Neural Sensitization: The Medical Key to Treatment of Chemical Injury (pg 2)
Types of Damage from Chemical Injury
Toxic encephalopathy can occur with reduced blood flow to the brain.5 Brain symptoms include reduced short term memory, poor attention span, difficulty with concentration, balance disturbance, poor coordination, trouble with complex mental tasks. Other nerves can also be affected, called neuropathy. Nerve changes can cause numbness, tingling, nerve pain, visual changes, and burning pain. Neural sensitization causes blood vessel lining inflammation, which reduces blood flow to the brain and other organs. The vicious cycle can cause impaired function of brain and nerve cells.6-12 See website section: TOXIC ENCEPHALOPATHY.
Chemically induced reactive airway disease (upper and lower chronic inflammation of the respiratory tract), and migraines also have these biochemical changes (neural sensitization). Lung effects are sometimes called chemical or irritant asthma. Respiratory effects can also include sinus congestion/pain often with sinus headaches and/or drainage; ear pain from eustachian tube blockage (swelling), burning/sore tongue and throat, hoarseness, bronchial symptoms of coughing, chest tightness and sometimes wheezing, and shortness of breath/difficulty getting enough air. See website section: REACTIVE AIRWAYS.
Neural sensitization also affects the gastrointestinal tract (sometimes mislabeled as “irritable bowel”) and genital urinary tract (sometimes called “irritable bladder”), and/or vaginal/genital burning (“vulvadynia”), etc.). The inflammation of blood vessel linings (endothelium) can reduce blood supply to the heart, causing irregular, rapid or weak heart beat. It can inflame the conjunctiva (burning eyes) and skin (burning/rash). Other effects can involve liver/gallbladder duct and impair pancreatic digestive enzyme duct function. Both of these interfere with digestion.
Gastrointestinal symptoms include nausea, burning and bloating and symptoms resembling acid reflux. The burning is NOT from excess acid: actually stomach acid is reduced but the inflammation causes burning. Avoid antacids/acid blockers because they further impair digestion.
Blood vessel lining inflammation can cause migraines, visual changes and brain/nerve effects.
Neural sensitization can also lead to increased/abnormal biochemical response to other incoming messages to the brain: noise, light, touch, vibration, electromagnetic fields, etc.
This widespread inflammation can result in fatigue, aching, adrenal and/or reproductive hormone and other endocrine disturbance (often adrenal and thyroid) and results in depletion of amino acids, minerals and other nutrients.
This chronic inflammation increases arteriosclerosis, elevates harmful cholesterol (LDL), increases risk of neurodegenerative diseases13 (such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, ALS), other degenerative disease (osteoporosis, arthritis, etc.) and autoimmune disease. It can increase risk of multiple sclerosis. Autoimmune thyroid disease and lupus are common in chemical injury but can improve with environmental controls and this chemical injury treatment. Damage to the heart and other organ function can occur.13
How Damage Occurs
Inflammation and the free radicals from neural sensitization damage lipid cell membranes,14 which are major targets of free radical damage.14 This impairs substances entering and leaving through the cell membrane. It damages structures on the membrane that regulate hormones, cell messages to other body cells and many other functions.14
Damage occurs to membranes of mitochondria (energy production), ribosomes (which make proteins, enzymes), DNA (genetic material), membrane receptor sites (hormones, etc.) and other cell messenger sites needed for communication within the cell and with other cells and body organs.
There is disproportionate damage and loss of omega 3 essential membrane lipids because these are very vulnerable to free radical damage. Loss of omega 3 essential lipids makes a person more achy, have greater diabetic tendency, and increases risk of arthritis and other inflammatory and degenerative disease.
Inflammation damage also impairs membranes in the brain and nerve cell coating (myelin). This makes it harder for messages to pass within the brain and from the brain through nerves. The brain and nerves are high oxygen-demanding organs.15 The brain is only 3% of body weight but uses 20% of body oxygen at rest. Reduced blood flow to the brain in toxic encephalopathy is documented and impairs nerve, brain and other body functions, since all body functions depend on oxygen supply and brain/nerve messages.
The blood vessel inflammation causes reduced blood flow, and thus reduced supply of oxygen and nutrients to body organs. The red blood cell is 7 microns, but the capillary is only 3 microns, so inflammation causing swelling of the blood vessel lining reduces the blood cell’s ability to pass through.
For more detail on body effects, see factsheet HOW CHEMICAL INJURY AFFECTS THE BODY.
Medcial References (footnotes)--Neural Sensitization: The Key to Medical Treatment
Next page: Pg 3 - Biochemistry of the Vicious Cycles