I am sort of new on this
forum but spent a fair amount of time on BrainTalk so many of you are familiar with my work in the area of epilepsy. Yes,
I am "just" a veterinarian but now speak at both veterinary and human conferences on this topic. The response to the elimination
diet that I talk so much about has been phenomenal and part of the reason it does work is that the immune system becomes healthy
enough to deal with the viral "culprits" in epilepsy.
Many epilepsy sufferers have not been told that viruses are known
causes of seizures. The fact is that there are over 25 viruses KNOWN to causes seizures in people, many of which are ubiquitous
(e.g. the Herpes and paramyxovirus families, including Epstein Barr, Herpes simpex, measles, mumps, Coxsackie viruses,and
many more) I would encourage all of you to do some creative Internet searches for "virus, epilepsy", etc and see this for
yourselves. There was a very recent news alert to this effect on Yahoo (http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/medi...&nfid=rssfeeds ).
This should all make TOTAL sense to people. There is a myriad
of viruses that love the central nervous system. And many of them have a real affinity for the glial cells (astrocytes
and oligodendricytes) that support the neuron and regulate the levels of neurotransmitters (e.g glutamate) at the synapse.
This is one of the main reasons why "the G.A.R.D"....the glutamate/aspartate restricted diet...works soooo well to help control
seizures, as it dramatically reduces the work load of these dysfunctioning cells and puts a great BandAid on the epilepsy
situation. But, the long-term solution comes from the same diet that helps to reverse the immune failure and tissue ill health
that set the stage for the viral uprising to begin with.
It is interesting and very explainable why people have histories
like the one above. Many of our viral infections do not come and go but rather come and stay. As I am fond of saying,
"If I could do a Star Trek type of scan on your body and give you a print out of the viruses you have in there, once you got
over the shock of that news, you might just be motivated to take better care of yourself, eh?" Some infections are "diphasic",
with the intial infection causing some signs while other symptoms arise later once the individual fails to control the infection
OR continues to bombard these viruses with things that "make them mad", as explained below.
Latent viruses are involved
in many of the disease "syndromes" with which we are afflicted, including epilepsy and cancer. I like to use cancer as the
parallel to illustrate the difference between "causes" and "triggers". For example, carcinogens do not cause cancer. ("Say
what???"). No, they don't. VIRUSES cause cancer. Carcinogens incite the virus into causing the cancer. I am convinced that
most of you reading this will hear, in your lifetime, that all cancer is viral. Researchers have been saying this for years
and years. It's what viruses do. It is those ugly things we call "carcinogens" that trigger those viruses into causing cancer.
But, that alone is not enough for us to develop cancer. We also have to experience some degree of immune failure in order
to get the "big C". So, it is a triad of factors...viruses, carcinogens, and immune failure...that come together to yield
the resulting cancer. That is what we call a "syndrome".
Epilepsy is also a syndrome and the parallel is probably already
quite clear. We are loaded with viruses that have thwe potential to cause seizures. Epstein Barr is one such Herpes virus.
50% of our kids in the US have Epstein-Barr by age 5 and 95 % of Americans over age 40 have this guy in their body. Why don't
we all have seizures if he can cause them? Because we don't have the right cofactors in place to make it happen. And there
are many cofactors in epilepsy, including diet (HUGE!!!!), air quality (also HUGE), hormonal influences, lifestyles, and many
other things that affect our immune systems and health of the central nervous system, liver, kidneys, and endocrine systems,
all of which can play vital roles.
Of all of these factors, diet is clearly THE most important. This is very easy to
see once we understand what is required for our brains, bdoy's and immune systems to stay healthy and operate optimally. The
"big 4" (gluten, dairy, soy and corn) are the who's who of what is wrong with foods, as they damage our gut's ability to absorb
nutrients (e.g. celiac disease), shower our body with damaging proteins (lectins), load us up with staggering levels of "excitotoxins"
(glutamate and aspartate) and pound us with estrogens. As a result, tissue health suffers, immunity fails, enzyme systems
go down, and the Pandora's Box of viruses is opened wide. The bottom line is that viruses don't like certain things hurled
at them (e.g. lectins, chemicals, pollution) and when they react to these noxious stimuli, we had better hope that we have
a competent immune system to put down their rebellion. If not, we suffer the full blown syndrome, whether it be epilepsy,
cancer, or the myriad of things we love to call "autoimmmune disorders". These things are not as "idiopathic" as we have all
been led to believe.
I think you will see how your medical histories all line up with this once you fully grasp the
role (and ultimate purpose) of viruses in nature and our bodies. They are not the malicious critters that we have labeled
them to be. They are just doing their job. It is what WE are throwing at them that is the real issue. We are literally forcing them into becoming pathogens.
As Pogo so wisely stated, "We have met the enemy and he is us."
I hope this
Thanks for posting, Jen. That is a great testimonial and really helps to pull things together.
The study of lectins explains sooooo much. (http://www.krispin.com/lectin.html)
. Once we see that these harmful glycoproteins (especially those from gluten, dairy, soy and corn) can cause tissue damage/inflammation
ALL BY THEMSELVES, without an immune response, then things start really making sense. We can then see that the immmune response
to that damage, which helps to explain why we see such a variation in the measurable
different individuals. Some will respond with an outpouring of antibodies yielding positive tests while others will not, explaining
negative tests in individuals who end up responding well to the elimination diet when they go ahead and do it anyway in the
face of those negative tests.
These dietary glycoproteins are also a big part of what we love to call "autoimmune disease".
Personally, I do like nor do I use that term anymore unless I put it in quotes. That term implies that the immune system is
attacking it's own body's tissues for no good reason. I contend that this does not
happen...ever. The immune system
always responds appropriately and we simply do not fully understand why it does what it does some times, with the inflammation
being incited by lectins being the prime example.
Lectins are antibody-sized
proteins/glycoproteins. That makes
them really tiny.
How would we know they are there when they are that small? We can't see them in a routine tissue sample. It would take biochemical
analysis or, again, antibody tests to determine whether they are involved. Therein lies the rub. Once again, not everyone
responds with what we might call an "appropriate" response...one that we can detect readily. We just have to know that these
lectins can and do cause changes in the individual cells of the body (from neurons to nephrons to blood cells, etc) of susceptible
individuals. I contend that the "big 4" (gluten, dairy , soy and corn) are not GOOD for anyone. They are simply better tolerated
by some than others. This is the nature of "spectrum disorders", which range in severity from the best of the best to the
worst of the worst. I tell people to think "peanut allergy" when thinking about the worst of the worst. Whoa! Now that's
So, does gluten affect neurons? Definitely. Can it kill neurons? Yes! Do a search for "gluten, neurons"
and you'll find some interesting things. But how it does that is the interesting thing, and the clue is in the link above
about lectins. A concurrent study of viruses helps to see the big picture and that is why I write so much about this on my
It is logical that the viruses INSIDE that cell are the things that determine the response of that cell to
the challenge by lectins, carcinogens, and other chemicals/pollutants, etc etc. Reading the Lectin Report above, one might
ask what determines how a cell decides which of the ten different responses it will manifest once challenged by the lectin
(from cell death to tumor formation). I believe the answer lies in the adaptive viruses found inside that cell. That's what
in nature...facilitate adaptation (as well as cause variation in nature).
The cool thing to see
is that our very DNA contains these adaptive viruses. They now estimate that up to 45% of the genetic codes in our double
stranded DNA is actually viral
information. This is what retroviruses, in particular, do...they infect the cell and
incorporate their genetic info into our DNA. That is why they are main viruses involved in cancer AND why cancer can
"genetic" (inherited). This info can
be transmitted vertically to the offspring.
The other cool thing to see
is that cancer itself is an adaptive
process. The viruses that "cause" cancer are simply adapting to the challenges
(e.g. carcinogens) that we keep throwing at them. When all else fails, they cause the cell they are designed to protect
to start growing out of control in order to ensure the survival of that virus and the cell itself. So, I now look at a
tumor as a protective cocoon. Radical idea??? Yup. Does it make sense when you understand what viruses do in nature that is
good and vital? It does to me.
So, why don't we all have cancer and have it early in our lives. Once again, because there is another part of the
"syndrome" that is necessary...a weakened immune system. Yes, we are killing cancer cells right now (hopefully). The immune
system recognizes when a cell is trying to do something that it deems inappropriate or harmful and send in the cavalry....hopefully.
This could be just what we (incorrectly) label as an "autoimmune response". No, the body DOES know exactly what it is doing
each and every time it does something. I believe that down to my socks. We just don't understand what it is doing sometimes,
and this is one of those times.
How does this apply to epilepsy and other neurodegenerative diseases (e.g. MS, Alzheimer's,
Parkinson's, ALS)? Again, as we stated above, some viruses love
the central nervous system. The two most common brain
tumors in vet medicine are the astrocytoma and oligodendroglioma, both viral and of those cells that control many of the supportive
functions of the neuron, including the production of the myelin sheath and the control of neurotransmitter levels (glutamate).
If there are viruses in there causing tumors, then through "reverse engineering", we can see that there are going to be the
processes (e.g. "autoimmune diseases") that precede the formation of tumors, because these are the means by which the immune
system controls the tumor production...until it gets overwhelmed by all that we are throwing at it.
I hope this make sense and helps in some way.
John B. Symes, DVM (aka "DogtorJ")
we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done
away." 1 Corinthians 13: 9,10
I have never let my schooling interfere with my education. - Mark Twain (1835-1910)
doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet, and in
the cause and prevention of disease" Thomas Edison
I hope you enjoyed your time here and got something important from your stay. It is
my goal to help all of mankind navigate through the jungle of medical information now available on the Internet and find the
truth about the origins of what we call "disease" as well as discover the natural solutions for these conditions.
We do have our health's destiny in our own hands more than we've ever
imagined, certainly more than most have ever been told. Think naturally and the answer will come.
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