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  • John B. Symes, D.V.M.
    John B. Symes, D.V.M.

    The Plagues of Pandora’s Box on Humankind

    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

      Journal of Gluten Sensitivity Spring 2010 Issue. NOTE: This article is from a back issue of our popular subscription-only paper newsletter. Some content may be outdated.

    Caption: Swine Flu Strain Virus Particles. Image: CC BY 2.0--NIAID

    Celiac.com 09/21/2019 (Originally published 04/05/2010) - I am a veterinarian who is doing research on the origins of disease.  This came about after my miraculous recovery from multiple ailments following my diagnosis of food intolerance, particularly celiac disease.  I have chronicled my recovery and findings on my website, www.dogtorj.com.

    I’ve come to the conclusion that most of what we call “diseases” are long-term symptoms arising from the “civil war” taking place in our bodies, between its residents—our cells and those entities designed to help and protect those residents (e.g. viruses and bacteria) and the constant barrage of immune challenges that we throw at them (e.g. food lectins, carcinogens, chemicals/preservatives, trans fats, fluoride (an “antibiotic” and carcinogen) air pollution, etc., etc.  These, coupled with our horrific fast-food diets, inadequate sleep/exercise/sunlight, and self-induced misery through alcohol/drug abuse and our penchant for sugar have brought all of the plagues of Pandora’s Box on humankind.

    Yet we keep pointing the finger at microorganisms like viruses and bacteria, including L-forms and mollicutes, as the enemy.  Granted, most don’t know or fully understand the true nature of viruses and bacteria - that they are crucial for our survival, being important instruments in our adaptation to this ever-changing environment in which we live.  But shouldn’t intelligent people be asking why these guys are so ubiquitous yet a relative few people are suffering from the “diseases” caused by these “culprits?

    The fact is that viruses and L forms do what they do because they need to survive because they are crucial to our survival.  Would you disagree that if we could snap our fingers and make all viruses and bacteria disappear from the planet that the entire ecosystem would collapse? Certainly, we know that the vast majority of these bacteria are not pathogenic? What really distinguishes a pathogen from a saprophyte—or a helper?

    When huge numbers of the population are infected with various “pathogenic” bacteria and yet remain asymptomatic, shouldn’t it give us pause? Why do they become such culprits of disease in the “unfortunate” few? Are they just unfortunate or have they done something—or lived somewhere, in the case of pollution—that has brought this plague on themselves?  We know that the number one risk of developing legionnaire’s disease was/is cigarette smoking.  Now there’s a surprise.

    I believe down to my core that viruses and bacteria work in concert to help us all, especially when it comes to adaptation and survival.  Bacteria form L-forms and viruses mutate because they need to survive - they are critical to our survival and only become pathogens when we have forced them into doing so with the laundry list of abuses given above.  Cancer is little more than a virus (and/or an intracellular bacteria) forcing that cell to duplicate out of control in a desperate attempt to protect itself, and the cell it was designed to protect, as well as escaping those noxious elements (we call them “carcinogens”) that have forced them into this final phase of adaptation.  

    Our immune systems tried valiantly to deal with this during the preceding “autoimmune” phase, a term I no longer use because the thought of our immune system attacking itself for no reason is preposterous, especially in light of research on L-forms.  And, we can’t say we weren’t warned by the broad array of symptoms we were given: the heartburn; IBS; allergies; hives; cough; migraines; seizures; fatigue/depression; etc.; etc.  

    Certainly, there are those who have become so afflicted and immune challenged that they need some pharmaceutical aid to deal with these helper-turned-“culprit” bacteria but to become dependent upon antibiotics for any significant length of time is both potentially dangerous and unnecessary.  If we stop the assault we are visiting on these misunderstood and reactionary residents, we can come off the drugs (like I did) and re-establish the status quo, and long before the two or three year mark in most cases, I believe.

    People simply need to know that we are the culprit, not these microorganisms at which we keep pointing our scientific fingers.  Why? Because these organisms—the viruses, bacteria, L-forms and mollicutes—are here to stay! It is we who are the transient visitors.  And if we want to enjoy our stay, we’re going to have to learn how to treat ourselves, and those who reside within us, a whole lot better.

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  • About Me

    John B. Symes, AKA “DogtorJ”, DVM is a veterinarian who has been practicing veterinary medicine for over twenty-five years.  He graduated with honors from Auburn University in 1979 and followed that with an internship at the prestigious Angell Memorial Animal Hospital in Boston.  You can read Dogtor J.'s blog.

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