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Best Naturopath in San Diego
Top Naturopaths in San Diego, CA
Dr. Emily Chan ND has been awarded as a top Naturopathy practice with some of San Diego's best Naturopaths. Verified by

What is FirstLine Therapy?

FirstLine Therapy is a program that can help you lose weight, improve blood sugar management and decrease cardio-metabolic risk factors. This (TLC) program, Therapeutic Lifestyle Change involves, exercise, a low glycemic diet tailored to your individual needs, Medical Food, and nutritional supplements as needed. Your individual program is based off your BIA results (Bio-impedance analysis) and your medical needs. 


How do auto-immune diseases develop?

The purpose of the immune system is to differentiate between the “good guys” vs the “bad guys” or what is “self” vs “non-self”. The immune system is vital for keeping harmful pathogens from invading your body. 

Normally T cells made in the bone marrow are sent off to the thymus gland for a scan at 8-9 weeks of gestation. The thymus gland removes and kills any T cells that bind to self. With autoimmune disease, the immune system malfunctions and mistakes what is self for non-self and attacks it. With autoimmune, allergic, or hypersensitivity disorders, the immune system inappropriately responds to substances that healthy people find harmless.

Increased intestinal permeability is one of the ways the immune system gets primed inappropriately. Increased intestinal permeability decreases the selectivity of the intestinal barrier, so consequently large undigested protein molecules enter the blood stream instead of the usual smaller amino acids. Stress, infections, imbalance of intestinal flora, increased toxic load, and food sensitivities are thought to contribute to this process. When the bloodstream is flooded with these foreign substances and over-reacts, the excessive inflammatory response that occurs can cause symptoms such as increased mucous, sore/itchy throat, hives, psoriasis, joint/muscle pain, or any destruction of self-tissues.

Antihistamines merely block cell receptors from allowing histamine to bind to the cells. While it decreases allergic symptoms mediated by histamine, anti-histamines do not decrease the amount of histamine or excessive IgE antibodies produced against harmless antigens. Thus a person taking anti-histamines is still in an allergic state and when they discontinue the drug, they may often experience rebound symptoms.

Immunosuppressive drugs used for autoimmune diseases such as Prednisone, DMARDs, or monoclonal antibodies are aimed at suppressing the immune system and have many side effects including increased susceptibility to infection. These drugs do not correct a dysfunctional immune system, but rather suppresses the whole system.

My approach investigates why your immune system has gone aberrant and then supports your body to bring it back into functional balance. A multi-systems approach is taken in dealing with allergies and autoimmune conditions often involving a combination of intestinal repair, addressing food allergies, balancing the immune system, decreasing inflammation, strengthening cell function, and balancing the nervous system. 


What options do I have in dealing with fatigue, anxiety, and mood issues?

Our fast paced world has become a place that may not be an ideal environment for our bodies to function optimally. Back in the olden days, stress was encountered in the form of physical danger such as running away from enemy tribes. When stress is perceived by the body, it secretes cortisol, norepinephrine, and epinephrine which allows the body to run faster or fight stronger, in what is called a "flight and fight response". 

However in our modern day, we experience more mental and emotional stress on a regular basis, that not only evoke very frequent increased release of stress hormones, but our sedentary lifestyle does not allow the body to excrete these hormones the way physical activity does. In some cases of chronic stress or trauma, the body is on automatic pilot "high defense mode" even when the stressor is removed. Elevated stress hormones are harmful to your body and can contribute to anxiety, fatigue, impaired blood sugar regulation, weight problems, digestive dysfunction, muscle wasting, insomnia, and more. 

Dr. Emily Chan can help you work on healthier lifestyle habits and choices that allow you to walk in concert with your environment, rather than have it fight against you. She will work on reprogramming your nervous system so it does not continue to send signals of danger to your body with the help of natural remedies. Further cortisol level testing, neurotransmitter testing, blood sugar level testing, pulse/iris analysis, genotype testing etc may be done to give information to biochemical imbalances contributing to an elevated stress response. Dr. Chan will tailor naturopathic therapies that can help you balance your stress hormones in an effort to calm the system or rejuvenate a fatigued system. 


Why is gastrointestinal health important?

Gastrointestinal complaints represent the second most common doctor's office visits for chronic disease. Yet the gastrointestinal tract serves as a foundation to other systems in the body. The GI tract is where we get nutrition to the body, where major elimination of toxins take place, and the largest immune system interface in the body. Improvements to the health of the GI tract often lead to improvement of other systems of the body. 

Are you soaking your digestive tract with hormones, pesticides, chemicals, nutrition-less foods or stress? Could your nervous system or hormonal signals be affecting your digestive tract? These factors can interact with your body contributing to, GERD, ulcers, diarrhea, constipation, gas, bloating, abdominal pain, parasitic infections, IBD, Crohn's disease, Celiac disease, Ulcerative colitis or even low immunity or autoimmune conditions in susceptible individuals. 

Your GI tract makes up more of your immune system than your bloodstream and lymphatic system. Your GI tract is where absorption of nutrients and elimination of toxins take place. Your GI tract is the interface between the "outside world" (Open on both ends to the environment outside) and the "inside world" (the rest of your body). It can be thought of as the door to the rest of your body. Does your door let in too little nutrients? Does your door let in too many toxins? Is your door inflamed, causing irritation and pain? 

I will help patients discover ways to improve the digestive system. We will find what the cause for symptoms, with an effort to understand how your body is interrelated, and use individualized modalities that suite you in the healing process. Are you ready to?
•    Remove offending pathogens or antigens
•    Repair the GI mucosa enabling it to be a properly functioning "door"?
•    Replace deficient acid or enzymes necessary for proper digestion
•    Re-inoculate the GI tract with the type of flora necessary for proper immune function, and a non-hospitable environment for pathogens.


Does toxicity affect health?

Did you know that a sick body could not properly heal if it is burdened with a load of toxins? Over 200 chemicals are already found in an American infant according to a Tufts University study. No wonder chronic disease is the principle cause of disability, and consumes 78% of health expenditures.  

Are you suffering from chronic disease and wondering what factors are obstacles to your healing? Are you suffering as a consequence to toxic overload? What detoxification pathways in your body are under-functioning? What nutritional co-factors responsible for these pathways are deficient? Dr. Chan use modifications to your environment, diet, exercise, nutritional intake, specialized herbs and nutraceuticals to affect your detoxification epigenetic expression. 

Epigenetics is the study how gene expression can be changed without altering the gene itself. Think of the volume control knob on your stereo; the volume can be adjusted without changing the hardwiring (the genes that you inherited from your parents). For example, methylation, a detoxification pathway, can be epigenetically affected by taking vitamin B12, and folate. This is an example that shows what you put in your body can affect how genes in these detoxification pathways are expressed. Dr. Emily will work with you to optimize your body’s ability to get rid of toxins.