ALA – Essential (omega-3) fatty acid, alpha-linolenic acid, the essential fat being docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).  The other essential fatty acid is LA (Linolenic Acid), the omega-6 fatty acid, of which the essential fat is called gamma-linolenic acid (GLA).   The current ratio of each is a staggering: 45:1 !!  We need to get this back in balance.  This out of balance ratio can easily be reconfigured, by eating lots of grass fed meat and wild caught fish (richest to poorest nutritionally in Omega 3 is: salmon, scallops, shrimp, snapper, tuna). 

ANA  — The antibodies that target “normal” proteins (within the nucleus of a cell) are called antinuclear antibodies (ANA). ANAs could signal the body to begin attacking itself which can lead to autoimmune diseases (including lupus, scleroderma, Sjogrens’s syndrome and polymyositis/ dermatomyositis, mixed connective tissue disease, drug-induced lupus, and autoimmune hepatitis).  Antibodies develop in our immune system to help the body fight infectious organisms. When an antibody recognizes a foreign protein (of an infectious organism), it recruits other proteins and cells to fight off the infection. This cascade of attack is called inflammation.  Unfortunately, some antibodies make incorrect calls, identifying your own naturally-occurring protein (or self protein) as foreign. These autoantibodies start the cascade of inflammation, causing the body to attack itself, starting and AutoImmune response.  Most of us have autoantibodies, but typically in small amounts.

ANA Test — An ANA test detects antinuclear antibodies in your blood.  Your immune system normally makes antibodies to help you fight infection. In contrast, antinuclear antibodies often attack your body’s own tissues — specifically targeting each cell’s nucleus.  In most cases, a positive ANA test indicates that your immune system has launched a misdirected attack on your own tissue — in other words, an autoimmune reaction. But some people have positive ANA tests even when they’re healthy.  Many rheumatic diseases have similar signs and symptoms — joint pain, fatigue and fever.  While an ANA test can’t confirm a specific diagnosis, it can rule out some possible diseases. And if the ANA test is positive, your blood can be tested for the presence of particular antinuclear antibodies, some of which are specific to certain diseases.

There are several methods used to test for ANAs. One method is a blood test called the Fluorescent Antinuclear Antibody Test or FANA. This test involves viewing fluorescent-labeled antibodies on a glass side under the microscope and determining the pattern and intensity of the fluorescence.  The presence of any antinuclear antibodies is a positive test result. But having a positive result doesn’t mean you have a disease. Many people with no disease have positive ANA tests — particularly women older than 65.   However, a positive ANA reading alone does not indicate an autoimmune disease, because: The prevalence of ANAs in healthy individuals is about 3-15%.  And, the production of these autoantibodies is strongly age-dependent, and increases to 10-37% in healthy persons over the age of 65.  Even healthy people with viral infections can have a positive ANA, albeit for a short time. Also, some medications can cause a positive ANA.   Other conditions, such as cancer, infections, lung or gastrointestinal diseases, hormonal diseases, blood diseases, skin diseases and in elderly people or people with a family history of rheumatic disease. Antinuclear antibodies are actually found in about 5% of the normal population, too.can cause a positive ANA… seek more clarification on your own ANA count, now and when you were diagnosed.. (Mononucleosis is one type of infection that has been associated with the development of antinuclear antibodies. Some blood pressure lowering drugs and certain anti-seizure medications may trigger antinuclear antibody formation as well).  If your doctor suspects you have an autoimmune disease, he or she is likely to order a number of tests. The result of your ANA test is one piece of information your doctor can use to help determine the cause of your signs and symptoms

Antibody — Proteins produced by the immune system in response to the presence in the body of an antigen.  The terms antibody and immunoglobulin are often used interchangeably.  They are found in the blood and tissue fluids, as well as many secretions.  In structure, they are large Y-shaped globular proteins.  In mammals there are five types of antibody: IgA, IgD, IgE, IgG, and IgM.  Each immunoglobulin class differs in its biological properties and has evolved to deal with different antigens.   Antibodies are synthesized and secreted by plasma cells that are derived from the B cells of the immune system. An antibody is used by the acquired immune system to identify and neutralize foreign objects like bacteria and viruses. Each antibody recognizes a specific antigen unique to its target.

Antigen — Any substance or organism that is foreign to the body. Examples of antigens are: bacteria, bacterial toxins, viruses, or other cells or proteins.

AutoImmune disease — A disease in which the immune system is overactive and has lost the ability to distinguish between self and non-self.

AutoAntibodies — Autoantibodies specifically attack proteins that are found in the nucleus of the cell.

B Cells — the principal function of B cells is to make antibodies against soluble antigens.  B Cells are involved in the Humoral Immune response..

Chronic— A word used to describe a long-lasting condition. Chronic conditions often develop gradually and involve slow changes.

Corticosteroids — A class of drugs that are synthetic versions of the cortisone produced by the body. They rank among the most powerful anti-inflammatory agents.

Cortisone — Glucocorticoid produced by the adrenal cortex in response to stress. Cortisone is a steroid with anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive properties.

ENA Test — (Extractable Nuclear Antigen Antibodies).  An ENA test usually follows a positive ANA test, and may be ordered for someone who has signs and symptoms of an autoimmune disorder. The 4-test ENA panel is used to help diagnose mixed connective tissue disease (MCTD),  system lupus, and Sjogrens syndrome.  The 6-test ENA panel can also help identify scleroderma and polymyositis/dermatomyositis.  Diagnoses of autoimmune diseases are typically based on the characteristic signs and symptoms and on results of an ANA test.  ENA panel results help to detect and distinguish between different autoimmune disorders.  The pattern of positive and negative results obtained with an ENA panel is evaluated in conjunction with a person’s clinical findings. If someone has symptoms that suggest a specific autoimmune disorder and the corresponding ENA autoantibody is positive, then it is likely that the person has that condition.  If a person has symptoms but the autoantibody is not present, it could mean that the individual has not yet developed the autoantibody, or it may mean that the person’s symptoms are due to another condition.  ENA tests for: Anti-RNP, Anti-Sm, Anti-SS-A, Anti-SS-B, Scl-70, Anto-Jo-1.

The results of an ENA blood test are either positive or negative for each autoantibody. Normally, when the immune system is functioning properly, there are few, if any autoantibodies in the blood. The presence of an autoantibody in significant quantity, along with the symptoms of an improperly functioning immune system, indicates a specific auto-immune disease.

If the ENA blood test shows the presence of Anti-RNP, which is the ribonucleoprotein antibody, the most likely cause is mixed connective tissue disease. The Anti-Sm, also known as the Smith antibody, is present in individuals that have systemic lupus erythematosus. The presence of Anti-SS-A and Anti-SS-B indicates Sjögren’s syndrome. If the ENA blood test shows the presence of Scl-70, then the individual most likely has Scleroderma. If the blood contains Anti-Jo-1, then the probable cause is polymyositis.

Glucosamine – Glucosamine is

 

 

Helper T Cells — Helper T Cells regulate both the innate and adaptive immune responses and help determine which immune responses the body makes to a particular pathogen.These cells have no cytotoxic activity and do not kill infected cells or clear pathogens directly. They instead control the immune response by directing other cells to perform these tasks.

Humoral Immunity — is immunity that is mediated by macromolecules found in the humours, or body fluids.  Humoral immunity refers to antibody production and the accessory processes that accompany it.  (Including:  Th2 activation,  cytokine production, germinal centre formation,  isotype switching, affinity maturation, memory cell generation. It also refers to the effector functions of antibody, which include pathogen and toxin neutralization, classical complement activation, and opsonin promotion of phagocytosis and pathogen elimination.

Immune Response — Physiological response of the body controlled by the immune system that involves the production of antibodies to fight off specific foreign substances or agents (antigens).

Immune system — The network of organs, cells, and molecules that work together to defend the body from foreign substances and organisms causing infection and disease such as: bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites.  The Immune system is complex and layered, in all life forms there is an ‘innate’ immune system (first call for response).  In jawed vertibrates (animals and humans) there is a secondary immune system called the ‘adaptive’ immune system which is pathogen and antigen specific,  has a cell mediated memory and is a stronger immune response.  Each system (innate and adaptive) contains humoral and cellular components, called Humoral Immunity and Cellular Immunity.

Immunosuppressent cytotoxic drugs — A class of drugs that function by destroying cells and suppressing the immune response.

Immunosuppressant — Any chemical substance that suppresses the immune response.

Immunosuppressive — Any agent that suppresses the immune response of an individual.

Inflammation — A process occurring in body tissues, characterized by increased circulation and the accumulation of white blood cells. Inflammation also occurs in such disorders as arthritis and causes harmful effects.

Lymphocyte — Lymphocytes are white blood cells that participate in the adaptive immune response. The two main groups are the B cells (that have antibody molecules on their surface) and T cells (that destroy antigens and are derived from stem cells from your bone marrow.

Myasthenia Gravis – Myasthenia Gravis is an autoimmune disease which leads to fluctuating muscle weakness and lethargy.  Muscles become progressively weaker during periods of activity and improve after periods of rest.  The muscles controlling the eyelids are ususally affected first, causing them to droop and creating the appearance of looking tired.  The onset of the disorder can be sudden and often the symptoms are intermittent.

Olive Oil – Olive oil is great, but it musnt be heated. The double bonds in olive oil are damaged by heat as are thr 20 different health-promoting polyphenols (antioxidants).. But if you must us a plant based oil .. use coconut (which does not denature at high temperatures).

Soya – I personally love soya milk and have been drinking it for years (10) and recently started to vary.  Now I probably drink 75% Soy and 25% other (Almond).. they are both delicious and good for you.  BUT according to Dr Terry Wahls, be ware that most soya products are GMO.  Soy also contains phytoestrogens which are plant based compounds that interact with the estrogen receptors in your body.  Soya also contains trypsin inhibitors which can interfere with digestion.. Very common now is soya (isolated) protein powder, which is highly processed and manufactured up to temperatures that denature the actual protein.  The safest Soy products are Non GMO and fermented (fermentation reduces the health risks).

T Cells — Any of several lymphocytes that have specific antigen receptors, and that are involved in cell-mediated immune response, and destruction of antigen-bearing cells.

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