An introduction to Peptide Therapy and Immune Function

Many people suffer from autoimmune diseases and weak immune systems, yet awareness of the methods available to combat these diseases is lacking in most conventional medical practices. 

Peptide therapy has shown to be successful in treating and preventing autoimmune disorders and aiding immune function. Studies show peptides increase your body’s natural function and improve your overall health. 

In our many years in functional medicine, we have always prioritized finding the latest and proven treatments to help our patients. Therefore, we are excited to add peptide therapy to our immune and autoimmune protocols.

What are Peptides?

Peptides are short chains of amino acids that serve as the building blocks of proteins. Compounds with less than 50 amino acids are peptides, and those with more than 100 are proteins. Peptides are essential to many biological processes, including cell signaling, metabolism, and growth. 

In our bodies there are over 7,000 known peptides that influence many different bodily functions ranging from tissue and muscle repair, hormone production, immune modulation, cognitive health, weight loss, inflammation reduction, DNA repair and more.

Production of peptides in your body slows as you age. Peptide therapy increases specific peptides to provide positive and noticable changes in some patients.

Benefits of Peptide Therapy May Include:

  • Boosts cognitive function and memory 
  • Increases energy and strength
  • Accelerate healing processes 
  • Boosts hormone levels
  • Decreases pain and inflammation
  • Increases libido
  • Improves sleep
  • Boosts immune function 
  • Reduce signs of aging 

The Immune System and AutoImmune Disease

Your immune system is responsible for defending your body against illness and disease. It identifies foreign intruders and triggers an innate immune response to fight them off. An autoimmune disease occurs when the immune system attacks healthy cells instead of attacking the unwanted invaders. 

There are many factors to consider that may cause autoimmune disorders, like genetic predisposition, intestinal permeability or immune dysregulation, and environmental triggers. These factors are known as the Autoimmune Triad. The triad helps to narrow down what is causing your immune system to get confused and attack your own tissues, and how to stop from attacking healthy tissues and reverse your condition.

Restoring Optimal Immune Function

Peptides help your body fight off external factors on the immune system. Studies show peptides have the capability of functioning as immunomodulating agents. Those with an autoimmune condition have an overly stressed immune system, which causes it to attack the body’s tissues overzealously. The conventional approach to these conditions is to suppress immune function to stop the attack; however, this can leave the person vulnerable to infection. In functional medicine, our goal is to restore optimal and balanced immune function; that way, the immune system can still protect you from disease without attacking your body – peptide therapy may help to do that.

Treating Autoimmune Disease With Peptide Therapy

If you suffer from an autoimmune disorder, you know that managing your symptoms can be a challenge. You may have tried various treatments, but peptide therapy may be an option worth considering.

Peptide therapy for autoimmune disease works to balance the immune system through the thymus gland. This gland produces the hormone that stimulates disease-fighting T cells. By balancing the inflammatory response with peptides, peptide therapy can help balance the immune response in your body.

When your thymus gland works appropriately, it can help reduce the symptoms of an autoimmune disease by no longer producing the specific antibodies attacking your body. 

Types of Peptides Used:

Autoimmune conditions can produce a multitude of symptoms. Peptide therapy is customizable based on your specific symptoms and what causes them. Here are the most common and studied peptides used in treatment:

  • BPC 157: We know that many autoimmune conditions can manifest from an unhealthy gut. BPC 157 may promote protection of the GI system and tissue healing. 
  • KPV: Studies show that KPV is immunomodulating and it may expedite wound healing, reduce infection, and fight off inflammation.
  • THYMOSIN ALPHA-1 is a powerful peptide that enhances the body’s T cells that aid in fighting off infection. It has also shown to help reduce fatigue and body aches from autoimmune disease.
  • THYMOSIN BETA-4 is known to stimulate the production of T cells and encourage tissue repair. It does this by promoting the production of new blood cells to aid in repair.

To learn more about the benefits of these specific peptides, download our free Peptide Therapy Handbook.

What Are the Side Effects and When Can I See Results?

Since your body naturally produces peptides, peptide therapy has minimal side effects. However, there are a few possible reactions like itching and/or erythema at the injection site, headaches, peripheral edema, anxiety, mood changes, and nausea. 

Peptide therapies can take up to 3-6 months before the full effects are felt or noticed by the patient, but with continual care are proven to yield long-lasting results. 

The functional medicine approach to autoimmune disease focuses on the root cause of the symptoms and disease. When you determine the cause of the symptoms, you can better manage those symptoms.

“After almost a decade of chronic illness, pain and autoimmune issues that should have been under control given my constant care under specialists and physicians alike, nothing ever resolved nor helped and my quality of life was extremely poor. That all changed after seeing Dr. Osgood. Functional medicine SAVED my life.” – Amanda

Undergoing treatment with peptide therapy should always be combined with a plan to make healthy changes in your lifestyle, like diet and exercise. Therefore, we combine our therapies with our Adaptation Program because we believe a healthy lifestyle along with the right testing  is the key to optimizing your health. This combination allows us to analyze all the puzzle pieces, like your gut health, hormones levels, inflammation, and potential infections.  

What is the Adaptation Program?

At Grassroots, we have extensive experience working with complex patient concerns and restoring adaptation responses. In this program, you can access our expert functional medicine doctor, nutritionist/lifestyle coach, and clinical care coordinator.

Our Adaptation Program includes the appropriate lab testing, lifestyle and mindset coaching, nutrition, and supplementation to best help you. This program addresses the seven pillars of YOUR health, which include:

  • Gut health
  • Detoxification
  • Nutrition
  • Mitochondrial function
  • Stress and hormones
  • Inflammation and infections
  • Lifestyle and environment

If you are considering peptide therapy, we suggest working with a qualified and experienced provider who can help you determine the right therapy for you. For additional information regarding specific peptide benefits, treatments, and side effects at Grassroots Functional Medicine, visit our Peptide Therapy page, then apply for our  FREE discovery call!

About the Author: Dr. Seth Osgood is a Doctor of Nursing Practice, Board Certified Family Nurse Practitioner and Institute of Functional Medicine (IFM) Certified Practitioner.

Dr. Osgood received his post-graduate training in Functional Medicine through the IFM and from working with Dr. Amy Myers. He has helped people from around the world improve their health utilizing a Functional Medicine approach.

Want to work with Dr. Osgood and the GrassRoots team? Become a patient in our West Lebanon, New Hampshire Functional Medicine clinic, our Burlington, Vermont Functional Medicine clinic, or our Austin, Texas Functional Medicine clinic!

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