I recently tried laughter yoga to try to improve my immune system.
Laughter may reduce stress and improve NK cell activity. As low NK cell activity is linked to decreased disease resistance and increased morbidity in persons with cancer and HIV disease, laughter may be a useful cognitive-behavioral intervention.
Laughter influences the expression of many genes classified into immune system responses, and may contribute to amelioration of postprandial blood glucose elevation through a modulation of NK cell activity caused by up-regulation of relating genes.
A few nights ago, I laughed for an hour straight. Actually, I’m not very good at laughing, I don’t do it much, and truth be told, it turned into crying a few times, but I kept at it.
It was akward without something to laugh at, so I found these goats 🐐. (Try TrueStrange.com if they don’t show up wherever you are viewing this. My posts are rebroadcast now to many other platforms.)
Then I laughed at this crazy goose attacking a grown man.
Then I laughed at an old parody of street magician David Blaine.
What works for you if you need to laugh?
Results of experiment: The next morning problems in my hands were notably worse. The days and weeks before, my finger joints were stiff and painful on waking. This morning both hands were numb, clammy, prickly, and cold things felt hot to the touch. That lasted about an hour and a half.
The doctor said it sounds like an upper back or neck nerve issue. Perhaps laughing re-injured my neck from my car accident a few years ago, but my neck and back felt fine, and moving in the different ways the doctor checked didn’t make my hands any better or worse.
Blood tests the morning after the laughter experiment show nothing too unusual compared to the past.
My absolute neutrophil count (ANC) white blood cell count is lower than ever, but still normal at 2.2 K/uL.
An ANC less than 500 cells/µL is defined as neutropenia and significantly increases risk of infection.
Neutrophil are the most abundant type of granulocytes and the most abundant type of white blood cells in most mammals. They form an essential part of the innate immune system.
For my fasting blood sugar, I was much better than I thought I’d be, but still above normal in the pre-diabetic range.
Triglycerides were still normal at 145 mg/dL with <=499 mg/dL being the standard range.
Triglycerides go up when you eat more calories than you burn. When you need more energy between meals, your body’s hormones release your stored fat so you can tap those unused calories. This number fits with the fact that on a low carb paleo diet, I was feeling nauseous and like I was fainting at times. I’ve been eating more carbs for months now. I gained weight, and I’m no longer having that problem.
LDL was normal at 85 mg/dL, the standard being <=159 mg/dL. Try for less than 80-100.
HDL was low at 39 mg/dL, since >=40 mg/dL is the standard.
To understand this, the “L” in HDL and LDL stands for lipoprotein. This is a molecule that transports cholesterol and fat in your blood.
Imagine your bloodstream is like a highway. The lipoproteins are like cars that carry the cholesterol and fats around your body, and the cholesterol and fats are like passengers in the cars.
Some think the ratio of HDL to total cholesterol is important.
High total cholesterol and low HDL cholesterol increases the ratio, and is undesirable. Conversely, high HDL cholesterol and low total cholesterol lowers the ratio, and is desirable.
An optimal ratio is less than 3.5-to-1. A higher ratio means a higher risk of heart disease.
Mine is 153/39, which is 3.9, so I need a bit more exercise each day, which I already knew.
What’s causing the spreading joint stiffness each morning? Perhaps excess fats are blocking clearance of fluids in the joints.
I also had a test (ELISA) for lyme, which was negative. I did that because the Lyme disease spirochete B. burgdorferi can mimic arthritis according to this:
The presence of B. burgdorferi in connective tissues of the joints of infected individuals likely plays an important role in establishing the course of Lyme arthritis. Indeed, it has been demonstrated that B. burgdorferi organisms and DNA in the joints of infected individuals are not detected following antimicrobial treatment and that arthritic symptoms typically subside shortly thereafter.
Hoping to keep my hands working for as long as my brain does, I walked for several hours today, tried Dr Mercola’s absurdly expensive krill oil, a vitamin B complex, and a formula with quercetin, bromelain and vitamin C.
Result: No numbness this morning, but joint stiffness is still spreading, still getting worse each morning.
Dr. Mercola says in a video that an arthritis doctor, Dr. Brown, was convinced after many years of working with patients that a mycoplasma was causing rheumatoid arthritis. The doctor treated many people with antibiotics and they got much better, but they got worse first. So should I keep laughing? Mercola recommends diet and exercise changes and if an antibiotic is used, minocycline at 100mg twice per day worked in a double blind placebo controlled study, although he says a lower dose would be more effective.
Mycoplasma is a genus of bacteria that lack a cell wall around their cell membrane. Without a cell wall, they are unaffected by many common antibiotics such as penicillin or other beta-lactam antibiotics that target cell wall synthesis.
This morning the pain that started weeks ago in only the right thumb joint has progressed to the right wrist and spread in the left hand to include the left thumb joint. The stiffness is not there after a few seconds of moving my hands.
Great, a progressive joint disease. Spin the wheel of life and you never know what you’ll get.
I checked and learned that both parents and my grandmother on my mothers side had mild arthritis, but theirs was not this kind, where the joints are only stiff and painful first thing every morning.
I asked my doctor what the mechanism is for stiffness only in the morning. He said we don’t really know exactly, but it is associated with inflammation.
Joint stiffness caused by inflammation usually occurs or is worse immediately after awakening or after prolonged resting or immobility. … Doctors examine the muscles as well as the joints to make sure that the problem is not muscle rigidity as occurs in Parkinson disease or muscle spasticity that occurs in strokes and spinal cord disorders. Because inflammatory arthritis is often the cause of joint stiffness, blood tests (for example, rheumatoid factor) and x-rays or ultrasonography may be done.
Three X-rays of my hand came back normal with no damage to the joint visible.
My rheumatoid factor, however, is elevated from the past.
‘Periods of prolonged rest, like sleep, can make pain worse,’ explains Philip Conaghan, professor of musculo-skeletal medicine at the University of Leeds and spokesperson for Arthritis Research UK.
‘We’re not sure why, but it’s probably due to joint linings becoming congested with excess fluid used to bathe cells, and protein waste products when joints are immobile for a length of time.
‘These are always present but are usually flushed away from joints and excreted by the body’s mechanisms. This process slows down at night, leading to stiffness and pain which can wake people.’
If you want to fix something, figure out how it works.
Joint congestion. Could a low grade mycoplasma infection cause that? Would that fit with my somewhat low white blood cell count?
Mycoplasma are a group of microorganisms which are a cross between a virus and a bacteria. Together with Chlamydia and Rickettsia they make up a family of microorganisms known as Rickettsiae and Pararickettsiae. They are found everywhere, the hosts are usually rodents and the vectors are arthropods (insects with jointed legs) or airborne through dust. Rickettsial organisms have been found in ticks, lice, fleas, mites, meat, milk, stool and dust.
They are the smallest free living organisms. Like viruses, they are intracellular organisms but unlike viruses, they can reproduce outside cells. They lack a cell wall which makes them resistant to many antibiotics. They enter the body through skin, lungs or digestive system. They then spread through the bloodstream to infect vascular endothelium. They multiply within cells until numbers are so great that the cells burst. This then damages blood flow to multiple organs, hence the multitude of symptoms which may occur.
Most of us have an immune system which can eradicate these organisms. In people without an optimal immune system, mycoplasma can cause both acute and chronic infections. Acute mycoplasma infections can present as atypical pneumonia or a severe flu like illness which frequently involves joint pains and headaches. Symptoms can persist of months. Chronic mycoplasma infections have been implicated in:
Rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia and Polymyalgia Rheumatica, Gulf War Syndrome, Autoimmune diseases such as lupus, scleroderma, vasculitis, multiple sclerosis and Sjogren’s.
They have even been implicated in precipitating Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Grave’s Disease, uveitis, appendicitis, Crohn’s Disease, ulcerative colitis and heart attacks.
I have had dry eyes and a strange wheeze deep in my lungs in the morning for a long time. It makes sense to me that autoimmune diseases are caused by microbes. Interestingly, there is a mechanism for microbes to cause autoimmunity, by carrying part of the human cells they just killed with them as they leave the scene.
Systemic chronic infections (caused by bacteria such as Mycoplasma, Chlamydia, Borrelia, Brucella, etc. or viruses such as CMV, HHV6, EV or enterovirus, etc.) can invade virtually every human tissue and can compromise the immune system, permitting opportunistic infections by other bacteria, viruses, fungi and yeast. Mycoplasma, Chlamydia, Borrelia, Rickettsia and other pathogens can also directly damage and kill nerve cells in a process called apoptosis, resulting in nervous system degeneration.
When mycoplasmas exit certain cells, such as synovial cells, nerve cells, among others that can be infected, they can stimulate an autoimmune response. This can occur by different mechanisms. One mechanism that has intrigued us is that when certain microorganisms, such as certain species of mycoplasmas, exit from invaded cells, they carry part of the host cell membrane on their surface. This may trigger the immune system to respond to the host antigens on the foreign microorganism. …
Recent double-blind clinical studies sponsored by the National Institutes of Health indicate that some antibiotics are effective in treating Rheumatoid Arthritis.
So I laughed and increased my NK cells, and my symptoms got worse. Why? One study in an immunology journal offers a clue:
NK Cells Interfere with the Generation of Resistance against Mycoplasma Respiratory Infection
… several studies have demonstrated that immune responses not only protect from disease, but they can also contribute to the pathology … Surprisingly, depletion of NK cells from … mice before infection leads to a more effective clearance of mycoplasma from the lung … NK cells can dampen innate immune mechanisms that help control mycoplasma numbers in the lung.
My fingers are a bit sore still this morning and I have a mild headache. I don’t want to end up with deformed painful joints, so I may try the antibiotics.
Usual antibiotic course for mycoplasma pneumonia should be at least for 2 week or more.
4/21/2017 update: This morning the right thumb was worse than ever. It took longer than ever for the pain of movement to go away, about 10 seconds. Before it was about 3 seconds. What the heck is causing this?
Tests for mycoplasma will be the next step.
I hope this helps someone! Millions suffer with joint pain take drugs for the symptoms and never get better. Keep researching, fiercely, until you are cured or your time runs out.
That’s the only way I know to beat the odds and cure common things like tooth decay.