The Immune System Pt. 2: Th1 Dominance-15478

What’s your immunity got to do with anything?

Don’t you love health care professionals that try to press every patient into the same mold?  Bloggers, health coaches, dieticians, and nutritionists (and yes, I have been guilty of the same behavior on occasion) right alongside doctors tend to believe one type of diet, one medication, one supplement, will fit every person, every illness, every dysfunction.  

It couldn’t be further from the truth.

Although the human body functions in the same way regardless of race, color or creed, dysfunctions, imbalances, and illnesses all happen with variations.  People get sick but they get sick in different ways.  They can have the same illnesses and have different root causes.  When the right testing is done, health care professionals can detect subtle nuances of illness and treat them in a very individual targeted manner.  The differences in treatments of the differences in illness and dysfunction can make all the difference between wellness and staying sick.

Last time we illustrated how the immune system works and the role of Th1 and Th2; T cells and B cells.  Each has a job, each are equally important.

 But what happens when a person exhibits a dominance towards one or the other? Whether illness strikes and causes it or there is a natural predisposition for it this dominance is still up for a great deal of debate and, as we will be discussing in our next post. Is this amazing way of treatment  foolproof or just another way of pigeon holing in treatment.

What is Th1 Dominance?

Th1 cells do not involve the creation of antibodies.   They are part of what we call cell-mediated immunity that releases several different cytokines, or small proteins that react to foreign proteins.  

People that present with true Th1 dominance will often present what’s called cell mediated immune memory response or delayed hypersensitivity.  Essentially this means that Helper T cells (Th1 helper t cells specifically) are activated by foreign invaders or antigens which can come from the environment, as in a chemical compound or other environmental substance, or a virus, fungus or bacteria.

 When this antigen appears in the future the cells “overreact” and activate macrophages (white blood cells that are nature’s vacuum cleansers that engulf and digest debris, foreign matter and even cancer cells) which cause an inflammatory response.  Essentially, immune cells are overstimulated and lymphocytes including Natural Killer Cells and T cells along with macrophages are on almost constant alert. This can lead to tissue damage if not corrected.

In Th1 dominance Interferon Gamma (IFNγ) is the main cytokine which inhibits the secretion of many IgGs and IgEs (these determine immediate and latent reaction to allergens) and increase secretion of IgMs (which cause a chronic immune reaction).  

Certain disorders are attributed to Th1 dominance.  

  • Delayed food sensitivities. This is evidenced an inflammatory response from food, yet the effects aren’t necessarily immediate and can be very subtle.
  • Organ-specific autoimmune diseases
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • IBD/Crohn’s disease
  • Type 1 diabetes (Juvenile Diabetes)
  • Hashimoto’s disease
  • Graves’ disease
  • Psoriasis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • H. pylori induced peptic ulcer
  • Low T3 Syndrome, which happens when levels of T3 and/or T4 are at unusual levels, but the thyroid gland does not appear to be dysfunctional.  It stems from elevations in IL-6, an interleuken which is stimulated by T cells and macrophage,  Inteferon gamma , TNF-alpha and IL-1b. (We will talk about this in greater depth at a later date.)
  • Inflammation after the following: Strep, Mono (EBV), HPV, Herpes, Pneumonia, H. pylori or Cytomegalovirus. These are common infections that also invoke the Th1 system.  
  • Alzheimer’s, Age related Macular Degeneration (AMD),(both caused by the secretion of IL-18) Guillain Barré Syndrome (think Epstein Barre Virus).

Special note:: People that present with either Th1 or Th2 dominance normally present with low pregnenolone. Whether this is coincidence, is caused by the immune system imbalance or is a factor in the immune imbalance is still not clear but low pregnenolone levels are responsible for brain fog, fatigue, decreased memory, low libido, hot flashes in menopausal women, vaginal dryness and atrophy, and many other secondary sexual side effects.

Because many clients who come to me, when fact finding, end up falling ill or having their symptoms increase after an acute illness, I tend to want to modulate the Th1 response, especially after testing reveals elevated Th1 levels.

Th1 dominance comes from a combination of expression of genes and environmental factors such as infections. 

Bacterial and most viral infections increase your Th1 system and you are expressing genes in the wrong way it will increase it too much causing an imbalance.

People with a dominance towards the Th1 system will tend to release more cortisol than the average person because cortisol decreases Th1-related inflammation, so the body activates your HPA (Hypothalamus, Pituitary and Adrenal) system every time you get a Th1 spike in a bid to maintain homeostasis. Chronically high cortisol levels can cause secondary issues like blood sugar mishandling, low progesterone and high estrogen.

In our next installment we will be discussing Th2 dominance and the imbalances and disorders associated with that.  We will follow that installment up by discussing what happens when both Th1 and Th2 are elevated.  (Yes, that can happen!)  Stay tuned!

Wishing you health, beauty, and elegance,

 

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