What is 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 loose 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.

By promoting inflammation and attracting neutrophils, TH17-cells may help to remove microbes from the body. However, by triggering an excessive inflammatory response, TH17-cells can contribute to such inflammatory diseases as Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, Crohn’s disease, Ulcerative Colitis, Psoriasis and many other Autoimmune conditions.

TH17 cells have recently emerged as a third independent type T cells which may play an essential role in protection against certain disease causing microbes.  IL-17 plays an important and unique role protection against specific pathogens. The production of IL-17 and the recruitment of neutrophils is important in protection against gram-negative bacteria and fungal infections.Th17 are highly pro-inflammatory and that Th17 cells with specificity for self-antigens lead to severe autoimmunity.

Forbidden Cytokines and Autoimmunity

T-cells secrete various cytokines through which they affect a broad spectrum of normal and pathological immune processes. Cytokine secretion by helper T cells is particularly important in autoimmunity[i] because chronic autoimmune diseases, such as Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, Multiple Sclerosis, Type 1 Diabetes, and Rheumatoid Arthritis are predominantly caused by Th1 cells. Th2 cells can antagonize Th1 functions[ii] and in numerous autoimmune conditions prevent and/or cure autoimmune diseases.

However, recent studies found exceptions to this rule, suggesting that the behavior of a given T cell population may be unpredictable in its cytokine secretion profile. For example, (i) Th2-type T cells can be not only inefficient suppressors of autoimmune conditions induced by Th1 cells,[iii] but can cause Autoimmune conditions;[iv] thus Th1 and Th2 cells can both promote autoimmune conditions; (ii) Th0-type T cells (producing both Th1 and Th2 cytokines) can stimulate autoimmune conditions and are able to instigate Autoimmune conditions;[v] and (iii) Th2-type T cells can induce pancreatitis and diabetes in immune-compromised nonobese individuals with blood sugar problems.[vi]

The cytokine secretion of the same T cell population is different in the lymph nodes (producing both Th1 and Th2 cytokines) than in the central nervous system (CNS) environment (producing only Th1 cytokines). This observation suggests that within the CNS, specific factors (mainly IL-12 producing microglia acting as APCs, not neurons) can modulate the cytokine secretion of Tcells, can select Th1/Th2 pathway, and can control effector CD4+ T cell cytokine profile in Autoimmune conditions.[vii]

Four neuropeptides (NPs): somatostatin, calcitonin gene-related peptide, neuropeptide Y, and substance P, in the absence of any additional factors, directly induce a increased secretion of cytokines [interleukin 2 (IL-2), interferon-g, IL-4, and IL-10) from T cells. Furthermore, these NPs drive distinct Th1 and Th2 populations to a ‘‘FORBIDDEN’’ cytokine secretion[viii]: secretion of Th2 cytokines from a Th1 T cell line and vice versa. Such a phenomenon cannot be induced by classical antigenic stimulation.

The nervous system, through these NPs interacting with their specific T cell-expressed receptors, can lead to the secretion of both typical and atypical cytokines, leading to the breakdown of the commitment to a distinct Th phenotype, and a potentially altered function and destiny of T cells in vivo.

Nerve fibers that release NPs are widespread in the mammalian central and peripheral nervous systems, in certain endocrine tissues, and in all the primary and secondary lymphoid organs.[ix]

[i] Merrill, J. E. & Benveniste, E. N. (1996) Trends Neurosci. 19, 331–338.

[ii] Benveniste, E. N. (1995) in Human Cytokines: Their Role in Research and Therapy (Blackwell Scientific, Oxford), pp. 195–216.

[iii] Khoruts, A., Miller, S. D. & Jenkins, M. K. (1995) J. Immunol. 155, 5011–5017.

[iv] Lafaille, J. J., Keere, F. V., Hsu, A. L., Baron, J. L., Haas, W., Raine, C. S. & Tonegawa, S. (1997) J. Exp. Med. 186, 307–312.

[v] Krakowski, M. L. & Owens, T. (1997) Eur. J. Immunol. 27, 2840–2847.

[vi] Pakala, S. V., Kurrer, M. O. & Katz, J. D. (1997) J. Exp. Med. 186, 299–306.

[vii] Krakowski, M. L. & Owens, T. (1997) Eur. J. Immunol. 27, 2840–2847.

[viii] Mia Levite. Neuropeptides, by direct interaction with T cells, induce cytokine secretion and break the commitment to a distinct T helper phenotype (T helper cells 1 and 2). Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA Vol. 95, pp. 12544–12549, October 1998 Immunology

[ix] Weihe, E., Nohr, D., Michel, S., Muller, S., Zentel, H. J., Fink, T. & Krekel, J. (1991) Int. J. Neurosci. 59, 1–23.


Yeast/Fungi (ingested mold in this case) synthesize somatostatin using it as a defense mechanism to create their ideal environment. Normally, somatostatin is produce by the body in the gastrointestinal tract, pancreas and regions of the CNS. Classified as an inhibitory hormone, it has been shown to impede proinflammatory responses. Somatostatin secreted from non-neuronal cells along the digestive tract plays an important role as a mediator during mucosal inflammatory responses after physiological (induced by TNF-α) and pathophysiological (up-regulation of bacteria) stimulations. TH1, which predominates gastritis (gut inflammation), may be quelled through the increased levels of somatostatin. Through reduced inflammation, the yeast and other microbes are able to avoid attack by the TH1 immune system.

Yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) used in probiotics, synthesizes an analogous peptide hormone precursor, pro a-factor, which is proteolytically processed by at least two separate proteases, the products of the KEXZ and STE13 genes, to generate the mature bioactive peptide somatostatin (SMS).[i],[ii],[iii],[iv],[v]

Expression in yeast of recombinant DNAs encoding hybrids between the proregion of a-factor and somatostatin results in proteolytic processing of the chimeric precursors and secretion of mature somatostatin.[vi]

[i] Green R, Schabern M, Shields D, Kramer R. Secretion of Somatostatin by Saccharomyces cereuisiae CORRECT PROCESSING OF AN a-FACTOR-SOMATOSTATIN HYBRID June 5, 1986 The Journal of Biological Chemistry, 261, 7558-7565.

[ii] Bourbonnais Y, Bolinn D, Shields D. Secretion of Somatostatin by Saccharomyces cerevisiae CORRECT PROTEOLYTIC PROCESSING OF PRO-a-FACTOR-SOMATOSTATIN HYBRIDS REQUIRES THE PRODUCTS OF THE KEX2 AND STE13 GENES’ Vol. 263, No. 30,Issue of October 25, pp. 15342-15347,1988

[iii] PRICE L, KAJKOWSKI E, HADCOCK J, OZENBERGER B, PAUSCH M. Functional Coupling of a Mammalian Somatostatin Receptor to the Yeast Pheromone Response Pathway MOLECULAR AND CELLULAR BIOLOGY, Nov. 1995, p. 6188–6195 Vol. 15, No. 11

[iv] Keisuke Hara, Tomohiro Shigemori, Kouichi Kuroda and Mitsuyoshi Ueda. Membrane-displayed somatostatin activates somatostatin receptor subtype-2 heterologously produced in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Hara et al. AMB Express 2012, 2:63

[v] Hara, Shigemori, Kuroda, Ueda (2012) Membrane-displayed somatostatin activates somatostatin receptor subtype-2 heterologously produced in Saccharomyces cerevisiae AMB Express 2(1) 63

[vi]Bourbonnais Y, Bolin D, Shields D. Secrestion of Somatostating by saccharomyces cerevisiae, The Journal of Biological Chemistry, 263, October 25, 1988: 15342 – 15347

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 a woman 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.

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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

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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-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.



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.

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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
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Is Low Dose Naltrexone (#ldn) Stimulating Autoimmunity?

Naltrexone (#ldn) is usually used in 50mg doses as a drug to help heroin or opium addicts, by blocking the effect of such drugs.  By blocking opioid receptors, naltrexone also blocks the reception of the opioid hormones (endorphins) that the brain and adrenal glands produce.   Many body tissues have receptors for the endorphins, including virtually every cell of the body’s immune system.

FDA-approved naltrexone, in a low dose (only 3mg), can boost the immune system, helping those with HIV/AIDS, cancer, and Autoimmune Diseases. The Immune System is “uncontrolled”in Autoimmune conditions. Boosting an uncontrolled Autoimmune response is a bad thing.

LDN is currently under experimental use for many conditions.  Preliminary results in theory are very encouraging: Naltrexone increases the body’s production of the beta and metenkephalin endorphins and blood tests have indicated that it can double or even triple the activity of natural killer cellsNaturalkillercells(also known as NK cells, K cells, and killercells) are a type of lymphocyte (a white blood cell) and a component of innate immune system. NK cellsplay a major role in the host-tissue rejection of both tumours and damaged cells.

Oh, but Doc, this is Low-Dose Naltrexone. My response: A single spark can ignite a forest fire.

A wealth of experimental data suggest that T cells are self-restricted or self-regulated. Immune regulators of the NEI Supersystem cannot be too high or too low as the self-regulation is dose-dependent. Artificially suppressing or stimulating the levels has detrimental effects on the immune response.

LDN works by suppressing the immune system. Eventually, to quote, Dr. Ian Malcolm of Jurassic Park:

… the kind of control you’re attempting simply is… it’s not possible. If there is one thing the history of evolution has taught us it’s that life (the immune system) will not be contained. Life (the immune system) breaks free, it expands to new territories and crashes through barriers, painfully, maybe even dangerously, but, uh… well, there it is.

There are three different methods by which the body fights infections.  While cellular immunity (Th1) directs Natural Killer T-cells and macrophages to attack abnormal cells and microorganisms at sites of infection inside the cells, humoral immunity (Th2) results in the production of antibodies used to neutralize foreign invaders and substances outside of the cells. T helper 17 cells (Th17) are a subset of T helper cells producing interleukin 17 (IL-17). They are developmentally distinct from Th1 and Th2 cells. Th17 cells are associated with autoimmune disease. The Th17 effector cells are triggered by IL-6 and TGF beta or IL-23 and IL-1β.

woman on fire
Are you on fire?

In many cases, all three arms of the immune system fight an infection.  At other times, only one is predominantly needed to control an infection.  A healthy immune system is both balanced and dynamic: it should be balanced between Th1 and Th2 and Th17 activity, switching back and forth between the three as needed.  This allows for a quick eradication of a threat and then a return to balance before responding to the next threat.  The inability to respond adequately with a Th1 response can result in chronic infection and cancer; an overactive Th2 response can contribute to allergies, various degenerative syndromes and autoimmune disease is a consequence of a Th17 response.  In autoimmune illnesses, all of the arms of the immune system are active, creating the inflammation and tissue injury in autoimmune disease.

A failure of the Th1 arm of the immune system and an overactive Th2 arm is implicated in a wide variety of chronic illnesses.  These include autoimmunity, CFS, candidiasis, multiple allergies, multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS), viral hepatitis, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, cancer and other illnesses.  If these three arms of the immune system could be balanced by stimulating Th1 and decreasing Th2, then many of the symptoms associated with these chronic illnesses would diminish or disappear and we would have found the answer to immune restoration and balance or the equivalent of a cure. Unfortunately, where Th1 and Th2 leaves off, Th17 takes over and most treatments don’t take account of Th17. This is definitely the case for Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN).

While correct in theory, it is incorrect in terms of how the immune system functions. Most view the immune system only in terms of Th1, Th2 and rarely if ever include Th17. Cytokines, chemokines, neurotransmitters and hormones that control the Th1, Th2 and Th17 responses direct the immune response. Hormones are always thought of as only involved in sex and reproduction. However, progesterone, estriol and testosterone are immune suppressive. While two of the estrogens – estrone, and estradiol are immune stimulating. Not to mention the inflammatory hormone Etiocholanolone, which is rarely tested for and drives the Th17 response. Yes, Etiocholanolone is a hormone made from DHEA that drives Th17. All too often low DHEA is thought to be an adrenal problem, when it is actually being converted into etiocholanolone. Neurotransmitters work both to alert the immune system to an area of the body in distress and signal the immune system that the work is over. Again, rarely tested for. Collectively, this is known as the NEI Supersystem.

Th1 cells secrete INF-gamma and IL-2, which activate macrophages and cytotoxic T-cells to kill intracellular organisms; Type Th2 cells secrete IL-4, IL-5, and IL-10, which help B cells to secrete protective antibodies. Th17 cells are triggered by IL-6, IL-17, IL-1β, and IL-23 to clear out damaged tissue damaged by autoimmunity or the uterine lining during menstrual cycles or miscarriages.

Interferon gamma (IFNγ) is secreted by T helper cells (specifically, Th1 cells), cytotoxic T cells (TC cells), macrophages, mucosal epithelial cells and NK cells. Among the effects of increased IFNγ are:

  • Promotes NK cell activity
  • Increases antigen presentation and lysosome activity of macrophages.
  • Activates inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS)
  • Induces the production of IgG2a and IgG3 antibodies from activated plasma B cells
  • Causes normal cells to increase expression of class I MHC molecules as well as class II MHC on antigen-presenting cells.
  • Promotes adhesion and binding required for leukocyte migration
  • Induces the expression of intrinsic defense factors.
  • IFNγ is the primary cytokine that defines Th1 cells: Th1 cells secrete IFNγ, which in turn causes more undifferentiated CD4+ cells (Th0 cells) to differentiate into Th1 cells.

I recommend calming and quieting the immune system so it can respond appropriately when needed.

Low Dose Naltrexone works by stimulating suppression of the immune response. When immune suppression occurs, those using LDN don’t feel the pain and discomfort with their immune system being suppressed. It’s a win/winsituation. The patient isn’t feeling any pain and the Doctor isn’t getting asked by the patient isn’t feeling any better.

Low Dose Naltrexone works by Stimulating Suppression of the Immune system.

Parsing the Benefits of LDN

It’s worth mentioning LDN “stimulates” suppression. Proponents will parse it to “LDN works by stimulating an immune response.” Conveniently leaving off the end of the statement. “LDN works by stimulating an immune response to calm down or stop inflammatory immune responses (AKA – suppression).” Technically they are correct. By convention today, there is an agreement to only look at one aspect when publishing medical studies. They publish a study showing LDN works by stimulating a immune response. End of story. They assume those in the know reading this study would understand the consequences of this “stimulation.” However, the average person or Doctor(s)  (Don’t assume Doctors know much about the immune system) doesn’t know or care how it works. They only want to know will it give relief. Consequences be damned.

Fact: Inflammation is an immune response.

In answer to “a common anecdotal report is that people don’t get the common cold as much. Technically, they are correct. But??? They are equating not getting sick to a normal healthy immune system. After seeing the results from the Stimulated Cytokine lab test. I realized the reason they not getting sick is because their immune system is so fatigued or suppressed that no symptoms are generated. They come to my office reporting they feel like crap but they “never get sick”. “How can I be so healthy but feel so bad?”

Those using LDN usually report a blissful period where their inflammation (see fact above) subsides. Usually for a four to six month period; then other components of the immune system become overstimulated without the feedback control from the components that LDN suppressed. They have had half a year for smoldering inflammation doing further damage to their body. The good news is they will not feel it. The bad news is they will now seek help from a Doctor that will recommend immune stimulating supplements. Exacerbating the condition and the damage being done.

Alternative / Functional treatments focus on Stimulating the Immune Response.

Naltrexone Treatment by Immune Stimulation

A possible line of therapy being investigated by the medical community is to reintroduce some of these cytokines to people who have severe immune deficiencies.  This approach can be tricky because large amounts of any particular cytokine can have serious side-effects. This approach fails to recognize fatigued cells that are too exhausted to produce immune cells cause the deficiencies. How is stimulating the immune system beneficial?

The immune system by design provides your body with numerous layers of protection with a multiple backups. The system is set up so that if the responsible system is unable to handle the job and bigger, stronger system is recruited. Thus, if the basic Th1 or Th2 systems are fatigued to respond, the Th17 system is alerted to come in and take care of business.

Naltrexone Stimulation of the Immune System

Naltrexone treatment increases NK cell cytolytic activity and cytokine production in the spleen. Chronic naltrexone administration enhanced both basal and the cytokine-modulated NK cell cytolytic activity and IFN-γ production.

Naltrexone treatment increased the production of IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, and IL-18 and the basal and cytokine-activated NK cell cytolytic activity and IFN-γ production in the splenocytes. Chronic administration of naltrexone stimulates the production of cytokines and NK cell cytolytic activity in splenocytes. Naltrexone does not block IL-1β.,

Naltrexone Stimulation of NK cells

Natural killer cells are a T cells that share properties of both T cells and natural killer cells. NK cells can also produce many different cytokines as well as chemokines.  T cells are inherently cross-reactive, and this versatility and specificity is a hallmarks of adaptive immunity. T cells are prone to be autoreactive and thus able to induce autoimmunity.  Increasing the NK cell avtivity results in enhanced alloreactivity  and autoimmunity.

IL-2 promotes the differentiation of T cells into effector T cells and into memory T cells when the initial T cell is also stimulated by an antigen.

IL-2 does not specify the type of Th differentiation that occurs; instead, IL-2 modulates expression of receptors for other cytokines and transcription factors, thereby either promoting or inhibiting cytokine cascades that correlate with each Th differentiation state. In this fashion, IL-2 can prime and potentially maintain Th1 and Th2 differentiation as well as expand such populations of cells, whereas it inhibits Th17 differentiation but also can expand Th17 cells.

IL-2 has a narrow therapeutic window, and the level of dosing usually determines the severity of the side effects. Some common side effects:

  • Flu-like symptoms (fever, headache, muscle and joint pain, fatigue)
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Dry, itchy skin or rash
  • Weakness or shortness of breath
  • Diarrhea
  • Low blood pressure
  • Drowsiness or confusion
  • Loss of appetite

More serious and dangerous side effects sometimes are seen with increased IL-2, such as capillary leak syndrome, breathing problems, serious infections, seizures, allergic reactions, heart problems or a variety of other possible complications.

T-cell recognition is essential for protection against microbial pathogens, recognition of self-peptides by T cells that have escaped negative selection in the thymus can lead to autoimmune disease. A disregulated T cell interaction can initiate autoimmunity. Thus, antigen recognition by T cells must be tightly regulated in order to ensure protection against pathogens and tumors, avoiding activation of self-reactive T cells.

NK cell cytolytic activity has been shown to be activated by interferon-γ (IFN-γ), which has a number of opioid-like effects. Various other cytokines are also known to increase NK cell cytolytic activity and lymphocyte proliferation. Of these cytokines, interleukin (IL)-2, IL-12, and IL-18 stimulate NK cell cytolytic activity. Other cytokines like IL-4 and IL-6 are known to regulate NK cell proliferation and differentiation. Cytokines IFN-γ, IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, IL-12, and IL-18 have been shown to also affect the function of other immune cell populations in splenocytes.

Alcohol consumption is also known to suppress Lectin-induced production of various cytokines, including IL-2, IL-6, and IL-4 from splenocytes. Initially, Naltrexone therapy counteracts the suppressive effects of alcohol on NK cell cytolytic activity for the first couple of weeks allowing increase production of IL-2, IL-6, and IL-4 from splenocytes.

Naltrexone Stimulation of Chemokines

Naltrexone is an opioid antagonist when administered the first couple of weeks, but shows δ-opioid-like activity following chronic long-term administration. With constant use naltrexone selectively promotes the δ-opioid receptor activity and enhances NK cell cytolytic activity response to β-endorphin. Naltrexone disrupts the feedback control that results in enhanced NK cell cytolytic response.

The chemokines, macrophage inflammatory protein-1 (MIP-1) and its subunit MIP-1 beta, induce an intense fever. The central action on body temperature (Tb) of MIP-1 beta with that of interleukin-6 (IL-6), has been implicated in the mechanism underlying the pathogenesis of fever along with etiocholanolone. This is potentiated by the presence of lipopolysaccharide.

Naltrexone increases in neutrophil-associated myeloperoxidase activity and chemokine mRNA expression, including macrophage inflammatory protein-1 alpha (MIP-1α) and -2 (MIP-2).

LDN could enhance both morphological and functional maturation of bone marrow dendritic cells (BMDCs). Their main function is to process antigen material and present it to the cell surface to the T cells of the immune system. They act as messengers between the innate and the adaptive immune systems. LDN markedly up-regulates expression of key surface molecules, which will trigger a chain of cell mediated responses. In addition to this, LDN also markedly upregulate production of cytokines IL-12 and TNF-α, which will trigger Th1 cell response.

Dendritic cells are present in those tissues that are in contact with the external environment, such as the skin (where there is a specialized dendritic cell type called the Langerhans cell) and the inner lining of the nose, lungs, stomach and intestines. They can also be found in an immature state in the blood. Once activated, they migrate to the lymph nodes where they interact with T cells and B cells to initiate and shape the adaptive immune response.

Interleukin (IL-1), tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα), IL-3, and IL-6 collaborate with GM-CSF. β-endorphin increased the number of macrophage colonies when bone marrow cells were cultured in the presence of GM-CSF plus lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Naloxone and Naltrexone, an antagonist of endorphins for opioid-receptors, completely abolishes the effect of β-endorphin. Both Naloxone and Naltrexone stimulates suppression of the production of GM-CSF.

Naltrexone Stimulates Suppression of Cytokines

Naltrexone and naloxone stimulates suppression of microglia activation, reduces the production of re- active oxygen species and other potentially neuroexcitatory and neurotoxic chemicals.

Naltrexone causes a significant decrease of IL-12 and IL-10 production by macrophages. With chronic dosages, IL-12 remaines significantly suppressed. As for IL-10, naltrexone seems to partially prevent the IL-10 reduction. Naltrexone significantly inhibited the production of TNF-alpha induced by LPS.

Naltrexone Stimulates Suppression of Chemokines

The anti-inflammatory effect of opioid antagonists naltrexone and naloxone also extend to the periphery, as evidenced by stimulates suppression of TNF-alpha, MCP-1, and other inflammatory agents in peripheral macrophages.

Stimulated Cytokine Testing on LDN Patient

The lab results shown below are from a woman using Naltrexone therapy. Despite feeling better on the Autoimmune protocol recommended to her, she stopped doing the Autoimmune protocol after deciding to start Naltrexone.

After starting the Naltrexone, things changed drastically. A lot of the old symptoms reappeared and some got worse. She was experiencing severe pain on right side of body from neck and shoulder down to her hip and ankle. Her low back was really bad, and she could hardly walk being constantly achy and sore. She could not get out of bed, and had diarrhea a couple of times a week. When she gets a flair up – it can occur for no reason and they are lasting longer. Unfortunately, she failed to mention the LDN therapy.

Naltrexone Induced Ischemia

Ischemia is a restriction in blood supply to tissues causing a shortage of oxygen and glucose needed for cellular metabolism (to keep tissue alive). Ischemia is generally caused by problems with blood vessels, with resultant damage to or dysfunction of tissue.

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

This would result in problems with endocrine system, (thyroid, hormone, adrenal) as the blood-brain-barrier would be further compromised as a results of compromised (ischemic) blood flow to the pituitary, hypothalamus and hippocampus.

Exogenous ligands, i.e. naltrexone, that activate the δ receptors mimic the phenomenon known as ischemic preconditioning. Ischemia preconditioning/hypoxia preconditioning (IPC/HPC) is a phenomenon whereby brief ischemia/hypoxia “preconditions” cells and increases cellular resistance against subsequent lethal ischemia/hypoxia injury. Short periods of transient ischemia are induced the downstream tissues are robustly protected. This serves as a protective mechanism to restrict blood flow around an inflamed area of the body to prevent inflammation or microbes from spreading throughout the body. It is intended for short periods until the immune system is able to control the situation. If longer-duration interruption of the blood supply is then effected, ischemic damage from the lack of oxygen, glucose and elimination of cellular waste products occurs. Naltrexone and naloxone with δ activity mimic this effect.

Naltrexone Reduces Liver Enzymes

Naltrexone significantly reduces the elevation of serum glutamate-oxalacetate transaminase (SGOT) and glutamate-pyruvate transaminase (SGPT) (as index of hepatic function) induced by LPS.

Is LDN right for you?

The comments and posts you are reading saying how good they feel is because their immune status matches how LDN supports their imbalanced cytokines and chemokines. LDN works only for those with the correct immune status that Naltrexone or Naloxone supports.

If you do not match that cytokine or chemokine profile. LDN will only increase the damage and further disrupt your body’s ability to control the immune system. If you are using LDN and not satisfied with the way you are feeling. It is probably not right for you.

It is possible to get the immune system back under control. It is not a quick process but steady progress is experienced giving you the faith and confidence you need to know you did the right thing. One should never guess when it come to the immune system. Call today to have your Stimulated Cytokines and NEI Supersystem tested.

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.

Have You Weathered A Cytokine Storm?

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.

A good defense against most illness is a healthy immune system. We all know how a mother bear protects her cubs. At the first hint of danger she takes action to protect them in much the same way as our immune system seeks to protect us. We have been conditioned to think of external microbes as our enemy during a time of infection or inflammation. But our own immune systems are potentially more lethal. When the body detects foreign microorganisms or substances, it can respond by overprotecting the site of that irritation. In its hurry to get antibodies to the infection site, the body may dispatch so many that the level of cytokines becomes highly elevated, creating a Cytokine Storm.

“Storm” is an appropriate metaphor because it acknowledges a variety of mechanisms in a variety of circumstances. A Cytokine Storm is a symptomatic condition which occurs in varying forms and involves a number of different mechanisms. The primary symptoms of a Cytokine Storm are extreme fatigue, low mood, anxiousness, anxiety, insomnia, high fever, intermittent hot flashes, swelling and redness, and nausea. You may be more familiar with a Cytokine Storm known as Septic Shock, which is another example of the immune system gone berserk.

Cytokine Storms occur when the immune system becomes and remains activated against the immune stimulants or physical triggers (food, toxins, bacteria, virus, parasite, etc.) beyond the point of being helpful to where the immune response turns damaging or deadly. Researchers in Psychoneuro-immunology are now reporting emotional events can be a trigger as well. Cytokines are not simply immune, but rather neuro-immune modulators. The nervous system regulates immune cells and the magnitude of an immune response via the effects of peripheral neurotransmitters such as epinephrine, nor-epinephrine, dopamine, 5-hydroxytryptamine, acetylcholine, histamine and neuropeptides. The manner in which the cytokines are stimulated and balance between the inhibitory and stimulatory neurotransmitters determine the intensity of a Cytokine Storm.

Persistent, highly elevated levels of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines induce a complex, dysregulated condition resulting in massive inflammation and fluid accumulation, blood flow dysfunction and eventually tissue destruction. Thus, in Cytokine Storm, the body’s immune system fights to rid itself of the immune stimulant, but the fight somehow escapes from the normal regulatory controls that should have prevented an overzealous immune system from severely damaging or killing its owner. Read more about My Cytokine Storm

After the storm has passed: Cytokine-Induce Sickness Behavior

After the Cytokine Storm has subsided, sick individuals have common symptoms of sickness; little motivation to eat, withdrawal from normal social activities, fever, burning muscles, aching joints,  fatigue and have significant changes in sleep patterns. They display an inability to experience pleasure, have exaggerated responses to pain and brain fog. Pro-inflammatory cytokines acting in the brain cause sickness behaviors. Although Functional Medicine has defined pro-inflammatory cytokines as the central mediators of sickness behavior, each patient exhibits unique circumstances. Specialized lab testing provides a scientific understanding of how cytokines and neurotransmitters are communicating with each other.

What’s Next?  

Calming a Cytokine Storm  and regulating cytokine induced sickness requires a multiple focus approach involving cytokines, neurotransmitters, quenching inflammation, re-regulating the immune system and elimination of any potential triggers. It is crystal clear that there must be negative feedback loops in the immune system, as well as positive ones. The latter enable the system to react quickly to serious infections. The former are needed to keep the system itself from spiraling out of control.

Concerned about the possibility of an Autoimmune condition affecting your Health?

Call today! 530-615-4083

Neuro-endo-immunology is an emerging field of medical science that seeks to understand the interconnectedness of the nervous, endocrine, and immune systems functioning as a larger whole, termed the “NEI Supersystem.” In order to regulate cytokine induced sickness, you need to find a doctor that has a working knowledge of Neuro-endo-immunology, cytokines and neurotransmitters. Most are found only in labs and are not practicing healthcare providers.

Here are some questions to discuss with your practitioner. 

  • What is a Cytokine Storm?
  • How is TH17 involved in the TH1/TH2 challenge?
  • Do you use lab testing or supplement challenges to determine treatment protocols?
  • What are the different supplements used to challenge your condition?
  • What lab testing do you use?
  • How would they treat your condition?
  • Do they use Stimulated Cytokine or Neurotransmitter testing?

Researchers and most physicians agree that peripheral neurotransmitters impact the brain, especially during a cytokine storm. To date, neurotransmitter testing shows only peripheral neurotransmitters. But imagine you were trying to understand someone who was speaking in a language for which you only knew 17 words! Nonetheless, if you heard the words “danger”, “help”, and “fire”, you would have a decent idea as to the meaning of the message. Similarly, perturbations in the cytokines that we are able to find in the Stimulated Cytokine testing are extremely useful as indicators of the patient’s immune status, or to use the more formal lingo, they are biomarkers of the immune system. Unfortunately, many accomplished Neurologists remain too “brain-based” and overlook the impact neurotransmitter in the body have on the body.

TH1/TH2 Challenge and More

Despite its seductive simplicity, the Th1/Th2 model does not adequately explain T-cell immunity. Many cytokines produced by T-cells do not fit obviously into either category. Recent studies have shown exposure to lectins or bacteria trigger T-cells to produce IL-6, IL-17, and GM-CSF, cytokines not associated with either the Th1 or the Th2 immune system. This has begun an explosion of interest in the generation and function of “Th17” immune system that has not shown signs of tapering off.

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.

When combined with a strong inflammatory cytokine such as TNFα, interleukin 17 (IL-17) triggers a severe inflammatory response. TNFα was thought to provoke only a TH1 response. Curiously, the ability to control the activity of IL-17 is relatively poor. It’s like being pregnant; once it has started you are just along for the ride.

Case example: We had one case where the doctor used Supplement challenges to determine the treatment. First, they did the GABA challenge. The patient felt great but was put on acetylcholine support and immediately crashed in a cytokine storm. Doctor said it was the flu. Next, they used (Gastro-ULC) making the patient feel better. Doctor stopped that and supplemented with digestive enzymes making the patient crash again. The doctor explained it as a “Healing crisis”. Patient came to our office for help.

Be wary of provoking immune responses. Those having bad reactions to the TH1/TH2 challenge are provoking a Cytokine Storm. Normally, the TH1/TH2 feedback loop is kept in check by the body. However, in some instances, when purposely provoked, the reaction becomes uncontrolled and too many immune cells are activated, much like pouring gas on a fire. This propagates a Cytokine Storm where far too many immune cells are caught in an endless loop of calling more and more immune cells to fight the irritation.

Those who have experienced a Cytokine Storm and have cytokine induced sickness should avoid, herbs and foods, which boost the immune response. TH1 boosters are astragulus, echinacea, goldenseal, immune boosting mushrooms. TH2 boosters are caffeine, green tea, grape seed extract, pine bark extract, and lycopene. Sambucol (which is Elderberry juice), Chlorella algae, Spirulina, Chocolate, Kimchi and Honey are additional foods that can increase cytokine production and should be avoided during a Cytokine Storm. These foods are good for treatment of less severe colds and flu, when the immune response appropriately regulated, but should be avoided when symptoms are being caused by a cytokine storm. Symptoms of a cytokine induced episode vary greatly from individual to individual. A limited list of symptoms are extreme fatigue, low mood, anxiousness, anxiety, insomnia, high fever, intermittent hot flashes, swelling and redness, and nausea.

Cytokine Storms are very serious and with the right set of circumstances can be fatal. If the storm is concentrated in the lungs and airways, the mucus and inflammation has the potential to block airways and result in death. This is recognized as a Type II hypersensitivity allergic reaction and only an Immunologist would connect cytokines with it. Many believe that the Cytokine Storm response was what caused the deaths of so many young adults in the 1918 Influenza Pandemic. New research and understandings have caused some to question vaccinations, especially three-stage vaccinations.

More about Stimulated Cytokine testing?

Stimulated Cytokine testing is intended to assess whether an individual’s symptoms could be attributed to an imbalanced immune response. Our goal is to understand, as best we can, where to target therapeutic interventions, minimizing emotional decisions and guesswork in the therapeutic protocol.

It’s important to note that the standard immune testing by itself cannot distinguish between an immune response that is currently in progress, and one that happened in the past. That’s because it cannot tell the difference between so-called “effector” T cells that are currently fighting an active infection, and “memory” T cells that responded years ago to a prior infection and continue to circulate in the bloodstream.

However, at the same time it’s important to recognize that even a test that measures up to 17 cytokines, as NeuroScience Stimulated Cytokines Comprehensive panel does, is far from actually being “comprehensive”, considering that over 100 cytokines have been described to date!

The Best Option

The Neuro-Endo-Immune (NEI) Supersystem incorporates three vital disciplines: Neurology, Endocrinology, and Immunology, which is the evaluation of the NEI Supersystem through the measurement of neurotransmitters, hormones, and cytokines. Assessment of these essential biochemical mediators provides important insight into the root causes contributing to clinical conditions of a Cytokine Storm and cytokine induced sickness.

Concerned about your Health?

Call today! 530-615-4083

Bone Marrow Fatigue

Do you have low white blood cells?  Are you always feeling bad and constantly fatigued but never get “sick”? If this is you?  You may have Bone Marrow Fatigue.

Do you have hip or sciatic pain the goes away for a couple of days after a Chiropractic adjustment? But then comes back again. You may have Bone Marrow Edema.

Bone Marrow Fatigue

When you have a low blood count, this means your bone marrow is not making enough of one type of blood cells. Bone marrow is a sponge-like tissue inside the bones. It contains stem cells that develop into the three types of blood cells that the body needs:

  • Red blood cells carry oxygen throughout your body.
  • White blood cells fight infections.
  • Platelets stop bleeding.

It has long been known that cells that make red blood cells make up the bone marrow. However, knowledge that immune response begins within the bone marrow, in other words, that bone marrow is also a secondary lymphatic organ, is fairly recent. Under normal circumstances, various cells form within the bone marrow, including endothelial precursor cells (EPC), neutrophils (Nf) and dendritic cells (DC).

Chronic Inflammation

Inflammation is part of the healing process for wounds and infections. Inflammation is a normal immune system response that functions to protect the body from infection and diseases. During inflammation, white blood cells and other body chemicals attempt to remove any potentially harmful substances from the body.

The body is set up for short sharp bursts of inflammation, to combat microbial, mechanical or chemical insults. This inflammation happens locally at the site of injury, but is guided by the autonomic nervous system and the Neuro-Endo-Immune Supersystem. The whole point is to generate enough inflammation to combat the threat through (stimulatory neurotransmitters, inflammatory cytokines & chemokines, white blood cells and the sympathetic nervous system) and then cool, repair and close up the area of injury ending the inflammation through (inhibitory neurotransmitters, anti-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines, white blood cells and the parasympathetic nervous system).

Disruption of the NEI Supersystem through long-term stress and the ingestion of inappropriate foods and chemicals irritation create a state of chronic inflammation. Our immune system can become fatigued, working at a low level, no longer able to generate enough energy for full protection, but still causing on going cell damage through low-grade inflammation. We become both depleted of certain white blood cells and others continue to maintain the inflammation.

The following are the most common symptoms of bone marrow fatigue. However, each person may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:


  • Easy bruising
  • Bleeding: nose bleeds, gums, or mouth
  • Tiny red spots on the skin (petechiae)
  • Blood in the urine
  • Dark or black bowel movements


  • Fever and chills
  • Rash
  • Diarrhea
  • Signs of infection (anywhere in the body):
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • An area that is warm to touch


  • Fatigue
  • Paleness of skin, lips, and nail beds
  • Increased heart rate
  • Tires easily with exertion
  • Dizziness
  • Shortness of breath

Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS)

The myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) are all disorders of the stem cell in the bone marrow responsible for producing blood cells. In MDS, blood production of Red and White Blood Cells is disorderly and ineffective. The number and quality of blood-forming cells decline, sometimes irreversibly, further impairing blood cell production.

What are the symptoms of Bone Marrow Fatigue and MDS?

Symptoms vary depending on the individual and the severity and time the bone marrow has been overworked. Symptoms may include:

  • Tiredness, or fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Pinpoint red spots on the skin caused by bleeding from small blood vessels
  • Easy bruising
  • Frequent infections
  • Fevers
  • Pale skin
  • Shortness of breath

Compare these symptoms to your diagnosis of choice – Thyroid, Fibromyalgia, Lyme, etc. All of these symptoms would be diagnostic of those conditions without question.

Lower risk myelodysplastic syndromes (MDSs) are characterized by increased apoptosis of hematopoietic cells in the bone marrow (BM). The mechanism driving this excessive apoptosis involves multiple immune molecules, including inflammatory cytokines such as interferon-γ (IFN-γ), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and interleukins (ILs). Interleukin-17 (IL-17) is the hallmark cytokine produced by CD4(+) Th17 cells, and IL-17 mediates activation of the adaptive T-cell response inducing an inflammatory cytokine environment. Elevated IL-17 levels and IL-17-induced IFN-γ and TNF-α overproduction may be involved in the pathogenesis of lower risk MDS. Bone broth stimulates production of IL-17.

Opposing memes of Medical vs. Alternative / Functional Practitioners.

The Medical Communitysuppresses the immune system with stronger and stronger drugs, i.e. LDN, hydrocortisone, etc.

Alternative and Functional Practitionersbelieve the autoimmune reaction occurs because the tissue is so toxic that the immune system basically can’t tell the good guys from the bad guys. It then starts attacking the tissues where the toxins are pooled.

Both Communities believe the immune system is working perfectly except that it cannot tell healthy tissue from bad tissue; bad bugs from good bugs, etc.

The Alternative and Functional Practitionerstreat patients with immune stimulating supplements and say, “You are going through a ‘Herx’ or ‘Flair.’ You will have more and more good days, less bad days. Stick with it.” “The flare-ups won’t be as bad or last as long.” This all makes perfect sense when they say it. Plus numerous websites say the same thing, so it must be true. They treat going through a ‘Herx’ or a ‘Flair’ as a rite of passage. I did this myself.  They claim – Don’t be afraid to stimulate the lymph, stimulate the immune system. It is the only way to heal these diseases.

Both of these memes will see initial success. After a three months the immune system will break free of the suppression or become so fatigued from the constant stimulation it will not be able to respond. Exaggerated response occur with administering more drugs or explained away as a ‘Herx’ or ‘Flair.’

Overstimulation of the Immune System

It is possibly to have an over active immune system, in very simple terms that is what is happening when you have an autoimmune disease. Autoimmunity is an ‘out of control’immune response. Honestly the entire idea of “boosting the immune system” is an invention of the supplement industry designed to sell products that practitioners capitalize on. It is validated by the ‘Common Cold.” Boost the immune system and it lasts seven days. Without immune stimulators it last a week. Okay the symptoms are less using immune stimulants. I’ve done that myself. It’s a great scam because both sick and healthy people think they need it.

This has then been extrapolated to any disease. Boosting the immune system will heal any disease in theory. They blindly follow this meme of immune stimulation. When in reality, more harm than good is being done. Everything is based on symptoms. Eventually with constant immune stimulation using supplements, bone broth, etc. The bone marrow producing the immune cells becomes so fatigued that quality and quantity of blood cells is impaired. The character of the immune cells behavior is changed. They want the immune system always on the hunt, always looking for something to do. Antibodies from previous exposure are deemed current infection. Why don’t the antibodies go away? They are memory cells from previous exposure not from an active infection.

Bone Marrow Fatigue is characterized by increased damage and/or death of hematopoietic cells in the bone marrow (BM). Here is where the miracle of immune-stimulation occurs. Inflammation is caused by an immune response. Without immune cells, inflammation is reduced. Based on reduced symptomatology or the lack thereof, this is a success until it is not. They crash the immune system by overstimulation, claiming success even though the patient has not improved overall.

Elegance in Healing

It was during the time when I was one of five Doctors across the United States given carte’ blanc immune lab testing that I realized the ‘Herx’ and/or ‘Flair’ is a Cytokine Storm with Th17 leading the charge. The cytokine storm have captured little attention of the public and the healthcare community alike, and while the general notion of an excessive or uncontrolled release of proinflammatory cytokines is well known in research, the concept of a cytokine storm and the biological consequences of cytokine overproduction are not clearly defined or recognized. Read More…

When the immune system is fighting pathogens, cytokines signal immune cells such as T-cells and macrophages to travel to the site of infection. In addition, cytokines activate those cells, stimulating them to produce more cytokines. Normally, this feedback loop is kept in check by the body. However, in some instances, the reaction becomes uncontrolled, and too many immune cells are activated in a single place. Bone Broth is loaded with cytokines signalling the immune system to respond in the overproduction of immune cells and attracting the immune cells to the location of the bone broth. Thus, promoting gut inflammation. Someone that is immune suppressed will feel better, temporarily. Then the blame is shifted to food sensitivities because ‘bone broth’ is healthy and could not possibly do any harm.

The cytokine storm is caused by an exaggerated response when the immune system encounters a new and highly pathogenic invader or a ‘false flag’ by immune stimulating foods and supplements. Cytokine storms have potential to do significant damage to body tissues and organs.

Healing must be elegant, working with the body’s own natural healing momentum and capabilities.

Cytokine Storm Treatment

The clinical presentations of all cytokine storm symptoms (CSS) can be strikingly similar, creating diagnostic uncertainty. However, clinicians should avoid the temptation to treat all CSS equally, because the triggers inciting inflammatory responses vary widely. It it thought that failure to identify and address this underlying trigger(s) results in delayed, nonoptimal, or potentially harmful consequences. However, chasing triggers is futile until the immune system is calmed and quieted. More often than not, calming and quieting the immune system eliminates the majority of the so called triggers.

You are a unique individual with your own set of circumstances. Stop trying to find a diagnosis box to stuff yourself into. You need help and I can provide assistance in sorting your system out. Call today 530-615-4083.