The Devastating Impact of Chronic Infections
Our body stands at the crossroads between the micro-organisms our body needs to survive, and the tremendous impact these microbes and their associated byproducts can have on our health. Some of the chemicals excreted or otherwise created by the breakdown of virus and bacteria can literally look like and take the place of the same chemicals our brain uses.
The conclusion that I have made over the years is that any case where treatments work and then stop working is often the result of an undiagnosed chronic infection. The reason that cases with chronic infections get better and worse is that the microbes adapt to the new environmental stresses.
I believe that the more we learn about the human body and bacteria the more instances we will see that chronic infections, and our response to chronic infections, is creating many of the sickness we just don’t understand today.
One case that we do understand is the reaction in children that have had a throat infection with the strep bacteria. Sometimes after a strep throat treated properly with antibiotics we will see children develop abnormal moods and behavior. Often this means that not only moods will change but even more extreme personality changes. The child may start to like doing things that they hadn't before. Grades may decline, personal skills may become deficient. For many of the cases (known as PANDAS) (Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal infections) or PANS (.Pediatric acute-onset neuropsychiatric syndrome).
The current understanding of the conditions acquired after strep infection guesses that the antibodies that were made to attack the strep bacteria also attack different parts of the brain. It looks like the antibodies attack different parts of the brain in different cases. From a common sense perspective it would probably be more accurate to say that every infection affects the brain in every case. It will just be the degree of affect and how long the symptoms last that may differer between between the types of infections and the types of patients.
Really isn’t this are common experience with people in our lives? Haven’t you said to your kids or mom or day that they don’t seem well? That they seem like they are getting sick because they are moody or irritable or a bit down. What you are observing in these cases is that affect of the infection on brain function. In some cases the immune reaction that is triggering these changes doesn’t diminish as the infection clears.
In every case that we suspect chronic infections as an underlying cause of a clients symptoms there is some basic testing that must be done before any other time, effort, money or energy is wasted. First and foremost testing for IgG and IgA food allergens must be done. We call these the hidden food allergens because the reactions can take so long to show up. If the person suffering with symptoms has one of these allergens then that will keep the immune system in a chronically activated and over activated state. Additionally it will distract that body from trying to recover from whichever infection initiated the antibody production.
The next test that must be done is for brain chemistry balance. This is because it is the brain chemistry that will determine how the immunes system is working. We basically want to know if the immune system is all gas pedal, all brakes or neither. Without this information it can be hard to correct the problem even in cases where we understand why the problem started. The next test that must be done especially in chronic cases is testing for cytokine levels. Don’t get thrown by the new word. Cytokines are basically immune system messengers. The tell the immunes system what to fight, and how to fight. By studying the cytokines we can get a look at what the body is attacking as some cytokines will signal bacterial infection, others will signal parasitic infection, others will signal viral infection and still others will signal other exposures that looks like infections such as various molds and other allergens.
I have had parents come to me and actually say that they are considering that possibility that they actually just got a weird kid, or even worse a bad kid. I know, yikes. But you can’t blame people that may have gone through years of doctors telling them their kids was acting out, faking, manipulating them, etc.
Just because we can’t find a reason for a person’s symptoms does not mean that those symptoms do not exist or are being fabricated. I can tell you this for sure because using the approach that I outlined above has turned many of these kids with behavior problems into little angels. I am serious when I say that. Kids that were uninvolved or apathetic in spite of constant cajoling from parents all the sudden are knocking out top grades in school, and enjoying it. If there is one thing that a mom will never do is put herself first when her kids are not well.