Tag Archives: Immune System

THE DOCTORS 101 CHRONIC SYMPTOMS & CONDITIONS #36: WARTS

Warts are so common as to have become a metaphor for any blemish. I have had several warts in childhood, most likely because my immunity was immature along with the rest of me. They went away, as do most warts. I have had a few warts on and off since, since the HPV that produces them is so widespread.

My immune reaction took care of them, For some reason, I now have a wart between my toes that bears watching. Hopefully it will go away like the rest. Warts rarely become malignant, They can cause problems with breathing if they block the airway, such as the larynx (voice box) or bronchi (breathing tubes). I had such a case in my Allergy/respiratory disease practice that sounded like asthma to the referring Doctor.

Elderly people can develop a variety of skin bumps, that my grandmother called “moles”. In the past month, I have developed a reddish bump on my nose. It looks a lot like the “intradermal nevus” pictured in an accompanying article from “consultant360”. Seborrheic Keratoses are common, and I have some of those too. Of course,

I have a regular crop of scaly “actinic Keratoses” for my Dermatologist to freeze with liquid Nitrogen during my twice yearly visits to prevent them from developing into cancer. I have a suspicion that many home remedies for warts, and the scraping and freezing efforts of dermatologists merely stir up the infected cells in the lesion and incite the immune system to mop up.

Time will usually do the job, but they are often annoying and there is always the temptation to treat them.

–Dr. C.

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THE DOCTORS 101 CHRONIC SYMPTOMS AND CONDITIONS #27: DELIRIUM

DELIRIUM is a rapidly-developing TEMPORARY DEMENTIA in response to almost any trauma, infection or stress, usually in a hospital setting, with its restrictive, isolating and disorienting environment.

I had little appreciation of the frequency or economic hazard of Delirium before I encountered this infographic. I knew little about the causative mechanisms, and after reading about it, I still don’t know what is going on. But I do know one thing; I don’t want to become delirious and risk its ominous outcome. To improve my odds, I want to keep myself as healthy as possible.

To prevent loss of focus, cognition and memory, challenge the Brain as much as possible. To prevent or restrain infection, support the immune system with a healthy diet. To combat sleep disturbances, practice Sleep Hygiene. To maintain adequate oxygen and nutrient delivery to the Brain, support a healthy cardiovascular-pulmonary system with regular aerobic exercise.

These preventative steps will also postpone the FRAILTY on which delirium feeds. This fuzziness, which afflicts most conditions with PSYCHIATRIC OVERTONES, should not be surprising, since the human Brain, the location of Delirium, is the most complex entity in the known universe.

Medical Knowledge of Delirium is still at the descriptive stage, even though it has been a feature of human life since Ancient times. Causation? Excess or Deficiency of most neurotransmitters have been described. To paraphrase “cytokine storm”, which can incidentally cause Delirium, one could call the condition a “neurotransmitter storm”.

Treatment? If the Delirious Patient is on a Psychotropic medication, try stopping it. If not taking such medication, try starting it. The only universal green light is Good general supportive care with IV fluids, oxygen, nutrition, and psychological support, with gentle, regular attention. Please read the accompanying Mayo Clinic article for a more conventional discussion.

–Dr. C.

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.