Toxins have properties that can damage internal structures of the body. What effects do they have on tissues? How do they get into the body? Do they travel around the body, or do they tend to stay in particular organs or spaces? What are the symptoms associated with toxin activity? There have been several news reports where toxins may explain the medical syndrome. Even more interesting, since trauma to the body is linked to emotions, so can be the damage done by toxins. Furthermore, allergies are related to both toxins and emotional experience.
The Chemistry and Physiology of Toxins
Big Compounds and Single Elements
One of the first things I learned with MRT (see “MRT 1.0-a (Applied Kinesiology): How it Works”) was the location of the toxin I was trying to get rid of, and that it was not leaving the body. I learned that many toxins never get to the liver for detoxification simply because they destroyed capillaries either physically or functionally when they came into contact with them. Others were toxic chemical elements that can’t be broken down anymore and just end up getting cycled back into the body over and over. I also learned what kind of damage each chemical element (that doesn’t belong inside the body) does, and finally, what kind of damage that particular inorganic compounds can do. This knowledge led me to think out exactly what toxins are and what they could do inside the body.
The action of toxins on the body is often misunderstood. Most people study the effects on the metabolic output of cells. They often choose critical cells found in certain organs to study, and often miss the big picture, the global effect of a toxin on all parts of the body. There some basic principles of physiology that need to be understood before a person can see these global effects.
Toxins may enter the body through any orifice that exists:
- mouth (through the gingiva)
- sweat and sebaceous gland pores
Toxins may also cross both the thinnest and most delicate membranes made up of epithelia and the toughest parts of the external skin (stratified squamous epithelium) covering our bodies. It depends upon the toxin. Furthermore, toxins can exert their effects across a non-transportable boundary because of a charge effect by large molecular weight chemical elements.
What is a Toxin?
What exactly is a toxin? A large organic molecule with lots of rings or chains? Not always. In fact, a single chemical element can be toxic to the body (we all have heard about the effects of arsenic, radium, and plutonium). Toxic compounds, when they finally breach these barriers and enter the body, tend to break apart quickly. The large amount of water in us tends to act as a solvent, sending these toxins into solution. Some of those lower molecular weight chemical elements that form part of the toxin can break off and combine with water or other ions floating in it fairly easily, leaving the larger ions to interact with other needed ions in our bodies. Even fairly large organic substances will tend to fall apart in our “body water.” However, there will always be some that will not do so unless there are enzymes or other catalysts also floating there that can act on them. Some of these toxins cannot be broken down at all.
The normal cycling of interstitial fluids into lymphatic capillaries will help redistribute all fluids, along with toxins, quickly throughout the body. Most of these toxins will pass to the liver where the chemical elements that can be combined with calcium, bromine, chlorine, boron, magnesium or phosphate will pass to the kidney and colon for delivery outside of the body. However, many chemical elements cannot be gotten rid of so easily. This is why we see accumulations of iron, cobalt, cesium, lead, chromium, nickel, cadmium, and elements with a molecular weight higher than 140 in the liver of a person exposed to these elements.
However, not all toxic chemicals will ever enter the blood or lymph vessels, especially if they damage the epithelium. Most chemicals that cause your eyes to burn are doing just that to the corneal epithelium. Some do not damage any connective tissue, only epithelium. Others do no damage to epithelium but lacerate all connective tissue (like the tarsal plates or ligaments that hold the eye in its socket in the fig here and mentioned in “Toxins and the Eyes“). The ones that damage connective tissue usually cannot even be sensed by the victim, since there are no sensations associated with the loose connective tissue of the eye. However these chemicals can break bonds in the suspensory ligament of the lens, and cause very brief, sharp pain sensations in the eyes (feeling almost like a pin prick), as each fiber of that ligament snaps apart. The connective tissue-damaging toxins can enter the skull through the eyes, ripping through the orbital ligaments and fat pads to travel on top of the optic nerve, eating through the meninges and nerve coverings to go directly into the cerebrospinal fluid. Some of these toxins could damage all the neurons or only damage the meninges. However, if the toxin can damage the connective tissue, it leaves a clear path for epithelium-damaging toxins to get into the brain and directly damage cell membranes of neurons.
I found out that some of these seriously bad toxins were inside me and making it to my lungs. I would exhale them, they would travel with my breath to my eyes, causing those brief pin-pricking shots of pain in my eyes. I could not taste or smell the toxin that was causing this damage, as I could other toxins that had been shunted to my lungs. I figured out that these toxins were on my breath when I covered my mouth to force the exhaled air downward, and the pain stopped in my eyes. Using visualization, mindfulness, and Muscle Reflex Testing techniques, I guided ions to the toxin, stopped them from being exhaled and instead combine with the toxins to take them out of the body via the blood vascular system. Those tiny shots of pain stopped almost instantaneously.
Transport Within The Body
All toxins will transport within the body’s interstitial fluids without immediately entering a lymphatic or blood capillary. In fact they could theoretically travel pretty far, zipping along the connective tissue that completely covers and infiltrates all organs of the body and beneath the largest organ of the body, the skin, in the hypodermis (see “What is the Hypodermis?“). I have tracked a painful toxin from its exit from the toe phalanx to the back of my throat and inside the nose within 30 sec. The nasopharynx and oropharynx are like the rest of this long inner gut tube within the body in that there is a section of loose connective tissue lying just under the mucosal and stratified squamous epithelium, running from mouth/nose to anus, forming a highway for transport of nutrients and toxins.
For other relevant information about ion transport, see the section “Basic Chemistry” in the post “Cholesterol and Heart Disease,”
and “The Value and Dangers of Lithium for Living Organisms”
Effects on Specific Cell Types
The larger the molecular weight, the greater effect a single chemical element’s ion will have on other cells. So even those toxins which do not directly cause the falling apart of epithelium or connective tissue can cause a lot of important cells to just quit working, or cause local starvation wherever the toxic chemical sits.
The effect of charge is not the only problem with toxic elements. Because of their chemistry, toxic chemicals will do different things to different tissues, organs, and types of cells. Each cell type has its own peculiar channels and receptors embedded in the cell membrane. Each tissue type tends to be composed of particular types of cells, and each organ tends to be organized into tissue types composed of what we call parenchyma (the working cells peculiar to each organ) and stroma (in animals, collenchyma and sclerenchyma in plants, or support cells, found in all organs).
Toxins can kill a cell by blocking receptors, channels or dismantling the cell membrane. They can prevent a cell from functioning by blocking receptors, channels or by messing up chemical reactions within the cell by imposing a huge charge effect from the inside or outside of a cell, or by directly affecting the nuclear activities by methylating or mutating DNA from the inside of the cell.
Different tissue types can have different cell types. Toxins have different effects on different tissue types depending upon what each tissue type needs in its surrounding interstitial fluids. It makes sense, therefore, that the effects of the toxin depend upon its proximity to the tissue type.
Toxins can get into the brain and ricochet across structure to structure there with normal interstitial fluid flow between brain case and rest of the body. (Researchers have seen and videotaped the “breathing or respiratory” movements of the cranium, which surely must reflect the flow of this interstitial fluid). Many of these toxins are extremely powerful that if allowed to pool anywhere, can eat right through certain kinds of connective tissue. The brain will show the effects of such toxins long before they do enough damage to in the rest of the body, e.g. ligament and tendon. Furthermore, a doctor observing the damage to the latter structures will not even think of toxins as being a cause, since he/she has not been trained well enough to do so.
Symptoms of Toxic Poisoning
Many websites on the internet deal with specific types of toxins, but I will focus on toxins as a general category. “Detecting Symptoms of Toxic Exposure and Detoxing” lists the following symptoms of repeated and cumulative pesticide exposure (note that not all of them occur at once, nor are the result of toxic exposures):
- “Brain fog
- muscle pain and spasms*
- joint pain*
- bone pain and density loss*
- back pain*
- wrist pain*
- foot pain*
- numb extremities*
- desensitized hands and feet*
- rock hard body
- twitching eye lids*
- peripheral vision losses
- night vision losses
- black under eyes
- swollen inner ears*
- ear discharge
- sore throat*
- swollen lymph nodes
- swollen belly*
- swollen head*
- swollen gums
- tooth enamel erosion and weakening
- irregular heart beat*
- hair loss*
- deformed nails*
- rash of several types*
- loss of libido*
- cold hands and feet
- inability to adjust ones internal thermostat
- excess menstrual bleeding*
- sleep disturbance*
- failure to sweat*
- failure to moisturize skin*
- failure to moisturize eyes alternating with excessive tearing
- failure to moisturize mouth and throat (dry mouth syndrome)*
- failure to absorb nutrients from ones food*
- constipation and smelly gas
- anaphylaxis” (1998, “Detecting Symptoms of Toxic Exposure and Detoxing”)
Note that all of these symptoms have been associated with pesticides. However, a person suffering from exposure to a particular pesticide will certainly not display all of these symptoms. The symptom depends upon the pesticide.
Some of these symptoms will also be associated with other toxins. Metals will cause some of these symptoms (* all of these in the above list). Other symptoms associated with metal toxic poisoning also include:
- burning or itching skin anywhere (including scalp, throat, Eustachian tubes, external auditory canal, vagina, rectum, urethra, groin, feet, hands)
- tingling under the skin anywhere (however, if radiating down the arms or legs, the site of location of toxin may be armpit or lower back, respectively)
- dry eye syndrome
- tendon “snapping” (due to failure in muscle contraction at times when the muscle is being used)
- overextension of hip
- TMJD (Temporomandibular Joint Disorder)
- Knee meniscus slipping out of the joint
- bloating (peristalsis in gut stops)
Other toxins can be classified as strong acids (e.g. sulfuric, hydrochloric, boric, phosphoric, carbonic). The acid may not get into the body very far without doing major damage. However, it can form from other compounds that break down in the hypodermis. The acid then can damage tissue from the inside of the body. Symptoms associated with the hypodermis include:
- tooth pain, decay, enamel brittleness
- gut pain
- bruise easily
- excessive sweating
- lack of sweating
- sensitive nipples
- spider and varicose veins
Individual chemical elements can be very dangerous as well. Some are negatively-charged metals, others are positive ions that interfere with nerve transmission. They cause problems when a compound breaks down into ions when they go into solution in the interstitial fluids in the hypodermis and other sub-epithelial connective tissue areas. Many symptoms overlap with those listed at “Detecting Symptoms of Toxic Exposure and Detoxing”. Most dangerous include the following:
- loss of coordination
- brain fog
- sudden but very brief suppression of respiration, accompanied by drop in heart rate and blood pressure, and brief hot flash
- feeling of limpness, lack of tension in muscles, (causing the feeling that you really have to push yourself to move, although you can move).
- sudden sharp pain in the eye as a brief, stabbing feeling, sometimes alleviated by placing your hand over your mouth and forcing all exhalant downward
- sudden but brief loss of memory of a particular word
- sudden but brief inability to speak correctly (includes stuttering or stumbling over a sentence)
- loss of taste
- twitching or failure to contract in the facial muscles (e.g. you keep on biting your cheek or lip when eating, or drooping corner of mouth)
I discuss my own method for removing most toxins at “Using MRT: Removing Toxins and Emotional Trauma”.
“Detecting Symptoms of Toxic Exposure and Detoxing” describes a rigorous method for detoxifying. However, I greatly disagree with much of it. Most of what is suggested only succeeds in moving the toxins around. Doing this may alleviate symptoms but they will keep returning, and not necessarily because of re-exposure to toxins. Most important is inactivity and careful control of the internal body chemistry, along with the application of mind-body techniques which will direct the nervous system to control all ion movement, reversing the natural tendency of the body to sequester toxins in connective tissue. Not stimulating the skin anywhere is extremely important, because that act will get ions to flow. You want to direct the brain to move only the ions that will attach to the toxins and carry them to the blood capillaries (for transport to kidneys or gut) or to the lung epithelium to exhale. The direction of movement should not be disrupted, which happens every time you itch or rub the skin anywhere, eat, drink, urinate or defecate, move (calcium and phosphate flow toward the muscles that are contracting), wash the skin or brush the teeth. See my post “Using MRT: Removing Toxins and Emotional Trauma” for more discussion about these methods.
Studies on Disease & Aging Must Consider Toxic Damage to Genes
How well planned are studies trying to find causes of disease and early aging? Are Genetic samples taken from saliva or mouth swabs telling us what we want to know? How does understanding how body fluids move under the skin help us understand why and how we get sick? These are just a few of the questions that I think must be answered in order to evaluate a science report, “Matching DNA With Medical Records To Crack Disease And Aging” on All Things Considered on 19 Nov 2012. Anatomy has a lot to do with understanding the effect of genes, toxins, and aging on our health.
A study done by the Kaiser Permanente/UCSF Genetic Epidemiology Research Group is covered by NPR reporter John Hamilton. This research group is presenting results of an early analysis of data taken from a very large sample (100,000) of members of the Northern California branch of the Kaiser Permanente Health Insurance plan at the American Society of Human Genetics meeting in San Francisco. He interviewed Cathy Schaefer, who directs the Kaiser program on genes, environment and health. The data consisted of health records (diseases, medical tests, medications, pathology, procedures, body mass measurements, genetic information, health habits, geographic information that might allow them to estimate exposure to chemical toxins), dating back to 1995 (some patients with health problems, others not), and a sample of DNA taken from saliva. Each person who volunteered for the project sent a saliva sample in the kit sent to them.
The purpose of the project was to investigate how genes, health habits and environment could interact to “cause” diseases, in order to identify people who may be at risk for health problems before they begin to develop. Most critical to this study was the ability to collect and analyze sample DNA within the short span of 15 months. Affymetrix® supplied the system for doing this.
One of the papers presented at the meeting was on genetic associations with levels of low density cholesterol. They found around 45 different genetic variations associated with levels of low density cholesterol, and other genetic variations associated with drug responses. An exciting new discovery was how the length of telomeres changes differently in men and women as they age. Telomeres shorten in length with age but appear to have started in young adults at the same length in both men and women. About the age of 50, they seem to shorten faster in men than in women. Longer telomeres are correlated with longer lives.
Most importantly, this research effort will produce a lot of correlations which would offer us new insights about how our bodies work, which should lead to confirmatory experimental studies that go beyond this epidemiological study.
- Saliva samples will give us DNA samples which reflect a whole body genetic profile.
- Geographic location of patients will give an accurate estimate of toxin exposure.
- All tests made since 1995 are the same in both procedure, content delivered, and interpretation.
- Genes cause disease (? Can’t tell from this report if they realize that genes are only associated with disease).
Comment Posted at NPR
The fact that they are also collecting information on exposure to toxic chemicals is significant. However, many toxins are mutagenic and thus affect the DNA being collected, and should have a HUGE impact on interpretation of results. Since the researchers of the Kaiser Permanente/UCSF Genetic Epidemiology Research Study are not looking at causation in the work they are presenting at this meeting (in many abstracts), they should be very careful with how they interpret the findings.
There is a problem with the DNA sample they take from the mouth. It may be contaminated by gene mutation by toxin exposure, which has a direct effect on how they examine the data collected. Since all analysis is extremely preliminary, they are making interpretations of data before closely examining the toxin exposure information. Furthermore, they probably do NOT have data that they should have that might make their estimates of environmental toxin exposure more accurate, thus allowing a much more helpful interpretation of their results.
New data from a report on breast cancer risk in Canadian women in certain jobs show that environmental toxins have to be considered in all studies of genetic change. The Kaiser Permanente researchers seem to imply that telomere shortening is a “natural” effect of aging, although they admit they do not understand fully why men and women start to differ after the age of 50. No matter how prevalent it is in a population, we cannot consider it inevitable until we know exactly what causes it. Indeed, the results of the early interpretations of the telomere data suggest that Kaiser Permanente researchers cannot afford to ignore the Canadian study’s results.
Many people use the term “aging” as if it is a cause. We have to remember that aging is not a cause, only an effect of time. By taking into account environmental toxin exposure data, we might be able to tease out better the effects of environment on the body as we age.
Most important here is the lack of understanding about how toxins move within the body that would have an immediate effect on the functioning of organs, and thus, the diagnosis of any disorder.
I discuss these ideas in my blog posting “Toxins” at https://marthalhyde.wordpress.com/2012/06/18/toxins/.
My Extended Comments
Genes & Toxins
A very important understanding must be made about genetic information in this study, and whether DNA profiles taken tell us anything about inheritance from one generation to the next. Taking DNA only from saliva does nothing to ensure that one can make an assumption about inheritance. Where does this sample of DNA come from? From surface cells that slough off into the saliva from inside the lining of the mouth and possibly from the salivary duct or gland itself. It is extremely difficult to be sure to keep your mouth closed and not breathe any toxins at all, especially if we are talking. The toxins we are bombarded with while driving or walking past many businesses may cause gene change in those cells these researchers collected.
A recent Canadian study on breast cancer shows that women working in jobs involved with farming, automotive plastics, metalworking, food canning, at bars, casinos or racetracks, belonged to a group showing a 42% higher rate of breast cancer (which could be caused directly by the toxins in the air or indirectly by the genes changed by the toxins) than those working in other jobs. (See also a review of this study).
The Canadian breast cancer study does not document any causative factor, but it adds another count against the toxic chemicals found in these jobs. By not protecting the cells lining the mouth and upper respiratory system, all DNA samples taken from women working or present even transiently in these places are contaminated with cells that have been so damaged.
Finding associations between DNA from mouth and salivary gland cells and the disorders mentioned in the Kaiser Permanente/UCSF papers in this NPR report (Coram et. al. 2013 and Lapham et.al. 2012; searches on the other papers presented there are found by entering “C. Schaefer” at the “presenter” location), even though the disorders involve organs much deeper in the body, does not preclude the possibility that these toxins entering the mouth and nose did not get deeper into the body. Heart disease can be caused by viruses that enter the body through the gingiva, and pass down the internal organs (e.g. pharynx, aorta, nerves, trachea) to the heart. If viruses can pass through the gingiva, so can toxins, which can be broken down in the saliva or directly enter fluids at the gingival entrance. Even broken down to their chemical elements, toxins can be dangerous, especially if those chemical elements are not supposed to be in the body or are in locations of the body that could cause damage.
Many statements imply that genes directly cause a problem or that they are inherited. The DNA used in the Kaiser Permanente/UCSF Genetic Epidemiology Research Study on Adult Health and Aging (found in several abstracts) does not come from deep inside the body, like from bone marrow, kidney, hypodermis, or reproductive organs, or, even better, from all types of tissues, like the above along with lung, heart, skeletal muscle, gut epithelium and submucosa, fat, nerve, tendon, ligament, and cartilage. Even if taken from all of these tissues, they would still not be able to determine if every cell in the body is affected, which would indicate inheritance. A simple swab or spit of saliva won’t tell you if you need to warn your children, unless they are in the same environment that might have damaged your cells.
The Route of Toxins
If these researchers had also data on internal fluids of the body (e.g. hypodermal fluids, which are continuous with interstitial fluids, made up of all fluids that surround and invade all internal organs of the body), they could determine if any of their DNA sample is contaminated by toxin effects. They cannot be sure of that effect from purely blood samples. Many toxins do not get into the bloodstream because they do damage to the only way they could get there, capillaries. Thus, blood is not going to be as helpful as hypodermal fluid samples for determining toxin invasion.
Information on toxin exposure is critical for determining effectiveness of drugs, since the type of toxin present could also affect the drug used. Its flow in the body will also directly affect the cholesterol level in the blood, so that studying statin effectiveness by only looking at cholesterol level in the blood is sidestepping the problem. Why? Because cholesterol is produced by cells to keep the cell membrane fluid in cold temperatures, and stiffer in hot temperatures. For instance, some animals living in cold habitats, like certain fish, have more cholesterol in cell membranes (Crocket 1998). It can also act as a cell membrane antioxidant (Parasassi et. al., 1995). If cholesterol protects from cold habitats and inflammation, it probably also protects from toxins that flow around or inside blood vessels (internal habitats). Blood vessels are bathed by interstitial fluids outside and blood inside.
One can argue that all blood vessels lie inside the hypodermis, if we define hypodermis as all tissue and organs that lie between the two major epithelial layers, the outer skin of the body, and the inner lining of the abdominopelvic cavity (see “What is the Hypodermis?.”)
Even if we think of the heart as lying inside the thoracic cavity, it is not. During development of the heart, the thoracic cavity, along with the pericardial cavity, develop around the heart. The heart pushes into this newly developing cavity (bounded by a layer of inner epithelium) by pushing against the epithelium, but not breaking through it. The heart then becomes completely surrounded by the epithelium, never coming into contact with the space on the other side of the epithelium, which lies truly inside the cavity. The pericardium is an extension of that epthelium lining the thoracic cavity that envelops the heart completely, adding two other epithelial layers, and a space, to surround the heart. The pericardial membranes are anchored at the base of the arteries and veins entering and leaving the heart, but under it is the thoracic cavity membrane (known as the parietal pleura). This innermost membrane separates the heart from the space inside the thoracic cavity.
By looking at the heart as lying within the hypodermis, we can imagine how toxins entering into the body through the gingiva can pass down the teeth, into jawbone, pass out of the the jawbone along blood vessels that eventually join the major vessels of the neck, down into the thorax alongside the aorta and pulmonary arteries. These arteries are continuous with the lining of the inside of the heart (indeed, the heart develops as a swelling in these arteries). These toxins can enter the heart sub-epithelially and thus invade the muscle and connective tissue of the heart. They will reach a “fork in the road” at the place where the major blood vessels enter the heart.
Connective tissue is the major highway for interstitial fluids, and thus toxins, without them having to enter the bloodstream. Connective tissue surrounds all blood vessels. It also lines all epithelium (called endothelium when it lines the blood vessel). The outermost covering of the heart under the pericardial cavity is the visceral pericardium. Under that is connective tissue and then heart muscle and the “skeleton” of the heart, also made up of a tougher variety of connective tissue. Connective tissue surrounds all blood vessels as well, and underlies all inner linings of blood vessels (endothelium).
This includes capillaries where the connective tissue underlying the endothelium is the same as that surrounding the capillary, because they lack muscle and the tougher dense connective tissue found in the larger, muscled vessels and the heart. So, where blood vessels enter or leave an organ such as the heart, their surrounding connective tissue meets that underlying the surface epithelium of the organ, as well as enters the organ with the blood vessel. The “fork in the road” is right where these two connective tissue “highways” meet.
The same story applies to ALL organs of the body, since ALL organs of the body have a blood supply and drainage. It also applies to ALL lymphatic vessels and nerves since they tend to travel with the blood vessels in a “neurovascular bundle”. Thus a toxin causing vascular symptoms may also cause nervous system symptoms, or failures in any other organ of the body.
Comment on “To Sniff Out Childhood Allergies, Researchers Head To The Farm” on Morning Edition June 11, 2012 where I discuss how allergies may be caused by toxins flowing within the body, causing local irritations, and how typical allergy tests may not be just showing immune responses to allergens. I also discuss how the usual way we treat allergies may be doing nothing to remove allergies, but instead helps the body to create workarounds to prevent these irritating toxins from moving around the body.
NPR reporter Patti Neighmond interviewed Dr. Mark Holbreich of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology and Dr. Andy Nish, a physician in private practice, about “dirty” environments and allergies. She spoke to Holbreich about the results of a survey which he and his colleagues recently published (Holbreich, M. et al. 2012). They found that there were very low rates of allergies among Amish Children on farms in Indiana. The Amish farm children were compared with Swiss farm children and Swiss non-farm children (Amish in the US descended from Swiss who emigrated to the US 200 years ago). The Swiss non-farm children tended to have much higher rates of immune responses (as measured from questionnaires) than either Swiss or Amish farm children.
Dr. Andy Nish suggests that the hygiene hypothesis might explain the results of this research. The hygiene hypothesis states that exposure to allergens at a young age boosts the immune system earlier, reducing the likelihood of developing allergies. There are also studies from which researchers hypothesize that there are associations of allergies with air pollution, obesity (Ley et. al. 2006), and asthma (Akbari, et. al. 2006). Two Nobel prize winners found that bacteria caused ulcers (Marshall &Warren, 1984). Children raised in squeaky clean environments are not exposed to as many microbes as children raised in less clean environments (Olszak et. al. 2012). Furthermore, other research suggests a link between environmental patterns of hygiene and autoimmune disorders (De Filippo et. al. 2010).
In the interview, Holbreich concludes that exposure to dirty environments as farms are, including exposure to large animals (horses and cows) seems to boost the immune system. Included in this exposure is drinking of raw (unpasteurized) milk. Although he hypothesizes that raw milk and exposure to cows, especially, might boost the immune systems of children, he does not encourage people to drink it because it has a high risk of carrying very dangerous bacteria.
Other possible causes of allergies that have been suggested include: Staying indoors too much, taking antibiotics too early in life, too little ventilation in modern houses.
Nish mentions that there are many over-the-counter medicines to treat allergic symptoms. He concludes that allergy shots are the closest things to a cure. They supposedly help to eliminate allergic responses by exposing the person to very tiny doses of the allergen, which, over time, “sneak” the allergen past the immune system, and help the body to build up a tolerance.
My Comment Posted at NPR
I strongly think that our modern living conditions include a lot more toxins than in the past. Multiple allergies will be seen because there are multiple toxins (See my post “Toxins” at https://marthalhyde.wordpress.com/2012/06/18/toxins/). Most high allergy areas are in cities, not rural areas. Dust is far higher in farming areas than in cities, so higher dust and microbes in high allergy places is not logically a cause for the increasing allergy rate today. Most industries that use a lot of toxins are found inside or right at the edge of cities. Farms do not tend to be near those industries. The presently used pesticides, herbicides and fungicides, which non-organic farms use, may not be causing the allergies but cause other syndromes (e.g. motor disorders, obesity–see my blog post “Obesity and Pesticides“). At my post (“Toxins” at https://marthalhyde.wordpress.com/2012/06/18/toxins/), I discuss how the immune system is not being “boosted” on the farm, but that it is weakened by city toxins. I also talk about how to get rid of allergies, not by shots, which have a poor record for doing so with no side effects, but by mind-body techniques.
More of My Ideas
What the Immune System Does
In my theory, it is not that the immune system is boosted on the farm, but that it is weakened in the city by the death of critical immune cells due to toxins. Having early exposure to microbes, e.g. in newborns, would only threaten them with illness, not allergies. As their immune system matures, they would respond well to invading microbes. As has been reported on NPR and the medical literature (Holbreich et. al.), totally germ-free environments inhibit maturation of the developing immune system. The use of allergy shots tends to shut down the immune response to toxins, but does nothing to get rid of the toxins causing the problem.
The introduction of the allergen in small doses through allergy shots is just like taking homeopathic drugs. It tricks the nervous system into thinking that the troubling substances are everywhere and it mounts a campaign to sequester them. Since the allergens will attract toxins, there can be a strong response to the shot at first, but over time, as the toxins are grabbed and stored in connective tissue, the “allergy” disappears. The “slow build up” of “the body’s tolerance to the substances that cause allergies” may actually reflect this sequestration of the instigator. Many kids “outgrow” the allergies, “on their own”. They do this because the body sequesters these toxins in bone (which is in a rapid state of deposition and remodeling at this time of life). This method is far more effective in children because of the tremendous buildup of bone during periods of growth, which fully disperses toxins throughout the cancellous bone regions. Toxins acquired by adults are less likely to be so dispersed, but are instead stored in the medullary cavity of long bones.
Allergies, Emotions and Toxins
If allergies are caused by toxins, other methods, like getting rid of the toxin, should eliminate allergies. So if all members of a family were exposed to the same toxin at the same time, then why doesn’t everyone develop the same allergy? All allergies (as all physiological responses) have an emotional component because what was happening at the same time we were exposed to the toxin is associated in the brain with that toxin (see my blog posts “Emotional Representation in the Brain” and “Using MRT: Removing Toxins and Emotional Trauma“). Furthermore, there is increasing evidence that many physical disorders are associated with emotional trauma (Anda et. al., 2008, 2010, Belova et. al., 1988, Brown, D. et. al., 2010, Brown, J. et. al., 2005, Dong et. al., 2003, 2004, Dube et. al., 2009, Hadamitzky et. al., 2012, Heim et. al., 2006, Imbierowicz 2003, Iversen et. al., 2007, Jones et. al., 2003, Kopec et. al., 2005, Lee et. al., 2009, Middlebrooks & Audage 2008, Moeller et. al., 1993, Murrin & Thomas 2008, Raphael et. al., 2001, Romans et. al., 2002, Sledjeski et. al., 2008, Strine et. al., 2008, Tietjen et. al., 2007, Zhao et. al., 2011,
We do not all have the same brains or undergo the exact same experience at the time of the toxic exposure, so not everyone so exposed will develop allergies, either at the same time or to the same substances. Because these emotional associations are better addressed by changing the brain response, methods that use mind-body medicine techniques, like NAET (Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination Technique) and EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique–do not confuse it with Emotional Focus Technique ), should work to eliminate the allergy. They have been shown to do so in peer-reviewed, controlled experimental studies. However, none of these methods have removed the toxins that caused the problem in the first place.
Causes of Allergies
Allergies are now classified as a heightened immune response by the body to particular allergens which are contacting the body’s epithelium. Because that heightened immune response is called “autoimmune” simply because the doctors haven’t a clue what is causing it, these researchers suggest a theory that microbes and dust are causing the allergic response. For all we know this immune response is a normal response to the damage done by toxins on the tissues in the hypodermis and sub-epithelium everywhere.
This would make sense when we understand that most irritating chemical elements were not found above ground until humans started to mine. Most metals are irritating, and they are the reason that humans started mines. Since these types of invaders of the body did not occur before humans evolved, it stands to reason that the body’s toxin-removal system did not evolve to handle these metals. The neuro-immmune system would respond as if the irritating toxin were produced by bacteria, which it obviously is not, and would attack cells damaged by these toxins (creating the “auto-immune” response). However, toxic chemicals won’t spare immune cells. Thus, our classic immune response would be ineffective, causing “allergies”.
If there is a toxin, any item which has a chemical makeup that would cause the toxins to pool near a nerve would cause local irritation. That irritation would trigger the inflammatory process. How many allergy patients have had hypodermal fluid checked? You could argue that this fluid is being checked by the allergy skin test, but the allergens placed on the roughened skin patches may be triggering inflammation because they are chemically composed of elements that attract toxic irritating chemicals that contain metals, for instance. If they tested the proteins that had all such attractants (e.g. phosphate, bromine) stripped from them, they might find no immune response. For more discussion on toxins, see my post “Using MRT: Removing Toxins and Emotional Trauma“.
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