Prevalence of Autoimmunity Disorders
Have you ever wondered why autoimmune diseases are becoming more prevalent? Well you’re not alone. The scientific community has wondered that as well, and to date, they have not found anything conclusive. We’ll explore a couple of plausible hypotheses that try to explain the increased prevalence of autoimmune disease.
Not to spark a debate about GMO’s but one theory suggest that the food we eat is responsible for autoimmune disease. The uptick in prevalence is explained by the changes we’ve made in modern agriculture to increase crop yields. Take wheat for example. Wheat now contains 60- 80 percent more gluten than it used to. I remember as a kid growing up on a wheat farm in Northeastern Oregon running through the wheat field and not having it irritate my skin at all. The grass blade grew really tall and the head was about 2 inches long. When I was 19, right before I left home, the grass blade itself was short and the head was giant. Coming anywhere near the wheat would make your skin react.
The title of this section is a little misleading. It is known that some individuals have genetic predispositions to autoimmune disease that are just waiting to be triggered. The increase in prevalence is thought to be caused by people passing recessive alleles onto their children. For example, if a dad has a recessive gene (meaning it doesn’t manifest itself and he does not suffer from auto-immunity) and a mom that also has a gene for auto-immunity, their children will have an increased risk of developing an autoimmune disease. In this model, the number of persons who carry a predisposition for autoimmunity increases with each generation. To be clear, predisposition does not mean that every person who carries the gene will develop an autoimmune disease, it just means that they are susceptible should something trigger their immune system.
What Can Be Done
We’ve talked a lot about gluten in this article and it is important to note that a gluten-free diet isn’t necessary for everyone. What we like to do here at The Neuro Clinic is start with a neurologic exam and find out if you have any functional deficits. Believe it or not, your nervous system and brainstem play a vital role in digestion. Improper digestion of the food you eat (it is essentially just sitting in your stomach rotting) and the foods you choose to eat play a significant role in your health. Following your exam, we will work with you on some therapies to strengthen and neurologic deficits. We would then conduct further testing to look at the function of your endocrine system (hormones) and make note of any anti-bodies that are active in your system. This allows us to treat you from a holistic perspective and helping you find a solution to your issue. To learn more about how we can help with your autoimmune condition, schedule an appointment or view our other articles. Autoimmune diseases do not have to be debilitating. We can help.