Inflammation, Celiac Disease, and Immune Balance/HomeostasisPosted on Wednesday, August, 15th, 2012 by in Boosting Immune Responses (Pro-Inflammatory) | Cancer | Chronic Disease | Fatigue | Immune Homeostasis (Immune Balance) | Infections | Inflammation | Nutrition
Gut-associated lymphoid tissues are found in the walls of the intestine and contain billions of immune cells. The white blood cells control the levels and types of bacteria that naturally populate the intestines. The bacteria help to digest food that provides energy to the body, and are part of the immune/bacterial ecosystem of the intestine.
Interestingly, both immune cells and bacteria, protect the intestines from attack by pathogenic microorganisms, and cancer cells, and help heal the intestines when they are damaged. Cross talk between the bacteria, and immune cells help the intestines maintain homeostasis, balance. Each keeps the other in check.
Celiac disease is an intestinal, inflammatory, autoimmune (against oneself) disorder. Individuals with celiac disease suffer from a wide-range of symptoms including diarrhea, fatigue, weight loss, inability to focus, skin and neurological issues, constipation, a feeling of being “bloated”, gas, anemia, headaches, osteoporosis (loss of bone density), and depression.
Ingesting grains, such as wheat, rye, and barley, which contain a component of protein called gluten, reportedly stimulate celiac disease.
The presence of gluten stimulates sensitive immune cells to produce proinflammatory cytokines. These immune messages drive inflammation, resulting in the destruction of the intestinal wall and symptoms. Genetic, environmental, dietary, neuroendocrine, and immunological factors all contribute to disease progression.
Currently, the primary guidance that celiacs get, is to go on a “gluten-free” diet. Although it may be effective for some people, such diets are restrictive, expensive, and do not work well for everyone. In one study, every patient, 100% of those surveyed, in a cohort of 300 individuals, hoped for another option.
I often hear from people with autoimmune challenges such as celiac disease, “it’s genetic”. Fine, so your genes are partially to blame. Meanwhile, what will you do? Continue to be uncomfortable? So I ask those with inflammatory issues, why not consider short-term approaches until researchers discover longer-term solutions? In three words: limit excessive inflammation.
I like to describe inflammation as a way that the body “burns” out pathogenic microorganisms and cancer cells. The body must produce enough inflammation to protect itself from disease, and help the healing process, but not so much that healthy tissue, for example the intestinal lining, is damaged.
Vitamin C and omega-3 fatty acids, from fish oil, inhibit the production of proinflammatory cytokines. (There is however, evidence that vitamin A increases inflammatory processes.).
Antibodies against specific inflammatory cytokines reduce intestinal injury in celiac disease, and the administration of corticosteroids, along with a gluten-free diet, was reported, in a small clinical trial, to provide benefit to celiac patients.
Hyperimmune egg, an ingredient that helps the body return to immunological balance, helps to support gastrointestinal health. Many individuals with digestive issues report daily consumption of hyperimmune egg leads to major differences in their quality of life.
LIMIT INFLAMMATION FOR BETTER HEALTH
The key to a higher level of quality of life in celiac and other autoimmune and autoinflammatory conditions, is to help the body limit its excessive inflammatory responses. Removing gluten from one’s diet, using vitamin C, omega-3, corticosteroids, and hyperimmune egg, may contribute to helping the body regulate run-away inflammation.
Feel free to contact Dr. Hellen at DrHellen@DrHellenGreenblatt.info with questions or to consult with her. A message may also be left at: 1.302-265.3870 or click on: http://drhellengreenblatt.info/contact-dr-hellen/.