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Dr Mariano posts - sleep, the mind

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by , 09-10-2012 at 04:03 PM (260 Views)

Excessive sleep, inability to motivate one's self are two of several symptoms that occur due to excessive pro-inflammatory signaling.

Depression is an illness that at its heart is a pro-inflammatory condition. So are heart disease, diabetes, irritable bowel disease, allergies, and asthma.

These days, I generally do as thorough immune system evaluation, in addition to a psychological, psychiatric, neurologic, endocrine, metabolic-nutritional evaluation to help determine the underlying causes of a person's illness and then target them in treatment. Without the immune system evaluation, one is missing an important component to explain why a person is ill.


My definition of the mind is that the mind the sum of all of the cells in the body and their molecules that determine thought and behavior - a simple definition with enormous implications, which leads to an enormously deep and insightful understanding of nearly everything.

The immune system is a subset of the mind. The immune system is defined as the sum of all of the cells in the body and their molecules that protect the body from foreign pathogens and cancer. It recognizes self from non-self. Generally, the most important and active cells of the immune system are the white blood cells and the stem cells that give birth to them. Other cells include the microglial cells of the nervous system, liver cells which produce complement proteins, cells of the spleen, lymph nodes, mucosal cells which give off mucus and skin cells which form protective barriers, gastrointestinal cells which make protective acid, etc. Even astrocytes of the nervous system - the most numerous cells in the brain - can transformed when needed to do immune system work.

White blood cells are like soldiers. We make an enormous army of them every day. They are also potentially seriously dangerous to the other cells in the body because of the weaponry they have which includes many toxic substances such as bleach.

Generally, the immune system kills off 90% of the millions of white blood cells it creates that make antibodies or have antibodies as sensors on their cell membranes (the B-cells and T-cells), before they become active in the body. Immunologists call this the "education" of these cells. I call this a mass slaughter. It is necessary since these cells can cause the immune system to attack one's own body - an autoimmune attack.

Hashimoto's Thyroiditis is an autoimmune illness. This means the immune system failed to kill the rogue white blood cells that make antibodies that recognize the thyroid gland as a foreign pathogen.

Now if the immune system failed to kill off the rogue cells that cause Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, there is also a good chance it failed to kill off other rogue white blood cells. A rule of thumb is that if one has one autoimmune illness, one can have up to six of them. Thus a thorough check of the immune system is necessary to fully determine as much as practical the extent of the problem of autoimmune white blood cells.

Most of the immune system's white blood cells are in the gastrointestinal system - generally the most important place one is exposed to foreign pathogens. Up to 90 percent of one's white blood cells patrol the gastrointestinal system, standing just behind the cells that make up the wall of the intestines. From my point of view, irritable bowel syndrome and many gastrointestinal symptoms are signs of a possible immune system problem. Since gut immune problems are heavily monitored by the nervous system and immune system cells can signal the nervous system and vice versa, behavior is enormously influenced by gut issues.


I periodically track antithyroid antibody levels in Hashimoto's Thyroiditis.

Sometimes, other proinflammatory conditions - colds, allergies, other autoimmune illnesses, etc. will trigger an increase in antibody production, causing proinflammatory signaling to snowball.

For example, one of the young children I treat has both Grave's Disease and Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. Whenever he eats foods containing gluten, both thyroid illnesses get worse. And his behavior enormously deteriorates.

In general, controlling proinflammatory signals includes:

1. Identifying the source - requires testing, sometimes obscure causes may be found such as IgE receptor stimulating antibodies - which is analogous to thyroid receptor stimulating antibodies in Graves Disease. Stiff-man syndrome is another rare finding. Diabetes and obesity are common conditions which raise proinflammatory signaling. Oral estrogens increase proinflammatory signaling. Dietary gluten - with or without gluten sensitivity - increases proinflammatory signaling. Etc.

2. Once identified, specific treatment for proinflammatory signaling may be necessary - e.g. treatments for Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, Psoriasis, etc.

3. Optimizing the nutrition and metabolism to promote antinflammatory effects rather than increasing inflammation. Generally, high density nutrition reduces inflammatory signaling.

4. Optimizing the endocrine system signaling to reduce inflammation.

5. Optimizing nervous system signaling to reduce inflammatory signaling. For example, excessive stress signaling leads to an increase in immune system inflammatory signaling. Many psychiatric medications have significant effects in reducing nervous system inflammatory signaling. Antidepressants, antipsychotics, mood stabilizers, etc. all in part may reduce inflammation. They would not work well if an antiinflammatory effect wasn't present.

6. Etc.


Normal sleep when there is no stress or responsibility is about 10 hours with one waking period in the middle. When one works or goes to school or has other responsibilities to force one to wake up early, then sleep gets crunched down to a single solid night's sleep of about 7-8 hours. When there is too much stress, sleep is even less - but health becomes much more difficult to sustain.

VSL3 is an excellent product, though pricey. I have people take it for about 1-2 months. The amount of bacteria in it is still just a drop in the ocean compared to the number that grow in one's gut. Thus probiotic preparations are similar to planting seeds. The more important task is to care and feed them so they multiply to even greater numbers.
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