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-plasticity, meaning changeable. Simply put our nervous systems are capable of forming new pathways for better or for worse. Neuroplasticity 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 neuroimaging, it is possible to visibly see these changes, as an increase and a lengthening of neuron dendrites. Literally building new neural pathways which are wired for stress!
LIMBIC KINDLING & MCS
This is a model of neuroplasticity is also known as ‘Limbic Kindling’, the kindling of our nervous system and brain to respond to chemicals. Chemicals are saturated into our homes and personal care regimes. Everything from upholstery, 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 hypersensitivity and reactivity has then occurred.
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 chronic overstimulation of the Sympathetic Nervous System, this is also known to down-regulate the Parasympathetic Nervous System which other-wise engages the rest, digest and detoxifies 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.
And lastly Improves the quality of life!
Kindling’s effect 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.
Chronic nervous system stress, kindled is known to increase intestinal permeability and therefore opportunistic infections to translocate across the intestinal mucosal lining.
Pyrroluria and Porphyria
Stress causes Pyrols in the urine. Pyrols leach B6, Manganese 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 mean reduced liver detoxification, leading to Multiple Chemical Sensitivity and toxicity.