On July 8th 2013, I received an e-mail from a mother of a 17-year old daughter who had received Gardasil vaccination in 2008 resulting in a severe reaction. Two weeks after the second injection she began to experience a “flu-like” episode that continued for about a week and was followed by facial swelling, streptococcal infection, double ear infection and a diagnosis of mononucleosis. It was initially concluded that this was coincidental, not due to the vaccination. From then on she suffered from Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome ( POTS), severe edema and “digestion issues which have been constant since”. POTS is a multi-symptomatic disease of the lower brain that affects many aspects of brain/body control mechanisms. She reported that “30,000 girls (and some boys) have been affected by the vaccine” and of those of which she was aware,“ the majority have POTS and trouble metabolizing sugar and carbs”.
Because of the persistent edema and digestive problems, my informant had done her own research and concluded that her daughter’s symptoms were due to thiamine (vitamin B1) deficiency. She found my name in connection with this subject and requested my help. There is a blood test, known as erythrocyte (red cells) transketolase that is specific for identifying thiamine deficiency, so I suggested that this be done. It was strongly positive, proving TD. This led to the test being done on another Gardasil affected girl and this was also strongly positive. Most of the affected girls known to her had POTS. Some had mitral valve prolapse (MVP). About twenty five percent of POTS patients are disabled. The symptoms often follow a virus infection. It is one of many conditions classified as dysautonomia and this includes beriberi, long known to be due to thiamine deficiency.
Dysautonomia, often associated with MVP, affects the lower brain controls of both branches of the autonomic (automatic) nervous system (ANS) that enable our adaptation to the constant changes in environment. For example, one branch, known as the sympathetic system, accelerates the heart and the other, called the parasympathetic, slows it. We sweat when it is hot and shiver when it is cold, both automatically initiated by the sympathetic branch of the ANS.
In the early stages of beriberi the ANS is unbalanced, so that either the sympathetic or parasympathetic, normally working in synchrony, dominates the reaction, adversely affecting blood pressure, pulse rate and many other adaptive mechanisms, like POTS. It can be seen that the patient with POTS or beriberi is essentially maladapted and is unable to adjust bodily systems to meet environmental changes. Edema (swelling in parts of the body), a cardinal feature of beriberi, supported a diagnosis of thiamine deficiency in this mother’s daughter. Also, Gardasil is a yeast vaccine and an enzyme called thiaminase, whose action destroys thiamine, is known to be in the yeast. Thiaminase disease has been reported in Japan in association with dietary thiamine deficiency.
We know from the history of beriberi that exposure to the stress of ultraviolet light (sunlight) sometimes “triggers” the first symptoms of the disease when thiamine deficiency is marginal, but not severe enough to cause symptoms. Other stress factors (virus, inoculation, injury) can do the same. In effect, diet may cause an individual to be in a state of marginal vitamin deficiency. A mental or physical stress factor automatically induces a need for energy to meet this stress. If cellular energy is insufficient to drive the mechanisms by which an adaptive adjustment is required, it results in a maladaptive response.
The lower brain, where the ANS control mechanisms are situated, is particularly sensitive to thiamine deficiency, equivalent to a mild to moderate degree of oxygen deprivation. The commonest cause of thiamine deficiency in industrial nations is alcohol, but it is also known that sugar consumption will increase the need for thiamine. Beriberi has recently been reported in Japan in seventeen adolescents consuming carbonated soft drinks. The social life of adolescents may thus increase the risk from an inoculation that might otherwise be less threatening.
The statistics on sugar ingestion (150 pounds per person per year) suggests that marginal TD is common. The report of a “difficulty in metabolizing sugar and carbs” may be highly relevant. One of the questions asked by parents of the affected girls known to my informant is why did the vaccine seem to “pick off” the most intelligent and athletic individuals. The answer must be that the higher the IQ, the more is cellular energy required by the brain. Sugar, even at social levels of consumption, may be a greater risk for them.
It is important to understand that there are multiple factors that have to be taken into account in solving the cause of this disaster. The “fitness” of the individual implies her adaptive ability in biochemical terms, not her athletic or student prowess. Dietary indiscretion may or may not enter the equation and depends on individual sensitivity to food substances as well as the ratio of calories to the necessary vitamins for their processing in the body. The stress factor, the case in discussion being Gardasil, may be more or less stressful in its own right, perhaps related to batch number or commercial process. Lastly the genetics of an individual always enters the equation. These three factors, Genetics, Stress and Nutrition can be seen as three interlocking circles, all of which overlap at the center. Each circle must be evaluated in its contribution to the ensuing result.
Publications and resources from Dr. Lonsdale:
- A Review of the Biochemistry, Metabolism and Clinical Benefits of Thiamin(e) and Its Derivatives
- Treatment of autism spectrum children with thiamine tetrahydrofurfuryl disulfide: A pilot study.
- Asymmetric functional dysautonomia and the role of thiamine.
- Exaggerated autonomic asymmetry: a clue to nutrient deficiency dysautonomia.
- Oxygen – the Spark of Life. Dr. Lonsdale’s blog.
Resources for Understanding Thiamine Deficiency
Molecular Mechanism of Thiamine Utilization
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