DR. C’S JOURNAL: VACCINES, ADAPTIVE & INNATE IMMUNE SYSTEM AND HERD IMMUNITY

The adaptive immune system is the “big gun”, later evolved, big brother of the innate immune system. The innate immune system acts a little like prejudice does in society. There is INSTANT RECOGNITION of a salient characteristic of many common disease-producing organisms, that are not present in the person being infected.

For instance, ENDOTOXIN is a lipopolysaccharide present in many bacteria, and is immediately recognized by Toll-like Receptors (TLR-4) on dendritic cells and macrophages. This triggers the Natural Killer (NK) cells to destroy the invader. The problem is that the innate immune system is indiscriminate, reacting against whole classes of molecules like a shotgun, and may produce unwanted damage. It also fails to recognize many genuine threats.

The ADAPTIVE immune system is more complex, discriminant, and SPECIFIC, but is SLOWER to gear up, and takes several days to be effective. Once engaged, however, it has a MEMORY for the infection that is SPECIFIC to the organism involved. This memory makes a SECOND EXPOSURE response much more rapid and comprehensive, AMPLIFIED as it is BY ANTIBODIES.

This first experience can be PROPHYLACTICALLY accomplished by VACCINES, so that the second, real exposure generates a RAPID PROTECTIVE RESPONSE. ATTENUATED vaccines are weakened, but LIVING ORGANISMS, and usually provide a more DURABLE immunity, but because they are living, they are more worrisome.

SPLIT-PRODUCT Vaccines are safer, but expose the immune system to a narrower range of pathogen markers, and may therefore be less Protective.. The FDA is very dedicated to SAFETY. Like all Bureaucracies, it is relatively independent of Political pressure, of which I am increasingly appreciative.

When the COVID-19 VACCINE, for example, is released to the general public, it WILL BE SAFE. The vaccine-deniers are mis-informed people who should not, in my opinion, be allowed to interfere with the HERD IMMUNITY that comes with having a supermajority of the population vaccinated.

— Dr. C.

THE DOCTORS 101 CHRONIC SYMPTOMS & CONDITIONS #16: BAD BREATH (HALITOSIS)

Bad breath is a big social deal, and is unpleasant to be around. You are always conflicted when near a person with Halitosis; you are tempted to tell him for his own good, but are embarrassed to do so.

“Mask Breath” is the most recent reincarnation of bad breath. Supposedly the mask itself does not have an odor, but merely makes the person aware of the bad breath he has had all along. Bad breath is not only a direct problem for the person who has it, but often betrays important medical conditions which need attention.

Several oral conditions can cause halitosis. The most common is poor oral hygiene. Lack of regular brushing and flossing leads to accumulation of food particles between the teeth, in the gum lines, and even under crowns. This food provides lunch for the oral bacteria, releasing malodorous compounds. This can be expensive. Have you priced restorations and implants recently?

The sneakier result of poor oral hygiene is gingivitis, or gum disease. This leads to inflammation, and is a major contributor to the inflammatory load resulting in Metabolic syndrome with its widespread effects on the brain, kidneys, and heart. And in addition, you may eventually lose your teeth. Tonsils can become inflamed and malodorous, and the associated adenoids may enlarge, leading to mouth breathing, dry mouth, and you guessed it, Bad Breath.

GERD is often associated with Bad Breath. The reflux of stomach contents will often leave behind a bad taste as well as bad breath. Certain metabolic conditions can give bad breath. Ketosis from diabetes, mousy breath from liver failure, and the “Fish odor syndrome”, Trimethylaminuria, can be causes.

So drink lots of water, and don’t forget to brush your teeth and floss regularly. You might benefit from a medical or dental evaluation if your bad breath doesn’t go away.

–Dr. C.

Medical Videos: ‘Fatty Liver Disease’ Affects One-Third Of U.S. Population

Fatty liver disease is an increasingly common condition that currently affects a third of the population. The most common cause of the disease is obesity. Extra fat in your body from weight gain accumulates in your liver, causing it to swell. Eventually, the cells in your liver will be so overburdened that they die. New cells grow to replace them, but those cells also contain fat. As liver cells continue to die off and regrow rapidly, it causes scarring of the tissue surrounding the organ.

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THE DOCTORS 101 CHRONIC SYMPTOMS & CONDITIONS #15: NOSEBLEEDS (EPISTAXIS)

Nosebleeds afflict almost everybody at one time or another. The nose is well supplied with blood vessels, and sticks out from the face, often into other people’s business. Fistfights and falls will often cause nosebleeds in children. Kids will often pick their noses.

Dry air and allergies make the nose bleed more often. Sometimes, nosebleeds just happen. The bleeding usually comes from the front of the septum, the cartilaginous divider of the nose, and the best way to stop the bleeding is to lean forward and pinch the nostrils together.

This most likely compresses the bleeding area, and if held for 5 minutes or so will usually stop the bleeding. Sometimes, even after repeating this several times, and even putting ice on the bridge of the nose, the bleeding won’t stop, you may need to seek help. If the bleeding is voluminous it may originate from larger vessels at the back of the nose, and an ENT Doctor may be needed to put in a “posterior pack” of gauze.

Infrequent nosebleeds from identifiable causes are not too disturbing, but if they become CHRONIC and unexplained, a visit to the doctor and further investigation may be needed.

High blood pressure can be a cause of regular nosebleeds. High altitudes and the accompanying dry air can be a contributory cause. Cocaine use may irritate the nose and cause “Kiesselbach’s plexus” on the anterior nasal septum to bleed.

If you bleed a lot from your nose, especially if you have trouble with clotting from cuts or periods, you may have a coagulation problem, of which there are several, such as Von Willebrands disease.

Blood thinners are commonly used these days, and the dosage may need adjusting. For more information, please consult the accompanying article on “epistaxis” by the Cleveland Clinic, which usually has good articles on medical problems.

–Dr. C.

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