diabetes and your immune system

Finding Optimal Wellness

The immune system plays a crucial role in our overall health and well-being, protecting our bodies from viruses, bacteria or other foreign substances. This article explores the connection between diabetes and the immune system, discusses the worst foods for diabetics with autoimmune disorders, explains what diabetes is, details the signs of diabetes and provides an overview of autoimmune disorders. We will also discuss treatment options, including PANZYGA. This medication strengthens the body's natural defense system (immune system) to lower the risk of infection in persons with a weakened immune system.

Worst Foods for Diabetics with Autoimmune Disorders

1. Sugary and Processed Foods

Diabetic individuals with autoimmune disorders should avoid foods high in sugar and processed carbohydrates such as soda, candy, white bread and pastries. These foods can cause a surge in blood sugar levels, worsening diabetes symptoms and triggering an autoimmune response.

2. Trans Fats

Foods containing trans fats, such as fried foods, margarine and packaged snacks, can increase inflammation in the body. For individuals with autoimmune disorders like diabetes, inflammation can further exacerbate symptoms and impair immune function.

3. Gluten

For individuals with autoimmune disorders, especially those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, consuming gluten can trigger an autoimmune response. Foods like wheat, barley and rye should be avoided, and gluten-free alternatives should be sought.

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4. Dairy Products

Some individuals with autoimmune disorders may find that dairy products, particularly those derived from cow's milk, worsen their symptoms. It is advisable to choose dairy alternatives like almond milk or soy milk instead.

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic metabolic disorder characterized by high blood glucose levels (hyperglycemia) resulting from defects in insulin production, insulin action or both. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that regulates the amount of glucose in the bloodstream.

Signs and Symptoms of Diabetes

Here are some common signs and symptoms of diabetes.

  • Frequent urination: Individuals with diabetes may experience frequent urination as excess glucose builds up in the bloodstream, causing the kidneys to work harder to filter and remove it.
  • Increased thirst and hunger: Due to excessive urination, diabetic individuals often feel parched and experience increased thirst. Additionally, the body's inability to utilize glucose properly can result in persistent hunger.
  • Unexplained weight loss: Despite increased hunger, diabetic individuals may experience unexplained weight loss, as the body is unable to metabolize sugar properly and starts breaking down fat and muscle for energy.
  • Fatigue: Feeling tired or fatigued is a common symptom of diabetes, as the body's cells are not receiving enough glucose for energy production.

Autoimmune Disorders and Types

Autoimmune disorders occur when the immune system mistakenly targets and attacks healthy cells, tissues or organs in the body. While the exact cause of autoimmune disorders remains unclear, a combination of genetic and environmental factors is believed to contribute to their development.

Some common autoimmune disorders include:

Immune Thrombocytopenia (ITP): ITP is a condition where the immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys platelets, resulting in a reduced number of platelets in the blood. This can cause excessive bleeding or bruising.

Primary Immunodeficiency: This group of disorders affects the immune system's ability to defend against infections and diseases, making individuals more susceptible to various illnesses.

Autoimmune Thyroid Disease: Conditions such as Graves' disease and Hashimoto's thyroiditis occur when the immune system mistakenly attacks the thyroid gland, leading to hormonal imbalances.

Crohn's Disease: Crohn's disease is an inflammatory bowel disease where the immune system attacks the digestive tract, causing chronic inflammation, abdominal pain and diarrhea.

Atrophic Gastritis: In this autoimmune disorder, the immune system mistakenly attacks the lining of the stomach, causing inflammation and impairing the stomach's ability to produce digestive juices.

The Connection

There is a strong connection between diabetes and autoimmune disorders, particularly type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is considered an autoimmune disease because the body's immune system attacks the beta cells in the pancreas, which are responsible for producing insulin.

Other autoimmune disorders have also been found to be more common in individuals with type 1 diabetes. These may include autoimmune thyroid disorders, celiac disease, rheumatoid arthritis, Addison's disease and more.

Treatment Options for Autoimmune Disorders

The treatment for autoimmune disorders may vary depending on the specific condition and the severity of symptoms. Here are some common treatment options.

  • Medications: Immunosuppressants, corticosteroids and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are often prescribed to manage symptoms and dampen the immune response.
  • Lifestyle modifications: Adopting a healthy lifestyle is vital for managing autoimmune disorders. This includes regular exercise, a balanced diet, stress management techniques and getting enough rest and sleep.
  • PANZYGA: PANZYGA is a medical treatment made from immunoglobulin G (IgG) proteins found in human plasma. It is recommended for patients aged 2 years and above with primary humoral immunodeficiency (PI) and adults with chronic immune thrombocytopenia (cITP).

For individuals with PI, PANZYGA helps replenish deficient antibodies in their system, providing them with the necessary tools to combat infections effectively. In patients with cITP, PANZYGA supports the production of platelets, which are essential for blood clotting and preventing excessive bleeding.

Harmony in Health

In certain conditions like autoimmune disorders, the immune system can become misdirected, attacking healthy cells and causing various health issues.

Understanding the connection between diabetes and the immune system is crucial for managing these complex conditions. Adopting a healthy lifestyle, avoiding trigger foods and following prescribed treatment plans can help individuals with diabetes and autoimmune disorders manage their symptoms and lead a better quality of life. If you suspect that you have any signs or symptoms of diabetes or an autoimmune disorder, it is essential to consult with a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and guidance.