4 Autoimmunity Red Flags You Should Know
Last year, I had a harrowing experience when my mom was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease - myasthenia gravis.
It was the worst time to be in and out of the hospital during that time because of Covid, but looking back, I am just grateful that my mom got through one extremely tough year.
In my practice, I have never seen an autoimmune condition case history without a considerable stress component. Getting diagnosed with an autoimmune condition is usually the tipping point of prolonged inflammation brought on by chronic stress. The perfect storm does not appear without warning.
From this experience, which I now treat as a case study, I would like to share the four red flags you need to know about an Autoimmune crisis.
- Gluten Freakout. Gluten, in general, can be problematic, especially to people who have autoimmunity. When I say High IgA, I refer to markers in the 400s. I see many elevated anti-gliadin IgA, but the high 400s was the highest I had seen on the test I use. High IgA means your autoimmune system sees gluten as an invader and attacks. (PMID: 23885314) (PMID: 21977190)
- Micronutrient deficiencies. Imagine your body like a car with missing parts. That’s what it is like having a lot of deficiencies in your body. When I did a couple of micronutrient tests on my mom, when we were addressing her Myasthenia gravis, these deficiencies included patterns for gut, liver, inflammation, blood sugar, mitochondria, and immune issues. Imagine a machine running on broken or missing parts - it’s bound to breakdown!
- Asparagine and Mitochondrial Nutrients. Although research is limited, based on the cases I have seen, people with autoimmune conditions usually have either low or borderline Asparagine levels. People with glucose issues are the ones usually with low Asparagine. There were also several mitochondrial nutrients that needed replenishment due to her prolonged confinement and intubation. Making sure you prioritize the proper function of the powerhouse of the body is important when dealing with a possible autoimmune crisis. (PMID: 2017190) (PMID: 8593802)
- Poor immune response. Your immune system can either be on overdrive, in abnormally low activity or is turning against you. Do not discount any kind of symptom you are feeling. By listening more to your body, you may be just a few steps away from preventing your immune system from going haywire. Trust your gut.
Okay, big sensitive topic today. Auto-immune crisis. So, first of all, what is autoimmunity? Autoimmune disease is any condition where your immune system mistakenly attacks your body and your immune system is it's purpose is to really guard against bacteria, viruses, et cetera. But sometimes things come in and it mistakes them. And then it starts to attack your own body. And I'm not like pro or anti-gluten. I think it's really depends on particular people, but sometimes it's thought like we need to avoid gluten and autoimmune conditions. And I would say that in autoimmune conditions, food ends up being a really big deal compared to either in some other conditions it's because it's gotten to a certain place. And so people with autoimmune conditions often respond better to food changes. And so anyway, sometimes it's thought that the body perceives gluten as kind of like a bacteria and virus and starts attacking you when you consume it.
So let's talk about what are some other common autoimmune conditions, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus irritable, inflammatory bowel disease, or IBD also known as Crohn's and colitis, multiple sclerosis type one, diabetes, psoriasis, lots and lots and lots. It's a huge, huge, huge umbrella today. We're going to talk about a key study, which is my mom's, which is, and her autoimmune condition was my esteem at gravis. So if you've ever known anyone with mg or Maya's, denia gravis, feel free to share this episode with them. I have read a bajillion things about Maya's senior gravis, and I would love to be able to, to do something with that information. Okay. So I want to tell you about my mom's auto-immune crisis. So before she went into crisis in March 20, 20 terrible time, by the way, to get, to have an autoimmune crisis, which is essentially like a crisis, pretty much puts you in a hospital.
It's like the straw that breaks the camel's back. I've literally never seen an autoimmune condition case history without a big old stress component, or like a lot of stressors or basically a perfect storm. And then like something just tipping you over the edge. And if I would think about that in my mom's case, you know, as a mother to six children, and they're kind of all over the place that one's kind of like things that makes your mom really stressed out type things, you know, a husband that watches the news too much. And then she traveled kind of right at the beginning of this. And she's not like a big traveler, usually instrument on trip to visit her 97 year old mother. So anyway, lots of potential stressors and stress. Unfortunately, a lot of high-performers don't identify with the word stress they identify with like your set point gets better.
We can talk about that another time. So auto immune red flags, if I think back to what, are there any red flags in our history that kind of like would make her seem like, Oh, prime real estate for an auto-immune condition? I would think of several things. And I did have a series about this on my Instagram, anti dot inflammatory dot nutritionist on Instagram. And this was about a month or two ago, but basically one of the red flags I had seen in her case history before this happened was the year before I had run a stool test called a GI map on her. And there's a marker on there called anti-gliadin IGA. It's essentially a marker of like, is your immune system freaking out to gluten? And I usually don't see, like if someone's over around 200 or two 50, they're usually going to notice symptoms from consuming gluten.
She had nearly a 500 on that score when I've talked to other colleagues about this. And there was one other gal who had Ms. So another autoimmune condition that was like in the eight hundreds, otherwise I had not really seen about 500 and anti-gliadin IGA like under 50, it would be great. So anti-gliadin IGA in autoimmune conditions. Gluten can be an issue. So that was one marker where I thought, well, wow, you are like kind of a unicorn with this one. The next thing that I saw again the year before, and I don't know if you've ever tried to help family, but helping family can be a little bit difficult. So we ran some tests, we did some things. And so I try to frame up when I'm doing programs with people in a way where we don't accidentally self-sabotage ourselves, because we will typically do things for a while and make us feel good.
And then we'll like lose interest. It's just human nature. So anyway, so I use a couple different micronutrient tests in my practice. I think it's freaking amazing. I feel like a micronutrient Ninja because there's a lot of different patterns where you can infer other issues. So I think it's a great gateway test and it's often like a great gift to get your parents. So there's about 34 micronutrients that are tested in this comprehensive micronutrient test. That's a lot, let's just review some basic physiology. When you eat food. We often think about macro nutrients, the proteins of fats and carbs and food should break down into micronutrients, all your vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, et cetera. Okay. And those are the things that go out and do all the work. That's how they are like the tools that make every enzyme reaction happen. So I absolutely unconvicted that micronutrient deficiencies are commonly treated with prescriptions and people don't get better.
And then they just like continue to unravel downhill. Micronutrient optimization is incredible. However, you don't just take supplements. You look at it and say, cool, why would you have these deficiencies? Sorry about the tangents. Okay. So I love micronutrients, but she had over 15 micronutrient efficiencies. That is a lot my friends. And then, so what I look at is like overt deficiencies, borderline deficiencies and trending low. So often conventionally, we're just black and white. We're like, yep, it's in or it's out. But what if it's like hanging near the edge? And we see that a lot. I like Hashimoto's as thyroid stuff, but like we see this with thyroid stuff and people kind of have the symptoms and it's near it, but often they don't get help for, until it's like really far gone. And we often don't do the whole panel. So anyway, micronutrient efficiencies, this was a really big, this is a lot, a lot of deficiencies.
So what do we use this for? If you have this many deficiencies and you can't do this many processes, your body cannot optimize properly. So when we worked on repleting, some of those nutrients, she had these unusual responses different than even what is typical. She would say things like, well, my bladder doesn't hurt now that I'm taking these. And I'm like, that's not usually what people say when they take supplements to replete. And so she had like had energy. She didn't need naps. It was so good. So, but 15 over 15 Micronesia inefficiencies. And I see a lot of nutrient deficiencies and auto-immunity one of the nutrient deficiencies that I think is really interesting. And auto-immunity, especially in one of the micronutrient tests I use is asparagine and other mitochondrial nutrients. Now mitochondria are the organelles in the cell that make all the magic happen.
They make energy. And so Kochi 10 alpha-lipoic acid, a seagull L-carnitine et cetera. If those are all trending low and I'm looking at that, I can always be supporting mitochondria. And then asparagine is like very commonly seen as a deficiency in autoimmune conditions. So sometimes we'll kind of like, look at that and say, okay, we really need to watch our stress. Cause it's usually like the tipping point into auto immunity. Auto immunity is essentially your body's way of saying, screw you. We are going to like push the brakes on this. All right. So the other thing that I saw in my mom's history was really poor immune response. So also back on that stool test, there is a marker called secretary IGA. It's one of my favorite markers because it's basically immune system soldiers and it was so bad. So if you don't have like a good immune response, you can't Mount a response and everything can kind of just come in and take up residence and you can have like pretty unraveled gut health and you can really suffer from things.
This was obvious last Christmas, when she got a salad at a fast food restaurant, not a good time to get a salad in the winter time at a fast food restaurant. Cause the lettuce is coming from a long ways away and it's more likely to carry like the self-limiting pathogens, like things like e-coli and salmonella. And she definitely had a gut infection during Christmas because it was just her gut and nothing else. And so anyway, I have some stories about how we kind of helped. And like when I gave her hyper doses of spore based probiotics, she would get better. And then she like stopped taking them and she got worse again. So anyway, we're an immune response. So we supported her with immunoglobulins and she would say things like my body doesn't hurt. And this is funny because she needed basically the max treatment for her condition.
And it's immunoglobulin, it's essentially immunoglobulin therapy that she's taking now intravenously every two weeks. So just kind of interesting connection. Alright, well I am over my five minutes again, so I hope you enjoyed this little auto-immune crisis case study and I will see you next week. If you have requests for these little clinical pearls, go to less stress life.com, click on the little SpeakPipe app on the side of the screen, record your little voice memo with the question and I will most likely use it for one of these pills. Thank you so much. And I think this is a great time to say that I have the perfect quiz for you. If you liked this one, remember I said, auto-immune stuff happens when your body's like, Nope, you have to stop. I do have a, are you approaching burnout quiz on my [email protected]? I'll link it in the show notes.
Do you need to detox? January is really a time where the word detox gets thrown around and people spew, okay. Craziness on both sides of the fence, but here's the, the thing we need to show respect where respect is due. My friends detox is amazing and I happen to have a pretty intimate connection and knowledge on what detox looks like. And when it is slowed from waking up with a puffy face or your eyes being swollen or retaining water weight, or having skin stuff like acne, eczema, et cetera, pop-up or identifying as a sweaty person, not handling alcohol. I did when I was 21, not waking up energized, waking up in the middle of the night. You've heard some interesting ice symptoms I can trace to my detox systems. So what do you do? Well, thank God. This is a podcast and not a Twitter post because it doesn't fit in 140 characters.
When people ask me questions, like, what do you think of this chlorella supplement or dandelion tea or juice cleanse. I want to sit down and give you the one Oh one on what's happening inside your body. So you know exactly if and what that tea or supplement will or will not help. That's why I'm doing a live detox masterclass on January 8th. Don't worry. A replay will be available if you register for the live version in my detox masterclass, you'll get the detox for one, one of what's going on on the inside and outside of your body. Plus simple shifts you can make to make these systems work better. You'll get how often you should give your body some love on your detox pathways so that your skin digestion, energy, and just your body in general runs at its absolute best. You'll also get my two week detox protocol that you can use then rinse and repeat to affect everything from how much fluid you're retaining to improving sleep and energy to how much you sweat to that bear knows that you have, I've been wanting to do this forever and we're finally doing it. So just go to Krista bigler.com forward slash detox to take my, do you need to detox quiz and register for this jam packed masterclass. You do not want to miss it. So we'll have this link in the show notes as well, but it's Krista bigler.com forward slash detox. I'll see you there.
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