Candida Testing & SIgA
Greetings. It’s Eric Bakker, naturopath from New Zealand, author of Candida Crusher and formulator of the Canxida range of supplements. Thanks for checking out my video. We’re going to keep going with our series on stool testing. We’re going to talk a little bit about secretory IgA or SIgA and comprehensive stool testing. I’m going to explain a little bit about what this means, how to interpret it, to give you a good overall picture of what SIgA really means.
Secretory IgA is exactly what it says. It’s a secretory immunoglobulin. They’re essentially different kinds of antibodies that really reside in our body. Many of them are produced in the bloodstream and IgA is no different. There is IgG, IgE, IgM. There are all kinds of antibodies. Some of these antibodies are produced in the saliva, predominantly. Others in the tears. Others in the breast milk. Others in the blood. Secretory IgA is made in the blood. About two to three grams per day is actually made in the mucosa secretions lining the digestive system predominantly.
Anywhere there is mucous, you will find secretory IgA. In the nose, in the eyes, ear, nose or throat, in the urethra, anywhere in the digestive tract, the vaginal tract, all these areas are coated with mucous secretions and there you’ll find this antibody ready to do its job. To bind to pathogens. To bind to yeast and bacteria. To bind to pollens and viruses and things like that. To help eliminate this rubbish from the body. When we find this marker elevated or depressed, it has quite a significant effect on the body or the immune system in general. I’m just going to read a little bit out of my book, Candida Crusher, to explain a bit more about secretory IgA.
The main role of secretory IgA is to defend the surfaces of the digestive system and other systems coated in mucous and to prevent these potential toxic substances from binding to cell surfaces and becoming absorbed by cells lining the mouth, throat, lungs, urethra, vagina and intestines and invading the body. SIgA has the ability to cling or adhere to these foreign substances and neutralize them, along with their toxins, which may be released and absorbed by the cells. And help to remove these foreigners by ensuring that they get excreted out of the body in the stool.
What does it mean when we get low secretory IgA? I predominantly see low levels in people that are chronically unwell. Occasionally, we see very high levels as well. Low SIgA can signify that there is a progressive or underlying developing food allergy occurring. And if levels remain low or borderline, you will find that it can take a long time for the body to heal or repair a leaky gut. You can find this sometimes with people who consume one particular food that’s causing an allergy. This allergic response can really jam up IgA because it will get produced in large amounts to bind to the potential allergen, which is usually a protein, and then get taken out of the body. If the person keeps eating this food every single day, IgA will initially become elevated and then depressed. But we also see low IgA if a person had an ongoing long term bacterial infection, viral infection or fungal infection.
When a patient has consistently low SIgA in the stool or saliva, it tells me why she can’t get on top of her chronic yeast infection or food allergy. But it can also reveal the immune system is having a hard time coping and it can reflect in poor recovery from psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, or any other kind of underlying autoimmune condition. Sometimes a very low IgA can lead me to get the patient’s blood tested for inflammatory markers. For example, rheumatoid factor or other kinds of antibodies in the blood, which may show an autoimmune disease.
It is important and intelligent to fix the digestive system when it comes to the immune system. More important than worrying about rubbing coal tar on somebody with psoriasis or giving steroids to people with pain in the body or giving antibiotics to people who are currently sick. Because these things are pretty dumb. They’re not really going to help improve the immune system. They’re only going to help suppress the symptoms.
SIgA, which is persistently low and remains low for years, can eventually result in some of the most severe cases of systemic Candida I’ve ever seen. And also increase the likelihood of a patient plunging into an autoimmune condition. At this point, the mucosal surfaces are effective barriers and that can be very significant for you. Because it can mean that you’re leaving yourself wide open for all kinds of problems. A person with chronic Candida will need to get their SIgA levels up and this is often the key when it comes to healing the gut. And not only healing the gut, but improving your life in general.
I always try to establish why a person’s SIgA levels are low and remain low. It could be as simple as one food a person is routinely eating is challenging their body. And for this reason, check out my videos on the low allergy component of the Candida Crusher diet and why I talk about low allergy as being a very important part of recovery from a chronic yeast infection. It’s not just important to take the foods out of the diet that help to stimulate the production of Candida, but it’s also very important to take foods out of the diet that potentially challenge your immune system. That way you’re not swimming against the tide. By taking these potentially allergenic foods out, you’re allowing your immunity to deal with the pathogens like the bad bacteria and the yeasts. It makes sense, doesn’t it?
If you’ve got a chronic low level, it’s worth checking out where the leaks in the body are. And this could be like a diseased tooth. You have a root canal on a sick tooth, for example. You could have a kidney stone. It could be nidus of infection. You could have a diseased ileocecal valve, so the valve connecting the small and large intestine have a bit of bacteria living around there. Sometimes there will be a little infection somewhere in the body that’s causing a low grade, smoldering kind of effect, draining the immune system sometimes for years on end and it will remain undetected.
Let’s look at some of the key causes of low IgA. High antigenic load. We’ve just spoken about that. A high load of circulating antibodies from food allergies can significantly depress secretory IgA. Even in people who don’t really have many overt symptoms of food allergies. Check carefully for leaky gut syndrome and be sure to follow my low allergy diet. Look at the video I’ve done on low allergy diets or read some of my articles.
Certain pharmaceutical drugs. A little known fact is that certain drugs can induce a temporary IgA deficiency. It will generally result after the drug is withdrawn. This can include many different kinds of anti-inflammatory drugs. Also drugs like sulfasalazine that are commonly used for inflammatory bowel disease. Cyclosporine, which is a chemotherapy drug. Gold. Less frequently used now, but often used for rheumatoid arthritis. Diclofenac used for pain, inflammation. Sodium valproate, which is an epileptic drug. Captopril, which is a drug used to lower blood pressure. If you’re taking a pharmaceutical drug and you’ve got low IgA, make sure you do some searches on Google to see if there’s any link.
Certain viral infections. Viral infections, congenital rubella infection, Epstein Barre virus, Coxsackie virus. There are many different kinds of viruses that can stay in the body and just keep depleting that IgA continually. Very hard to get on top of a Candida infection if you’ve got a low grade viral infection.
I’m always on the lookout to see if a person has yeast infections or had them in the past. People also with herpes viruses can be prone to recurring low IgA levels. Poor nutritional status. A person with nutritional deficiencies can have difficulty mounting a proper immune response, particular zinc, vitamin C, iron and folate. These are some of the key deficiencies. For that reason, I recommend a multi-vitamin. I’m currently developing a multi-vitamin specifically for SIBO and Candida patients, and it’s going to be called Canxida Rebuild to compliment my Canxida Remove and Canxida Restore, so be on the lookout for Canxida Rebuild. It will have particularly good levels of the nutrients that you require to mount a good immune response.
Inflammatory bowel disease. You may have seen my video on inflammation and stool testing. Be sure to check out that one. I talk about calprotectin, lysozyme and different markers like that, so be sure to watch that one. If you’ve got inflammation in the body, that can also help to depress IgA levels.
Stress. Low levels of IgA are often found in people with high levels of cortisol or low levels of cortisol made by the adrenal gland. This can have a very suppressing effect on the immune system. In fact, what we’ve even discovered with repeated alarm phase or strong sympathetic stress responses, it can even initiate white blood cell death. You can have a significantly depressed immune system if you’re in the alarm phase all the time or suffer a lot from acute stress. Never underestimate stress when it comes to a poor immune response.
And high IgA levels. High IgA levels we see much less frequently. An elevate IgA along with an elevated lysozyme, calprotectin and Lactoferrin, which are inflammatory markers, will tell you that there is an inflammatory bowel disease going on with the patient. So at this point, if you’ve got high inflammation showing in the stool and low IgA, it’s time to go to the gastroenterologist for a colonoscopy.
I’ve noticed that patients with markedly elevated secretory IgA levels are ill and sometimes can be really sick patients. An upregulated immune system response can create many different problems and scenarios and affect countless systems of the body. Microbial and microscopic studies of the stool are useful in identifying bacteria, Candida or parasites. Particularly to see if they’re underpinning any of this strong inflammation. It’s also important to remember that elevated IgA can be found in the absence of bacteria, Candida and parasites and people with atopic conditions like strong food allergies.
I hope that gives you a bit of an insight into IgA and some of the reasons why it can be depressed or elevated. Consider stool testing. Very important test to do. Please check out my yeastinfection.org website. There are a lot of articles on that site. And don’t forget to do my quiz. It’s the world’s best quiz to determine if you’ve got mild, moderate or severe Candida. Please subscribe to my YouTube channel and don’t forget to check out Canxida.com where some of the world’s best supplements relating to SIBO and Candida yeast infections.
Thanks for tuning in.