There are many ways that gut dysbiosis and immune dysregulation can cause symptoms of illness or disease. Below is an explanation of how gut dysbiosis and immune dysregulation cause the symptoms of food allergies, just one of the many illnesses affecting our children.
Food Allergies: A Case Study
When colonies of friendly bacteria (and yeasts) are unable to populate the gut (due to gut dysbiosis), a whole host of physiological problems can arise.
One of the more common consequences of gut dysbiosis is a phenomenon known colloquially as “leaky gut syndrome,” or intestinal hyperpermeability. Intestinal hyperpermeability simply means that the normal barrier function of the intestinal mucosa (the “living” lining of the intestines) is compromised by the presence of microscopic “holes” (caused by the “bad germs”). The holes permit substances normally contained within the intestines to “leak” into the circulatory system. Consequently, under-digested food particles and microbes leak into the immune cells and circulatory system. The immune system views these food particles as foreign invaders rather than molecules of nourishment. The immune system then launches an attack on everyday food and you get the symptoms of food allergies—everything from bright red cheeks and eczema to anaphylaxis.
Overgrowth of Bad Germs in the Gut + A Temperamental or Dysregulated Immune System = Food Allergies
The immune systems of children with autism, ADHD, celiac disease, asthma, and many other conditions are not working properly. The symptoms experienced by children with chronic illnesses can be linked directly to an improperly functioning immune system. For example, medical researchers have uncovered the fact that some of the symptoms associated with disorders like autism may stem, in part, from autoimmunity. Autoimmunity is a term used to describe what happens when an individual’s immune system attacks its own cells and tissues. Some children with autism, for instance, have autoantibodies (or antibodies against their own cells) against their own brain cells. The hypothesis is that the child’s immune system is attacking cells in the brain and nervous system causing inflammation and other effects in the brain. Autoimmunity is a form of immune dysregulation, but there are other forms of immune dysregulation.
Children with other conditions like celiac disease (a serious autoimmune condition where a child cannot tolerate wheat or gluten) have immune systems that have learned to attack intestinal cells, especially in the presence of wheat or gluten.
In the case of asthma, the immune system launches an immune response against perceived invaders (such as cat dander or pollen) which leads to inflammation in the airways of the lungs.
And there are many, many different types of symptoms and illnesses that can be caused by a dysregulated immune system and gut dysbiosis.
How do I know if my child has a dysregulated immune system or gut dysbiosis?
Learn more about the symptoms associated with these conditions.
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This document is not a substitute for medical advice, treatment, diagnosis, or consultation with a medical professional. It is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be relied on to make determinations related to treatment of a medical condition. Epidemic Answers has not verified and does not guaranty the accuracy of the information provided in this document.