(NaturalHealth365) A healthy immune system is the most amazing military defense the world has ever known. This system reacts, recognizes and responds to the most virulent of attacks on its host at a moment’s notice. Certain factors throw the immune system into a state of imbalance and hyper inflammatory conditions.
The immune response consistently adapts through a remarkable communication process that depends upon trillions of unique proteins, enzymes and receptors. These factors allow it to steadily acclimate to the never ending alterations in its environment to give the body the best chance for survival.
Healthy immunity is dependent upon balance between its own super regulatory systems and optimal coordination between the trillions of important compounds.
Let’s take a closer look at the Th1 and Th2 portions of the immune system.
T – helper (Th) cells are a critical part of the immune system. They are a type of white blood cell called lymphocyte that recognize foreign particles and pathogens and initiate an immune response. Th Cells produce cytokines which are immune messenger proteins that are responsible for carrying out the biological effects of the immune system.
Th1 are called “cell mediated” immunity, which typically deals with viral and gram-negative bacterial infections. This is the first line of defense against pathogens that get inside of our cells. This is called the body’s innate immune response.
This consists of Killer T cells, T helper cells and T suppressor cells. It is also supported by cytokines such as Interleukin-2 (IL-2), IL-12, gamma interferon, IgA and sIgA.
Th2 are cells responsible for the “humoral-mediated” immune response. They deal with gram positive bacteria, toxins and allergens. This system stimulates the production of antibodies in response to pathogens found outside the cells. This is called the bodies acquired immune response. This system is supported by cytokines IL 4,5,6, 10 and alpha interferon.
The balance between the immune sub-systems
In a healthy immune system, these groups of T helper cells work synergistically to balance the system. They become more active in response to any increase in pathogens or toxins but then they stabilize and reduce their cytotoxic effects once the threat is eradicated.
The key to a strong immune system is balance and coordination. The TH -1 system is classified by Killer T cells, T helper cells, and T suppressor cells. When we have too many T suppressor cells our immune system is too weak and we get colds/fevers/flu’s. When the Killers are too many or the helpers and suppressors too little we end up with a poorly coordinated immune response that damages our own tissue.
This is commonly seen in autoimmune disorders.
The maturation of our immunity
At birth, an infant’s immune system is immature and relies primarily on humoral or antibody immunity. As it encounters infectious pathogens and builds symbiotic microbial cultures it develops a robust cellular immunity. Various environmental factors such as the use of anti-biotics and vaccines interfere with the development of a healthy cellular immune response.
This can be the cause of a TH-2 dominance and resulting hyper-inflammatory conditions.
The Th1 and Th2 systems are like siblings in that they are competing for attention and energy from our master control. When the Th1 system is overactive it suppresses the activity of the Th2 system and vice versa. This is called Th1-Th2 polarization.
This is problematic because these systems must be balanced for a healthy immune response to occur.
Pregnancy is a Th2 dominant phenomenon. The body switches into Th2 dominance during pregnancy so the body doesn’t reject the fetus. If you have a Th1 dominant auto-immune disease, you will feel great during pregnancy because the immunity will balance out. However, if you have a Th2 dominant condition you will feel awful and be at greater risk for miscarriage and congenital disorders in the newborn child.
Sub-system imbalance creates hyper-inflammatory conditions
The greater the imbalance between these two systems the more inflammation our body produces and the less effective and efficient our immune response becomes. Over time this can be a major factor in the creation of auto-immune and hyper inflammatory conditions.
Many conditions have been shown to predominately be related to an imbalance in one of the systems although this is not 100%. It is also possible when the body is under extreme stress to have both Th1 and Th2 hyperactivity.
In some people with autoimmune disease, patterns showing a dominance to either the Th1 or Th2 pathway have been shown. Although there are exceptions, the following table shows the conditions that are most commonly associated with a Th1 or Th2 dominant state.
TH1 dominant conditions:
Auto-immune conditions are typically related to overactive cellular immunity and weakened Th2 humoral immune response. Th1 dominant individuals rarely ever develop cancer but are unable to handle parasites and they develop chronic autoimmune conditions.
Th1 dominance typically occurs with extreme vitamin D deficiencies along with an immune assault such as vaccine injury or chronic pathogen that irritates the immune system. These individuals typically have food intolerances to gluten and pasteurized dairy among other things.
Type I diabetes
Chronic viral infections
TH2 dominant conditions:
Allergic conditions are typically related to weakened cellular (Th1) immunity and overactive TH-2 responses. This can be related to vaccine injury and overuse of anti-biotics. Individuals who are Th2 dominant will over respond to environmental toxins, allergens, normal bacteria and parasites. Th2 dominant individuals will under-respond to viruses, yeast, cancer cell formation and intracellular bacteria.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Multiple chemical sensitivity
Factors that influence TH2 dominance:
1. Environmental Toxins such as pesticides, asbestos, lead, mercury and other heavy metals.
2. Use of drugs such as morphine, tobacco, excessive alcohol and steroids
3. Pathogens such as HIV, Hepatitis, Candida & Streptococcus Thermophilus
3. Hormones such as Progesterone
4. Continuous stress, negative attitudes and suppressed emotions
5. Sedentary lifestyle, dehydration, low body temperature and chronic insomnia
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About the author: Dr. David Jockers owns and operates Exodus Health Center in Kennesaw, Ga. He is a Maximized Living doctor. His expertise is in weight loss, customized nutrition & exercise, & structural corrective chiropractic care. For more information – visit: DrJockers.com. Dr. Jockers is also available for long distance phone consultations to help you beat disease and reach your health goals.
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