Shabnam Das Kar, M.D., FMNM.
- Autoimmunity: A Functional Medicine perspective
- Women and CVD: Men and women are not alike!
- Autoimmunity: Why do we start with the gut?
Dr. Kar is a consultant in Functional and Metabolic Medicine. She works as Director Medical Education, Better Medical Centre, Calgary AB. Her medical practice is in India. She is the co-founder of Metabolic Dietary Solutions Program. She worked as an OBGY for more than 20 years. She completed a Fellowship in Metabolic and Nutritional Medicine from the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M), USA. She transitioned into practicing Functional Medicine since completing the Fellowship.
Dr. Kar’s focus of interest are Autoimmune Conditions and Metabolic Dysfunction. She is an international speaker, having spoken for A4M in Indonesia and UAE. She is an invited speaker at Malaysia, India and Canada.
AUTOIMMUNITY: A FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE PERSPECTIVE
"Autoimmunity "means immunity against oneself. An autoimmune disease is a condition in which the immune system mistakenly attacks its own tissues. There are about 80-100 autoimmune diseases currently known. Though the exact cause for autoimmune disease is not known, several factors are considered to be important. According to Pediatric Gastroenterologist and Celiac Disease researcher, Dr. Allesio Fasano, for an autoimmune condition to develop there must be an interaction between the following:
Through my presentation I will explore the measurement of dysregulated stress response and briefly discuss how cumulative lifetime stress and adverse childhood experiences impact autoimmunity. In addition, I will outline mind-body approaches in mitigating stress.
WOMEN AND CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE
Cardiovascular disease (CVD)–heart disease and stroke, is the biggest killer of women worldwide. More women die of CVD than breast cancer, yet the awareness about the unique risks of CVD in women is lacking amongst women as well as healthcare providers Earlier it was thought that heart disease in women is the same as it is in men. However, in recent years gender-specific studies have highlighted the differences in heart disease in men and women. Traditionally CHD has been associated with obstructive atherosclerosis in epicardial coronary arteries causing ischemia. However, in women about 60 % of the time obstructive coronary artery disease is absent, but women have other unique pathophysiology. Though many women with acute coronary syndrome present with chest pain, some may present with atypical symptoms like profound fatigue, pain in both arms, jaws, abdomen or breathlessness. Because of this, women sometimes delay in seeking treatment.
AUTOIMMUNITY: WHY DO WE START WITH THE GUT?
The gut is the largest immune organ in the body and is also the dwelling place for numerous microbes. The microbiota and host immune system communicate with each other to maintain host health. Imbalances in this relationship may lead to dysbiosis and inflammation, leading to autoimmunity. Inflammation and dysbiosis may in turn lead to gut barrier dysfunction. The gut is the largest area of contact between the external environment and the immune system. For any autoimmune condition to develop, genes, immune system and the gut barrier have to interact. The following gut factors are important for autoimmunity.
Through my presentation I will highlight the importance of the Gut Microbiome and Intestinal Barrier Dysfunction in Autoimmunity.
Gut Microbiome: The Human Microbiome is the collection of all the microorganisms living in association with the human body. These communities consist of bacteria, viruses, yeast, helminths. These microbes along with their genes and metabolites produced by them influence health and disease. In recent years the gut microbiome has been studied the most.
Gut Barrier Dysfunction (“Leaky Gut”): The intestinal epithelium is a single-cell layer thick. It acts as a selectable permeable barrier permitting the absorption of electrolytes, nutrients and water while keeping out toxins, antigens and gut flora. The gut barrier function is highly dynamic. Gut epithelial barrier dysfunctions are a major contributor to autoimmune diseases.
I will outline strategies to deal with gut dysbiosis and gut barrier dysfunctions that can be implemented easily.