Our immune system is critical to our longevity and quality of life. Altered immune system function leads to chronic inflammation, increased risk for infection, and autoimmune conditions. Increasingly, diseases such as cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer have been associated with chronic inflammation.
At Integrative Rheumatology of Westchester, we feel that no health program could be complete without addressing the immune system and potential disorders that can develop.
Autoimmune disorders are increasingly common in today’s world. Thyroid abnormalities, allergies, psoriasis, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and Crohn’s disease are just a few of the many immunological disorders that are increasing in prevalence. Even Alzheimer’s disease is associated with inflammation in the brain.
Today, our immune systems have to work harder and be stronger than ever in our history. Our predecessors were not exposed to such a high volume of unnatural substances and chemicals. Over 4 billion pounds of toxins are released into the environment annually – from the preservatives, fillers, and ingredients in the processed foods we eat today, to the chemicals in the air, in our buildings, and in our water. In addition, consider the products that we expose ourselves to — like hairspray, skin lotion, shampoo, makeup, perfumes, as well as cleaning agents for our home and clothing.
We can address these concerns by limiting our exposure to potential toxins. This is an important lifestyle choice that involves taking an inventory of our exposures to potential toxins and doing our best to reduce them. A review of diet, cosmetic use, and potential household exposures is a good place to start.
Our bodies tend to accumulate toxins, which are stored in fatty tissue, but we also have a natural detoxifying capacity that protects us from the adverse effects of these agents. There are ways to enhance physiologic detoxification, thus reducing our risk of degenerative and inflammatory diseases and helping us to feel strong and energized.
We often recommend periodic, supervised detoxification programs, which help our systems to rid ourselves of accumulated toxins by enhancing our natural detoxifying processes. We use superior products and advise 10- to 14- day detox programs.
Optimization of the intestinal function is a vital component of immunologic health because 70% of our immune system resides in the gut. Dysfunction, as a result of impaired digestion, food sensitivities, or imbalanced bacterial populations often influences normal immune responses and can lead to autoimmune disease.
Dr. Lans is Board certified in rheumatology and allergy and immunology and has many years’ experience evaluating and treating patients with a host of immunological disorders. His particular interest is in a functional approach to understanding the causes of these conditions and the practice of preventive strategies to optimize immune function. We do this with a comprehensive approach to assessing your individual hereditary risk factors, lifestyle issues, diet, toxin exposures, digestive function and stress management strategies. We use comprehensive laboratory testing to help in the assessment and prescribe an individual program for you.