Autoimmune Secrets : Dominoes and Details

Autoimmune Secrets : Dominoes and Details

It all starts so very simple, and yet it can domino before you realize what has happened. That is exactly how it happened to me. I had been like an only child since I was the first girl, and had no close sibling like my Irish twin brothers did. When she came along it was an annoyance more than anything. She crossed my face out in photos, was dressed like me, and had all of daddy’s love and affection. I was the carbon copy, although I came first. How funny that she and I both felt this same emotion, when in reality we were and are so very different in personality. We looked so much alike that people often thought we were twins. She was taller, and genetically thinner than I was. I was more active, and genetically more of a lone wolf than she was.

So there I sat on a bright summer day far away from anyone that might burst my personal bubble. This is where that first sign showed up that I could later trace to being an autoimmune secret link. I was probably in the second or third grade that summer and I spent as many sunny days outside in the grass, or hiding behind the grape vines when I needed even more of a cave to escape to. I can remember sitting in the yard that summer, getting cut and licking the wound. Of course I was out in the grass because my sister was allergic to that, and could also not sit in the sun. I instinctively, however, would lick my wounds if I could reach them. It was later that I realized that this is an animal, lizard brain instinct to help our blood clot after an injury. Here I was hoping that I was just a special sort of vampire that could sit out in the sunshine. I was ahead of the curve long before ‘Twilight’. However once I got the taste of that blood it was like, “what is this!?”. Blood has that copper flavor, and I also was one that routinely could be found getting in trouble for roaming around with a penny in my mouth.

I didn’t know for most of my life that genetics play an important role in who we are beyond looking like our family, and even more so environment.. Early on I realized that I could intuitively tune in and help others, but I almost refused to tune in on anything that was related to me, until 2017. That was a breakthrough year for me in terms of acceptance and truth. If I go back in time to the first moments that I remember my body trying to tell me my story, it goes back to the wound licking and pennies. One of the key items I wanted to share was that I realize now copper was a symptom of the underlying DNA mutations and methylation pathways in my body.

The most talked about genetic mutation of the last decade is the varieties of MTHFR mutations. If you Google “MTHFR” there are about 1,700,000 results. I have the more serious of the MTHFR variations and my daughter has a similar mutation that come from her grandma on my husband’s family tree. MTHFR mutations are notorious for causing high heavy metals in the system. These heavy metals in our system that are unable to be broken down properly and are then stored and can cause a list of symptoms including fatigue. The problem with having a high heavy metal in your system, like copper, is that you crave more copper because it stimulates our fatigued brains. So we crave that which is doing us harm because we need it, or sometimes just needing a bioavailable form.

All of this excess copper can do a number on a system that isn’t performing in a ‘normal’ manner including depleting essential nutrients like vitamin C, zinc and folate. In turn the pituitary gland doesn’t get what it wants, nor do the adrenals. I also had delayed growth, and the related brain connections with ADD, anxiety, depression and problems with my neurotransmitters just like my mom and my dad. Another symptom was the anxiety that turned me into a hermit for about 18 months as a young adult. Thanks so much, genetics, for all that you give, without a roadmap to help us through the forest.

Without copper functioning properly my body was less likely to be able to to control the bad guys in my gut. Of course when you are born via C-Section your gut isn’t at it’s best to begin with. As well I was in the hospital as a premie for some time, and was dealt the blow of antibiotics and strange bacterial immunology shots as a child. I have know followed the paper trail that shows that copper toxicity in Staphylococcus aureus (1) is very much a part of my puzzle. Even before the summer of copper love, I had dealt with S. aureus for a long, long time.

My mother loves telling me the story of how adorable it was to see me run about the house with a bare bottom. I have always had what she termed a “bubble butt”. However the truth is, she first started letting me go diaper-less because I had a large boil on my bottom when I was first learning to walk. As it turns out, Staphylococcus aureus is and was more common in infants. More common than I ever would have expected. Research currently shows staph and it’s more serious variety MRSA infection is becoming more common in children every year.

Staphylococcus aureus, or staph, was first identified in Scotland in the 1880’s. It wasn’t until the 1930’s that there was any sort of test to diagnose staph in wounds. Because of the outbreak of staph infections they were deliberately colonizing infants with the S. aureus. There is no way for me to know at this time what the cause of my boil was, or the reasons I was given shots weekly over a number of years after having that boil. Those shots didn’t stop until my mom forced the doctors to wean me off of the shots. The medical facilities where I was treated are long gone, so I have no idea if I was given gamma-globulin shots or long-term antibiotic therapy, or something completely different. Regardless of the type of treatment I received, I am sure it had a large impact on my microbiome over my entire life. I also am sure that the early S. aureus exposure is a domino in my life issues.

My sister also had shots for a very long time, after I was done with mine. Her’s were not weekly, but were monthly. I just remember being thrilled that she was getting a shot, which meant I would get an ice cream at the pharmacy. She had seizures between 10 months old and a year old, and were what they would consider a grand mal seizure. The first was when we were hiking above my uncle’s home in the foothills of the Wasatch Mountains. I cannot even imagine what my mom went through in those moments running her baby down the mountain to get her to the hospital, all while fearing her daughter was going to die. I have seen at least one study that showed a connection between high serum copper (Cu) in children with unprovoked seizures where they had normal MRI scan and abnormal EEG. (2) She hasn’t had a seizure since, however she had to overcome learning disabilities that our pediatrician believed was connected to those early seizures she suffered with.

Several years ago I came upon a book by Dr. William J. Walsh called ‘Nutrient Power’. This book was about the five biotypes that he has classified by nutrients that are overloading the body, as well as those that a person may be deficient in. When talking about genetic mutations you will often hear someone discuss their undermethylation or overmethylation problems. There is a lot of information out there to sort through while trying to become your own methylation guru. And for each mutation, like MTHFR, there are a variety of different heavy metals you may be high based on the way your body processes toxins and metals due to your methylation differences.

Methylation can be understood like a team working towards an end project. Each member of the team has a job to do in order to complete it. When a system is undermethylated there may be a team member that is hoarding rather than passing on the job. Besides my puzzle insights with copper and staph, I have a lot of allergies, or histamine related issues. It started to rev up when I was about my daughter’s age with one major anaphylactic reaction after another. My daughter doesn’t fall far from the tree with these histamine imbalances, although I am thankful that so far I have been able to keep toxic foods away from her system. I always told myself if was just DNA. Then I learned about epigenetics and was thrown into a spin.

The nutrients we need, the nutrients we don't... it's all a part of the wellness puzzle and as you figure it out, it's like knocking down the dominoes and seeing the images as they unwind. We’re lacking the wide spectrum of food. We’re lacking the orange peel, because orange peels are gross and you’d never eat it. However that’s where all of the big nutrients are in the orange!! No wonder orange essential oil is so AMAZING!! SO what opportunities would you open up if you were getting over 40 plants into your diet every day with ease? What else could you focus on if you didn’t have to worry about getting enough of the “good” stuff? The secret of manifesting our epic transformation is that it’s a journey of discovery every single day but nutrition should be the easy part. Do you want to join me?

1 - Copper Stress Induces a Global Stress Response in Staphylococcus aureus and Represses sae and agr Expression and Biofilm Formation. Department of Genetics, University of Leicester, University Road, Leicester LE1 7RH, United Kingdom,1 Department of Biological Sciences, Illinois State University, Normal, Illinois 617902

2 - PRASAD R , SINGH A, DAS B K, UPADHYAY R S,SINGH T B , MISHRA O P. CEREBROSPINAL FLUID AND SERUM ZINC, COPPER, MAGNESIUM AND CALCIUM LEVELS IN CHILDREN WITH IDIOPATHIC SEIZURE. Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research [serial online] 2009 December [cited: 2017 Nov 29 ]; 3:1841-1846.



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