Sugar cravings and nightsweats: What is your gut trying to tell you?
Causes of autoimmune disease.
Dr. Peter Muran is like the Sherlock Holmes of Lyme literate doctors.
A physician who specializes in natural, alternative, and complementary medicine, with a background in engineering and chemistry, he says disease doesn't just happen.
He explains that preceding every disease, including chronic Lyme, there is a pathway, a chronological timeline that led to the condition.
Take, for example, the classic killer heart attack.
“Someone doesn't simply have a heart attack and die,” says Dr. Muran, who, along with his wife, Dr. Sandy Muran, practices Functional Medicine at Longevity Healthcare in San Luis Obispo, California.
There are factors that lead up to the cause of death, he explains. If you take an engineering approach and look for the clues, you can discover a telling storyline.
The heart attack does not come out of the blue. First, an occurrence of some sort leads to the clogging of the arteries, and then, this disease of the arteries develops until they get blockage, and then finally, the result is a heart attack.
Nudge it with a sledgehammer?
As he sees it, the doctors' job is not to come up with a diagnosis so that a label can be slapped on the illness, and a code to treat it can be decided upon.
Instead, his goal is to investigate the chronology leading up to the illness, to locate just where along the line the imbalance occurred. Then, he says, the doctor's job is essentially to get out of the way and allow the body to heal itself.
But in their effort to heal the patient, doctors can make errors in judgement.
For example, it only takes a nudge, a very mild or slight tuneup of the hormonal system for tremendous results, says Dr. Muran.
“When Prednisone is given to manage a slight cortisol deficiency in the hormonal system, it's like using a sledgehammer when all you needed was a tackhammer.”
What does this mean for us patients? It means that we can have some degree of control in changing our particular situation.
While there is no way to change the fact that we got Lyme to begin with, chronic Lyme can be examined objectively, looked at and analyzed the way one would a story—or a crime.
And a good place to start looking for clues is in our diet. Conventional doctors are not schooled in nutrition, so we'll get little help from them.
SAD but true
Most Americans, finds Dr. Muran, live to eat, intead of eating to live. The SAD (Standard American Diet) causes stress and inflammation and creates imbalances in the immune system. Under these conditions, diseases which we could normally keep in check are instead allowed to flourish.
Dr. Muran finds that patients dealing with chronic disease often do have problems in their GI tract.
Night sweats, sugar cravings, and other disturbances are often a result of the inflammation and imbalance in the gut caused by an unhealthy diet.
He points out that we are not subjected to anything separate from the earth, or sterile. “Our GI tract has 100 billion cells living in it,” he says, which is ten times the number of cells that make up our body.
It doesn't take an engineer, or even a Watson, to recognize that our bodies have an ongoing and continuous relationship with the earth, meaning the flora and fauna that live inside us, and that actually play a key role in our wellbeing.
Our bodies are miraculous and resilient. Given half a chance to survive, we may even begin to thrive. Making positive shifts in our lifestyle and diet can help us manage chronic Lyme.
Members, for further information about Dr. Muran's approach to managing chronic Lyme Disease, please listen to our 4-part interview with him in our Lyme Experts audio interviews series in the membership portal.