Infectious and Auto Immune Psychiatric Problems
Can infections contribute to anxiety, irritability, hyperactivity, anorexia, depression, obsessions, compulsions and other problems? I was trained that common treatable viral infections (especially cytomegalovirus and Epstein Barr) may cause anxiety, depression and bipolar disorder. I was also trained viral and common treatable bacterial infections (strep, mycoplasma, chlamydia pneumonia) may cause circulation damage and heart disease. Several years ago, I began testing and treating these infections. In treating infectious circulation damage, I was surprised to see patients with psychiatric or neurological problems often improve.
What are the infections? They include:
• Herpes: type 1, 2, 4 (Epstein Barr), 5 (cytomegalovirus) and especially 6. These viruses can reside in the nervous system and cause cold sores, canker sores, runny nose, sinus, ear, throat and other problems. Best diagnosed and managed with blood tests.
• Group A strep: Throat swabs and blood tests can diagnose if current or past strep infections have produced toxins that damage the heart, kidneys or joints and cause immune reactions that damage the nervous system.
• Mycoplasma (20 different strains) and Chlamydia pneumonia (not the sexually transmitted type) commonly cause sinus, ear, throat and lung problems (cough, asthma, bronchitis) and may cause nervous system problems. Best managed with blood tests.
Here is a typical case: a 49 year old man with a past history of sinus, ear and throat infections, bronchitis, asthma, mononucleosis (caused by herpes type 4 & 5) had a long history of eye tics (twitches) and irritability. Symptoms improved with alternative treatments for serotonin and dopamine, but relapsed. Treatments for viral and bacterial infections resolved tics and irritability. I’ve also seen many teens and women with many symptoms improve.
How do these infections cause psychiatric or nervous system problems? Viruses can infect the nerves, especially the trigeminal nerves in the head. All of these infections (especially strep) can produce antibodies or auto immune responses that damage the nerves. Brain cells may release too much dopamine, which imbalances serotonin and adrenaline levels causing problems. These infections can also affect the kidneys, which make and regulate serotonin, dopamine and adrenaline levels.
If no one makes the connection between low level symptoms (cold sores, congestion, “allergies”, ear, throat or sinus infections, bronchial and other problems) or past infections (even years ago) then everyone just thinks the person has anxiety disorder, depression, tics, tremors, obsessive disorder, bipolar disorder, etc. Psychiatric drugs are started but tend not to work well.
How are these infections treated: by finding a clinician who knows about them, can test if needed and has treatments to:
• help make lifestyle improvements
• support immune functions
• suppress viral infections
• eliminate bacterial infections
• manage kidney problems
• manage damage done by toxins (especially strep toxins)
• manage serotonin, dopamine, adrenaline and other neurotransmitter “brain chemical’ imbalances
• “flush” infections out of their hiding places
It’s best to find a clinician who can use prescription drugs and alternative medicines as needed.
David Overton, PA-C owns Natural Medicines & Family Practice where he combines conventional and alternative treatments under the supervision of Dr. Richard Faiola, MD, ABFM. 360-357-8054, www.natmeds.net and find us on Facebook.