3 Bio-markers are Potential Game Changers for Autoimmune Sufferers
This year has already flown by, I can’t believe we are in the third month already! I have many things in the works to share with you and have been eager for reliable internet service to share these fascinating diagnostic testing options with you. Especially for those on that auto-immunity journey and those on that health journey roller coaster which seems to have wheels spinning in circles…
I’ll cut to the chase – DAO, LPS and Zonulin – Have you heard of them? Do you know their significance? Let me give a brief, and I mean brief, overview of what they are and why they are significant.
What are they?
DAO – Diamine Oxidase is primarily secreted in the digestive tract and helps set the stage for a healthy environment in the digestive tract. Do you have any guesses as to one of the things which happens when someone has low DAO? If you guessed an adverse environment with an unhealthy microbiome you guessed correct!
LPS – Lipopolysaccharide is also primarily located in the gut. It is an endotoxin which comes about as your body is fighting bacteria. When we find this in the blood that tells us it is no longer confined in the digestive tract, rather has made its way into our system!
Zonulin – (this is one you may have heard about!) Dr. Alessio Fasano, from Italy, is responsible for discovering the role of this fascinating protein. Simply put – Zonulin is responsible for opening the tight junctions thereby allowing ‘stuff’ to pass between the cells lining the digestive tract. (If you want to dig deeper and connect some dots on your health journey take a minute and do a quick search at Pubmed: “Fasano Zonulin” and see what turns up 🙂
What is the significance?
First, if you haven’t read about the microbiome you may want to check out this post. When our digestive tract has an unhealthy environment that sets the stage for unhealthy flora to take up residence. In addition what is typically healthy flora can get out of balance and become overpopulated, thereby rendering this once helpful bacteria unhelpful. Furthermore, this loops back to causing an imbalance so we are left with having an imbalance due to bad environment and a bad environment due to an imbalance – quite the ‘catch 22’ situation!
Next have you heard of antibodies? Are you familiar with how they come about? Again, a brief snapshot. Antibodies are part of the second line of defense in our immune system. SIgA is the first line involved in the elimination of ‘invaders’. When these invaders make their way through the lining of the digestive tract(such as when Zonulin opens the door) antibodies come into the scene. Can you see where this is headed and how this is tied to autoimmunity?
So, we have antibodies getting made and foreign invaders attaching to things where they shouldn’t and our body decides to do what it can to eliminate the offender despite the collateral damage! It is rather fascinating how we are made!
In addition to all of this histamines and allergies come on the scene… I said I was going to keep this brief so will leave it at that… Things start to go downhill and the circling domino effect magnifies… Autoimmunity takes hold…
What can we do about abnormal findings?
Ah, the million dollar question!!! I wish I had the answer you are looking for, the fact is there isn’t a one size fits all solution. This is why those of us with autoimmune conditions often find ourselves spinning in circles trying this protocol and that protocol. For instance, overall those with MS find Wahls protocol effective, others may find Autoimmune Paleo effective or perhaps SCD(Specific Carbohydrate Diet). Some may need to tweak and eliminate FodMAPs, Histamines or Nightshades…
We find relief in one area and think we are on the road to healing then have another ‘episode’. What you do for your T1 Diabetic condition may be different than what needs to happen for my T1D son. This is where these three tests can be very valuable! We know ‘leaky gut’ is associated with autoimmune diseases, so the challenge is to find the breach and fix it. Is it due to low DAO? Perhaps its an abundance of Zonulin? What about a combination of the two? This is where partnering with a functional practitioner is invaluable. We can help you identify patterns and nuances specific to your situation. We have to look at all the clues given us, these three markers are just three of the many clues to your ‘health mystery’.
I would love to be able to tell you to take this probiotic, that combination of supplements and you go on your happy way to healing. But, one thing I am 10,000% certain of is we are individuals and a restoration of health must be customized! Are there similarities and common components to the solutions? Absolutely!!!
So, can I help you? Most likely, but it would take looking at your health journey with a fine tooth comb! In the meantime I can recommend a few things which will encourage your body to seek homeostasis:
- Lifestyle changes which support synchrony with circadian rhythms
- Plenty of water
- Real foods
- Elimination of stress
- Quality rest
The simplest way to come up with a customized plan will take one of two things:
Find a functional practitioner who is passionate about YOUR health challenges. (For instance my primary interest is in autoimmune challenges, another practitioner may focus on cardiovascular or hormone challenges) Many do not ‘specialize’ and that is ok, they can still help you formulate a plan!
Enroll in functional medicine training and put the pieces of your health back together.
Feel free to contact me with any questions or comments 🙂 And of course you can also take advantage of my free 15 min consult! Best wishes on your journey!
A few references:
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Zonulin, a regulator of epithelial and endothelial barrier functions, and its involvement in chronic inflammatory diseases.
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Lipopolysaccharide-Induced Middle Ear Inflammation Disrupts the cochlear Intra-Strial Fluid–Blood Barrier through Down-Regulation of Tight Junction Proteins
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Analysis of the human monocyte-derived macrophage transcriptome and response to lipopolysaccharide provides new insights into genetic aetiology of inflammatory bowel disease.
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Systemic lipopolysaccharide induces cochlear inflammation and exacerbates the synergistic ototoxicity of kanamycin and furosemide.
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Lipopolysaccharide alters the blood-brain barrier transport of amyloid beta protein: a mechanism for inflammation in the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
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Restoration of impaired intestinal barrier function by the hydrolysed casein diet contributes to the prevention of type 1 diabetes in the diabetes-prone BioBreeding rat.
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