My Personal Side: The Birth of an Autoimmune Disorder
By Dr. Bill Hemmer
Last week I described how holes can form in your small intestine and lead to a condition called Leaky Gut Syndrome. A leaky gut is a new concept for most people. Basically, the one cell layer of the small intestine is broken or weakened and allows material that is supposed to remain inside the small intestine to leak outside of the small intestine and cause an immune response.
This immune response causes inflammation, food allergies, pain, energy problems and other symptoms that are usually not related back to digestion. This is why I believe Leaky Gut Syndrome is the foundational cause of ALL autoimmune disorders.
Autoimmune disorders are another concept that most people don’t know too much about. An autoimmune disorder is a disease in which your immune system starts to attack different tissues in your body that are normal and are supposed to be inside of you. Things like your joints, cartilage, organs and glands can all be attacked by your immune system for seemingly no good reason.
This has puzzled researcher and medical professionals for many years. They couldn’t figure out why the immune system would start to attack its own organs, glands and tissues for reasons unknown. The short-term answer the pharmaceutical companies created to help these people with autoimmune disorders was to create medication that would slow down or stop the immune response from occurring. This would stop the attack and destruction, but would leave the person more susceptible to other invaders and diseases.
There are many different medications designed to slow or dampen the immune response. This is the current first line of therapy given for anyone diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder. Stopping the destruction is absolutely necessary in the beginning, but let’s look at the other side of the problem and stop the cause of the immune response in the first place. Then you won’t have to worry about the destruction or the side effects of any medication.
Healing the leaky gut is the other side of the problem. When your gut has a hole in it, larger pieces of substances than normal are presented to your immune system. Things like, undigested cartilage, muscle or tendon from your last meal, or gluten from the slice of bread you just ate. These larger substances were never supposed to be able to get through the single layer of the small intestine in this form. They are seen as invaders and your immune system will go on attack.
Once your immune system attacks it creates antibodies for the invader. So, if you create antibodies for cartilage, your immune system will begin to go after all the cartilage in your body. Gluten is very similar in structure to your thyroid gland tissue. Antibodies created for gluten can then mistake your Thyroid gland for gluten and begin attacking.
If you continually work on this side of the problem (healing the leaky gut) you will quit adding fuel to the immune system fire and the antibodies won’t be activated so quickly. It is true that once you have the antibodies, you will always have the antibodies, but you can keep your immune system calm by healing your leaky gut.
Next week, I’m going to discuss how you can get your brain to work more effectively.