Underlying causes of autoimmune disease, gastrointestinal disorder, and Hashimoto’s hypothyroid



This is Dr. Peter Kan. My practice in Gilbert, Arizona focuses on functional medicine and functional neurology to help people with chronic health conditions get their life back.

I want to bring awareness to a problem that you or someone you love maybe suffering with and it’s a very common problem. And in fact, this problem is creating a drain, a huge drain in our country. Autoimmune disease, this is things like Celiac disease, Hashimoto’s auto-immune, Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, AMS, Psoriasis. There are a hundred different names of auto-immune diseases.

According to the American AutoImmune Related Disease Association about 50 million people in America have autoimmune disease. Now think about this, heart disease affects about 22 million and cancer affects 9 million. So there are more people suffering from autoimmune disease than there are cancer and heart disease combined. One in twelve Americans, one in nine women, suffer with autoimmune disease.  So this is a really common ailment that plagues people and the incidence of autoimmune disease is on the rise.  And the cost to manage these people with autoimmune is about hundred billion dollars per year, yearly cost.

Gastrointestinal disorder such as heart burn, reflux, digestion issues such as gas, bloating, indigestion, irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, affects about 70 million people and the cost to manage them cost about $141 billion annually.

Thyroid disorder affects about 20 million people and the cost to manage that cost about $56 billion per year. when you throw all these billions of dollars around, it adds up to a  large chunk of our gross domestic product.  This expense even at the current rate is threatening to make our country insolvent.  The United States is simply not able to keep up with the debt from just these health care expenses because the medical treatments basically treats only the symptoms.

Keep in mind that these cost are just the money it takes to maintain the disease, it does not cure it, it does not get rid of it.

Now, what you’re up against when you have autoimmune disease, GI problems or thyroid disorders is that you when you go to your typical medical practitioners, they maybe very smart, bright, and compassionate people, they want to help you. But at the end of the day medical treatment boils down to two things – drugs and surgery. And that maybe appropriate in acute crisis care, such as when you have an infection or you break a bone.

However, when it comes to these chronic health conditions, drugs and surgeries are not the answer.  You must look for the underlying root cause and here are some of the root causes that maybe causing these disorders which are plaguing many American, perhaps you or someone you love.

Food sensitivity – Has your doctor ever talked to you about what foods that you maybe sensitive to and what foods that maybe flaring up your autoimmune disease or GI problem? If they haven’t talked to you about food or tested for food sensitivities, then they are not addressing the root cause of the problem. Now keep in mind that food sensitivity is different than food allergies. Allergy is what most medical doctors test for. An allergy is an anaphylaxis, type I, IgE immediate response where if you have a peanut allergy, you eat peanut, you get hives, your throat shuts down, you need Epipen and Benadryl. That’s an allergy, that’s a medical condition that can be treated by drugs like Benadryl or Epipen.

Food sensitivity on the other hand is a delayed immune response. The reaction usually comes three to four days after you eat something and the reaction is typically not obvious, it’s usually subtle, and the reactions can be extra-intestinal, meaning outside of your GI tract.  The reaction maybe neurological like headache, brain fog or fatigue. The reaction maybe in your skin, eczema breakout. The reaction could be pain or stiffness in your joint because food sensitivity is an immune reaction and that reaction is systemic. So don’t think of food sensitivity as the same as allergy and you may or may not have had that tested.

Another common cause is chemical toxicity. If you live in America, you basically live in a toxic soup.  Toxins from pesticides, herbicides, and chemicals in our food supply to environmental pollutants, things like flame retardant material in our furniture to PCBs and toxins we inhale, to things that’s even in your dental amalgams like mercury amalgams. This toxic overload can lead to immune system, gastrointestinal, and thyroid challenges.

Another common cause is chronic infection.  You may have a chronic viral infection, chronic bacterial infection, parasitic, or yeast infection. Keep in mind that a common sign of infection is actually fatigue. You don’t have to have a fever or have diarrhea if you have a parasite, you don’t have to have that. If your have fatigue, infection could be the root cause of the problem, so you need to test for it. The number one symptom that people come into me for is brain fog and fatigue. So we need to address the underlying root causes.

Of course we cannot overlook the fact that a stressful lifestyle and stressful environment can have on your immune system.  If your job is stressful or you’re in a stressful relationship, that’s going to also play a part in causing problems.

Essentially, these root causes degrade your barrier system. One of your barrier system is your gut lining, your intestinal barrier.  When you suffer from chronic inflammation from these root causes, it creates what’s called leaky gut. And leaky gut is chronic inflammation to the gut lining causing chronic inflammation and more sensitivity, which can lead to more autoimmune reactions, and this becomes a vicious cycle.

So we can connect this whole thing to leaky gut because 70% of your immune system is in your gut. And we know that autoimmune disease affects 50 million people and leaky gut sets the stage for autoimmune. GI disorder affects 70 million people and many of them have leaky gut, which leads to more autoimmune disease.  And most people with thyroid problem actually have autoimmune disease called Hashimoto’s.  So leaky gut is at the core of all of these conditions.

There is a gaping hole in the medical system where many patients are suffering with chronic conditions that cannot be fixed by more drugs and surgeries.  If you or someone you love is struggling with chronic illness and are frustrated with the lack of results from current care, I want to help you.  My mission is to help people find hope and restore health.  This desire is born out of illness in my family.  My children have severe food sensitivity and allergies and my mom has Hashimoto’s. I’m sick and tired of seeing people sick and tired and not living a high quality of life that they deserve all because patients are flocking to the broken medical system mistakenly thinking they are getting the cure when it is masking the symptoms at best.

Let me help you get your health back. And what I’m going to do in the follow up videos is I’m going to show you step by step how to reduce inflammation and heal leaky gut.  I am going to teach you some simple things that you can do on your own. Now the advice that I give you does not replace medications you are already on or coming to our office and have a consultation if you have persistent health issues. This is a starting point for making healthy lifestyle changes that can benefit you regardless of your condition.

Keep your eye out for our upcoming videos.  I look forward to engaging with you and helping you on journey to optimal health.

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