When the Body Turns On Itself

Do you have (or know someone who has) Rheumatoid Arthritis? How about Celiac Disease? Or Diabetes Type 1? How about Multiple Sclerosis? Parkinson’s?  These days you may have also heard of Lupus or Hashimoto’s Disease or Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, or maybe even Grave’s Disease.  While these seem like completely different conditions, they are all caused by the same underlying problem: a confused immune system.

The Real Culprit: The Immune System

The immune system is usually an expert at telling the difference between what is part of you and what isn’t. This ability to recognize “self” from “non-self” is crucial – without it, your immune system would attack its own cells. Well, in the conditions listed above, that is EXACTLY what’s happening. This is known as autoimmunity, or “self”-immunity, immunity against oneself.

The immune system can decide to attack any type of tissue, whether it’s muscle, organ, or gland.Here’s a brief list of the most common autoimmune disorders, and the specific part of the body under attack in each disorder:

Condition – Part of the body under attack:
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis – joint capsule
  • Diabetes Type 1 – pancreas cells that make insulin
  • Celiac Disease – small intestine cells
  • Hashimoto’s – thyroid gland tissue
  • Grave’s Disease – thyroid gland tissue
  • Lupus, or SLE – multiple organs: kidneys, heart, liver, spleen
  • Parkinson’s – brainstem cells that make dopamine
  • Crohn’s Disease – tissue cells that line the digestive tract
  • Pernicious anemia – cells that absorb B12
  • Multiple Sclerosis – fatty cells that cover nerves
  • Ulcerative Colitis – digestive tract lining
  • Myesthenia Gravis – Acetylcholine receptors
  • Addison’s Disease – adrenal glands
  • Alopecia areata (patchy baldness) – hair follicles
  • Ankylosing Spondylitis – spinal joints
  • Vitiligo – melanin cells that make skin pigment
  • Guillain-Barre – nerve cells (neurons)
  • Polymyalgia Rheumatica – large muscle groups

Actually, the list of autoimmune conditions is much longer, and it’s growing even more. We’ve only scratched the surface here.

Besides the part of the body being attacked, autoimmune conditions impact health in other ways:
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Brain fog and cognitive dysfunction
  • Vision problems, including blurry vision
  • Vague aches and pains
  • Depression
  • Skin problems
  • Digestive problems
  • Malnutrition (chronic vitamin, mineral, protein, or essential fat deficiencies)
  • Heart abnormalities (including mitral valve prolapse)
  • Higher risk of stroke and/or heart attack
  • Kidney problems
  • Liver impairment
  • Increased pain sensitivity

Autoimmune disorders have several things in common:

  • The immune system attacks a specific part (or multiple parts) of the body
  • They often start slowly, tending to go unnoticed for a long time, until the patient gradually becomes aware that something is wrong
  • These attacks ebb and flow over periods of hours, days, months, or years
  • They cause changes in brain function and energy levels
  • There are usually other structural abnormalities, like heart problems or vision issues
  • There are usually other functional abnormalities, like circulation problems, cholesterol problems, hormone imbalances, reactions to certain foods, and/or irregular blood sugar
  • Autoimmune conditions generally tend to affect women much more so than men
  • They often develop during (or shortly after) puberty, pregnancy, menopause, an extreme diet, skipping meals, extreme stress, or a physical injury (motor vehicle accidents, work injuries, or a simple slip and fall)
  • There are “good days” and “bad days”

What’s worse is, autoimmune conditions are becoming more and more widespread as more and more people develop them. Diabetes Type 1 (insulin-dependent) and Rheumatoid Arthritis have been around for a long time, but it seems as though a lot of these others, like Lupus or Hashimoto’s, are relatively new. And suddenly, it seems like everyone has them.

It’s not your imagination. This is a mushrooming epidemic that has only begun to get going.

There are two bigger problems:

First, conventional medicine does very little to identify and address autoimmune disorders. When they DO prescribe medications (such as anti-inflammatory corticosteroids like prednisone), the success and benefits are very limited. They do NOTHING to address the underlying imbalance in the immune system; they just suppress the whole system, throwing the baby out with the bath water. Also, the side effects of these medications often make people more miserable than they were when they started – and worse yet, many of these effects (such as weight gain, bone thinning, or a puffy face) aren’t usually reversible, even if they stop taking the drug.

To make matters even worse, autoimmunity SPREADS. For the body to attack itself is like a taboo subject; once that taboo is broken and the body does start attacking part of itself, it’s MUCH easier for the body to start attacking OTHER parts, too. So someone with Hashimoto’s (attacking the thyroid) can eventually develop Diabetes Type 1 or start to develop patchy bald spots (Alopecia Areata).

Real Answers and Natural Treatment for People with Autoimmune conditions.

Both conventional medicine and traditional naturopathic medicine fail to understand the mechanism behind autoimmune disorders, and both fail to address them effectively. Functional Medicine succeeds where other methods fail, often providing substantial relief other disciplines can’t usually deliver.

Our personalized program is the best place to start.

Dr. Lara Sweeney practices Functional Endocrinology, a state-of-the-art discipline based on TODAY’S science, not that of 50 years ago, and she knows how to use potent natural compounds to target specific components and functions of the immune system. She uses protocols driven by the most up-to-date research available and tailors them to the individual person.

Autoimmune diseases are complicated conditions and they require a lot of time, patience, and commitment on the part of both the doctor and patient.

Working with Dr. Sweeney, you’ll learn:

  • How to manage your condition effectively
  • Which part of your immune system is weak, and which part is out of control
  • How to minimize or even eliminate some or all of your symptoms
  • Why autoimmune conditions may not show up on lab tests
  • Why corticosteroids and other conventional protocols are often poor solutions
  • How several mysterious symptoms may all have a common link, and how to help them all at once
  • Factors that trigger or perpetuate these conditions
  • How to prevent developing diabetes, anemia, or joint pains
  • How simple dietary changes can make all the difference

Autoimmune conditions are complicated, no doubt. But there IS a whole new hope. Don’t suffer needlessly. Get control of your life now.

We Offer the Following Services

Doctors of Chiropractic – often referred to as chiropractors or chiropractic physicians – practice a drug-free, hands-on approach to health care that includes patient examination, diagnosis and treatment. Chiropractors have broad diagnostic skills and are also trained to recommend therapeutic and rehabilitative exercises, as well as to provide nutritional, dietary and lifestyle counseling.

Here is a brief overview of the array of specialized services offered by our clinic. Please take some time, and explore what we have to offer.

Chiropractic Manipulation San Antonio
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Meet Our Team
Dr. Lara Sweeney, DC
Dr. J. Lara Sweeney, DC IFMCP

Dr. Lara Sweeney has an impressive array of training, education, and certification. More ...

Dr. Jay Sweeney, DC
Dr. Jay Sweeney, DC DABCA

Dr. Jay Sweeney has an impressive array of training, education, and certification. More ...

Michelle Anderson
Michelle Anderson, LMT

Michelle has over 19 years massage & soft-tissue experience & is versed in a wide range of techniques More ...

Amanda Hughes
Amanda Hughes

Amanda is our "Go-to" person for all things "food"; whatever you might need from the world of diet and nutrition, she is eager to help.

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Our building “The Pavilions at Castle Hills”, is located at the corner of NW Military Hwy. and Sunflower in Castle Hills. It’s a two-story brown brick building; “First Serve Tennis”, “Bicycle Heaven”, and “Hearing Aid Labs” occupy the front. Our office is located on the second floor, on the back side of the building. Plenty of parking is available in both the front and rear lots. There are stairways located at either end of the building; and for your convenience, there is an elevator located on the back side of the building, at the end of the south tunnel.