Regarding health and autoimmune disease in women and men

It turns out that there is a greatly increased amount of autoimmune disease in women than in men and the timing suggests that it is associated with pregnancy and possibly even with an exchange of bodily fluids. After learning more about the risks I decided celibacy was a good idea as my own autoimmune disease worsened and I had to start avoiding a wider number of foods and food groups. Eating enough variety for health became a problem for me as animal based meats and eggs were causing severe rashes. Skin is better than a lack, and health is more valuable than you realize until you don’t have it.

In other areas of social or culture some believe that procreation within a marital bond is the only reason to have sexual relations -that is not my belief as sexual relations can have mood and pain relief benefits and regular, three times per week, has been associated with increased lifespan, but it might be healthier for women to maintain a long-term bond with one person, as the familiarity of a longer term relationship seems to be associated with less allergy-like intolerance to male or infant DNA. It also would help reduce risk of autoimmune disease developing if both the man and woman are also adequately nourished. Research into autoimmune rates in homosexual relationships is generally not discussed in the medical research that I have seen. One study was performed which found no overall increased rate of autoimmune disease in same sex couples of either gender except for autoimmune thyroid disease. Low hypothyroid problems were more prevalent in lesbians and autoimmune hyperthyroidism was more frequently seen in homosexual men as was psoriasis in homosexual men who also had HIV/AIDS. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10654-013-9869-9

Speculation would lead me straight to the idea that sufficient iodine prenatally and/or less halides prenatally would have been associated with an increased rate of heterosexual adults who didn’t have an increased rate of autoimmune thyroid problems, but that would be speculative. Zinc deficiency can also be a cause of reduced sexual drive or ED in adult men or hypogonadism. https://www.healthline.com/health/erectile-dysfunction/zinc Congenital hypothyroidism can occur in infants born to women with inadequate iodine and diagnosis and early treatment is recommended to prevent a reduced IQ. Asexuality is more associated with congenital hypothyroidism than homosexuality so the prevalence of thyroid disorders later in life may be unrelated to the prenatal environment. Early treatment with the thyroid hormone and/or iodine is recommended to prevent worsening of the infant’s mental and physical health. http://www.slhd.nsw.gov.au/rpa/neonatal/content/pdf/guidelines/thyroid.pdf 

I have found little research available on long term health of infants born with congenital hypothyroidism or on the affects of iodine deficiency on sexuality.

However the allergic response immune system is similar in both genders. I would encourage consenting adults to have adequate vitamin D3 and/or avoid glyphosate prior to attempting the experience of sharing bodily fluids as autoimmune disease can be very unpleasant. Having adequate iodine and not too much halides is healthy for everyone of any gender and any age, it just would be particularly helpful prenatally as it also helps protect the infant from congenital hypothyroidism and may help protect against later risk of the child developing autism.

An unhealthy man can give a woman autoimmune antibodies which may also increase risk of a miscarriage or reduce likelihood that she conceives/gets pregnant.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3337181  Whether sperm antibodies also can cause autoimmune disease in a woman doesn’t seem to be a search engine result, suggesting that getting women pregnant is a larger medical concern currently than helping women stay healthy. The search engine did turn up an alternative article which mentions that antisperm antibodies can be present in the man or woman. In men the antisperm antibodies were more often found in men who had a vasectomy (suggesting that a vasectomy might be less of an ideal birth control method than it seemed prior to learning that – if it gives mom and dad autoimmune disease than a condom is sounding better for the future child – healthy parents may be happier and more productive on average). In men the antisperm antibodies were associated with infertility if they were present on the sperm cell surface but not if only found in sera/fluid. In women they were associated with infertility and an association with antiphospholipid antibodies was also mentioned without mentioning gender: http://www.whitelotusclinic.ca/blog/dr-fiona-nd/natural-treatments-for-autoimmune-infertility-concerns/

Antiphospholipid antibodies are also associated with spontaneous abortion.

Spontaneous abortion (miscarriage) is associated with autoimmune antibodies against the endogenous cannabinoid system  “antiphospholipid antibody (APA)” and thought to be affected by a woman’s lack of the immune tolerance needed to accept the presence of the foreign DNA of the baby. The dendritic cell immune tolerance system is affected by the vitamin D receptor system, and is referred to as “maternofetal immunological tolerance” in the following paper:  https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11684-010-0101-y?no-access=true

Anti-thyroid autoimmune antibodies have also been associated with increased risk for spontaneous abortion. http://www.obgyn.net/pregnancy-and-birth/antithyroid-autoantibodies-unexplained-recurrent-abortion

Providing levothyroxine to women with anti-thyroid autoimmune antibodies has been found to help reduce risk of spontaneous abortion to closer to the average rate for all pregnancies – an overview article of the area of research: https://www.hindawi.com/journals/jtr/2011/841949/

Good news, the rate of teen births has dropped since 2007 after an increase between 2005-2007. The reason is unclear but the article suggests that the downturn in the economy led to fewer unplanned pregnancies in teens – that could be the reason, common sense could have increased on average in teens even while birth control became less available.  See page 5-6: Teenage Pregnancy Prevention: Statistics and Programs
by Carmen Solomon-Fears, Congressional Research Service,
January 15, 2016  https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RS20301.pdf

Men or women can get autoimmune disease and the other underlying cause is a lack of the surface sugar called sialic acid. . https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070721202506.htm

Sialic acid is not something you can just eat more of. It is an electrically active sugar that we have to make internally. It is combined with proteins in compounds known as glycoproteins and they are found on cell and membrane surfaces. The negative electric charge helps repel the cell surface from colliding into the membrane surfaces, an example would be like red blood cells in a blood vessel – the sialic acid is the bumpers on the bumper cars and the plastic cushion on the wall of the bumper car ring at a carnival. In order to make the special sugar and glycoproteins we need to be healthy and well nourished in a variety of ways in order to produce adequate sialic acid. A series of enzymes is involved which would suggest adequate protein and trace minerals are important to be able to produce sialic acid and adequate surface glycoproteins. The series of enzymes includes many of the CYP family of enzymes which may be inhibited by glyphosate which returns us to an earlier point that avoiding glyphosate might be important for supporting fertility. https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/primer/genefamily/cytochromep450

More information about sialic acid, which in more recent history has been renamed neuraminic acid, is available in a previous post on this site. http://transcendingsquare.com/2015/10/07/neuraminic-acid-was-known-first-as-sialic-acid/

An abortion may not be helpful to protect a woman’s health either. Childbirth has been believed to be more of a risk of death than having an abortion but a large study (half a million women) linking medical and death records found that psychological risks may be greater for a woman after abortion, as an increased risk of death was found to be associated with having a history of having had an abortion within a year or thirty year time period. A 180 day time period was also tracked but was not associated with increased mortality rate so a direct medical link to having an abortion was considered unlikely.  http://afterabortion.org/2012/higher-death-rates-after-abortion-found-in-u-s-finland-and-denmark/

Individuals are all different but having worked with many women my personal impression was that having an abortion was very difficult psychologically for some women compared to giving a child up for adoption. The easily confounding factor that was mentioned in the article or in one of the comments by a site author (El) would be that women who have little support or health or substance abuse issues may be also more likely to have an abortion so it is a correlation rather than a causative link. The comments also include the citation for the academic paper: Reardon DC, Coleman PK. Short and long term mortality rates associated with first pregnancy outcome: Population register based study for Denmark 1980-2004. Med Sci Monit 2012;18(9):PH 71 – 76.

/Disclosure: This information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes./

 

Magnesium deficiency can cause irritability, anxiety, and chronic degeneration

Inspirational quote: “Whenever I have a problem I sing, then I realize that my voice is a lot worse than my problem.” (and I feel better about my problem).

And then I take an Epsom salt bath to help treat irritability and the muscle cramps that can result from a magnesium deficiency. Some people may be more at risk for chronic magnesium deficiency due to intestinal malabsorption of the nutrient. Calcium may be preferentially absorbed within the intestines instead of magnesium.

Magnesium deficiency may affect levels of the brain neurotransmitter, acetylcholine, which may cause mood changes if it is not in balance with other more calming neurotransmitters. [Neurotransmitters and mood] The supplement choline is a precursor for acetylcholine and some users have noticed depressive affects with use of a high dose. [Acetylcholine and mood]

Taking the calcium supplements seemed to help reduce the elevated parathyroid hormone level but more recently they have seemed to cause a very rapid increase in muscle cramps and severe irritability. A magnesium bath every morning helped my mood change from rage to feeling like singing. It was kind of incredible to have my mood change so rapidly for reasons that were actually physical events — first I felt extremely angry shortly after swallowing a 100 mg calcium supplement and then I felt joyful after soaking in a bathtub for twenty minutes (soaking forty minutes or more can actually be dangerous because too elevated magnesium blood levels can cause an extreme slowing of the heart rate — don’t try that at home).

I haven’t had a psychiatrist tell me about the risks of magnesium deficiency to the mood or the benefits of an Epsom salt bath for the mood but I can hope, I can share information, and I can enjoy the benefits of Epsom salt baths while I wait. Eventually maybe psychiatry will recognize that the brain is connected to the body and that it is built out of nutrients, not out of pharmaceuticals.

Not surprising: People Reward Angry Men But Punish Angry Women, Study Suggests. Magnesium is effective and inexpensive and proton pump inhibitors are dangerous but patent protected. Get angry because the advice being sold as healthcare at an expensive profit may be causing harm over time. [PPIs and fracture risk, C difficile risk, FDA warning]

There may also be a gender bias regarding creativity, and provision of pain medication. There is also gender inequality in autoimmune disease — the majority of sufferers are female and the length of time between first onset of symptoms and diagnosis can be many years or even decades. Fifty million Americans are estimated to be suffering from some type of autoimmune disease (AD) and 75% of them are estimated to be female for reasons that are not clear at this time. [AARDA, Autoimmune disease in women]

“AARDA-conducted studies reveal a lack of trust in prescribing physicians, very likely fostered by the fact that the average AD patient may see more than four doctors in as many years before receiving a correct diagnosis. Also, more than 40 percent of AD patient report they have been told they were “too concerned about their health” or that they were hypochondriacs.”   –AARDA Launches “3-Second Adherence” Public Service Campaign.

I have been told that my physical symptoms are all psychosomatic so often that I really have no desire to go back  to anyone claiming to provide evidence based medicine. The evidence suggests to me that fifty million people are at risk from a system that doesn’t know what causes their condition or how to help them but who at the same time are willing to make random expensive guesses because after all they are just gambling with the patient’s time, money and long term health not their own.

Maybe eventually more health professionals will succumb to autoimmune illness themselves and then they will be more motivated to find more effective treatments that actually work on the underlying problems of nutrient deficiencies and metabolic imbalances. The body needs to be well nourished in order to make sialic acid for white blood cells to be able to properly identify damaged or improperly labeled cells such as the improperly labeled autoimmune antibodies and then to destroy the defective cells with a magnesium fueled enzymatic death (apoptosis).

I can hope, and I can share, and I can continue to try to take care of my own health.

/Disclosure: This information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes./

 

Neuraminic acid was known first as sialic acid

Neuraminic acid, or sialic acid as it was first called, is a monosaccharide with nine carbons. It has a negative electric charge which gives compounds containing it a negative charge. This is useful for keeping molecules like red blood cells from getting too near to each other. The negative charge on the surface glycoproteins repels the red blood cells from each other or from the walls of blood vessels which also have compounds containing sialic acid.

Mature red blood cells have an active life for about seven days.  White blood cells remove older red blood cells and de-sialylation of the surface proteins is one way the older cells are identified. Cancer cells with the ability to produce excess surface sialyation may have an increased chance to metastasize and turn up somewhere else in the body. [13]

Our bodies need to be healthy and well enough nourished overall to keep the whole system working. The neuraminic acid is produced within our cells from other chemicals in a series of membranous channels called the endoplasmic reticulum and the golgi apparatus. The channels have embedded enzymes along the way somewhat like an assembly line in a factory. We can not just eat more sialic acid in our diet and have it show up on our cell surfaces – we have to be healthy enough and well enough nourished over all in order to be able to manufacture our own supply of sialic acid. All of the different enzymes within the assembly line like system of the endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi apparatus would have to be present and working which would mean trace minerals such as zinc might be essential for producing neuraminic acid/sialic acid.

Therapeutic glycoproteins are being developed and the problem of just the right amount of sialylation is one of the hurdles being studied. [2] In addition to the negative charge sialic acid tends to stabilize and stiffen the protein portion of the glyco-compound.  The proteins that line vessels were described to be somewhat like bottle-brushes; the protein being somewhat like the sturdy wire handle of the brush and with the negatively charged sialic acid acting as bristles that electrically repel other molecules of sialic acid. [1]

/This article was originally posted on 8/21/2013./ /Disclaimer: Information presented on this site is not intended as a substitute for medical care and should not be considered as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment by your physician./

More recent research from the scientists at the University of Zurich, regarding sialic acid, found an association between the presence of autoimmune disease and reduced levels of sialic acid on the individual’s antibodies, which are important for the body’s immune cells to be able to recognize and remove infected or foreign or decaying cells: “Specific Sugar in Antibodies Structure Determines the Risk of Autoimmune Diseases,” Oct. 7, 2015, [molecularbiologynews.org]

References:

  1. S.A. Brooks, M. V. Dwek, U. Schumacher, Functional and Molecular Glycobiology, (BIOS Scientific Publishers, Ltd., 2002), Amazon.
  2. Bork K, Horstkorte R, Weidemann W., “Increasing the sialylation of therapeutic glycoproteins: the potential of the sialic acid biosynthetic pathway.” J Pharm Sci. 2009 Oct;98(10):3499-508. doi: 10.1002/jps.21684.  [ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
  3. R. T. Almaraz, et. al., “Metabolic Flux Increases Glycoprotein Sialylation: Implications for Cell Adhesion and Cancer Metastasis.” Mol Cell Proteomics. 2012 July; 11(7): M112.017558. Published online 2012 March 28. doi:  10.1074/mcp.M112.017558 [ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]