Recently, I spoke with a new patient of mine who was struggling with debilitating anxiety, depression, brain fog and fatigue. She's in her mid-30s and can't even get out of bed some days because her life is so wrecked by health problems.
Over the past few years, she's seen dozens of doctors and specialists. All of her labs and tests came back "normal," and she was simply given antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications. But she knew instinctively that something wasn't being addressed.
Why am I telling you this? Because what this patient has gone through is not an isolated incident. Over the years, I've heard from hundreds of people experiencing similar unexplained symptoms with few answers.
Although everyone has unique qualities that make their health problem different, there is one common factor among many of these cases: an inflammatory-immune response.
Neurological Autoimmunity: The Rise of Autoimmune Brain Problems
As I mentioned in my previous article "Signs You Have A Leaky Brain + What To Do About It," new research is looking at how inflammation can damage the brain's protective blood-brain barrier (BBB) and possibly lead to brain problems.
This inflammation can then activate the brain's immune microglia cells, which can trigger an inflammatory-autoimmune response. In other words, people's immune systems might be attacking their brain and nervous tissue.
The Anxiety/Depression and Autoimmune Connection
Autoimmune diseases are one the top causes of death in the United States, but many believe that they're widely under-diagnosed. Why?
To be diagnosed with most autoimmune diseases, the immune system has to destroy a significant amount of tissue — in this case, the brain or nervous system — to be officially diagnosed.
There are three main stages on the autoimmune spectrum: