Category Archives: Chronic Disease

InternalMedReview – Inflammation Induced Chronic Fatiguing Illnesses

This is the state of the science regarding genomics and neuro-inflammation due to Lyme and Mold exposure. The premise is that the common presenting symptom of fatigue is caused by chronic inflammation, which can now be objectively measured and treated when due to a biotoxin exposure. This is breakthrough research and links inflammation, brain injury and underlying genomics. We are the only group in the world to publish these findings based on years of careful research. – Andrew Heyman, MD

We hear so much about genetics vs. genomics here at A4M/MMI, but the bottom line is that a huge leap was just made this month in our main mission. One of our leading faculty members, Andrew Heyman, MD who is also the Program Director of our Fellowship at George Washington University, just had his research published in The Internal Medicine Review’s October Issue.

Dr. Heyman along with another one of our expert faculty members, Dr. Richie Shoemaker, partnered in this research initiative and have worked tirelessly to gather this data. They are the only group in the world that has collected this amount of data in the chronic illness arena. As we continue to review the model of genomics, what is causing chronic disease – between genetics, DNA, RNA, etc. we have begun to become aware of an overlap with other conditions that we usually blame on lifestyle like obesity and diabetes, etc.

Is the presence of mold or moisture in our surroundings starting to shift our immune response?

Below we provide a summary on some exciting new insight into chronic diseases.

Inflammation Induced Chronic Fatiguing Illnesses: A steady march towards understanding mechanisms and identifying new biomarkers and therapies.

Ritchie C. Shoemaker1,4*, Andrew Heyman2, Annalaura Mancia3 and James C Ryan4
1Center for Research on Biotoxin-Associated Illnesses, Pocomoke, MD, USA
2Integrative Medicine, George Washington University, Washington DC, USA
3Department of Life Science and Biotechnology, University of Ferrara, Ferrara, Italy
4ProgeneDX, LLC, Deerfield Beach, FL USA

This breakthrough peer reviewed publication outlines the Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS), an evidence-based model of assessment and treatment of Chronic Fatigue utilizing objective biomarkers, structural Brain MRI and transcriptomics, and moves medicine away from a ‘symptom only’ approach to managing the fatigued patient. CIRS is a neuroregulatory-inflammatory disease process found in genetically susceptible patients (20% of US population), initiated by exposure to a biotoxin(s) such as a water damaged building, Lyme disease, ciguatera, pfistera and many more. A final common pathway of immune dysfunction ensues, including abnormal findings such as Transforming Growth Factor Beta (TGFb), Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide (VIP), Melanocyte Stimulating Hormone (MSH), split products of complement activation, Matrix Metalloproteinase (MMP9) and others now available for use as clinical diagnostics. In cases of cognitive decline, new technology for brain MRI analysis, NeuroQuant, can pick up small changes in brain structures consistently shown in CIRS.

This work is based upon two randomized controlled trials applying a specific series of assessments and treatments designed to restore normal health status by:

1) eliminating the exposure
2) resolving immune dysfunction
3) repairing damage to the central nervous system

The CIRS protocol finally gives the practitioner a clinical roadmap for some of their most complex patients presenting with fatigue, especially those suffering from Lyme disease. This article offers clear, concise guidance on the diagnostic and therapeutic approach to define both an initial infectious process and a subsequent inflammatory illness and outlines how genomic testing can determine predisposition to chronic stages of Lyme after acute illness through use of Next Generation Sequencing to bring transcriptomics to the Lyme community.

The goal of this important scientific work is to help practitioners reduce uncertainty in their management of the CIRS patient and to ensure a rigorous, evidence based assessment and treatment process is applied utilizing both conventional and Integrative treatment strategies. It represents a new era in clinical medicine by applying a novel language of neuroimmune and genomic profiling, in order to guide health providers in their treatment of Lyme disease, mold exposure and other biotoxins.

Future research will focus on refining the treatment protocol, determining the role of transcriptomics in chronic inflammatory processes and exploring the relationship and overlap between CIRS and other common conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity, chronic pain syndromes, concussion and brain injury, and neurodegenerative disorders.

On Friday, December 15, 2017 during our 25th Annual A4M World Congress, Dr. Heyman will be lecturing at our VIP breakfast symposium titled See the Forest through the Trees: Protocols for Lyme Disease, where he will cover what can reduce symptoms, of Lyme, strengthen the immune system, and potentially treat the entire illness.

If you are interested in furthering your coverage of the treatment of Lyme and other chronic illnesses, Dr. Heyman and Dr. Shoemaker have a two part online advance course that we offer.

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National Celiac Awareness Day

September 13th of each year marks National Celiac Disease Awareness Day. This day was created in order to honor those affected by celiac disease, raise awareness about the disorder, promote educational initiatives, and commemorate the birth of Dr. Samuel Gee who was a pioneer in celiac disease research.

Celiac disease affects approximately 3 million Americans, yet it is often undiagnosed or misdiagnosed due to the very slow, gradual bodily damage, and the fact that the symptoms are so widely varied. Diagnoses of celiac disease can sometimes take years.

This autoimmune disorder is triggered by the consumption of gluten: a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley; when people with celiac disease eat gluten, their bodies mount an immune response that attacks the small intestine—ultimately triggering damage that disables the body from properly absorbing necessary nutrients. This can eventually lead to malnourishment, in addition to loss of bone density, miscarriages, infertility–even the onset of neurological diseases and certain cancers.

There are no pharmaceuticals or drugs that treat or cure celiac disease. The only fully effective treatment for the disease is a 100% gluten-free diet, yet Nexvax2—a therapeutic vaccine designed to protect patients with celiac disease against the effects of gluten exposure—has been largely effective in several randomized controlled trials, through its ability to alter a patient’s immune response to gluten.

In order to learn more about autoimmune and inflammatory disorders like celiac disease, sign up for our Fellowship in Metabolic, Nutritional and Functional Medicine. Module VII: A Metabolic and Functional Approach to Inflammation & Autoimmune Disease primarily focuses on autoimmune and inflammatory diseases through the gut-immune-brain connection.

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Mold Exposure & Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome

Exposure to mold, and other biotoxins, can cause a syndrome termed Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS) in up to 40 million people in the United States. Presenting symptoms include fatigue, weight gain, memory loss, joint pain, IBS, mood disorders, headaches, and several others. Moreover, symptoms of mold exposure and CIRS affect multiple symptoms in the body, causing those affected to exhibit a wide array of symptoms. Clinical studies indicate that the neuroimmune, vascular, and endocrine dynamics present in CIRS may also play significant roles in other types of chronic illness, including chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, post-treatment Lyme disease, and multiple sclerosis.

Yet recent research has identified specific genetic susceptibility patterns—and consequent innate immune dysfunction—that can ultimately generate a high disease burden: even resulting in brain damage, which can now be reliably identified. Despite the complexity of this illness, there are now validated treatment protocols available to practitioners, designed to properly diagnose exposure, scope and measure, and even resolve genetic and proteomic immune responses, in addition to repairing injury to the central nervous system. All Integrative, Functional, and Anti-Aging practitioners should familiarize themselves with this critical topic, and be equipped with a working knowledge of proper and effective treatment approaches. The upcoming Chronic Infections, Inflammation, and Biotoxins Symposium will focus on the ways in which recently emerging strategies and tactics can address this often unmet, under addressed public health need.

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