What is Chronic Fatigue? Part 6: Maladaptive stress responses and what this does to your life.

Once the body becomes chronically ill, stress is no longer JUST stress.  Rather, we become kindled to respond to all stressors with heightened responses.  Lowering our reception of dopamine, inflaming tissues throughout our body, disarming the immune system, weakening the gut, increasing the propensity to food allergies and allergies to all chemical triggers.

There is no wonder once we become this ill we then learn obsessive avoidance patterns to help prevent the condition from worsening.  This state or learned avoidance plagues the sufferer with fear of what may happen should they encounter triggers from one moment to the next. This avoidance tends to be very isolating, but it goes way beyond that because it is our reptilian brain that is engaged with a heightened sense of perspective on Life and Death.

From the non-CFS perspective, others can see that our avoidance behaviours to food, people, chemicals, situations, further trains the brain to have more of a reaction to these things, trains the brain to believe there is more than out there to be afraid of.

Spotting avoidance behaviour is not always enough to turning learned patterns around.  Because when we are threatened by our environment, leading us to experience states of severe lack of safety within our own body, then every potential trigger becomes a threat.

Common thoughts could be .. Am I dying? or ..What’s going to happen to me?  

States of mind which require midwifing through the trauma that has set in.

For this to occur there are many therapies which fall under the remit of brain re-training.  Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), CBT, EMDR, Meditation and others are designed to address subscripts which although not conscious, actually dominate 99% of choices, behaviours, patterns.

Therapies which compliment nutritional therapy in the reversal of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome:

  • Emotional Freedom Technique
  • The Lightning Process
  • Dynamic Neural Retraining
  • Family Constellations
  • Neuro Linguistic Programming
  • Breath-work

There are different entry points into psycho-emotional traumas, and so not all therapies work in all cases.

Traumas that have lasting effects in our cells and therefore health are Childhood Traumas – even from the experience of our mother’s womb, Trauma of Stigma and illness itself, Inter-generational Trauma which is passed down from one generation to the next.  If our grand-parents were in a concentration camp for-instance.  This is the power of the fear response and in particular where Family Constellations can be of great help.  Emotional trauma in general benefits from Breath-work.

We know that when deep trauma is present, inter-generational, then emotional trauma of this magnitude actually imprints on the microbiome of the mother, and then the microbiome is then passed on to the child.  Trauma becoming epigenetically inherited.

 

What is Chronic Fatigue? Part 5: The Nervous System, Re-Wired for Stress

There is a vicious cycle within Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, where-by long-term chronic stress can be the main determiner to our stress thresh-hold in the long-term.

This is neuro-plastisity, meaning changeable.  Simply put our nervous systems are capable of forming new pathways for better of for worse.  Neuro-plasticity means our brains respond to stimulation, which over time, literally changes the structure of the brain to grow new neuro pathways causing physiological changes and therefore new responses to dealing with new stressors. Through neuro imaging it is possibly to visibly see these changes, as an increase and a lengthening of neuro dentrites.  Literally building new neural pathways which are wired for stress!

LIMBIC KINDLING & MCS

This is model of neuro-plasticity is also known as ‘Limbic Kindling’, kindling of our nervous system and brain to respond to chemicals.  Chemicals are saturated into our homes and personal care regimes.  Everything from upholstory, hair dyes, cosmetics car fumes etc and other toxins such as heavy metals from our soil, water and therefore in our food.

Multiple stressors from multiple sources including environmental toxicity have the power to kindle our brain to act on its own as if it were experiencing the stress when it is not!  Acute infections can also kindle the brain to the same effect.

This over-stimulation is of the Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) axis, and ultimately lowers our threshold to environmental pollutants so that less chemical or other trigger stimulants are required to activate a chronic stress response.  An assembly for hyper-sensitivity and reactivity has then occurred.


LOW DOPAMINE

As the brain becomes affected we can observe changes that affect the physiology of the body.  For instance we frequently observe the correlation of lowered dopamine typical of CFS sufferers.

Low dopamine reduces Basal Ganglia typically responsible for;

  • Movement changes, such as involuntary or slowed movements
  • Muscle tone
  • Problems finding words

REST, DIGEST, DETOXIFY

Where there is a chronic over stimulation of the Sympathetic Nervous System, this is also known to down-regulate the Parasympathetic Nervous System which other-wise engages the rest, digest and detoxify states of well-being.

The Vagus Nerve (otherwise known as the nerve of compassion) is governed by the Parasympathetic Nervous System, which induces states of resting, gratitude, happiness, stillness, peace.  This is a profoundly anti-inflammatory state of being.  Good Vagus nerve activity can be induced by deep breathing, where the out-breath is twice as long as the in-breath.  

Benefits of good Vagus Nerve activity;

Regeneration of the organs and cells by activating stem cells.

Thickens the brain, which normally shrinks with age.

Boosts the immune function. Modulates the nervous system.

Reduces depression

And lastly Improves the quality of life! 


LYMPHATIC DRAINAGE

Kindling’s affect on the Sympathetic nervous system also affects lymphatic drainage as lymphatic circulation is rhythmically pumper by the SNS.  Lymphatics cannot rely upon the heart to pump fluids around the body, only a series of valves and SNS regulate this important clearance pathway.

Changes to the lymphatic system can also lead to oxidative stress and cardiomyopathy.  


FURTHER DAMAGE

Intestinal Permeability; Chronic nervous system stress, kindled is known to increase intestinal permeability and therefore opportunistic infections to trans-locate across the intestinal mucosal lining.

Pyrroluria and Porphyria; Stress causes Pyrols in the urine.  Pyrols leach B6, Mangenese and Zinc from our system. Heam is made from Pyrols, so are P450 enzymes (phase 1 detoxification). Therefore where there are high Pyrols there may also correlate low P450 enzymes.  Reduced P450 enzymes means reduced liver detoxification, leading to Multiple Chemical Sensitivity and toxicity.