When you are buying or selling a house, how do you know what the fair value of that house is? The way the real estate agents do it is to look at “comparables” in the neighborhood — what are similar houses in the area selling for? This assumes that your house will be valued similarly. Considering your house alone isn’t sufficient to determine price.
Each bacterial or viral infection is comparable to other infections: they have some similar effects on the body. Since general infections call out the immune system to overcome the attack, and the immune system action causes collateral damage which produces inflammation, we can say that inflammation is common to all of them. Our experience with the COVID-19 outbreak was unique in some ways, and we did not know how the virus would act, but we had comparables with other viruses that gave us clues as to what to expect with this virus. Since COVID invoked a major immune system response, we could expect significant inflammation from the infection. We could also expect those with already high inflammation to suffer worse from COVID because their baseline inflammation was higher to start. And we could expect some inflammatory aftermath once the initial infection was cleared.
Research studies normally take many years to complete when human trials are involved. Animal trials take less time, because the lifespan of the animals is shorter and new generations appear faster, but even then a few years may be required to fully complete a study. So when new drugs, vaccines, or treatments are being considered for governmental approval for public use, the process should also take many years, with successful and complete human trials being conducted before wide scale public use.
COVID burst onto the scene with incredible speed, and when it did, the research process was blindsided. Virtually nothing was known about the new virus. It was obviously dangerous, and spread very rapidly, so the public feared the worst and our government started emergency procedures to attempt to slow the spread, give time to learn about the virus, and work on vaccines. The result was a set of three vaccines, all developed and cleared for public use in a drastically shortened period of time. There was insufficient time for any conclusive human trials to be performed that could prove that the vaccines were completely safe and had no long term implications. In a sense, a worldwide human research study started with the onset of COVID and is still in progress. Years from now data being collected will answer questions of safely and real effectiveness of the vaccines. Everyone who was vaccinated is a part of that study, the largest ever conducted in the world. The problem is: that study is still ongoing.
The virus, meanwhile, reacted as all life, even extremely primitive life, behaves: it tried to adapt to its environment. When many people received the vaccine, the virus mutated and new variants appeared that could bypass the vaccine. The adaptations also tended to make future variations less lethal, because it was in the best interest of the virus to keep the hosts alive so they could spread the virus all the more. This eventually led to a stand-off, where society has learned to “live with” the virus, somewhat uncomfortably, and most of the population has had COVID, the vaccine, or both, and some many times over.
Whether from vaccination or the virus itself, or both, our immune systems have been under attack. That’s nothing new: the immune system is always facing some attack. But some of the data from our massive, ongoing human COVID trial is surprising: while some people seem to respond to COVID relatively well and get over it quickly, others have lasting effects from the ordeal. Lasting effects have occurred for so many people that the term “long COVID” has been coined to refer to their continuing illness.
As COVID marched through our society, we started hearing reports of some common and very dangerous symptoms in some people. These revolved around blood clots. Then the vaccines were produced, and cases of vaccine-induced blood clotting were sometimes reported — this was named vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT). Then when some were not recovering in short order from lingering symptoms (long COVID), research was conducted to understand this phenomenon. One study, published in the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostatis, was conducted by researchers at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RSCI) School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences, analyzing 50 patients with long COVID syndrome. They found that these patients continued to have over-active blood clotting mechanisms well after the COVID infection. Also, they found that certain cells of their immune systems (CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell subsets) remained at high levels. These immune cells were still damaging blood vessels long after the infection.
These reactions are hallmarks of inflammation. Published in the British Journal of Haematology, researchers at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation Cardiovascular Biology Research Program explain this: “Inflammation initiates clotting, decreases the activity of natural anticoagulant mechanisms and impairs the fibrinolytic system. Inflammatory cytokines are the major mediators involved in coagulation activation.” Like many body mechanisms, blood coagulation involves a balance of opposing forces: anticoagulants tend to dampen elevation of cytokine levels and make endothelial cells less responsive to inflammatory signals, while higher inflammation inhibits anticoagulant pathways, increases the platelet count, and promotes coagulation. Another article, published in Cureus, emphasizes the same point: “Blood viscosity is increased by elevated concentrations of acute phase reactants and hypergammaglobulinemia in inflammation.”
You would expect blood clotting to follow inflammation. What happens when you get a cut? Inflammation and blood clotting — these are wound healing mechanisms. Excessive blood clotting is a sign of excessive inflammation trying to heal damage.
COVID caused inflammation in everyone who got the infection or even the vaccine version of the infection. Many overcame it, and their inflammation levels returned to their normal. But for some, the inflammation remained elevated, and they had the long COVID syndrome as a result.
Inflammation is the doorway to all sorts of diseases, including cancer. Viruses cause a heavy immune system response which damages good cells in the process, forcing an inflammation response to attempt to repair the damage. One of the impacts of inflammation is blood viscosity increase which can lead to improper blood clotting.
What we see here is that COVID is just one of the causes of dangerous inflammation. Other infections can do similar damage. Also chronic stress, poor diet, lack of exercise, obesity, diabetes, cancer, and unfortunately the aging process, can promote inflammation, which in turn can lead to more disease.
Is it so surprising that chronic stress, poor diet, lack of exercise, obesity, diabetes, cancer, and old age are considered risk factors for serious, even deadly, responses to COVID infection? The body can handle only so much inflammation before becoming vulnerable to serious disease. How full can you fill a glass before it overflows? Does it matter where the water in the glass comes from? Inflammation is similar: we all have some, but healthy bodies have low inflammation most of the time, while the unhealthy are at overflow levels and you can’t usually feel inflammation, but it builds up in the blood and the tissues.
You can’t avoid all inflammation. In trying to avoid the ravages of COVID, many took and are taking the vaccine, but sometimes the vaccine causes such a severe immune reaction that it too is a source of dangerous levels of inflammation, as we’ve seen in VITT. But you can lower your general inflammation so that your glass has plenty of room for accepting more before overflowing. That’s your best defense against all disease. You can’t stop aging either, but you can lower your inflammation so you feel younger and the effects of aging are delayed. Naturally lower inflammation equals higher health and resilience against disease.
Dr. Nemec’s Review
Your immune system works by making inflammation, meaning when the inflammatory cytokines immune cells attack something, whether a bacteria or virus or cancer cell or a fungus or parasite, it secretes inflammatory molecules that kill the pathogens. The problem is they always over secrete, which means there’s always some damage to healthy tissue — but then the immune system switches off and the body repairs and heals.
The problem comes in when the level of inflammation in a person is high to start. This is the norm for standard Americans who do not eat well, exercise well, sleep well, and live too much in fear and doubt. Take the standard American, whose level of inflammation on a scale of zero to ten, is eight or nine as a baseline. You give them an infection, especially a strong infection that evokes a strong immune response, you can see where it tips them over the edge and they get so much inflammation from the pathogen that it can even kill them, disable them or make them chronically ill. Is it the pathogen that did this — is it the COVID-19 that did this? Of course not: it was their baseline inflammation, they were not healthy to start. That’s why this virus caused havoc: it showed all of us how sickly and inflammatory a standard America is. All this virus was and is and always will be is just a strong flu. It kills nobody, it disables nobody, it makes nobody sick long-term, UNLESS their diet, lifestyle and stress prior to it had raised that base level of inflammation up high.
What the studies also show is that whenever there’s inflammation in the body there is a thickening of the blood. This is a critical concept: chronic inflammation means chronically thick blood. This means less oxygen going to the cells, less waste products leaving the cells, less immune system movement, more environment for pathogen growth — including cancer cell growth and metastasis. Remember inflammation was meant for short term and to be done. The body is meant to have a base level of inflammation of somewhere between one and two, not eight or nine. If you live the life you were meant to live, which we teach as the Seven Basic Steps to Total Health, you will have a low level inflammation (which is necessary for your immune cells to function effectively ridding your body of pathogens) and you will experience what many of our patients experienced when they contracted the Covid virus, they were slightly ill for a few days and then they were fine: no residuals, no long Covid, no problem and also no vaccine. The vaccine just adds insult to injury, causing even a greater inflammation rise than the virus itself.
What’s the other problem with thick blood? You’re more prone to heart attacks, strokes, blood clots, embolisms, high blood pressure, kidney disease, liver disease, and inflammation of the inside of the blood vessels throughout your whole body — just to name a few. So what’s the answer? Live a life that keeps your base inflammation extremely low — then your immune system will be able to take care of any virus, bacteria, cancer cell or anything else because that’s what it was designed to do. Simple as that. Do not complicate the issue by adding medications that appear to help you, when in actuality they greatly hinder you by greatly increasing inflammation levels. Always treat the cause naturally, not the effect pharmaceutically.
Here are the ways we can help you in your health journey:
- Outpatient Comprehensive Teaching and Treatment Program-has the most benefit of teaching, treatment, live classes and personalized coaching. This program has the most contact with Dr. Nemec with 3- 6 month programs that can be turned into a regular checking and support program for life. This is our core program that has helped so many restore their health and maintain that restoration for years.
- Inpatient Comprehensive Teaching and Treatment Program-is our four-week intensive inpatient program for those that are not in driving distance, usually over 4 hour drive. This is the program that is an intensive jumpstart with treatment, teaching, live classes and coaching designed for all our international patients along with those in the US that do not live in Illinois. This program is very effective especially when combined with our new membership program support.
- Stay at Home Program-is offered to continental US patients who cannot come to Total Health Institute but still want a more personal, customized plan to restore their health. This program also includes our Learn Membership Program.
- Membership Program is our newest program offered for those that want to work on their health at a high level and want access to the teaching at Total Health Institute along with the Forums: both Dr. Nemec’s posts and other members posting. And also, to have the chance to get personalized questions answered on the conference calls which are all archived in case you miss the call. The Membership Program has 3 levels to choose from: Learn, Overcome and Master. The difference is at the Overcome and Master levels you received one on one calls with Dr. Nemec personalizing your program for your areas of focus.