Immune System 101
We all harbor viruses, bacteria, fungi, and other assorted pathogens and parasites in our bodies—but not everybody suffers illnesses. A healthy immune system can usually handle the situation. Like it or not, our bodies are normally loaded full of organisms that could cause disease. The key is how well each body manages them to maintain a healthy balance and prevent them from overwhelming the system. In fact, it is virtually impossible to be alive and not be carrying potentially pathogenic organisms.
Your own body is what holds the key to overcoming illness due to infection. If your body’s natural systems are not better… you are not better! Human immune systems have been capably fighting infection for as long as humans have roamed the earth. Our bodies have always been inhabited by microbes, with the immune system on the task to battle the bugs.
Here’s what it is all about:
The immune system fights against infectious microorganisms (microbes, germs) and other irritants. We call the various steps it takes the immune response. The parts of our great defense system include a vast network of cells, tissues, and organs that protect the body. We have several types of white blood cells (leukocytes), which are the chief attackers of germs. Some white blood cells “eat” the bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other invaders. Others are responsible for “remembering and recognizing” these invaders from previous exposure.
One measure of immune system strength is counting the numbers of the different types of white blood cells in a sample of blood. A low white cell count can suggest various problems, including infection. The normal count should be between 4,500 and 10,000 cells per micro liter. In addition to illness, there are numerous prescription drugs that can alter white blood cell counts. The CD57 blood test can be a useful indicator of a weak immune system.
Antigens and Antibodies
We call a foreign substance that invades and irritates the body an antigen. Your body “recognizes” that specific proteins from viruses, bacteria, fungi, etc. are not human cells. The immune system develops antibodies, which are specialized proteins that provide the “memory” for the body to signal a defense, should future exposure of the germs take place.
That’s what immunity is all about!
But memory isn’t enough; there must be a system of attack. That’s what white blood cells known as T-cells do. They are produced by your thymus gland located near your heart. A healthy spleen acts as a filter of foreign cells, and thus plays an important role of immunity. Those who have had their spleen removed tend to get sick more often.
Types of Immunity
When you are born, you already have some immune system defense capability. This is called innate immunity. Your first line of defense against germs also includes your skin, as well as the lining of your nose, throat, and gastrointestinal system. If a virus, bacteria, or other microbe gets past this wall, it’s up to your white blood cells to launch their attack.
We also have immunity that develops throughout our lives. Exposure to germs triggers this protective immune response. There are some diseases that once you’ve had them, you are protected against future infection. The intention of immunization through vaccination is to create controlled exposure to a weakened form of a particular microorganism, which provokes an ongoing immune response of protection against the actual infection, if encountered. In other words, a tiny amount of the disease protein is injected so the immune system will “recognize” and deal with the real thing, should it come along—without causing the actual disease in the process.
Why Some People Don’t Get Sick
Life is not fair. We are all born with different strengths and weaknesses, as well as aptitudes and abilities. For some people, math comes easily, but for others it is a struggle. The same is true for music, art, or sports. Immunity and health are no different. Genetics do play a role, but I am certain they are blamed too much. Some people are impervious to certain illnesses. They seem to have an impenetrable wall of defense against specific viruses, for example.
Do you know somebody who never gets the flu or catches cold, even when the bug is going around? A sick person could cough right in his or her face, but no illness develops. Not fair, is it?
I’ll bet you know somebody who says they don’t get mosquito bites. Maybe he or she is an outdoorsy type, who boasts being bitten by ticks thousands of times, without the slightest Lyme disease symptom ever experienced.
How can this be?
Don’t ticks spread Lyme disease? Don’t mosquitoes spread viruses? Yes, they do, but that doesn’t mean the person bitten will be affected! The reason some people are affected, while others are not is the strength and abilities of each individual’s immune system.
What Goes Wrong?
Nobody is perfect, and neither is anybody’s immune system. Everyone has a breaking point. When your body becomes overwhelmed by any stress, it can become disabled in its power to defend itself. If you recall from the chapter on antibiotics, “superbugs” can “outwit” a weakened immune system. And when one’s immune system becomes weakened from one source, it can become an easy target for all kinds of other germs.
“Party Time” for the Microbes
Numerous viruses are responsible for more of the problems Lyme victims suffer than the Borrelia bacteria. Lyme bacteria are without a doubt, capable of ravaging one’s immune system. What this does is open the door for every opportunistic pathogen and parasite to wreak havoc on your body. Viruses can exist in our bodies for decades, even if they’re not reproducing enough to directly cause illness. Consider the case of chicken pox and shingles. One could have chicken pox as a child, recover, and have its causative Varicella zoster virus lay dormant for 50 or 60 years. Then, in a moment of immune system weakness (usually due to another illness) it can come out of hibernation and “gratefully” punish its fragile host with the often excruciating shingles nerve pain!
One may be harboring various germs in one’s body, without any symptoms associated with them at all. What this means is that a person can be bitten by an infectious tick, but not develop Lyme disease (or perhaps not right away)!
Germs do not cause disease in every person.
Immune systems are of different strengths in each person, and that is why some people do not get sick from certain viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens, but others do.
Immune Deficiency, Autoimmune, and Allergic Disorders
An infectious tick bite is not necessarily the starting point of one’s illness. However, it may deliver the knock-out punch. One might have hundreds of problems brewing beneath the surface—kept in check by the immune system. Add the parasitic puncture from a wretched tick… and it’s all downhill from there! New allergies develop. Thyroid gland malfunction creeps up on you. Sinusitis is now a menace. Colds and stomach viruses are now an ongoing presence. What gives? The answer is simple: your immune system got systematically hammered by a variety of sources, one of which was likely Lyme Borrelia bacterial infection.
Toxic chemicals are a fact of life, more so than any time in human history. They make their way into our bodies by too many routes to mention. Toxins can weaken or disable the immune system. This paves the way for germs to harm us even more. Modern medical technology cannot compensate for our bodies being overwhelmed by toxins that did not exist thousands of years ago.
Our ancestors had other dangers, but they never had to deal with modern chemical stress. It is possible that toxins alone have made us humans more susceptible to disease than ever before.
Disease doesn’t just show up; everything has causes.
It may be the case that weakening of the immune system (by various means) is the ultimate cause of all chronic illness. It has been observed for years that autoimmune conditions develop after viral or bacterial infections.
Every day of your life, you breathe in thousands of viruses, bacteria, and fungi from the air. Your immune system deals with them most of the time without a hitch. You eat all kinds of pathogens and parasites too, but the acids of your stomach take care of most of them.
Your Immune System and Tick-Borne Infection
Have you suffered a cold at least once in your lifetime, and perhaps a fever or two? Maybe you have dealt with a chronic cough. Your body healed itself through the magnificent awe-inspiring strength of the human immune system.
Hurray for your white blood cells, thymus, spleen, lymph vessels, and other members of the team.
Who is to say that your immune system cannot overpower the Borrelia bacteria?
It can, and it does.
Every person who has been bitten by ticks without developing Lyme disease is proof positive. We do not need a million-dollar research grant, years of research, double-blind studies, and publication in a peer-reviewed medical journal to confirm this.
The existence and function of the immune system is set in stone.
With the Bio-energetic Individual Treatment Equation© we simply acknowledge this, and work towards supporting your body, with the intention of it coming out of hibernation.
There is no medical treatment to claim direct responsibility for patients’ recovery. It is purely the result of the individual’s own natural body systems doing the job.
I do not treat infectious disease or any specific illness. I seek elimination of blockages to normal function and healing, and gently support normal body function. What a magnificent and simple concept it is. It is its simplicity that boggles the minds of the hyper-educated medical world. It is no great leap of faith nor is it putting trust in alternative medicine to give one’s body the opportunity to heal itself.
Dr. Donald Liebell
D.C., B.C.A.O., B.A.
Licensed by the
of Medicine Since 1993
The Liebell Clinic: Chronic Pain & Wellness Solutions
Donald K. Liebell, D.C., B.C.A.O
477 Viking Drive Suite 170 Virginia Beach VA 23452
8:30AM - 6:30PM M,W,F, (and by Special Appointment)
No Antibiotics... No Drugs... No Side Effects...
No Controversy... No Politics...
Just Help for People From Coast-to-Coast, Who Suffer the Chronic Effects
of Lyme Disease & Other Tick-Triggered Illness (After All Else Has Failed)
Copyright 2014-2018© Dr. Donald Liebell. All rights reserved.
The information and statements contained in this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. The contents of this website are for informational purposes only are is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Your reliance on any information provided by Dr. Liebell’s website, any referenced parties is solely at your own risk. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard medical advice, or delay seeking medical advice or treatment, because of information contained in this website. This website expresses Dr. Liebell's health care views, and describes wellness-based, natural treatment methods, and must not be misconstrued as direct treatment advice—it is information only. Dr. Liebell does NOT treat infectious disease, nor does he claim to have a cure for "post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome" or chronic Lyme disease; he provides natural, drug-free, wellness-promoting treatments from which patients have cited recovery.