Last month, taking the advice from a friend, I sought the professional advice of Healthystars‘ Nutritionist John Lynn. I had a flare up of my arthritis related autoimmune disease in January and this caused severe pain in my feet, left knee, hip and spine. By April, the pain was getting progressively worse to the point where I was limping with every step I took. The western medicine I was taking didn’t seem to be helping as my condition was worsening so I sought alternative medicine while continuing my daily doses of Sulfasalazine and Arcoxia.
Before consulting him, I was told to stand on this machine for an ESG scan which uses weak DC currents and low voltage to measure the electrical resistance to interstitial fluids (fluid between the cells) throughout the body. Apparently, the machine is able to tell the health status of various organs and systems in my body after a simple 3-minute scan. Pretty amazing if you ask me but when I went back and did some digging, I could not find much evidence of its reliability or efficacy except for this article. Sadly, there is also a lot of criticism about using it as a diagnostic tool on the net. I guess time will tell if its reliable or not depending on my results from the next time I scan when I get better.
John Lynn then sat down with me to discuss the results of the scan, healthy individuals would have a score of +/- 20 from the baseline of 0 (perfect health).
(brackets indicate possible diagnoses)
- Pancrease – Insulin: -46 (Insulin resistance)
- Liver – ALT: -72 (Fatty liver)
- Basal Metabolic Rate – Thyroid: 40/68 (Low metabolism)
- Low-density Lipoprotein (LDL) – ARTH: +54 (heart plaque)
- Colon/Gut Flora: -61 (not enough good bacteria, potential allergies)
- Free Radicals: +20
- Joint-VR: -90 (Gout/joint problems)
- H-P AXIS: -15,-88 (Pituitary gland)
- Serotonin-Dopamine: -15 (Sleep problems)
There was also a 3-dimensional pictorial of a human body color coded to indicate the health status of various parts of the body. Someone in the pink of health should be mostly coloured green or yellow. Mine was grey and blue.
Root of my problem: my gut
The first area he zoomed in on was the large intestine or colon. He started explaining that almost all human pathological problems start from the gut. This includes all autoimmune diseases from arthritis to type-I diabetes, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, Crohn’s, Eczema, Psoriasis and even asthma.
Why the gut and specifically, the large intestine and colon? Well, its because this is where the food we eat spends several hours to days; About 6-8 hours to pass through the stomach and small intestine and averaging 40 hours in the large intestine! That coupled with the fact that the total absorptive area of our intestines are about the size of a badminton court increases the risk of possible damage due to ‘unwanted passengers’ travelling through them.
Some of the culprits that can damage the lining of our intestines include:
- Indigestible proteins like Gluten found in grains such as wheat, barley and rye
- Excessive alcohol
- Inflammatory foods like Dairy
- Infectious bacteria overgrowth like Yeast overgrowth (candida)
- Medications like antibiotics and NSAIDS
- Environmental toxins like pesticides, plastics, preservatives, flavorings, colourings
- Chronic stress
When the gut lining is damaged, these holes in the intestinal walls allow undigested food particles, bacteria, toxins etc, to enter directly into the bloodstream and spread throughout the circulatory system. Our immune system then kicks in to destroy these foreign invaders. The white blood cells not only attack these particles, they also attack the surrounding tissues such as the gut lining (creating a vicious cycle). Then as the blood circulates these particles to the rest of the body, they are continually attacked by the white blood cells to the point where the white blood cells can’t differentiate healthy body cells from foreign invaders and attack both. These battlegrounds happen to be at my joints, tendons, ligaments and cartilage, hence the pain, swelling and eventual degenerating of these body parts which I’m currently experiencing.
As John Lynn puts it, a ‘civil war’ ensues where the body (which knows it is being attacked) fights back and tries to defend itself, from itself. Otherwise known as an autoimmune response.