More Picking on Gluten. If I get sued by Cinnabun™ for using this image then so be it.

“I write posts hoping 20,000 people will love them, not that 1,000,000 people will like them.”
-Tim Ferris

The last article and this one are these types of posts. Some people don’t want to know the nitty gritty; they just want to drink the Kool-Aid™. That’s fine, but every one of my clients, friends, and colleagues (some of these folks have taught me this stuff) deserves to know the why. In Part 1, we finished off with how larger proteins can activate both cell mediated and humoral immunity within the submucosa of the GI tract. AKA, when bigger stuff that is not supposed to pass between tight junctions slips through, and then the immune system reacts to said bigger stuff (proteins larger than 5,000 daltons), even though it’s not supposed to.

 

In the words of Dr. Rakowski, “How does a hurricane happen? When the conditions are just right.”
What are the conditions that bring on the storm of food immunoreactivities and autoimmunity?
Intestinal permeability, a dysregulated and over stimulated immune system, environmental toxins, latent infections, and a diet chock full of processed garbage.

So what can we do about all this?

Well, it’s fairly simple.

Heal the digestive tract, regulate the immune system, limit environmental toxins, identify and treat any underlying infections, and replace processed garbage with real food that we can digest, assimilate, and eliminate without immune burden.

BUT, what if we are already in the storm???

Fundamentals! We do the same thing, but now we have to cut out any foods or environmental triggers that are immune stimulatory.

This means that we need to run further testing, as now someone could be immunoreactive to anything that they eat like coffee, chocolate, tomatoes, spinach, kale, or even non-gluten grains. Cyrex Labs is the gold standard for food immunoreactivity.  They are expensive, but I have tried other labs, and no one comes close to the ship that they drive. They run all their arrays in duplicates to double check themselves and have the purest and most specific antigens. What Cyrex is testing for in arrays 3,4, and 10 are Immuoglobulin A (IgA) and Immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies to different food proteins.

Now we get into the intricacies of humoral immunity. Yes!

To review from Part 1, we will use a Figure from a fantastic lecture by Dr. Fasano. Everyone should watch it. Not only is he a great scientist and leader in the field of celiac disease, but he is also a very entertaining speaker.


A bigger than it should be dietary peptide gets through tight junctions. An APC then presents this antigen to the T-Helper Cell (CD4+), which can activate Cytotoxic Killer T Cells (CD 8+) to starts wrecking shop and can also present the antigen to B Cells that then differentiate into plasma cells and start spewing out antibodies or immunoglobulins systemically, specifically IgA, IgG, and IgM.

You may now be like… what about IgE? IgE reactions are food allergies. These invoke very quick responses, think anaphylaxis and epi pens from a peanut allergy. If you get a post nasal drip after consuming dairy, this is likely a food allergy producing a fast IgE response, not a food immunoreactivity. This is also what they test when you go to the allergist and they prick you with all sorts of antigens.

What we are talking about above is different. Food immunoreactivities are generally more insidious and lead to what I call feeling like shit-itis. Some clients feel amazing after removing the culprits, but others need much more than avoiding specific immunoreactive foods to get things back online. Regardless, we will never gain any ground without this step. And for those with autoimmunities, regulating the immune system and calming the storm will be their life’s work because as of now, we do not have a means to get the immune system to unsee one’s own tissue as a foreign pathogen. I do think someday we might, but until then, we as clinicians have to help patients improve vitamin D and glutathione status, heal the GI tract, avoid environmental triggers and reactive foods, and quell inflammation with appropriate supplementations

Dang… you guys killed it, and now you can can choose whether to help your annoying uncle who is gluten free but still pounds eggs, diary, soy, and rice or not. This information if delivered correctly may help him realize he is not an expert and that he is just following the sheep to the frozen bread aisle. This process is bigger than gluten. Gluten is just a highly reactive big protein we like to pick on. This is about personalization and that means finding out what works for you through elimination and reintroduction protocols and also objective testing when necessary.

I hope you have enjoyed these last two posts. If you would like any scientific articles or more information on this topic, just ask, and I will send it your way. If you would like to start this process, we don’t typically begin with Cyrex testing, as there are some fundamental steps we have to go through before ordering five hundred to a thousand dollars in food immunoreactivity panels. However, if you have an autoimmune disease, I would start this process right now right now.