by Dr. Marlene Siegel, DVM
The body communicates with “us” all the time! Symptoms are the most direct communication because they show us that the body is no longer in homeostasis, no longer in “ease”, but rather in “Dis-ease”. Sadly, modern culture has led us away from our connection with our inner intelligence and higher consciousness. We are not “listening” and responding, but rather we are killing the messenger!
Since 1912 when allopathic medicine began to dominate the medical training (for humans and the veterinary community) chronic disease in pets (and people) has escalated. Life expectancy for pets is down by seven years compared to 20 years ago. In the United States, the leading cause of bankruptcy is medical bills, and the leading cause of death in humans (and pets) is medical treatments. Our pets and their parents are becoming increasingly sicker.
The allopathic model of broken care looks at symptoms of isolated systems to deliver a “band aid” solution. Clearly in today’s more complex dis-ease models, this is not working.
The allopathic medicine model focuses on management of symptoms with the “Anti’s”. Antibiotics, antifungals, anti-parasiticides, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer therapies. And though these modalities may have a place in the treatment protocol, they have caused us to lose sight of the real objective, and that is to restore the conditions that would enable the body to return to homeostasis and allow the body’s innate intelligence to restore “health”.
Causes Of Dis-ease
Dis-ease can be simplified into 4 things, and most often it is a combination of them.
1. A deficiency in essential nutrients. These are the nutrients the body can not make in sufficient quantities; they must be consumed in the diet.
2. An increased level of toxicity, resulting in mitochondrial damage and impairment of the organs of elimination.
3. Mitochondrial dysfunction. This results in a reduced amount of energy being produced and an ineffective communication between the mitochondria and the microbiome.
4. Trapped emotions associated with the dis-ease.
Are Germs The Problem Or Is It The Terrain
Louis Pasteur set the stage for modern allopathic medicine when he championed the “germ theory”. He was convinced that germs were the cause of disease. His rival was Antoine Bechamp who was convinced that it was the “terrain” that determined pathogenicity of the microbiome.
Integrative and holistic practitioners now know that Bechamp was correct, it is the quality and integrity of the terrain that determines health of the gut and the organism.
The fact is, we and our fur family are more “other” cells (from microbes) than human/pet cells by 10:1, and there are 100:1 more mitochondria than “us” cells.
The gut microbiome is the collection of microbes (bacteria, fungi, and protozoa) inhabiting the gut environment, creating a “mini-ecosystem”. A healthy, diverse pet or human gut microbiome should contain between 20,000 and 30,000 different bacterial species. Plus, there are trillions of viruses that make up the virome.
Functional Genes From The Biome – They Matter
Functional genes instruct the expression and function of the genome. Mammals have 22,000-24,000 functional genes, but an earthworm has 38,000-40,000 functional genes. So from a genomic perspective, we are 1/2 as genetically sophisticated as an earthworm!
So what makes mammals so sophisticated? It is the diversity of the microbiome and our symbiotic relationship with them. The microbiome adds 3.5 million microbial genes for us (and our pets) to use!
Greater than 90% of our functionality is coded for by microbes
Over 90% of the metabolic, biochemical, genetic activity that occurs inside us and our pets comes from the microbes. As we lose microbes we lose huge amounts of functionality that they perform for us.
We are facing a mass extinction of our microbiome and we are doing the same to our fur family from the massive exposure to toxins.
Internal Communication And Redox Signaling
The internal environment (our cells and the mitochondria) are constantly communicating with the external environment. Like the lunar module sending pictures of the moon back to earth for us to “see”, the microbiome is constantly communicating with the mitochondria, giving information about what is happening in the external world.
Humans experience events, and based on their beliefs and perceptions make interpretations and judgements about the experience. If the perception is positive, happy neurotransmitters are produced, sending signals to the internal environment that all is good, there is no danger, and to focus on health. But if the perception is negative, fear based, victim mentality and not being safe, then neurotransmitters are produced that signal the internal cells and mitochondria that there is danger, it is not safe “out there”.
If this signal is intense or persistent, the mitochondria can go into the cell danger response mode where they are “in hiding” , they switch from aerobic energy production that is efficient and makes a lot of energy, to anaerobic energy production (less energy produced and less efficient).
The Principle Of Entrainment
This physics principle explains how and why we are influenced emotionally and physically by those around us. Young women living in dorms together will start having menstrual cycles near each other. Listening to a fantastic motivational speaker helps those listening to feel more positive and more powerful. On the flip-side, if we are around energy vampires, it feels like they suck the life force out of us.
This becomes extremely important to our pets, because they entrain to the emotions that we are giving off. Isn’t it interesting that when we the pet parent are feeling sad, depressed, frustrated or whatever negative emotion, our pets come over to us to be petted or lay near us. As we instinctively reach our hands out to pet them, we start to feel better. They are entraining to our energy and helping to lift some of the negative emotions from us. But they are also entraining to our emotions which can then trigger them to produce neurochemicals that tell their mitochondria that there is danger, resulting in a physiological state that is then susceptible to dis-ease.
Communication between the mitochondria and the biome occurs through a family of carbon molecules, made by bacteria. This family of carbon-based molecules is the “language” of the bacteria inhabiting the gut via cell-to-cell communication, also known as redox signaling.
These carbon molecules are the bacteria’s vocabulary that was meant to come from the soil (we are meant to get these bacterial produced molecules through our food).
Though humans, animals and mitochondria make redox signaling molecules too, we make very few compared to what bacteria produce! Another reason to feed and nourish the microbiome!!!
The Scaffolding For Communication To Work
The extracellular matrix, or ECM, is found within all tissues and organs and provides the physical scaffolding for the cellular materials along with signaling biochemical and biomechanical information for tissues to respond.
Communication between the mitochondria and the biome occurs through this ECM via redox signaling molecules, much like telephone cell towers pass the signal from the initiating phone, to tower to tower, and then delivering the signal to the receiving phone user.
Mitochondrial Dysfunction Is At The Root Of All Dis-ease
Mitochondrial dysfunction results from many things. Deficiencies, toxicities and/or damage to the communication network inhibit proper communication between the mitochondria and the microbiome. The analogy I like to use is that of an army unit that gets cut off from their platoon. They have no communication with their commanders so they act on their own accord. Cells that are not receiving proper communication become rogue and are no longer behaving in a way that supports the greater good of the organism.
When we restore the cellular communication between the mitochondria and the microbiome, cellular communication can come back on line and healing occurs in order of priority at the biological level.
Though pet parents will do more for their pets than they will do for themselves, we need to encourage everyone to take responsibility for their health, their pets health and the health of the planet by becoming educated on integrative health care and proactively making better life choices!
1. Stop doing the behaviors that are creating the problem. Evaluate the life choices you are making and spend your dollars as your “vote” for healthier living. This includes food, water, environmental toxins, personal body care products and most important, the A.N.T.’s in your brain (the automatic
2. Proper supplementation that will feed and nourish the microbiome and support metabolic functions.
3. Heal the leaky gut!
4. Detoxification support for all 6 organs of elimination (kidneys, colon, lungs, liver, skin and lymphatics).
5. Mitochondrial health and biogenesis (strive for more mitochondria and ones that are happier, safer and more efficient).
6. Work with an emotional healing practitioner to identify limiting beliefs and negative emotional programs. It is life changing (and fun) to release negative programming and replace them with empowering beliefs that support your journey through Earth School so you can experience the most rewarding time here!
To contact Dr. Siegel for more information, please visit her website here.