obesity cidp

Is There a Link Between CIDP and Obesity?

A high calorie diet and higher obesity in the body seems to be associated with a higher risk of autoimmune chronic inflammatory diseases like CIDP.

By Shiraz Abbas

Autoimmune diseases like CIDP (Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy) are disorders characterized by the immune system attacking its own body, treating it like an invading pathogen. Unfortunately, up to 20% of world population can be affected by autoimmune diseases. The United States has a similar rate of autoimmune diseases, around 75% of those affected are women.

In the last few generations, autoimmune diseases have skyrocketed and CIDP is no exception. The rate of people affected by CIDP has risen up to 3.6 million people.

There are multiple reasons as to why autoimmune diseases like CIDP are rising, but according to researchers, one major culprit seems to be obesity. Obesity in the body seems to break down its natural protective barriers against immune function.

In a recent study, the following is a conclusion made by Israeli researchers:

Prof. Shoenfeld and his team from Tel Hashomer hospital conducted a systematic review of 329 studies from around the world on the relationship between obesity, adipokines (compounds secreted by fat tissue and involved in numerous physiological functions, including the immune response), and immune-related conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, type-1 diabetes, psoriasis, inflammatory bowel disease, psoriatic arthritis, and Hashimoto thyroiditis.

“According to our study and the clinical and experimental data reviewed, the involvement of adipokines in the pathogenesis of these autoimmune diseases is clear,” said Prof. Shoenfeld. “We were able to detail the metabolic and immunological activities of the main adipokines featured in the development and prognosis of several immune-related conditions.”

Adipokine is a substance that is secreted by fat in the body. Too much adipokine has been associated with autoimmune chronic inflammatory diseases.

A 2011 study makes the following remarks:

Accumulating evidence indicates that obesity causes chronic low-grade inflammation and that this contributes to systemic metabolic dysfunction that is associated with obesity-linked disorders. Adipose tissue functions as a key endocrine organ by releasing multiple bioactive substances, known as adipose-derived secreted factors or adipokines, that have pro-inflammatory or anti-inflammatory activities. Dysregulated production or secretion of these adipokines owing to adipose tissue dysfunction can contribute to the pathogenesis of obesity-linked complications. In this Review, we focus on the role of adipokines in inflammatory responses and discuss their potential as regulators of metabolic function.

A 2016 study showed that the more a person restricted his/her calorie intake (and hence lowered his/her obesity) meant that the person suffered from less inflammation in the body. Check this out:

In calorie restriction and starvation, proinflammatory adipokines decline and anti-inflammatory adipokines increase, which informs the host of energy deficits and contributes to the suppression of immune function. In individuals with normal metabolic status, there is a balance of pro- and anti-inflammatory adipokines. This balance shifts to favor proinflammatory mediators as adipose tissue expands during the development of obesity.

So eating less and losing weight seems to be associated with lower inflammation in the body. What does this mean? Does it mean that if you eat health and get skinny you can cure yourself of CIDP? No, but it does mean that restricting calories and losing weight may be associated with less inflammation in your body, therefore less pain.

Shiraz Abbas is the founder and manager of the CIDP Neuropathy Support Group. He is also one of the main community educators of IVIG therapy. He resides in Fresno, California. Shiraz can be contacted through our free CIDP advice service at 1-855-782-0574.


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