Wrongly, many people think that since the immune system seems to be over-reacting that anything that could ‘boost’ the immune system, for example, vitamin C, could make matters worse. But auto-immune diseases are a ‘system-control’ problem and many of the foods and nutrients that help an immune system to work make matters better not worse.
Genes and environment
In relation to ‘cause’ there are two sides of equation - the cell and the cell’s environment. A classic example is coeliac disease. This is an extreme reaction to gluten, and usually the gliadin protein, which is in wheat, rye and barley, but not in oats (80% of coeliacs don’t react to oats). Susceptibility to coeliac disease is, in part, genetically inherited. For example, if your mother, father, brother or sister have coeliac disease you have a one in four chance of having it too. It is far more common than most think. Many medical textbooks say it affects one in several thousand. However, studies involving a new diagnostic test called anti-tissue transaminase (ATG), finds that it af-fects 1 in 111.
But for coeliacs to ‘cause’ disease you have to eat gliadin. So that’s the other side of the equation – what you expose your cells to. An example of this is a lady called Jo. She told me she was exhausted all the time. I recommended her doctor test her thyroid and she had an underactive thryroid. An underactive thyroid can occur be-cause the immune system attacks the thyroid gland – a type of auto-immune disease. I recommended she test for ‘anti-thyroid antibodies’. She was positive. This meant that her immune system was producing antibodies that were attacking her thyroid hormone (thyroxine) producing cells. Many people who test positive for anti-thyroid antibodies are also allergic to wheat, milk or soya. She then tested for this and was identified as having coeliac disease. Once she eliminated gliadin her energy came back.
Testing for food allergies
For this reason, for any auto-immune disease I always recommend a proper allergy blood test to find out both if a person is ATG positive and also to find out if their body is producing IgG antibodies or IgE antibodies, indicating intolerance to certain foods. The theory is that if the immune system ......
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