Damage to the inner lining of blood vessels results in an increase in the permeability of the vessel walls. This has been linked to the development of autoimmune diseases. There are over 150 recognized autoimmune diseases. Here is just a short list.
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Hashimotos Hypothyroidism
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Restless Leg Syndrome
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Ulcerative Colitis
So why would a freer flow of fluids through vessel walls potentially lead to an autoimmune disease? Well, there is one thing that has to happen in order for any autoimmune disease to ever develop. Body tissues that should never be found in the bloodstream have to find their way into it. Why? Because autoimmune diseases occur when the body makes antibodies to your own cells, tissues and organs. This can only happen if cells from those tissues end up in the bloodstream. Because antibodies are produced only by white blood cells found in the bloodstream. If you ask a doctor what caused your, fibromyalgia for example, she or he will tell you they don’t know. That’s because it remains a medical mystery. Research, however, is pointing more and more to a damaged vascular system.
Now there is one more reason a damaged glycocalyx may lead to autoimmune disease. In the beginning of this webinar, I mentioned a marvelous molecule called Factor H. Factor H, as it turns out, is found in a healthy glycocalyx. And one of its functions is to inhibit autoimmune activity. You need to understand that some autoimmune activity is actually appropriate physiological behavior when it’s control. You see the body does need to destroy some of its own cells sometimes. For example, old or damaged cells do need to be destroyed. The problem is that when autoimmune activity is unchecked and out of control, healthy cells are destroyed and diseases set in. If the glycocalyx is damaged and there are fewer or no Factor H molecules and no inhibition to autoimmune activity, that is exactly what can occur. The sad thing is that if you go to the doctor with some debilitating symptoms and you are diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, there’s no way your doctor can tell why you developed the disease. He or she cannot go back in time and see inside your body and see a damaged glycocalyx allowing tissues into the bloodstream that shouldn’t be there and resulting in antibody formation. So they put you on drugs to try and just manage the symptoms whether those symptoms be pain or bleeding from the rectum or cancer. And yes, most cancers are now known to be autoimmune in nature. The problem with this scenario is that drugs don’t fix the underlying damage to the glycocalyx. In fact, they often make it worse. So the result is that once you have developed one autoimmune disease, you are very susceptible to developing more. I have patients with as many as 4 or 5 autoimmune diseases. It’s a terrible travesty.
Repairing the glycocalyx is the best way to maintain your front-line defense against the development of autoimmune diseases.