The body keeps some parameters of the body stable, like temperature, blood pressure, level of oxygen in blood, etc. This fact is used to detect illness and to monitor progress of treatment.
These stable values vary between situations, but there is correspondence between a situation and values of these parameters. When the body loses normal correspondence between body’s situation and values of these characteristics, this is an indication of an illness. We call this kind of illnesses “illnesses of Whole-Body Control”.
In a healthy body, this correspondence is amazingly precise. This precision leads to our feeling of being healthy. When this correspondence becomes less precise and values of these characteristics “float”, while conditions stay the same, we feel ill. The more they “float”, the worse gets our feeling and, rightfully so, we get scared. This fear, hopefully, triggers some search for treatment. Unfortunately, often causes of illness of this kind are difficult to discern and illness itself is difficult to treat.
Illnesses of this type and corresponding methods of treatment deserve special attention.
We define here a concept of the Whole-Body Control System or “WCS”, and its disorders - Whole Body Control Deviations or “WCS Deviations”.
Currently, various phenomena associated with WCS Deviations are often described in bounds of different biological models, using different terms. Presenting them in uniform terms of WCS and WCS Deviations should be useful for analysis, for communication of ideas and for treatment.
Temperature of a healthy body is kept in narrow bounds. It depends on a situation, in which the body is functioning, but WCS maintains tight correspondence between the situation and the temperature. Variation of temperature of the body’s in different situations is small.
Overall, body’s temperature depends on a part of the body (feet, hands are cooler), a level of activity of muscles (higher activity – higher temperature), presence of active digesting process (increased temperature during digestion), etc.
In addition, there is a normal variation of temperature of different parts of the body in extreme situations. For example, when external temperature is too low, WCS allows temperature of hands and feet to go down to preserve sufficiently high temperature of vital body organs.
However, when a person experiences chills in a warm room, or under a warm blanket, that would be a WCS Deviation, which requires attention.
Maintaining particular level of body’s temperature according to circumstances requires coordinated engagement of a few body subsystems:
- the nervous system, especially, its part associated with capillaries, which regulates transport of nutrients through capillaries,
- blood circulation system, including chemical signaling through blood, and heat and nutrients transport,
- nutrients transport system from blood circulation system into tissues through capillaries,
- usage of nutrients in tissues.
· blood vessels,
· blood oxygen level,
· blood glucose levels,
· glucose transport into tissues,
should lead to disorders of temperature regulation.
Whole-Body Control System (WCS) relies on proper functioning of a few subsystems of the body, which span entire body.
There is no controlling organ in WCS, as we know.
We cannot assert, for example, that problems of some part of Central Nervous System cause WCS Deviations. We could assert, though, that deviation of some patterns of functioning of the combination of the
· nervous system,
· blood circulation system,
· hormonal system,
and some other systems of the body from some norm lead to an illness.
WCS is a collection of these patterns of functioning. These patterns could be acceptable in given circumstances. That would indicate healthy WCS. When they are not acceptable, that indicates an illness, or a WCS Deviation, in our terminology.
Thus, WCS is a model - it is a model of body’s functioning.
Human body is involved in a perpetual flow and transformation of material, like oxygen, nutrients, glucose, etc. Some of it is used to rebuild the body, some to deliver energy in a useful form, etc. For transportation of this material the body uses cardio-vascular system: blood, arteries, veins, capillaries and the heart. It uses the same system to transport heat throughout the body.
Hence, speed of blood circulation is affected by needs of material transport and heat transport.
We already mentioned a special system in the body, where material is moved from the blood circulation system into tissues through capillaries. This transport is done under control of a special part of nervous system, associated with capillaries.
This part of the nervous system is large, and it “takes in consideration” large number of different characteristics of the body.
Patterns of functioning of this large “transfer controlling” part of the nervous system should be seen as a part of WCS. Deviations of its functioning from patterns of healthy functioning are WCS Deviations.
All these tasks are difficult to manage together, and it should not be a surprise, that various problems could arise. There are various interdependencies between these tasks and when we detect some problem with functioning of one part of the system, we should check for potential problems in other parts. For example:
· when there are problems with blood glucose management (high level of glucose), we should check for problems with oxygen management and temperature management,
· when there are difficulties with breathing, we should check for problems with oxygen management, problems with glucose management and problems of heat transport,
· when there are problems with heartbeat (increase of the rate of heartbeat potentially to compensate for low rate of delivery of oxygen, heat, etc.), we should check for problems with body temperature, breathing, and blood glucose level.
Problems of oxygen management could lead to irregular heartbeat – during some periods, heartbeat is too slow and weak, while during other periods, it is too strong and quick. This happens for many reasons, starting with poor information processing due to low oxygen supply and ending with the difficulty to find a proper solution when many parameters of the system go out of norm simultaneously. These periods of irregular heartbeat could be short and obviously not caused by actual level of oxygen in the blood. This behavior of the body looks like a heart problem, while it is a WCS Deviation. Distinguishing between these two is important.
Such a WCS Deviation leads to periods of oxygen deprivation and related problems, as problems with sleep (waking up from lack of oxygen in tissues), “brain fog” (poor memory recall, poor pattern recognition, poor combining of relevant memories).
Many problems, which look like problems of nervous system or psychiatric problems, are caused by WCS Deviations. Treatment sometimes could be quick and inexpensive, and as could lead to improvement in self-management and in social life. They, in turn, could lead to further improvement.
Examples are muscle spasms and “brain fog”. They are often caused by shortage of oxygen delivered to a particular part of the body, particularly to muscles, or the brain.
Problems of oxygen delivery to the brain are especially taxing; they lead to bad memory storing and recall, problems with logical combining of memories, problems of pattern recognition, etc.
In addition, WCS relies heavily on functioning of the Nervous System, and when the Nervous System is compromised with shortage of oxygen or nutrients, problems of WCS itself deepen, until the body settles in some severely compromised state. The vicious cycle of development of a WCS Deviation caused by shortage of oxygen, progresses quickly and difficult to diagnose.
The body uses glucose, as fuel, and it maintains level of glucose in blood constant.
It is difficult to speculate, why it is – we just know this invariant. It is not clear, why some organisms keep level of glucose in blood at level different from “standard”, but they do. It could be something related to pattern of eating, or pattern of movement, for example frequent fast accelerations, which need excess of glucose in blood. However, it is known, that regardless of external needs of the system, consistent elevated level of glucose in blood is associated with many problems of body functioning, i.e. this is a sign of a WCS Deviation.
This WCS Deviation is a significant one, it has consistent effect on behavior and, possibly, on body odor. That could be a cause, why many people with diabetes own dogs, which have diabetes.
This WCS Deviation of fuel management is often associated with problems in lower legs: skin ulcers, burning sensation, deviations of temperature control.
Ulcers are manifestations of problems with blood vessels and capillaries. Too much of permeability – and there are ulcers, too little - and there is poor transport of oxygen and nutrients from capillaries into tissues and poor transport of waste from tissues into capillaries.
Excess of permeability leads to accumulation of blood in the skin – ulcers of various types: from a set of small bumps with blood in them, to an area of the skin becoming permanently red, because of blood in it, to disintegration of the some portion of the skin and blood leaking from it.
This skin ulceration is accompanied with burning sensation.
Sometimes, constricting blood flow in the skin, for example with compression socks, elevates this burning sensation and facilitates healing of the skin. However, it is not a complete treatment, because it does not eliminate excessive leaking of the blood into the skin. Still, it could be used to clear symptoms at least temporarily and to give skin time to heal.
Note though, that, such compression in one part of the body leads to increase of blood pressure in entire body and emergence of similar problem in another part of the body. For example, application of compression in lower legs, often require similar application of compression in arms.
Excessive permeability of Blood Vessels could trigger overproduction of cholesterol to support repair of Blood Vessels. When cholesterol is not used completely, it accumulates in Blood Vessels and reduces their flexibility.
Problem with Blood Vessels often cause temperature control problems. To control temperature, Blood Vessels should expand and contract, as needed, to manage flow of warm blood through the body, but when they are not flexible enough they cannot do this efficiently.
When Blood Vessels do not support speed of blood movement needed for normal functioning of WCS, the body increases diameter of veins – the passive part of the blood transport system. This works for awhile, until veins become too broad and get in conflict with functioning of other systems in the body.
All this development of problems with blood circulation system often is mitigated with compressions socks and gloves. Compression socks give time for skin and blood vessels of lower legs to partially heal. However, their use causes bulging veins and pain in hands and arms and, potentially, excessive leaking of blood from blood vessels there. Using compression gloves mitigates this secondary problem. To avoid development of problems in other parts of the body, especially problems beyond the skin, it is advisable to apply compression judicially and for relatively short periods of time.
When WCS looses ability to control parameters of the body in tight bounds, it attempts to control it at least in broad bounds: the correspondence between situation, in which the body operates, and body’s parameters, becomes less precise – parameters change, while situation is the same. Often this leads to disturbing gyrating of symptoms – symptoms change in a cycle, while nothing is changing in environment.
This is a sign of weakened WCS. Most likely, it is weakened due to untreated or undertreated defects of the body, accumulated through the years. Since such neglect of body’s needs is ubiquitous, there is a myth of “inevitable” degradation of body’s ability with age.
Gyrating symptoms are scary, because there is no visible cause for change of the symptoms. WCS is working, only it is weak. They are a call for broad treatment of the body.
Existing WCS Deviations put entire WCS under pressure and this leads to development of additional WCS Deviations. Hence, WCS Deviations have to be addressed promptly. From the other hand, addressing one form of WCS Deviation could reduce WCS Deviation in another area. For example, addressing excessive blood leakage into the skin often leads to improvement of breathing and blood oxygen management.
Presence of WCS Deviations is a sign of strong and long acting influences destabilizing WCS. Hence, the very first step on the way of reduction of WCS Deviations should be discovery of these influences, their elimination and setting safeguards against them.
Many WCS Deviations are difficult to treat –medicine is not developed enough yet. There are some methods, which work well in some circumstances and only for some people, but do not work for others.
As WCS Deviations progress, they lead to gradual degradation of person’s functioning. All this looks, as inevitable consequence of “process of ageing”. However, when one starts to believe that this is something to accept and adjust and not to fight, this is dangerous. Our understanding of functioning of the body is growing. We are chipping away from mysteries of WCS: we are learning biological foundations of patterns of Whole-Body functioning, and accumulating experience of safe intervention in this area.
Different functions and parts of the body have different degree of susceptibility to development of WCS Deviations. Some parts have to operate in much larger range of circumstances, than other, like hands, arms, feet, lower legs, digestive track. These are the areas, where WCS Deviations are seen first.
Strangely enough, there is a broadly shared opinion that these body parts have to be “hardened” through deliberate exposure to challenging conditions. Just the opposite should be done: they have to be consistently and systematically protected, especially, when problems associated with WCS Deviations are seen in them. These problems could lead to other forms of WCS Deviations.
Unfortunately, cold feet, burning lower legs and ulcers of lower legs are problems familiar to many, especially with age.
WCS Deviations are not exotic, they plaque many people. They were not addressed systematically, because they were not clearly defined.
Alexander Liss 12/15/2020, 1/2/2021, 1/12/2021
Disclaimer: author of this article is not a medical doctor, do not use its conclusions without professional advice.