Traditionally trained physicians usually state the causes of autoimmune diseases are unknown. Patients with autoimmune diseases such as, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, or Sjogren’s disease are simply given protocol driven treatments with limited success because an acute care model is given to a chronic problem and the underlying cause is never investigated.
The problem with this is everyone has their own biochemical individuality. Patients with similar symptoms can have totally different test results. There is endless research on intestinal permeability aka intestinal epithelial hyperpermeability aka Leaky Gut. The gastrointestinal tract is 80% of our immune system. Whenever you have inflammation present, the tight junctions and intestinal mucosa can become damaged causing gaps or “pores” in the lining of the GI tract. Then toxic byproducts in the digestive tract can be absorbed into the bloodstream and transported on to the liver. The molecules of food and toxins are “leaked” through the GI lining and then eventually they affect systems throughout the body causing inflammation in our joints, expressing toxins in autoimmune conditions and food sensitivities.
Patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) often have an association between food intake and rheumatoid disease severity. In a recent study of this immunological link between gut immunity and RA, food IgG, IgA and IgM antibodies were measured. In the intestinal fluid of many RA patients, all three immunoglobulin classes showed increased food specific activities, including gliadin antibodies.
If you have an autoimmune disease, there are some tests to consider. There have been great strides in advancement in technology and what labs can test today. There are labs that assess a patient’s delayed onset food sensitivities. There is also a great lab to confirm if someone has intestinal permeability. Through the serum they are able to detect antibodies to LPS, Occludin/Zonulin and the Actomyosin Network to identify breakdown of a healthy intestinal barrier.
It is also very important to get your vitamin D levels checked as well as Gluten-Associated Antibodies and Cross-Reactive Foods tested since they play a large role in inflammatory and autoimmune processes.
Once these underlying areas your health are explored, nutritional and lifestyle support would be used to address any dysfunctions, deficiencies, toxicities, etc.