Testing Your Gut Part 1: Saliva Test

Photo from amherstpediatrics.net

Each of us has a remarkable immune paint that coats the surface of the gut barrier so foreign substances cannot enter. This remarkable paint is secretory immunoglobulin A (IgA).  Secretory IgA is the most abundant class of antibodies found in the intestines of humans.  This immune paint exists on all body surfaces that come into direct contact with the outside world from your nose to your anus, your tear ducts and nipples to the tube you pee out of.  Secretory IgA is an amazing protection; it is our first line of defense.

Its’ defense is against viruses, parasites, bacteria and fungus.  This barrier paint also protects against toxins such as heavy metals (mercury, lead, etc.) and unwanted chemicals like pesticides and herbicides.  Secretory IgA and mucous creates a protective slime that sticks to the gut lining and creates a wall of protection.

So why does this matter, and what can you do about this?

Well you need a health professional who knows about this immune paint, also known as a marker. That could be your doctor, a physician assistant or nurse practitioner. They can order a simple saliva test that you collect in the comfort of your own home.  This test will reveal if your immune paint is working or not. If it is not you are susceptible to infection.

To fix this issue I prescribe a pill or powder used in the medical community, known as L-Glutamine that will restore your immune paint over time.  I prefer the powder because the body has less stress in absorbing a powder.  It will take at minimum 3 months to fix this issue.

It is rare that an individual has an adequate secretory IgA level in today’s high stress society.   If you have lower levels it could be related to high stress in your life, a disruption in your sleep wake cycles and the presence of food allergies. Because it is so rare to have enough of the secretory IgA in your body it is more important now than ever that people know about this test and ask for it!

Tune in next week for part two of the “Testing Your Gut” miniseries!

To your health,

Dr. Dana


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