This is part of a series on “leaky gut” (intestinal permeability). In the first, I talked about what leaky gut is and 11 signs that you have it.
It’s very common for people eating the Standard Australian Diet, or other Western diet, to struggle with gut function and autoimmunity. This does not mean that it’s “normal” and that we can do nothing about it!
Leaky gut is one of the root causes of many of today’s chronic diseases and has been called a “danger signal for autoimmune diseases”…
How Auto-Immunity begins
When intestinal permeability is increased beyond normal, macro-molecules enter the bloodstream. The immune system, which is always on guard for potential pathogens, is waiting for them! As it doesn’t recognise these macro-molecules, it raises the alarm and the body then makes antibodies to these macro-molecules. If those macro-molecules are gluten, your body makes antibodies to gluten. If it’s dairy, your body makes antibodies to dairy.
OK, so now I have a reaction to a particular food, that’s it right?
That’s just the beginning, unfortunately… As human tissue structure appears very similar to the targeted macro-molecule, components of the body’s immune system target one or more types of your own tissue e.g. the thyroid. This is known as molecular mimicry and results in human tissue being damaged as collateral damage, and the process of autoimmunity begins.
The tissue that is the target of the antibodies depends on that person’s weakest link. For instance, gluten cross-reacts with neurological tissue in some people, thyroid tissue in others, and so on. Remember though, the underlying process of auto-immunity is the same whether it is Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, rheumatoid arthritis, or pernicious anemia.
This process continues until the targeted tissue starts to lose function and you go to see the doctor and are then diagnosed with an auto-immune condition. But the actual process may have started years early when the body first started creating these antibodies to the macro-molecules and human tissue.
Dr. Alessio Fasano, the chair of pediatric gastroenterology at Massachuesetts General Hospital looks at Celiac disease as a model of auto-immune conditions; The three underlying factors these conditions share are:
Less than 10% of those with the genetic disposition for the development of auto-immunity progress to a pre-disease state, illustrating the importance of other causal factors besides a person’s genetics. Leaky gut and environmental triggers, such as gluten, are two of these key factors. Indeed, research has show that increased intestinal permeability often precedes the development of auto-immune conditions.
Why monkeys don’t develop auto-immune diseases…
In 2000, researchers from the University of Maryland School of Medicine identified a protein, called zonulin, which opens gateways, or tight junctions, in the small intestine to let macromolecules into the bloodstream.
As is typical in the history of immunology, zonulin has been further clarified and renamed as haptoglobin 2 precursor.
To heal your gut and repair leaky gut, you will need to follow a plan that includes steps to remove the cause of your issues, repair leaky gut, and then reseed your gut bacteria.
If you are ready to get your health and vitality back so you can lead a better life but need a little bit of help, I offer one-to-one consultation plans. I will help you get to the root cause of your gut issues, and address it with an effective personalised nutrition and lifestyle plan, that is manageable and sustainable, without nasty side effects.
Call 0491611043 or email email@example.com NOW!