Lookin’ Good Feelin’ Rotten – Do You Have an Invisible Illness?

phone CISB“Nearly 25 years ago I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. Having tried countless types, brands, and combinations of thyroid hormones, I continued to struggle with profound fatigue, digestive problems, and an ever growing and worsening list of symptoms. Consults at top US medical centers left me empty-handed and, at times, demoralized. My husband, friends, and colleagues watched in distress, as I grew weaker and increasingly ill.

I reacted to everything I ate as my heart raced and pounded in my chest. Then headaches, nausea and fatigue occurred throughout the day. I could not sleep and was taking sleep medication that did not really help. My diet has regressed to boiled chicken and broccoli. I was unable to leave the house because I never know when it would happen. I am always weak but sometimes I get weaker. I suffered from constant pain throughout my body.

How to Talk to Your Friends and Family About Your Invisible Illness. Read More

Last autumn an endocrinologist informed me that when I have blood tests to check thyroid levels, antibody counts are not considered relevant because the fact that I have autoimmune thyroid disease had already been established. He explained the standard of care for Hashimoto’s patients is to replace the thyroid hormones that the body no longer makes; the autoimmune part of the disease is not treated. He also acknowledged that some Hashimoto’s patients do go on to develop more serious autoimmune diseases such as Lupus and Multiple Sclerosis – with the implication that medical doctors do not work with Hashi’s patients to help them avoid developing such devastating illnesses.

Concerned about your Health? Call today! 530-615-4083

I could write volumes about the doctors who treated me like a hypochondriac until I finally found one who recognized what I have. You just have to visit different doctors until you find one who listens to you.” S.S.

This patient’s husband called to express his concern over his wife’s invisible illness. How could she look so good and feel so rotten? My answer to him is in addition to Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, your wife’s condition has devolved into a condition know as Cytokine Induced Sickness Behavior (CISB). Her episodes of feeling worse are a cytokine storm that occurs whenever her immune system is challenged by something she ate, was exposed to or even something that stressed her emotionally.

CISB individuals have little motivation to eat, are listless, complain of fatigue and malaise, lose interest in social activities and have significant changes in sleep patterns. They have an inability to experience pleasure, and may have exaggerated responses to pain and an inability to concentrate.

Proinflammatory cytokines (interleukin-1, interleukin-6, and tumor necrosis factor-alpha) are released as part of the immune response resulting in a syndrome called sickness behavior that is an adaptive and motivational reaction to disease.

Sickness behavior includes lethargy, depression, anorexia, energy conservation, fever, the inability to experience pleasure from activities usually found enjoyable, e.g. exercise, hobbies, sexual activities or social interactions (anhedonia), cognitive impairment, hyperalgesia, and decreased social interaction. Sickness behavior is seen in patients with autoimmune conditions or cancer and has been described as a symptom cluster. Sickness behavior in patients with autoimmune conditions or cancer may be the result of both the disease and the treatment. The related symptoms have a profound effect on patients’ quality of life. Lab tests are available to determine the cytokine and neurotransmitter imbalances. Treatment strategies can then be developed that inhibit the release or activity of proinflammatory cytokines and relieve patients from the symptoms of sickness behavior that have been developed.

Chances are you have if you are suffering from Hashimoto’s, autoimmune conditions or a confusing mess of symptoms, you may be experiencing your very own Cytokine Storm season where you will have bad days followed by calm days after the storm and again by bad days. You may have found yourself in the proverbial “up a creek without a paddle” in your autoimmune world.

Cytokine Storms occur when the immune system becomes and remains activated against the immune stimulants beyond the point of being helpful.

“Having tried all that medical doctors could offer without improvement and, more recently, experiencing further damage, it was time for a change. Dr. Datis Kharrazian’s book, Why Do I Still Have Symptoms? If My Lab Tests Are Normal led me to Dr. David Peterson.  Even though his office is in Missouri and I live two time zones away, Dr. Dave’s protocol combining laboratory testing with patients’ qualitative descriptions led to accurate diagnoses of all that has been triggering my inflammation and autoimmune disease. This was truly a first.

Dr. Dave’s depth of knowledge and experience and keen diagnostic skills have led to a turn-around in my health. Objective and subjective measures show that inflammation has been steadily declining and strength and vitality are returning. It feels like a miracle but it is, in fact, based in science. Thank you, Dr. Dave!” S.S.

Cytokine Induced Sickness Behavior

During inflammation brought on by physical triggers (food, bacteria, environmental, etc.), there is increased production of certain cytokines and chemokines (small messenger proteins) by white blood cells and other cell types. When cytokines and chemokines are released into the circulation, systemic symptoms such as fever, nausea, chills, low blood pressure, racing heart or palpitations, loss of feeling, headache, rash, scratchy throat, and trouble breathing can result. Pro-inflammatory cytokines acting in the brain cause sickness behaviors. This can affect neurological and hormone functions in a number of ways, including the litany of symptoms described above termed Cytokine Induced Sickness Behavior (CISB).

Everything the body does is defensive in nature. M.B. DeJarnette

CISB is a behavioral complex induced by infections and immune trauma and mediated by pro-inflammatory cytokines. It is an adaptive response in an attempt to enhance recovery by conserving energy to combat chronic inflammation.

janus face

There are two sides to a Janus face.

Inflammation may provoke a Janus-faced response with a good, acute side, generating protective inflammation through sickness behavior and a bad, chronic side, for example, racing heart, digestive issues, hot flashes, sore throat with (neuro)inflammation and (neuro)degenerative processes following less well defined symptoms.

Those suffering from CISB are complicated cases often diagnosed as depression or bi-polar. They must be treated low and slow to not provoke any pro-inflammatory immune or excitatory neurotransmitter response. Most all suffer from a neurotransmitter imbalance along with a cytokine imbalance. Many with CISB find themselves having adverse reaction to supplements.

It is now possible to develop clinical supplement protocols that are aimed at blocking cytokine production or action, attenuating the production of second messengers or deactivating glial cells that produce excessive quantities of proinflammatory cytokines. If you are looking good but feeling rotten. We can help you.

How to Talk to Your Friends and Family About Your Invisible Illness. Read More

Concerned about your Health?

Call today! 530-615-4083

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