Obesity and Autoimmune Diseases
Obesity has been linked to almost a dozen autoimmune diseases. A substance secreted in body fat may be responsible for a toxic autoimmune response in your body.
By Shiraz Abbas
Autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis or CIDP neuropathy are diseases where the body’s immune system attacks itself rather than foreign agents. Autoimmune diseases affect 5-20% of the world population. A new study shows the important role that obesity plays in bringing about and extending autoimmune diseases.
According to this study, obesity leads to the deterioration of the body’s tolerance to its own self and thus creates an environment that is inclined towards inflammation. This not only leads to higher chances of cancer, but also worsens autoimmune diseases and makes treatment more difficult.
Around 35% of the world population is overweight or obese and there are about ten known autoimmune diseases that are associated with weight gain. As research goes on, it may be that more autoimmune diseases like CIDP neuropathy will be associated with obesity.
So what is it about being overweight or obese that contributes to the progression or triggering of autoimmune diseases? The study finds that adipokines – a substance that is secreted by fat – triggers autoimmune responses like RA, MS, type-1 diabetes, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease and more.
People who have autoimmune diseases like CIDP neuropathy should watch their weight as it can possibly contribute to the length and progression of their disease.
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.