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Reference Guide
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Autoimmune

Autoimmune

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There are more than 80 types of autoimmune diseases targeting various parts of the body, making diagnosis a challenge. According to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, more than 24 million people in the United States are impacted by an autoimmune disease, with an additional eight million people having auto-antibodies indicating an increased risk of developing one.

Autoimmune testing focuses on measuring the presence of certain antibodies which target the body’s own cells resulting in conditions where the immune system mistakenly attacks itself. 

Some of the more commonly known autoimmune conditions include rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, scleroderma, Sjorgren’s syndrome, lupus, celia, and type diabetes. Diagnosis requires physical examination, a medical history of symptoms, comprehensive laboratory blood testing, testing for gut microbiome and functioning, and autoimmune testing for various antibodies.

Depending on the autoimmune disorder suspected, additional tests such as x-rays, biopsies, MRI scans, and CT scans may be necessary. People with autoimmune diseases commonly experience fatigue, joint pain and swelling, skin problems, abdominal pain and digestive issues, fever, and swollen glands.

What do autoimmune tests measure?

A range of comprehensive autoimmune testing panels are available through Rupa Health.

Some of the tests in this category include:

  1. Access Medical Labs' ANA Screen: A blood sample is analyzed to detect the presence of autoantibodies. A positive result often suggests that the body is likely attacking its own cells, and additional more specific autoimmune testing is needed. A positive result can sometimes occur in the absence of an autoimmune disease.
  2. Vibrant America's Vibrant Anti-tTG IgA: A blood sample is analyzed for the tissue transglutaminase IGA antibody (tTG-IgA) which is an antibody that attacks an enzyme lining the gastrointestinal tracts. Increased levels of this antibody indicate risk for celiac disease.
  3. Cyrex's GAM - Total Serum IgG/IgA/IgM: The immunoglobulins IgA, IgG, and IgM are tested for in a blood sample, as a measurement of general immunity. Altered levels can indicate a disease condition including an autoimmune disease, and require further testing.
  4. Access Medical Labs' Rheumatoid Factor: The amount of rheumatoid factor antibody is measured in a blood sample. High levels indicate potential for rheumatoid arthritis, or other autoimmune diseases and conditions linked to rheumatoid factors. Further testing is necessary for diagnosis.

Treatment Plans

 Autoimmune testing can help diagnose a condition and monitor the effectiveness of treatment. Treatment often focuses on suppressing the immune system to alleviate pain and inflammation.

Some common treatment plans include:

  • Restoring equilibrium in the gut with probiotics, fiber, essential nutrients.
  • Diet changes to remove compounds that stimulate the immune system.
  • Nutrients that are beneficial in soothing the immune system and reducing inflammation.
  • Herbal supplements with anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Regular exercise and relaxation to reduce stress and decrease inflammation.
  • Adequate sleep

References

Lab Companies Specializing in 

Autoimmune

 Testing

Magazine Articles about

Autoimmune

 Testing

Order, track, and receive results from 30+ labs in one place.