Low or Elevated Secretory IgA: Critical Health Testing You Should Know About
Posted Sep 20 2011 1:53pm
With the advent of the internet, consumers and medical researchers like myself have access to a whole host of sound medical literature. This is by far and away one of the most important blog posts I have ever written. The testing I am about to share with you helped to save my daughter’s life. As it would turn out, we would only discover some six years into her health journey that elevated Secretory IgA was the underlying cause of many if not most of her health problems. By finally discovering this fact through diagnostic testing (out-of-network), we were able to avoid cancer, leukemia, cirrhosis of the liver and other horrific health problems. My special thanks to Dr. Gene Mayer from the University of South Carolina School of Medicine for the information I am about to share. This comes from “Immunology – Chapter Four: Immunoglobulins – Structure and Function. The link to this information is: http://pathmicro.med.sc.edu/mayer/lgStruct2000.htm
First of all, I went looking for information on Secretory IgA after my daughter’s medical diagnostic testing came back with elevated Secretory IgA. This was not a medical term that I was familiar with, and in the last two years I have not found a lot of physicians who are familiar with it either. For the lay reader, IgA is an Immuoglobulin class. If you have severe food allergies of the life-threatening variety, that falls into the IgE (Epsilon heavy chains) class of Immuoglobulins.
Secretory IgA is found in saliva in the mouth, throughout the gastrointestinal tract and in the mucous secretions throughout the body. Here are what Dr. Mayer’s text listed as outcomes (as I read it) for increased Secretory IgA:
Cirrhosis of the liver (most cases)
Certain stages of collagen and other autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus erythematosus
Chronic infections not based on immunologic deficiencies
Decreased IgA would be potentially related to:
Hereditary ataxia telangiectasia
Immunologic deficiency states
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia
Chronic lymphoblastic leukemia
Myeloma is a form of cancer. Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome (WAS) can be pretty serious as well and leads to malignancies in up to one-third of the patients with WAS. Cirrhosis of the liver is the twelfth-leading cause of death in the U.S. according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as referenced by the National Digestive Disorders Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC). Leukemia we pretty much all know is very serious and life-threatening.
All of which says to me that Secretory IgA is pretty important. From a laboratory source (Individual Wellbeing Diagnostic Laboratories), I found that Secretory IgA (SIgA) is our first line of defense against bacteria, food toxins, fungus, parasites and viruses. While I can not assert that this is in fact the case, I do personally believe that from the above information that elevated or low levels of Secretory IgA in and of themselves merit investigation or testing for individuals with chronic health conditions that are not otherwise sourced by some medical fact.
What does this mean to you the average consumer? It means, like in most instances in health care, that you must be proactive and be your own health advocate. Perhaps this means that you ask your physician or specialist if you have been tested for Secretory IgA. We did my daughter’s SIgA testing by stool. You can also check the diagnostic testing companies’ websites that market such testing for additional support and information. If I had a chronic health condition that was not being resolved to my satisfaction, or if I had any of the above conditions, I would consider ruling out elevated or low SIgA. After all, traditional mainstream medicine is primarily based on ruling out (or in) medical conditions. Let me know your questions and comments on this post!