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GlutenFreeAustinite

Immune System Issues

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So I've been gluten-free for a year and a half, but have been on gluten for the past month of so as part of a diagnosis trial. In January, I noticed a boil on the lower part of my right leg that never fully healed, and resisted two courses of doxycycline. I saw a dermatologist this week, and she biopsied/cultured it, and barring anything that comes back on the culture/surface test, she thinks it's an atypical mycobacterial infection. She says she sees these infections about once a year (so fairly infrequently) and that they take some time to cure. I did some of my own research (a semi-dangerous idea) and what little resources out there told me that it usually crops up in people who have AIDS or have a compromised immune system in general. I don't have AIDS, so is it reasonable for me to speculate that I may have some sort of immune system problem? I've always been highly prone to infections...for example, when my friends and I go tubing, I ALWAYS end up with eye and ear infections, and if a bug goes around, I usually get it. The one backpacking trip I've been on, the entire group was fine and I contracted staph.

Anyway, any thoughts? What sort of foods/supplements do you guys recommend to boost immune systems? Thanks!

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So I've been gluten-free for a year and a half, but have been on gluten for the past month of so as part of a diagnosis trial. In January, I noticed a boil on the lower part of my right leg that never fully healed, and resisted two courses of doxycycline. I saw a dermatologist this week, and she biopsied/cultured it, and barring anything that comes back on the culture/surface test, she thinks it's an atypical mycobacterial infection. She says she sees these infections about once a year (so fairly infrequently) and that they take some time to cure. I did some of my own research (a semi-dangerous idea) and what little resources out there told me that it usually crops up in people who have AIDS or have a compromised immune system in general. I don't have AIDS, so is it reasonable for me to speculate that I may have some sort of immune system problem? I've always been highly prone to infections...for example, when my friends and I go tubing, I ALWAYS end up with eye and ear infections, and if a bug goes around, I usually get it. The one backpacking trip I've been on, the entire group was fine and I contracted staph.

Anyway, any thoughts? What sort of foods/supplements do you guys recommend to boost immune systems? Thanks!

Sounds like you just need a GLUTEN FREE diet.... I hope your Dermatologist also did a biopsy for DH... I had many boil like pimples that lasted for months before healing... That all went away with a strick gluten-free diet...

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Problem was, I was gluten-free when it developed, so I don't think that's it. I was gluten-free until about three weeks ago, when I started eating gluten as part of a test. I haven't noticed any real change in it from when I was gluten free.

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I agree with the above. You couldn't pay me to go back to eating gluten. I really believe that it is poison to all but a very few people.

I had NO immunity for 30 years. Since going gluten-free, I have had exactly ONE minor viral thing in 14 months!

I can't say if your boil is related, but when your immune system is occupied with attacking your villi, it apparently can't be bothered to fight off silly things like germs!

I wouldn't say celiac makes your immune system weak necessarily, but it definitely makes it "distracted"!

Supplements may be of little use to you if gluten is the problem. You likely don't need to strengthen your immune system, you just need to keep it focused.

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Problem was, I was gluten-free when it developed, so I don't think that's it. I was gluten-free until about three weeks ago, when I started eating gluten as part of a test. I haven't noticed any real change in it from when I was gluten free.

Define Gluten Free??? It took many months of eating gluten-free for my body to stop reacting to Gluten...

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... I don't have AIDS, so is it reasonable for me to speculate that I may have some sort of immune system problem? I've always been highly prone to infections...for example, when my friends and I go tubing, I ALWAYS end up with eye and ear infections, and if a bug goes around, I usually get it. The one backpacking trip I've been on, the entire group was fine and I contracted staph.

Anyway, any thoughts? What sort of foods/supplements do you guys recommend to boost immune systems? Thanks!

You do have an immune system problem, celiac is an autoimmune disease. I was the opposite. I rarely got sick while everyone around me got flu, colds, etc. I also had pretty severe hayfever. I think that was because my immune system was in overdrive, ready to pounce on anything that came around full force, all the time. Due to being on-guard against gluten constantly. My hayfever subside greatly after going gluten-free. Other people have reported situations similar to yours, they got sick more often than others. The ideas they seem to go with is their immune systems were worn out or too busy fighting gluten to defend them against other invaders. Then there is the IgA deficient celiac crowd, who just don't really make IgA antibodies. IgA deficiency is not uncommon among celiacs, but is not the rule either. Those good folks are missing a whole set of antibodies that other people's bodies make. So there are lots of possibilities for immune system issues.

Hmm, Can't think of any immune boosters the moment. I am usually looking more towards something the opposite. If I think of any I will post later. Unless someone beats me to it, which they usually do. :)

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My family rarely gets sick (5 kids - me and my husband). We are big into Sambucol. We use it (the extract) every time someone starts to get the sniffles. The only person in my family who gets sick is my husband because he doesn't "believe in that stuff!!!" I make smoothies for the kids a few times a week full of fruits and veggies (great immune booster). I also increase our vitamin D intake (pills) during cold/flu season.

When someone does get sick, I make a big pot of chicken noodle soup (lots of chicken broth) full of garlic, ginger, and tumeric.

These are all natural immune boosters. I will add that I am VERY new to the whole gluten free thing (actually haven't gone gluten free yet . . . waiting on a biopsy). I did check Sambucol, and it is gluten free.

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Yeah, interestingly enough though, my dermatologist said that typically celiac patients don't have problems with these sort of infections, and my nurse practitioner said my immune system was fine. Could it just be something the doctors wouldn't think to look for?

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So I've been gluten-free for a year and a half, but have been on gluten for the past month of so as part of a diagnosis trial. In January, I noticed a boil on the lower part of my right leg that never fully healed, and resisted two courses of doxycycline. I saw a dermatologist this week, and she biopsied/cultured it, and barring anything that comes back on the culture/surface test, she thinks it's an atypical mycobacterial infection. She says she sees these infections about once a year (so fairly infrequently) and that they take some time to cure. I did some of my own research (a semi-dangerous idea) and what little resources out there told me that it usually crops up in people who have AIDS or have a compromised immune system in general. I don't have AIDS, so is it reasonable for me to speculate that I may have some sort of immune system problem? I've always been highly prone to infections...for example, when my friends and I go tubing, I ALWAYS end up with eye and ear infections, and if a bug goes around, I usually get it. The one backpacking trip I've been on, the entire group was fine and I contracted staph.

Anyway, any thoughts? What sort of foods/supplements do you guys recommend to boost immune systems? Thanks!

Okay, I'm going to clarify this for you so you don't have to worry so much. Atypical Mycobacterial infection as a general term just means non-Tuberculosis Mycobacteria. You have probably heard of Tuberculosis, well, the full name for the bacteria that causes TB, both genus and species is: Mycobacterium tuberculosis. M. bovis can also cause TB. However, atypical Mycobacterium do not cause TB. There are a few species that may cause tuberculosis-like disease, but this is rare, and only occurs in the severely immunocompromised***.

It must be understood, however, that there are many different types of Mycobacteria species out there, most of which are harmless and ubiquitous in the soil and environment. Sometimes, healthy individuals can contract a type of skin lesion if opportunistic conditions arise; for example, Mycobacterium fortuitum is classically associated with skin lesions in a condition called furunculosis. There is a case study from back about 10 or so years ago where there was an outbreak from foot baths at a nail salon in California. So it happens, and does not necessarily indicate any fault in one's immune system.

Furthermore, atypical mycobacterial infections in AIDS patients is something completely different! It is referring to MAC (Mycobacterium avium complex) which may cause a severe intestinal and sometimes systemic disease in severely immunocompromised individuals, specifically those with extremely weak cell mediated immunity & critically low CD4 count. This specific type of "weakened immunity" is associated with strong immunosupression - ***long-term immunosupressant medication therapy, late stage AIDS, severe and protracted infection, genetic defects in cellular immunity, immune cancers, and chemotherapy.

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That is definitely good to know! Thank you! Given my history of infections, I'm thinking I'll explore the immune system stuff a bit more, but I'm glad to know that the mycobacteria isn't gonna give me a nasty pulmonary disease. :P

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