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Dark Matter: More Missing Mass in the Modern Medical Milieu

Member Forum >> Microbiome and Digestive Health >> Dark Matter: More Missing Mass in the Modern Medical Milieu

Bob Niland

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Posted: 2/14/2019 9:39:24 AM
 

Dark Matter:
More Missing Mass in the Modern Medical Milieu

This is not a complaint. It’s just the way things are at present. And you need to know it.

Symbiont characters have been a staple of science fiction for decades. They are host characters that have a symbiote living within. The symbiotes often convey to the hosts significant fictional benefits in resilience, performance, life span and mental function. Some even take control of the host. Some are also adverse to the hosts — parasites, basically.

So imagine Florx, one of these fictional commensal symbiont species. This week’s script has Florx reporting to the ship’s doctor:
“Doc, I think my Alieoid symbiote is sick. Can you help?”
we might expect a response of:
“My experience with Alieoids is limited, Florx, but let’s see what we can do”,
We’d know that the symbiote is a major plot point in this episode.

If the response instead is
“I don’t know what you’re talking about. Let me refer you to the ship’s counselor.”,
then you’d know that the script department had made an error, and written in an early 21st century Earth doctor by mistake. This doctor doesn’t know anything about what might be a full half of the character.

Watching this on screen, you might think:
“I’m glad no one is ever really in a situation like that.”
Before addressing that sentiment, here’s another imaginary scenario.

Suppose you, as a 2019 human, present to your 2019 PCP with pain in your left elbow, and are told
“I can’t help you with that. I only treat the right side of the body. My training at the Adroit Medical School considered the left side irrelevant.”
A generalist doctor that can only care for half of you? That’s also fictional, of course. What follows is not, but might be just as troubling…

This is Not a Simulation: You Are A Symbiont

As the Gut Flora Resource Overview article on this forum points out, at Context, you have real symbiotes, and lots of them. You are perhaps 50% symbiote by cell or gene count, and 3% by weight. At the risk of being repetitious, your symbiotes convey significant non-fictional benefits in resilience, performance, life span and mental function. They can also influence behavior, profoundly. And, to be sure, not all are welcome.

Even those aware of this situation are largely in the dark on the full spectrum of threats, how to assess issues, how to optimize the ecosystem, and how to treat identified problems.

So where do you place your bet? I’d look for a dissident health program that grasps the breathtaking scale of the unknowns (and perhaps unknown unknowns), follows the lit, makes insightful conjectures (with cites), cautiously tries things, and is willing to rapidly evolve a posture. Cross-check with independent sources of course.

Today, in the early 21st century, most consensus medicine still has deminimus awareness of the various human microbiomes. As a result, there’s also little appreciation for the unintended effects of their routine treatments for what they presume are host issues. It’s up to you to be a guardian (and gardener) of your symbiote population.
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Bob Niland [disclosures] [topics] [abbreviations]

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Boo

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Posted: 7/10/2019 11:21:41 AM
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