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Category Archives: Arthritis

Understanding Antibodies: IgE

Understanding Antibodies: IgE

This article on IgE is part 4 of 4 of our Understanding Antibodies segment. See our previous blog posts on IgM, IgG and IgA antibodies if you are just catching up!

Immune System Fast Responders

Of all the antibodies, IgE antibodies are probably the most well know. This is because they are the tanks of the immune system. They come in hard and fast. They are also associated with histamine reactions and are usually the antibodies responsible for severe allergy reactions.

When we talk about true allergies – we are talking about IgE antibodies. IgE reactions cause our more typical allergic reactions like sneezing, food allergies, and skin reactions.

While IgE reactions can cause fatal reactions (anaphylaxis) in some, our understanding of why humans have developed this reaction is limited. IgE reactions recently have been shown to be effective against some parasite infections. Additionally, there is some evidence to suggest that the fast action of IgE reactions evolved as a way for humans to combat venom or poison in the blood.

Having these fast reactors may be helpful for some very acute infections or reactions. But ultimately, IgE reactions can cause significant reactions that can prove to be annoying, or in worse cases, detrimental to some.

Types of Antibodies: IgE

IgE antibodies account for the smallest level of antibody present in our blood. They represent < 1% of all antibodies in the blood. But they are the most powerful of all of the antibody reactions. And these reactions can occur anywhere: in the skin, airways, gut, nose…etc.

IgE reactions are considered acute phase allergies. They usually flare up within minutes to hours after exposure to a trigger. (Unlike IgG reactions which can take hours to days to flare). IgE stimulates a powerful portion of the immune system called mast cells, which release histamine. Histamine is a chemical that causes swelling, itching and redness. If histamine is produced in the airway, swelling can lead to airway constriction, which can lead to asthma or inability to get oxygen to the lungs.

Because these reactions are so fast acting and so strong, they can produce a wide range of symptoms depending on where they are. IgE reactions could be as small as an itchy nose, to as severe as airway constriction. If we were to stick with my Umbrella Academy reference (I can’t let this one go), IgE’s would be considered the Number 6 of the family – Ben Hargreeves. In the story, #6 can channel an energy that is so powerful and causes so much destruction that it leads to his demise (I can’t give away too many spoilers).

IgE is also associated with more chronic autoimmune diseases such as systemic lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis. It’s thought that in some of these conditions, IgE may stimulate more severe sensitivity reactions that could aggravate these conditions further.

Clinical Relevance of IgE

Because IgE reactions are so highly associated with allergies, they are usually pretty easy to measure. Total levels of IgE in the blood can be measured. Additionally, traditional skin allergy testing (where they put allergens on your skin and measure a reaction) are testing IgE reactions.

In COVID-19, IgE antibodies are not triggered as much as the IgM, IgG or IgA antibodies. Some people will produce severe or anaphylactic reactions to the virus, but this is relatively rare. Additionally, some people may have anaphylactic reactions to any of the COVID-19 vaccines, but that may not be because of viral triggers, and may be from other chemicals in the vaccine.

IgE antibodies are incredibly important for both allergies and autoimmune diseases. Anything that can trigger an IgE reaction (like dust, or dander, or pollen) could potentially aggravate an autoimmune response. Helping your body to minimize histamine reactions could also help reduce the overall immune system response.

Overall, IgE antibodies are easy to test in the blood. If you are interested in getting IgE testing or antibodies tested for certain diseases, talk to your doctor. We also offer many different types of antibody testing in our office as well.

Looking for more information on autoimmune diseases? Get our FREE ebook The 5 Foundations of Autoimmune Diseases, register for one of our FREE online webinars, or check out our blog for additional articles.

Do I Have an Autoimmune Disease?

Do I Have an Autoimmune Disease?

One of the biggest questions we get asked in our clinic is whether or not someone has an autoimmune disease. Autoimmune diseases are not easy things to diagnose. But if you know you have a lot of inflammation, it’s worth getting a thorough work up for an autoimmune disease. Here we will walk through theContinue Reading

Testosterone and Autoimmune Diseases

Testosterone and Autoimmune Diseases

This is part 4 of our 4-part series in how hormones affect autoimmune diseases. Testosterone is an important hormone in the male and female body. It is similar to the female counterpart, progesterone. This hormone is made in the testicles and the adrenal gland. It has a lot of effects in the human body thatContinue Reading

Alternative Therapies for Osteoarthritis

Alternative Therapies for Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis in the US. It affects 10-18% of people over the age of 60. While there is some inflammation, this form of arthritis is mostly from degenerative changes over time. This can be from overuse trauma, or even from damage from other inflammatory arthritis conditions like rheumatoid arthritis.

Many people with inflammatory arthritis also have osteoarthritis. Treatments for osteoarthritis are often different than those for other arthritis conditions like rheumatoid arthritis. Things like exercise and strengthening can be extremely helpful. To learn more about ways in which to treat osteoarthritis, click the link below.

#arthritis #osteoarthritis #alternativemedicine #naturopathicmedicine #herbalmedicine #jointpain #jointhealthContinue Reading

Intermittent Fasting for Autoimmune Diseases

Intermittent Fasting for Autoimmune Diseases

Intermittent Fasting is a hot topic these days. But can it be used for autoimmune diseases? Yes!

Intermittent fasting can be used to help reduce flares, improve pain and help reduce inflammation long term.

Learn more about intermittent fasting and how it can help your autoimmune symptoms in our new blog post!Continue Reading

Alternative Therapies for Gout

Alternative Therapies for Gout

Gout is an inflammatory arthritis that occurs from the precipitation of uric acid into the joint space. It affects more than 3% of the population and is more common in men than in women. This is because uric acid levels in the blood are generally higher in men than in women. Other things that increaseContinue Reading

Alternative Therapies for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Alternative Therapies for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a very destructive inflammatory arthritis that affects approximately 1-5% of the population in the US.  RA can occur at any age but occurs more common after age 50. Women are also affected 2-3x more than men. It is also a fast acting arthritis, and can cause damage to the joint spaceContinue Reading

Alternative Therapies for Psoriatic Arthritis

Alternative Therapies for Psoriatic Arthritis

In keeping with our theme of #arthritisawareness month, we will start off our weekly arthritis condition spotlight with alternative therapies for psoriatic arthritis. Psoriatic Arthritis Diagnosis and Treatment Psoriatic arthritis is an inflammatory arthritis that can be incredibly detrimental to a person’s quality of life.  It is a form of inflammatory arthritis that is calledContinue Reading

BOTANICAL REMEDIES USED IN RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS

BOTANICAL REMEDIES USED IN RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS

Written by Emily Wittenhagen, Community Herbalist   Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that causes chronic inflammation mainly presenting in the joints. The most common type of inflammatory arthritis, RA can cause significant discomfort and decreases in mobility and motor skills for those living with the condition. At Aria, we see many clients withContinue Reading

Living With Autoimmunity Event!  May 9th!

Living With Autoimmunity Event! May 9th!

Living with Autoimmunity Saturday, May 9, 10:00 AM-3:30 PM at Bastyr University in Kenmore Join the Autoimmune Advocacy Alliance (A3) for “Living with Autoimmunity,” an education program for families living with one of the 80+ autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, lupus, Crohn’s disease, and rheumatoid arthritis. In the morning sessions, experts will share information onContinue Reading