The Autoimmune Answer: As simple as a “Three-Legged Stool”
Unsure why you still have symptoms? Not getting well? It’s most likely Autoimmune! Conditions associated with Autoimmune include: Eczema, Celiac, Colitis, Crohn’s, Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes, Grave’s, Hashimoto’s, Leaky Gut, IBS, Lupus, Arthritis and more are all Autoimmune related.
I believe autoimmune conditions, in which the body’s immune system attacks itself, are the fastest growing epidemic on the planet; yet most people have no idea they have these conditions. Many are spending thousands of dollars looking for answers to why they are not feeling well and even more on solutions that will not ultimately help them feel well enough to say they are better. Despite numerous types of doctors, medications and supplements they have not improved and are oftentimes worse.
In the last five years, there have been amazing scientific breakthroughs in health and disease, but this groundbreaking science is not making its way to the treatment side of healthcare. There is now a wide gap between the new science and old treatments and my prayer is that this article can close the gap. And I believe this information can be conveyed in a simple analogy called the, “Three-legged stool.”
Presently there are about 200 known diseases in the category of autoimmune, and the number is growing all of the time. More and more digestive issues, skin problems, autism spectrum disorders, brain conditions, and chronic pain are seen today. Even metabolic conditions like Type 2 diabetes, most thyroid conditions and the inability to lose weight are now being added to the list of autoimmune diseases. It’s safe to say if you have no idea what is wrong and no doctor can figure it out, then you most likely have an autoimmune condition.
To date, testing for autoimmune conditions remains in the “Stone Age.” By the time you would test positive for an autoimmune condition, your body’s immune system has been causing inflammation and a host of unwanted symptoms for 10-20 years. If only you knew what was wrong perhaps you could get the right treatment and get your life back.
Even with a correct diagnosis, often the answer is steroids and chemotherapy drugs, which kill the immune system. In the case of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, the answer is giving more hormones, which barely helps to relieve symptoms. You are given the medications with the disclaimer that there is no cure and nothing can be done except staying on the medications and managing the symptoms. Many conditions like diffuse scleroderma are often given a death sentence with no hope at all.
New Science, New Answers for Autoimmune Conditions
I can tell you with certainty that there is another way. When you get to the true cause of illness and remove it, the body can heal. I have seen it happen again and again. The greatest problem with autoimmune disease is that no one is looking “up-stream” to get to the real cause. Doctors make us believe we are just unlucky, as if we were robbed at gunpoint or hit with a random meteor. The truth is, exciting and emerging science now exists that provides new answers and solutions to healing autoimmune conditions.
I describe my approach to those suffering, and the doctors I teach, as a “three-legged stool.” I am sure you are very familiar with the analogy: If one leg is missing the stool cannot stand. This is also true for The Autoimmune Answer, and is even true for the cause.
There are three factors that must be present for an autoimmune condition to begin. If one is missing, the disease will not be triggered or “turned on.” If any of the three factors (or legs of the stool) are not addressed, there will not be a complete resolution to the condition. You will continue spending more money chasing symptoms with medications and supplements, and worse yet, your health will continue to erode due to the side effects of more medications.
A Real Answer You Can Stand On! Autoimmune is a “Three-Legged Stool”
No one would attempt to stand on a one or two-legged stool and expect an outcome other than failure. On the other hand, we can step on a three-legged stool with great faith and reach our destination. I believe the three-legged stool will help you reach your destination of good health. I believe this because the information is rooted in science. I also believe it because I have seen multiple cases of lives restored and transformed with the information, including my own case and cases of the doctors I teach who use the three-legged stool as their guide.
The “first leg” of the stool is a gene that gets turned on or triggered. You will get the autoimmune conditions of your genetic weakness. Fear not; just because you have the gene for a specific autoimmune condition does not mean you will get the disease. One of the most exciting areas in the science of health and disease is the topic of “epigenetics.” Epigenetics gives us a new-found freedom from our parents, but we can no longer blame our parents for everything we do not like about ourselves…sorry to disappoint you.
Epigenetics means above the genome, indicating that genes can be changed for better or for worse. Your DNA is no longer your destiny. Believe it or not, within any species (including humans) the DNA is practically the same. According to research from the Human Genome Project1, the DNA of all the people in the world is 99.9% alike, and it is the epigenome that makes us all so different.
The new research shows that certain stressors can turn on these genes of susceptibility. The good news is that the research also shows how we can turn the bad genes off. The Human Genome Project revealed the bacteria in our gut outnumber our cells 10 to 1 and plays a critical role in changing our gene expression. As a matter of fact, certain hormones or immune cells cannot be made without these bacteria communicating with our own cells (DNA) to tell them what to become or do.
Changing gene expression must be a part of every successful solution to autoimmune disease or you will not get well. If this leg is missing, the stool will not hold up. The last ten years have produced volumes of research in this new area of health and disease. In many articles, I have discussed my 5R’s of Cellular Healing and Detox:
- R1 (Removing the Source)
- R2 (Regenerating the Cell Membrane)
- R3 (Restore Cellular Energy)
- R4 (Reducing Inflammation/Oxidative Stress)
- R5 (Reestablishing Methylation)
In these articles, I discuss at length the 5R’s as a road map to fixing the cell and why they offer the key to changing what your genes are expressing.
Changing gene expression can only happen when you fix the cell. My mantra is, “if you do not fix the cell, you will never get well.” In this case you will never change the gene expression of your autoimmune condition. There is truth to the fact that you are only as healthy as your cells, and in this case your DNA.
The research on epigenetics is exciting for a plethora of conditions that have frustrated allopathic doctors and those suffering, but it has not yet made its way to the area of treatment. If more practitioners bridge the gap, I believe they will find more answers to the growing number of unexplained illnesses such as autoimmune disorders.
I teach passionately on this topic to educate more doctors, practitioners, and patients, because I strongly believe changing gene expression is an answer to why people are not getting the results they need to get completely well. Without this leg of the stool there will be no answer.
The Perfect Storm: “I Was Healthy and Then…this Happened” Chemical Stress,
Emotional Stress, Physical Stress.
The “second leg” of the stool could best be described as the “perfect storm” of stressors that come together and trigger illness. All the time I hear, “I was healthy and then…” I explain the “and then…” event as the straw that broke the camel’s back. There were other stressors (physical, chemical, or emotional) that took place that set up the fall. Simply put, it is never just one stressor but typically three stressors that come together like storm fronts that combine with a synergy of power and initiate a once-in-a-century catastrophic storm. These storms are called “perfect” because they have just the right conditions to create something so powerful they only occur once in a hundred years.
Perhaps you saw the movie The Perfect Storm (2000) starring George Clooney. The movie is based on the true story of what was called “the storm of the century.” The storm took the lives of many and caused massive damage and injury similar to the storms (or stressors) that ravage the lives of the people I help, redirect and return to health.
I hear the stories of many very sick people who oftentimes do not even see their storms or stressors until I dig deep enough to find them. It can be any combination of stressors which causes the storm. For example, mercury from amalgam fillings, a biotoxin from a moldy home, a bacterial, viral or Lyme infection, and/or a pesticide exposure from a nearby farm. You could have one or two of these stressors occurring in your life and then you are hit with an unexpected emotional stress (death of a loved one) or physical stress (car crash). The combination of stressors becomes the perfect storm in which your illness is triggered.
If these stressors are not removed, the gene expression will never change for the better (first leg of the stool). It is these stressors that turn on the gene for illness in the first place. Therefore, if even one of the stressors remain, the efforts as described in leg one to turn off the gene that was turned on for autoimmune or any condition will be futile. Remember, it is a three-legged stool that only stands when all the legs are present and functional.
Why You are Still Sick? Allopathic and Natural Health Practitioners Typically
Fail to Address the Cause
Modern medicine is failing us. The search upstream is not nearly far enough to find and remove the true cause of the illness. Both allopathic doctors (regular doctors) as well as alternative doctors are unfortunately not often addressing the upstream source that initiated the illness.
Allopathic doctors give medications to deal with symptoms and alternative doctors do the same with supplements. I believe there is a time and a place for both, but neither will fix the problem unless the source of the problem is removed. You may feel better in the moment, but are you really well without them long-term? There will always be the next “miracle” medication or supplement.
God Used My Pain for Greater Purpose – Dr. Pompa’s Story
Unfortunately, I learned the importance of finding and removing the cause of illness the hard way. But the hard way can often be the only way that makes someone passionate enough about something to keep preaching the truth: I got sick myself (see my story HERE).
I developed debilitating fatigue, anxiety, insomnia, and hormonal issues stemming from my thyroid and adrenals. Not to mention the bizarre mix of many other unexplained symptoms. I addressed all of them with every natural modality I could find. Being a doctor, I had access to the best. I recall attempting to support my adrenals because of my fatigue and inability to adapt to stress. My energy would get somewhat better, but my anxiety would get worse. I had terrible digestive issues and candida that never resolved until I found my upstream mercury issue (chemical stress). I also later discovered that I was being exposed to mold (another chemical stressor). To further add to the problem I was putting in many miles a week on my bike training for races (physical stress). I was racing at the expert level and in the best shape of my life when these stressors became my perfect storm.
When I went upstream and removed the sources of illness, I got my life back. My hormone problems, digestive problems, food intolerance, candida, sleep, and other bizarre symptoms that were ruining my life finally resolved. It took time to remove the stressors correctly, but true detox does take time. It took 20-30 years to bioaccumulate these toxins in my body and to think for a minute that they would come out in months is ridiculous, yet this is what doctors typically make or allow their patients to believe.
It would be wise to read my article on Heavy Metal Detox Done Right (Read the Heavy Metal Detox article series: Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3) because so many autoimmune sufferers have heavy metal toxicity as a stressor that triggers the gene for their diagnosed condition. Most practitioners and doctors perform heavy metal detox improperly. Their methods are largely a waste of time and money, and some can even be dangerous and add years onto detox efforts.
Could “BUGS” Be the Answer To Autoimmune and Weight Loss Resistance? The Epigenome and Microbiome Project
The “third-leg” of the stool is the new and exciting frontier of human bugs known as the “microbiome.” The microbiome is our inner-ecosystem of bacteria that occupy our digestive tract. New research is showing that these microbes are there for more than just aiding in digesting food and maintaining good gut health. We now know if certain bacteria are missing, or are present in very low numbers, our immune system will go on a vicious attack against our own tissues (autoimmunity).
The advent of new technologies has allowed scientists to discover and even track the complex relationship with bacteria between our gut and our cells. As stated above, the Human Genome Project found that bacteria in our gut share information with our cells. In fact, certain cells are unable to be made without certain bacteria initiating their creation. For example, Bacteriodies Fragilis is a much-needed bacterium, which should be present in adequate numbers in every healthy person’s gut. This bacterium communicates with our cells to make immune cells called T-regulatory cells. The job of these immune cells is to tell your immune system to turn off after it is activated by an apparent threat. After the threat is gone and all looks good, the T-regulatory cells tell the immune system to shut down the inflammation and the attack.
Inflammation is part of a normal immune response and is needed to activate the immune system. However, if it is not turned off, it becomes chronic and can lead to autoimmune conditions and many other modern day diseases. The rising number of allergies and food allergies is proof positive.
The lack of Bacteriodes Fragilis is only one bacterium of many that are now being studied as part of the cause for autoimmunity. Discovering the role that missing or diminished bacteria play in autoimmune diseases is just the start of a new frontier of answers. I believe more and more bacteria will be discovered that will lead us to the same conclusion: if your microbiome is not healthy, you will not be healthy.
The new science even changes how we look at weight loss. Scientists have found that people who struggle to lose weight have a similar microbiome, meaning they have higher number of certain bacteria and lower numbers of others.The exciting part of the research for weight loss resistance, autoimmune, and other unexplained chronic conditions is that when certain bacteria are added or increased, a dramatic shift in healing occurs. In the case of weight loss resistance, the weight starts to finally be shed.
Another aspect of how bacteria in the gut can cause autoimmune and other bizarre symptoms and diseases is a condition known as “leaky gut.” A gut with too many bad bacteria and not enough good (dysbiosis) is a gut that has gaps and holes, commonly known as a leaky gut. Undigested proteins such as gluten and other toxins leak across the gut and into the bloodstream where the immune system responds by driving more inflammation and therefore, autoimmunity. More and more research verifies that a leaky gut driven by a poor microbiome is a significant part of the cause of autoimmune conditions and must be fixed for the immune system to regulate.
A researcher of autoimmune and celiac diseases named Alessio Fasano M.D. verified my three-legged stool analogy. His findings in the 2011 study “Leaky Gut and Autoimmune Disease”2. speak of three causes of autoimmune that need to be addressed for prevention and reversal:
- The genetic predisposition
- An exposure to an environmental trigger
- “Leaky gut” driven by dysbiosis
Beyond Probiotics for Autoimmine. The Bacteria or Bugs Inside You and the Art of Fermentation.
I know what you are thinking, “Thank God I take probiotics.” I wish it were so simple. The fact is that the best probiotics on the market may have 7-12 strains of beneficial bacteria. The human gut has thousands of strains, and we’re still discovering more. I am not telling you to discontinue probiotics, but I am saying the bacteria shown in studies that affect autoimmune and many other chronic conditions are not found in a pill or powder.
Once again, you’re probably are thinking “where do I get these bacteria?” There are growing volumes of research in fecal microbial transplant for a multitude of different diseases. Yes, the bacteria found in other human fecal matter are often the only place to get certain bacteria. Now you are definitely thinking to yourself, “That’s gross!” Say that to one of the many people who had their life saved from a simple transfer of bacteria. Currently, we are working with microbiologists to isolate these unique bacteria and have them available by pill (without the fecal matter).
In the meantime, the good news is that there are other ways to obtain beneficial bacteria like through the use of fermentation. Fermentation is a lost art in healing, and offers trillions of unique bacteria, not just billions found in pills. With the introduction of refrigeration, the process of fermenting food for preservation has become a thing of the past; however, it has had a negative consequence to our good gut bacteria (microbiome). Add to this the overuse of antibiotics and the use of antimicrobial hand sanitizers and cleaners, and we have a new problem that triggers an epidemic of autoimmune diseases.
Keto-Adaptation: An Emerging Tool for Autoimmune and Leaky Gut
Keto-adaptation is a very high fat, low carbohydrate diet. So low in carbohydrates that the brain, which typically uses glucose for energy, adapts to the use of something known as ketones. The brain cannot use fat for energy like all the other organs in the body, so with the lack of glucose it must break fat down into ketones to function.
More and more research is supporting the use of this old method that was used as far back as the 1920’s in mainstream medical practice for the management and treatment of diabetes and seizures. The hope in modern medicine had caused this practice to fall out of favor, but ironically, it has re-emerged because of the failures of modern medicine in treating so many chronic diseases. Keto-adaptation is now being used for not just diabetes and seizures, but weight loss resistance, metabolic syndrome, neurodegenerative brain conditions, autism, severe gut disorders and autoimmune conditions like celiac and Crohn’s disease. Despite the volumes of new research in the last decade in favor of this method, I believe it is still an underutilized tool for many conditions that do not respond to typical treatments. It is recommended that you work with one of our practitioners trained in the practice.
Without this leg of the stool (fixing the gut and the microbiome) you will not get well. However, remember it is a three-legged stool and all of the legs must be part of the solution. You can see that all three legs were part of the cause, so it makes sense that addressing each one is also part of The Autoimmune Answer.
My Prayer for Hope – New Science and Solutions for Autoimmune
I have watched so many lives change for the better when there was no hope left after years of searching and exhaustive amounts of money spent on failed attempts to heal. Most start their search in standard medicine and evolve to more natural approaches only to be let down by both. After years of coaching so many back to health, I can tell you this with certainty: the key is finding the true cause and removing it, and in the case of autoimmune, the true causes. I always say it is not rocket science, but in the case of autoimmune it is most definitely new science.
I hope and pray this serves as new hope for those who are not certain of what is wrong because so many unexplainable illnesses and symptoms are in fact autoimmune. To those who have an autoimmune diagnosis, my heart goes out to you; you have been given no real answers and end up with more medications and supplements. There is a time for both, but when they fail to address the causes exemplified by the three-legged stool, hope will eventually run out.
I wanted to share the following testimony that we received on March 3, 2014 at an event hosted by Dr. Jen Shupe, D.C. :
I cannot thank Dr. Jen and Dr. Pompa enough for giving me hope, health and encouragement over the last 3.5 years since I met them!
I had been previously diagnosed with Eczema in the 1980s, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and Anemia in the 1990s, Celiac Disease in 2006 and Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis (a rare lung disease – inflammation of the alveoli as a result of sensitivity to mold and feathers) in 2009. All of these are Autoimmune Diseases.
I had been on Synthroid, Iron, a Gluten-Free Diet, Prednisone, Flovent Inhaler, had a lung biopsy and have been on oxygen. I was not getting better and yet I was doing everything my General Practitioner and Pulmonologist were telling me to do. As a result I was depressed, overweight, anxious, cold all of the time, couldn’t breathe well, had no energy to play with my kids and basically just wanted to sleep all day!
Then I met Dr. Jen and Dr. Pompa, and my life turned around!
Through “non-traditional” blood work and urinalysis, Dr. Jen and Dr. Pompa realized that I had heavy metal poisoning! My cells were covered in toxins. No wonder I felt awful! They started me on a detox program called chelation. I started to take supplements and probiotics to balance and clean out my system. I began to follow Dr. Pompa’s diet plan and had all of the amalgam fillings taken out of my mouth.
Today I am 45 pounds lighter, I can breathe without pain and I don’t have to be on steroids. My General Practitioner and Pulmonologist are shocked by my recovery with the aid of Dr. Jen and Dr. Pompa! I am happy, energetic, can read a book to my kids and go for a walk with them without gasping for air or wheezing, and growing healthier every day thanks to Dr. Jen and Dr. Pompa.
I just want to encourage all of you to take Dr. Pompa’s message to heart and believe what he says, because he is only trying to help us be happier, healthier human beings with a longer lifespan! ~ Jaculin Sparling, Wisconsin
1. “All About The Human Genome Project (HGP).” All About The Human Genome Project (HGP).
N.p., 24 Jan. 2013. Web. 13 Mar. 2014.
2. Fasana M.D., Alessio. “Leaky Gut and Autoimmune Diseases.” Clinical Reviews in Allergy & Immunology.
Volume 42, Issue 1, pp 71-78. February 2012