In last week's video we discussed the frequency of autoimmune condition occurrence, as well as the two types of immune response - Immediate, such as a reaction to nuts, and Delayed, such as Crohn's Disease. Today we'll be covering the three common types of autoimmune reactions, as well as some promising new research into the ability to predict autoimmune disease.
The three common types of autoimmune reactions by the body are:
- Silent autoimmunity - This occurs when there are autoantibodies present to a specific tissue but no related symptoms have manifested and there are no signs of tissue destruction.
- Reactive autoimmunity - This occurs when there are autoantibodies present to a specific tissue and related symptoms have manifested, but there are no signs of tissue destruction.
- Autoimmune disease - This occurs when there are autoantibodies present to a specific tissue and related symptoms have manifested, and there are signs of tissue destruction.
Food hypersensitivity reactions such as gluten sensitivity can be categorized under both immediate and delayed responses. Gluten sensitivity with enteropathy is known as celiac disease. Not all people with gluten sensitivity have celiac disease. However, those who do inherit this genetic autoimmune disease and do not always exhibit immediate reactions to gluten can suffer from inflammation and atrophy of the mucosa of the small intestine for years before being diagnosed.
Can Autoimmune Conditions be predicted?
If you have any recurring symptoms, but cannot correlate them to a specific trigger, you may be experiencing delayed immune reactions, and if so, you may benefit from autoantibody testing. What studies have shown us is that a body can produce autoantibodies up to about 10 years before developing into a clinical autoimmune disease, resulting in ongoing tissue damage and eventually showing symptoms.
The good news about this discovery is that it could enable healthcare practitioners to test for such antibodies that could serve as predictors of the future development of disease. The idea of predictive autoantibodies has been around for a few years but is still undergoing studies.
As always, the best thing you can do is to communicate with your healthcare provider if you feel you may be experiencing an immediate or delayed autoimmune reaction. Self-awareness, a healthy lifestyle and proactive testing can keep you one step ahead in the prevention of any illness.