I’ve been searching through the archives and I don’t see any discussions of the role our microbiome plays in the autoimmune disease we all share. (For those who are not familiar with the term, microbiome refers to the mix of bacteria in our gut that is largely responsible for our digestive health, and possibly primary influence over the immune system – for both good and bad).
The microbiome is a subject I have found fascinating for a few years now. My fascination started with a fun fact I read in a New York Times article: that 90% of the cells in our bodies are not human! Yes, you are more bacteria than you are you, to the tune of 100 trillion microbes vs. 10 trillion human cells. (Since the microbes are so much smaller than human cells, they comprise only a few pounds out of your total body weight).
The latest book I read on this subject is called “Brain Maker,” by Dr. David Perlmutter. After going into great detail about the science, he discusses dietary changes that can supercharge your immune system. Beyond diet, he discusses the remarkable results people with debilitating nervous disorders have achieved with FMT (Fecal Microbiota Transplantation). This process can “reset” a sick microbiome by introducing “good” bacteria from a healthy donor.
In addition to having CIDP, I have had digestive issues for years and I can’t help but think the two are related. My medical group is at the UCLA main campus and these are very fine physicians, but my neurologist doesn’t seem to have any interest in talking to my gastroenterologist about my condition – and vice versa. Rather than treating a system, they seem only directed toward their specialty.
I’d be very interested in hearing from other members of this forum about any of the above – particularly, if you have any gastroenterology issues that could conceivably be associated with your autoimmune disease.