Inflammation, to fight pathogens, for example, is a natural and logical reaction of the body provided its dosage is appropriate and leads quickly to the elimination of the pathogen. However, when it takes a chronic course, it becomes a disease. More and more people are affected by chronic inflammation, especially in industrial society.
Inflammatory diseases have become a "modern epidemic," and millions of people in industrialized countries suffer from them. Chronic inflammatory diseases include allergies, rheumatic diseases, stomach, intestinal or thyroid diseases, osteoporosis, cardiovascular diseases as well as periodontitis and other chronic infections. Recent advances in high-performance medicine have reduced the complications of these diseases, but not their frequency.
Inflammation is the result of the immune system being activated. Viruses, bacteria, and fungi, as well as autoantigens, environmental allergens, pollutants, and even food, can trigger chronic inflammatory diseases. Inflammation against pathogens is vital, while inflammation against pollutants and autoantigens is usually not. And whether inflammation remains local or spreads throughout the body and becomes systemic, chronic or affects the entire organism depends on the trigger, but also on the patient's immune system.
Individual immunological diagnostics are a fundamental prerequisite for finding a diagnosis and planning therapy.
All control loops are interconnected with each other
In contrast to the traditional view, the immune system, nervous system, and hormone system are not self-contained control loops. Instead, they work together in multiple control-loop layers like the wheels of a mechanical clock, permanently interacting with each other (Straub, 2006). The immune response is regulated not only by cytokines but also by neurotransmitters and stress hormones. An imbalance in neuro-endocrine immunological interactions is responsible for the development of many diseases. Thus, neuro-endocrine immunology offers a new approach to understanding the biology of diseases and applying this knowledge for diagnostics and therapy.
Environmental toxins are now part of the Modern Epidemic
For decades, chronic inflammation has been on the rise worldwide. And as we have seen, the causes are many and varied. Here the bewildering mix of everyday environmental toxins plays a unique role. And our exposure continues to increase. A myriad of new chemical substances, substances that did not play a role in the evolution of humans for millions of years, have been reinvented every day for a few decades (i.e., for evolution very suddenly) and are now part of everyday life. This takes the form of omnipresent toxic household detergents, toxic body care products (shampoos, surfactants, hair dyes), cosmetics, textiles, toxic indoor pollutants (which the public is mostly unaware of), air pollution in cities and, above all, food pollution. Flawless, seemingly fresh fruit, vegetables, and salads in unlimited quantities accompanied by equally inexhaustible amounts of dairy products and a never-ending supply of meat all come at a price in the form of countless pesticides, artificial fertilizers, preservatives, flavor enhancers, colorants, fragrances and harmful doping compounds, without which such dairy products and meat quantities would be inconceivable. The media condemns doping in sports while the food industry subsidizes it through artificial hormones and rampant misuse of antibiotics. Then there is the exposure to all-pervasive plastics (toxic plastic plasticizers and plastic particles). Fish free of toxic heavy metals and microplastics are practically unobtainable.
Depending on an individual's ability to detoxify, these chemicals accumulate in connective tissue, fatty tissue, the nervous system and all internal organs, including the eyes (retinal diseases, macular degeneration, cataracts), prostate, female breast, pancreas, thyroid gland, kidneys, and adrenal glands, etc.
Added to that is the individual genetic tendency towards inflammation, which is stronger in some people and weaker in others.
Let's face it: There is almost no beer without glyphosate or microplastics, hardly any bread or wine free of pesticides, scarcely any dairy products without doping agents, rarely any meat without hormones and antibiotics, only very rarely fish without microplastics and heavy metals, and virtually no tap water devoid of drug residues. Every day we are exposed to an unmanageable cocktail of environmental toxins. Altogether, this can cause chronic, latent, long-term inflammation, the famous "silent inflammation."
Chronic inflammation is often a precursor for autoimmune diseases and ultimately for cancer.
Inflammation may be caused by:
- infections (bacterial, viral, fungal or parasitic)
- environmental pollutants
- unnatural radiation
- mental stress
Over prolonged periods, this leads to the development of many of the diseases we all know and, just like the chemicals and environmental toxins mentioned above, we are increasingly confronted with. Here is a brief overview to give you an initial impression:
- Chronic Lyme disease
- Chronic Epstein-Barr virus infections (Pfeiffer's glandular fever)
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)
- Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Syndromes (MCS)
- Neurodegenerative diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, and Alzheimer's disease
- Autoimmune diseases, which have sharply increased in recent decades
- Depression, often physiological, not psychological
- pain syndromes
- and, ultimately, cancer, which has been growing at an annual rate of 2 % for decades.