Stealth infection and adrenal fatigue syndrome

By: Michael Lam, MD, MPH


An Adrenal Fatigue caused infectionThe invention of the microscope in the 1800s was a scientific milestone that has led to revolutionary advances in medicine. It helped with the discovery of bacteria and parasites later in the century, which eventually led to the invention of antibiotics in the early 1900s. However, these inventions have also initiated our undoing in recent years. Drug resistant superbugs have started surfacing due to persistent over medicating. Since the discovery of microscopic organisms, the medical establishment has found many controversies regarding the involvement of bacteria in conjunction with or as a cause of other medical conditions aside from infection. For example, the bacteria, Helicobacter pylori, were in only recent decades shown to be a cause of stomach ulcers, having previously been rejected by the medical community. Lyme disease is currently facing a similar situation, with differing views on the degree of its prevalence and associated diseases such as chronic fatigue that is seemingly unrelated at first glance. We are entering a new era in which infections play a causative role in multiple disease entities other than infection.

Infectious States

When a microorganism invades an individual, physiologic changes such as fever, elevated white blood cell count, and positive x-ray findings typically manifest. This is what we commonly call an active infection, and most agree that antibiotic treatment is required. Sometimes lesser symptoms present themselves and exist over a longer period of time. These include enlarged lymph nodes, fatigue, persistent cough, and low-grade fever. Patients with these subtle signs and symptoms fall classically in a state of subclinical infection, and would still be treated with antibiotics.

Another level below sub-clinical infection is known as the carrier state. At this state, the organism is still in the patient’s body, but is controlled by the immune system. This means that the patient is not suffering from any physiologic symptoms at the time, but may in the future when their immune system weakens or falters. For example, patients who once suffered from chickenpox as a child may see the virus come out of hiding as shingles when they become an older adult as their immune system weakens.

There is another level below the carrier state known as the stealth level that is recently coming to the forefront. At this lowest level, microorganisms are normally undetectable by regular laboratory tests or by the immune system. They exist in the body unrecognized as a negative foreign entity. The body therefore does not mount an active defense response. The organism is still active however secreting toxins in minute amounts. These toxins affect the bodies’ physiology and generally weaken the body, allowing other organisms to invade opportunistically. Common signs and symptoms are extremely subtle and often have no apparent connection to what is generally acceptable as signs of infection. They include worsening allergies, recurrent sinusitis, autoimmune disease, chronic diarrhea, brain fog, rash, anemia, delayed inflammation, food intolerance, and hormonal imbalance. A patient presenting with these symptoms will typically visit many doctors over time. These visits seldom lead to anything definitive, as medical findings are typically not significant, laboratory tests are normal and at best marginally positive. The clinician is baffled and the patient is commonly diagnosed as having anxiety or depression, and put on medication for such conditions.

Stealth Pathogens

Common pathogens that can present themselves in the stealth state of infection include Candida, giardia, EB virus, Borrelia (causes Lyme Disease), various hepatitis viruses (causing hepatitis A, B, C and E), and H. Pylori (causing gastric discomfort and ulcer).

Other less common pathogens that are linked to stealth infection include mycoplasmas, a highly pleomorphic microorganism. This is a common cause of walking pneumonia. There are many species of these very dangerous organisms. They exist in a physical state somewhere between bacteria and virus. Detection is therefore very difficult.  In their stealth state, toxins are released slowly and consistently.  The body’s immune system is worn down slowly as it tries to neutralize toxins constantly.  Traditional allopathic antibiotics are usually ineffective.  In fact, mycoplasma may be the end result of aggressive but failed medical therapeutics giving rise to their opportunistic infection.

Like Candida and Borrelia, mycoplasmas in its regular state can cause low-grade gastrointestinal tract infections and dysbiosis as well as the ability to attack the entire body. No organ system is untouched. These stealth capable pathogens have also been linked as a cofactor to chromosomal aberrations, and other unexplained and complex illnesses, including chronic fatigue syndrome and a variety of autoimmune illnesses. For example, autoimmune thyroiditis has been linked to GI overgrowth of the opportunistic organism Yersinia enterocolitica; Kelsiella has been associated with ankylosing spondylitis; Campylocbactor has been linked to Guillain-Barre syndrome; Chlamydia has been tied to multiple sclerosis, and Cirtobactor a suspect in rheumatoid arthritis.

Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth

Human Intestines and Adrenal FatigueThe small intestine is also referred to as the small bowel and acts as a bridge between the stomach and the colon, or the large bowel. The small intestine digests food and absorbs it into the body. The small intestine, or bowel, has three different parts: the duodenum, which is where food empties into from the stomach, the jejunum and the ileum, which both absorb various nutrients and empty food not fully digested into the colon or large intestine.

The human gastrointestinal track, which includes the small intestine, contains bacteria under normal conditions. The quantity of bacteria varies, with the colon having the greatest amount and the small intestine having the least amount. The colon contains different types of bacteria than would benormally found in the small intestine. A condition known as small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) occurs when an abnormally large quantity of bacteria is living in the small intestine and the types of these bacteria are more in line with the types of bacteria that usually exist in the colon.

Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) also goes by the name small bowel bacterial overgrowth syndrome (SBBOS). The cause of this condition may be malfunctioning intestinal muscles or nerves or perhaps an obstruction of some sort or some other intestinal dysfunction. People with SIBO display the following symptoms:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea

When the condition becomes advanced it can cause weight loss along with vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Certain patients with irritable bowel syndrome may develop similar symptoms due to SIBO. The recommended treatment for SIBO is antibiotics or probiotics and sometimes both are prescribed and used in combination.

If SIBO is not treated promptly, the symptoms can become chronic and last on and off for months and even years. Sufferers can have no symptoms for a period of time and then suddenly experience resurgence out of the blue for no known reason. The common causes usually turn out to be a diet high in sugar, along with stress. If someone has co-infections of Candida and Lyme, along with the Epstein Barr virus, this can weaken the body’s immune system, which invites bacteria in the small intestine to take hold. This raises the toxin levels, which causes the symptoms to become even more severe.

The natural progression of this condition, along with aging, can cause the person to become debilitated with continued weight loss, chronic diarrhea, and malabsorption.

Stealth Infection and Inflammation

Let us look at how stealth infection destroys the body slowly and quietly.

The body’s immune system starts developing at birth by remembering each individual organism it encounters. Every organism has a unique molecular fingerprint found on its surface. Once identified, the body triggers and activates an inflammatory reaction as a defense mechanism. Inflammation is defined as four distinct signs, heat, redness, pain, and swelling. This process is usually brief and contained. However, in the case of stealth infection, the inflammatory reaction is lowered but not totally suppressed. It persists at a very mild simmering level. This results in the ambiguous symptoms and lack of objective findings found in these patients along with normal laboratory findings despite extensive medical workups.

There are varieties of proposed theories suggesting how stealth organisms are able to go undetected. Biofilms are aggregates of microorganisms covered in a polymeric substance, also known as slime, made up of extracellular substances. One theory supports, it is this slime that helps the organism navigate under the radar as it is made up of parts of the human body. Another theory suggests that certain organisms have deficient cell walls. This means that the organism lacks the identifiable molecular fingerprints typically found on the surface and as such, are not recognized by the immune system. A third theory proposes that plasmids, shareable DNA, are transferred between organisms, allowing them to disguise themselves with molecules that can change depending on the situation. These plasmids can be shared between different species, allowing for even more genetic variation and masking. Regardless of which theory, a simmer inflammatory response is the body’s common pathway at the end.

How Stealth Pathogens Attack

Pathogens capable of leading stealth infectious states range from bacteria, fungus, virus, to mycoplasma. Almost any pathogen that has been able to survive the onslaught of strong antibiotics of the past century has the potential capability to attack the body using the stealth mode in addition to their regular mode. Unfortunately, this is frequently overlooked. The alert to the stealth infectious state of many pathogens remain vastly under-estimated and under-appreciated within the medical world. The stealth infectious process puts the body on a slow-motion train crash that can wreck the body beyond repair before final discovery. It is important to recognize that just because a pathogen is not detected by current laboratory technology does not mean it does not exist or cannot do harm.

Once these stealth capable pathogens enter the body, they can be ever present, even though common signs of infection such as fever, diarrhea, or cough are absent. Strong antibiotics can bring relief of acute symptoms and reduce toxic load temporarily. Even when the laboratory titer has cleared us of an acute infectious state whereby we are pronounced cured by infectious disease specialists, these pathogens can still be omnipresent within our eco-system in minute amounts. By operating in the stealth mode, they evade detection while continuing to destroy healthy cells, slowly but surely. Fortunately, Mother Nature has provided us with an excellent built-in defense system, and that is why most stealth infections are neutralized without our knowing and this process usually goes on unnoticed for decades.

Overload and Adrenal FatigueAt their stealth state, pathogens release toxins very slowly as the main mechanism of attack. The process is so slow that it can escape even the most sophisticated laboratory detection available. In their mildest state therefore, stealth infection is hardly noticeable at all. As the stealth infection gathers steam, mild clinical symptoms may surface and be treated more as a nuisance to normal daily living. A person may be totally normal other than some unexplained joint pain or occasional food intolerance. As the infectious process becomes more serious, moderate fatigue, headache, and reduced exercise capacity may become evident. Often these are simply written off as signs of aging. This is why such infectious states usually go unnoticed until the damage is severe and well entrenched. Unfortunately, sooner or later, the body gradually runs out of steam to defend itself as we age or becomes weak due to other reasons. When this happens, though slowly, the body enters a state called toxic overload.

Toxic Overload

Early signs of toxic overload include malaise, brain fog, joint pain, nervousness, tingling, dizziness, insomnia, headache, gastric upset, and delayed food sensitivity that seems to be innocuous and even written off as part of the aging process. Symptoms of stealth infection escalate slowly over years and decades. If left unabated, toxin accumulation can lead to severe anxiety, chronic pain of unknown origin, severe fatigue, irritable bowl, and recurrent colds and flu. No system is spared, but organs most exposed to attack include the liver and adrenal glands. As toxic overload increases inflammation, the body’s compensatory response is to produce more cortisol, the anti-inflammatory hormone. This production is controlled by the adrenal glands. Chronic stealth infection can gradually lead to overworked adrenals. Cortisol output first rises but eventually falls after being unable to keep up with the ever-increasing demand to neutralize toxic overload. Adrenal fatigue surfaces as cortisol depletion sets in. With compromised adrenal function, the anti-inflammatory response is further lowered, and the toxic overload worsens. As the adrenals weaken, the liver is also under tremendous stress. Stealth toxin attacks healthy cells and causes cell death. As healthy cells die, they have to be metabolized and quickly removed from the body. This is the job of the liver. Long-term sufferers of stealth infection invariably are burdened with increased liver workload if not properly fortified. Those already afflicted with a history of liver insult from past illness such as hepatitis, weak constitution, poor lifestyle habits including excessive alcohol or medication use including the very popular statin type of cholesterol lowering medications and certain antibiotics are particularly vulnerable. If the stealth infection is not controlled early on or with aging, the liver will eventually weaken over time. Unfortunately, liver enzymes will continue to be unremarkable during this entire process.

Stealth Mode to Active Mode

If the stealth infection is uncontrolled, the body will eventually be bathed in a sea of toxins unable to be cleared by the liver in timely fashion while the pathogen’s toxin influx continues unabated due to lack of neutralizing cortisol as adrenal fatigue sets in. This one-two punch is a time-tested tactic for stealth pathogens to gain the upper hand on the body. A vicious cycle follows as the body gets weaker with time and eventually succumbs. As the body surrenders, fatigue becomes extreme and one can be incapacitated. The regular active mode of infection we are familiar with now resurfaces and gains prominence. Only now will the laboratory test be remarkable, when the damage is well entrenched. Unfortunately, the conventional medical wisdom is to administer strong antibiotics. Upon exposure to antibiotics, the pathogens enter the stealth mode as a shield for self-preservation. When the antibiotic is withheld, active infection returns with a vengeance and toxic titer resurges. Another round of antibiotics will be recommended. The cycle repeats. With each round, the body becomes weaker from internal damage caused by the antibiotic as its efficacy is reduced. Resistance to antibiotics develop and after a few rounds of trying various antibiotics to no avail, the patient is abandoned as medical intervention has been exhausted.

Breakdown Speed

How long can the body sustain the insult of stealth infection before breaking down? The stronger the body, the more dormant the infectious state and less symptomatic one will be. Conversely, the weaker the body, the more aggressive the stealth infection will be and the faster the breakdown. This tug of war between the body’s defense system involving the adrenals and the liver can go on for decades, depending on the body’s constitution and the external environment. At every opportune moment, however, the stealth pathogen will try to reassert itself. There can be no end in sight in this merry-go-round, and that is why stealth infection is so hard to recognize, manage and overcome. One can feel good for weeks or months after a lot of hard work to control the stealth toxin, only to fall quickly with the smallest mistake in lifestyle or nutritional mishap. It comes as no surprise that many with chronic infection such as systemic candida, chronic hepatitis, and Epstein-Barr will find periods of relative symptom free stability when the stealth infectious state is under control alternating with periods of significant clinical symptoms when the pathogen goes on a rampage. In fact, such recurrent roller coaster rides are classic signs and alerts of underlying stealth infection. The triggers for resurgence can include a diet high in hydrogenated fat or sugar, emotional stress, surgery, menstrual cycle irregularities, over exertion, excessive sex, inadequate sleep, or inadequate water intake. During the resurgence, laboratory tests continue to be unremarkable but the sufferer can be incapacitated.

Diagnosis of Stealth Infections

Diagnosing stealth infections with Adrenal FatigueDue to the mysterious stealth nature of these infections, they are often hard to diagnose. By definition, they are not detectable by typical means. Certain viruses and bacteria may be found via highly specialized cultures and assays. However, more often than not, a diagnosis is made via clinical judgment. Experienced and astute physicians on the lookout will be able to piece together the subtle signs and symptoms and come to a definitive most probable cause. It is often a diagnosis by exclusion.

Let us look at some specific stealth Infections from well-known pathogens.

Epstein Barr Virus

Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infects about 95 percent of the population. It is part of the herpes family, but is typically benign. However, when active, it causes infectious mononucleosis. It has also been associated with Burkitt’s lymphoma and nasopharyngeal carcinoma, two types of cancers. EBV is transferred from person to person via saliva or genital secretions.  EBV resides in resting memory B cells and uses a mechanism known as DNA methylation to cloak itself from the immune system. Through this, it is able to proliferate unseen as the B cells react and change with the immune system, allowing for a persistent stealth infection. Infectious mononucleosis, the primary disease EBV presents as, is usually seen in teenagers and young adults. They present with mild fever, sore throat, swollen lymph nodes, and fatigue. Fatigue is known to last more than a month in some cases and can go as long as two years. Spleen enlargement and jaundice may be seen sometimes as well. Infectious mononucleosis is diagnosed preliminarily by clinical symptoms as well as a heterophile antibody test, known as the monospot test. It can be confirmed via serological testing. Infectious mononucleosis is self-limiting and treatment against EBV is typically by supportive modalities. Bed rest and avoiding heavy physical activity is recommended until energy levels return to normal. Anti-inflammatory medications may be given to reduce fever and pain, and mild corticosteroids such as prednisone may be used short-term to reduce any swelling and inflammation.

Lingering EBV stealth infection has more recently been associated with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Although no clear link has been found between the two, several theories have been suggested. When looking at CFS as an immunologically based disease, it is easy to see that any impairment in the immune system, will allow the latent EBV to reactivate and affect the body by damaging tissues and generating an ongoing immunologic response, and not allow the immune system to recover. Given the strong association between AFS and CFS, it should come as no surprise that EBV should be considered a part of the differential diagnosis for those who present with fatigue of unknown etiology.

Lyme Disease

Lyme disease, caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi, is a vector-borne disease, commonly thought to be transmitted by the ixodes tick. New research is showing that other insects and humans can transmit it. Most people associate Lyme disease with a bull’s eye rash found at the bite sight. However, this is only found in a minority of cases. Unless caught early, antibiotics rarely eradicate the microorganism completely. Borrelia is a spirochete, a coil like bacteria. Being a coil, it can spring forward easily and thus travel with ease and imbed itself in muscles and tendons. Lyme disease can also change into a cell wall deficient form and thus evade detection.

Lyme disease is hard to diagnose clinically because laboratory testing is only accurate about half of the time. After having been infected with the spirochete, the bacteria will incubate for a couple weeks before presenting with a localized infection. Early localized infection classically presents as a rash at the site of the bite about 80 percent of the time. It may or may not look like a bull’s eye. Flu like symptoms may also arise. If left untreated, the spirochete will enter the bloodstream and disseminate throughout the body. Rashes begin appearing all over the body. Other non-specific symptoms such as muscle pain, joint pain, and dizziness are common as well. More severe symptoms may result if the bacteria have invaded the brain or nervous system.

If the patient continues to go untreated for months or was treated inadequately, more chronic symptoms start to develop. Fatigue, weakness, cognitive impairment such as short-term memory loss and difficulty concentrating are some examples. Arthritis can develop in a few patients. Patients may also experience shooting pain or numbness in their extremities as well. In rare cases, Lyme disease can also lead to anxiety, panic attacks, and even psychosis.

Antibiotics are the standard treatment of choice for Lyme disease with a regimen that can last up to four weeks. It may have to be given intravenously if the bacteria has disseminated. However, some patients still complain of fatigue, weakness, and pain even after antibiotic treatment. Due to Borrelia’s ability to change from a spirochete to a cell wall deficient form and back, some bacteria are able to escape the effects of antibiotics and continue to launch a stealth infection on the affected patient that lingers on indefinitely. These patients are often misdiagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia and put on a different set of drugs. The underlying problem, Lyme stealth infection continues to go unnoticed.

Candida

Candida in the intestines with Adrenal FatigueCandida is a microorganism that lives in everybody. It is an opportunistic pathogen that typically affects those that are immune compromised. It is yeast that can change into a fungus when the opportunity arises. Candida is most commonly associated with vaginal yeast infections in women or as skin and nail infections. These superficial infections do not typically have systemic or lasting effects on the body and they are treated easily by medications. However, candida can also exist as a stealth infection.

Candida is part of the normal flora found in the intestines. It is kept in check by the other organisms and by the immune system in healthy individuals. When the normal flora becomes unbalanced, candida is given an opportunity to rise up and become a dominant organism in the gut. This can happen due to an overuse of antibiotics, hormonal imbalance, or prolonged physical or emotional stress. Eating an unbalanced diet high in sugar or excessive alcohol intake can also lead to candida overgrowth, as well as overuse of natural progesterone cream. With proliferation and the right conditions, candida can then change into a fungal form and extend hyphae into the gut, latching on and causing intestinal problems. On top of this, it produces alcohol and acetaldehyde from ingested sugar. The alcohol made has a number of consequences on the body, requiring extra energy and nutrients to break it down. Over time, this will deplete the body of important energy resources, not to mention increase stress as toxin levels rise. This can lead to a number of symptoms such as fatigue, difficulty concentrating, diarrhea, constipation, and weakness.

Candida infections have also been shown to increase allergies. Acetaldehyde is the compound that is responsible for many hang over symptoms. Imagine that your body is constantly producing this chemical and the effects it can have. These toxins are continuously being produced and released into the body by candida and can be happening in the body without the patient ever knowing about it. Candida can be tested for in your stool sample, but only an experienced physician would be able to trace the symptoms to your gut, and even then probably only by ruling out other causes.

Remember always that one can live very well with Candida as long as the body’s immune system is strong and stable. Therefore not all systemic Candida needs to be eradicated aggressively. Over zealous treatment of systemic Candida without careful consideration of the body’s overall immune state can worsen the condition.

Stealth Infection and Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome

Stealth microorganisms can stay in your body for years and decades, slowly weakening and draining the body of nutritional reserves by their inflammatory insult. The resultant stress felt on the body drives the adrenals to increase their output of cortisol, the anti-inflammatory hormone, as a compensatory response. While this is a normal physiologic response, the adrenal glands are not meant to continually produce cortisol relentlessly at high levels. Sustained release of cortisol is a burden and may wear out the adrenal glands, eventually leading to Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome.

The effect of stealth infection on the adrenals can be so severe that there have been cases where the adrenal glands have physiologically changed when observed in autopsies. While stealth infections do not cause such acute effects, prolonged or recurrent infections can bring about the same outcome. To make matters worse, conventional methods to countering stealth infections and their symptoms with strong antibiotic and detoxification modalities can worsen the damage being done to the already weak adrenal glands. Accumulation of metabolic by-products of antibiotics can destabilize the entire body and trigger adrenal crashes. Let us see how this occurs in more detail.

Toxins, Immune System and Recovery Principles

Microorganisms defend themselves by staying hidden. Nevertheless, when that fails and they are attacked, microorganisms respond by releasing toxins to destroy the attacker and defend themselves. If the adrenals and the body are not fully equipped to react to these and neutralize toxins on top of the damage already done by the infection, the body will crash and can potentially end up in a worse state than in the beginning. During a crash, the person is bedbound due to low energy reserves and is unable to carry on a productive life. This can go on for days and in severe cases, for weeks or even months. This is highly undesirable to say the least.

As such, recovery approaches from stealth infection needs to proceed systematically and slowly for best results. It is a long and arduous journey. Patience is required to make sure the adrenals and liver are sufficiently fortified ahead of time to withstand retoxification reaction as condition precedent. Multiple systems in the body must be properly balanced and reinforced to ensure that the body will be able to handle the increased stress from toxin release and die-off reaction before embarking on a battle actively fighting off stealth infection.

Nutrition—The Key to Overcoming Stealth Infection

The capacity to limit stealth infection damage is governed by our body’s internal immune system, which draws on our nutritional reserve for its energy as building blocks. Those who are weak constitutionally or those who failed to properly replenish and strengthen their nutritional reserves needed to fight stealth infection will eventually succumb to the toxic load over time. This form of slow death is how stealth infection wins the battle. That is why proper nutritional therapeutics should be at the forefront of any comprehensive effort towards overcoming stealth infection. A lot of patience is required because this process needs to be deliberate and meticulously slow. This is to avoid any backfires or side effects that can be bought on by the improper or overly aggressive use of nutrients in a weak body that is already under attack. The best nutrients can turn toxic in this type of environment. Building a nutritional safety net without straining the body’s already low reserve is an art rather than a science because everybody’s reaction at each step of the way can be very different as the body reacts differently with each tug of war. Laboratory tests usually provide little guidance. Extensive clinical experience remains the key to success. Without experienced guidance, most self-navigation programs fail as a result.

Adrenals Come First

Adrenal Fatigue recovery should come firstOnce diagnosed, the temptation to use aggressive treatment should be resisted. Conventional antibiotics are generally not helpful long term because by the time stealth infection is suspected; the microorganism is well entrenched and disseminated in the body, residing in areas where antibiotics can not effectively reach. They are therefore shielded from antibiotic assault more often than not. Temporarily suppressing the adrenals may prove successful with medication but the problem will resurge actively once the course of antibiotic is finished.

As mentioned before, the best approach to beating stealth infection is a step by step process of first stabilizing and strengthening the body and the adrenal glands, and then dealing with the infection. The adrenal glands play an important part in maintaining the homeostasis of the body. If they are not capable of performing their job in terms of putting out the necessary anti-inflammatory hormones to stabilize the body, then any attempt at attacking stealth infection in the body will only backfire. Depending on the level of adrenal weakness, adrenal recovery can be a total body commitment. From special adrenal breathing exercises to diet and supplementation, recovery must always focus on adrenal weakness as top priority. Only when the proper defenses have been set up and nutritional reserves built, can an attack be launched on stealth infection with any hope of eradicating them effectively without recurrence. Without this systematic approach, stealth infection may resurge after an initial reduction as they retreat into closed quarters, worsening the overall condition and triggering adrenal crashes. No matter how good the attack strategy is in theory, a body with adrenal fatigue will not be able to successfully win the war in reality. Inadequate consideration of this clinical pearl is a leading cause of recovery failure. Fortunately, the correct way to effectively build the immune system from within is known.

Liver and Immune System Fortification

Your immune system is your first and last line of defense. From antimicrobial peptides produced in your skin to the antibodies found in your blood, the immune system is an integral part of staving off the never-ending onslaught of bacteria and viruses encountered on a daily basis. One of the best methods in helping your immune system is to quickly eliminate toxins secreted by pathogens from your body. Toxins slow the body down and take attention away from more pertinent issues such as fighting an infection. The body has to expend extra energy to remove toxins leaving it with less means to deal with the stealth infection spread throughout the body.

One of the best ways to help the body clear toxins is to fortify the liver. The liver can be thought of as the waste treatment plant of the body among its other roles. Strengthening the liver and protecting it are keys to boosting the detoxification process. Administering key liver enhancing nutrients such as glutathione is extremely helpful. Fermented milk thistle also contains compounds known as flavonoids that help with detoxification and is hepatoprotective. It must be noted that overly aggressive detoxification can be detrimental as it can flood the body and cause a retoxification effect.

Dosages for chronic fatigue symptomsThe key to success rests with the proper dosage, delivery system and timing. More is not necessarily better. If the body is weak, aggressive liver support can backfire and burden the body even more due to excessive metabolites from supplementation breakdown. Always consult an experienced clinician to design the best nutritional cocktail timed to match the body’s condition for best results.

Support of the immune system is also augmented via a variety of lifestyle driven techniques such as stress reduction, yoga, acupuncture, positive psychology and good sleep.

A strengthened immune system cannot be measured via laboratory readings with ease but is instead judged from a clinical standpoint. Chronic symptoms such as fatigue or cognitive impairment will typically get better, albeit not disappear completely over time. Reduced toxin load means reduced immune system burden.

Other Helpful Nutrients for Chronic Fatigue Symptoms

Fish oil can and should be given conjunctively while detoxing as it helps the body deal with any inflammation that will naturally occur with detoxification as well as any ongoing inflammation caused by stealth infection. Dosages range from 3-5 grams of DHA/EPA combined.

Antiviral herbs are a good safe jumping off point in the fight against stealth infection. Examples of these include Echinacea purpurea, goldenseal root, olive leaf, and Cat’s claw. Garlic, and cilantro may also be considered.

Vitamin C in various forms is an antiviral and an essential nutrient required in our diet. It is a key immune booster as well. Supplementation with the right dosage and delivery system is key to proper use of this vitamin. Dosage varies from 3-10 grams or more per day.

Vitamin D is antiviral and antibacterial as well. Unlike vitamin C, vitamin D is produced in the body when exposed to sunlight. However, due to modern day conditions decreasing our exposure to the sun, virtually everybody is deficient in vitamin D. The remedy to this solution is to obviously increase sunlight exposure either directly or by purchasing ultraviolet lamps and supplementing the diet with vitamin D. Dosage varies from 5,000-50,000 IU or more per day depending on status.

A blend of herbs and amino acid including black walnut, clove, wormwood, garlic, parsley, goldenseal, cayenne, methionine, and cycsteine can be considered to cleanse the body of metabolic waste build-up by infectious organisms.

When to Launch an Assault on Stealth Infection

Once the body’s toxic load is reduced and the immune system has stabilized and strengthened with liver and adrenal gland fortifications, focus can then and only then be shifted towards aggressively clearing the stealth infection using a variety of techniques from medications to natural cleanses, flushes, enemas, heat therapy, ultraviolet light, hydrogen peroxide and many more. Any premature attempt to do so often produces unfavorable results instead and leads to retoxification reaction.

Summary

We are in a new era of drug-resistant bacteria running rampant caused by decades of indiscriminate use of antibiotics. New infectious states, such as stealth infection, are now closely associated with multiple other conditions, including chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia. It can mimic many symptoms commonly seen in Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome. Laboratory tests are usually not helpful. Diagnosis is best by history conducted by an astute physician on the lookout for and experienced in subclinical conditions. Recovery is a slow process in order to affect positive long-term results. Fortification of the adrenal glands and liver should be the primary focus until such time the body is strong before launching an aggressive attack on the infectious organism to prevent backlash and worsening of the symptoms. Recovery is best approached by stimulating the body’s self defenses with natural compounds. Supplements such as probiotics, vitamins, digestive enzymes, immune boosters, and herbal antibiotics are helpful. Detoxification and adrenal support should be a mandatory part of the overall recovery plan to support the body, which is usually overwhelmed by such infections at a subclinical basis.

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© Copyright 2014 Michael Lam, M.D. All Rights Reserved.