(Transcription performed by tiny robots. Please excuse any mistakes.)
Welcome back to the podcast! I’m Dr. Houston Anderson. It’s been almost a year since the last time my podcast here things got busy and unfortunately, podcasting doesn’t pay the bills. But uh, but patients do so we always focus primarily on patient care at the office. Speaking of that, I had a kind of a topic I want to talk about today and what to do in a story form. And, and you’ll notice like kind of the title of the podcast is death by diagnosis, autoimmunity problems. Okay. So one of the big problems that we have today is when people get an autoimmunity diagnosis, they think it’s a lifetime curse, they think that it’s a permanent thing. They think that it’s incurable. And it really does depend on the severity of your condition. But I never want to rule anything out as being able to heal until we at least try, right, so let’s talk about this. So the other day, I got an email from a patient and I just want to kind of we’ll go through it. It’s a patient in another state, many states away from Arizona, and it’s something that that I see all the time, and I want to do this as an education, for those of you that may have an auto immune autoimmune problem that you’re going through. So, so let me just tell you a little bit about this person, okay. And like I said, I want you to know how we approach it different than traditional medicine, and how holistic may even be different than functional medicine, and how we all kind of differ a little bit. And you really got to find your place, the place that you belong as far as what you believe, how you’re going to approach it. And I try to be very clear with my patients on that, because the best thing you can have with any practitioner that you’re working with is clarity, you want to know, if they think it’s gonna take 10 years, then then it’s okay. If it takes 10 years, it takes 10 years, as long as you guys agree to that, if it’s going to be $20,000. Great. agree to that price point, if it’s going to be $500 agree to that price point. If you need $20,000 in labs, and $20,000 in care, great. As long as you both agree, I feel like everyone should be happy in this scenario. And so I do think it’s important to get clear with your functional medicine doctor as to what you’re trying to accomplish. Okay, so I get this patient it’s a referral from another patient of mine. Through it through work coincidence or something like that. And and this patient has severe rheumatoid arthritis. She’s currently on immune suppressors for RA and she reports things like her 45 minute yard maintenance work now takes nine hours because she’s just too tired and in too much pain to do it. There’s some fun history on this and how I figured out exactly what was going on and what to do there. But But long story short, we did a phone consultation within a few weeks shoot she had dramatic improvement. In fact, I can tell you that it was it was like a day after she got the supplements and started taking them that she emailed me She said I feel better already. Is this normal? Is this bad? what’s what’s the problem? I go you know, it’s not it’s not the most common reaction, but we will always take better when we can get it. And it was dramatic, right? So as I get on the phone with her for a second phone consultation about four weeks later, she notes that you know, her nine hours of yard work is now backed down to 45 minutes. And and the email that I got that that is concerning to me that I’m going to share with you guys. Is is what I hear next from her so word for word from the email states. Now I can run short distances, open jars carry heavy bags, I’m sleeping naturally and have great daily stamina. Right so in a few short weeks, you see all these changes. I know that you’ve previously she noted that like opening jars, she had to use some kind of special jar opener tool to get the jars open. She wasn’t able to carry heavy bags at all she was walking but wasn’t able to work up to a jog at all. So these are the things that like improved right so we see a great dramatic improvement. You’ll obviously given the improvement she’s anxious to get off her medications and and really consider not doing immune suppressors. So she has an appointment with rheumatologists which is how I recommend it. She goes and sees the recommend the rheumatologist and and the rheumatologist says Well yeah, maybe you feel better and we can decrease the medication. But your immune system Sorry, sorry, the protocol that you’re using with Dr. Anderson will be outsmarted. By the immune system, okay, the protocol will be out smart ID. Okay, so this is an interesting story because what she’s claiming or suggesting is that whatever world we’re doing will have a short lifespan, because the immune system will outsmart her body, outsmart the protocol and it will then go and attack the body and she’ll be just as inflamed and there’s no way to get past this autoimmune disease. Okay. What I want to point out of this is not whether the rheumatologist is right or wrong, I want to point out that the immune system is misnamed or there’s a misnomer. There’s that there’s a miscommunication in autoimmunity, the number one miscommunication that happens in autoimmunity is everyone says that the body is attacking itself. And this is a misconceived notion, okay, this is this is this is that your body’s aberrantly and erroneously in a bad way, attacking itself. And this is not how autoimmunity works, I don’t want to go into an entire course on autoimmunity. I want this to be about the philosophy, the theory, the approach, more than anything else, and when we address certain autoimmune diseases will hopefully in the podcast soon, rather than a year later, we’ll go over some of these things. But But the big thing that I want people to know about autoimmunity is that your immune system is working. In fact, it’s working great. In fact, it’s overworking, usually in time. But it’s not something that your immune system has lost complete control. It’s not something that your immune system has no idea what it’s doing. Okay, as we know, which is well documented in the literature in all the research that we have auto immunities always stimulated by an event. Okay, very few documented stories or case histories randomly show up. Just by happenstance, and I wasn’t going to go into this, but I can tell you, what was unique about this lady’s story is that it was a sudden onset of Ra, right. So like, one day, she’s fine, working hard running, you know, three weeks later, or something like that, all of a sudden, she’s bedridden and can’t get out of bed. And the pain is severe, and she has to go on medications immediately. And of course, it’s autoimmune disease. Well, it’s not typical for an autoimmune process to be like, gone and nonexistent yesterday, and then today to be instant. And so some of the history had some unique stuff to it, which made me suggest to the patient at the time, like, there may be some things that we can do. Now, if you were, you know, if you’d had, how do I say rheumatoid arthritis, from the time you were 20, and now you were 85. So 65 years later, have auto immunity. Everything has been going wrong, you’re getting sicker and sicker for 65 years, and you call me, I’m not going to suggest that we can get you better very fast, we’re going to do the best we can. But when someone calls me and says, hey, it’s been, you know, two years or less of an autoimmune condition, and then we can document exactly how it started the life event that triggered it, you know, if we can go back and fix that life event, if we can go back and and find that trigger and reverse that trigger, we stand a better chance of reversing this autoimmunity. So once again, the rheumatologist view, the most important thing I want you to know today, the rheumatologist view was that the immune system was broken. Okay, the immune system was broken and because it was broken, it’s going to outsmart your body and destroy it. Okay? My view, the immune system is functioning perfectly well. Okay, it is helping your body to accomplish a task. And I always use the example that you you really have two options, you catch an infection, we won’t use COVID, though it’s COVID. time right now, we won’t use COVID. But so you catch a bacterial infection, something like a pneumonia, which often is treated by antibiotics. So maybe that’s not a bad good example, both still use pneumonia. Pneumonia goes into your lungs, your body now has two options. It can just let the pneumonia kind of proliferate and go around and slowly kill you. Or it can create a ton of inflammation. And when it creates a ton of inflammation, guess what you get fun things like pain throughout your body headaches, any kind of aches and pains, muscular fatigue, all the typical symptoms of any autoimmune disease, you start to experience. And the reason why is because your immune system has created inflammation in order to kill a pathogen. In this case, I use pneumonia. But it’s very, very common for your immune system to create inflammation. Probably the most under diagnosed form of arthritis is infectious arthritis, I would suggest that probably we missed 30 to 40% of all infectious arthritis cases, meaning if you have pain in a joint and it moves to the next joint and then it moves to another joint. It’s likely that this is infectious. But most people do not get diagnosed that way. There’s like oh, well that’s what happens when you get old. This is This is not true. So I treat a lot of infectious arthritis, a lot of autoimmune disease, because we’re missing a lot of these stories. And why are we missing these stories? Let’s be honest, as far as infection, the testing is not adequate. Because medicine is designed for life and death kind of conditions, not designed as well for chronic illness. Yes, they have some remedies. Yes, we have some immune suppressors, things like that. But But I will use COVID as an example here, you know, we’ve had to, it’s now you know, we’re multiple months, you know, I think, a year and a couple months into COVID. territory. And and if I were to ask you like, well, what antiviral medication did they come out with the problem is we don’t have a lot of antiviral medications. So then there’s no point in testing for viruses. If we don’t have a way to treat it, you’ll find similar things. America traditionally has only tested for American infections, which may have been accurate. 40 5060 years ago, when the infectious disease model was developed. More than 60 years ago, I guess now but the infectious disease model was developed antibiotics were developed. And most infections at the time that were killing people were bacterial. Now, we really have an international culture in America. So you have a lot of infections. You know, I live in Arizona, you know, there’s not a day probably that goes by if you go to a grocery store, that you don’t interact with someone that has been to Mexico in the last six months. And I’m not saying yesterday, and it really has nothing to do with, with the Mexican population or anything like that. We a rocky point is the nearest beach to us, it’s three hours away from my house. So I can get down to Rocky Point, Port open jasco, right, and actually have, you know, beachfront property, within three hours. And so a lot of us go down there. And a lot of people come back with these parasitic infections, but they have different bacteria, different viruses, different parasites, that they’re having exposure to. And of course, then that person comes back home. And whether their gut feels good or not, they still go grocery shopping, they still touch money, they still drop their money off of the bank, and you still go get your cash at the bank or out of an ATM, or whatever you’re doing. So the exposure of, of different types of parasites and viruses and funguses. And bacteria that we didn’t have 100 years ago is completely different, I would suggest that our testing for these organisms are still minimal. Meaning we’re not really testing for everything, especially in Arizona that may have come from Mexico, there’s a lot of, once again, just different organisms that live down there. The environments different the sterility of the food’s different, everyone knows, quote, unquote, don’t drink the water down there. These are things that that we know about, and then no one’s doing anything about them. I didn’t want to do too much of a tangent on infection, but but I wanted to use it as an example of why your immune system might be so inflamed. So you’ll notice with a lot of things we use, we are going to address it using anti microbials, things that address infection, things that stimulate circulation. And by stimulating circulation and addressing infection, you, you start to see some of these inflammatory processes go down. So this is just an example of where if you’re a patient, you go to your rheumatologist, they’re going to tell you, you need this medication for the rest of your life, there is no other option. And I just want to be the guy that told you, I want to be the doctor that told you there are other options. Now, I don’t want to give false hope to someone that’s completely, you know, deformed and unable to recover. But the reality is you need to speak with a functional medicine provider. One of the ones that I recommend, I don’t have that list even curated now, but you can always shoot me a message. And we can find a doctor in your area or a phone consultation with someone, myself or one of my colleagues that can work with you from a holistic fashion to really address your autoimmune condition. You know, it’s not really a sales pitch to give us a call. It’s more of a sales pitch for you to start looking into other solutions to autoimmunity, other than what I call death by diagnosis or just accepting the fact that that your health is going to fail, you’ll never be well and you’ll never never feel good again, which is just something we don’t believe in my office. We know that sometimes our works cut out for us, but we definitely know that the body is amazing and it’s ready to heal at all times. And we’ll catch you in the next episode. Thanks a lot.