--Dr. Conan J. Shaw, Nutritionist - Pittsburgh, PA
Auto immune diseases arise from an overactive immune response of the body against substances and tissues normally present in the body. In other words, the body actually attacks its own cells. In the case of M.S. the immune system is attacking and destroying the myelin sheath or the insulation of the nerves. When the sheath is damaged, the nerves lose their ability to send messages. The standard medical treatment of M.S. for acute symptoms is corticosteroid therapies. For modifying the disease process, immunosuppression is used. These are medications which decrease the immune response.
The Clinical Nutrition role in addressing M.S. is to determine why the immune system is attacking the nerve sheath. From there we try to retrain it to behave itself like it was designed to. There are a number of functional tests that we use in the nutrition field to identify problems that may not be tested for by the medical profession. I specialize in working with the functional changes in your immune chemistry to correct the cause of the symptoms and remove the disorder.
In working with a nutritionist you will hear the word "functional" quite a bit. What we are referring to is that not all problems or reasons that your immune system is confused show up in your blood work and there may be a more subtle change in your system that is not bad enough to tell your medical doctor why the immune system is damaged. The majority of patients I help with M.S. are presenting already diagnosed.
When you come to my office for auto immune disease evaluation and management, you will be undergoing a treatment plan to remove interference in normal immune function and retrain the immune system, not just treat the symptoms. The goal in all auto immune treatments is remission. With M.S. the diet changes are as important as the vitamin therapies used and the combination of both together is imperative for reversal.
I continue to have great success in controlling M.S. symptoms and helping patients be able to discontinue their medications. I look forward to working directly with you to help identify and correct the cause of your immune system challenges.
Dr. Conan Shaw, Pittsburgh Nutritionist