by Dr. Bill Rawls
Cellular stress and disruptions of immune system functions are chief instigators of overlapping conditions like mast cell activation syndrome and chemical sensitivities. Here’s how they’re all related to Lyme disease. Read more about cellular stress and immune system dysfunction here.
Question: How are Lyme, mast cell, and multiple chemical sensitivities related?
Jenny Buttaccio: Anna asks, what are your thoughts about Lyme accompanied with severe multiple chemical sensitivities and mast cell activation?
Dr. Rawls: Yeah, you know, that’s what we do in conventional medicine is we divide it up into diagnoses and compartmentalize everything. And to me, chronic illness is just all a variation on the same thing.
It’s all related to distressed cells in the body. It all has an underlying microbe component. What chronic illness is, is reactivation of microbes. We have different illnesses because we get different microbes, and they affect different cells in the body. So that causes a variety of different illnesses because there are thousands of microbes and hundreds of different cell types, different combinations, different diseases.
So when you look at how these reactivated, or ongoing infections with microbes, affect the immune system, you know, it’s a battle, it’s a tug-of-war. So the immune system is trying to do its best to eradicate this really out of control situation. So it’s suppressing the microbes, but the microbes are actually infecting white blood cells and manipulating the cytokines, the chemical messengers coming from those cells to manipulate the immune system.
And they do it in different ways. So it depends on what type of white blood cell they’ve infected, what type of microbe is active. Viruses do this, bacteria do this, protozoa do this. So we know this is happening. So what they’re doing is manipulating the immune system to reduce the sensitivity or the ability of the immune system to take out microbes in cells that have been infected with microbes to shift it toward doing other things, like being hypoallergenic, like mast cell activation syndrome or other kinds of things.
So it’s this total disruption of immune system functions that causes it to be under-activated in some ways and over-activated in other ways. So it’s part and parcel. Now, because everybody gets different microbes. We have different genes, different cells are affected and different parts of the immune system are affected. It can happen in different ways, in different people. Fundamentally, it’s all the same stuff, though.
Dr. Rawls is a physician who overcame Lyme disease through natural herbal therapy. You can learn more about Lyme disease in Dr. Rawls’ new best selling book, Unlocking Lyme.
You can also learn about Dr. Rawls’ personal journey in overcoming Lyme disease and fibromyalgia in his popular blog post, My Chronic Lyme Journey.