You are a walking ecosystem. Complex and symbiotic, your body hosts a whole microscopic world that should not be overlooked and deserves appreciation.

Do you know how much a gift you are to the microorganisms and bacteria teeming on you and in you? Trillions, hundreds of trillions, of bacterial cells count on your body to shelter and feed them, never leaving you to walk the world alone.

Truthfully, if your human body were to attempt to navigate the planet alone, separate from its undetectable tenants, you would find your immune system, nutrition, and even your molecules would suffer the loss of their combined support. Research shows that to preserve healthy body function, human genes and the genes of microorganisms must work together. Disease compromises the ability for the human ecosystem to survive and thrive; the participants are interdependent and essential to each other.

Researchers, like those at the Clinical Research Conference at the 2013 American College of Rheumatology Annual Meeting in San Diego are studying a chronic pain culprit, arthritis, in the hope of understanding more about the implications of the mutual relationship between the body and its communal microorganisms, and their genomes, living within. Scientific leaders like 2000 Nobel Laureate Joshua Lederberg, seek to examine how microorganisms share and determine health or the lack of it. How do microorganisms affect biological functions? What part do they play in diseases plaguing the body’s natural defenses? How instrumental are they to a person’s breakdown and absorption of nutrients? In ways do these microorganisms influence neurological conditions?

A variety of studies implicate that the presence of certain bacterium in various mucosal sites influences several types of arthritis, including inflammatory and rheumatoid arthritis. There is still much research to be done regarding the identification of specific microorganisms, implications of certain microorganisms and autoimmunity, as well as a broader comprehension of disease-causing organisms that may assist future treatment.

Read the full article here: Body Cavity Searching for the Causes of Chronic Pain | Psychology Today