2nd Annual International Conference on Chronic Pathologies
When: September 7–9, 2018
Where: Antwerp, Belgium
Languages: Simultaneous translation in English, German, and French
To properly treat patients, we need a detailed understanding of the pathology of chronic disease. Whether a patient presents with Alzheimer's or autism is less important than unraveling the path that led to the development of the disease. Not every patient with Alzheimer's arrived at their diagnosis from similar causes. The 2nd Annual International Conference on Chronic Pathologies addresses the complexity and individuality of our patients in arriving at a treatment plan. The goal of the conference is an international perspective that goes beyond treatment based on a diagnosis.
Although complex disease exists across the life spectrum, as we delve into the causes of these issues, there are more similarities than differences. Inflammation appears to be universal in disease, but what does this really mean? We know that acute inflammation is beneficial. It is our immune system reacting correctly to an infection or injury. But what happens when the inflammation becomes chronic? Is it still beneficial? What we are learning is that chronic inflammation underlies many long-term illnesses.
CIRS is a term frequently used today with chronically ill patients. Chronic inflammatory response syndrome or CIRS is commonly seen as something to address in mold patients. The term describes an out-of-control inflammatory response from dysregulated immune responses. Patients present with fatigue, pain, cognitive, and digestive issues. This describes many patients presenting to an integrative practitioner, and they might all have the diagnosis of CIRS. Yet, what triggered this aberrant immune cascade will require an understanding of pathological changes from many potential triggers.
Abnormal immune responses seen in CIRS and other chronic conditions can arise from many components of the immune system. Our immune system is very complex with an elaborate set of checks and balances. One of these regulatory systems is through the T helper cells and T regulatory cells. In theory, T helper 1 cells will help fight viruses and T helper 2 cells will help fight bacteria. Unfortunately, now we have infections, such as Lyme disease, trick our immune system to increase a Th2 response that decreases the ability of the immune system to fight this infection. When T helper cells are not regulated, our immune messengers, the cytokines are out of balance. This leads to a dysregulation of other parts of the immune system such as B- cells with antibody production leading to autoimmune disease.
Integrative conferences are often based on a disease state, for example a conference on mold or dementia. By shifting the focus onto causes of disease, the 2nd Annual Conference on Chronic Pathologies will teach practitioners to approach their patients in a different manner. Instead of thinking here is a patient with mold issues, they can approach the patient thinking causes such as inflammation, immune dysregulation, gut hyperpermeability, and endocrine disruption. How are we going to treat this patient based on the causes of their symptoms? These are the skills that integrative practitioners will learn at the 2nd Annual International Conference on Chronic Pathologies to treat the myriad of complex patients that arrive at their office.
Debby Hamilton, MD, MPH