Hypersensitivity – Can’t stand it anymore! – Part 5 ‘The Science’

Hypersensitivity - Can't stand it anymore! - Part 5 The ScienceIn part 4 we talked about the breakdown in communication using various analogies. To really understand the underlying cause of hypersensitivity, we really need to look at the body’s neurological system.

The human body has a very complex mass of sensory nerves, something in the order of 10 million.  Receptors around the body relay messages via our peripheral nervous system to our central nervous system being the spinal cord and brain. Simultaneously, the body has to manage, interpret and determine action to vast quantities of messages being relayed.  Just picture your body’s central nervous system managing 10 million Facebook customers. It’s massive.  Just like any complex wiring system sometimes there can be chaos or mis-routing which can lead to a breakdown in communication.

So just picture this. Your hyper-sensitive to smells and odours.  There are specialized olfactory sensory nerves, which enables you to smell the things around you, helps you to determine what is pleasant or not, and naturally draws you to or away from them. Sometimes our sense of smell is so strong that it not only offends you, but it makes you feel ill, whilst others can just walk away from it.

Each olfactory sensory nerve has a receptor in the nasal passages that detects a specific smell, or in the case of complex smells it is detected by multiple receptors. The signal is transmitted along the neuron(s) all the way to the spinal cord that then sends a response via the motor neuron that creates a physical response. Meanwhile a second message is sent via 1000’s of neurons to various regions of the brain. This involves a mass of communication along a whole network of neurons. In order for the message to be sent to the next neuron it requires a chemical reaction called a synapse.

Now some of you will be aware of chemicals known as neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine. It is these, that sets off a chemical reaction that stimulate the next neuron into action until the message reaches the various regions of the brain that interprets and determines the action i.e. the emotional and autonomic responses to the odour. There are 1000’s of chemical reactions taking place. If there is dis-order, a breakdown in communication, or a deficiency or excess amounts of chemicals somewhere along the route, then this can cause the original message to be misunderstood or changed in such away that the body over or under responds.

You’ve probably played chinese whispers around the dining table and laughed, about how a message can be distorted, and that has only involved a few people.  Now imagine playing chinese whispers in a conference room with a 1000 people.  Need I say more!

Please let me know what your understanding of what I am saying. Is it too technical or have I balanced it just right? Looking forward to hearing from you. Just click comment below.

In part 6 we will look at what you can do to fine tune your hyper-sensitivities and reduce your symptoms. Click  on ‘follow’ and we will let you know when it is posted…to be continued in part6.

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