OT: Genetics/Immune System/Loneliness

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doors12
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 636
   Posted 9/14/2007 7:48 PM (GMT -7)   
I just read a story on Yahoo news about a study showing a relation between "haywire" immune systems, genes, and loneliness.  Notice after reading carefully, they steamroll immediately over the idea that genetics or something outside of human control is what causes the inflammation/sickness and the social isolation to begin with.  To clarify:  I am not simply saying that the inflammation/sickness makes socializing more inconvinient or undesireable per se, but that something maybe very biological (like a defecit in a chemical that promotes human bonding) is perhaps also going on.  Instead, they drag out the old shoe that social support is beneficial to virtually all conditions.  Which came first the chicken or the egg?
 
So from failing to read between the lines on this story, it would seem that one should go out and attempt to socialize, hoping for a medical benefit.  But they have not shown that the medical condition itself does not cause the isolation/loneliness (directly - think chemically) and therefore serve as the basis of the correlation. 
 
In my humble opinion, more and more research like this is going to come out.  I actually am fascinated with the topic and the idea of a link here, I just disagree with the way they are interpreting the results.  I have seen my desire for social interaction fade away since the recent onset of this UC, through means I feel are biological in nature.
 
 
We need a new paradigm of health.  The old framework of the medical model and even of psychology is dated and shows its age.  As we look for new ways that the mind and body relate, I believe we will find the immune system to be key.  And I think that Ulcerative Colitis may very well hold some valuable clues to how the mind and body function as one.  This should attract more research, at least, I hope. 
 
 
The link to the story about the study is below.  I believe it has a link to the study towards the bottom.
 
 
 
 
 
 


Diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis 6/2006 at age 26 after sudden E.R. visit
~Affecting Transverse Colon
 ~I had Mono in 2000
On Colazal 3x3/day; Folic Acid 1mg; Calcium/Magnesium/Zinc combo, Biotin
In remission about 2-3 months after E.R. but not back to normal!
 
~Interested in finding a cure/making sense out of U.C. and philosophical and psychological aspects of UC and "Stress" and Personal Development issues with Chronic Illnesses. 

Post Edited (doors12) : 9/14/2007 9:12:58 PM (GMT-6)


quincy
Elite Member


Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 29859
   Posted 9/14/2007 11:19 PM (GMT -7)   
Sounds exactly like the theory that's been around for a long time...or at least what I learned many, many years ago in therapy.

I think it's natural self-preservation to isolate ourselves if we're emotionally and physically sick...but it's actually a path of self-destruction if we don't seek changes on a cognitive level.

If we perceive ourselves as lonely, I think we can get sicker and and cause the opposite reaction in our immune systems than if we perceive ourselves as not being lonely.

Maybe a lot depends on if we actually like being "with" ourselves or not or if we feel safe by being alone or not.

Regardless of what our genetics have determined for us...tendencies, chemical imbalances or disease...if we have our faculties and no mental incompetence, we have a responsibility to make the efforts to seek changes to create a situation for better survival.

We can change our perceptions...better perception, changes happen in our bodies and we feel better. Feel better, feel less isolated.

Of course, we can feel less isolated through addictions. The perception of feeling less isolated has many paths and options.

quincy


*Heather*Status:mini flare June 23* 6asacol daily+ Salofalk (tapered every 3rd night)
~diagnosed January 1989 UC (proctosigmoiditis)
~5ASA: Asacol + Salofalk enemas (increase for flares tapered to maintenance)
~Bentylol (dicyclomine) 20mg as needed
~vitamins/minerals 
~Probiotic 2 (Natural Factors Protec) + 1 (Primadophilus Reuteri) at bedtime
~Natural Factors Multi Digestive Enzymes with supper
~Ranitidine,Pariet (reflux) Effexor XR 75mg;  Pulmicort/Airomir (asthma)
~URSO for PSC (or PBC) 500mg X 2 daily (LFTs back to NORMAL!!)
My doc's logic.. "TREAT (FROM)BOTH ENDS"  worth it !!!


doors12
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 636
   Posted 9/14/2007 11:42 PM (GMT -7)   
With all due respect, my point is that in a scientific study like the one I cited, they really need to clarify why they are making out a correlation (loneliness and inflammation let's say) to actually be a specific type of causation ("avoidance" --> inflammation let's say)

That's just bad science. In all fairness, my point is discussed in the study, so I am not sure if the media that simply reported on the study is responsible for this spin or not.

I think in these modern times we have become afraid of admitting things can happen outside of our control. I believe we have freewill and are not deterministic machines, but I believe our freedom comes from the choices we make in spite of the elements that attempt to determine us.

Why is it any less likely that something about the disease process in inflammatory conditions also contributes in a direct, chemical, biological way to behaviors like social withdrawl or for that matter depression or anxiety? By the way, even if this turned out to be true, it wouldn't be a license for resignation, but would hopefully spawn novel treatments that would help people (not to make pharma companies stocks go up).


Obviously we all need to have wonderful self-concepts, positive social interactions, immaculate mental hygeine. But often modern Cognitive/Behavioral Psychology turns into psycho-babble that seems to me to in fact turn humans into computers, quantify us, rather than making us the captains of our destiny. But I am not trying to enter into apologetics for the sake of my personal philosophy. I simply want pragmatic ways to find treatments for the urgent health issues that affect humanity.
Diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis 6/2006 at age 26 after sudden E.R. visit
~Affecting Transverse Colon
 ~I had Mono in 2000
On Colazal 3x3/day; Folic Acid 1mg; Calcium/Magnesium/Zinc combo, Biotin
In remission about 2-3 months after E.R. but not back to normal!
 
~Interested in finding a cure/making sense out of U.C. and philosophical and psychological aspects of UC and "Stress" and Personal Development issues with Chronic Illnesses. 


quincy
Elite Member


Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 29859
   Posted 9/15/2007 12:41 AM (GMT -7)   
I can agree with that....although this would require a discussion on a continuum rather than on a message forum, for I'm having a difficult time understanding your complex perception.

I think finding the balance is a good goal, it includes dysfunction with the function.... not the all-or-nothing be lost and isolated and sick or be the perfect functioning "computer".

What would one example be of a treatment for an urgent health issue..pick an example and possible treatment if you don't mind sharing.

q
*Heather*Status:mini flare June 23* 6asacol daily+ Salofalk (tapered every 3rd night)
~diagnosed January 1989 UC (proctosigmoiditis)
~5ASA: Asacol + Salofalk enemas (increase for flares tapered to maintenance)
~Bentylol (dicyclomine) 20mg as needed
~vitamins/minerals 
~Probiotic 2 (Natural Factors Protec) + 1 (Primadophilus Reuteri) at bedtime
~Natural Factors Multi Digestive Enzymes with supper
~Ranitidine,Pariet (reflux) Effexor XR 75mg;  Pulmicort/Airomir (asthma)
~URSO for PSC (or PBC) 500mg X 2 daily (LFTs back to NORMAL!!)
My doc's logic.. "TREAT (FROM)BOTH ENDS"  worth it !!!


doors12
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 636
   Posted 9/15/2007 10:44 AM (GMT -7)   
quincy said...
What would one example be of a treatment for an urgent health issue..pick an example and possible treatment if you don't mind sharing.
I was thinking of illness like IBD, pretty much all autoimmune diseases, and also some "mental" illnesses like anxiety, depression, OCD to name a few.  To give a hypothetical treatment, let's say, for the autoimmune diseases, hopefully they can actually treat whatever is at the heart of the issue.  (As opposed to blanket anti-inflammatory, immune suppression, or steroids).   Obviously, the better idea they have of what really causes these autoimmune problems, the more effectively they should be able to treat them.
 
And for anxiety, depression, OCD, I think it is worthwhile to study the relation of 1.  The gut, and 2.  Circulating components of the immune system and inflammation.  Let's contrast this with the treatment of putting everyone on an SSRI like Prozac or Wellbutrin, or getting them hooked on a drug like Xanax for anxiety. 
 
Obviously "counseling" has it's place in the picture of wellness.  As long as it doesn't get to the point where it's simply telling someone with a biological disorder to "walk it off," "be positive," or maybe try an SSRI.
 
So what I am saying is, I am encouraged with all these new studies I read about, regarding bacteria in the gut, the immune system and relation to mental health.  Because I think it can lead to improved treatments, more targeted treatments for many.  Maybe these studies can even lead to a better understanding of depression and anxiety themselves.  And they may give us a better idea of the operation of the mind and the body, possibly also reducing the stigma of "mental" illness.

But ironically, I guess my main point is, scientists are up against enough in the search for better treatments for these conditions.  The last thing we need is to try to fit the data into pre-formed concepts where there is actually ambiguity as to how to interpret the results.  Scientists should look for pragmatic solutions, for whatever will work, and think outside the box (medical model).  Because the "box" already has many preconceived notions inherent in it.  Like the Cartesian mind/body problem. 


Diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis 6/2006 at age 26 after sudden E.R. visit
~Affecting Transverse Colon
 ~I had Mono in 2000
On Colazal 3x3/day; Folic Acid 1mg; Calcium/Magnesium/Zinc combo, Biotin
In remission about 2-3 months after E.R. but not back to normal!
 
~Interested in finding a cure/making sense out of U.C. and philosophical and psychological aspects of UC and "Stress" and Personal Development issues with Chronic Illnesses. 

Post Edited (doors12) : 9/15/2007 11:53:09 AM (GMT-6)


quincy
Elite Member


Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 29859
   Posted 9/15/2007 7:28 PM (GMT -7)   
The complexity of each person's life in general would have any practical solution not possible.

We can find connections with almost anything, but if they are singularly focussed upon and all the eggs of success put in only one basket of solution...it will fail.

There is never only one solution, but it seems the easiest is what many perceive as being the best....much to the detriment of patients and doctors when patients get into worse situations than when they were originally presented with. I'm talking prednisone...a miracle med, cheap, used because it's the easiest, gets fast initial results but with difficult withdrawl, it can create life-long problems that needn't have been caused in the first place if a different approach (such as 5ASA oral/rectal) were presented initially. Of course, there are always risks, but it's "too much work" for patients to use and get sick mighty quick of the inconvenience.

you miss a huge factor....it's the expectations of patients that can outwardly influence the doctor's solution for a problem. It may seem a good idea at the time, but ends up being a pain to administer.

I'm curious...have you ever been in therapy? Because our perspectives of it are entirely different.

I'll have to do reading on Cartesian problem...don't clearly know what it is.

tbc
q
*Heather*Status:mini flare June 23* 6asacol daily+ Salofalk (tapered every 3rd night)
~diagnosed January 1989 UC (proctosigmoiditis)
~5ASA: Asacol + Salofalk enemas (increase for flares tapered to maintenance)
~Bentylol (dicyclomine) 20mg as needed
~vitamins/minerals 
~Probiotic 2 (Natural Factors Protec) + 1 (Primadophilus Reuteri) at bedtime
~Natural Factors Multi Digestive Enzymes with supper
~Ranitidine,Pariet (reflux) Effexor XR 75mg;  Pulmicort/Airomir (asthma)
~URSO for PSC (or PBC) 500mg X 2 daily (LFTs back to NORMAL!!)
My doc's logic.. "TREAT (FROM)BOTH ENDS"  worth it !!!

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