Chronic Inflammation Uncouples the Adrenals

Chronic inflammation causes the Adrenals (HPA axis) to be uncoupled from the Vasomotor Autonomic System (VAS). That’s correct. Despite the fact that the adrenals are disconnected from autonomic control; many Doctors suspect and treat adrenal fatigue in any patient who has low grade or a chronic inflammation. Why? They didn’t look any deeper, questioning why are the adrenals always showing up in their analysis.

They will tell you with inflammation, it is in your best interest to improve your adrenal function to reduce inflammation. They will say the same  with about any other condition. They always recommend doing adrenal support. The Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) axis is a prominent focus of treatment in patients with chronic health conditions. Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome (AFS) is considered the root cause of the problem.

Adrenal / HPA axis Endocrine Pathway: Note the complete absence of any references to Cortisol as an Endocrine Hormone traveling through the blood after release by the adrenals.

This Endocrine hormone dilemma is caused by  the overactive immune response causing chronic inflammatory conditions and low cortisol levels  occurring relative to the level of inflammation the individual is experiencing.

Adrenal Hormones Pass Through Blood – Brain -Barrier

Adrenal hormones and neuroendocrine transmitters have important influences upon the hypothalamus, and to do so they must pass through the blood–brain barrier. The hypothalamus is bounded in part by specialized brain regions that lack an effective blood–brain barrier; the capillaries at these sites has perforations to allow free passage of hormones and even large proteins and other molecules. At these sites, the hypothalamus samples the hormone composition of the blood. Some of these sites are the sites of neurosecretion, where signals are sent from the nerve cells of the hypothalamus to the posterior pituitary. The hypothalamus secretes substances known as neurohormones that start and stop the secretion of anterior pituitary hormones.

The neurons are in intimate contact with both blood and Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF). These structures are densely vascularized, and contain receptive neurons that control hormones, regulation of fluid and electrolyte balance.

Read More - Hypothalamic Sampling Hormones Requires Blood Flow

 

Cortisol

Cortisol is a steroid hormone released into the blood stream by the adrenal glands. The adrenal glands sit on top of your kidneys. Cortisol does not get released into nerves or travel through the nerves. Inflammation damages and disturbs blood flow through out the body and the delivery of Endocrine hormones.

The  HPA axis is an adaptive response for “short-lived” inflammatory responses leading to breakdown of energy stores and energy utilization by activated immune and other cells. This becomes a disease causing factor, if it continues too long, that can drive systemic chronic inflammatory diseases such as the hypothyroid or chronic fatigue syndrome symptoms.

Which Hormone Chart is Accurate?
Technically, Both are correct. The lower is more complete. The upper chart is missing most of the hormones. Are those missing hormones important for your health? Are the missing hormones, contributing to your health condition. You may never know, unless you find a Doctor like Dr. Peterson that uses complete hormone tests.

Low DHEA

The response of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis to chronic inflammation is: 1) low serum levels of cortisol; 2) ambiguous lab results with respect to levels of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and cortisol; 3) Uncoupling of HPA axis and Vasomotor Autonomic System (VAS); 4) Symptoms ranging from no symptoms to severe cases of hypoandrogenism (low DHEA which is converting into pro-inflammatory Etiocholanolone), fatigue, and/or mineralocorticoid excess; 5) altered circadian rhythm causing morning symptoms. Low cortisol is associated with problems going to sleep and waking up. Low levels of cortisol in relation to Vasomotor neurotransmitters may be proinflammatory because cooperative anti-inflammatory coupling of the two endogenous response axes is missing.

Chronic inflammation and Adrenal Fatigue are quite closely associated: inflammation contributes to and triggers common, but very subtle, symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue such as brain fog, gastric bloating, pain of unknown origin, depression, anxiety, and reactive hypoglycemia. The real truth is that stress and Adrenal Fatigue is not a mysterious entity at all that always seems to be present.

Adrenal Fatigue consists of many nonspecific but debilitating symptoms. The onset of this condition is often slow and insidious. Sufferers are told that they are stressed and need to learn to relax more. Yes, we all know that “stress kills” to a large extent. But, the question is how?

Inflammation Uncouples the HPA axis

These difficulties in understanding “Adrenal Fatigue” and the HPA axis is caused by the fact that the Vasomotor Autonomic System (VAS) axis and the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) axis are “UNCOUPLED”  in patients with inflammatory conditions or Hepatic Portal Hypertension (another overlooked condition) .

Cooperation between the Vasomotor Autonomic System (VAS) and the Adrenals (HPA axis) is important in chronic inflammatory diseases to efficiently down regulate inflammation in the body. Research of classical stress systems, such as the hypothalamus–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis and the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems (SNS and PNS), is disappointing as findings are often contradicting each other, and counterintuitive, as for example, the finding of low HPA axis activity in chronically stressed and traumatized individuals. This is the basis for the meme of “Adrenal Fatigue”.

If you have chronic inflammation; the chances of Adrenal Supplements working is not good.

DHEA is converting into pro-inflammatory Etiocholanolone

Adrenal testing is popular with many Doctors. Low DHEA is often reported in the results. Complete hormone testing is rarely if ever done. When Complete Hormone testing are used. It become apparent that the low DHEA is due to its conversion into the inflammatory hormone Etiocholanolone. The hot flashes women experience may be due to Etiocholanolone surges. It is NOT a DHEA deficiency.

The reason your DHEA is low is because DHEA is converting into Pro-Inflammatory Etiocholanolone

Etiocholanolone is produced from androstenedione. It causes fever, short term hot flashes, immune stimulation and increased white blood cells. Excessive DHEA supplementation may be the cause of high etiocholanolone levels.

The Vasomotor Autonomic System (VAS) axis and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis are stimulated in parallel in response to stress factors under healthy conditions. This physiological synergism of the axes stimulated by the hormone Etiocholanolone aims at optimizing immune responses. With inflammatory diseases, one would expect that TNF or IL-6 (TH17) stimulates the hypothalamus, which activates the Vasomotor Autonomic System (VAS) axis and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis in a parallel fashion.

If lab test report shows DHEA, androstenedione and testosterone levels are low with signs and symptoms of bacterial overgrowth, high pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-1, IL-6 levels, etiocholanolone may be causing symptoms of inflammation, fever, leukocytosis, increased serum C-reactive protein, low iron (hypoferremia), increased IL-1 lymphocyte activation and increased white blood cell activity.

In some cases Etiocholanolone has been known to decrease cortisol in short bursts because it has a higher affinity for the parts of the adrenals (Zona Glomerulosa & Zona Reticularis) which effect mineralocorticoids, salt and water content of your blood, and Androgens (testosterone).

Increased etiocholanolone causes a rapid fall in serum iron and a rise in serum ferritin. This would be diagnosed as an iron deficiency. Read More… Anemia of Chronic Inflammation

Hydrocortisone Treatment

A critical confounder of “Adrenal Fatigue” and the HPA axis is the influence of previous glucocorticoid therapy (Hydrocortisone), which has long-lasting, but often ignored, depressive effects on the HPA axis. Hydrocortisone drugs decrease adrenal function, increase kidneys excretion of androgens (testosterone, DHEA) and increased binding of androgens to globulin making them inactive.

If you have previously used Hydrocortisone creams or Cortisone injections; the chances of Adrenal Supplements working is not good.

Uncoupling May Persist Even After Improvement

An uncoupling of the Vasomotor Autonomic System (VAS) and the HPA axis may persist even following clinically significant improvement. Suboptimal HAVS regulation of the HPA axis in patients, with chronic health conditions remains particularly prominent during periods of stress-induced activation of the two systems.

Uncoupling of these two axes is linked to prior corticosteroid therapy. Uncoupling is enhanced in prednisolone treated patients because prednisolone stimulates the SNS and inhibits the HPA axis even in healthy subjects.

How Should Doctors Treat Adrenal Fatigue?

Hypothalamic Pituitary Thyroid (HPT) Axis

Hypothalamic – Pituitary – Thyroid Axis (HPT) AKA: Hypothyroidism Secondary to Pituitary Hypofunction

Another more appropriate name for the Hypothalamic – Pituitiary – Thyroid (HPT) Axis is Hypothyroidism Secondary to Decreased Pituitary Output. This is the label used in Dr. Kharrazian’s book Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms When My Lab Tests Are Normal.

The pituitary gland is often portrayed as the “Master Gland” of the body. Such praise is justified in the sense that the anterior and posterior pituitary secrete a battery of hormones that collectively influence all cells and affect virtually all physiologic processes.

The pituitary gland may be king, but the power behind the throne is clearly the hypothalamus. Some of the neurons within the hypothalamus – neurosecretory neurons – secrete hormones that strictly control secretion of hormones from the anterior pituitary. The hypothalamic hormones are referred to as releasing hormones and inhibiting hormones, reflecting their influence on anterior pituitary hormones.

T3 and T4 regulation

The production of thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) is regulated by thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), released by the anterior pituitary. The thyroid and thyrotropes (cells in the anterior pituitary) form a negative feedback loop: TSH production is suppressed when the T4 levels are high, and vice versa. The TSH production itself is modulated by thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH), which is produced by the hypothalamus and secreted at an increased rate in situations such as cold (in which an accelerated metabolism would generate more heat).

Thyroid Hormones Pass Through Blood – Brain -Barrier

Thyroid hormones and neuroendocrine transmitters have important influences upon the hypothalamus, and to do so they must pass through the blood–brain barrier. The hypothalamus is bounded in part by specialized brain regions that lack an effective blood–brain barrier; the capillaries at these sites has perforations to allow free passage of hormones and even large proteins and other molecules. At these sites, the hypothalamus samples the hormone composition of the blood. Some of these sites are the sites of neurosecretion, where signals are sent from the nerve cells of the hypothalamus to the posterior pituitary. The hypothalamus secretes substances known as neurohormones that start and stop the secretion of anterior pituitary hormones. 

The neurons are in intimate contact with both blood and Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF). These structures are densely vascularized, and contain receptive neurons that control hormones, regulation of fluid and electrolyte balance.

The hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis (HPT axis) is a neuroendocrine system that regulates metabolism.  When the hypothalamus senses low circulating levels of the hormones T3 and T4 in the blood, it signals to the pituitary by releasing Thyroid Releasing Hormone (TRH) into the capillaries traveling to the anterior pituitary, which secretes Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) into the veins. The veins carry the TSH to the thyroid signaling the thyroid gland to release T3 and T4.  T4 normally is converted to the more active T3, but T4 can also be converted to reverse T3 (rT3).  Reverse T3 antagonizes the T3 receptor, so high levels can be detrimental.

 

Hypothalamic Sampling Requires Blood Flow

Sampling of hormones (including the sex hormones) by the hypothalamus requires consistent blood flow. In the body, blood carries hormones released by endocrine glands and carries them to body parts that need them. 

In parasympathetic withdrawal, diagnosis is usually considered adrenal fatigue. The volume of blood shifts from the muscles and brain to the central abdominal compartment. The blood flow to the brain is not stopped when this occurs. The flow is reduced and Poiseuille’s Laws come into play. 

The circulatory system provides many examples of Poiseuille’s law in action—with blood flow regulated by changes in vessel size and blood pressure. Blood vessels are not rigid but elastic. Adjustments to blood flow are primarily made by varying the size of the vessels, since the resistance is so sensitive to the radius. This is done by the Abdominal Brain through the release of NeuroEndocrine transmitters.

A 19% decrease in flow is caused by a 5% decrease in radius of the blood vessels. The body may compensate by increasing blood pressure by 19%, but this presents hazards to the heart and any vessel that has weakened walls.

This decrease in radius is surprisingly small for this situation. To restore the blood flow in spite of this buildup would require an increase in the pressure difference of a factor of two, with subsequent strain on the heart.

ISCHEMIC PENUMBRA OF PARASYMPATHETIC DOMINANCE

In severe and/or chronic illness, profound changes occur in the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis. Ischemia and inflammation disrupt the porous Blood-Brain-Barrier surrounding the hypothalamus. The observed decrease in serum concentration of both thyroid hormones and thyrotropin (TSH) are not compatible with a negative feedback loop.

Ischemia is a restriction in blood supply to tissues, causing a shortage of oxygen and glucose needed for cellular metabolism (to keep tissue alive, healthy and functioning properly). Ischemia is generally caused by problems with blood vessels, with resultant damage to or dysfunction of tissue or organs. It also means local anemia in a given part of a body sometimes resulting from congestion (such as vasoconstriction, red blood cell aggregation due to insulin resistance/diabetes). Ischemia comprises not only insufficiency of oxygen, but also reduced availability of nutrients and inadequate removal of metabolic wastes. 

Parasympathetic Withdrawal (vasodilation) with blood pooling in the Abdominal Compartment makes the Movement Compartment and Brain/Spinal Cord Ischemic. At the periphery of the ischemic region, the so-called ischemic penumbra, neuronal damage throughout the body develops more slowly because blood flow arising from adjacent vascular territories (collateral flow) keeps blood perfusion above the threshold for immediate cell death. In the ischemic core, the major mechanism of cell death is energy failure caused by Oxygen/Glucose Deprivation (O2/GD). The hypothalamus and midbrain are most vulnerable to ischemia.

Neurons in the most vulnerable areas cease to respond or show only faint responses and develop irreversible ischemic or post-ischemic damage. The hypothalamus responds to ischemic insults rigorously without having irreversible ischemic or post-ischemic damage.

The thalamus-hypothalamus interface represents a discrete boundary where neuronal vulnerability to ischemia is high in thalamus (like more rostral neocortex, striatum, hippocampus). In contrast hypothalamic neurons are comparatively resistant, generating weaker and recoverable anoxic depolarization similar to brainstem neurons, possibly the result of a Na/K pump that better functions during ischemia.

There is a well recognized but poorly understood caudal-to rostral increase in the brain`s vulnerability to neuronal injury caused by metabolic stress (insulin resistance).

Several brain regions, including the caudate, hippocampus, and hypothalamus, are vulnerable to hypoxic–ischemic brain injury. During O2/GD, hypothalamic neurons gradually depolarized during ischemic exposure. The O2/glucose deprivation (O2/GD) response induces failure of the Na+/K+ pump. The recovery is slow with chronic ischemic penumbrance

Without oxygen and glucose, neurons cannot generate the ATP needed to fuel the ionic pumps that maintain the ionic gradient across the neuronal membrane, mainly the Na+−K+ ATPase. 

In the ischemic penumbra, the flow reduction is not sufficient to cause energy failure, and neurons remain viable for a prolonged period of time after the insult, but the neurons are stressed and critically vulnerable to pathogenic events that may tip their fragile metabolic balance. Excessive extracellular accumulation of glutamate is a major factor contributing to production of cytotoxic nitric oxide, free radicals and arachidonic acid metabolites. These events lead to necrosis or programmed cell death depending on the intensity of the insult and the metabolic state of the neurons. Injured and dying cells have a key role in post-ischemic inflammation because they release danger signals that activate the immune system. 

Neurons that demonstrate particular vulnerability to ischemic challenges have been termed “selectively vulnerable neurons”. Of the entire forebrain, the neurons of the hippocampus are the most vulnerable.  

Summary: Parasympathetic Dominance causes Ischemia to the Hippocampus, Hypothalamus, and Pituitary producing alterations in the HPA, HPT, HPD and HPG axis.

HPT AXIS 

During illness, profound changes may occur in the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid (HPT) axis. The most consistent change is a decrease in serum tri-iodothyronine (T3) level, but in severe illness, serum thyroxine (T4) may also decrease. The persistence of a normal or even decreased serum level of thyrotropin (TSH) in the face of decreased serum thyroid hormone concentrations implies there is not an adequate concentration of T3 or T4 reaching the hypothalamus for sampling. 

Since these abnormalities of thyroid hormone concentration usually occur without any evidence of thyroid disease and disappear with recovery, they have been referred to as the `sick euthyroid syndrome’ or the `euthyroid sick syndrome’.

The downregulation at all levels of the HPT axis (decreased thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) and TSH at the hypothalamic-pituitary level, and a decreased production of T3 at the peripheral extra-thyroidal level) in Non-Thyroid Illness is part of the neuroendocrine adaptation to Parasympathetic Withdrawal. In this view, attempts to restore thyroid hormone levels are detrimental and should not be undertaken. 

Immune Stimulation

There is a neuroendocrine component in the pathogenesis of the decreased activity of the HPT and somatotropic axes in prolonged critical illness. T3 can stimulate dendritic cell (DC) maturation, leading to DC-induced T cell proliferation and IFN-γ release. The cytokines IL-1β, TNF-α, IFN-γ, and IL-6 can inhibit the conversion of T4 to T3, thereby shunting T4 towards the production of the potentially detrimental rT3.

Hypothalamus Receives Signals From the Nervous System

The HP Axis is considered an abbreviation for the Hypothalamic Pituitary Adrenal Axis.  Doing a search will yield a multitude of pages focused on the Adrenals. However, the adrenals are only one pair of endocrine glands whose hormones are sampled in the blood by the Hypothalamus. Every hormone produced by other endocrine gland in the body are also sampled by the Hypothalamus. The following description is quite common throughout healthcare.

The hypothalamus is highly involved in pituitary gland function. When it receives a signal from the nervous system, the hypothalamus secretes substances known as neurohormones that start and stop the secretion of pituitary hormones. 

This statement is usually accompanied by a graphic with arrows depicting the Hypothalamic – Pituitary Axis being described. 

Arrows are always considered to be nerves, based on the statement, “receives a signal from the nervous system.” This can be interpreted in a multitude of ways, for example; as a signal from the brain, if one is focused on the brain. If the focus is the vagus. Then the “signal” would be from the vagus. Very few would ever question those interpretations. 

However, those interpretation are very inaccurate. When in fact the arrows are blood vessels through which the hormones travel.  When questioned, some healthcare providers would profess to knowing the arrows represented blood vessels. I have one question for them. If you knew the arrows represented blood vessels through which the hormones travel. Why does your website, podcast, and social media posts, all reflect the arrows as being nerves?

Many parts of the cerebral cortex can excite or inhibit the hypothalamus. This is used to validate the meme that the arrows represent nerves. However, when considering the popular Hypothalamic – Pituitary Axis diagrams are depicting endocrine hormones that only travel through the blood. The meme that the arrows represent nerves is inaccurate.

Endocrine Glands

Your endocrine system includes eight major glands throughout your body. These glands make hormones. Hormones are chemical messengers. They travel through your bloodstream to tissues or organs. Hormones work slowly and affect body processes from head to toe. These include

      • Growth and development
      • Metabolism – digestion, elimination, breathing, blood circulation and maintaining body temperature
      • Sexual function
      • Reproduction
      • Mood

When the fact that hormones and neuroendocrine transmitters are transported through the blood are brought into the conversation. This becomes important in understanding the Hypothalamic – Pituitary – Axes. For most in healthcare, blood is always flowing, except for when there is a clot. Then there is a problem. But not until then. There is a lack of understanding of Poiseuille’s Law as it relates to blood flow in the body. This has a direct affect on hormones making it to the hypothalamus for sampling. 

Blood Flow in the Body

The task of maintaining an adequate interstitial homeostasis (the proper nutritional environment surrounding all cells in your body), (the proper hormonal, neuroendocrine transmitter, neuropeptide and immune responses), requires that blood flows almost continuously through each of the millions of capillaries in the body.

When the circulatory system is out of balance, it is like living in a house where if someone flushes the toilet or starts the washing machine while you are showering you get scalded or frozen. The water does not shut off. But the temperature and pressure change. 

The vast majority of the Healthcare community would say there is still blood flowing past the hypothalamus. So there is no problem. Everything works the same. The same could be said for standing in the shower. Why are you jumping out of the way, cursing at who ever flushed or started the washing machine.

One could ask what is the problem? The traffic (blood flow) is still moving? Yes, it is. Then traffic during rush hours does not affect deliveries either. A traffic jam is one part of the city should not affect deliveries in the remainder of the city either then. However, anyone that lives in the big cities knows that traffic jams in one area also affect deliveries in other parts of the city. Especially when Amazon or UPS shipping hubs are located areas where the jams are.

In addition to that, there is no tracking number. There is no tracking number or guaranteed delivery of hormones to the hypothalamus from the endocrine glands in the abdomen or neck. Although enhanced sympathetic tone is a well recognized component of the autonomic control of the vasomotor system, the contribution of parasympathetic withdrawal to this autonomic imbalance is relatively unknown and undescribed.

Hepatic portal hypertension increases splanchnic blood flow. This increase is caused by increased perfusion of all organs drained by the portal vein, and by increased hepatic arterial blood flow.

Does your Functional Doctor look at MRI or CT images? Do they look for vasodilation of the Hepatic Portal Vein? The answer would be only if you were diagnosed with Cirrhosis of the Liver. Just to get scenario straight. Your Functional Doctor practices “Functional” medicine for all the popular diagnosis du jours using the narrowed standards. But will wait for the diagnosis of Cirrhosis of the Liver before considering vasodilation of the Hepatic Portal Vein to be a contributor to your health condition. My Functional Chiropractic colleagues will scroll past the Hepatic Portal Vein vasodilation so they can look at the spine. Granted they are doing what they are trained to do. But why claimed they are “Functional” practitioners, if they are not going to consider the entire body.

Ironically, the Vasomotor dysfunction of the blood supply to the organs is directly correlated to vertebral disc degeneration and spinal stenosis. You would be find it nearly impossible to view a Chiropractic website, podcast or social media post that show any blood supply to the brain, vertebrae or spinal column. 

All the cells of the body must receive oxygen, glucose and nutrients from the blood as well as removal of carbon dioxide, lactic acid and cellular waste or toxins. Yes, even bone requires blood for healthy bone. Calcium does not magically appear in the bone like food does in a Harry Potter movie. All nerves depend wholly upon the arterial system for their nutrition and the quality of their function, such as sensation, signal transmission and motion, even though by the law of reciprocity they furnish force for vasomotor control to the artery itself. Nerves control the diameter of the blood and lymph vessels but they do not control what is flowing in the vessels.

No guaranteed delivery of oxygen by Red Blood Cells (RBCs). Simply jumping is a Hyperbaric Oxygen Tent does not guarantee that RBCs are going to pick up oxygen and deliver it to the brain. The same lack of guaranteed delivery occurs with hormones, neuroendocrine transmitters and neuropeptides.

Melatonin Stimulates Parasites to Reproduce

Melatonin supports the synchronized reproduction of parasites. Parasites are attracted towards melatonin producing areas of the body during their reproductive cycles. Secretion of melatonin synchronizes the nocturnal release of microflilaria – the early larval stage of a parasitic nematode worm filarial. It follows that exogenous melatonin administration or the use of Blue Blocker Glasses during the day would also trigger release of microfilaria.

The nightly release of microfilaria into the circulation coincides with the feeding activity of parasites, a synchronization that is presumably an evolutionary adaptation favoring survival and transmission of the parasite.

88% of the cercariae (worm larvae) were shed between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. and the average pattern is of circadian type, with the average peak at 1 p.m., and representing 27% of the total number of cercariae of the day. The rhythms of emergence are associated with nocturnal production of melatonin.

All worms were found in the distal 55% of the small intestine (ileum). During the night and morning, parasite was heavily concentrated in the jejunum and, during the day, worms are located more distally, with a heavy concentration in the ilium. Parasites have a migratory pattern that occurs with the initiation of gastric activity of the host. Worms move away from the areas producing digestive chemistry when production is initiated after eating. Two hours after feeding worms move towards the food. High fat diets result in a significant decline in worm dry weight, body area and uterine egg counts in worms. Low fat diets are conducive to increased parasite infestation.

Helminthic therapy, an experimental type of immunotherapy, is the treatment of autoimmune diseases and immune disorders by means of deliberate infestation with a helminth or with the ova of a helminth. Helminth therapy is being used as a treatment method for autoimmune and other inflammatory disorders.

There are a few studies highlighting the potential dangers of helminthic therapy. These are rare because as with Blue Blocker Glasses; no one wants to look at the dark side of Helminth therapy, hence few case studies.

Would you like to be advised of the negative potential of any therapy to consider before trying it.

Worms do not honor intestinal boundaries. They are capable of penetrating the intestinal lining. Especially, when overcrowding occurs from excess reproduction, e.g. melatonin stimulates parasite reproduction. This can also cause an obstruction by a large tangled mass of whipworms. Perforation of the ascending colon occurs as the worms expand their territory. How many people do you know that will go back to their social media friends to post something like this?

The good news is that the production and release of reactive oxygen species(ROS) stimulated by melatonin probably prevents most of the damage that normally occurs in parasitic infestation, e.g., eosinophil infiltration. This will also make the person with the parasitic overgrowth to be unable to feel any discomfort from the parasites.

Early or Subclinical Hypothyroidism

[captainform id=”1220620″ lightbox=”1″ text_content=”Take%20the%20Early%20Hypothyroid%20Survey” bg_color=”FF0000″ text_color=”FFFFFF” position=”left” type=”floating-button”]Early or Subclinical hypothyroidism, also called low thyroid or hypothyroidism is diagnosed when thyroid hormone levels are with normal reference range but TSH is mildly elevated. 

Thyroid disorders are more common among women than men. Dr. David Peterson at Wellness Alternatives says, 

“Sex dependent hormonal fluctuations occur in women due to pregnancy, menopause, contraceptive use, and hormonal replacement therapy. Because hormone surges can occur, these contributing factors make women 7 times more likely to develop a thyroid condition than men. The body can interpret a hormone surge as an alarm to turn on or off other important signaling in the body that can lead to faulty thyroid function.” 

While screening patients for thyroid disease, physicians often order labs measuring only thyrotropin-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels in patients. Sometimes labs will show increased thyrotropin-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels in patients whose free thyroxine (T4) levels are not below normal. This state, termed “Subclinical Hypothyroidism,” is most commonly an early stage of hypothyroidism.

TSH can be elevated up to 3 to 5.5 mIU/L even if thyroxine (T4) levels are within the normal reference range, indicating subclinical hypothyroidism. At this stage, the TSH test is especially useful because it could be pointing to the underachieve thyroid function before some patients develop clinical findings, goiter, or abnormalities noticeable in other thyroid tests.

The most common early symptoms of hypothyroidism, such as fatigue, constipation, dry skin, and weight gain are ‘nonspecific? and could are associated with many other diseases and conditions. The symptoms can also be present in subclinical hypothyroidism, when TSH is in the range of 0.3 and 10 mIU/L but T4 and T3 hormones are normal.

 

If the only lab tests run are only thyroid markers. There is no way anything other contributors to “low thyroid” symptoms can be considered. 

Other Causes of Subclinical Hypothyroidism

Other causes of borderline hypothyroidism include mild thyroid failure due to thyroid surgery, previous radio iodine therapy and external radiation therapy as well as temporary subclinical hypothyroidism after pregnancy or silent and subacute thyroiditis. 

Other Patterns of Hypothyroidism

The symptoms experienced by the patients are caused by factors involved in five other patterns of Hypothyroidism described in Dr. Kharrazian’s book, “Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms? When My Lab Tests Are Normal”. None of which improve by thyroid drugs or supplements. The following bullet points introduces the patterns and their primary causes: 

  • Hypothalamic – Pituitary – Thyroid Axis (Hypothyroidism Secondary to Pituitary Hypofunction) )(page 78)
    • Primary Cause
      • Pituitary gland fatigue
      • Active Stress Response
      • Ischemic Penumbrae of Parasympathetic Withdrawal
        • Decreased blood flow to Hypothalamus, Pituitary and Brain
        • Hormones traveling through the blood stream needed for production of Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) never get to the pituitary 
    • Secondary Symptoms
      • Symptoms of Low Thyroid
  • Thyroid Hormone Underconversion (page 81)
    • Primary Cause
      • Oxidative stress
      • Inflammation in the body
      • Immune reactions
      • Detoxification processes
    • Secondary Symptoms
      • Symptoms of Low Thyroid
  • Thyroid Hormone Overconversion (page 82)
    • Primary Cause
      • Insulin resistance
      • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
      • Low DHEA
      • Increased androgens
      • Increased Testosterone
    • Secondary Symptoms
      • Fatigue
      • Weight gain
      • Hair loss
      • Symptoms of Low Thyroid
  • Thyroid Hormone Binding Elevation (page 83)
    • Primary Cause
      • Birth Control
      • Oral Contraceptives
      • Hormone Replacement Therapy
    • Secondary Symptoms
      • Symptoms of Low Thyroid
  • Thyroid Resistance (page 84)
    • Primary Cause
      • Elevations in cortisol
      • HPA axis
      • Adrenal Uncoupling
    • Secondary Symptoms
      • Symptoms of Low Thyroid

No part of the body can be understood separate from the whole. Patients experience varicose veins or hemorrhoids, inflammation, blood sugar imbalances, stress in their lives and may have used birth control or hormone replacement throughout their lives. Never once thinking that these Patterns of Hypothyroidism may be may be the cause of their symptoms as they are trained to associate everything with low thyroid.

If these condition remain untreated and unchanged, within a few years in some patients, overt hypothyroidism develops, with low free T4 levels as well as a raised TSH level. Thus becoming a “real” Thyroid problem. Unfortunately, for most they will have been prescribed Thyroid medications for years because no one bother to consider any other factors. Thus, creating an Iatrogenic Thyroid problem. 

For most, these patients may have never had a thyroid problem to begin with. Their “Low Thyroid” symptoms were caused by one or more of the five other patterns of Hypothyroidism described in Dr. Kharrazian’s book, “Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms? When My Lab Tests Are Normal”. Which are not true thyroid problems.

Immune Suppression

Too often, inflammation and immune response are suppressed with NSAIDS or Hydrocortisone drugs. The immune system becomes unregulated. This leads to the likelihood that Hashimoto’s will develop and detectable antithyroid antibodies will show up in lab tests. Thyroid Antibodies

Studies have shown that thyroid antibodies can be detected in 80% of patients with borderline hypothyroidism. Autoimmune thyroid disease or Hashimoto’s is the most common cause of elevated TSH. The majority of patients with subclinical hypothyroidism have THS lower than 10 mIU/L. 

SERUM LIPIDS

Patients with subclinical hypothyroidism sometimes have subtle hypothyroid symptoms and may have mild abnormalities of serum lipoproteins and blood sugar, which are indicators for insulin resistance. Only patients with definite and persistent TSH elevation should be considered for thyroid treatment. 

In patients with full-blown hypothyroidism, serum levels of triglycerides, total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol are elevated. In patients with subclinical hypothyroidism, not surprisingly, the same changes are present but are less marked and less consistent. This pattern of lipid abnormalities, of course, is important because it is a risk factor for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.

Coincidently, the same elevation of serum levels of triglycerides, total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol occurs. 

CARDIAC FUNCTION

In several studies, a sensitive measure of myocardial contractility, the ratio of pre-ejection period to left ventricular ejection time (PEP:LVET) was shown to improve significantly in patients with subclinical hypothyroidism who were treated with levothyroxine, compared with patients who were treated with placebo.

Should We Treat Subclinical Hypothyroidism?

Indications for treatment in subclinical hypothyroidism are not established, but general guidelines can be offered. Also, patients who complain of fatigue, dry skin, constipation, muscle cramps or other common symptoms of hypothyroidism may possibly benefit from treatment of the five Patterns of Hypothyroidism, even if their TSH level is elevated.

The presence of symptoms that might be related to mild hypothyroidism also increases the potential benefit of treatment. However, these same symptoms may be related to one or more of the five Patterns of Hypothyroidism in the Kharrazian book, which are not truly a thyroid problem. In these five Patterns of Hypothyroidism, treatment is directed towards the underlying cause, which is not the thyroid

Treatment of Subclinical Hypothyroidism

Treatment is similar to that recommended in patients with overt hypothyroidism. But first and foremost, make sure it is hypothyroidism. As you can see from the Table 1, multiple issues can cause symptoms associated with hypothyroidism. 

Risk of harm to the patient by treating only the thyroid, against the potential benefits of supporting the Pattern of Hypothyroidism must be balanced. Clinical experience and success is the only way to determine which approach works. If the patient responds with treatment of the non-thyroid Patterns of Hypothyroidism, there is no reason to treat the thyroid.

Follow the Money!!!

But as they say – Follow The Money. Twenty, Thirty or more years on thyroid supplements or drugs is financially profitable. People are well trained to expect to be on supplements and drugs for a lifetime. Why let them think anything else. It is not only hypothyroidism, but insulin resistance would fall into this category. They call it “Pre-Diabetes” preparing you for the inevitable lifetime of drugs. It takes a little longer to get there but with all the “co-morbidities” associated with Diabetes. It is good for their business. But not so good for your health and quality of life.

Final Comment

At this point in time, the focus is only on routine laboratory screening for hypothyroidism, but very few will take the time to consider any other possibilities contributing to low thyroid symptoms. 

If you are tired of the status quo. It is time for a change.If you are doing the same thing over and over expecting your health to change.  Ask yourself. Are you ready for a different approach? If you are call today. 530-615-4083

Do You Have An Iatrogenic Thyroid?

Iatrogenic Thyroid conditions are created when every ill a person has is blamed on the thyroid.

While screening patients for thyroid disease, physicians often order labs measuring only thyrotropin-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels in patients. Sometimes labs will show increased thyrotropin-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels in patients whose free thyroxine (T4) levels are not below normal. This state, termed “subclinical hypothyroidism,” is most commonly an early stage of hypothyroidism.

The symptoms experienced by the patients are caused by factors involved in five other patterns of Hypothyroidism described in Dr. Kharrazian’s book, “Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms? When My Lab Tests Are Normal”. None of which improve by thyroid drugs or supplements. The following bullet points introduces the patterns and their primary causes:

  • Hypothalamic – Pituitary – Thyroid Axis (Hypothyroidism Secondary to Pituitary Hypofunction)
    • Primary Cause
      • Pituitary gland fatigue
      • Active Stress Response
      • Ischemic Penumbrae of Parasympathetic Withdrawal
        • Decreased blood flow to Hypothalamus, Pituitary and Brain
        • Hormones traveling through the blood stream needed for production of Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) never get to the pituitary
    • Secondary Symptoms
      • Symptoms of Low Thyroid
  • Thyroid Hormone Underconversion
    • Primary Cause
      • Oxidative stress
      • Inflammation in the body
      • Immune reactions
      • Detoxification processes
    • Secondary Symptoms
      • Symptoms of Low Thyroid
  • Thyroid Hormone Overconversion
    • Primary Cause
      • Insulin resistance
      • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
      • Low DHEA
      • Increased androgens
      • Increased Testosterone
    • Secondary Symptoms
      • Fatigue
      • Weight gain
      • Hair loss
      • Symptoms of Low Thyroid
  • Thyroid Resistance
    • Primary Cause
      • Elevations in cortisol
      • HPA axis
      • Adrenal Uncoupling
    • Secondary Symptoms
      • Symptoms of Low Thyroid
  • Thyroid Hormone Binding Elevation
    • Primary Cause
      • Birth Control
      • Oral Contraceptives
      • Hormone Replacement Therapy
    • Secondary Symptoms
      • Symptoms of Low Thyroid

No part of the body can be understood separate from the whole. Patient experience varicose veins or hemorrhoids, inflammation, blood sugar imbalances, stress in their lives and are using birth control throughout their life. Never once thinking that these may be may be the cause of symptoms they are trained to associate with the low thyroid.

If these condition remain untreated and unchanged, within a few years in some patients, overt hypothyroidism develops, with low free T4 levels as well as a raised TSH level. Thus becoming a “real” Thyroid problem. Unfortunately, for most they will have been prescribed Thyroid medications for years because no one bother to consider any other factors. Thus, creating an Iatrogenic Thyroid.

Alternative and Functional Medicine Iatrogenesis

Unfortunately, Alternative and Functional not exempt from creating iatrogenic problems for their patients. Hundreds of Alternative and Functional Doctors, Nutritionists and Herbalists have attended the Mastering the Thyroid class. Yet, they have failed to incorporate the course material.

Alternative and Functional Medicine Doctors are not exempt from creating Iatrogenic problems for their patients.

Patients have read Thyroid Self-help books come into their offices demanding to be treated for Hypothyroid symptoms. Too often after failing to respond to Hypothyroid drugs and/or supplements from previous Doctors. What is the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over expecting the results to change. Like somehow, supplements from a different supplement company are going to miraculously work this time.

Are the Alternative and Functional Medicine Doctors capable of understanding the five Patterns of Hypothyroidism. Absolutely! Yet Professional and Social Media peer pressure keeps them from acting independently.

 

How easy would it be to follow the information. Dr. Kharrazian lays it all out in his book. Alas, his focus is on the brain and is not able to recognize the factors that cause the five Patterns of Hypothyroidism and neither are those following him.

If you are doing the same thing over and over expecting your health to change.  Ask yourself. Are you ready for a different approach? If you are call today. 530-615-4083

 

Vaginal Yeast Infection

Vaginal Yeast infection symptoms can mimicked by Bacterial Vaginitis (BV). Periodontal bacterial vaginosis can cause vaginal symptoms similar to those of a Yeast Infection. Bacterial Vaginitis can be caused by various conditions, such as bleeding gums and gingivitis. Recurrent Pregnancy Loss (RPL), miscarriage, preterm birth and low birth weight are associated with oral bacterial infections.

 

Cross colonization of the openings of the human body have received little study in contemporary medicine. Because of this, there is limited practical recommendations for management of patients with both dental and urogenital tract microflora disorders. Not because nothing can be done. It is due to the compartmentalization of health care. The mouth and vagina are at opposite ends of the body. Dentist go to Dental conventions. Gynecologists go to Gynecological conventions. They never become aware of the problem at the other end of the body. Dental patients tell Dentists about their mouth. Gynecology patients – Well you get the point.

As a Functional Doctor, patients report all of their problems in the assessment forms allowing the connection between their reoccurring “Yeast” infection and bleeding, receding gums. From there, the patient can be directed to the proper treatment and support to eliminate the problems.

The current paradigm focuses on vaginal/uterine infections predominantly originating from the vaginal tract, with the microbes ascending into the uterus. An increasing number of bacterial species have been identified in vaginal/uterine infections that do not belong to the vaginal microflora. Infections in the uterus can originate from the mouth as bacteria entering to bleeding gums move throughout the body looking for a place to call their new home. There is a small association between periodontal disease and bacterial vaginosis with oral sex with a partner that has periodontal disease. Bacteria enter the blood vessels in the mouth is the primary route of infection.

Is Your Yeast Infection Really A Bacterial Infection?

Culture Lab Testing is still readily available and reasonably accurate for finding air breathing microbes, so clinicians continue to use it even though there are significant known limitations. 99% of microbes in your body are stressed out when exposed to air, going dormant or dying making them unculturable.

The same statistics apply with Vaginal Cultures. This is why Candida seems so prevalent. They are using antiquated lab tests.

This lack of growth by anaerobic microbes results in a significant change in the balance of microbes in lab test results; since those species capable of surviving exposure to air will more actively grow when there is no competition. It becomes readily apparent that Culture and the culture dependent MALDI-TOF methodology are severely limited to identifying only culturable microbes (less than 1% in the human body).

If your Doctor is using antiquated Culture tests or swabs. They are missing 99% of the microbes that could possibly be causing your “Yeast” infection. If you are experiencing reoccurring “Yeast” infections, the use of cultures and swab tests are likely wrong and leads to inappropriate treatment.

Vaginal and Uterine Infections

Oral bacteria enter into oral capillaries, especially if you have bleeding when flossing or brushing your teeth. Receding gums is another sign of oral bacteria causing problems. These conditions lead to increased bacteria in the blood, thus enhancing the opportunities for bacteria to travel to distant organs and joints in your body. The symptoms of oral bacteria infection mimic those experiences in ascending infections, i.e., with the bacteria colonizing the lining of the uterus.

Graphic of tooth with different points of entry for bacteria into the blood stream

Dental procedures such as extractions, root canals, implants, deep scaling and crowns that cause bleeding provides an entry point for bacteria to move into the blood. Unfortunately, the focus is on mercury fillings and not on the bacteria that take advantage of the new places to take up residence. Read more on Root Canals…

Bacteria being carried through the blood allows the spread of opportunistic bacteria from one location to another, i.e. uterus, joints, thyroid.  It is then plausible that opportunistic bacteria take advantage of your body’s specific chemistry and colonize wherever growth conditions are suitable. The oral and vaginal environments provide similar colonization and growth conditions in a your body for bacteria to grow. Because faulty, antiquated Culture Lab Tests continue to be used, anaerobic bacterial infections are seldom found.

These opportunistic oral bacteria setting up a new residence in the uterus become Invasive Species and Keystone Pathogens. An Invasive Species is a species that spreads to a new location they are not normally found in, becoming Keystone Pathogens and causing damage to the tissue, organs and health of the human body.

Invasive Species are able to out compete normal inhabitants due to lack of natural defenses that keep their population in check. Invasive Species become bullies in their new location, changing the environment to favor their growth and survival, i.e. a crack house moving into your neighborhood.

A “Keystone Pathogen” is a low-abundance microbe that can orchestrate inflammatory disease by remodeling a normally beneficial microbiota into a dysbiotic one, i.e. residents of the neighborhood change their behavior to avoid confrontation with the crack dealers. Once the Keystone Pathogens get a foothold, they hack into the immune system by producing chemicals that make them invisible to the immune system, i.e. crack dealers paying off the cops.

Oral bacteria invading the uterus and vagina change the environment so much so that the normal vaginal bacteria are weakened to the point where they are no longer able to out-compete the Candida/Yeast. You have invaders in the vagina and uterus arriving internally from the blood and externally from the vagina. The Candida/Yeast are opportunistic; taking advantage of the weakened normal vaginal bacteria being unable to prevent the overgrowth of Candida/Yeast. You experience temporary relief from Yeast infection products or prescriptions, but it always comes back. This is because the oral infection replenishes the bacteria to the vagina and uterus repeating the process over and over.

An increasing number of studies report intrauterine infections caused by bacterial species not found in the urogenital tract, such as F. nucleatum and Bergeyella, Eikenella, and Capnocytophaga spp., all of which are common species in the mouth.

Female Reproductive Disease and Periodontal Infection

Periodontitis is a condition in which dental bacterial plaque cause an inflammatory response that leads to loss of connective-tissue attachment, ultimately resulting in loss of affected teeth. Symptoms include bleeding when brushing or flossing, inflammation at the site, and tooth loosening and ultimately tooth loss.

Chronic generalized inflammatory and inflammatory-degenerative periodontal diseases of different severity have been detected in all female patients with gynecological diagnosis of bacterial vaginosis. The major markers of bacterial vaginosis have been also detected in oral cavity in women with periodontal conditions, i.e. receding gums, bleeding gums, canker sores, etc. Root canals, crowns and implants should also be considered if you are having reoccurring vaginal infections.

Bacterial vaginosis is a frequently occurring condition with the focus being primarily on bacteria ascending from the vagina into the uterus. Bacterial vaginosis affects nearly 30% of women between the ages of 14 and 49. Bacterial vaginosis is characterized by a decrease in the normally predominant (air-tolerant) Lactobacillus bacterial species, and a corresponding increase in a diversity of anaerobic microbes (air-hating) AKA Competitive Exclusion. Bacterial vaginosis is typically asymptomatic, but if symptoms are present, the most common complaints are discharge and odor.

Both periodontal disease and bacterial vaginosis have been linked to adverse pregnancy outcomes such as miscarriage, preterm birth and low birthweight. The process through which oral bacteria stimulate an immune response resulting in preterm birth remains overlooked.

Bacterial Vaginosis

Bacterial vaginosis (BV), a condition characterized by decreased vaginal lactobacilli and increased anaerobic bacteria, has been associated with an increased risk of miscarriage and preterm birth. The abnormal microflora typical of Bacterial Vaginosis overlaps considerably with bacterial species known to be associated with periodontal disease. For example, Prevotella and Porphyromonas species have been associated with Bacterial Vaginosis and Periodontal Disease.,

What are signs and symptoms of bacterial vaginosis?

The most common symptom is a smelly vaginal discharge. It may look grayish white or yellow. A sign of bacterial vaginosis can be a “fishy” smell, which may be worse after sex. About half of women who have bacterial vaginosis do not notice any symptoms.

Many women with bacterial vaginosis have no signs or symptoms at all. When symptoms do occur, the most common include:

  • An abnormal amount of vaginal discharge
  • The vaginal discharge is thin and grayish white.
  • Vaginal odor (foul-smelling or unpleasant fishy odor)
  • The vaginal discharge and odor are often more noticeable after sexual intercourse.
  • Pain with sexual intercourse or urination (rare symptoms).

Symptoms of bacterial vaginosis, if present, can occur any time in the menstrual cycle, including before, during, or after the menstrual period. The amount of vaginal discharge that is considered normal varies from woman to woman. Therefore, any degree of vaginal discharge that is abnormal for a particular woman should be evaluated.

What problems can bacterial vaginosis cause?

Bacterial vaginosis usually does not cause other health problems. But in some cases it can lead to serious problems.

  • If you have it when you are pregnant, it increases the risk of miscarriage, early (preterm) delivery, and uterine infection after pregnancy.
  • If you have it when you have a pelvic procedure such as a cesarean section, an abortion, or a hysterectomy, you are more likely to get a pelvic infection.
  • If you have it and you are exposed to a sexually transmitted infection (including HIV), you are more likely to catch the infection.

If you are having frequent “Yeast” infections, you may want to consider the possibility it is not “Yeast“. It may be an overlooked oral bacteria infection. Theses same bacteria traveling through your blood are also falling into your digestive tract becoming Invasive Species acting as Keystone Pathogens causing digestive problems. Since Dentist do not treat gynecological conditions and Gynecologist do not treat dental conditions. You need help guiding you through the process.  Call today.

Am I TH1 or TH2 or TH17?

Some practitioners recommend the Th1/Th2 Challenge to determine if symptoms are immune related. Doing the Th1/Th2 Challenge is like checking for a gas leak with a burning match. It doesn’t account for Th17. Are you suffering from inflammatory fire searching the internet for answers? I often hear from women that they have to be their own advocates for their health. I agree you must be your own advocate.

Inflammation is a general term describing the effects of too many inflammatory cytokines and stimulating neurotransmitters unopposed by too few anti-inflammatory cytokines and inhibitory neurotransmitters.

Finding Your Immune Status

For more than thirty years, T-Helper (TH) cells have been divided by immunologists into two functional subsets: T-helper-1 (TH1) and T-helper-2 (TH2). Immunologists have also identified specific groups of chemical messenger molecules called “cytokines and chemokines” that are used to communicate between the cells of the immune system and stimulate eith the TH1 or TH2 system.

TH1/TH2 Challenge

When the activity of one subset goes up, it represses the activity of the other similar to a seesaw or teeter-totter. Some practitioners recommend the TH1/TH2 Challenge to determine if symptoms are immune related. In this test, one immune stimulating supplement is taken at a time and a journal is kept of the symptoms experienced. One supplement stimulates the TH1 side of the immune system, and the other supplement stimulates the TH2. The reactions to these supplements are used to determine which side of your immune system is out of balance. However, very few people are strictly TH1 or TH2.

Fig. 1: Provocation of Unregulated Immune Response

Very Few People Are Strictly TH1 or TH2.

People with similar symptoms can have remarkably different laboratory results, while people with comparable laboratory results often exhibit widely different symptoms. This leads to confusion and frustration when doing immune challenges. Results from the Neuroscience NEI Gold 5516 for women suffering from Hashimoto’s show how confusing and unpredictable it can be.

Concerned about your Health?

Call today! 530-615-4083

Fig. 2: Immune Status Scale

Immune Status Scale

Many consider the immune system to be always working properly, even with autoimmune conditions. When it is actually compromised and experiencing the effects of too many inflammatory cytokines and stimulating neurotransmitters unopposed by too few anti-inflammatory cytokines and inhibitory neurotransmitters, while being hacking into and disrupted by microbes, bacteria and parasites.

Another favorite is to blame food or something from the environment. While they can and do serve as provocateurs in an Immune compromised individual. Microbes, bacteria and parasites hack into the NEI Supersystem damaging or altering the immune response for their survival resulting in false positive and false negative food antibody test results.

In the Immune Compromised individual, the immune response the response will depend on their immune system status. This can be best measured by the Neuroscience Stimulated Cytokine panel. The Immune Status Scale (Fig. 2) is not measurable but represents a means to demonstrate the compromised immune system.

  • Zero is DEATH through an acquired immune deficiency and an incompetent immune system.
  • From zero to 30 denotes an ineffectual immune system activity characterized by extreme weakness with tremendous loss of any immune response in the body.
  • The point 30 denotes approaching death unless an immune response can be stimulated which will give it a higher potential ability to protect oneself.
  • From point 30 to 60, there is immune suppression with a decreasing ability to respond to immune challenges with symptoms of cytokine-induced sickness behavior.
  • Symptoms of cytokine-induced sickness behavior begin appear as the body nears 60. A competent immune system will be able to return the body to above 60.
  • From 60 to 100, we note complete health, with 100being the maximum quality of perfect being.
  • From 100 to 150, we note immune stimulation with symptoms of cytokine-induced sickness.
  • From 100 to 130, there is immune stimulation in response to immune challenges. A competent immune system will be able to return the body to below 100.
  • At 130, we will note symptoms of complete cytokine-induce sickness.
  • At rate 150– death takes place through Septic shock, Anaphylaxis, or Toxic Shock

The immune system can jump from the immune suppressed range to the immune stimulated range during a cytokine storm or when provoked and back again. The tissue producing the immune cells may fatigue contributing to a yo-yo effect of cytokine storms followed by a collapse of the immune response as the tissue recovers.

Cyrex vs Neuroscience
Cytokines that enhance cellular immune responses, Th1 (INf-γ, TNFα, etc.), Th2 (TGF-β, IL-4, IL-10, IL-13, etc.), Th17 (IL-17, Il-21, Il-22, IL-26, G-CSF, TNFα), and Th9 (Il-9) favor antibody responses. Cytokines binding to antibodies create a stronger immune effect.

Cytokine Storms

Cytokine storms may occur in both Immune Suppressed and Immune Stimulated. Chances are you have if you are suffering from Hashimoto’s, autoimmune conditions or a confusing mess of symptoms, you may be experiencing your very own Cytokine Storm season where you will have bad days followed by calm days after the storm and again by bad days. You may have found yourself in the proverbial “up a creek without a paddle” in your autoimmune world.

Cytokine Storms occur when the immune system becomes and remains activated against the immune stimulants beyond the point of being helpful.

Lectin Toxicity Evades Antibody-Based Blood Tests

While it is clear that lectins have the potential to do harm, it must be emphasized that the type of harm they do is harder to diagnose than in classically defined food allergies or sensitivites. In other words, confirmation of intolerance will not be found in antibody, allergy or intestinal biopsy testing because the damage done is a direct cytokine driven response, and not necessarily immune-medicated or only secondarily so.

The diagnostic “invisibility” is why lectin consumption is rarely linked to the ailments that afflict those who consume them. While lectins are not the sole or primary cause of a wide range of disorders, them are a major factor in sustaining or reinforcing injuries or diseases once they are initiated and/or established in the body.

Fig. 3:Stimulated Cytokine Test Results Base: General Overall Immune Response

Blue: Zero to 60– Immune Suppressed or Immunocompromised (Fig. 2)
Red: 100 to 150– Immune Activated or Stimulation (Fig. 2)

As you can see from the Stimulated Cytokine Test results that you can be Immune-Stimulated and Immune Suppressed simultaneously. You may experience symptoms of both a suppressed and stimulated immune system (see Fig. 2).

All had bad reactions with the Th1/TH2 challenge. Why? All have an overactive Th17 immune response. Three have a suppressed TH1 response. One has a suppressed TH2 response. The upper right is immunocompromised. The lower right is immune stimulated to everything. The lower left is a raw vegan over-consuming Soft and Hard Lectins. The upper left TH1 immune system collapses when exposed to bacteria driving straight into TH17.

You also have to apply some common sense. Common sense would tell you with autoimmune conditions your immune system isn’t working properly. Are you going to trust it to be accurate during a TH1/TH2 challenge? Lab testing is the best way to determine your immune status.

The TH1/TH2 Challenge does not recognize the TH17 response, immune suppression or stimulation.

In recent years, a specific T-cell subset, termed TH17. TH17 contributes to the development of diseases such as multiple autoimmune diseases including allergic inflammation, rheumatoid arthritis, autoimmune gastritis, inflammatory bowel disease, Hashimoto’s, psoriasis, and multiple sclerosis. The TH1/TH2 Challenge does not recognize the TH17 response, immune suppression of stimulation. Confusing results occur when different immune status responses are not accounted for as seen in Fig. 1.

Two Different Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients

It is much better to provoke an immune response in a laboratory setting than suffer the consequences of a failed TH1/TH2 challenge. The Neuroscience NEI Gold (5516) determines the baseline immune status and whether lectins (PHA) or bacteria (LPS) provoke a TH1, TH2 or TH17 response. As seen in Fig. 1 the immune system can fail when provoked (blue color) resulting in a suppressed immune system. Measurement of stimulated cytokines can identify the presence of an excited or suppressed immune status.

Are Edible Enemies contributing to poor health and inflammation? Lectins cause a plethora of damage to the body, promoting chronic inflammation and sensitivity. Take the Edible Enemy Quiz to test your knowledge on lectins.

Use the Lectin Control Formula to reduce the inflammatory response that occurs due to lectin consumption. Take two capsules with each meal.

Use Registration Code: DP283 to get access to the Doctor’s Supplements Store.

Get your “Autoimmune Diet Lectin Avoidance Guidelines” eBook

Click on this image to get your Autoimmune Diet Lectin Avoidance Guidelines eBook.

TH1

Th1-lymphocytes are primarily made in response to microbes that infect or activate macrophages and Natural Killer cells, and in response to viruses.

Th1-type cytokines tend to produce the proinflammatory responses responsible for killing intracellular parasites and for perpetuating autoimmune responses. Interferon gamma is the main Th1 cytokine. Excessive proinflammatory responses can lead to uncontrolled tissue damage, so there needs to be a mechanism to counteract this.

TH2

TH2-lymphocytes are primarily made in response to helminths (worms), allergens, and extracellular microbes and toxins. The TH2-type cytokines include interleukins 4, 5, and 13, which are associated with the promotion of IgE (severe allergies) and eosinophils response, and also interleukin-10, which has more of an anti-inflammatory response. In excess, TH2 responses will counteract the TH1 mediated microbial killing action. The optimal scenario would therefore seem to be that we should produce a well-balanced Th1 and Th2 response, suited to the immune challenge.

 

TH17

The purpose of Th17 cells is to clear pathogens, which are not efficiently handled by TH1 and TH2 type of immunity. The induction of Th17 responses must go through three distinct steps: Induction, amplification and stabilization. The stability of Th17 population is only relevant if it is protective against a given pathogen-invader or other kind of insult. If Th17 cells lose their stability they become highly proinflammatory and promote the destruction of your body’s tissues as occurs in autoimmune conditions. In essence, your immune system chooses to sacrifice body tissues by destroying in order to preserve the rest of your body.

TH17 and Vaccine-Related Injuries

Mercury or aluminum is put into vaccines to stimulate an immune response the contagious bacteria with the intention of developing immunity to the disease causing microbe. However, if a child is born with an over active TH17 response from the mother during pregnancy. A reaction, small or catastrophic may occur leaving the child impaired or worse. It is important to determine the immune status of the woman prior to or during pregnancy. Dr. Peterson can provide the answers to this.

TH17 is not included in the TH1/TH2 Challenge

The TH-1/TH-2 Challenge as noted in the book “Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms?” was printed prior to understanding of TH-17. The TH-1/TH-2 Challenge may provoke a TH-17 response. The TH-17 destroys tissue rather than allowing it to be inflamed; analogous to a suicide bomber attack that you can not defend against.

We can and do use laboratory testing to determine your autoimmune response. We recognize the impact of autoimmune conditions and the possibility of false positives and false negatives when using such labs. We start by using H.I.S.S.

  • History
  • Information
  • Signs
  • Symptoms

By utilizing a step-wise approach: Ask questions first. Lab test second. Immune challenges should be done in a laboratory – not your body. The physicians at Wellness Alternatives can determine the most likely scenario involving your immune system without provoking an uncontrolled immune response.

Very few are strictly TH-1 or TH-2.

Those with TH-1 dominance creating symptomatology usually feel better with coffee or caffeine. But feel worse with immune stimulators – Echinacea, goldenseal, immune-boosting mushrooms or probiotics. A person with TH-2 dominance creating symptomatology are the opposite. They will feel better with immune stimulators – Echinacea, goldenseal, immune-boosting mushrooms or probiotics and feel worse with coffee or caffeine.

Concerned about your Health?

Call today! 530-615-4083

Very few are strictly TH-1 or TH-2. This leads to confusion and frustration when doing immune system challenges. More often than not a person will be both TH-1 and TH-2 with multiple autoimmune conditions, i.e. >80% with Hashimoto’s also have Autoimmune Gastrointestinal Disease. This happens when different autoimmune diseases are actively provoking both sides of the immune system to be overactive and the regulatory part of the immune system can’t regulate either side. When a person has both TH-1 and TH-2 creating symptomatology, they often come into the office saying: “I’m always sick” or “I’m allergic to everything.” When TH-1, they will feel worse with immune stimulators – Echinacea, goldenseal, immune boosting mushrooms or probiotics and feel better with little amounts of coffee or caffeine. Which causes a shift pushing them into an overactive TH-2 response were they will feel worse with coffee or caffeine but feels better with little amounts of immune stimulators – Echinacea, goldenseal, immune boosting mushrooms or probiotics.

This eventually drives them into a place where neither TH-1 nor TH-2 creates symptomatology but both are over reactive and under reactive at the same time. They will happily report, “I never get sick” in addition to “But I know I’m not well.” This is scary because their immune system is no longer able to protect them. They are slip sliding away down the slippery slope of autoimmune diseases because their immune system is too fatigued for any appropriate response. Those that add, “I feel good” are doing Green Allopathy often fall into this category. When we look at their labs they will have low absolute neutrophils (<1800) and lymphocytes (<1500). Some will have only one low – others both. Those with an underactive TH-2 will tell us they feel better with a little coffee, or caffeine but feel worse with moderate amounts of coffee, caffeine – as they are driven into TH-2 dominance. At the same time they also have an underactive TH-1 where they feel better with a little immune stimulators – Echinacea, goldenseal, immune boosting mushrooms or probiotics but feel worse after a time with moderate amounts of immune stimulators – being driven into TH-1 dominance.

Reregulating the immune system

Rather than supporting either the TH1 or TH2 while ignoring the TH17 dominance. Wellness Alternatives recommends Quieting the Immune system and doing everything we can to not provoke any immune response. Think of it as if you are being quiet after finally getting a cranky baby asleep. You don’t want to do anything to wake it up. In addition to this we support the T-Helper, T-regulatory cells and inhibitory neurotransmitters and cytokines to re-regulate the TH1, TH2 and TH17 immune response.

Now a quick jump back to the antibody story. It has been proposed that antibodies are normally inactive in a healthy individual. It has been said that 60% or more of the action of a healthy immune system is to deal with the leakage of larger food molecules from the gut. There is, after all, a high degree of similarity between various mammalian animal proteins in our diet and those found in our bodies. If our immune system were to attack all instances of these proteins, we would all have arthritis, lupus, and many other autoimmune diseases. Yet, in some people this type of antibody based damage does occur.

Calm & Quiet, Don’t Suppress or Stimulate Your Immune System

Taking supplements to stimulate one side because you did a TH-1/TH-2 challenge will only make both sides overactive. Yes, in theory taking supplements stimulating the TH-2 is supposed to control the TH-1 after immune regulation has been achieved. The reason you have an autoimmune disease is largely due to an inability to control your immune response. If the immune regulation was not working before the challenge, chances are very high, it will not work by provoking the other side.

It is ill-advised to provoke an immune system that cannot regulate.

Do not write checks your body cannot cash.

The physician at Wellness Alternatives utilize supplement protocols to quiet and re-regulate your immune system. This may involve supporting the regulatory or helper T Cells or the inhibitory cytokines and neurotransmitters. Care must be taken as noted previously as sometimes supporting the regulatory/helper T cells can provoke the inhibitory cytokines and neurotransmitters or vice versa into having an adverse response.

Find out WHAT is the root cause; what initial incident, infection, chronic or otherwise, is provoking and perpetuating this immunological alert status. Then deal with it!

  • DO whatever is necessary to QUIET, not suppress or stimulate, your immune system.
  • DO rotate your diet.
  • DO try to avoid many of the immune stressors in your environment.
  • KEEP a diary so you can LEARN what those stressor are! Start comparing them, you may find common ingredients, which are the provoking your immune system. This too, gives you more slack, as you can then use things without those ingredients.

For effective strategies to prevent immune-mediated disorders, including food allergy, it is essential to understand the external variables that influence immunological programming and how they interact with genetic predisposition to disease. Knowing that Autoimmune processes can be arrested if the interplay between genes and environmental triggers is prevented by re-establishing intestinal barrier function. The physicians at WA use the following 4 principles to re-establish the intestinal barrier function.

  • Restore the Gastrointestinal Barrier Variables
  • Restore the Gastrointestinal Digestive Sequencing
  • Restore the Gastrointestinal Terrain
  • Re-Regulate the Immune system
  • Re-Regulate the Neurotransmitter imbalance
Concerned about your Health?
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Are You Concerned with Bone Loss?

osteoporosis vs. normal boneOsteoporosis and bone loss is probably one of the most feared and misunderstood aspects in health care. Most think calcium is the main focus when it comes to bone loss. Healthcare authorities recommend taking calcium (usually from a cheap, poorly absorbable source) and everything will be okay. In doing so, the cause of bone loss is overlooked and the effects accepted as part of the “normal” aging process. But there is actually much more to maintaining healthy bones than calcium, weight-training, or bone drugs. And one connection that is often overlooked is reducing inflammation.

The “calcium is good for your bones” mantra is yet another example of a good theory gone wrong, and represents how broadly deluded the mainstream medical community is about bone health and the nature of osteoporosis, and its highly fabricated twin condition “osteopenia.”

There are actually a number of studies indicating that mass market calcium supplements increase other risks for other problems, while offering little benefit to your bones. When the level of calcium in the body fluids rises above normal, the nervous system is depressed and reflex activities of the central nervous system become sluggish. Also increased calcium ion concentration decreases the QT interval of the heart increasing the heart rate, and it causes constipation and lack of appetite, probably because of depressed contractility of the muscle walls of the gastrointestinal tract.

It is important to understand that the way the body works does not change to suit a current philosophy of a diseases cause and effect. Neurology, physiology and anatomy in the human body do not change. They have meaning and cannot be ignored or changed to suit a particular philosophy. By understanding the cause, you will understand the effect. Each rationalizes into a procedure that we hope will eliminate the cause of disease and alters the effect back to normal health.

When it comes to bone health, a body suffering from chronic inflammation can send messages that disrupt the natural remodeling process that our bones undergo on a regular basis. And for many, the unfortunate result after years of this simmering fire is brittle, osteoporotic bone.

The Value of Continual Remodeling of Bone

Inflammatory bone erosionThe continual deposition and absorption of bone has a number of physiologically important functions.

  1. Bone ordinarily adjusts its strength to the degree of bone stress. (Wolff’s Law) Bone thickens when subjected to heavy loads. (exercise)
  2. The shape of the bone can be rearranged for proper support of mechanical forces by deposition and absorption of bone in accordance to stress places upon the bone. (exercise vs. no exercise/sedentary lifestyle) (spinal curvatures and breaks)
  3. Old bone becomes relatively weak and brittle; new bone is needed as the old bone degenerates. Bone is alive and needs to be replaced just as other tissues of the body do. It takes about two years for bone to be 100% replaced.

Equilibrium between Bone Formation and Loss.

Osteoclasts and osteoblasts are instrumental in controlling the amount of bone tissue:

  • osteoblasts form bone.
  • osteoclasts reabsorb bone.

Osteoblasts are primarily responsible for turning osteoclast production and activity on and off. They do this via a system of signaling proteins called cytokines, i.e. c-Fos. The cytokine messengers in the inflammation–bone dynamic are essentially activators of osteoclasts, causing increased bone loss. When ongoing inflammation is present, more osteoclasts are generated and stay active longer than they should, disrupting the natural balance.

Think of osteoclasts as the building inspector / demolition crew. They constantly inspect the bone for signs of aging. When they find old bone, they tear it out so the remodeling crew (osteoblasts) can remodel the bone. Remodeling crews do not start remodeling until the demolition has been completed.

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Bone is continually being formed by osteoblasts where osteoclasts have been active, and it is continually being absorbed where osteoclasts are finding old bone needing to be replaced.  A small amount of osteoblastic activity occurs continually in all living bone (approximately 4 percent) so that at least some new bone is being formed constantly. Bone is being continually absorbed by osteoclasts (normally less than one percent in all living bone) at any given time.

Normally, except in growing bones (children), the rates of bone deposition and absorption are equal to each other, so the total mass of bone remains constant. Usually osteoclasts exist in small but concentrated masses; and once a mass of osteoclasts begins to develop, it usually eats away at the bone for about 3 weeks, eating out a tunnel. At the end of this time the osteoclasts disappear, and the tunnel is invaded by osteoblasts and new bone begins to develop. Bone deposition continues for several months. Bone loss medications such as “BONIVA are a nitrogen-containing bisphosphonate that inhibits osteoclast-mediated bone resorption” state this on their websites.

Now apply number three above to the statement and ask yourself what would happen if the osteoclasts bone inspector/demolition crew were made to stop their work? Well for one thing, calcium loss would stop. Hurrah!! Bone loss has stopped. WooHoo!! Does the bone stop aging? No, it continues to age and deteriorate. When the osteoblast remodeling crew finishes their current projects, they see no active tunnels so they stop working. Will this make the bone stronger, or with age, will the bone become weaker? Bone loss and aging still occurs even with these medications.

How does inflammation affect my bones?

When it comes to strong bones, our bodies rely on a dynamic coupling between the cells that break down old bone and those that build new bone. If the immune system is persistently activated, this process becomes uncoupled and the osteoclasts, the cells that break down bones, begin to run amok. Just as the inflammatory process is essential for healing the body, osteoclasts are essential for healthy bone turnover. But when there is imbalanced activity between osteoclasts and osteoblasts, the cells that build up bone, we begin to see more bone breakdown than building.

Cortisol – the stress hormone, is the leading contributor to bone loss. Elevated cortisol has a negative impact on bone metabolism. It lowers bone formation thus favoring development of osteoporosis in the long term. Know any one immune from stress? If you are constantly under stress, your cortisol level can remain elevated over long periods of time. Research now correlates chronically elevated levels of cortisol with blood sugar problems, fat accumulation, compromised immune function, exhaustion, bone loss, and even heart disease.

Cortisol also thins the lining of the stomach, decreasing the production of stomach acid. Did you know stomach acid is required to transport calcium into your body? This is why it is recommended to take a calcium supplement with some form of acid, i.e. calcium citrate. Apply a little common sense to this situation when your doctor tells you to take Tums antacids (calcium carbonate) for your calcium supplement, which further lowers stomach acid and makes less calcium available.

In a study appearing online in the February 2006 issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Kyoji Ikeda and colleagues from the National Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology in Japan show that oral vitamin D treatment inhibits the production of the protein c-Fos.  As c-Fos plays a key role in the development of osteoclasts, which are the specialized cells responsible for bone breakdown and resorption, the authors also show that the vitamin D–mediated inhibition of c-Fos prevented bone loss through a suppression of osteoclast development.

Vitamin D also reduces the production of proinflammatory cytokines. These findings clarify how vitamin D helps limit bone resorption in conditions such as osteoporosis, and suggest that high dose oral Vitamin D is more effective than calcium supplements.  However, many in the healthcare community continue to say that Vitamin D only helps by supporting calcium absorption without looking at the impact elevated cortisol and inflammation have on calcium metabolism.

Many in the alternative healthcare community promote liver / gallbladder flushes and cleanses. They understand that poor liver function will impact your health. I find it ironic that at the same time recommend Vitamin D supplements that must pass through the liver to be emulsified prior to use. Taking a Vitamin D supplement may add more distress to the liver/gallbladder system by forcing it to work harder.  I recommend using a pre-emulsified Vitamin D available at Wellness Alternatives to by-pass the sluggish liver/gallbladder.

Long term, which do you think would be more effective in preventing bone loss: calcium supplements and/or a Boniva-type medication that only ineffectively addresses one area of concern, or treating the underlying cause that predisposes many of us to bone loss? Do what you can to reduce your stress levels. How often to you exercise? We can assist you with your bone loss concerns.  Call Wellness Alternatives today!

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Probiotics Maintain Autoimmunity

The Probiotic Paradoxis that both live and dead bacteria in probiotic products can generate biological responses. The use of probiotics in an unhealthy gut can result in immune dysregulation, bacterial translocation into the lymph and blood and increased inflammation. The Probiotic Paradoxis that the action of probiotics are dependent upon the health of the gastrointestinal tract, immune status and how established a disease process is.

According to a report, laboratory testing of 12 refrigerated and 8 non-refrigerated, randomly selected probiotic supplements obtained from different health food stores revealed that only one product contained the same bacteria as those listed on the label. Many of the refrigerated products had some beneficial bacteria, but contained fewer species of organisms than the label claimed. More than 30% of all supplements were contaminated with other microorganisms and 50% of the non-refrigerated products were completely dead.

The Probiotic Paradox

For a probiotic to work it must arrive alive. Probiotics promote gut health through stimulation, rather than suppression, of the innate immune system. The Probiotic Paradox is that both live and dead bacteria in probiotic products can generate biological responses. Dead probiotics only stimulate a TH1 response, which is also responsible for autoimmunity. Do not increase the TH1 immune response if you have or think you have an autoimmune condition. Probiotics will provoke the more severe autoimmune TH17 response.

Probiotic Survival

For a probiotic to work it must arrive alive. Probiotics promote gut health through stimulation, rather than suppression, of the innate immune system. Our first lines of defense are digestive chemistry and innate immunity.

Stomach acid and bile sterilize anything entering the gastrointestinal tract, if the stomach and gallbladder are healthy enough to do so. An unhealthy stomach and gallbladder may not be able to produce the quantity and quality of acid and bile needed to do the job. This is a duel edge sword. In a healthy gut, unprotected live probiotics will be killed. In an unhealthy gut, the live probiotics will survive but will change their behavior to better survive in an unhealthy gut environment and become pathogenic.

To increase survival probiotics not only should be refrigerated but acid proofed. Many companies do not use acid proofing. Others in an attempt to acid proof use calcium carbonate, an antacid. This neutralizes the sterilization effect of stomach acid and stimulation of the release of bile and pancreatic juices. Other companies use sodium alginate as an acid proofer for probiotics.  Sodium alginate is used as a form of bubble wrapping the microbes in which the sodium alginate serves two purposes: One is it’s a good acid proofer, and after the pancreatic juices are released. The pancreatic juice dissolves the sodium alginate, and then becomes food for the microbes.

Acid and Bile Proofed Probiotics

For a probiotic to work it must arrive alive in the colon. Probiotics defined as “live micro organisms” which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host” are common core materials that are often encapsulated in alginate gel. It has been recommended that food containing probiotic bacteria should contain at least 10live micro organisms per g or mL at the time of consumption to have protective effects such as maintenance of normal intestinal micro flora, enhancement of the immune system, reduction of lactose intolerance and anti-cancer activity.

Along with that probiotics should resist the natural barrier of high acidity and bile content in the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) and show their survivability and activity in the colon. Since some Lactobacillus lack the ability to adequately survive gastrointestinal tract conditions micro-encapsulation techniques have been applied to improve acid, bile and heat tolerance of probiotics  and to inhibit unwanted reactions during storage and processing which can result in loss of survival and activity. Many probiotic brands report only the storage shelf life with no mention of gastric or intestinal survivability.

Most Probiotic companies print the strength (In Colony Forming Units, or, CFU) available at the time of manufacture, not at the time of expiration. This means they can be dead by the time they reach the store and they lived up to their guarantee. Probiotics are living organisms, and are perishable. They must be refrigerated if stored over 2 weeks. More important than sheer numbers is DELIVERY. Probiotics MUST have an acid proof delivery system to get the probiotics to the intestinal tract where they are needed.

Many probiotics are soil based. Soil based organisms are not naturally found in our bodies and aren’t as compatible. Human origin probiotics are. Another negative with soil based probiotics is that it’s hard to remove impurities and unwanted bacteria from soil based organisms. This can be a health issue for persons with impaired barrier variables (AKA “Leaky Gut”) since nonnative organisms can go systemic.

Probiotic supplements such as Theralac protect the contents of the capsule to ensure delivery of the contents into the intestines which is where they need to be. Only there can they be truly effective.

Probiotics needs protection from the gastrointestinal chemistry, and a growth stimulating food.

The gut environment is controlled by digestive chemistry. The digestive chemistry must occur in a specific sequence and order to maintain the gut environment. Border integrity must be maintained. Even probiotics should be contained within the gut and not allowed into the blood or other body parts.

No microbe can occupy a niche already occupied by another microbe, similar to Darwin’s finches on the Galapagos Islands. The fifteen finch species each developed feeding and structural changes to support their survival as a species. Microbes develop different attributes to support their survival.

Microbiome balances are naturally controlled through competitive exclusion. The use of probiotic supplements can create a situation similar to that being experienced in Australia in the gut. Cane toads were introduced Australia in 1935 to control the native cane beetle. Without any natural predators, the introduction of the toads has cause the depletion of native species. The toads find the Australian environment to be ideal for their survival. The environment can also limit invasive species such as boa constrictors in Florida. Cold weather limits their ability to move into northern Florida.

Gastrointestinal control of Predominant, Facultative, Obligate, Opportunistic, Yeast Mold, Parasites occurs through:

Stomach Acid: First line of defense from microbes

  • Stomach acid kills alkaline loving microbes
  • Chemical destruction through acidic pH
  • Barrier system

Pancreas juices and bile: Second line of defense from

  • Pancreas juices and Bile kills acid loving bacteria
  • Chemical destruction through alkaline pH
  • Barrier system

Probiotic Growth Stimulants

Probiotic Sources of Iron

Iron is highly controlled in the body because free iron produces massive amounts of free radicals. Iron is also an aphrodisiac for bacteria. If bacteria are to survive, they must get iron from their environment. Bacteria will actively seek out iron in red blood cells. Disease-causing bacteria do this in many ways, including releasing iron-binding molecules called siderophores and then reabsorbing them to recover iron, or scavenging iron from red blood cells, hemoglobin and transferrin.

To counteract this, the liver produces hepcidin (an immune system body guard for iron) in response to inflammatory cytokines and bacteria. Hepcidin levels can increase as the result of non-bacterial sources of inflammation, like viral infection, cancer, autoimmune diseases or other chronic diseases causing low iron levels. The sequestration of iron is a major defense mechanism against bacteria. Many mistake low iron levels as a need for iron rather than the body’s attempt to control microbial overgrowth.

  • Probiotics iron which provides a readily available iron source for all bacterial.
  • Lactoferrin binds iron and makes it difficult for iron dependent, gram negative bacteria (like Salmonella and E. coli) to grow. This gives gram positive, probiotic bacteria (which require less iron) a competitive advantage.

There are numerous bacteria species that have an affinity for iron. They will actively seek out and destroy blood cells causing anemia of chronic inflammation. Using iron as a probiotic growth stimulant will fuel bad bacteria overgrowth.

Fructooligosaccharides

Currently the prebiotic FOS is under fire for not being selective enough for probiotics since it stimulates non-probiotic bacteria such as Enterococcus species. This concern aside, a number of probiotic manufacturers still include FOS in their products. Virtually all of the data on FOS as a prebiotic shows a requirement of 4-8 grams per day. So picture this: If probiotic brand X contains 100 mg of FOS per capsule (a typical amount) – to get to the 4 gram minimum requirement you would have to take 40 capsules per day. So FOS there as label dressing in these products– as a marketing story.

There is a positive point to make on FOS: Natural sources of FOS – inulin – are present in certain foods such as bananas, onions, tomatoes, rye bread, asparagus and artichokes are beneficial and quite compatible with probiotics – these are examples of true prebiotic foods. The problematic FOS is the synthetic form. Be aware of inulin sensitivity when eating inulin containing foods.

Lactoferrin

Bacteria organized in biofilms are a common cause of relapsing or persistent infections. Lactoferrin (Lf), a major iron-binding protein induces intestinal lining growth where bacteria must attach to to colonize the colon, proliferation of probiotic bacteria, and depending on its concentration and affects the function and permeability of the intestinal mucosa. The bacterial endotoxin (lipopolysaccharide, LPS) is known to cause mucosal hyperpermeability. Lactoferrin has protective effects against LPS-mediated intestinal mucosal damage and impairment of barrier function in intestinal epithelial cells by reducing biofilm growth. Lactoferrin nearly abolished LPS-induced increases in mitochondrial free radical generation and the accumulation of oxidative damage in the DNA.

Acid Proofing Probiotics

Studies show that > 99% of unprotected probiotics are killed when exposed to stomach acid for 1 hour, a typical time spent in the stomach.

Brand X: (Bacillus coagulans, a probiotic bacteria), calcium (calcium carbonate), vegetarian capsule shell (hypromellose, water, titanium dioxide (color), chlorophyll), microcrystalline cellulose, magnesium stearate and silicon dioxide. May contain trace amounts of casein (milk protein). Lactose free.

  • None
  • Calcium carbonate
  • Acid neutralizer promote Hypochlorhydria, Gallbladder Insufficiency, Pancreas Insufficiency & Loss of Microbial controls
  • Sodium alginate used to acid-proof capsules is a natural carbohydrate found in seaweed protects Probiotic bacteria passage through stomach.

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Enzymes indiscriminately damage immunoglobulins and cleave antibodies.
Bacteria, mold and parasites damage immunoglobulins and cleave antibodies  to support their survival.

The simplified use of digestive supplements such as Betaine HCl or enzymes does not restore the gut environment. A person using these would digest food better but these supplements will also digest the unprotected gut lining and even cleave immunoglobulins. Immunoglobulins protect you and alert the immune system to potential problems. Cleaved immunoglobulins make you sensitive to anything that comes into contact with them, i.e. food, or cells from the body. Naturally produced digestive acid and enzymes are produced in a healthy gut lining. You may feel better using digestive supplements but you should ask why you need them. Wouldn’t it make more sense to determine the cause of the unhealthy lining? Then support the restoration of healthy gut lining.

Avoid Doses Of Probiotics And Prebiotics.

Until the gastrointestinal lining has had time to heal. The exception would be during antibiotic use which would be a good time to support with live acid-proofed probiotics. The live probiotics would have an opportunity to occupy the lining not damaged by lectins.

The time this takes will depend upon many different factors, i.e. your unique circumstances, diet, therapeutic supplements, immune status, microbial flora, etc. For a probiotic to work it must arrive alive and have a place on the gastrointestinal lining to attach to. Live probiotics colonize the gastrointestinal lining and the contents of the gastrointestinal tract. Dead probiotics only stimulate a cytokine immune response. Live probiotics must have a healthy thin mucus layer to attach to. Lectins damage multiple barrier variables causing shedding of the gastrointestinal villi leaving no space for live probiotics to attach to.

The adverse effects of lectins on gut physiology cannot be counteracted by probiotics.  Lectins alter the microbial flora and damage the gastrointestinal lining. At the same time, lectins stimulate a pro-inflammatory cytokine immune response. A healthy gut will be better equipped to support a balanced microbial flora and withstand the effects of inevitable but reasonable lectin intake.

I want the Lectin eBook

 

Are Edible Enemies contributing to poor health and inflammation? Lectins cause a plethora of damage to the body, promoting chronic inflammation and sensitivity. Take the Edible Enemy Quiz to test your knowledge on lectins.

Use the Lectin Control Formula to reduce the inflammatory response that occurs due to lectin consumption. Take two capsules with each meal.

When is it Appropriate to Introduce Probiotics? 

This is a good question. It will depend entirely upon your unique circumstances. We are just now beginning to look at the possibility that prebiotics and probiotic can have deleterious consequences. The Metametrix GIFX will provide important clues when it is appropriate to use live acid-proofed probiotics support. Gastrointestinal symptoms should be minimized and stable with regular bowel movements. Elastase1 should be mid-range and fecal pH should be near 6.6 - 6.8.

Consider these tried-and-true tips for better gut flora (no feces involved):

Eat fermented foods 

Salt controls bacterial growth in fermented foods. The bacterial growth is regulated by a sodium to water ratio. Using a salt with minerals and or additive will dilute the sodium ratio. The minerals already exist in the food being fermented. This applies to those using the popular Himalayan Salt. The mineral that give the pink color to the Himalayan salt dilutes sodium concentration. Plus, certain bacteria use the minerals to outcompete other bacteria creating an imbalance in the microbiome.

The Roles Salt Plays in Fermenting

There are several reasons why salt is preferable over other things when it comes to fermenting foods. Here are a few roles that salt plays in the process:

  • Preservation—Salt inhibits the growth of undesirable bacteria and molds while allowing the growth of Lactobacilli.
  • Dehydration—Salt pulls the moisture from the food product that bacteria require for growth.
  • Promote texture—Salt hardens the pectin in vegetables, which results in a crunchy, more flavorful product.

For their good taste—and your good health—favor living fermented foods like unpasteurized sauerkraut and quality yogurt or kefir. This is how they help keep you healthy.

  • Unprocessed fermented foods stimulate the immune system.
  • The flora in living cultured foods form a “living shield” that covers the small intestine’s inner lining and helps inhibit pathogenic organisms including E.coli, salmonella and an unhealthy overgrowth of Candida (yeast).
  • Some fermented foods create antioxidants (glutathione and superoxide dismustase) that scavenge free radicals which are a cancer precursor.
  • Fermenting transforms hard-to-digest lactose from milk to the more easily digested lactic acid. It neutralizes the anti-nutrients found in many foods including the phytic acid found in all grains and the trypsin-inhibitors in soy.
  • Fermentation generates new nutrients including omega-3 fatty acids, digestive aids and the trace mineral GTF chromium.

Eat more plants- Plants are packed with dietary fiber, which bacteria ferment and use to fight pathogens. Dietary fiber is food for bacteria.

Eat a variety of plants- You’ll improve the diversity and health of your microbiome at the same time.

Choose drug-free meats- We all need antibiotics sometimes, but try to reduce your exposure. Antibiotics kill bacteria without discriminating good from bad. A lot of livestock is fed antibiotics and that’s transferred to us.

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