AutoImmune Disorders & Leaky Gut

I am a vitamin junkie and have taken numerous brands of vitamins over the years.  Recently, I had disappointing news about my favorite skin care representative at Zen Aesthetics & Wellness taking a new job with another company.  I am here to tell you, I am so thankful that she shared with me, her new position because it opened a door to knowledge that I otherwise would not have known. She suggested that I order a collagen supplement for our aesthetics business and so I decided to order a few items including supplements for my joints.  I started taking H-S-N Complex Skin and Joint Support Powder. Over a course of two months of faithful intake of the supplement and also Calcium,  I have had tremendous results from this supplement.  I first started noticing that my knees felt a little better and then I realized that my finger nails (which are very thin) were thicker and the skin on my face was much thicker, which is awesome at any age.  I was so impressed with this product that I started doing more research on Autoimmune Disorders because joint inflammation is included in autoimmune disorders. I have learned a wealth of knowledge and decided to carry the line of supplements called Designs for Health at Zen Aesthetics in Edmond.  The cool thing about this article is, when you get to the bottom where it talks about how important L-Glutamine is…it connects the dots.  The H-S-N Complex for Skin and Joints has this nutrient in it.  So, it benefits my body in many ways like stopping leaky gut so that my joints are not suffering as well as improving my hair, skin and nails!
Many of our friends and family members including myself have Autoimmune Disorders.  This is a great article, one of many that I want to share with health seekers. It is from the Designs for Health Blog.
Char Butler, Zen Aesthetics And Wellness, Edmond

Autoimmune Disease – What Lies Beneath

There are different autoimmune diseases within all specialties, and all of these are looked at individually, yet they all share common triggers. Therefore, in knowing what causes the immune system to attack itself and knowing some of the triggers for what causes a malfunction in the immune system (which we do) we can achieve greater success in helping patients with these conditions.

Autoimmunity occurs a few different ways. With the first way, there can be a mistaken identity and the body attacks itself. This can occur with a virus where there is tissue destruction with the virus appearing to be foreign to the body. In addition, this can happen with heavy metal toxicities such as mercury. The second way autoimmunity occurs is through molecular mimicry which happens when the body makes an antibody (a protein that attacks objects in the body that appear to be foreign) to a specific antigen. These antigens can resemble certain proteins in the body and the antibodies attack our body’s own tissues. The third way is the development of T cells (of the immune system). This occurrence can be affected by genetics, stress, and environmental triggers. Environmental triggers are what integrative doctors mainly work with in functional medicine. These can be food triggers such as gluten or other food sensitivities that can trigger inflammation, as well as anything coming in with the food such as toxins or molds. Other factors include a person’s nutrient status and their gut health, which includes conditions such as “leaky gut” and dysbiosis. Finally, there are toxins that can affect the status of the immune system such as heavy metals and xenobiotics, as well as the total toxic burden in the body.

Many autoimmune conditions need to be addressed by optimizing gut health. Dietary approaches provide the most effective means to returning balance and dysfunction with the gastrointestinal system. Patients may need antimicrobials, botanicals, enzymes, prebiotics, and probiotics to optimize the gastrointestinal environment. Integrative health care practitioners can offer hope to these patients. Diagnostic considerations include stool testing, organic acid testing, food antibody testing, as well as gluten sensitivity testing or elimination of gluten from the diet.

Gastrointestinal support following the 4-R approach


This focuses on eliminating pathogenic bacteria, fungi, viruses, and parasites. Botanical extracts have a long history as natural antimicrobials. They offer a broad spectrum of activity against common pathogens in conditions of dysbiosis and are relatively sparing of normal flora. These may include tribulus extract, berberine sulfate, sweet wormwood, black walnut, grapefruit extract, bearberry extract, and caprylic acid. These botanical extracts are commonly represented on sensitivity testing stool profiles by major functional laboratories.


It is important to use digestive enzymes to support optimal digestion of food. Individuals who do not secrete enough proteases suffer from multiple food allergies and cause problems such as food allergies, leaky gut, colitis, and autoimmune diseases.


Proper probiotic supplementation helps to assist with food and nutrient assimilation, inhibits harmful bacteria, and replaces beneficial bacteria lost to antibiotic use, disease, poor diets, and stress.


Glutamine is the most important nutritional substance for healthy intestinal cells and main fuel of the colonocytes of the large intestine. Glutamine is essential in maintaining proper gastrointestinal function and helping to prevent “leaky gut.” N-acetyl glucosamine also supports proper mucosal health and reduces intestinal permeability. In addition, it inhibits the growth and functional of abnormal T-cells that incorrectly direct the immune system to attack specific tissues of the body, such as in autoimmune disease. Combining L-glutamine, N-acetyl glucosamine with mucilaginous relaxing herbs (such as DGL, slippery elm, marshmallow, chamomile, okra, and cat’s claw) will help soothe and coat the intestinal lining and promote healing of inflamed tissue.

What appears to happen with most autoimmune diseases is that there are multiple triggers chronically stimulating the immune system over a long period of time in multiple ways. As a result, our immune system gets into an overloaded, overwhelmed state and loses its ability to function. Lifestyle choices and environmental exposures filtered through genetic predisposition are fundamental factors in the expression of disease, and a successful treatment approach must address these factors.

By Dr. Michael Jurgelewicz

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