The immune system is one of the miracles of nature. The first order of our immune system is to recognize what is us and what is not us---what should be in our bodies and what should not---and then to destroy or otherwise neutralize anything harmful. Although our bodies are equipped with a number of protective measures to prevent viruses and bacteria from entering, they come via external influences as well as through abnormal cell mutations within our bodies. Bacteria and viruses are the organisms most often responsible for attacking our bodies. Bacteria are complete organisms that reproduce by cell division. Viruses, on the other hand, cannot reproduce on their own. They need a host cell. They hijack body cells of humans or other species, and trick them into producing new viruses that can then invade other cells.
As our bodies face and fight the daily battle to keep us healthy, we generally go along our daily lives without paying much attention to this war going on within our bodies. Our fearless army, the immune system, has highly developed over time to protect most of us most of the time. Our immune system is composed of 2 different sub-immune systems:
Cell-mediated and Humoral.
The cell-mediated system is thought to have evolved first. Cell-mediated immunity entails the recognition of invading organisms and activation of various "killing cells" (known as Natural Killer Cells or NK Cells) in a specific manner to eradicate the infection. Numerous cells including T helper cells (CD4 cells), cytotoxic T cells (CD 8 cells), and many cytokines are involved. Natural Killer cells, the first line of defense for our immune system, earned their name from the battles they fight against abnormal cell mutations within the body. The killer T cell has receptors that are used to search each cell that it meets. Infected cells are recognized because tiny traces of the intruder, antigen, can be found on their surfaces. Cell-mediated immunity (CMI) is important for many viruses (including all herpes viruses-), bacteria, fungi/yeast and parasites.
Humoral immunity includes specific antibody production by B cells and their related subtypes called plasma cells. Antibodies are produced as a specific response to an infection to assist in the control and eradication of the invader. Humoral immunity is important for certain types of bacteria, and some viruses. This type of immunity is the basis for vaccinations
There are 9 Herpes virus types known to infect humans. Type 1 (causes lesions of the lips/mouth) Type 2 (causes genital lesions), Type 3 (chickenpox and shingles), Type 4 aka Epstein Barr Virus (EBV), Type 5 aka Cytomegalovirus, Herpes Type 6, Herpes Type 7.
Many of these viruses can suppress cell-mediated immunity.
Bacterial infections also disrupt the natural balance of the immune system. Bacterial infections like Mycoplasma, Chlamydia, Borrelia, Babesia, Bartonella, Klebsiella, Strep pyogenes, Staph aureus, and Brucella.
Chronic infections are important in a variety of Autoimmune conditions (Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, Sjogren’s, Ankylosing Spondylitis, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Inflammatory Bowel Disease), and in a variety of Neurodegenerative diseases (Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis, (MS), Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).
When Dr. Serle sees a patient who has chronic complex signs and symptoms, and has tried conventional medicine (drugs) with very little success, he is always concern about possible hidden infection or infections.
Systemic (through the entire body) chronic infections invade virtually every human tissue and can compromise the immune system, permitting opportunistic infections by other bacteria, viruses, fungi and yeast.
If Dr. Serle suspects a patient has a chronic infection, he will order a blood test from a specialty lab (experts in analyzing infections) that looks at specific antibodies and other specific immune cells related to a chronic infection.
Many symptoms are vague and vary from person to person. But here are some of the signs:
- Chronic fatigue
- Chronic muscle and/or joint pain and swelling
- Chronic brain fog, memory loss, anxiety, depression
- Recurring indigestion, bloating, gas, or heartburn
- Alternating constipation, diarrhea, or mucous in the stool
- Recurring urinary tract infection in women
- Chronic sinus infection
- Migraine headaches
- Sensitivity to light
- Bouts of insomnia
- Flu-like symptoms every 4 months or so
Dr. Serle may also order additional testing related to the brain, gut, and nutritional deficiencies.
Acute infections usually respond to treatment and subside quickly.
On the other, chronic infections usually require long-term treatment, and are resistant to quick solutions. Dr. Serle will put together a 4 to 6-month health plan for you to get your life back.