Autoimmune and Gut Health Part 4, The Gut-Brain Axis Series, The Microbiome-Autoimmune Connection

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Autoimmune and Gut Health Part 4, The Gut-Brain Axis Series, The Microbiome-Autoimmune Connection

Autoimmune and Gut Health: 

This week we continue to look at autoimmunity and gut health. This article focuses on possible ways of predicting autoimmunity by looking at specific gut bacteria.

Dr. Alessio Fasano, whom we wrote about last week, has said that the reason someone develops autoimmunity or AI later in life is due to gut bacteria and a change somehow in the composition of the gut bacteria (Fasano A., 2019).

Gut health has been found to affect the possibility of developing an AI disease (Felix KM, 2017). Dysbiosis (an imbalance between good gut bacteria and bad gut bacteria) is the key culprit as it can lead to leaky gut. Leaky gut is a significant contributing factor to Autoimmunity.

In our functional medicine clinic, we focus on testing for and resolving causes for dysbiosis. Examples of important tests we do include SIBO (Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth) Lactulose Breath Testing and a comprehensive stool analysis looking for parasites, helicobacter pylori, candida, viruses, worms, and more. 

Predicting Autoimmunity:

Most autoimmune diseases progress gradually over time, often without symptoms (Rose, 2016). During this time, serious tissue damage may occur (Rose, 2016). Ideally, it is important to diagnose autoimmune diseases as early as possible, to avoid irreversible tissue damage.

After genetic factors, autoantibodies are the best predictors of impending autoimmune disease, at this time (Rose, 2016). Autoantibodies are an antibody (a protein) produced by the immune system that is directed against one or more of the person’s own tissue or organs. These autoantibodies are the hallmark of autoimmune disease. 

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