Tag Archives: Autoimmune Diseases

Chronic Fatigue Caused by Vagus Nerve Infection?

 

Source: Dr. Jockers
If you have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), you know its difficult to get a definitive diagnosis.  Confusingly, its symptoms resemble many other health conditions and there’s no single test for identifying it. You also know its symptoms seriously interfere with living your life as you’d like.
The principal characteristic of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is extreme fatigue. The fatigue may worsen with physical or mental activity but doesn’t lessen with rest. CFS is also sometimes referred to as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) or systemic exertion intolerance disease (SEID).
People with CFS – and other energy-sapping chronic conditions as well – often use Spoon Theory to describe their experience of being chronically exhausted and the limitations that imposes on their lives. Spoon Theory is a clever metaphor created by Christine Miserandino, a woman with both lupus and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, to explain to friends and family what it’s like to have limited and unreliable energy. (MEpedia, 2017).
Check out her website butyoudontlooksick.com for more information.
Source: MEpedia

 

AUTOIMMUNE CONDITIONS & DISEASES

Lupus, by the way, is a chronic autoimmune disease “in which the body’s immune system becomes hyperactive and attacks normal, healthy tissue. Symptoms include inflammation, swelling, and damage to the joints, skin, kidneys, blood, heart, and lungs.” (Brazier, 2018)
There’s still ongoing discussion about whether CFS is also an inflammatory, autoimmune condition. Considerable research indicates that chronic low level inflammation in the body leads to the constellation of symptoms described as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. (Dellwo, 2018 A)
Source: vliquidassets.com
This is my shorthand description of how autoimmune conditions and diseases develop:
Chronic imbalance in the contents of the gut microbiome (gut dysbiosis) -–> leaky gut -–> chronic low level inflammation in the body, which eventually -–> one or more autoimmune diseases
Autoimmune diseases develop when the body’s immune system produces an inappropriate immune response against its own tissues. Because the vast majority of our immune system (70-80%) is located in the composition of our gut microbiome, this is where we need to focus to understand how we come to develop an autoimmune disease (probably more than one) and also how to reverse these types of diseases.
When the immune system stops recognizing as “self” something that’s a normal constituent of the body, it starts producing autoimmune antibodies that attack the body’s own cells, tissues and/or organs. This produces chronic inflammation that damages these body parts and leads to full blown autoimmune diseases.
See my post AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES: How they develop and how to put them in remission for more information. (Hardin, 2014)

 

A MORE THOROUGH EXPLANATION OF CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME

Michael B. VanElzakker, PhD

Source: Simmaron Research
Researcher Michael B. VanElzakker, now a neuroscientist affiliated with Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School and Tufts University, has proposed a more specific explanation for how Chronic Fatigue Syndrome develops.
In a 2013 paper, Chronic fatigue syndrome from vagus nerve infection: a psychoneuroimmunological hypothesis, VanElzakker described his novel psychoneuroimmunological hypothesis as the VAGUS NERVE INFECTION HYPOTHESIS (VNIH).
In the 2013 paper he pointed out that Chronic Fatigue Syndrome researchers mostly agree that CFS symptoms seem to reflect an intense, ongoing immune response, possibly due to a viral infection. They therefore were focusing their research on trying to uncover the specific pathogenic agent in plasma and blood cells responsible for the syndrome – without success. (HHV-6 Foundation, 2018)
Instead, VanElzakker proposed that CFS develops from an infection of the vagus nerve.

Herpesvirus infections of the trigeminal nerve cause shingles.  Do human herpesvirus infections of the vagus nerve cause chronic fatigue syndrome?

Source: Simmaron Research
“When immune cells of otherwise healthy individuals detect any peripheral infection, they release proinflammatory cytokines. Chemoreceptors of the sensory vagus nerve detect these localized proinflammatory cytokines, and send a signal to the brain to initiate sickness behavior. Sickness behavior is an involuntary response that includes fatigue, fever, myalgia, depression, and other symptoms that overlap with CFS.”
His Vagus Nerve Infection hypothesis of CFS contends that the syndrome’s cluster of symptoms are  “a pathologically exaggerated version of normal sickness behavior that can occur when sensory vagal ganglia or paraganglia are themselves infected with any virus or bacteria.
“Drawing upon relevant findings from the neuropathic pain literature, I explain how pathogen-activated glial cells can bombard the sensory vagus nerve with proinflammatory cytokines and other neuroexcitatory substances, initiating an exaggerated and intractable sickness behavior signal.”
Following this new hypothesis, it’s possible any pathogenic infection of the vagus nerve could cause CFS, resolving the ongoing controversy about identifying  a single pathogen.
VanElzakker’s hypothesis integrates two of the most important actors in CFS, the autonomic nervous system and the immune system, offering an explanation of what causes the brain to receive a non-stop stream of messages instructing it essentially to shut down the body by producing fatigue, pain and other disabling symptoms. It proposes that “nerve loving viruses trigger a difficult to detect  immune response which produces the fatigue and other symptoms present in chronic fatigue syndrome.” (Cohen, 2019)
The VNIH focuses on sensory nerves, “an increasingly hot topic in ME/CFS/FM” and coincides with an established model of fibromyalgia. If this hypothesis is correct, it will change how Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is viewed, researched and treated. (Johnson, 2013)
VanElzakker’s work on CFS has zeroed in on the human herpes viruses – with the human herpes virus 6 (HHV-6) at the top of his list of suspects. (HHV-6 Foundation, 2018)
See Human Herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6): Its Role in Disease – Links to Numerous Diseases for a list of diseases associated with HHV-6 types A and B.  (Dellwo, 2018 B)

Histological slide of the human herpes virus-6 (HHV-6)showing infected cells

Source: Wikipedia
The following two paragraphs from the HHV-6 Foundation’s article CFS: a herpesvirus infection of the vagus nerve? discuss, in fairly technical terms, VanElzakker’s theory  of how a human herpesvirus-6 infection of the sensory vagal ganglia or paraganglia could produce the intense symptoms found in people with Chronic Fatigue:
“During infection, the sensory vagus nerve sends a signal to the brain to initiate “sickness behavior,” an involuntary response characterized by fatigue, fever, myalgia, depression, and other symptoms that are often observed in patients with CFS. However, VanElzakker proposes that when sensory vagal ganglia or paraganglia are themselves infected with any virus or bacteria, these symptoms would be exaggerated. He notes that many of the symptoms of sickness behavior (such as fatigue, sleep changes, myalgia, cognitive impairment, depression and zinc depletion) are also mediated by proinflammatory cytokines and observed in CFS.
“Herpesviruses and certain intracellular bacteria establish latency in the vagus nerve and reactivate during periods of stress or illness, causing the release of proinflammatory cytokines. HHV-6 is a highly neurotropic virus and potent inducer of cytokines such as IL-6 and NFkB, which many groups have proposed as an etiological theory for the role of HHV-6 in neurological conditions such as seizures and epilepsy. If this low-level “chronic” infection is localized to the vagus nerve it would be undetectable in the plasma, but could be demonstrated through analyzing tissue biopsies of the vagus nerve, VanElzakker suggests. HHV-6 is well-known for invading the hippocampus and other parts of the limbic system, and also establishes residence in the human sensory ganglia along with other neurotropic herpesviruses including HSV-1 and VZV.” (HHV-6 Foundation, 2018)

 

THE VAGUS NERVE

The vagus nerve, historically called the pneumogastric nerve, is the 10th cranial nerve and interfaces with the parasympathetic control of the heart, lungs, and digestive tract. The vagus nerves are paired but are normally referred to in the singular. It’s the longest nerve of the autonomic nervous system in the human body. (Wikipedia, 2019)
As the two branches of the vagus nerve make their way between the brain and the gut, they connect to every organ they pass along the way.
Source: Dr. Vittoria Repetto’s Blog

THE VAGUS NERVE & THE GUT MICROBIOME CONNECTION

I’ve been intrigued by the vagus nerve since discovering it’s a key player in the Gut/Brain Axis – the constant, two-way communication taking place between our brains and our guts.
Source: First for Women
From my 2015 post How the Gut Microbiome Influences the Brain – and Vice Versa:
“Maybe you’re used to thinking of the brain in your head as your only brain – but your body actually has TWO BRAINS: In fact, the ‘brain’ in your gut does a lot more than digest your food. While this brain doesn’t produce thoughts, it contains its own independent nervous system along with more neurotransmitters and serotonin than the brain in your head.
“Sheaths of neurons are embedded in the walls of the entire alimentary canal. Technically known as the enteric nervous system, this gut brain measures about 9 meters (29.5 feet) from esophagus to anus and contains about 100 million neurons, more neurons than exist in either the spinal cord or the entire peripheral nervous system. Equipped with its own reflexes and senses, this second brain can control gut behavior independently of the brain. Here’s a single example to  give you an idea of the importance of the gut brain for the entire body:  About 90% of the fibers in the vagus nerve, the largest of the visceral nerves, carry information FROM the gut TO the brain – but not the other way around.” (Hardin 2015)
And how about this interesting information from  Our Second Brain – The Gut Mind:
“During vertebrate embryonic development a single clump of fetal tissue divides to grow into the gut and the brain. One section becomes the central nervous system (the brain and spinal nerves) while another migrates lower in the body to create the enteric nervous system embedded in the sheaths of tissue lining the espohagus, stomach, small intestine and colon.
“The two separate nervous systems connect via the vagus nerve running from the brain stem into the abdomen. This major trunk line is one of the longest nerves in the body. The gut and the brain are constantly signaling each other, back and forth, along the vagus nerve and also via chemicals released by the gut and transported to the brain. When one brain gets upset, the other becomes upset too. They work in conjunction with each other along the Gut-Brain Axis, each heavily influencing the other.” (Hardin, 2015)

HEALING VAGUS NERVE INFECTION WITH ESSENTIAL OILS

Source: esvitality.com
Jodi Sternoff Cohen is the founder of Vibrant Blue Oils, an author, speaker, nutritional therapist and a leading international authority on essential oils. These are her strategies for how to heal vagus nerve infections with essential oils:

Vagus nerve stimulation – Parasympathetic essential oil blend was designed to activate the vagus nerve to trigger the parasympathetic response.  Parasympathetic is formulated with the highly stimulatory clove oil and works much like more invasive techniques such as Transcutaneous Vagal Nerve Stimulation by stimulating the Vagus Nerve near the outer ear and allowing action potentials to be sent down the nerve to stimulate the normal anti-inflammatory reflex of the Vagus Nerve along with helping to regulate exaggerated signaling that contributes to sickness behavior and excessive fatigue and pain related symptoms…. To stimulate the vagus nerve, apply 1 drop of Parasympathetic™ to the vagal nerve (behind ear lobe, on mastoid bone on the neck).

Glial cell inhibitors can be used to calm the immune activation of glial cells in your brain.  Natural plants remedies, like essential oils, have been proven to suppress microglial activation and neuronal damage in research such as “Inhibitors of microglial neurotoxicity: focus on natural products” and “Development of a neuroprotective potential algorithm for medicinal plants”.

Essential oils are especially powerful as glial cell inhibitors as they unique     chemistry          (super small, fat soluble molecules), allows them to easily cross the blood brain barrier and suppress glial cell activation.  Research has found that Cinnamon Bark is highly effective at inhibiting microglial activation. According to the research, Cinnamon Bark “may recede neuroinflammation by suppressing microglial activation and play a key role in neuroprotection”.  Immune Support™ oil is high in levels of cinnamon and can be topically applied to the bottom of the feet or around the neck (dilute before applying to the neck) to help inhibit glial cells from over-activating the vagus nerve.  Anti Inflammatory™ also helps to turn off the inflammatory response in the brain and inhibit an over-active glial cell response.  To apply, place one drop one the base of the skull or place a drop of Anti Inflammatory™ oil on your fingertip, and rub fingers together to disperse oil. Take your fingers once over the entire scalp.

Antiviral treatments:  Essential oils are known for their anti-viral properties.

More specifically, research studies have found that essential oils ‘inactivate’ viruses in one of two ways: by inhibiting their ability to replicate and/or inhibiting viruses’ ability to fuse to cell walls and infect a host cell.

Essential oils have also been shown to positively support our own immune system, enhancing its ability to ward off pathogens and help modulate your immune system.

 Anti viral blends like Immune Support™ can be applied 2- 3 times daily on the throat (diluted) or the bottom of the feet, or Thymus™ can be used  stimulate immune function against infections, viruses and bacteria by apply 2-3 drops on the thymus (on breastbone at third rib) in a clockwise motion for 30 seconds and then stimulate the thymus by gently tapping.   Finally, supporting your lymphatic system with Lymph™ can help supports your immune response by both bringing nutrients to and helping to clear toxins and waste from every cell in the body.

 – (Cohen, 2019)
Source: www.vibrantblueoils.com
My take away from all this:
Source: unknown
Since it’s known that  –
Chronic imbalance in the contents of the gut microbiome (gut dysbiosis) -–> leaky gut -–> chronic low level inflammation in the body, which eventually -–> one or more autoimmune diseases
– avoiding a vagal nerve infection and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is yet another good reason to get and keep your gut microbiome in good balance.

 

Source: ResearchGate

 

REFERENCES

Brazier, Y. (2018). What Is Lupus? Medical News Today. See: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323653.php

Cohen, J. (2019).  Vagus Nerve Infection Hypothesis. See: https://vibrantblueoils.com/vagus-nerve-infection/?utm_source=infusionsoft&utm_medium=email&utm_term=vagus-nerve-infection&utm_content=btn-2&utm_campaign=blog&inf_contact_key=3dbbf3dfb2a3b3806281f9c7df09b6044dfbc39d7283b2cb89d5189540b69330

Dellwo, A. (2018 A). Is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Autoimmune & Inflammatory? A Strong Possibility. See:

Dellwo, A. (2018 B). Human Herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6): Its Role in Disease – Links to Numerous Diseases. See: https://www.verywellhealth.com/hhv-6-and-its-role-in-disease-4156793

Hardin, J.R. (2013). Our Second Brain – The Gut Mind. See: https://allergiesandyourgut.com/our-second-brain-the-gut-mind/

Hardin, J.R. (2014). AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES: How they develop and how to put them in remission. See: https://allergiesandyourgut.com/2014/10/26/autoimmune-diseases-develop-put-remission/

Hardin, J.R. (2015). How the Gut Microbiome influences the brain – and vice versa. See: https://allergiesandyourgut.com/2015/04/09/how-the-gut-microbiome-influences-the-brain-and-vice-versa/

HHV-6 Foundation. (2018). CFS: a herpesvirus infection of the vagus nerve? See: https://hhv-6foundation.org/chronic-fatigue-syndrome/cfs-a-herpesvirus-infection-of-the-vagus-nerve

Johnson, C. (2013). One Theory To Explain Them All? The Vagus Nerve Infection Hypothesis for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. See: http://simmaronresearch.com/2013/12/one-theory-explain-vagus-nerve-infection-chronic-fatigue-syndrome/

MEpedia. (4/8/2017). Spoon Theory. See: https://me-pedia.org/wiki/Spoon_theory

VanElzakker, M.B. (2013). Chronic fatigue syndrome from vagus nerve infection: a psychoneuroimmunological hypothesis. Medical Hypotheses, 81:3, 414-23. See: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23790471

Wikipedia. (5/30/2019). Vagus Nerve. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vagus_nerve

 

© Copyright 2019. Joan Rothchild Hardin. All Rights Reserved.

DISCLAIMER:  Nothing on this site or blog is intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

The Gut’s Mucosal Lining & Leaky Gut

 

10/21/2017

This is an excerpt from a longer article originally posted on 5/10/2015. For the full article, see INCREASED GUT PERMEABILITY – CAUSES & CONSEQUENCES.

 

Source: Juice Hugger
Those of you who have been following this blog know I’m interested – for personal reasons and also just because it’s fascinating – in how the state of the probiotics in our gut microbiomes affects our health in general.
So this development is of great interest to me:

Continue reading The Gut’s Mucosal Lining & Leaky Gut

In Response to “Do Probiotics Really Work?” (Scientific American, July 2017)

 

Source: Time Magazine

 

An article titled “Do Probiotics Really Work? in the current (July 2017) issue of Scientific American really irked me so I decided to send a Letter to the Editor responding to it. Since the chances my letter will get printed are slim and I think it addresses several important issues, I’m putting it into this post.

Continue reading In Response to “Do Probiotics Really Work?” (Scientific American, July 2017)

IntestiNEW to Strengthen Your Digestive Lining

Updated 3/9/2016.

gutbacteria8

Our gut microbiomes, the several pounds of micro-organisms living inside our intestines and often referred to as Our Friends with Benefits,  affect pretty much every aspect of  our health – keeping us well or making us sick.

 

(Source: www.goodgirlgogogo.com)
(Source: www.goodgirlgogogo.com)
I wrote about INCREASED GUT PERMEABILITY – CAUSES & CONSEQUENCES in a 10 May 2015 post. Here’s part of that article as background for appreciating the value of a supplement called IntestiNEW that strengthens the intestine’s mucosal lining, where our gut microbiomes reside:

 

 

DIGESTION – FROM MOUTH TO ANUS

0120
The human digestive tract runs from the mouth at the top to the anus at the other end. Foreign matter (food) is taken in and partially broken down by chewing in the mouth. It then travels down through the esophagus to the stomach and from there into the small and large intestines, where it is selectively digested. During this trip, various phases of digestion take place  and nutrients are extracted and absorbed. The liver, gall bladder and pancreas, organs that aid in the digestive process, are located along the length of the GI tract.
The total length of the GI tract varies from person to person. In an adult male the range is 20 to 40 feet. On average, the small intestine in adults is 22 feet long and the large intestine is 5 feet.
As you can intuit, a lot could go wrong during that long trip – and much of that depends on the quality of what you deliver to your mouth as ‘food’.
(Source: sanjosefuncmed.com)
(Source: sanjosefuncmed.com)

 

You can see the location of the mucosal layer (called ‘mucous coat’ in the diagram below) and the intestinal villi in this cross section of the human small intestine. The empty space in the center, just below the villi (the spikes you see in the image of a healthy mucosal membrane in the image to the left above),  is called the lumen, the tube in which food travels through the intestines.

excret_intestin_coupe_FF_en

(Source: MyHumanBody.ca)

 

 

 

INCREASED GUT PERMEABILITY – AKA LEAKY GUT

(Source: scdlifestyle.com)
(Source: scdlifestyle.com)
Increased gut permeability – also known as hyper-permeable intestines or “leaky gut” – describes the intestinal lining’s having become more porous than it should be so the process of what is allowed out into the body no longer functions properly.  Larger, undigested food molecules and other bad things (such as yeasts, toxins, and other forms of waste  that normally would continue on and get excreted through the anus) flow freely through these too-large holes in the intestinal lining and enter the bloodstream, where they don’t belong and are treated as dangerous invaders.
The  gut’s mucosal layer is thin, delicate – and very important. This is where our probiotic bacteria live, so degrading it also degrades the strength of our immune systems. The probiotics residing in the gut mucosal layer make up 70-90% of the human immune system.
Damage to the gut’s mucosal layer leads to a whole range of serious problems as the body tries to cope with the invaders being released into the bloodstream. Once this lining has become disturbed, allowing problematic things to flow through it into the blood stream, a cycle of chronic irritation begins, leading to chronic inflammation in the body and a whole series of autoimmune conditions.
wpid-screenshot_2014-09-22-18-44-15-11
It is well-known that the composition of the gut lining and its microbiota changes during animal development and can be influenced by environmental factors such as diet, lifestyle, and habitat. (Barker, 2013), (Conlon, 2014) & (Renew Life, undated)
So you can see the importance of keeping your gut lining, where those critters live, in good shape.

 

 

REGENERATION OF THE GUT LINING

 

(Source: www.stemcell.com)
(Source: www.stemcell.com)
The thin lining of our intestines is semi-permeable: a healthy lining membrane  allows nutrients to pass from the intestines into the bloodstream and prevents toxins, pathogens, and undigested food from exiting the digestive tract too early. When the lining becomes chronically damaged, allowing toxins, pathogens, and undigested food to  enter the bloodstream, chronic inflammation occurs in the body and many negative, autoimmune health conditions may ensue. (Renew Life, undated)
See AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES: How they develop and how to put them in remission (Hardin, 2014) for more information.
A healthy intestinal lining serves many functions, most critical among them:
  • Continuing the digestive processing of food after it leaves  the stomach
  • Absorbing nutrients from this partially digested food
  • Preventing harmful bacteria and undigested food particles from entering the bloodstream
Like our skin, the delicate mucosal lining of our small and large intestines sloughs off a layer of cells every 3-5 days and produces new cells to maintain its semi-permeable state. This process requires the amino acid L-Glutamine. (Renew Life, undated).
“Small populations of adult stem cells are responsible for the remarkable ability of the epithelial lining of the intestine to be efficiently renewed and repaired throughout life.” (Barker, 2013)
The human body’s GI tract is lined with mucosal tissues primarily comprised of epithelial cells attached to the underlying membrane. Tiny, finger-like projections called villi protrude from the intestinal walls and greatly increase their absorptive and surface areas.
“Digested nutrients (including sugars and amino acids) pass into the villi through diffusion. Circulating blood then carries these nutrients away.  Unlike the mucosal tissue of the inner surface of the eyelids or the mouth, the epithelial cells which line the inside of the stomach are exposed to much harsher conditions, e.g., acid (i.e., hydrochloric acid), sometimes alcohol, enzymes (e.g., pepsin) for digesting food and waste generated therefrom. Mucous secretion essentially protects the cells on the inside of the stomach and duodenum from damage by acid or enzymes, for example by presenting bicarbonate to neutralize some of the effects of acid on the stomach’s inner lining, as well as inhibitors to block the enzymatic activity. Once the mucous secretions of the epithelial cells stop, the inner lining of the stomach or duodenum would eventually be eroded by the combined action of acid and enzymes, leading to ulcer.” (MEBO, 2009)

 

 

INTESTINEW

IntestiNew is a dietary supplement designed and produced by Renew Life to soothe the digestive system and benefit the health of the mucosal lining of the intestines. It is available as a powder or in capsules.
intestinew-1The capsule form contains L-glutamine, N-acetyl D-glucosamine, gamma oryzanol, cranesbill root, ginger root, marigold flower, marshmallow root, vegetable fiber, and water.

DIG-IntestiNEWCaps-0813

The powder form contains the same ingredients with the exception of the vegetable fiber and water.

DIG-IntestiNEWPowder-0813

The glucosamine, L-glutamine, and the herbs in IntestiNew soothe and support the integrity of the intestinal lining.  The gamma oryzanol, a natural extract of rice oat bran, delivers essential antioxidant benefits to the digestive system. (Holt, 2016)
Both forms of the supplement are gluten free and contain no artificial ingredients.
Women who are pregnant, nursing, or trying to conceive are advised to consult their physicians before taking IntestiNEW, as are people taking pharmaceutical medications or having a medical condition.  The supplements contain an ingredient derived from crustacean shells (shrimp, lobster, and/or crab) so aren’t suitable for people with a shellfish allergy.

 

Time-to-balance-your-gut-health.-Before-the-bad-bugs-have-a-party.jpg

Although I couldn’t find any scientific papers on IntestiNEW, it has been well reviewed by customers on Amazon, iHerb, The Vitamin Shoppe, Vitacost,  and National Nutrition. I second those reviews: Since I’ve been taking IntestiNEW, I’ve seen a big improvement in my digestive health. I started with a scoop (5.4 grams) stirred into an eight ounce glass of filtered water before breakfast and now take two capsules before each meal, with water)

 

Some of the many ways our gut bacteria affect our health:
(Source: www.huffingtonpost.com)
(Source: www.huffingtonpost.com)
My thanks to David Miller, MD, Supplements Specialist at Life Thyme Market in New York City, for recommending IntestiNew to me.

 

Colonoscopy-cartoon1

 

REFERENCES

Barker, N. (2013). Adult intestinal stem cells: critical drivers of epithelial homeostasis and regeneration.  Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology 15:  19–33. See: http://www.nature.com/nrm/journal/v15/n1/full/nrm3721.html

Conlon, M.A. et al. (2015). The Impact of Diet and Lifestyle on Gut Microbiota and Human Health. Nutrients. 7(1): 17–44. See: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4303825/

Hardin, J.R. (26 October 2014). AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES: How they develop and how to put them in remission. See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/2014/10/26/autoimmune-diseases-develop-put-remission/

Hardin, J.R. (10 May 2015). INCREASED GUT PERMEABILITY – CAUSES & CONSEQUENCES. See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/2015/05/10/increased-gut-permeability-causes-consequences/

Holt, L. (2016). IntestiNew Reviewed: Does IntestiNew Work? Daily Health Answers. See: https://www.dailyhealthanswers.com/intestinew-reviewed.html

MEBO. (2009). Regeneration of Gastro- Intestinal Tract. Human Body Regeneration Sciences. See: http://en.mebo.com/about/ShowInfo.asp?InfoID=1

Renew Life. (undated). INTESTINEW: Natural Ingredients Used Traditionally to Support a Healthy Intestinal Lining. See: http://www.renewlife.com/media/spec_sheets/SpecSheetRNLIntestiNew.pdf

 

 

© Copyright 2016. Joan Rothchild Hardin. All Rights Reserved.

 

DISCLAIMER:  Nothing on this site or blog is intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

 

uBiome – How to Get Your Microbiomes Sequenced


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Here’s an opportunity for people interested in understanding how the trillions of micro-organisms living in and on the human body contribute to their health – or lack thereof: uBiome, a Silicon Valley company, offers microbiome sequencing, allowing you to explore your body’s own unique microbiomes.

 

resize-bacteria-friends

Scientists now know that various microbes living inside and on the human body outnumber our human cells by 10:1. Like a rain forest, the healthy human microbiome needs to have  a balanced ecosystem in order to maintain good health – and the balance needs to be in the types and amounts of good microbes as well as between those good microbes and pathological ones.

 

Microbiome-genome-genes-10-times-cells-bacteria
Our symbiotic microbial populations perform essential functions – including digesting food, synthesizing vitamins, and regulating all the metabolic functions in the body. Studies have also linked the gut microbiome to gut health and healthy development.
A poor mix of microbes in the gut microbiome impairs the immune system, playing a role in the development and progression of autoimmune diseases such as diabetes, Alzheimer’s, asthma, acne, other skin conditions, rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid imbalances, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, chronic Lyme Disease, fibromyalgia, and many more – including probably some cancers.
Gut microbial imbalances may also aggravate common obesity.
Certain microbes are known to modify the production of neurotransmitters in the brain so research is being done on how to use them to relieve depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and other neuro-chemical imbalances.
2015_GutBacteriaA

 

See here for a list of and information about autoimmune diseases and here for information on the role of probiotic and pathological bacteria in oral health.

 

Male vs Female Microbiome Proportions

(Source: www.ubiomeblog.com)
(Source: www.uBiomeblog.com)

 

You can get a kit from uBiome to obtain samples from these microbiomes living on and in your body and have an informative report of the findings sent to you:
  • Gut
  • Mouth
  • Nose
  • Skin
  • Genitals

 

 

(Source: ubiome.com)
(Source: uBiome.com)

 

uBiome‘s SAMPLING KITS

uBiome offers three types of kits:
GUT KIT – $89 for a one-time purchase/ $71.20@ to subscribe for a kit to be delivered monthly:

From just your gut sample, you get a comprehensive picture of how your microbiome compares to other lifestyles. A starter kit for curious beginners.

GUT TIME LAPSE KIT – $199

Sample three times: before, during and after a diet or lifestyle change. uBiome’s most popular bundle allows you to submit multiple samples to see how your microbiome changes over time. This kit is a 25% discount off the normal Gut Kit, and allows you to use three time points for comparison.

FIVE SITE KIT – $399 for a one-time purchase/ $391.20@ to subscribe for a kit to be delivered monthly:

This kit lets you sample all five microbiomes – your gut, mouth, nose, genitals, and skin – to get a complete picture of the workings of your body.

To purchase kits.

OBTAINING SAMPLES

 

(Source:www.ubiomeblog.com)
(Source:www.ubiomeblog.com)
This is how easy it is to obtain the microbial samples to send to uBiome for sequencing:

Open the tube you want to sample and the follow the site-specific instructions below:

GUT

  • Swab your used toilet paper to collect a tiny amount of poop.
  • Note – this probably way less than you think you need – just enough to change the color of the swab.

MOUTH

  • Vigorously rub the swab across the inside of each cheek for 30 seconds.
  • Note – do not touch your teeth or gums to the swab.

SKIN

  • Wet the swab with the PCR water included in your kit. (Do not use regular water.)
  • Swab along the lower half of the crease behind your ear for 1 minute.
  • Note – pull your ear forward with one hand and pull your hair out of the way if necessary.

NOSE

  • Wet the swab with the PCR water included in your kit. (Do not use regular water.)
  • Swab around the inside of each nostril at the depth of the cotton on the swab for 30 seconds each.

MALE GENITALS

  • Wet the swab with the PCR water included in your kit. (Do not use regular water.)
  • Swab in a circular motion around the base of the head of the penis for one minute (where the head of the penis intersects the shaft).
  • Note – if your penis is uncircumcised, pull back your foreskin first.

FEMALE GENITALS

  • Wet the swab with the PCR water included in your kit. (Do not use regular water.)
  • Swab the area just inside the vaginal opening, to the depth of the cotton on the swab for one minute.
  • Note – spread your labia with one hand and use the other to swab.

3. STIR AND SHAKE

  • Put the used swab into the vial and stir it for 1 minute to transfer the bacteria.
  • Discard the swab in the trash.
  • Close the tube tightly and shake vigorously for 1 minute.

4. SEND

  • All of kits include a secure mailer, so that you can send your samples right back to us.
  • US kits come with prepaid postage. Just drop the envelope in the mail.

 

 

microbes+maketh+man

 

 

I highly recommend you take a look at uBiome’s website. It’s written in plain English, is user friendly, contains several interesting short videos and lots of information about our human microbiomes – plus you can order your sampling kits directly from the site.

 

(Source: www.itsokaytobesmart.com)
(Source: www.itsokaytobesmart.com)

 

For more information on those microscopic critters living in and on you – our important friends with benefits who keep us functioning properly – see these other posts:

WHAT’S IN THE HUMAN MICROBIOME

ROB KNIGHT’S TED TALK: HOW OUR MICROBES MAKE US WHO WE ARE

THE HUMAN MICROBIOME – TWO SHORT VIDEOS

YOUR MICROBIAL FINGERPRINTS

 

 

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REFERENCES

Hardin, J.R. (2014). See: AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES: How they develop and how to put them in remission.  http://allergiesandyourgut.com/2014/10/26/autoimmune-diseases-develop-put-remission/

Hardin, J.R. (2014). Oral Health and Overall Health. See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/2014/02/16/oral-health-overall-health/

Hardin, J.R. (2015). Rob Knight’s TED Talk: How Our Microbes Make Us Who We Are. See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/2015/05/02/rob-knights-ted-talk-how-our-microbes-makes-us-who-we-are/

Hardin, J.R. (2015). The Human Microbiome – Two Short Videos. See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/2015/04/18/the-human-microbiome-two-short-videos/

Hardin, J.R. (2015). What’s in the Human Microbiome. See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/2015/06/13/whats-in-the-human-microbiome/

Hardin, J.R. (2015). Your Microbial Fingerprints. See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/2015/05/07/your-microbial-fingerprints/

uBiome. (2015). See: http://ubiome.com/

 

 

© Copyright 2015 Joan Rothchild Hardin. All Rights Reserved.

 

DISCLAIMER:  Nothing on this site or blog is intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

AUTOIMMUNE SUMMIT – dedicated to reversing & preventing autoimmune disease. Nov 10-17 2014. FREE online event.

 

 

new-paradigm-260x260jpg_002

 

 

AUTOIMMUNE DISORDERS

An autoimmune disease, disorder or condition develops when your immune system, which defends your body against disease, becomes unbalanced and treats healthy cells as if they were pathogens needing to be destroyed. As a result, your immune system attacks healthy body cells. Depending on the type, an autoimmune disease can affect one or many different types of body tissue. It can also cause abnormal organ growth and changes in organ function. According to the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA), autoimmune diseases affect up to 50 million Americans. (Roddick, 2014)
When the micro-organisms living in the body’s gut microbiome, a major part of our immune system, become chronically out of balance (gut dysbiosis), chronic inflammation develops there and elsewhere in the body and eventually leads to a diagnosable autoimmune problem or other illness – even cancer.

 

 

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Here’s a useful A to Z list of over 100 autoimmune diseases, disorders and conditions and their symptoms. (autoimmunediseaselist.com, 3/18/2014)
The American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association lists 80 autoimmune diseases and autoimmune-related diseases on its site. (American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association, 2014)
Commonly occurring autoimmune diseases include (Roddick, 2014):
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis: inflammation of joints and surrounding tissues
  • Systemic Lupus Erythematosus: affects skin, joints, kidneys, brain, and other organs
  • Multiple Sclerosis: affects the brain and spinal cord
  • Celiac Sprue Disease: a reaction to gluten (found in wheat, rye, and barley) that causes damage to the lining of the small intestine
  • Pernicious Anemia: decrease in red blood cells caused by inability to absorb vitamin B12
  • Vitiligo: white patches on the skin caused by loss of pigment
  • Scleroderma: a connective tissue disease that causes changes in skin, blood vessels, muscles, and internal organs
  • Psoriasis: a skin condition that causes redness and irritation as well as thick, flaky, silver-white patches
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD): a group of inflammatory diseases of the colon and small intestine
  • Hashimoto’s Disease: inflammation of the thyroid gland
  • Addison’s Disease: adrenal hormone insufficiency
  • Graves’ Disease: overactive thyroid gland
  • Reactive Arthritis: inflammation of joints, urethra, and eyes; may cause sores on the skin and mucus membranes
  • Sjögren’s Syndrome: destroys the glands that produce tears and saliva causing dry eyes and mouth; may affect kidneys and lungs
  • Type 1 Diabetes: destruction of insulin producing cells in the pancreas

 

 

 

FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE

Functional Medicine is a way of practicing medicine that focuses on optimal functioning of the body and its organs, usually involving systems of holistic or alternative medicine.
The Institute for Functional Medicine describes the approach like this:

Functional medicine addresses the underlying causes of disease, using a systems-oriented approach and engaging both patient and practitioner in a therapeutic partnership. It is an evolution in the practice of medicine that better addresses the healthcare needs of the 21st century. By shifting the traditional disease-centered focus of medical practice to a more patient-centered approach, functional medicine addresses the whole person, not just an isolated set of symptoms. Functional medicine practitioners spend time with their patients, listening to their histories and looking at the interactions among genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors that can influence long-term health and complex, chronic disease. In this way, functional medicine supports the unique expression of health and vitality for each individual. (Institute for Functional Medicine, 2014)

 

 

 

 

 

 THE AUTOIMMUNE SUMMIT

 

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Amy Myers, MD, is a well known and highly respected Functional Medical doctor practicing in Austin TX and the author of The Autoimmune Solution: Prevent and Reverse the Full Spectrum of Inflammatory Symptoms and Diseases (available January 27 2015).
She has organized a very interesting  online AUTOIMMUNE SUMMIT dedicated to teaching you about the root causes of autoimmune diseases so you can reverse and prevent them.  It’s FREE and takes place November 10-17 2014. You can sign up for it here.
The participants in this AUTOIMMUNE SUMMIT are experts in the fields of Functional Medicine, nutrition, and autoimmune disease who will explain how leaky gut, genetics, and environmental triggers such as toxins, food sensitivities, infections, and stress all play a part in the development of autoimmune disease.

 

 

(Source: hypothyroidmom.com)

 

 * Have you or a loved one been diagnosed with one or more of the autoimmune diseases, disorders, or conditions?

 

* Do you have a family history of autoimmunity and want to learn how to prevent it?

 

* Or are you a healthcare provider who wants to better treat your autoimmune patients?

 

* If these describe you or you just want to learn more about preventing, treating, and reversing these conditions, The Autoimmune Summit is for you! The information you will learn will put you on the road to better physical, mental and spiritual health.

 

 

(Source: lookfordiagnosis.com)
(Source: lookfordiagnosis.com)

 

 

A sampling of the speaker line up and what you’ll learn about how to manage your autoimmunity problems naturally:
  • Mark Hyman, MD:  A Functional Medicine Approach to Autoimmunity
  • Alessio Fassano, MD: The Role of Gut Permeability in Autoimmune Diseases: How To Distinguish Facts From Fantasies
  • Robb Wolf:  What is the Paleo Diet, and How Can It Help Reverse Autoimmunity?
  • Sarah Ballantyne, PhD (AKA The Paleo Mom):  The Problem with Grains and Legumes in Those with Autoimmunity
  • Terry Wahls, MD: Macronutrients, Micronutrients, Mitochondria, and Autoimmunity
  • Datis Kharrazian, DC: Understanding Hashimoto’s and Other Thyroid Conditions
  • Chris Kresser, Lac: Updates on Low Dose Naltrexone and Autoimmunity

 

 

AMY MYERS, MD

This is Dr Myers’ website. It’s worth taking a look at and reading her own story of the route that led her to practice Functional Medicine.

 

 

(Source: www.amymyersmd.com)
(Source: www.amymyersmd.com)

 

 

 

REFERENCES

American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (2014). Autoimmune and Autoimmune-Related Diseases. See: http://www.aarda.org/autoimmune-information/list-of-diseases/

AutoimmuneDiseasesList.com. (3/18/2014). Autoimmune Diseases List. See: http://autoimmunediseaselist.com/

Institute for Functional Medicine. (2014). What is Functional Medicine? See: https://www.functionalmedicine.org/about/whatisfm/

Myers, A. AmyMyersMD.com. See: http://www.amymyersmd.com/

Myers, A. (2015). The Autoimmune Solution: Prevent and Reverse the Full Spectrum of Inflammatory Symptoms and Diseases. See: http://www.amazon.com/Autoimmune-Solution-Spectrum-Inflammatory-Symptoms/dp/0062347470/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1415576888&sr=1-1&keywords=amy+myers+md

Roddick, J. (2014). Autoimmune Disease. Healthline.com.  See: http://www.healthline.com/health/autoimmune-disorders#Types2

 

 

 

© Copyright 2014 Joan Rothchild Hardin. All Rights Reserved.

 

DISCLAIMER:  Nothing on this site or blog is intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

 

ONLINE COURSE on the Gut Microbiome

 

 

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The University of Colorado at Boulder is offering a fascinating free online course on the human microbiome called

GUT CHECK: EXPLORING YOUR MICROBIOME

This course is going to cover many of the topics I’ve written about on this Allergies and Your Gut site/blog – but you’ll get to hear it and much more from the horses’ mouths:  Prof. Rob Knight, Dr. Jessica Metcalf and Dr. Katherine Amato.
Rob Knight is a Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and the BioFrontiers Institute at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He also works on the Human Microbiome Project.
Professor Rob Knight. (Source: knightlab.colorado.edu)
Professor Rob Knight. (Source: knightlab.colorado.edu)

 

Dr. Jessica Metcalf is an Evolutionary Biologist and Senior Research Associate at the BioFrontiers Institute, University of Colorado at Boulder.

 

Dr. Jessica Metcalf
Dr. Jessica L. Metcalf

 

Dr. Katherine R. Amato is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Anthropology and part of the BioFrontiers Institute at the University of Colorado, Boulder. She also contributes to the American Gut Project.

 

Dr. Katherine R. Amato
Dr. Katherine R. Amato
From the course’s website:

Imagine if there were an organ in your body that weighed as much as your brain, that affected your health, your weight, and even your behavior. Wouldn’t you want to know more about it? There is such an organ — the collection of microbes in and on your body, your human microbiome.

ABOUT THE COURSE
The human body harbors up to ten times as many microbial cells as human cells. What are these microbes and what are they doing? How can we study them to find out? What do they tell us about ourselves? Just as our human genome records traces of who we are and the conditions we have adapted to during evolutionary history, our microbial genomes may record traces of what we have eaten, where we have lived, and who we have been in contact with. The microbial ecosystems in different parts of our bodies, which differ radically from one another, also supply a wide range of functions that affect many aspects of human health.

Join us on a guided tour of the human gut and its microscopic inhabitants. We will first review what microbes are and how they get into our bodies. We will then discuss the methods we use to study microbial communities and briefly explore how gut microbiome data are analyzed. This information will provide us with a foundation to explore current microbiome research. We will cover topics such as the influence of the gut microbiota on our nutrition, health and behavior. Did you know that gut microbes may influence how sick we get or the way we feel? The course will culminate with an in-depth review of the American Gut Project, the world’s largest open-source, crowd-sourced science project, from how it works to what it’s taught us up until now.

 

COURSE SYLLABUS

Week 1: Introduction to microbes and the human microbiome

Meet Professor Rob Knight, Dr. Jessica Metcalf, and Dr. Katherine Amato as they introduce the human microbiome. Key topics this week are:

* What are microbes?

* The human microbiome

* Where do you get your microbes?

Week 2: How we study the microbiome

We will discuss the history of microbial research and review cutting-edge techniques used to examine microbial communities today. Key topics this week are:

* The history of studying microbes

* Basics of high-throughput DNA sequencing

* ‘Omics’ and other useful technologies

Week 3: Making sense out of microbial data

We will briefly review techniques used for analyzing microbiome data. This information will serve as a foundation for exploring recent discoveries in microbiome research later on. Key topics this week are:

* How do we identify a microbe?

* Basics of alpha-diversity

* Beta-diversity, and visualizing differences

Week 4: The human gut microbiome and your health

We will discuss major factors affecting the gut microbiome. We will also explore in detail what we currently know about diet, nutrition, health, and the gut microbiome. Key topics this week are:

* Impact of diet and age on the gut microbiota

* Obesity and the gut microbiota

* Human microbiome and gut disease

* Manipulating the microbiome through fecal transplants

Week 5: Gut microbe-host interactions: Beyond nutrition

We will talk about how the gut microbiome can affect your body outside of the gut, including interactions with the immune system and the brain. Key topics this week are:

* Gut microbiota interactions with the immune system

* Gut microbiota, autoimmune diseases, and allergies

* The gut-brain axis

* Post-mortem human microbiome

Week 6: What’s in the American Gut?

We will re-introduce the American Gut Project and describe results both at an individual and a population level. Key topics this week are:

* The American Gut Project and crowd-funding

* Collecting samples

* Michael Pollan vs. Jeff Leach: American Gut results explained

* Comparing the American Gut to other populations

Here’s the website for learning more about this free course & signing up for it: https://www.coursera.org/course/microbiome
The first 6-week session starts next Monday, October 6 2014 and runs through November 14 2014. You can also sign up to be notified when the next session will begin. They say it will involve 3-5 hours of work/week.

 

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If you take the course, please let me know how you like it. I’m super busy this fall so am going to wait until the next time it’s offered.

 

 

© Copyright 2014 Joan Rothchild Hardin. All Rights Reserved.

 

DISCLAIMER:  Nothing on this site or blog is intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

 

Climate Change Impacts Allergies and Asthma

 

 

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Extreme weather events, from coastal flooding, intense heat, record amounts of rainfall in some areas and historic droughts in others, are becoming increasingly common as the Earth’s average temperature rises. The World Meteorological Organization has linked some of 2013’s most extreme weather events – think back to Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines as well as flooding in central Europe and record high temperatures in Australia, Asia and Africa to human-induced climate change. “There’s been a general disruption of nature,” says Kim Knowlton, a senior scientist in the Natural Resources Defense Council’s health and environmental program. In may, the U.S. Global Change Research Program (GCRP) released a comprehensive report on the impacts of climate change. It bluntly states: “Over the last 50 years, much of the United States has seen an increase in prolonged periods of excessively high temperatures, more heavy downpours, and in some regions, more severe droughts.”

– Claire Cagne, Wild Weather & Our Allergies, Allergic Living, Summer 2014

 

This is very bad news for people with allergies and asthma – more moisture and higher temperatures mean increased levels of mold, pollen and air pollution.
Temperatures across the U.S. are projected to increase anywhere from 5-10  degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century so the challenges we encounter from climate change are likely to get worse. (Gagne, 2014)

 

 

 

 

allergies

 

AIR-BORNE ALLERGENS ARE EXPECTED TO INCREASE

According to the EPA’s report on climate change and air-borne allergens, A Review of the Impact of Climate Variability and Change on Aeroallergens and Their Associated Effects (EPA, 2011):
  •  Aeroallergens include pollens, which can be produced by weeds, grasses and trees,   as well as molds, dust particles, ash and indoor allergens.
  • Aeroallergens such as dust, ragweed, pollen and molds impact half of all Americans.
  • Treatment for allergies in the US costs $21 billion annually.
  • Three major allergic diseases have been associated with exposure to aeroallergens: hay fever, asthma and eczema.  Collectively, these three allergic diseases rank sixth for annual expenditures among chronic health conditions in the United States.
  • Beyond the direct cost of medical care are the indirect, but substantial, costs associated with lost time at work, school and play.
  • Increases in temperature, carbon dioxide and precipitation will cause the proliferation of weedy plants that are known producers of allergenic pollen.  Higher levels of CO2 in the atmosphere act as a fertilizer for plant growth.  Warmer temperatures and increased precipitation will cause some plants to grow faster, bloom earlier and produce more pollen.
  • Climate-related temperature changes are expected to increase the potency of airborne allergens, increasing the concentration of pollen in the air, the length of the allergy season and the strength of airborne allergens.
  • Climate change will allow allergen-producing plant species to move into new areas.
  • Wind-blown dust, carrying pollens and molds from outside of the United States, could expose people to allergens they had not previously contacted.  Exposure to more potent concentrations of pollen and mold may make current non-sufferers more likely to develop allergic symptoms.

 

 

Wildfires in Colorado, 2012
Wildfires in Colorado, 2012

 

 

Drought in California, 2014
Drought in California, 2014

 

 

 

 

 

HEAVIER, MORE FREQUENT RAINS PRODUCE MORE MOLD

 

 

Flooding from Super Storm Sandy, 2012
Flooding from Super Storm Sandy, 2012

 

Molds can cause serious health problems in susceptible individuals. Here’s information from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene on the city’s health crisis following Hurricane Sandy (RebuildAdjustNY.org, 2013):
  • Toxins produced by mold, known at myotoxins, can cause headaches, nausea, loss of appetite, fatigue, inability to concentrate and memory loss.
  • Chronic exposure to mold can lead to permanent lung disease
  • According to the Institute of Medicine, “There (is) sufficient evidence to link indoor exposure to mold with upper respiratory tract symptoms, cough, and wheeze in otherwise healthy people.”
  • According to a World Health Organization-cited study, building dampness/mold increases the occurrence of respiratory and asthma-related health incidents by 30-50%.
  • A second study estimated that 21%of the cases of asthma in the United States could be attributable to dampness and mold in housing, for a total annual national cost of $3.5 billion.
  • Sandy-impacted neighborhoods are especially vulnerable to health effects from mold.
  • According to then Mayor Bloomberg, 70,000 – 80,000 homes suffered water damage due to Hurricane Sandy.
  • About 180,000 – 210,000 New Yorkers could be currently exposed to Sandy-related mold.
  • Mold is especially dangerous for 45,000+ children under the age of 5 and senior New Yorkers who are considered highly vulnerable to mod-related ailments.
  • Mold is especially dangerous for individuals suffering from asthma and other respiratory ailments.
  • Sandy-affected neighborhoods reported more than 30,000 asthma-related emergency room visits between 2008 and 2010.
  • Children and seniors comprise about 25% of the population in Sandy-affected neighborhoods.
  • Asthmatics comprise more than 25%of the Sandy-affected neighborhood of Red Hook, Brooklyn.

 

 

Mold growth inside a home after Hurricane Sandy
Mold growth inside a home after Hurricane Sandy

 

Mold damage is not always as easy to detect as in the photo above. It can be growing inside walls or behind wallpaper so not necessarily be visible.
Mold growing behind wallpaper
Mold growing behind wallpaper
And dead mold spore can still cause allergic reactions in some people so killing the mold may not be sufficient – it must also be removed. (EPA, 2012)

 

 

 

 

SO HOW CAN WE REDUCE OUR CHANCES OF INCREASED SUFFERING FROM ALLERGIES AND ASTHMA?

 

 

immune-response

 

We know that 80-90% of our immune system resides in the mucosa of our guts. An unbalanced, impaired gut microbiome produces chronic inflammation in the body. Over time, this inflammation produces autoimmune conditions (such as allergies and asthma) – as well as gum disease, repeating UTIs, heart disease, nail fungus, some cancers, and much more.
Mast cells located in our skin, connective tissues, and the mucosal linings of our stomachs and intestines, are an essential part of our immune defenses. These unique cells are tasked with activating the immune system to defend us from harmful invaders.
In people with allergies, the immune system misidentifies innocuous substances as dangerous pathogens and sends out mast cells to combat them – as if Attila’s Huns were at the gate and needed to be attacked at all costs, even to the point of destroying the body in the process.
The real solution for both allergy and asthma sufferers isn’t just treating the symptoms but working to restore the health of the friendly bacteria living in the gut with the goal of normalizing the immune system. A healthy, balanced gut immune system will stop producing inflammation and allow a return to health.
As climate change exposes us to increasing numbers of molds and other allergens, we’re all going to need immune systems that are up to dealing with the challenge.

 

 

Boost-Immunity-Healthy-Smoothies

 

 

 

For more information on allergies, asthma, autoimmune conditions, the role of inflammation in these problems, and how to strengthen your immune system, see:

GUT SYMBIOSIS VS DYSBIOSIS

INFLAMMATION

ALLERGIES

AUTOIMMUNE DISORDERS

ASTHMA

SUPER IMMUNITY

PREBIOTICS & PROBIOTICS

SACCHAROMYCES BOULARDII

KEFIR

THE STANDARD AMERICAN DIET (SAD)

HOW TO REVERSE AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE

ADDICTIONS – GLUTEN

GENETICALLY MODIFIED ORGANISMS – OUR FOOD

TRANSFER FACTOR

 

 

 

REFERENCES

Cagne, C. (2014). Wild Weather & Our Allergies. Allergic Living, 4:2, 32-37.

EPA. (2012). A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home: Hidden Mold. See:  http://www.epa.gov/mold/hiddenmold.html

RebuildAdjustNY.org. (2013). Mold: NYC’s Health Crisis Post-Sandy. See:  http://www.rebuildajustny.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Resource-Post-mold-remediation-Sandy-Mold-Health-Fact-Sheet2.pdf

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. (2011). Allergies Getting Worse? See: http://www.epa.gov/research/gems/scinews_aeroallergens.htm

 

 

 

 

© Copyright 2014 Joan Rothchild Hardin. All Rights Reserved.

 

DISCLAIMER:  Nothing on this site or blog is intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.