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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Is IgA deficiency preventable?

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  • 2


    Joanna Sochan

    Naturopath, Nutritionist, Western Herbal Medicine Practitioner

    Joanna is a Natural Medicine Practitioner (Naturopath, Herbalist and Nutritionist) who offers an integrative and holistic approach to health and wellbeing. She applies a number … View Profile

    Thank you for your question on IgA deficiency which I consider to be a very important albeit less known factor in our overall health and particularly for the digestive health. This is also a topic of interest to me as a natural therapist treating digestive complains and conditions. I have written an article covering many aspects of IgA and how it works in the body. It's too long to use it here but you are welcome to follow the link and read it.

    Medical research suggests that sIgA (secretory IgA) deficiency can be the result of genetics i.e. it is an inherited disease that is passed from parent to child. People can also have a partial sIgA deficiency which isn’t genetic and is caused by environmental or lifestyle factors such as poor diets, nutrient deficiencies, certain drugs (including anti-inflammatories), viruses, impaired immune function and excessive stress.

    How to increase sIgA
    Conventional medicine doesn’t offer any particular treatment or prevention strategies, however, there is much you can do following naturopathic recommendations below:

    • Embark on a comprehensive gut treatment to repair and seal the gut wall involving correcting gut flora imbalances, decreasing inflammation, and restoring gut wall integrity.
    • Eliminate food allergies and intestinal parasites.
    • Enhance the immune function.
    • Exercise and reduce stress. Stress is particularly detrimental to sIgA and stressful events tend to worsen GIT function and food allergies in vast majority of people. Lower levels are found in those with excessive cortisol production which correlates with increased stress levels, so decreasing stress may lead to higher sIgA levels.
    • Helpful supplements could include glutamine for gut wall repair, fish oils for inflammation, probiotics, fermented foods and fibre.

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