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Chronic sinusitis sufferers have enhanced immune responses to fungi according to NIH   PDF  Print  E-mail 
Tuesday, 17 June 2003

Stopping the use of band-aid drugs may save your life with the right resources

6/19/05

Bethesda, MD - Scientists sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, have discovered another link between fungal exposure and immuno-response, possibly leading to compromised immune system complications.  It has long been known the immunological problems that fungal exposure can cause due to exposure to fungi such as Chaetomium and stachybotrys, which have been proven to destroy the myelin sheath, but these new study results show another point of causation.  The study confirms that people with chronic sinus inflammation have an exaggerated immune response to common airborne fungi. The results of their study appear online today in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. A 1999 study conducted at the Mayo Clinic by Dr. David Sherris confirms that 97% of all cases of sinusitis are caused from fungal exposure. 

 

What does this tell us?  Basically, fungal exposure can cause several complications to the immune system, including more than neurological problems which can result in compromising immune systems, but also through sinusitis; a more severe problem that many doctors, often unskilled in the principles of fundamental medicine, write-off as ?allergies? or bacterial infections.  Many of these physicians often ignore these cutting edge studies, in favor of prescribing antibiotics; secondary metabolites of a fungi, causing more problems than doing any good.

"This study is the first to show a possible immunologic basis for chronic sinusitis, an important starting point to better understand the etiology of the illness," says Marshall Plaut, M.D., chief of NIAID's allergic mechanisms section. Despite the enormous health impact of chronic sinusitis-nearly 30 million people were diagnosed with sinusitis in 2002, according to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and direct costs of the illness exceed $5.6 billion per year-the condition is very poorly understood, he says. But the cost of remediating moldy buildings and holding inept contractors responsible for defective building practices could be even more costly, possibly ten times higher than the gross national debt.  Therefore, the big industries, such as the drug companies, reap the profits with often insufficient and even possibly detrimental ?solutions? to the problem.

The researchers, led by Hirohito Kita, M.D., of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, compared blood samples taken from 18 people diagnosed with chronic sinusitis with blood samples from 15 healthy volunteers. Nasal secretions from the two groups were also examined for the presence of fungal proteins and inflammation-causing immune system molecules.

Airborne microscopic fungi spores abound indoors and out. People may inhale a million or more fungal spores each day, notes Dr. Kita. The mere presence of such fungi in the airways, however, is not enough to cause sinusitis because these spores can be found in the upper respiratory tracts of both sinusitis sufferers and non-sufferers. Indeed, in this study, levels of fungal proteins in nasal secretions were similar in both groups.

The Mayo Clinic scientists looked for evidence that people with sinusitis respond abnormally to these harmless fungi. The investigators exposed immune cells derived from the blood samples to extracts of four common airborne fungi: Alternaria, Aspergillus, Penicillium and Cladosporium. The cells of chronic sinusitis sufferers released significant amounts of three immune-modulating chemicals, called cytokines, specifically interferon-gamma, interleukin-5 (IL-5) and IL-13. In contrast, cells from healthy volunteers released very little interferon-gamma and no IL-5 or IL-13. The most dramatic responses occurred after exposure to Alternaria. In a recent interview with Dr. David Sherris, who led the fungal sinusitis study with the Mayo Clinic in 1999, he told Mold Help that the majority of fungi that are found in common cases of sinusitis, Alternaria and Cladosporium appear to be the most common fungi involved.  This worries fungal disease experts, since these fungi are generally not considered to be one of the more dangerous and invasive species of mold involved with disease.  This new study suggests that even ?allergen? producing fungi can exacerbate the immune system in more ways than one, and should be taken much more seriously. 

 

Furthermore, often mainstream doctors, even some untrained allergists/immunologists respond to the alarming increase in allergies among the general population, often dismiss allergies (many times they confuse them with seasonal allergies) as nothing more than a ?minor inconvenience? and prescribe band-aid antihistamines or allergy medications as method to stop the symptoms.  Symptoms are a method that the body uses to determine more serious problems, but with many of the new drugs on the market, they merely mask the symptoms, so the body has no way to show signs of severe health distress, often after it is too late and a full blown infection, fungal colonization or even more severe health problems prevail.

Importantly, says Dr. Kita, the released cytokines represent both major classes of cytokines-interferon-gamma is in the Th1 group and IL-5 and IL-13 are in the Th2 class. This is notable because scientists have thought that allergic reactions involve only Th2 cytokines, Dr. Kita explains. (While chronic sinusitis is not considered to be an allergic disease, people with the condition also often have asthma and allergic rhinitis, giving scientists reason to suspect a link.) The current findings add to an evolving understanding of allergic diseases that suggests symptoms may stem from a combination of Th1 and Th2 cytokines.

The combined effect of excess Th2 and Th1 cytokines released in the presence of fungi may explain a number of chronic sinusitis symptoms, including persistent inflammation of sinus and nasal mucous passages, say the scientists.
Previously, Mayo clinic scientists used intranasal antifungal agents to successfully treat patients with chronic sinusitis.
 
Many studies such as these often create controversy, especially when serious health hazards are discovered, or it becomes known that prescription symptom-hiding medications may be a hindrance to solving medical mysteries, this study was without exception, Dr. Kita says today's report supports the rationale of treating chronic sinusitis with antifungals. Clinical trials to further test antifungal therapy for chronic sinusitis are being planned, adds Dr. Kita.

 

Acid reflux is another good analogy of profit vs. cure as acid reflux is a common symptom of fungal exposure.  Doctors and pharmaceutical giants know that their drugs and antacids do not cure heartburn or acid reflux. They have known for a long time that their drugs simply suppress the condition and continue the cycle of heartburn, acid reflux, leading to prolonged use; translating into increased profits. Antifungal drugs have been shown to cure acid reflux almost immediately, but with the pharmaceutical companies profiting well over $10 billion last year from band-aid drugs such as Prilosec?, Previcid?, and Protonix?, and Nexium?, there is little chance that your drug-company trained doctor would prescribe an antifungal cure the problem permanently anytime soon. It has been known for years that there is little profit in antifungal therapy, because once fungal infections stop, so do many highly profitable symptoms.

If you can find a physician who is knowledgeable, caring and altruistic, obtaining a treatment that will not mask symptoms, but stop the problem from reoccurring, without the use of band-aid drugs, you may find yourself on the way to better health, before the neurological and auto-immune problems alter your life forever.
 

Note:  This article in no way suggests that patients whould be stopping their prescribed medication.  Always consult with your medical practitioner on any adive with prescription drugs.  Nor does this article suggest that antifungal therapy will treat and and all diseases or health problems.  We do, however, suggest that you consult with any health care practitioner when given a prescription for any health issue, its warnings, possible interactions, and reasons for such prescription.


Last Updated (Monday, 07 November 2005)

 
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