Imagine your immune system as a security team. Their job is to maintain order and respond to any disturbances. Normally, when there’s a small disturbance a few guards are sent to handle it. These guards are trained to manage the situation calmly and efficiently, and they resolve the issue without causing much disruption.
Cytokines are the security guards of your immune system. In response to an infection, they recognise the culprit and initiate the inflammatory response to deal with it. Cytokines are proteins which display a range of functions including cell signaling. There are two types: pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory. Pro-inflammatory cytokines are involved in triggering or exacerbating inflammation to fight infections and generally help coordinate the immune response. In contrast, anti-inflammatory cytokines function to regulate and reduce the inflammatory response; uncontrolled inflammation can damage cells and tissues, so regulation is essential.
Cytokine Storm & Hyperinflammation
Now let’s say that there’s another small disturbance, but this time the security team overreacts and sends an overwhelming number of guards, all armed with loud sirens and flashing lights. The result is chaos, with guards rushing around, making noise, and causing more harm than good.
When the immune system makes the same mistake, we call it a cytokine storm. During this process, the immune system goes into overdrive, resulting in severe inflammation known as hyperinflammation. Hyperinflammation can cause irreversible damage to cells and tissues or in worse cases, organ damage. Due to their vital role in the immune response, cytokine dysfunction can indicate a lot of things including infection, autoimmune conditions, sepsis, and cancer.
A Balancing Act In Our Immune System.
By regulating the balance between pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines, the immune system can mount an appropriate response to infections, injuries or other stimuli, without causing excessive harm to the body.
However, sometimes this balance can be disrupted by genetic factors, environmental factors or diseases, leading to chronic inflammation or autoimmune disorders. In these cases, anti-inflammatory cytokines may be used as therapeutic agents to restore the normal immune function and reduce inflammation.
How Randox Health Can Help.
As part of the Signature Packages, we measure a wide variety of cytokines to gain a comprehensive picture of your inflammatory and immune status, with an array dedicated solely to hyperinflammation. This array has applications beyond cytokine storms, including conditions related to cytokine dysfunction.
The Signature packages have been designed to deliver a holistic overview on your health, reviewing current physical, mental & genetic health as well as future health risks to those areas, empowering you to make simple changes to help protect your future health and prevent illness. Signature Platinum & Platinum Plus include repeat testing to track your progress. GP consultations following your results help you to plan and evaluate the effectiveness of your health journey with a private prescription and referral provided if required.
With 1 test, measure 350 health data points relating to your full body health including genetic, stress, neurological & tumour-associated markers.
Expanding on Signature Prestige, The Signature Platinum package includes full repeat testing after 6 months allowing you to effectively evaluate the progress of your health journey to the fullest.
SIGNATURE PLATINUM PLUS
Our most comprehensive, personalised health programme available.
Signature Platinum + upgrades Platinum’s expansive test menu covering over 174 genes associated with inherited cardiac and cancer risk/