Cytokine Storm

cytokine storm by gary carlsonThose of you who have studied Gaia Theory will have an appreciation of the awesome and self-regulating complexity of our Earth-organism, and its evolved ability to enable and encourage staggering diversity and evolution while optimizing both the quantum and well-being of all-life-on-Earth.

Since I got sick last summer, I have studied the workings of the human body enough to appreciate that it is, in many ways, an equally awesome, self-regulating and complex organism, designed to advance and sustain its constituent organisms in a state of evolving and resilient well-being.

And I’m becoming convinced that what ails our planet and what ails our bodies is the same thing: poisoning by massive amounts of toxins produced by irresponsible people and corporations. But because our planet and our bodies are so complex, we will never be able to prove it to the satisfaction of our shoddy legal and political systems, which are designed to protect the perpetrators of this poisoning.

Today, the (arch-conservative) Canadian federal government took the extraordinary step of publicly censuring an Alberta doctor who dared connect the horrible level of environmental diseases suffered by the indigenous peoples in his community, to Canada’s eco-holocaust, the Alberta tar sands dirty oil sludge project, directly upstream from the community. Why? Because it clearly connects irresponsible pollution with human suffering. Can’t have that, or what will happen to our economy? If the corporatists can be held accountable for poisoning the citizens, the lawyers paid to defend them and protect their profits will not be able to do their jobs. These mega-polluters will go out of business and their wealth will be transferred back to the people they stole it from. And the leading sources of greenhouse gases, other pollutants, and water depletion in the country will be shut down. Unthinkable!

These corporatist polluters are not just destroying Gaia, the billion-year-old balance of life on our planet, they are destroying our personal health with the toxins they put in our air, our water, our soils and our foods, which end up in our bodies. There is growing evidence that most of the epidemic diseases of the modern world are consequences of damaged immune systems, either immune deficiency diseases or, increasingly, immune system hyperactivity diseases. Now there is evidence that the virulence of the horrific 1918 Spanish Flu and of H5N1 influenza, the one predicted to cause the next pandemic, can be attributed to immune system hyperactivity in a form called a ‘cytokine storm’. That’s why the devastating 1918 flu hit the healthiest citizens hardest and spared many children and seniors: Healthy people are most prone to immune system hyperactivity.

The fluwiki link above likens a cytokine storm to a rogue SWAT team. Faced with a riot, a SWAT team is supposed to go in and quell the illegal behaviour, by separating or diverting the combatants if possible, and by arrests if not. But sometimes, either because they get instructions indicating the riot is out of control when it isn’t, or because the SWAT team members themselves lack self-control, the SWAT team overreacts, exerting excess violence at the site of the disturbance or attacking innocent bystanders indiscriminately. (If you’ve ever been in a demonstration, you know this happens easily and often.)

If your immune system is damaged, cytokines, the system’s messenger proteins, send inappropriate messages that cause the body’s T- and B-cells to overreact to quell the disease, just like an overly aggressive SWAT captain’s inflammatory rhetoric. Or, the cells can misinterpret the context-sensitive messages and attack the wrong targets, just like overzealous SWAT police. The result is severe inflammation and irreparable damage to critical healthy cells and tissue, which can be crippling, agonizing, or fatal, as in arthritis or diabetes or lupus or endometriosis or MS or chronic fatigue syndrome or asthma or allergies or inflammatory bowel disease or any of the dozens of other chronic immune system hyperactivity diseases. Cytokines not only summon immune cells to attack, they activate the ability of those immune cells to produce yet more cytokines, producing a positive feedback loop that, in the absence of other types of cytokines that normally put the brakes on the loop when the target has been defeated, produce a cytokine storm, like a huge army of rogue SWAT cops killing everyone in sight. There is now some evidence that the 1918 flu strain had, and the H5N1 influenza strain has, evolved an ability to provoke cytokine storms.

Anti-inflammatory drugs merely treat the symptoms, like nurses treating the bystanders injured by the rogue cops. There is no cure for autoimmune diseases, because the immune system is so staggeringly complex we are only beginning to understand its behaviour, let alone what causes that behaviour to go awry. Steroids are even worse: they cripple the immune system, which stops the rogue cops and the good cops, but leaves the body utterly defenseless against all kinds of lethal diseases. Chemotherapy can have the same effect, as, of course, can AIDS. Immunodeficiency diseases are the flip-side of autoimmune diseases: Instead of a hyperactive immune system, their sufferers struggle with a suppressed or completely disabled one.

As I mentioned, the operation of our immune system is so utterly complex that we will never be able to prove beyond doubt what causes it to malfunction. But there is now overwhelming evidence that the damage to the Earth’s regulatory system is caused by human pollutants and toxins in such massive quantities that the system can no longer cope with them (read The Weather Makers for a full explanation of this). So isn’t it logical to assume that human pollutants and toxins are also the cause of the epidemic of equally complex regulatory system failures (autoimmune diseases) in our bodies?

Of course, the powers that be don’t want you to think that. It’s genetic, they’ll tell you, blame your parents. Or it’s caused by some kind of unknown virus or other microbe. We’ll find it (or invent it if we have to). The fact that your food and water and air are full of artificial chemicals and toxins, and now bereft of the micronutrients essential to replenish our body’s natural defences is just a coincidence. Andthey’ll dare you to prove otherwise.

Image: Cytokine storm by Gary Carlson

This entry was posted in Collapse Watch. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Cytokine Storm

  1. Valla says:

    Dave,how are you feeling?Valla

  2. Dave Pollard says:

    Good. Flare-up ended after about two weeks, I then re-started my exercise program (10 days ago), and my latest blood test shows everything in healthy range. Thanks for asking.

  3. Dear Dave,I have been admiring your blog for awhile now and just saw your last entry, an area on which I now have some expertise. You may be interested to know that my disability diagnosis is “Toxic Effects of Chemicals” and “Toxic Encephalopathy”. I was poisoned by pesticides resulting in brain damage and chronic illness (at the age of 45), because of mandatory exposures to these chemicals throughout my tenure working in clinical and school setting. The pesticides had effected me all my adult life, but finally deprived me of it completely.If you would like some research material on this matter, please let me know. I will provide what I can as health permits. Stay well, educate consumers!Barbara RubinVermont

  4. Julie Genser says:

    Dear Dave, A friend sent me a link to this article today – I have not seen your blog before. You so articulately express what I, and millions of others worldwide, have come to know through our own journeys through illness. I have personally experienced the cytokine storm you refer to, and it is not fun! But illness has been my great teacher and has opened my eyes to the state of the world. Thank you for being another light in the storm and helping spread awareness.I started my website Planet Thrive to help support others through this journey and to help others connect the dots between government, big business, the environment and our health. I hope you’ll check it out!Best, Julie

Comments are closed.