose. Typically with LDI, if you give a dose that's too high you can make the disease symptoms worse, too low a dose will usually do nothing, and "just right" can potentially work wonders. Because of the possibility of dosing too high, we often start at a dose we think will be too low and work up from there.
MTHFR is a common genetic deformity that could be the key to why certain people keep getting sick and how they can get better.
what is mthfr?
MTHFR stands for MethyleneTetraHydroFolate Reductase. It is a gene that processes folic acid, an essential nutrient, to a form your body can use.
MTHFR was discovered while they were working on the Human Genome Project. Defects in this gene were found to be very common in the population, so they decided to look into this further. While there are many possible defects in the gene, the most common ones are C677T and A1298C. The names have to do with where on the gene the defect is placed and what the abnormality is.
what does mthfr do?
MTHFR is the enzyme that turns folate into the more usable form, methyl folate. In people with the MTHFR abnormality, this enzyme doesn't function quite as well (40 to 80%) as in a normally-functioning person. The methyl folate in turn allows for several other steps to eventually make s-adenosine methionine (SAMe) which can help with over 180 other chemical processes in the body. Because of the defective gene, people with MTHFR deficiency are often deficient in several other important molecules, which can cause a host of problems.
some associated problems
diagnosis & treatment
Diagnosis can sometimes be made by family history but often it requires a specialized blood test. Elevated folate and B12 levels can be suggestive of this disorder. Occasionally the diagnosis is made presumptively. Treatment consists of treating with pre-activated vitamins - ones that are already in a form your body can use. Not uncommonly people will do remarkably well with these therapies alone, although some people need additional assistance with their various diagnoses.
Also known as Wilson's Temperature Syndrome, this is a protocol designed to target symptoms that seem to have no cause.
Have you or anyone you know had many or all of the symptoms of low thyroid?
Have they gone to the Doctor and checked thyroid labs only to have the labs return as normal?
Have you then been told that you don't have hypothyroid and that you don't need to be treated?
Wilson's Temperature Syndrome (WTS, also known as Wilson's Syndrome) is a protocol designed for exactly this kind of situation. Not only that, it tends to work well for many other symptoms not typically associated with thyroid, but which are associated with low temperature.
Over a hundred years ago, it was noted that the health of people with a goiter (enlarged thyroid) improved when they took large doses of iodine. It was later noticed that many people who had other related symptoms did even better taking pig thyroid. Improvements were made when they began testing for Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) - an indication of thyroid dysfunction. Although the TSH test was more specific for the thyroid, it missed about 60% of the people who had thyroid symptoms. In the 1950's-1970's, Dr. Broda Barnes treated many of these patients with pig thyroid very successfully. These treatments helped alleviate all their symptoms and also helped prevent various forms of chronic conditions including heart disease. In the 1990's, Dr. Denis Wilson noticed that while that therapy worked well for many people, the dose would often have to be continually increased to the point where it no longer worked and even made people worse! He developed a different way to treat these people that involved using T3 - the active form of thyroid hormone made by the body. This resulted in the Wilson's Protocol (WT3).
how it works
Most thyroid treatments use either T4 (the less active form of thyroid hormone) or a mixture of T4 and T3 (the active form). Either way, they are giving the T4, which can be converted into T3 in the body's tissues when needed. Unfortunately, that conversion doesn't always work as well as it needs to, and for many people much of the T4 gets converted to Reverse T3 (RT3, a form that blocks the action of T3). This can lead to symptoms of low thyroid, while tricking your brain into thinking that everything's just fine. While treating with T4 can often help with symptoms, it does nothing to fix this problem, and can actually exacerbate the problem. In the Wilson's Protocol (WT3), we treat with just the T3, allowing levels of both the T4 and the Reverse T3 (RT3) to slowly fall. Because of this, it's not uncommon, with the Wilson's Protocol for patients to progress to the point where they can taper off the medicine completely and still do very well - something that almost NEVER happens with any kind of therapy involving T4.
how to get it
Dr Vance has received special training for using this amazing protocol, has met with Dr. Wilson, and has been using it with his patients for years with much success.
Before treating a patient using this protocol, we have the patient check their daytime oral temperatures several times over a few days.
Next, we do a complete history and physical as well as labs to rule out other pathology.
Then, after counseling with the patient on the protocol and giving them specific instructions we start them on the medication, and have appropriate follow up visits to make sure things are going well.
possible side effects
While the treatment is very safe in almost every case, it is possible to get too much of the thyroid medicine which could lead to side effects such as increased heart rate, elevated temperature, increased anxiety, feeling the heart race, jitteriness, chest pains and so forth.
Usually we cut back on the medicine slowly to a point where symptoms are alleviated and patients do very well. Some patients are just ultra sensitive, and can even experience success sooner.
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