Did you know that we can have different reactions to eg. gluten, wheat, egg, corn, bacterial pathogens or toxic chemicals in two different immune systems? The mucosal system and the systemic system are connected but can act independently of each other.
So, we are merrily doing blood tests to look for antibodies to pathogens, food, chemicals etc in the systemic immune system, but what if your problem is in the mucosal system instead – or as well as?
At long last, we have two new SIgA tests to help us find that elusive trigger for inflammation, loss of foods, chemical reactions and autoimmunity.
The First Step in Loss of Food/Chemical Tolerance, Inflammation & Autoimmunity: Measuring SIgA Reactions
SIgA (secretory IgA) is the body’s first-line defence mechanism against anything trying to enter the system ‘illegally’ and trigger a reaction. We measure total SIgA for this very reason. It tags stuff as ‘safe’ or not. Many people have low SIgA levels and this is one factor in why people become so sensitive to things. I find it A LOT!
SIgA is secreted in the mucosal barriers of the body – that’s the skin, lungs, eyes, ears, mouth, gut, vaginal tract etc. It’s job is to bind to the foods or toxins to deactivate them and prevent them going into full circulation. It’s this first line of defence that can become overwhelmed early on, long before you get eg. leaky gut and whatnot. The process is inflammatory and linked to loss of oral tolerance to foods, chemicals etc, inflammatory conditions and autoimmunity.
So, we can test IgA, IgM and IgG antibodies in blood to foods, pathogens and toxins, but what if some – or even all – of the problem is in the mucosal system? Now, we have two ways of looking for issues…
Cyrex 14 Saliva Test
First, we have the new Cyrex 14 – well, it’s new to the UK at last anyway. It’s a saliva test which checks IgA and IgM antibodies to these – a brilliant gut/mucosal immune check of some of the most common triggers and causes of loss of food tolerance, autoimmunity and immune reactivity generally.
The biomarkers in Array 14 were selected to give a picture of both likely antigens which may cause immune reactions and the areas they may effect. I’ve grouped them together so you can see a bit more easily:
- Commonly consumed foods such as wheat, lectins, milk (casein and casomorphins), soy, corn and egg (some of the key ones in Cyrex 4)
- Gluten illness markers including gliadins, glutenin, gluteomorphin and transglutaminase 2, seen in coeliac disease (some of the markers in Cyrex 3)
- Gut toxins including LPS (lipopolysaccharides)
- Toxic chemicals such as aflatoxin, bisphenol-A and heavy metals including mercury
- Rotavirus, which often cross-reacts with food and is involved in autoimmunity
- Leaky gut markers including occludin, zonulin, actomyosin (as per Cyrex 2)
- Gut autoimmunity markers such as ASCA, ANCA and calprotectin
- Blood brain and neurological markers such as myelin basic protein and S100B (BBB)
- Immune markers including total SIgA and Immune Complex
IgM is tested for because IgM will step up and act if your IgA is low, so you can get reactivity with either antibody. If there is immune reactivity found in the saliva, it really is only a matter of time before it goes systemic and we are into blood antibodies, immune complexes and all that (very much unwanted) jazz. So, it is an early warning indicator, but can also show if a person is reactive and what consequences that might be having.
I think this is so useful. If I had my way, I’d run it on anyone with food issues, a family history of autoimmunity – indeed anyone with a chronic illness, really. I like to test all of these things in blood – which usually involves several tests – and have done for years. Now we can also see earlier and more hidden changes in the mucosal system. Could explain a lot!
To summarise, you would do this to see if your immune system is beginning to have a problem, to see if your unresolving problem is coming from your mucosal system (especially if you have symptoms and conditions affecting that system eg. skin, eyes, lungs, vaginal tract, gut, mouth/gums etc, or to check if you found nothing on blood testing. It’s obviously a lot easier to do than a blood test too.
Precision Point Dietary SIgA Test
Next up, we have an SIgA food reactivity test. Precision Dietary SIgA measures salivary levels of secretory IgA (SIgA) antibodies to 88 different foods.
As we know now, SIgA is your first line of defence at the mucosal surface, where it binds and neutralizes pathogens, allergens, and toxins. So, here this test is showing us if we have early or mucosal system changes to food causing our loss of tolerance.
So, if a person is having a problem with food in the mucosal system, SIgA will go up in the lab test when tested against the foods, and that’s what this test is looking for.
You might do this test as a double-check for mucosal immune problems as well as blood tests like the P88 Allergy Test I talked about here. Especially if you’re not getting the results you expect from tests or treatment protocols – what is hidden, or what’s at an early stage that you can prevent getting any worse?
You can see a sample report to check what foods are covered here.
If you are experiencing any loss of food, gut problems, mucosal system symptoms, especially gut, you can now check in the mucosal system directly for triggers. Do the Cyrex 14 for an overall check of triggers and causes of immune dysregulation, and do the Dietary SIgA to look for problematic foods not showing up in blood tests.
Any questions, do ask. I know immune stuff is complicated!