There are over 80 recognized primary immunodeficiency syndromes; they are generally grouped by the part of the immune system that is malfunctioning, such as lymphocytes or granulocytes. Genetics can play a role here but what is the cause of a non-genetic shift in the immune potential of the body allowing you to get bronchitis every winter? If you have a secondary immune deficiency, meaning that you acquired damage to your immune system after a nasty virus or environmental factor, how can you strengthen your immune system to get it back to normal strength? How do you improve the odds of decreasing the risk of recurrence of a remitted cancer?
In working with a Functional Medicine, Certified Clinical Nutritionist to improve the function and strength of your immune system, we first try to find out what is causing the immune compromise and remove or resolve it. For example: Is there a food sensitivity or a toxic metal syndrome? Is there a functional thyroid shift or hormone imbalance that needs corrected? Is there compromise to your gastro-intestinal lining from too many antibiotics or poor diet? Have you been exposed to mold or do you have undiagnosed Lyme disease?
Second, the function of the communication between the brain and immune system need to be improved to be more stable. Dr. Shaw specializes in working with the functional changes in your immune chemistry to correct the cause of the symptoms and remove the disorder.
When working with a Functional Medicine, Certified Clinical Nutritionist you will hear the word “functional” quite a bit. What we are referring to is that not all problems show up in your blood work and there may be a more subtle change in your system that is not bad enough to raise the red flags for your medical doctor. The symptoms in an immune deficiency are a perfect example.
Most patients who treat in my office for recurring infections have already worked with their medical doctor dozens of times and have used a myriad of medicines to control the symptom of being sick. But sickness still returns. Have they done anything to prevent illness by seeing their primary doctor? Usually not. Actually, every time that an antibiotic is used to control an illness the immune system is compromised and gets weaker.
When you come to Dr. Shaw’s office for immune system evaluation, you will be undergoing a treatment plan to strengthen and or modulate the immune system and prevent disease, not just treat the symptoms.
It is important to note that when your medical history and health related goals are explored, your consultations are held directly with Dr. Shaw, not an untrained individual, a staff member, a questionnaire or a computer program. You will not be signing up for a “program” and paying money up front for services not yet rendered. Your health care journey in our office is unique to your specific needs.
I look forward to working directly with you to help identify and correct the cause of your immune challenges. — Dr. Conan Shaw Functional Medicine, Certified Clinical Nutritionist, Pittsburgh PA