The Quest for Youth
A common trait for us Baby Boomers is that we want to live long, active, healthy lives. We are not going to go quietly into our “Golden Years” but instead we’ll be riding high on our mountain bikes, skis or wake boards! When I was a kid, people in their 50’s looked old and acted old. Today, at 57, I don’t feel old and I certainly don’t think I’m old. I’m not ready for the rocker on the porch or the park bench yet! But, if I follow my genetic predisposition, I may not be around to celebrate a triple digit birthday.
A Tale of Two Gene Pools
My maternal grandmother lived to be 103 and 7 months but her husband died of his third heart attack at age 63. My mom died of inflammatory breast cancer at 67. My mother looked my grandfather and I looked like both my mom and grandfather, so that doesn’t give me the best genetics for living to 100. My mom’s sister is in her 80’s and takes after my grandmother in looks and build. Her grandmother lived to be 93. Now those are some genes to be proud of! What was the difference in these gene pools?
Loss of Self-Tolerance
No, this doesn’t mean you can’t stand yourself! ;-)) The loss of self-tolerance means that you have developed antibodies to your own tissues at excessive levels and they are attacking your body. I was told of a study of centenarians (people 100 or older) that found one of the things they all had in common was normal levels of antibodies in their blood. In other words, they were not attacking their own bodies with their immune system.
Many chronic degenerative diseases like diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, hypothyroid, dementia, adrenal failure, etc., have an autoimmune component to them. See link for an extensive list: http://autoimmunediseaselist.com/a-to-z.php). Ever see a skinny person with diabetes? That is an autoimmune attack on their pancreas that kills the islet cells and their body no longer produces insulin.
Plaque formation in the arteries is rarely caused by too much cholesterol in your body. Studies have shown that over 50% of the people who die from a heart attack have normal cholesterol levels. Coronary artery disease, according to the autoimmune theory of heart disease, is caused by an attack on the lining of your coronary arteries by antibodies designed to protect you.
My grandfather had blocked coronary arteries in his 40’s and then developed an aortic aneurysm in his late 50’s before having his final heart attack a few years later. An aneurysm is an abnormal widening or ballooning of a portion of an artery due to weakness in the wall of the blood vessel.
A few years ago, knowing my genetic predisposition, I had a heart scan to measure the plaque in my coronary arteries. I came back with moderate plaque and an early aortic aneurysm. We also know from testing my blood that I have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis which is an autoimmune attack on my thyroid. Looking back, I believe both my mother and grandfather could have had the same thyroid problem that was undiagnosed.
Once you have one autoimmune problem, there are usually others that are affecting your body but may not be readily found or routinely tested as part of a physical or normal blood tests. It certainly won’t be on your 9HealthFair results. That is why I ran the Cyrex Labs Array 5 Multiple Autoimmune Reactivity Screen on myself and my youngest daughter. It showed that I had 13 different antibodies (out of 24 tested) at higher than normal levels and my daughter had 6. Sorry about the faulty genetics Alexis!
The Numbers Don’t Add Up
The Life-Expectancy calculators that you can find on the internet are based on the likelihood of you developing cancer, diabetes and heart disease based on your genetics and your lifestyle; like eating red meat, white carbs and not wearing sunscreen.
There is nothing wrong with eating organically raised red meat, but the commercial red meat is full of hormones and antibiotics. Same goes for chicken and other meats. Organic meats are not accounted for in the Life-Expectancy calculators I have seen.
Based on my lifestyle of consistent exercise, not smoking and diet, it calculated my life expectancy at 96. With an immune system left unattended to continue attacking many tissues in my body, I will be lucky to reach 66.
The Vicious Cycle
Without getting too complicated, the autoimmune attack is perpetuated by NF Kappa Beta that is found in all cell types. It is a protein complex that controls transcription of DNA and is activated by stress, chemicals, allergens, nutritional imbalances, chronic infections, etc.
Once, triggered, NF-kB is a self-feeding cycle that can continue on indefinitely. Chronically activated NF-kB has been linked to cancer, inflammatory conditions and autoimmune diseases. Dr. Datis Kharrazian has been studying this problem for many years and has developed nutritional products to help regulate this cycle and to dampen an immune system that is attacking the body excessively.
Control vs. Treatment
There really aren’t “cures” for an autoimmune condition but rather things that you can do to dampen the attack. Gluten, dairy, GMO foods all seem to aggravate an autoimmune attack on your body. I can put 3 inches on my waist overnight by eating gluten and then it takes 2 weeks for those 3 inches to go away.
Some people can be flared-up for 3 months following an exposure to gluten or other food allergens. If you have been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, you should at least be avoiding gluten, if not soy, dairy and corn as well.
Good resveratrol and turmeric help to dampen the NF-kB cycle and calm it down. Resvero and Tumero liquids, that Dr. K developed, are great for this. Fish oil and vitamin D help to support the balance and regulation of your immune system. This is probably why proper vitamin D levels help to protect you from 30 different types of cancer. Your vitamin D3 levels should be above 60 on your blood test. People with autoimmune problems already, like me, have a hard time making D and need to use the liquid form instead of the powder.
Making sure the body has enough glutathione to heal the damaged cells is also important. Glutathione is not readily absorbed orally but works well through the skin or intravenously. We use Oxi-cell or Super Oxi-cell.
Healing leaky gut, leaky brain and leaky lungs helps to minimize the stimulation of the immune system and keep it from going into hyper-drive. Our Repair-Vite and Purification programs heal the digestive system and the Clear-Vite program heals the liver. Neuro-flam and other supplements help the brain and lung barrier systems.
There are currently no drugs that work to heal these barrier systems or modulate your immune system like these nutrients do but they are working on synthetic drugs that can be patented to try and create a similar effect. As usual, they will also created adverse effects that weren’t planned on like all drugs do.
Win a New iPad Contest
In order to update our website, we need some help from you. We want your stories about your experience with our office: the Good, the Great and the Ugly. We want your Success Stories, what we do right, what we did wrong, etc. Every person who sends us a story will be entered into a drawing for a new iPad (or $500 cash if you don’t want the iPad). It doesn’t matter if it is a compliment or a complaint, you will still be entered in the drawing. In addition to updating our website, we want your input so that we can better help you and help others.
When we tell someone we can help them, it has less impact than when others say we helped them. We are bad about updating our testimonials so we are going to make it a fun project for everyone. Time is of the essence so you must fax, email or mail your story, comments or complaints to us by August 31st to be in the drawing. We look forward to learning better ways to serve you and to use your stories to educate others.
We have been using email for the past few years as our means of sending out our monthly newsletter. Unfortunately, only about 25% of our list actually gets delivered. We need everyone’s email address so that we can send you important information when we need to: like when I had to cancel my Wed hours to be on jury duty or we close the office due to bad weather. We will never give out your email address to anyone and we won’t slam you with daily or weekly emails. Also, we are sending out a postcard telling people about our iPad Contest. If you don’t get one then we do not have your correct mailing address and we need that, too. You can email, fax or mail that to us as well.
Twitter and Facebook
I have had a Twitter and Facebook account for a long time but I seldom post anything. It seems that everywhere you go, businesses are asking you to “follow” or “friend” them. Is it me or does it seem like over-kill to be ‘liking” a gym, a chain restaurant or a big box store? I can see chatting with friends and keeping up with them but not sure I want to be part of the constant bombardment of random thoughts being posted every second on Facebook and Twitter. I have posted to Twitter a few times over the years and may do it more often if people are interested. (twitter.com/drcraigreese)
We will be closed on Monday Sept 3rd for Labor Day but no schedule changes for the month of August…yet. I might get a last minute deal to go diving that I just can’t refuse. Who knows? ;-)
Stephanie will be gone for a few days in the middle of August for her vacation but I still plan on being here.