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Unraveling the Mystery of Chronic Illness

by Dr. Karen Clickner, ND


As far back as 1994 medical research realized that there were specific illnesses caused by organisms that had unique abilities. They were able to not just “infect” you, they could adapt to your immune system and evade your body’s attempts to resolve them. These became known as stealth pathogens and it meant that they could live in your body for very long periods of time. Examples of these are Lyme, syphilis, mycoplasma, parasites and bacteria. They can alter your body function, change the direction of blood flow, create toxins that cause numerous symptoms and paralyze nerve function. The Epstein Barr Virus can actually silence regions of itself to ensure its survival. Each pathogen that is doing this in the body creates a burden to your body and may actually be employing tactics that drain your resources and suppress your immune response. It is clinically proven that the majority of autoimmune illnesses including fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, sarcoidosis and chronic Lyme are all the result of stealth pathogen activity in the body.

In conventional medicine testing is generally done for one pathogen at a time and often cannot detect pathogens that have been present for a long time. This completely misses the mark which is why most conventional medical treatments are not effective. This suggests that the future for an approach to illness must be a broad spectrum approach that is aimed across all types of pathogens, especially viruses. Even a simple Herpes outbreak may not be that at all, but instead multiple strains of Herpes or even more than one more systemic virus. Some of the most common pathogens that I see are Mycoplasma, Babesia, Bartonella, Borrelia, Toxoplasma, Parvovirus, Epstein-Barr virus, H. Pylori and Mycobacterium.

This is where natural medicine really makes a difference, because it is impossible for pathogens to develop a resistance to natural remedies (unlike antibiotics) and remedies can be blended to offer broad spectrum effects without debilitating side effects. I have used Artemisinin annua as a standard option, particularly with Hepatitis B and C, HPV and Epstein-Barr. Commiphora myrrha (Myrrh) is an antimicrobial, antiparasitic and anti-inflammatory making it the best gut remedy out there. Thuja occidentalis is traditionally used for warts (a Herpes virus) and is even better with St. John’s Wort which is the best antiviral for the liver. Phellodendron and Berberine together make a great team against bacteria, funguses (like Candida) and protozoa.

One of the most difficult of stealth pathogen tactics to combat are biofilms. These are secretions that the pathogen releases to create an impenetrable seal covering itself and sealing it to a body surface. This requires a combination of remedies to release it and allow the immune system to “see” it so it can react. Often this is the case in the gut which is why many people have chronic digestive issues that linger after an illness. Cranberry, tannin herbs, garlic, oregano oil, berberine and fiber are all great tools to use. But using probiotics does nothing to change these biofilms and often can create an imbalance in the pH of the gut that actually provides more opportunity for biofilms to form.

But how do we prevent stealth pathogens from even getting a foothold in our bodies? The answer is the gut. The healthier and more diverse your microbiome (lining of the digestive tract) is with friendly, supportive bacteria and a healthy pH, the more active your immunity is within the gut. This means a broad diet (as opposed to a restrictive eating plan), non-processed foods, plenty of vegetable fiber and lots of water. We also need to modulate our stress, move a lot more than we do and support our immune system. I recommend Echinacea root, Astragalus and a complex food tablet every single day. It limits how far pathogens can get into the body and reduces the incidence of illness.

Our global reality means that we will be exposed to more and more pathogens for the very first time plus many new strains of a familiar pathogen that have already figured out ways of taking up residence in our bodies . We also have to realize that bacteria are natural to our bodies (such as H. Pylori), parasites exist everywhere and once you contract a virus it will never leave your body for the rest of your life. The key is to keep your immune system so effective that everything remains dormant, inactive or completely resolved. This is why people who “seem perfectly healthy” actually are not because they are walking around with ticking time bombs of stealth pathogens that they have had as children or been exposed to at some point which are all just waiting for the next big immune challenge to appear on the horizon. Once you have to fight off the next challenger, it can often be the straw that broke your camel’s back by creating chronic, debilitating symptoms that you can’t recover from.

To truly face the future of illness, we have to realize the complexity of bio burdens that can weigh down our defenses and keep us from living full lives. Don’t rely on treatment, start creating stronger resistance.


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Article Archives  This Month's Articles  Click Here for more articles by Dr. Karen Clickner, ND
Bach Flower Education
Gwen Evans
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Circles of Wisdom
Saue Coffin
Alternatives For Healing
Rita Marr
Ellie Pechet
Denali Institute
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