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Preventing Autoimmune Diseases

Is reducing inflammation a common thread?

We are fortunate to have a local clinic (Barbara Davis Center in Denver) that is part of the Autoimmunity Center of Excellence along with our local Children’s Hospital and National Jewish Hospital. Thanks to this award-winning collaboration, we have participated in numerous studies regarding related autoimmune disorders.

Many believe inflammation is an underlying cause in addition to genetics. This is a problem with a solution. Let’s focus on a cure which is SAFE, EFFICACIOUS, and AFFORDABLE….particularly Vitamin D to support the immune system and DHA/EPA to reduce inflammation.

It is important to study the impact of one of the most commonly prescribed drugs for inflammatory autoimmune diseases:

The classic sign of an autoimmune disease is inflammation. Autoimmune diseases may also have flare-ups and remissions. Treatment depends on the disease, but one important goal is to reduce inflammation. Sometimes doctors prescribe corticosteroids. See the article above and make sure your doctor fully understands how lethal corticosteroids can be to beta cells.
Remember, inflammation can be safely suppressed through other means – consider high dose DHA/EPA, with Vitamin D and perhaps aspirin combination to achieve the same results, safely and inexpensively.

Here is an overview regarding autoimmune disease:
and a bit about the epidemiology:

Here are a few autoimmune diseases that are in the same family as Type 1 Diabetes (t1d):

Autoimmune Disorder – Definition – Research about Cures and Treatment

If you are here – perhaps you/your child has t1d:

There are dietary factors which seem to be promising in terms of prevention, Omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamin D and some interesting ideas regarding anti-oxidants (see

Coeliac Sprue (aka celiac)
This is so common among those with t1d that it is routinely tested at diagnosis – as are the autoantibodies of immediate family members due to the elevated risk for all family members.
Symptoms can vary or even be non-existent. There are three autoantibodies they can test.
There is no current cure, but you can avoid complications if you,
#1 – don’t eat gluten! Thankfully, with almond and coconut flour and other healthy alternatives, it is a great and healthy way to eat, and gluten elimination may be helpful in preventing other autoimmune disorders (like t1d).
#2 – there is information regarding giving steroids if someone is not responsive to a gluten free diet – DO NOT DO THIS without doing research! Steroids can be toxic to beta cells.

Multiple Sclerosis:
The genetics (high risk alleles) are often the same as those found with t1d.
Interesting articles:

Lupus – Also known as SLE or systemic lupus erythematosus
Here is an interesting study regarding remission:
The doses of DHA/EPA to suppress inflammation are relatively high.

Rheumatoid Arthritis (my son with t1d was diagnosed at age three) – at that point it was called Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis (JRA):
My son was initially treated at Children’s hospital with Naproxin and then with a cyclo-oxygenase 2 (COX-2) suppressor (Celobrex), but Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) is also a COX-2 suppressor and is safe, affordable and efficacious and available over the counter (ie: DHA-900 at Walmart).
Here are interesting articles on remission: (this one is interesting due to the discussion regarding the combination of DHA and aspirin)

Note that this is another inflammatory disorder, and you may be prescribed corticosteroids – not a great idea if you are trying to save remaining beta cells….

Ankylosing Spondylitis:
Another autoimmune disorder – primarily affecting the back
recommended treatments include aspirin and anti-inflammatories; consider high dose DHA/EPA with aspirin combo. Remember to ask about any steroidal recommendations due to damage to beta cells.

Thyroid Disorders (my non-t1d daughter tested positive for autoantibodies):
Grave’s Disease – too much thyroid hormone
Or Hashimoto’s thyroiditis : In this autoimmune disorder, the body attacks thyroid tissue. The tissue eventually dies and stops producing hormones. (interesting about increasing Vit D and elimination of gluten)!

Alopecia Areata: (hair loss)

This is another autoimmune disorder which may be treated with steroids – but again, steroids should be the last resort if beta cell function is an issue.
Note that the people most affected had lower levels of Vitamin D!

Psoriasis – this article has some great (but depressing) information on links with other autoimmune diseases. Stress can be a trigger. This is logical as stress increases inflammation so it is in line with the hypothesis that normalization of inflammation (DHA/EPA and maybe baby aspirin) and healthy immune function (increase Vit D) plus anti-oxidants may help.
Here is some interesting research:
(Note that inflammation is involved in this autoimmune disorder as well)
Again – stay away from corticosteroid use when possible if beta cell health is a concern (wow! – amazingly high Vit D doses) (more D-3)

Vitaligo – another autoimmune skin disorder (Look at these Vit D doses – ask your Dr.)

Crohn’s Disease: (use of DHA and EPA to resolve inflammation) (DHA/EPA to prevent Crohn’s) (nice study about remission) (another great study!)
See also – Ulcerative colitis and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
There are so many autoimmune diseases – this is just an overview of those most commonly related to t1d A safe continues to be combinatioanti-inflammatory intervention (DHA/EPA) and Vit D for immune support.

Cushing’s and Addison’s: (author note: – both of my Portuguese Water Dogs have/had one each of these Can autoimmunity in our family please not extend to our dogs!!!! (JFK had this too)

Sjogren’s Syndrome: (dry eyes and lack and dry mouth) – associated with inflammation too….

Other prevention/reversal topics for t1d as well as other autoimmune diseases:

Cord Blood:
I think it is worth the cost of collection and storing if you are pregnant – it is autologous (self), and we have safely reinfused in new-onset patients. It may take a combination therapy, but if you don’t collect and store the cord blood, it won’t be there if/when the day comes where it could become routinely efficacious for t1d or another potential cure.

Anti Cd-3 studies: you may be asked to enter one of these studies if you have high autoantibody titers and an abnormal OGTT:
One researcher chose not to put his child on this, or safe interventions such as DHA – that child is now diabetic…anti-cd3 didn’t work at one year out anyway.
This is a good overview – there are other articles that show that the levels of autoantibodies and c-peptide at entry influences outcome.

Read and consider risks carefully…please!

Anti-cd3 will never meet the three legs of the stool required to declare a true CURE!
– Safety (no side effects, short or long term)
– Affordability (in the general population)
– Efficacy (something that works in the long term and can be taken long term if needed)

Do not ignore the risks. If one of my kids was in this boat, I would certainly read and study this protocol and either do both or not enroll if prevented from attacking inflammation simultaneously.

Here is commentary on a case study that is potentially possible to replicate:

Hopefully, there will be a larger scale trial soon of a similar protocol. The children with diabetes RESEARCH foundation is hoping to help partially fund this innovative effort!

Thanks for reading this!
Sonia Chritton