Tag Archives: Immune system

Sex Addiction Stress, and Stress

Stress, Sex And Addiction: Roles Of Corticotrophin Releasing Factor, Oxytocin And Arginine- Vasopressin In Sex Addiction Stress.

Sex Addiction

Sex Addiction Stress

Stress sensitivity and sex are predictive factors for the development of neuropsychiatric conditions. it has been thought stresses are the sole cause for addiction but this isn’t true since triggers can also cause relapse to drug use. Sex Addiction Stress and stress involve similar pathways.

The development and clinical course of addiction-related disorders do appear to involve neuroadaptations within neurocircuitries that modulate stress responses and are influenced by several neuropeptides. These include corticotropin-releasing factor, the prototypic member of this class, as well as oxytocin and arginine-vasopressin that play important roles in affiliative behaviors. Interestingly, these peptides function to balance emotional behavior, with sexual dimorphism in the oxytocin/arginine-vasopressin systems, a fact that might play an important role in the differential responses of women and men to stressful stimuli and the specific sex-based prevalence of certain addictive disorders.

Stress and Sex Addiction Stress

Stress generally is defined as any stimulus that challenges physiological homeostasis—that is, which alters the balance or equilibrium of the normal physiological state of the organism.

Individuals exposed to chronic stress exhibit a higher propensity to become addicts. Stress-induced relapse is also higher in addicts. In general, there is a higher prevalence of addiction in patients diagnosed with anxiety disorders and depression. Additionally, childhood trauma is associated with increased vulnerability to addiction. Exposure to high peer deviance in childhood and adolescence is among the strongest known risk factors for drug use and drug abuse. Interestingly, a very recent study has found that individuals with increased risks of drug addiction because of parental divorce or genetic liability are more sensitive to the pathogenic effects of peer deviance.

Stress and addiction are interconnected in several ways. For example, stressful life events may predispose individuals to engage in addictive behavior or relapse.

Sex Addiction Stress

Epidemiological studies have observed significant sex- specific differences among patients suffering from addiction and other neuropsychiatric disorders. The onset, severity, clinical course, and treatment response of anxiety disorders also differ significantly in women compared to men. Importantly, the sex bias in neuropsychiatric disorders, including post- traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), remains even after adjusting for the type of trauma, pre-existing psychiatric disorders, and sex differences in reporting. Several studies have found increased prevalence of depression in women. Similar sex differences exist for addictive disorders. For example, more adult males abuse addictive drugs than females across most drug classes, including alcohol, psychostimulants, and narcotics. However, women develop addiction more quickly. There are also critical differences in the way that illicit substances affect the two sexes.

Men and women also show different propensities to relapse, and are differentially affected by triggers for relapse to drug taking, putting women at greater risk for repeated relapses despite the higher prevalence of drug abuse in men. Interestingly, once the addiction cycle resumes, women show longer periods of drug use before their next quit attempt.

The sex differences may also be a result of hormonal and neural differences between men and women in relationship to their response to the addictive behavior.

Corticotropin-releasing factor and  Sex addiction Stress.

CRF is a 41-amino acid-containing neuropeptide. CRF orchestrates the stress response by acting at the level of the pituitary to initiate the HPA axis response to stress, as well as centrally to modulate limbic and brain monoamine systems that are important in autonomic and behavioral components of the stress response. CRF causes its effects by stimulation of corticotropin-releasing factor 1 receptor (CRF1R) and CRF2R, and displays an 18-fold greater affinity for CRF1R than CRF2R.

Physiological responses to stress involve the release of CRF from the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) of the hypothalamus, followed by stimulation of ACTH release from the anterior pituitary. ACTH, in turn, stimulates the secretion of cortisol/corticosterone from the adrenal glands. In addition, CRF has an extensive extrahypothalamic influence across the corticostriatal-limbic regions, and plays a critical role in modulating subjective and behavioral stress responses. Central catecholamines, particularly noradrenaline and dopamine, are involved in modulating brain motivational pathways that are important in regulating distress, exerting cognitive and behavioral control, and tempering behavioral and cognitive responses critical for adaptation and homeostasis. The hypothalamic and extrahypothalamic CRF pathways and central catecholamines target brain motivational path- ways to critically affect adaptive and homeostatic processes. CRF dysregulation has been linked to the pathophysiology of mood and anxiety disorders. During stress, release of limbic CRF can modulate monoamine systems that have been implicated in mood and cognition. Although activation of both the HPA axis and central monoaminergic systems by CRF during acute stress is adaptive, the inappropriate or persistent activation of these systems can have adverse consequences leading to psychopathology.

Oxytocin and arginine-vasopressin in Sex addiction Stress

Sex addiction and stress

Sex addiction Stress and stress

Cells originating in the PVN have specific pathways that efficiently deliver OXY to other structures in the brain including the amygdala, BNST, septum, hippocampus, and NAc. OXY released by peripheral organs or by the posterior pituitary does not readily cross the blood–brain barrier, with only 1–2% crossing. In disparity, the local expression of OXY receptors is highly variable and explains differences in social attachment within and between species. OXY exerts anxiolytic and anti- depressive effects in various models.

OXY, in collaboration with hormone dopamine, is vital for pairing and bonding in prairie voles. When OXY is infused into the VTA, it increases dopaminergic activity in the NAc, and stimulation of oxytocinergic projections within the VTA increases extracellular DA within the NAc while concurrently inducing penile erection. OXY-induced dopaminergic release within the meso- limbic DA system may impact the attribution of incentive salience to a variety of social stimuli and ultimately influence an organism’s drive towards such objects thus causing addiction.

Sex Addiction Stress is a menace that should be fought by all means that is why we at Integrative Addiction Institute are committed to availing help to addicts and offering training to Health care providers in Integrative Addiction. Call on Dr. Dalal Akoury (MD) today for assistance.

Stress And Sex Addiction Stress: Roles Of Corticotrophin Releasing Factor, Oxytocin And Arginine- Vasopressin In Sex Addiction.


Binge Drinking affects Immune System

Binge Drinking Disrupts Immune System in Young Adults

Binge DrinkingAlcohol when drank in recommended quantities can help one get varied health benefits. however as one continues taking alcohol he may begin to take more of the drink so as to enjoy its euphoric effects, the more alcohol a person drinks and the frequency at which he takes alcohol pave way for serious health complications. There are people today who have been maimed as a result of binge drinking making them dependent on their families as they can no longer work to supplement their own daily needs. The effects of alcoholism are far more than the economic gravity that often befall the addicts but it has more to do with their health. Binge drinking has quite adverse effects on the health of an alcoholic as it has been found to disrupt the immune system of alcoholics especially the youth.

What is Binge Drinking?

Binge drinking usually refers to drinking lots of alcohol in a short space of time or drinking to get drunk. Most researchers define binge drinking as taking more than 8 units or more in a single session. This however may not be so appropriate as different people have different levels of tolerance to the drink and even the speed at which people drink is different. Some people are bound to be fast drinkers while others are slow drinkers but the essence of binge drinking is to get drunk quickly. To avoid binge drinking it is important to space your drinks and to avoid drinking too much that you get drunk instantly.

New research that was led by a researcher now at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine has found that Binge drinking in young, healthy adults significantly disrupts the immune system.

During this study the participants drank four or five shots of vodka. The study also considered the weight of the participants against the number of shots of vodka they took. Twenty minutes after reaching peak intoxication, their immune systems revved up. But when measured again, at two hours and five hours after peak intoxication, their immune systems had become less active than when sober. Binge drinking making them more vulnerable to disease infections. This study led by Majid Afshar, MD, MSCR, and colleagues was published online ahead of print in Alcohol, an international, peer-reviewed journal.

Apart from the fact that that binge drinking has a negative effect on the immune system of youth involved in it , it has also been found that binge drinking increases the risk of falls, burns, gunshot wounds, car accidents and other traumatic injuries. Researchers have also found out that one-third of trauma patients have alcohol in their systems.

There is more harm to binge drinking than just increased risk of traumatic injuries as it also impairs the body’s ability to recover from such injuries. Previous studies have found that binge drinking delays wound healing, increases blood loss and makes patients more prone to pneumonia and infections from catheters. The study led by Dr. Afshar warns that Binge drinkers are also more likely to die from traumatic injuries.

Binge drinking is known to alter behaviors of drinkers but as Elizabeth Kovacs, PhD, a co-author of the study and director of Loyola’s Alcohol Research Program puts it “But there is less awareness of alcohol’s harmful effects in other areas, such as the immune system,”. This shows that most binge drinkers are not fully aware of its risks.

If what the definition of binge drinking by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism holds some water then there are many binge drinkers who do not even know they are binge drinkers. According to this institute binge drinking is drinking enough to reach or exceed a blood alcohol content of .08, the legal limit for driving.

This study included eight women and seven men with a median age of 27. Each volunteer drank enough shots of vodka, generally four or five to meet the definition of binge drinking. Dr. Afshar and colleagues took blood samples at 20 minutes, two hours and five hours after peak intoxication because these are times when intoxicated patients typically arrive at trauma centers for treatment of alcohol-related injuries.

Binge DrinkingFrom the blood samples it was observed that 20 minutes after peak intoxication, there was increased immune system activity. There were higher levels of three types of white blood cells that are key components of the immune system namely leukocytes, monocytes and natural killer cells. There also were increased levels of proteins called cytokines that signal the immune system to ramp up. At this minute the immune system was higher than before they got drunk. However two hours and five hours after peak intoxication, researchers found the opposite effect- fewer circulating monocytes and natural killer cells and higher levels of different types of cytokines that signal the immune system to become less active signaling a drop in the immune system.

Follow up study

Despite the success of this study in showing the effect of binge drinking on the immune system, Dr. Afshar is still planning to do a follow-up study of burn unit patients. He intends to compare patients who had alcohol in their system when they arrived with patients who were alcohol-free. He will measure immune system markers from each group, and compare their outcomes, including lung injury, organ failure and death among other parameters.

Binge drinking has far worse effects on the health of an alcoholic, it is therefore safe to consider the pace at which a person drinks and avoid this dangerous habit. Dr. Dalal Akoury of AWAREmed Health and Wellness Center has dedicated her life to helping addicts restore their lives by use of integrative medicine. Call her on (843) 213-1480 for help.

Binge Drinking Disrupts Immune System in Young Adults




Garlic- A medicinal miracle

Garlic- A medicinal miracle

Garlic, a member of the onions family, is allegedly the second oldest medicine in the world. And, it is one of the most treasured foods on planet Earth.

Garlic, the white food spice has been in use for several decades as a cure for a variety of diseases and ailments.  Of course a better part of the world population do not have the slightest clue of the exact value of this medicinal culinary component. They only recognize it as a valuable spice that brings that awesome aroma to several dishes.

That is to say that the majority of these world populations are yet to make full exploitation of the range of uses of this form of onion. Achieving that may however take more than just a simple statement on this article. Mass sensitization efforts may have to come into play.

Garlic is a powerful stimulant for the immune system in addition to being a natural antibiotic. One can take garlic in its raw state or when cooked. It can be eaten in form of supplement or be used in preparing garlic oil.


The range of garlic uses is wide. It has vastly been used to cure colds as an active decongestant.  In this line it works as an antibacterial, anti-asthmatic and an antidepressant. In addition, it is an anti-inflammatory, antiseptic as well as an antifungal.

Garlic is also good for treatment of coughs as an antiviral, antispasmodic and diuretic. Its raw form works as a potent organic antibiotic good in fighting bacterial infections, killing several viruses and parasites.

It is useful in detoxification of the body and prevention of diseases by improving the immune system. As such, it helps reduce the chances of experiencing a heart attack or stroke. It also has a variety of antioxidants and other compounds good in prevention of cancer.

Doctors recommend garlic for the treatment of asthma and several allergies, anxiety, Alzheimer’s disease, athlete’s foot, diabetes, earaches and diarrhea. That is not all. The list of diseases and disorders treated by garlic is quite long. It is a remedy for patients of herpes, cardiovascular disease, intestinal illnesses, sore throat, warts and infections of the urinary tract.


Summative as it may sound, garlic is good for almost every kind of disease. It has been proven effective with treating diseases of different varieties. From fungal infections to viral diseases, stomach cancer to colon cancer.

These healing abilities of the garlic are attributed to the many useful compounds it has. It contains a lot of sulfur compounds and this is one factor that is responsible for its immense curative nature. It has a lot of nutritional and mineral components- from allicin to allyldisulfides, copper to calcium, germanium to essential oils, iron to magnesium, phosphorus to manganese, phytoncides to potassium, sulfur to selenium, and zinc to unsaturated aldehydes. It also has Vitamin A, Vitamin B2, B1 and Vitamin C.

Consumption methods for Garlic

There are indeed many alternative ways of taking garlic. You can drink it like tea, you can take it in the form of an ointment or eaten in different food varieties. The product can also be made into some volatile form that is then inhaled or mashed on.

Garlic can usually be extracted to form an odorless tablet or capsule or oil known as Kyolic. These are taken into the body easily through mere ingestion.

When rubbed on parts affected by arthritis it helps alleviate pain. Eating it with food may also directly kill worms in the intestines. Oil obtained from garlic may also cure sinus infections when snorted into the nostrils of the patient.

Garlic- A medicinal miracle

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Obesity and the immune system

Obesity and the immune system-How does it happen?

Immune system

You are healthy when you have strong immune system and physical activities helps sustain it.

The general humanity is informed of the significance effects of obesity on various diseases including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, cancer, sleep apnea and more recently, fatty liver disease but probably many may not be aware of the effects of obesity on our immune system and this is what we want to find out in this article, all I ask of you to keep on the site and keep reading. Recent studies in humans affected by obesity and obese animal models have shown an impaired immune response or immune function leading to increased chances for various infections. However the cause of this has not been well defined. Let us review what is currently known about this possible harmful effect that obesity has on the body.

Obesity and the immune system-Nutrition and Immune Function
you probably have heard the phrase “Eat an apple a day; you will keep the doctor away.” This is actually true. Studies do show that eating a diet that is high in fiber and antioxidants (fruits and vegetables) and has enough protein helps to keep your immune system working properly. Specific micronutrients such as iron, selenium, zinc, copper, as well as vitamins C, A, E, B-6 and folic acid have important roles in the body’s immune response.

Feeding on foods rich in sugar and fat or consuming too many calories make you more prone to infection. This is because it can lead to increases in blood sugar or may cause oxidative damage. Oxidative damage is an overproduction of reactive oxygen species compared to the body’s ability to detoxify cells. This type of damage from oxygen increases your chances of infection.

You will be at risk of protein energy malnutrition if you have too little protein intake. This has also been associated with significant impairments of immunity. It is commonly thought that malnutrition cannot happen in an individual affected by obesity; however, deficiencies and malnutrition happen because of a poor diet. Therefore, deficiencies could very well occur in any individual who eats poorly, no matter their weight.

Obesity and the immune system-Good diet to help your immunity

  • If you are affected by obesity, decrease your calories to help facilitate weight-loss.
  • Decrease simple carbohydrates such as: sweets, goodies, baked goods, sugar sweetened beverages, sugar, honey, jams, jelly, etc.
  • Decrease excess “bad” (saturated or trans) fats commonly found in: commercial baked goods, processed or fried foods, cheese, whole and 2% milk, ice cream, cream, fatty meats (beef and pork products), butter and margarine. Bad fats are also found in some vegetable oils – coconut, palm and palm kernel oil.
  • Eat two cups of whole fruit per day and at least three cups of vegetables per day.
  • Drink or eat three cups of low-fat (1% or skim) liquid dairy or dairy alternative per day (light yogurt, low-fat or fat-free milk). Eat two to three ounces of lean meat or beans with two meals per day (three ounces = deck of cards).
  • Drink at least 60 to 80 ounces of water per day.

Obesity and the immune system-Physical activities and Immune Function
Exercise and health go hand-in-hand. We have all heard that exercise helps fight diseases such as high blood pressure and cholesterol, cancer, sleep disturbances, mood and obesity itself. In general, people who exercise and are physically active throughout the day tend to live longer, healthier lives. There is also evidence that exercise does improve immune function. Studies have shown that exercise seemed to increase numbers of certain immune cells that help to bolster immune activity.

Moderate exercise has been reported to increase certain immune cells, reducing the risk of infection. On the other hand too intense of exercise (without adequate rest) has actually been shown to increase stress on the body and cause a person to be more at-risk to infection.

Obesity and the immune system-Obesity and Immune function
A person affected by obesity that eats healthy and exercises is still at risk for decreasing immune function. Obesity itself has been shown to impair immunity in some studies. Some of these specific findings include:

  • Decreased cytokine production
  • Altered monocyte and lymphocyte function
  • Natural killer cell dysfunction
  • Reduced macrophage and dendritic cell function
  • Decreased response to antigen/mitogen stimulation

Now, you may be saying to yourself, “What does all that mean?” The bottom line is studies have shown impaired immune response in animals and people affected by obesity, leading to increased risks of infection. The exact cause of these findings is not known. Obesity is an extremely complex disease and many processes and pathways are altered, any of which could affect the immune system.

Population studies have shown the same things. For instance, hospitalized patients affected by obesity are more likely to develop secondary infections and complications, such as sepsis, pneumonia, bacteremia, and wound and catheter infections. Overall, it appears that obesity may increase risk for bacterial and viral infections. Severe obesity, in and of itself, has also been named a risk factor for increased severity of infection and death from the H1N1 influenza strain. Those affected by obesity may also be at risk for viruses like H1N1 because of less of an immune response to vaccinations, although it has not been studied to date.

Obesity and the immune system-Vaccines and Obesity
How does vaccine work? It does by introducing a killed or weakened form of disease to the immune system. The killed or weakened disease is not strong enough to produce symptoms or signs of the disease, but the vaccine does stimulate production of antibodies to protect against the disease if you come in contact with it in the future.

A lot of work has been done regarding hepatitis B vaccines in regards to obesity, in which studies show strong evidence that individuals affected by obesity have a very high non-response rate to vaccination. This means after the introduction of the non-active virus to the individual’s immune systems, the disease fighting antibodies are not produced to the extent they need to be to protect against the disease.

In a person affected by obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 30-39), studies have shown that it takes a more potent hepatitis B vaccine in order to come close to the response rate of a standard single dose therapy in an individual with a BMI less than 30 (overweight). Finally the exact cause of how obesity affects the immune system is unknown. One theory is the type of fat that you have, as not all fat is created equal. White adipose tissue (WAT) is usually found in higher levels in people who are affected by obesity. Several studies show that WAT has many functions, including regulation of inflammatory processes. When the body has excess WAT, chronic inflammation makes it harder for the body to fight off infections.

Well known links exist between diet, exercise and immune function. Eating healthier and incorporating moderate exercise can help to increase your immune function; however, now it is known that obesity itself (diet or genetic induced) decreases immunity leading to increased risk of bacterial and viral infection as well as decreased responsiveness to some vaccinations. The good news is that amidst all these several studies at AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center under Doctor Akoury. You will be cared for and have your life restored while focusing on Neuroendocrine Restoration (NER) to reinstate normality through realization of the oneness of Spirit, Mind, and Body, Unifying the threesome into ONE.

Obesity and the immune system-How does it happen?