Article written by Dr. Michelle Strydom MD
Non-bacterial inflammation is where there is swelling and redness in the body in the absence ofinfection.Common diseases that involve non-bacterial inflammation include interstitialcystitis (inflammation of the bladder), prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate), ankylosing spondylitis (pain and stiffness in the spine) and myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle). Myocarditis is discussed on page 347 in the chapter on cardiovascular diseases and ankylosing spodylitis is explained on page 400.
To understand non-bacterial inflammation, you need to read the following two chapters which have essential background knowledge:
- “The Effects of Long Term Fear, Anxiety and Stress on the Body” on page 180.
- “Autoimmune Diseases” on page 200.
I explained in the chapter on stress that when a person’s though life is dominated by fear and anxiety, a whole sequence of hormonal and chemical reactions are set into motion through the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus is the area in the brain that is the connection between the mind and the body – it translates everything that is going on in a person’s thought life into a physical reaction. One of the effects of stage 2 and 3 of stress is activation of mast cells. Mast cells are part of the immune system that was designed to help you kill and fight off infections. When the mast cells are activated, they release chemicals that cause inflammation, for example histamine, prostaglandins and leukotrienes. Histamine increases the diameter of the blood vessels (vasodilation) as well as increasing their permeability. This allows the water (plasma) in blood to leak into the surrounding body tissues, which results in swelling and redness.
When you have an over production of histamine in your body, you have swelling. When youhave swelling you have pressure on your nerves and surrounding body structures and you have discomfort, irritation and/or pain. The spiritual root behind this is fear, anxiety and stress.
In non-bacterial inflammation, there is a second spiritual root that comes in which is a low self esteem, self-hatred, self-condemnation and guilt. This is where the chapter on autoimmune diseases is relevant as the immune system begins to attack the body in a specific area, such as the bladder, prostate, heart or bones in the spine. This results in damage to the body tissue and inflammation.
Interstitial Cystitis (Inflammation of the Bladder)
Before reading about your bladder problem, please make sure you have read the introduction above. Most bladder problems involve either infection or inflammation or both.
In interstitial cystitis there is inflammation and swelling of the tissue in the wall of the bladder due to excessive histamine production. Symptoms include a painful burning feeling when you pass urine, having to go to the toilet more than normal, urgency (i.e. when you feel you need to go to the toilet you have to get there quick!), blood in urine (haematuria) and/or pain above your pubic area. In two thirds of cases this is caused by bacterial infection. Bladder infections are related to fear, anxiety and stress. Fear and anxiety in your thought life puts your body into stage 2 and 3 of stress. In this toxic state, the hypothalamus in your brain stimulates the production of large quantities of stress hormones. One of these stress hormones is cortisol, which in excessive quantities, directly kills and prevents the production of the different cells of the immune system. When the immune system is compromised, bacteria are able to infect the bladder wall. Both the infection and direct stress related damage to the immune system cause an excessive production of histamine with resultant inflammation.
In one third of cases the inflammation of the bladder is not related to an infection – this condition is called abacterial cystitis in women and urethral syndrome in men. In this case, there is an overproduction of histamine, plus an autoimmune disorder where cells of the immune system are damaging the tissue in the bladder wall causing inflammation as well. Here there are two spiritual roots that need to be dealt with:
- You have got to be prepared to change the way you think about yourself. You need to choose to see yourself as God sees you. Building a healthy self-esteem starts with learning who you are in Christ and establishing your identity and sense of self worth in Him. The chapter on page 498 will help you with this.
- You also have to get the fear, anxiety and stress out of your thought life. Deal with those issues that are robbing you of your peace. Turn to the chapter on page 523.
Before reading about prostatitis, please make sure you have read the introduction at the beginning of this chapter.
Prostatitis is inflammation of the prostate in men. This can be serious because it can eventually lead to prostate cancer. Similar to cystitis described above, prostatitis can result from infection or inflammation or both.
If the prostatitis involves infection you will have fevers and feel generally ill. In this case the spiritual root is fear, anxiety and stress. Fear and anxiety in your thought life puts your body into stage 2 and 3 of stress. In this toxic state, the hypothalamus in your brain stimulates the production of large quantities of stress hormones. One of these stress hormones is cortisol, which in excessive quantities, directly kills and prevents the production of the different cells of the immune system. When the immune system is compromised, bacteria are able to infect the prostate. Both the infection and direct stress related damage to the immune system cause an excessive production of histamine with resultant inflammation.
Prostatitis can also be due to an allergic reaction, usually in men with asthma. Allergies are discussed in the chapter on page 206.
If the prostatitis is due to inflammation alone, there are two spiritual roots that need to be dealt with:
- Fear, anxiety and stress – on page 523 is a chapter that will help you deal with this.
- Low self-esteem, self-hatred, self-rejection, self-condemnation and guilt. Building a healthy self-esteem starts with knowing who you are in Christ and learning to see yourself as God sees you – turn to page 498.
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