In people with autoimmune diseases, various triggers cause the immune system to attack healthy cells by mistake.
Approximately 50 million Americans have autoimmune disease, according to the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association. More than 80 different conditions—including rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, multiple sclerosis, Graves’ disease, and Hashimoto’s disease—fall under this umbrella, and some have similar symptoms. While these diseases are generally viewed as separate conditions by other Immunologists in NYC, they share common causes.
As the body’s primary defense against disease and infection, the immune system is integrally connected to all other biological systems. As a result, cross-reaction can wreak havoc throughout the body, causing chronic systemic inflammation (CSI). This condition further exhausts the immune system and leads to greater dysfunction.
Rather than classifying a patient’s symptoms as fitting a specific condition, we strive to identify the underlying causes of inflammation and autoimmunity. This deeper perspective acknowledges the interconnected causes of diseases, as well as the body’s ability to return to wholeness. By treating these fundamental issues, we relieve patients’ suffering and allow them to experience long-term healing.
Although the symptoms for autoimmune diseases vary, common ones include:
- General malaise (feeling ill)
- Muscle aches
Inflammation is the classic sign of an autoimmune disease; it often causes redness, heat, pain, and swelling.
While the causes of autoimmune disease are not fully known, many triggers have been identified. In some cases, microorganisms, such as bacteria or viruses, spark changes in the immune system. Other triggers may include environmental factors, pharmaceuticals, or chemical irritants. Intestinal permeability and food sensitivities can also play a large role. Immune attacks may even result from mistaken identity; foreign matter can sometimes look similar to healthy cells, creating a type of confusion in which both become targets.
A person’s genetic makeup also seems to affect his or her susceptibility to developing an autoimmune disease. Many of these conditions are believed to be passed on from parents to children.
To gain a deeper understanding of a person’s autoimmune disease, we measure a full range of autoimmune and inflammatory markers, as well as the presence of allergens, toxins, mold, and heavy metals. These analyses may include the following:
Glucose and insulin tolerance tests
Blood tests (to identify markers for post-translation protein modification)
Adrenal tests, including saliva tests for cortisol levels
In addition, we may measure interleukins (IL6, IL10, and IL12), chemical messengers that help to mediate acute systemic immune responses.
We also perform tests to detect secondary indicators of thyroid disease, including procedures to identify bacterial overgrowth in the gut and tests to measure autonomic nervous system effects.
ART + SCIENCE = DIAGNOSIS
At Kellman Center, we blend art and science by examining all of the body’s systems and how they interact, including the gut, the brain, and inflammatory markers. By looking at their effects on other body systems and on biomarkers, we can see the downstream effects that are often missed by conventional testing.
We look deeper to diagnose each person as an individual, instead of relying on routine tests that identify conditions based on values determined by the population range. We get to know every patient; we recognize that the longer a problem persists, the less likely that a blood test will reveal it.
Our treatments clear toxins and damaged proteins from the body. They prevent damage to healthy proteins and reduce both inflammation and free-radical damage. We prescribe therapies that support the gastrointestinal tract and recalibrate immune system functioning at the disease site, including the following:
- Restoration of the microbiome
- Natural anti-inflammatory compounds
- Targeted probiotics
- Ultraviolet blood irradiation (UVBI)
- IV nutrient therapy
- Ozone therapy
- Homeopathic immunomodulators