I’m Dr Hagmeyer and in today’s video I’m going to cover;
- Why SIgA testing is important,
- What it means if you have low SIgA
- What it means if you have High SIgA
- How you want to tackle SIgA levels when they are high or low
- finally I want to share some of the things you can do naturally support your body .
So what is SIgA?
The immune system makes T cells and it makes B cells. B cells produce SIgA which acts as the first line of defense against the entry of foreign substances into the body. These foreign substances could be undigested proteins from foods you eat, bacteria, virus, parasites or molds. SIgA gives us insight into mucosal tolerance.
If you think about it, the body’s mucosal surfaces- the eyes, ears, nose, throat, sinuses, skin, vaginal tract, urinary tract and GI tract are all entry points for various disease causing pathogens.
Your body’s way of protecting these points of entry is done with the release of SIgA. SIgA attaches itself to invading bugs and once attached it can trap the invader in the mucosal surfaces and from here neutralize the threat.
So perhaps you had some testing done and your levels were Low- what exactly does that mean.
Low SIgA Levels
Low / reduced sIgA levels are by and large commonly seen in individuals with low immune system function and adrenal fatigue or exhaustion. Individuals with allergies, atopic diseases like eczema, psoriasis, asthma, chronic gut infections, Candida, food sensitivities, prolonged exposure to toxins, and autism typically have low SIgA.
I look at low SIgA levels as a sign of chronic stress in the body that has drained the immune system. A person with Low Levels of SIgA may have trouble overcoming gut problems or skin conditions, allergies and sensitivities until SIgA levels are corrected. Certain medications can lower levels – including anti-inflammatories, antidepressants.
It is important to understand that SIgA test doesn’t tell us the cause of the problem, it only provides clues that further investigation is needed. This is why you will need to work with a functional medicine doctor who can begin to investigate the causes behind the low SIgA.
Ok so what about High / Elevated SIgA levels?
When I see High levels of SIgA I start thinking that we have an activated immune response to some sort of infection, stressor or acute inflammatory response.
This could be an infection, this could toxins released into the body by gram Negative Bacteria such as LPS toxins-(which by the way are the same toxins that cause Leaky gut)
The elevated SIgA could also indicate a viral infection such as (Epstein Barr Virus or Cytomegalo Virus) or some other kind of infection. Stool testing and blood testing can be helpful here.
Inflammatory Bowel disease (IBD) such as Crohn’s, Ulcerative colitis, Autoimmune IBS, or some sort of inflammatory response in the gut that has flared up.
So what do you do if you have this finding show up on your stool test? How do you naturally balance your SIgA levels
The first step to balance SIgA naturally is to use an anti-inflammatory diet.
The most common food allergens need to be eliminated. I personally run a food sensitivity panel on my patients so that we are not guessing about foods to eliminate.
But if you don’t test then you want to eliminate all grains (Wheat, Rye, Oats, Corn, Milk, Soy, Eggs) high-sugar fruits, shrimp.
Bone broth can be extremely effective at helping the gut because of the impact it can have on Glutathione levels as well as because of all the great amino acids in that help to reseal and boost SIgA levels. But exercise caution if you have histamine intolerance.
It is important to provide the gut and the immune system with the key nutrients they need such as vitamin C, zinc, selenium, glutamine, choline, glycine, glutathione and essential fatty acids among other things.
Using non-denatured whey protein from grass-fed cows will boost glutamine and glutathione levels and is easily absorbed into the body.
It is highly recommended if the individual can tolerate it. If they have allergenic reactions to whey than use a hypoallergenic protein powder made up of sprouted hemp and pea protein.
Ways To Naturally Raise Your SIgA levels
Always think about the ROOT cause- this varies from person to person- I often think of gut problems, adrenal problems, food sensitivities, parasites, daily stressors in a patient’s life, sleep and wake cycles and finally vitamin
deficiencies- work with a doctor who understands the BIG picture- a doctor who focuses is Functional Medicine
There are a few things that boost Secretory IgA levels naturally. Colostrum is an immunoglobulin that is secreted from mom’s breast in the early stages of breast feeding.
Colostrum is loaded with antibodies that support both High and Low SIgA levels. Fermented dairy from 100% grass-fed cows is loaded with acidophilus, bacillus and saccharomyces boulardii species of probiotics that all help to stimulate SIgA levels.
This is one of my favorite Colostrum supplements
Just be careful if you have a sensitivity to Night shades of if you have SIBO. If you have SIBO you will want to follow a Low FODMAP diet and avoid probiotics, prebiotics, and foods containing histamines.
How Spore Forming/ Soil based Probiotics help your Gut
In the research I have done, I’ve found these spore forming soil based probiotics impart numerous benefits.
Benefits of Bacillus Coagulans (B. Coagulans):
1. Helps the good bacteria successfully colonize in your gut
2. Potent immune stimulator
3. Reduces oxidative stress in the gut mucosa and has
4. Long history of studied use in IBS, Crohn’s, and ulcerative colitis
5. Reduces bloating and intestinal gas-
Remember prolonged bloating keeps the IC valve open and this allows for bacteria in large intestines to migrate into the small intestines.
Bacillus coagulans along with lacto and bifido species produces lactic acid, which has been shown to help protect the gut and boost immune resistance to viruses.
It has also been shown to lower cholesterol and reduce pain and stiffness associated with arthritis.
The other spore forming probiotic strain that I like to see is
Bacillus Subtilis (B. Subtilis)
1. Supports gut repair by increasing secretory IgA and improves N-Butyrate levels
2. Produces over 12 different kinds of antibiotics
3. Ferments Vitamin K in your gut,
4. Has a positive impact on inflammatory and autoimmune markers
You can see based on the studies of these soil based probiotic- why I am so excited about them!
How can I Naturally lower SIgA?
Elevated SIgA is a sign of an Inflammation, infection or irritant and the immune system is running on high.
From a dietary standpoint you still want to follow an anti-inflammatory diet that includes things like bone broth, fermented foods (unless high histamine symptoms), Colostrum, and elimination of immune system antagonizing foods.
If you also have SIBO its important to start a low FODMAP diet, low histamine, or AI Paleo protocol (contact our office for help). In addition to these dietary changes, I also suggest that you follow some sort of 4R protocol– Remove, Replace, Re-inoculate and gut Repair protocol or some variation. If you need help with all of this- fill out a contact us form and tell us more.
So in wrapping up this video up- a couple of closing points;
1. SIgA- is a marker indicating the first line of mucosal integrity has been breached.
2. While it is not specific to any particular cause- it indicates that you have an immune system issue that you need to deal with.
3. Eliminating the food sensitivity, the cause of inflammation, or the infection should help normalize your SIgA levels-
4. SIgA testing along with more comprehensive testing should be done to rule in or out some of the potential offenders. (infections, food allergies, Food sensitivities, Altered Cortisol levels to name a few)
5. Correcting these levels can take time and consistency. 6-12 months or longer depending on the case.