Removing Environmental Triggers & Resolving Autoimmunity

IMMUNITY DEFINED & EXPLAINED

A condition in humans that permits innate (hardwired) and adaptive (learned) resistance to disease.

The immune system protects us from invasion by foreign microbes.  It is our body’s “military system” which identifies and destroys organisms that may harm us.   There are a few different sub-systems involved with our overall immunity that are important to understand when it comes to managing an autoimmune condition.  The immune system’s protective function is divided into two parts:  “adaptive” and  “acquired” immunity.  Acquired immunity involves the protection against any organism that is foreign.  It constitutes our immediate response system.  On the other hand, adaptive immunity involves protection against substances that the immune system learns to be dangerous.  This response requires time for the immune system to develop antibodies to tag the foreign substance in order to help immune cells identify and destroy the organisms.

  • The adaptive immune system is also known as the T-Helper-1 (TH-1) response.
    The Role of TH1: Innate Immune Response – First Attack
  • The acquired immune system is also known as the T-Helper-2 (TH-2) response.
    The Role of TH2:  The Acquired Immune Response – Production of Antibodies
  • The balance of the TH-1 and TH-2 systems is controlled by the TH-3 system.
    The Role of TH3:  The Regulatory System
  • Lastly, the degree of immune activation of the TH-1 and TH-2 system is determined by the TH-17.  The greater the TH-17 activity, the more strength the immune system has destroying a pathogen, or the more severity the autoimmune reactivity to self-tissue.   The Role of TH17:   Potent proinflammatory cytokines (immune cells) that destroys tissue.

TH-17 & Autoimmunity

TH17 immune cells (cytokines) produce molecules known to cause prolonged inflammation of tissues.  It is also these cytokines that are involved in tissue destruction at the site inflammation.  TH-17 is the system that also adds fuel to the autoimmune fire and determines the severity of tissue destruction during “flare-ups.”  Two naturally powerful inhibitors of the destructive cells involved in the TH-17 destructive processes are Resveratrol and Curcumin.

Nitric Oxide & Autoimmunity

Nitric oxide is a gas in the body that acts as a signaling compound, triggering things to happen. It plays a role in many normal physiological processes, but also in disease. There are three forms of nitric oxide, two of which are beneficial, and one of which is destructive.

Researchers have found that when an autoimmune reaction creates a surge in TH-17 activity, it stimulates an enzyme called inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) to produce more inducible nitric oxide. When TH-17 goes up, iNOS goes up, and inducible nitric oxide sets about destroying body tissue including erroneously self-tissue targeted by the dysregulated immune system. In other words, TH-17 gives the orders to attack, but inducible nitric oxide is the perpetrator that carries out the dirty work.  Supporting a health Balance of NO (Nitric Oxide) by dampening the expression of iNOS with Nitric Balance helps the body to dampen autoimmune reactions.

When the digestive tract (also known as the intestinal mucosa) is inflamed, the tight junctions of the intestinal mucosa are compromised, and they become widened and permeable to large undigested compounds, toxins, and bacteria.  This is also known as “Leaky Gut.”  The large compounds of undigested proteins that get into the bloodstream are reacted against by the underlying intestinal immune system.  This creates a viscous cycle of further intestinal inflammation.  The immune “confusion” from the “leaky gut” has been shown to perpetuate immune overzealousness and loss of ability to regulate self and non-self tolerance, which leads to chronic disease.

What is Glutathione?

When it comes to standing up to environmental triggers and stressors, glutathione is our  most powerful ally.  Ideally the body makes sufficient glutathione to help keep everything running smoothly, however it becomes depleted in the face of extreme or chronic stress, the most common being ongoing insulin surges from sugary, high-carb diets, immune aggravation from food intolerances, chronic gut infections (too much bad bacteria or parasites), hormonal imbalances, lack of sleep, and of course our hectic, information-overloaded lifestyles. When there is enough of the proper form of glutathione in the body to “take the bullet”, no inflammatory response occurs. However when glutathione becomes depleted, a destructive inflammatory process follows.

KEY:

  1. Remove triggers that cause stress and deplete our antioxidants.
  2. Boost glutathione levels in the body.

Autoimmunity is the loss of self-tolerance, or the inability of the immune system to recognize self-tissue from foreign or pathogenic organisms, leading to confusion and attack upon oneself.

Relevant Labs

  1. Intestinal Permeability/Cross Reactive Foods:  Cyrex Labs Arrays #2 , 3, 4, & 10
  2. Compromised Adrenal Function:  DiagnosTech – Adrenal Stress Index
  3. GI Microbial Imbalance (Dysbiosis)/Gut Infections:  Genova Diagnostics – GI Effects
  4. Vitamin D Deficiency, Glucose Imbalance, Viral Immune Burden:  Blood Chemistry

All new patients are encouraged  to schedule a complimentary phone consultation prior to their initial consultation.  650.350.8046  or Book ONLINE

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