How-To-Test-and-Balance-Secretory-IgA

Tips on How To Test and Balance Secretory IgA Levels

Our body, specifically our digestive system aims to absorb good things such as nutrients from the foods we eat.

Another key part of the digestive system is to prevent toxins, undigested food substances, and pathogens from getting into the bloodstream from the GI tract.

One of the key roles in the protection of our health is Secretory IgA.

Our SIgA levels can tell us a lot on the health issues our body is dealing with. This article is about what low and high SIgA levels mean and what measures to take to balance them and restore your gut health.

What is SIgA?

Secretory IgA (SIgA)  is a type of antibody that protects your body’s mucosal surfaces from disease-causing pathogens and their virulence factors.

The potential entries for “bad guys” like various pathogenic microorganisms and mucosal antigens are:

  • GI tract
  • Urinary tract
  • Vaginal tract
  • Skin
  • Sinuses 
  • Throat  
  • Nose
  • Eyes
  • Ears

In other words, SIgA antibodies are the first-line defense of your vulnerable mucosal surfaces, including intestinal, respiratory, and urogenital mucosal epithelia.

When the danger of foreign substances occurs, our body releases SIgA, which traps pathogenic invaders in the mucosal surfaces and prevents them from spreading.

The Key Functions of SIgA

  • Supporting balance in the microbiome
  • Maintenance of intestinal homeostasis
  • Exclusion of pathogens(undigested food proteins, bacteria, viruses, fungi, toxins, and parasites)
  • Regulation of inflammatory processes

What Causes Low SIgA Levels?

What-makes-your-Secretory-IgA-Low

Many people with  IgA deficiency are asymptomatic. However, as a rule, low SIgA levels are associated with the drained out immune system, adrenal dysfunction, and exhaustion.

The underlying cause of reduced SIgA levels can be absolutely anything. Here are just a few examples when  your SIgA levels are out of whack:

  • Infections of the respiratory tract (tonsillitis, pharyngitis, laryngitis, sinusitis, otitis, certain types of influenza, etc)
  • Chronic gut infections (Candida, Blastocystis Hominis, H.pylori, C.Diff)
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  • Autoimmune manifestations
  • Food sensitivities (loss of oral tolerance)
  • Atopic diseases (eczema, allergic rhinitis, or allergic asthma)
  • Prolonged exposure to toxins
  • Chronic stress and increased Cortisol levels
  • Certain medications (antidepressants, anti-inflammatories, hydrocortisone and steroid medicines)

The most common situation when your SIgA levels get reduced is when you suffer from IBD. Usually, Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s patients have low SIgA levels. 

Nevertheless, to confirm the diagnosis, the best way is G.I Map test. It helps to measure not only biomarkers like SIgA or Calprotectin but detect a large number of pathogens.

What Causes High SIgA Levels?

What-Makes-Your-SIgA-levels-Hig

Elevated SIgA levels are associated with an immune response to infection and inflammation. Increased SIgA concentration can be a sign of infection of the digestive system, in which case G.I Map stool test is recommended. 

High SIgA levels can also indicate chronic viral infections:

  • Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)
  • Cytomegalo virus (CMV)
  • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)

The G.I Map stool testing and blood testing should be done in this case.

Note:

  • SIgA testing can tell how strong or weak your gut-lining is. It will show your ability to fight infections, allergies, and food sensitivities.

  • However, just assessing your SIgA levels won’t reveal the real cause of your health issue. It will only give you clues for further investigation. It is important to consult a functional medicine doctor and to do an advanced stool and blood tests, in order to find out the real causes behind reduced SIgA levels.

How to Boost SIgA Levels?

The three main things that lead to optimal SIgA levels are the right diet, supplements and stress management. 

Anti-Inflammatory Diet

Anti-Inflammatory-Diet

The crucial step to balancing your SIgA levels is an anti-inflammatory diet.

Add to your diet:

  • Fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and sardines (they are all rich in omega-3 fatty acids)
  • Unsaturated fats like olive oil and avocados
  • Leafy greens like spinach, kale, broccoli, and cabbage.
  • Mushrooms rich in Beta-Glucans (reishi, shiitake, and maitake)
  • Spices like Cayenne pepper (don’t abuse this spice and use it with caution)

Eliminate from your diet:

  • Fried foods
  • Processed foods
  • Sugary snacks
  • Soda

Vitamins, Probiotics, and Supplements To Increase Your SIgA

Vitamins-Probiotics-and-Other-Supplements-To-Increase-Your-SIgA

Not everything and in the needed amount you can get from foods. The quality supplements prescribed by a functional doctor will help you fight your disease and balance SIgA levels.

This is the list of the supplements that can normalize your Secretory IgA:

Note: Avoid probiotics, prebiotics, and foods containing histamines, if you have SIBO or a sensitivity to the nightshades. Instead, follow a low FODMAP diet.

Stress Management

 Learn-Stress-Management-Techniques

Cortisol is the main stress hormone that can decrease SIgA levels. Learn new techniques and create stress reduction habits. This will help you improve your SIgA levels and overall health.

The best methods to deal with stress are:

  • Aerobic exercises and yoga 
  • Breathing techniques and meditation
  • Face-to-face conversations with your friends or psychologist

How to Naturally Lower SIgA?

Tips-\on-How-to-Naturally-Lower-SIgA

Elevated SIgA levels mean that your immune system is fighting against Inflammation, certain irritant or infection. For this reason, it is also recommended to follow the anti-inflammatory diet that includes the following supplements:

  • Enzymes between meals
  • Omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA)
  • Aloe Vera

Seed-Probiotics

I use and recommend the Seed probiotic based on the latest research.

To reduce inflammatory damage to tissues and fight the free radical attack, you need: 

  • Antioxidants
  • Minerals (Zinc and Selenium) 

In case you have SIBO, it is important to stick to low histamine and low FODMAP diet or AI Paleo diet.

In addition, you can try 4R Gut Restoration Progra​​​​m, which means Remove, Replace, Repair, and Reinoculate. It effectively helps heal your gut and digestion.

Testing SIgA Levels

Blood test, won't work in this case. It is important not to confuse SIgA and IgA. SIgA is independent of blood IgA levels and, just because one seems to be good, it doesn’t mean the other is good as well. Therefore, blood testing is not a reliable way to asses SIgA levels. 

Usually, SIgA is tested in saliva and the stool. However, the saliva test is also not the best indicator of SIgA levels, as it cannot tell us what’s going on deep inside the digestive system.

I recommend G.I Map stool test to asses your SIgA levels and shed the light on what’s happening inside your digestive system.

Bottomline

  1. 1
    SIgA is the primary defense mechanism activated by B cells in response to the presence of pathogens and allergens.
  2. 2
    Abnormal SigA is an indicator of an immune system issue, enteric infection, bacterial imbalance, and chronic stress.
  3. 3
    The G. I Map stool test is one of the most accurate tests available nowadays to measure Secretory IgA as well as the other biomarkers and pathogenic organisms.
  4. 4
    Correcting Secretory IgA levels can take, around 6-12 months depending on the case. It requires constant monitoring of your health levels and following a well-balanced diet.

About the Author Michael

Michael is head consultant at Planet Naturopath - Functional Medicine and Nutrition Solutions. As Seen

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