Science has shown that there are many ways in which parasites cause inflammation and immune dysfunction in our body. This explains how parasites can cause disease without causing an acute infection and when parasites are treated effectively, both inflammation and immune dysfunction subside.
In this post, I share just a few ways in which parasites cause inflammation and immune dysfunction. I have also attempted to simplify the science.
In my last post, I discussed how all diseases are inflammatory conditions and that inflammation (in chronic disease) is the war zone where our immune system is battling infections and the toxins they produce.
To recover from chronic disease, we must understand our starting point – what is going on in our body, what is causing our symptoms.
When we think of an infection, we think of a sore throat, or a bladder, ear or tooth infection, etc. Our standard of care practitioners are trained to diagnose and treat acute infections. Common symptoms of acute infections include pain, fever, redness and / or swelling.
Our doctors are not trained to detect chronic, slow growing infections called silent infections which are caused by various parasites. They also do not have good tests for these infections.
In previous posts, I shared that there is a large and ever growing body of research that shows that people diagnosed with multiple sclerosis are in the state of dysbiosis. The microbes in their body are out of balance. They have many disease causing microbes and not enough health promoting microbes in their body.
Although the term dysbiosis was first introduced at least 100 years ago, it didn’t get much attention until 1985 and today it is mostly understood by integrative practitioners.
Dr. Vasquez, a chiropractor and naturopathic physician who teaches practitioners about dysbiosis stated,
“In my own clinical practice, gastrointestinal dysbiosis is so common in patients with autoimmune/inflammatory disorders that I consider all of these patients to have dysbiosis until proven otherwise.” … “My experience is consistent with that of other authors and researchers, who note a prevalence of dysbiosis in the range of 70 percent to 100 percent in patients with inflammatory disorders.”
Dysbiosis can occur in any part of the body including the mouth, sinuses, respiratory tract, urinary and reproductive tract, gastrointestinal tract, central nervous system, organs, muscles and other tissues.
How parasitic infections cause inflammation and immune dysfunction in the human body
1. Certain parasites can hide from immune cells by turning a certain gene that codes for a protein found on the surface of the parasite, on and off. This alters the presence of the protein on the surface of the parasite which makes it more difficult for immune cells to recognize the parasite. The parasite is then able to travel undetected by the immune system.
2. Researchers believe that parasites can cause “autoimmune” type reactions in various ways. Although it may appear to be an autoimmune type of reaction or immune dysfunction, it is important to note that when the parasites are treated effectively, the “autoimmunity” resolves. Several theories on how parasites could potentially cause autoimmunity include:
i) Molecular mimicry
If structures on the surface of certain parasites are very similar to structures found on human cells, it is believed that the immune system could react with the human cells and / or tissues, especially if the parasites are located near, on, or in specific human tissues. In this case it may appear that the immune system is attacking the body (autoimmunity) when in fact it is attempting to clear the parasites.
ii) Enhanced processing of auto-antigens
If parasites are present, the immune system will process and present antigens (molecules from the parasite) to other immune cells which will then attack the parasites. Some scientists believe that chronic parasitic infections may help in the making of and presenting of the body’s own antigens (auto-antigens) which would then be attacked by the immune system.
iii) Bystander activation
The body has specific mechanisms that promote immune modulation and prevent immune cells from attacking the body’s tissues. Certain immune cells are kept dormant and inactive in various ways and are normally bystanders and only activated through inflammation.
Many bacteria and fungi can produce “super-antigens” which cause widespread, non-specific and unregulated inflammation by the immune system becoming activated.
4. Some bacteria release toxins into the body
Group A Streptococcus bacteria produce toxins that can make us feel sick, and can cause us to have a fever, skin lesions, inflammation in tendons and arthritis.
Strains of Staphylococcus aureus bacteria cause toxic shock syndrome, food poisoning and the toxic shock syndrome toxin-1 (TSST-1) that causes scalded skin syndrome.
There are many other examples of bacteria that can produce very toxic exotoxins including clostridia species.
5. Toxins are present in the membranes of certain bacteria
These toxins trigger an acute pro-inflammatory response, similar to sepsis, but can also cause leaky gut and make it more difficult for the liver to detoxify. These toxins can also impair the blood-brain barrier which can result in inflammation in the central nervous system and damage to nerves.
6. Immune complex formation and deposition due to the activation of B-lymphocytes/plasma cells
With an ongoing parasitic infection, the immune system will produce antibodies that will attach to the parasites or the poisons they produce. This results in immune system/parasite structures or complexes that the body must eliminate through the skin, urine and feces. A buildup of these structures is also thought to be a potential cause of autoimmune type reactions in the body.
If a microbial molecule binds to a human molecule, the result is the formation of a new hybrid molecule which stimulates an attack from the immune system.
8. Damage to the lining of intestinal tract and damage to the blood brain barrier
Parasites can cause direct damage to the intestinal lining which can result in leaky gut and an increased absorption of partially digested food, parasites and their toxins and other debris from the gut. This can cause many things to cross into the blood that normally would not and cause an ongoing activation and overstimulation of the immune system.
I have shared research in a previous post about specific neurotoxins found in MS patients that damage the blood brain barrier.
This has been observed in many systemic inflammatory disorders including asthma, eczema, psoriasis, Behcet’s disease, inflammation of spinal cord and inflammation of joints and lupus.
9. Inhibition of detoxification
As toxic chemicals build up in the body from the parasites and cause systemic inflammation and immune disfunction, detox pathways can be impacted
Fungi and bacteria can produce certain molecules which “jam up”, “monkey wrench”, or otherwise interfere with human cells’ normal work or function.
11. Impairment of mucosal and systemic defences
When colonies of parasites establish themselves on mucosal surfaces, the immune system may not be effective in that area. This can be due to decreased presence of antibodies which can be destroyed by the parasites or by the parasites causing direct damage to tissue that results in increased absorption of microbial, dietary, or environmental antigens.
12. Impairment of mucosal digestion
Digestion is impaired as the parasites damage to the lining of the intestinal tract . This damage compromises digestion especially for carbohydrates which can lead to poor digestion, potential weight loss, malabsorption and the undigested carbohydrates become food for the parasites in the digestive tract. .
These are just a few ways in which researchers believe that parasites can cause chronic, ongoing and widespread inflammation and immune disfunction in the body. This research has been available for many years but has been largely ignored by our standard of care practitioners.
There are Real MS Solutions for Today!
To restore health, we must focus on treating the cause of inflammation which are parasites. First, identify the enemy (parasites), then support the body and treat the parasites while following a holistic approach. When parasitic infections are treated effectively, we no longer have inflammation or disease.
If you’re frustrated with the fact that our standard of care STILL doesn’t offer a real solution for treating MS, then click on the link below to watch Pam Bartha’s free masterclass training and discover REAL solutions that have allow myself and many others to live free from MS symptoms.
Multifocal Polydysbiosis: Dr Vasquez’s concept of clinically important microbial imbalances in several locations, which combine to produce dysbiotic synergy in the development and maintenance of human disease
Clinically diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at the age of 28, Pam chose an alternative approach to recovery. Now decades later and still symptom free, she coaches others on how to treat the root cause of chronic disease, using a holistic approach. She can teach you how, too.
Pam is the author of Become a Wellness Champion and founder of Live Disease Free. She is a wellness expert, coach and speaker.
The Live Disease Free Academy has helped hundreds of Wellness Champions in over 15 countries take charge of their health and experience profound improvements in their life.