Writing Exercise #15

Heart Disease

A research project I’m happy to fund is that of microbial influence on developing atherosclerosis and its contribution to heart disease. A major player in the nation’s healthcare crisis is Congestive Heart Failure (CHF.) CHF is a condition brought on by atheroscleroses in varying degrees. It is usually not named as CHF until someone actually has fluid backup due to failure. The symptoms range from shortness of breath, swelling in lower extremities, and eventually life threatening heart condition. A large number of our population gets this diagnosis, they spend a large amount of time in hospitals to treat the symptoms, and it causes many repeated trips to a primary care physician or specialist. It is not a disease that can be cured, it is an ongoing and progressively damaging condition that we spend millions of dollars treating. The ways we treat our body for years leading up to a diagnosis of CHF are crucial. This includes managing our microbial communities. I would like to push research back in the disease progression and look at some earlier ways we can work towards reducing symptoms and progression on heart disease.

We will likely learn how to better balance our diet, and how to better manage surrounding tissues to keep the load on the heart balanced over time. Years of maintenance will help our heart be prepared for old-age.

Writing Exercise #14

Human non-infectious diseases that are influenced by microorganisms.

Irritable bowel syndrome, hearburn/gerd, diabetes, some autoimmune diseases are triggered by bacterial or viral infection, some kinds of cancer, obesity, heart disease, asthma, chronic fatigue, insomnia, anxiety, depression, restless leg syndrome, dementia, Alzheimer’s.

Week 1, I included COPD and CHF and my understanding was so limited and my scope so broad. I only thought of the big nationally recognized “killers” in that sense. Sleep Apnea is also one of those but not in the context of this course, where we largely focused on the repercussions of mismanaged gut bacteria. These lead to diseases which lead to the bigger chronic diseases and deadly consequences. Now, I am able to understand the role of microbes in so many of these common every day diseases.

Writing Exercise #13

  • Can experiments detect differences that matter?
  • Does the study show causation or correlation?
  • What is the mechanism?
  • How much do experiments reflect reality?
  • Could anything else explain the results?

The matter is whether research shows causation or correlation is important for our cultural reaction to science. The extremely transparent nature of our culture currently shows how careful we as scientists should be with the presentation of research and ideas. Progress is wonderful and we want people’s reaction to progress to be communicated correctly.

Experiments affecting reality is an incredible concept for scientists to consider when presenting research. It goes hand in hand with the mainstream perception of causation or correlation concept. The results affect our reality and we want to make certain people use the knowledge to empower themselves.

Writing Exercise #12

Microbial communities in our body promote a sense of neutrality in our body. If unbalanced, there is a reaction to set it “right.” The movement of the body systems and particulates towards “righting” an off in our body can set off chain reactions all throughout the rest of our body. This can lead to a change in mental health state. The details on this phenomena are few but it poses a provocative question in the search for answers in how we can manipulate our brains by changes to our body.

I will share this link –

The Emotional Causes Of Disease

This website goes over the bridge of emotions and which diseases they lead to or cause. What hurts the research of connection mind and matter is when it sounds too wackadoo. People want to believe that pills fix problems. But what we miss out on sometimes is that our emotions trigger the hormones and chemicals that pills provide – so in my opinion, there is much more to be done socially, culturally, and medically as well to study and understand our own control and power over our body and disease.

Writing Exercise #11

I’m a first-born, which to me translates to having been raised as a “peer-reviewer” in the sense of encouraging and helping raise my younger siblings. I find that role comes naturally to me because of those experiences. Of course, it does present some difficulty as you’re reviewing a complete stranger.

I don’t know how my words translate to another person, especially one I’ve never met in person. I want to be helpful and encouraging without coming across as a bully.

Reading my peer review comments is always challenging because I want to receive others’ messages in the same spirit as I intended mine towards their work. That is the hard part, honestly.

I did feel defensive feelings while reading their thoughts on my work. I think that’s part of human nature – and even though I felt defensive, I still saved the review as a tool to help me rewrite for the final because of valuable an outside view will be in making my essay successful.

Writing Exercise #10

The pros and cons of peer review


A second voice – can fix transition issues

Makes the read-through more cohesive or concise

Fixes errors

They can suggest how to make it easier – readability

A different point of view with new knowledge


A second voice – out of context from writer’s message

Conflicting opinions

Different reading styles

Varying literacy

Writing Exercise #9

Changes in human behaviors that contribute to decreased exposure to microbes.

Hand Sanitizer

Avoiding sick people

Covering your cough

Wiping down surfaces with disinfectant

Washing your hands after using the restroom

Working in healthcare or exposed to a patient base

Having children in the school system

Living in a large city versus suburbs

Sharing writing utensils

Using someone else’s phone or keyboard at work

Staying home from work when you’re sick

Exercise when you’re sick to get the blood flowing!

Eat well to avoid compromising your immune and defense systems

Writing Exercise #8

I seem to remember us discussing and learning a lot about gut microbial community. We talked about crohns disease and diet. We talked about how gut microbe environment affects other diseases or conditions within our bodies. I have thought a lot about this lately as I am in a life period of making changes to my diet and learning a new lifestyle relating to health and nutrition. I have been plant-based on/off for years. My sister has an allergy to lactose or more specifically, whey protein. I have done some reading about lactose in our diets and come to some pretty concrete impressions and opinions about intake of dairy products. Lately, those thoughts have been challenged as I work to become more lean and find that dairy and meat products seem to be the best or easiest way to do that. I think that one of the most approachable ways to maintain gut health is through yogurt which is dairy but injected with probiotics. This is an approachable to ingest probiotics and feel like yogurt is the thing we use to do that. We’ve associated them together. So there are so many conflicting thoughts currently with me about this topic. I also read the china study, which is a book that talks about animal protein in human diet. After reading that book, I was polarized against the meat and dairy industry. It seemed to paint such a clear picture. Humans stop drinking their mother’s milk after we mature to a certain age. Animals do the same. So then why do we take animal’s milk, meant for baby animals (or in our case, baby humans) and culture it, cultivate it, make it into other products and consume HUGE amounts of it in the form of cheese, yogurt, butter etc.

Animal Protein in the Human Diet

Just reading the so-called title of this next portion makes my mind jump right into conspiracy theory because I go to how the lobbyists for dairy and meat industries have invested so much money and time into promoting dairy and meat as our main source of diet. There are people who think of a meal as the meat and then whatever else. If a meal doesn’t have a meat, it means they are poor or something is lacking. I do live in Oregon so I think I have some separation from that. Also, I was raised in a religion where most people are vegetarian. These things make it easier for me to wrap my head around a lack of meat and dairy in our diets. I don’t mean to pick on meat and dairy but both as products, they are problematic. Dairy so because so many people seem to have sensitivity towards it, and I believe it is truly only meant for babies. Meat so because it is so expensive to produce per square foot and per dollar invested, but also because it seems inhumane. We don’t live outside in the wilderness and kill one cow for 6 months of meat and products. They live in little stalls and stand in the same spot for 2 years until they’re fat enough to kill. They are pumped with fake nutrition, or waste from other stuff. Yuck. There are quite a few expose type shows or movies, try Netflix, that expose the conditions in meat yards. That makes it hard to support meat industry. It’s not like it’s the best quality meat anyway. I read once somewhere how their hormones upon smelling death, release into their bodies as they approach their own death, fear etc. That is has not been proven through research, but suggested, that those hormones affect as upon eating their meat. I have wondered more than once if when you eat steak, you get nightmares because your body is breaking down the steak in your gut while you sleep and you get those fear hormones in your body while your subconscious runs your brain at night.

Writing Exercise #7

Positive – The baby needs to be exposed to the world and live in the world for it’s own immune system to be able to learn and adapt to the microbial environment surrounding it. So, in that sense, the sooner the better. For the mother, her resources were given priority to the baby while she was pregnant, so this is a good time for her microbial environments to return to normal. Once the baby has birthed, her body will begin to do that.

Negative – A new baby and momma are fragile creatures. We take great care to ensure they are both safe while recovering from the birth episode. The baby has a new immune system and very much relies on the mother’s immunity, mainly through the milk. The mother has been compromised because she is healing from birth and also her body rerouted her resources for months to the developing baby. They both need time to recover and (in the mother’s case) rebuild their own resources.

Writing Exercise #6

Describe your personal philosophy about how and when you have taken, or would take, antibiotics.

I think antibiotics are necessary and should be used.

Also, antibiotics are overused which is a problem on a system wide scale. For the people who overuse antibiotics, their bodies now can harbor the drug-resistant strains and then those strains can be shared. We need to be careful about antibiotic use.

I don’t go to the doctor unless I’m really sick or have been sick for a long time. If and when I am prescribed antibiotics, I set reminders and make sure to take the dosage exactly as prescribed. A lot of people stop taking the meds when the symptoms start to go down, but your body is still fighting the infection and you need to keep taking the medications through the duration.

What experiences or prior knowledge do you have that shaped that personal philosophy?

Learning that our body’s natural response time is 2-14 days, we should not administer antibiotics until after 14 days to see if the body can heal itself and kill off the invaders given it’s natural processing time. We jump right to trying to fix it as fast as possible and I think that’s doing our body harm, in not allowing us to work the process.