Sande Bargeron 9/21/21
As we are entering solidly into the fall season after a long year and a half of an ongoing microbial threat, it might do us well to understand what happens in the body with the average seasonal threat, whether viral, bacterial, fungal, or parasite.
What factors affect our body’s response
How well our body deals with these threats is highly dependent on two really important and interdependent factors: how robust our immune system is to start with and how high our overall toxic burden is (the toxins stored in your body). The health of our immune system is dependent on a variety of factors including our genes (epigenetics), mitochondrial health, micronutrient and mineral availability, underlying chronic infections, and our gut health. Our overall toxin burden is determined by what we have inherited from our parents (the oldest child often bearing the biggest brunt of the toxin download), our diet, where we live, the products we use, as well as our overall environment. (Is there mold, radiation, high levels of EMF, radon?)
I have often heard folks say, “ I have a great immune system,” while they sip their Big Brand sugar/chemical and mold-laden venti latte. It might be true that your immune system is indeed still handling low grade threats decently, but your overall toxin body burden is certainly high if processed food and drink is common to your diet. This constant exposure undermines the immune system’s ability to respond appropriately to a significant threat.
The other reality is that you may not even notice that your immune system is weak because chronic low grade illness is often considered normal among the “healthy population.” I find it extremely common to come across an individual who is constantly battling allergies, reflux or skin conditions, who think that their immune system is pretty strong. I was that person. In this situation, your immune system is constantly over or under active, either of which is not helpful toward resisting serious microbial threats when they arise.
Toxins and how we deal with them
Toxins in our environment are a serious and worsening threat. It might be good to go back and review the blog I did on toxins and our health to get an overview of the significance of the threat to our health that toxins pose.
But here is the good news: the body is designed to be infinitely complex and self healing and the cell complexity is truly mind blowing! In the book, “Signature In the Cell,” Stephen Meyer spends over five hundred pages just describing the complex structure and language of DNA. In an attempt for us to understand the dynamics of how complicated it is, he compares our DNA to computer language: “ Like software, the coding regions of DNA direct operations within a complex material system via highly variable and improbable, yet precisely specified, sequences of chemical characters.” Richard Dawkins also stands in wonderment of the complexity of the human cell: “There is enough informational capacity in single human cell to store the Encyclopedia Brittanica, all thirty volumes of it, three or four times.”
This cell complexity matters because it gives us insight into how well the body was designed to protect itself. For example, the body stores toxins in areas of the cell and organ systems where it will do the least amount of damage. The body resorts to storing toxins when our toxin-clean-up pathways are maxed out, running full speed and can no longer deal with the excess chemicals being taken into the system.
What happens when the pathogen enters the body
Since we have examined the factors that affect the body’s ability to handle seasonal threats, let’s look at what happens when we encounter a pathogen. Viruses enter the body in a variety of ways, commonly by being inhaled, such as seen in the cold, the flu and the recent microbe plaguing our globe. Viruses can also enter the body by ingestion through food and water, as well as via routes like injection with hypodermic needles and through sexual intercourse.
When the body is threatened by a virus, there are several possible things that will occur: the virus will either 1.) be quickly overcome by our army of robust immune cells, or 2.) it will enter the cells to begin its replication process. If it obtains access to a cell, the virus will multiply itself inside the cell until it causes the host cell to burst, releasing more viral particles (and other biotoxins) to infect more of your cells. The biotoxins released leads to acute inflammation. Did you know that the surges of body aches and chills you feel when you are sick happens when lots of your cells rupture during this process?
When we are dealing with a bacterial or parasite as a source of infection, the biochemistry of what occurs is a bit different. These types of pathogens do not necessarily require a host cell for replication (though some indeed do). But despite the fact that replication of these pathogens is vastly different from viruses, the response in the body as it begins to deal with the infection, is often similar. As the white blood cells overcome and kill these cells, we experience the same body aches, fever and inflammation.
Looking back at our juicing detox example from an earlier blog, will help us to think through what’s happening in our bodies when the cells burst. Consider this: the cell was designed with a complex membrane which prevents intracellular bits from erroneously escaping and it also prevents the extracellular (outside of the cell) electrons, electrolytes, minerals, and even poisons from entering the cell. When the cell bursts, a lot of things are released- intracellular metabolic chemicals, enzymes, and stored toxins. All those things that were supposed to be kept from free circulation in the body have now been liberated and create a profound degree of inflammation inside the body (which is seen in the fever associated with a pathogen-mediated illness).
The release of a large amount of toxins leads to a slower recovery
The release of even more toxins from cell rupture, makes a body, which is barely keeping up with our exposure to toxins, struggle to clean up the extra garbage while continuing to do its normal healing functions. The end result is a poor ability to get over the illness induced by the pathogen which leads to a host of lingering symptoms.
This is why toxins and the health of the immune system are interdependent issues when fighting off seasonal microbial threats. Once you are sick, it’s not enough to just boost your immune function with zinc, vitamin C, Vitamin D and the usual actors, YOU MUST DEAL with the toxins and support the function of the liver and kidneys and other detox organs.
Being prepared vs reacting
Remember that when we are already sick, we are REACTING, which is never as good as being proactive and starting to deal with toxins when you are well … in a properly ordered fashion!
So, obviously detoxification has a lot to do with recovering from seasonal threats. A few ideas to boost your body’s ability to detox and enhance the liver’s clearing capabilities include using liposomal glutathione, minerals, binders, coffee enema, pure therapeutic grade essential oils, and aggressive hydration with purified water. How aggressive you are with these modalities depends on your baseline of wellness. The order of detoxification is critical for those who already struggle with healthy detox pathways, as seen in Chronic Lyme Disease, Mononucleosis, other chronic infections, excessive drug or alcohol abuse, ect.
The key point is to remember that toxins released during illness cause as much damage as the illness themselves, so be sure to be addressing toxins while doing your immune boosting protocols.