This blog is a way of sharing the information and resources that have helped me to recover my son Roo from an Autism Spectrum Disorder. What I have learned is to view our symptoms as the results of underlying biological cause, which can be identified and healed. I say "our symptoms" because I also have a neuro-immune disorder called Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.

And, of course, I am not a doctor (although I have been known to impersonate one while doing imaginative play with my son)- this is just our story and information that has been helpful or interesting to us. I hope it is helpful and interesting to you!

Friday, October 28, 2016

Many of the Diseases on the Rise Now seem to be Interconnected

In this commentary piece by Dr Stephen Genuis MD, Pandemic of idiopathic multimorbidity, he makes the argument that there is a relatively sudden increase in certain types of diseases, particularly allergic diseases.  He calls this condition "multimorbidity" which simply refers to a patient with 2 or more chronic diseases or complaints.  He argues- as many have regarding autism- that a sudden and dramatic increase in a medical condition is not well explained by claiming that the condition is genetic, as genes don't change that quickly.  A sudden and dramatic increase in a disease implies an environmental influence.  He has noticed, as many others have, that some symptoms and diseases often appear together including headache, joint pain, fatigue, brain fog, bloating, chemical intolerance, muscle aches, itchy skin, abdominal discomfort, and fibromyalgia.

Dr Genuis conforms what many of us living with these symptoms already know- that many, if not most doctors do not believe that this constellation of symptoms is caused by physiological illness, but rather is a psychiatric somatic illness requiring anti-depressants for therapy.  In his attempts to uncover a common physiological explanation, he says "A foray into the recesses of the scientific literature reveals discussion of a condition called sensitivity-related illness (SRI), with description of a credible causal mechanism to account for much of the emerging pandemic of multisystem health problems. This condition results when toxicant accrual within the human organism— typically from exposure to adverse chemicals—induces a state of immune dysregulation and hypersensitivity resulting in physiological disruption within various organ systems. The pathogenesis relates to an intriguing phenomenon called toxicant-induced loss of tolerance, a finding that represents a considerable advance in medical science pertaining to the origins and mechanisms of disease."

It seems that more and more doctors and researchers have begun paying attention to the co-morbidity of diseases and symptoms such as Mast Cell Disease (MCAD), Eosinophilic diseases (EGIDs and HES), other digestive disorders and symptoms, allergy and other forms of atopy such as eczema, migraines and other headaches, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS) and other joint and connective tissue symptoms and disorders, psychiatric symptoms such as ADHD, OCD, panic disorders, and anxiety, neurological and neurodevelopmental disorders including autism and seizures, as well as many others.  In particular, the three disorders of EDS, MCAS, and Dysautonomia (usually POTS) occur together so often that they are sometimes referred to as "the trifecta".

Unifying Theories:

Researchers identify new spectrum disorder called ALPIM syndrome
"Panic disorder itself may be a predictor for a number of physical conditions previously considered unrelated to mental conditions, and for which there may be no or few biological markers," explains Dr. Coplan.  In the study, published in the Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences, the researchers proposed the existence of a spectrum syndrome comprising a core anxiety disorder and four related domains, for which they have coined the term ALPIM."  These are: A = Anxiety disorder (mostly panic disorder); L = Ligamentous laxity (joint hypermobility syndrome, scoliosis, double-jointedness, mitral valve prolapse, easy bruising); P = Pain (fibromyalgia, migraine and chronic daily headache, irritable bowel syndrome, prostatitis/cystitis); I = Immune disorders (hypothyroidism, asthma, nasal allergies, chronic fatigue syndrome); and M = Mood disorders (major depression, Bipolar II and Bipolar III disorder, tachyphylaxis. Two thirds of patients in the study with mood disorder had diagnosable bipolar disorder and most of those patients had lost response to antidepressants).

A New Disease Cluster: Mast Cell Activation Syndrome, Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, and Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome

Dr Meglathery, herself a patient with this combination of diagnoses, has developed a theory called The RCCX Theory that argues for an underlying genetic connection between these conditions.
Dr Diana Driscoll has developed a theory she calls The Driscoll Theory that connects POTS, MCAS and EDS, and ties in some of the other symptoms/issues as well (including cranial hypertension).  She also has a number of videos on her site that explain the connections in more detail.

The blogger over at Oh Twist describes in a post called The Chronic Constellation the list of disorders that so many of us as patients have noticed.  She also includes mitochondrial diseases, autism spectrum disorders, and many autoimmune diseases in this cluster of disorders.

Scientific Papers That Support These Connections:

Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Hypermobility Type: A Genetic Predisposition to the Development of Various Functional Somatic Syndromes

Neurological manifestations of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome(s): A review

Chronic fatigue in Ehlers-Danlos syndrome-hypermobile type

Orthostatic intolerance and chronic fatigue syndrome associated with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.

Neurodevelopmental attributes of joint hypermobility syndrome/Ehlers–Danlos syndrome, hypermobility type: Update and perspectives

Unexpected association between joint hypermobility syndrome/Ehlers-Danlos syndrome hypermobility type and obsessive-compulsive personality disorder.

Joint hypermobility is more common in children with chronic fatigue syndrome than in healthy controls.

[Fibromyalgia: an unrecognized Ehlers-Danlos syndrome hypermobile type?].

High prevalence of eosinophilic esophagitis in patients with inherited connective tissue disorders

Eosinophilic gastrointestinal disorders associated with autoimmune connective tissue disease.

Involvement of mast cells in eosinophilic esophagitis.

Gastrointestinal symptoms associated with orthostatic intolerance.

Symptom overlap and comorbidity of irritable bowel syndrome with other conditions.

Characterizing Gulf War Illnesses: neurally mediated hypotension and postural tachycardia syndrome.

Neurally mediated hypotension and chronic fatigue syndrome.

Neurological Manifestations of Angioedema

Sleep research in autism and connective tissue

New Epidemics: The Possible Connection Between CFS/ME, Narcolepsy and PANS

New study shows severity of tinnitus (ringing in the ears) is related to emotional processing

Food Allergy Common in Joint Disorder

Kids with food-triggered eczema are at risk for developing life-threatening food allergy, study suggests

Psychological Functioning of Children and Adolescents With Eosinophil-Associated Gastrointestinal Disorders

Psychiatric disorders and symptoms severity in pre-school children with cow's milk allergy.

Association of atopic diseases and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: A systematic review and meta-analyses.
Cow's milk protein intolerance in adolescents and young adults with chronic fatigue syndrome.