Every immune response starts with an antigen. An antigen is anything our body perceives to be a threat. Each person’s ability to perceive and appropriately respond to an antigen is unique. Some people’s immune systems respond immediately and properly to an antigen. Other people have an overaggressive or insufficient response to an antigen; which is also common in autoimmunity. Some people’s immune systems view certain foods, such as wheat, corn or peanuts to be a threat and form antibodies against these foods. Most healthy people’s immune systems are able to recognize harmful viruses, fungi, or bacteria, this is a normal response.
When a foreign substance, such as a partially digested food particle, harmful microorganism, or foreign matter enters the blood, it presents specific proteins called “antigens” on its outer surface. These antigens alert the immune system, which results in antibodies that are produced to merge with these antigens. Autoimmune disorders exist when the body can no longer properly distinguish its own cells from a pathogen.
In a healthy person’s body, antibodies serve to quickly locate foreign invaders and debris, such as viruses, bacteria and toxins. This initiates an appropriate immune response for the purpose of neutralizing the invaders before any harm can be done. For people with an autoimmune disorder, the immune system becomes overwhelmed and damages itself by damaging the body’s tissue.
Testing for Autoimmune Conditions
At Fundamental Health Solutions, in Austin, Tx, we use one of the most current and comprehensive laboratory blood tests to identify and analyze autoimmune conditions. These tests, offered through Cyrex Laboratories, provide the comprehensive gold standard for detecting sensitive and specific autoimmune antigen arrays.