Hello everyone and welcome to our blog. Restorative Health Solutions is devoted to helping patients who are stuck in their health. Either you’ve not been properly diagnosed or the treatment was ineffective and you are still sick. One common root cause of a patient’s problem is that they are autoimmune. Typically the patient doesn’t know they are autoimmune, or they know it and nothing has been done about it.
For example, this happens frequently with thyroid disease as over 90% of hypo and hyperthyroid is the result of immune system based problems. However, autoimmunity happens with dementia, fibromyalgia and joint pain, chronic fatigue and other conditions.
If you’ve read Dr. Kharrazian’s thyroid book “Why do I still have thyroid symptoms when my lab tests are normal?”, he goes through a short discussion of the immune system. I would also say this is the section of the book I get the most questions about. I believe this happens simply because the concept was so revolutionary in 2010. Most patients had never really heard about balancing their immune system or the different parts of their immune system and anything is confusing the first time you encounter it. In the 9 years since this is also the topic that has changed and evolved the most.
Immune System Break Down- TH1 and TH2 The boys and the girls
The TH1 side is the hand to hand combat, direct killers of the immune system. The TH1 is called the “cell mediated” immune system. When this side of the immune system gets overactivated the body produces
interferon. This immune chemical rise is what makes your body feel like you have the flu. So, with this system overactivated patients feel chronically depressed, tired, ache, and other low grade “flu-like” symptoms.
Compounds that further stimulate the TH1 system are:
- Maitake Mushrooms
- Panax Ginseng
- Melissa Officinalis (Lemon Balm)
- Some Probiotics
II. The TH2 side: Girls like to color
The TH2 wing is the antibody producing side of the immune system.
Antibodies markers placed on tissues which tell the immune system to leave something alone or to kill it. When this is dominant people tend to be extremely sensitive to their environment and have many “allergic” type reactions. Factors that tend to support the TH2 side of the immune system are:
- Green Tea The TH2 wing makes antibodies which marks objects for destruction
- Pine Bark Extract
- White Willow Bark (Aspirin)
The Downfall of TH1 and TH2 Balancing as a Start
Practicing in 2010 we stressed the TH1 and TH2 immune system balance and often gave patients nutrients to modify those responses. Let me tell you it was a wild way to try and help patients with autoimmunity. It helped some patients, but nearly half the time it would cause major flares in a patient! Doing only TH1 & TH2 balancing is a risky way to help patients with autoimmune disease and often sends patients backwards rather than forwards.
The Mom of the Immune System: The TH3/T-regulator:
The TH3 system is the balancing component between 1 & 2. In my office I draw a teeter totter with one side being TH1 and the other being TH2. Mom (the TH3) stands in the middle of the teeter totter and tries to balance to two sides. In many autoimmune diseases the balance has been lost and a person has become TH1 or TH2 “dominant”.
Basically treating patients using the TH1 and TH2 model typically involves
avoiding one side and supporting the other. A safe approach also involves supporting the TH3 modulating system. If you are doing other reading the TH3 system is made up of T-regulatory cells. Support for the TH3 system involves:
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin A
- Omega 3’s
- Short Chain Fatty Acids
- Opioid Receptors (being happy)
To summarize the immune system has many parts. Different nutrients and lifestyle choices will affect separate parts of the immune system. In my office, one of my chief duties is helping each patient wade through their immune system imbalance. The details are particular to each person! Some people do well in the TH1/TH2 system, but it is much safer to start with the TH3 system!
The take home point from this article is that balancing the immune system can be an extremely valuable endeavor in recovering your health. While it can get complicated, the first step to solving the problem is knowing it exists. Pull back the curtain on your immune system. Open that black box and begin to understand how it is affecting your health.
Thank you for reading.