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Cold Agglutinin Disease Print E-mail
by Ron Kennedy, M.D., Santa Rosa, CA

Dr. Kennedy Cold agglutinin disease is an acquired autoimmune hemolytic anemia due to an autoimmune antibody (usually) directed against an antigen on the surface of red blood cells. These autoantibodies (of the IgM variety) usually will not react with cells at 98.6° but only at lower temperatures.

Since the blood temperature (even the hands and feet) rarely goes lower than 68° only antibodies active at higher temperatures than this will produce effects.

In the cooler parts of the body (fingers, nose, ears), the antibodies will cause the red blood cells to stick together briefly. Cell damage results indirectly from attachment of the protein to the cell wall by complex reactions.

Autoimmune disorders are caused when the body's immune system, which is meant to defend the body against bacteria, viruses, and any other foreign product, malfunctions and produces antibodies against healthy tissue, cells and organs.

Most cases of chronic cold agglutinin disease are of undetermined origin. Others occur in association with Waldenström's macroglobulinemia, a malignant lymphoproliferative disease in which a monoclonal IgM paraprotein is produced. Acute post-infectious cold agglutinin disease occurs following mycoplasmal pneumonia or infectious mononucleosis

Conventional treatment involves the use of Prednisone and other corticosteroids. Often patients are unable to tolerate the toxic side effects of these drugs.

The alternative, nutritional medicine approach is to identify hidden allergies by blood test and avoid those allergens (primarily foods). Also enzyme potentiated desensitization holds hope for putting the disease in long term remission.

As with all autoimmune disorders, detoxification and dietary changes are usually helpful. For best results this should be done under the supervision of a doctor experienced in nutritional medicine.

The approach used in homeopathy is to attempt to restore the balance of the system using dilute solutions of natural substances specific to the disorder.



The information in this article is not meant to be medical advice.�Treatment for a medical condition should come at the recommendation of your personal physician.

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