Bacteria and the immune system

How bacteria and the immune system interact

By L. Kunst (MD)

If your garden were free of chemical pollutants, you could happily eat a bit of dirt from it without getting sick. In fact, there’s a good chance that your bowel functions would be improved and as a result your general health would perk up as well.

I don’t necessarily recommend you do this, but with this rather bizarre suggestion, I want to illustrate that most bacteria that we come in contact with are actually either quite harmless or even positively healthy for us. Scientific research has shown that children living on a farm are much less likely to suffer from respiratory infections than town children because they are in more intensive contact with animals and because of that with more diverse types of bacteria than their urban counterparts.

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An innovative perspective on chronic disease

 

kunstAll the experts agree that whatever the chronic complaint, it always entails some form of degeneration or destruction of original tissues. Unwilling to accept that I would always have to tell chronically ill patients, “you need to learn to live with it”, my burning question has been, “what causes these diseases to occur in the first place?” Finding the answer to this question has been the driving force behind my professional practice for most of my life as I realised effective treatment would only be possible

 "Up to now, treating chronic disease has meant dealing with the symptoms."

once the causal factor(s) had been found. After many years of practice and digging through scientific literature, I have found that there is probably a fundamental time-line connection between acute infections, chronic inflammatory diseases and tissue degeneration. Unfortunately, this information has not yet made an impact on worldwide medical practice, nor has it been universally recognised, but it has formed the basis behind the treatment I have designed to deal with chronic disease. So, what is this fundamental time-line connection between acute infections, chronic ailments and the destructive results of the latter in our bodies?

 "There is a connection between chronic inflammatory disease and bacterial infections."

We recover from most infections by ourselves thanks to the natural defence of our immune system. When faced with an acute infection, our immune system is galvanised into action (whether we are taking antibiotics or not) and this deals with the invasion in a relatively short space of time. However, the bacteria causing the infection can “go into hiding” as it were. At this point, the patient may not feel ill at all. The bacteria “disguise” themselves by assuming a form that is not easily detected by our immune system (and by the antibiotics). However, at some later date, they can play a role in inducing a negative effect on the body long after the acute symptoms have gone.

It is clear from observing medical practice that sooner or later many people are confronted with a chronic inflammation or even with an actual autoimmune disease. It appears that the chance of this happening increases with age – something that can be observed in your own social circle. It could be a case of chronic bronchitis or chronic sinusitis, but it could also be something more serious like Lyme disease. Q fever, arthritis and any of the many forms of rheumatic complaints, chronic infections of the kidneys or prostate, disorders of the central nervous system such as MS or ALS, etc. This effect can often occur without the patient ever being aware of having undergone an original causal infection. Scientists are now becoming aware that this is probably the case in Alzheimer disease and arteriosclerosis – otherwise called 'hardening of the arteries'. All these things fall in the category chronic diseases.

Normally, patients suffering from these conditions are treated – if there is a treatment available at all – using pharmaceuticals that are designed to mitigate the symptoms. These medicines need to be taken for the rest of the patient’s life. They often come with negative side effects – especially when used long term. Sometimes the treatment involves surgery. Think of nerve cauterization or even amputation. The conclusion remains that even though the patient wants to believe it helps, or hopes that it will help, these treatment options will not heal him or her, and the prognosis is a lifelong struggle with the chronic disease. In the absence of a different perspective, this scenario is generally accepted as being inevitable.

 

 'Current medical protocol has no effective answer for healing chronic illnesses."

Modern medical practice allows little time for thinking though the issues raised above. Consultations are restricted to 10 minutes, and in that time, a GP has to make an assessment of the problem and choose a remedy. In this extremely short space of time, the conversation can rarely get beyond symptoms. It has almost inevitably lead to a protocol-driven health system, which – to be on the safe side – prescribes more and more medicines designed to deal with the symptoms of the complaint. The patient is reassured that “something concrete is being done” and it’s on to the next one. In my view, the 10 minute-system is the primary cause of the symptom approach to general medical practice and a similar time pressure is also true of the visit to the specialist. There are treatment protocols to deal with every complaint. They are not only designed for efficiency and patient safety but used as tools for both diagnosis and to calculate remuneration. This closed system is disinclined to adaptation and to dealing with complaints that span different disciplines. It is precisely the “vague” complaints that can lead to a long, winding and expensive route through the medical world before a diagnosis is finally made.

The pharmaceutical industry supports this system in that it can serve each diagnostic protocol with a proscribed medical treatment option - and this in turn stimulates a prescription-driven health care system. It is a convenient closed circle and easy to administer.

However, this approach is not effective for treating chronic ailments because the issues are complicated, the symptoms multi-faceted and the underlying causes have not yet been recognized by the medical establishment. After working in this system for 10 years, I decided to step out – and specialise in addressing these “vague” chronic complaints. I had come to believe that there had to be more to them than met the eye.

There is no official specialist area for chronic diseases. Doctors focus almost exclusively on the specific organ or organ system that they have been trained in. Cardiologists look at the heart, gynaecologists at the female reproductive system, endocrinologists focus on the hormone system, a haematologist focusses on the blood, etc. Others specialise in medical techniques, like radiology or surgery.

 "Chronic conditions can be dealt with by 'resetting' the immune system."

My focus was on the question “Why do some complaints disappear by themselves, while other complaints get steadily worse?” I wanted to get beyond the question, “How can I effectively tackle the symptoms?”, to the essence, “What is the cause of the complaint in the first place?”. I have always felt that only if I could get to the bottom of the issue, would I be able to effectively deal with the complaint. To do this, I decided to leave general practice and the tyranny of the 10-minute consultation and set up in private practice. In my new role, I have been able to reserve up to two hours for an initial consultation so that together with the patient, a thorough picture of the health problem can be sketched. This has generated an enormous database of knowledge for me as well as significant benefit to the patients. I no longer need to resort to protocol-based solutions, but the complaints can be dealt with based on the personal history and needs of the patient.

The rest of my working life has been spent researching and developing treatments that address the essential question with regard to chronic disease. Treating patients now involves an intervention designed to reset the immune system, called autovaccine therapy. This treatment has been designed based on information taken from numerous scientific studies. Particularly the research done by microbiologist, Lida Mattman. (Cell Wall deficient forms) As a result, I work with the self-healing properties present within each patient, particularly aimed at improving the function of their own immune system with the goal of dealing with the chronic illness at its core. Symptom suppressants and the whole palette of regular medical treatments can be prescribed when the situation requires this, or when degeneration has progressed so far that there is no other option. (Lida Mattman on Wikipedia)

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More about pleiomorphic bacteria (CWDBs)

Bacteria in disguise

Chronic inflammatory diseases have until now been deemed incurable, as the name itself suggests. However, there is good reason to challenge this perspective. The American bacteriologist, Lida Mattman (1912-2008), professor in bacteriology at Wayne State University, devoted her entire life and professional career to studying bacteria. She published her work in a book, Cell Wall Deficient Forms, in 2001. * According to Mattman, the cause of chronic inflammatory diseases can be traced back to cell wall deficient bacterial forms – called pleiomorphic bacteria.

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