Coming up on the next Holy Hormones Honey! Podcast
Dr. Chad Larson: Women & Autoimmune Disease
Sunday, January 10, 2016
Podcast begins @ 7 pm ET – 4 pm PT
Join me on Sunday evening, January 10 for an intriguing interview with Dr. Chad Larson, NMD, DC, CCN, CSCS to discuss Autoimmune Disease – named a major health issue by the NIH. This show was initiated by Dr. Larson’s publicist who contacted me in October of last year after news broke about a pop singer icon, Selena Gomez who revealed she had been diagnosed and is dealing with the autoimmune disease lupus. While this is tough news for Ms. Gomez, it does shed some much-needed light on the seriousness of this disease that affects at least 1.5 million Americans and 5 million people around the world.
Pop singer Selena Gomez has revealed in Billboard that her diagnosis with the autoimmune disease lupus was behind a recent hiatus from the spotlight.
Rumors swirled around the 23-year-old singer when she canceled part of her tour back in 2013.
About 1.5 million Americans have lupus, and it strikes mostly women between the ages of 15 and 44.
While Ms. Gomez was careful to take some time away from the spotlight to be diagnosed and to treat her disease, there are many others who suffer from lupus or other forms of autoimmune disease and fail to take the necessary steps to identify and treat these diseases.
Named a major women’s health issue by the Office of Research on Women’s Health at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), autoimmunity is the underlying cause of more than 100 serious, chronic illnesses. Of the 50 million Americans living and coping with autoimmune disease (AD), more than 75 percent of them are women.
The term “autoimmune disease” refers to a varied group of illnesses that involve almost every human organ system. It includes diseases of the nervous, gastrointestinal, and endocrine systems, as well as skin and other connective tissues, eyes, blood and blood vessels. In all of these ADs, the underlying problem is “autoimmunity” – the body’s immune system becomes misdirected and attacks the very organs it was designed to protect.
Autoimmunity and Women
Taken together, autoimmune diseases strike women three times more than men. Some diseases have an even higher incidence in women. Autoimmune diseases have been cited in the top ten leading causes of all deaths among U.S. women age 65 and younger.1 Moreover, these diseases represent the fourth largest cause of disability among women in the United States.2
The fact that women have enhanced immune systems compared to men increases women’s resistance to many types of infection, but also makes them more susceptible to ADs.
In addition, women who have an autoimmune disease have suffered from a lack of focus and a scattered research approach. For example, autoimmunity is known to have a genetic basis and tends to cluster in families as different autoimmune diseases — a mother may have lupus; her daughter, juvenile diabetes and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis; her sister, Graves’ disease; and her grandmother, rheumatoid arthritis.
Autoimmunity is a Disease Category
Unlike cancer, which is an umbrella category for a range of diseases (leukemia, breast cancer, prostate cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, et al.), autoimmunity has yet to be embraced by the medical community (and the public) as a category of disease. Because these diseases cross the different medical specialties, such as rheumatology, endocrinology, hematology, neurology, cardiology, gastroenterology, and dermatology, and because such specialties usually focus on singular diseases within their particular category, there has been virtually no general focus on autoimmunity as the underlying cause. It has been estimated that ADs are responsible for more that $100 billion in direct health care costs annually.
Dr. Larson holds a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine degree from Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine and a Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Southern California University of Health Sciences, graduating with honors. He is a Certified Clinical Nutritionist and a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.
His practice integrates naturopathic medicine with cutting-edge laboratory testing and diagnostic imaging. This integrative approach to medicine includes diet and nutritional counseling, prolotherapy, regenerative injection therapy (RIT), chiropractic manipulative therapy, bio-identical hormone balancing, intravenous (IV) nutritional therapy, and natural alternatives to prescription drugs.
He particularly pursues advanced developments in the fields of endocrinology, orthopedics, sports medicine, and environmentally-induced chronic disease.
He has been featured on local and national radio and television programs discussing a broad range of health issues. Dr. Larson has been invited to lecture to a variety of groups from the U.S. Army Special Forces to executive leadership groups to universities and healthcare practitioners. He has published articles in various consumer and professional periodicals and has worked with the Research & Development departments of nutritional supplement companies. Dr. Larson also stays on the cutting edge of laboratory science as an advisor and consultant to Cyrex Laboratories.
Dr. Larson is Board Certified in both Naturopathic Medicine and Chiropractic.
Autoimmune Disease…is a major health problem.
• The National Institutes of Health (NIH estimates up to 23.5* million Americans suffer from autoimmune disease and that the prevalence is rising. We at AARDA say that 50 million* Americans suffer from autoimmune disease. Why the difference? The NIH numbers only include 24 diseases for which good epidemiology studies were available.
• Researchers have identified 80-100 different autoimmune diseases and suspect at least 40 additional diseases of having an autoimmune basis. These diseases are chronic and can be life-threatening.
• Autoimmune disease is one of the top 10 leading causes of death in female children and women in all age groups up to 64 years of age.
• A close genetic relationship exists among autoimmune disease, explaining clustering in individuals and families as well as a common pathway of disease.
• Commonly used immunosuppressant treatments lead to devastating long-term side effects.
• The Institute of Medicine reports that the US is behind other countries in research into immune system self recognition, the process involved in autoimmune disease.
• Understanding how to modulate immune system activity will benefit transplant recipients, cancer patients, AIDS patients and infectious disease patients.
…faces critical obstacles in diagnosis and treatment.
• Symptoms cross many specialties and can affect all body organs.
• Medical education provides minimal learning about autoimmune disease.
• Specialists are generally unaware of interrelationships among the different autoimmune diseases or advances in treatment outside their own specialty area.
• Initial symptoms are often intermittent and unspecific until the disease becomes acute.
• Research is generally disease-specific and limited in scope. More information-sharing and crossover among research projects on different autoimmune diseases is needed.