When we look at our patients, we try to figure out what is causing their ailments from living their best lives. Some practitioners would prescribe medications to alleviate pain. While other practitioners will start trying to figure out what is causing the patient to have these ailments. Here at Injury Medical Clinic, we talk to our patients about the importance of functional medicine and how it can benefit them. In this article, we will be discussing Connective Tissue Disorder and how it is linked to wheat-related disorders.
What is Connective Tissue Disorder?
CTD (Connective Tissue Disorder) is an autoimmune disorder that can affect the connective tissues such as the collagen and elastin in our skins. This disease is highly inflammatory and can occur alongside with other autoimmune diseases, and it is common if families have a history of Connective Tissue Disorder.
About 3% of the population has a connective tissue disorder, and it is most likely to occur in women than men. In fact, women who are diagnosed with connective tissue disorder have a ration of 10:1, compared to men.
CTD includes (but is not limited to) the following conditions:
- Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE): SLE is a widespread and chronic autoimmune condition, for unknown reasons, can cause the immune system to attack the body’s own tissue and organs, including joints, kidneys, heart, lungs, brain, blood, and skin.
- Sjogren’s Syndrome: This autoimmune disease causes white blood cells to attack moisture-producing glands, such as the tear ducts and salivary glands. This can make it very difficult for the body to produce tears and saliva.
- Systemic sclerosis (scleroderma): This condition causes the skin and connective tissue to harden and tighten.
- Rheumatoid arthritis (RA): RA is a chronic inflammatory condition and an autoimmune disorder that can generally affect the lining of the joints, but mostly in the hands and feet. Rheumatoid arthritis causes painful swelling that can eventually lead to deformity and erosion in the joints and bones.
- Polymyositis: This is a persistent inflammatory muscle disease that causes weakness in the skeletal muscles, which can affect your body movement.
- Dermatomyositis: This is an uncommon inflammatory disease that is marked by muscle weakness and can cause a distinctive skin rash.
These conditions can group together and can be very hard to diagnose because of the research and many tests that the patient is taking. Surprisingly, the average patient suffers from symptoms for 3.6 years before meeting diagnostic criteria. And the systems alone are difficult to classify, and often mimic or overlap other conditions. Some of the symptoms include hair loss, muscle pain, numbness or tingling, inflammation, low-grade fever, weakness and fatigue, joint pain, sensitive skin, and rashes.
Increased Need For Advanced Testing and Early Diagnosis
Sadly though, patients wait longer when they have these conditions, and it can worsen in the process as it takes years to get diagnosed for CDT. Practitioners can use treatments on their patients, but the medications act as a band-aid to mask the symptoms, but it does not adequately address the root causes of the disease. Sometimes the symptoms can progress faster than the current diagnostic test. So if you want to make sure your patients have any autoimmune diseases, run a diagnostic test on them, so you can detect early stages of the disease and start treating them so it can go away.
ENA and ANA
Extractable nuclear antigen (ENA) is a blood test that looks for antibodies to about 6 or 7 different proteins in the body.
Antinuclear antibody (ANA) is used as an initial test that can help evaluate a person for an autoimmune disorder that can affect many tissues and organs throughout the body. It is most often used when practitioners are diagnosing patients for systemic lupus erythematosus.
Surprisingly ENA can be more predictive than ANA. However, patients were followed for 2 years, and about 20% of those patients developed positive ENA.
Vibrant Wellness Wheat Zoomer
In a previous article, we talked about gluten sensitivity and introduced the wheat zoomer. What the Vibrant Wheat Zoomer does is that it actually runs a test on your microbiomes to determine if you have a wheat sensitivity or a gluten sensitivity. It can actually detect IgG and IgA antibodies as well as detecting if your body has the celiac disease and intestinal permeability. It pairs well with the Vibrant Gut Zoomer, and here at Injury Medical, we use the Wheat Zoomer on our patients to inform them about what is causing them to have gut inflammation or even leaky gut.
Celiac Disease and Wheat Allergens
Celiac Disease and Wheat Allergens is an autoimmune disorder in genetically susceptible individuals, and it affects about 1% of the population. In a previous article, we mentioned the hidden problems that gluten does to the body. And surprisingly, any wheat-related disorders can exist on a spectrum, this includes wheat allergy, gluten sensitivity, and wheat sensitivity.
When a person, has the celiac disease, having any traces of wheat can actually upset their intestinal permeability and causing them to have a leaky gut.
The Connection to CTD and Celiac Disease
But how do connective tissue disorder and celiac disease are connected? Well, surprisingly, Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and celiac disease (CD) share multiple aspects in epidemiology and clinical manifestations. Both disorders have been proven to be influenced by comparable environmental factors and a recent incidental surge of associated antibodies. Even though they have different depositions, both of them are mediated by endogenous enzymes that target different tissues and organs.
However through functional medicine; local chiropractors and health coaches here at Injury Medical Clinic, strive to understand what do our patients need to make their bodies feel better. If we can use functional medicine to prevent leaky gut at the early stages and help our patients with any ailments that they may have, then we can gently push them into the right direction of exercising throughout the week (even if it is about thirty minutes) and eating nutritious, whole, organic foods; as well as, preventing their ailments coming back then their bodies can finally heal.