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Episode 204: Is Leaky Gut to Blame for Autoimmune Disease?

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 I was diagnosed with hashimoto’s thyroiditis (an autoimmune disease of the thyroid) as a sophomore in college. 

I got the call from my doctor while I was standing outside Mother's Market. I remember the shock hit first. Then I forcefully pushed the tears down that threatened to embarrass me in public. 

I thought it was a life sentence. Something that would keep me stuck dealing with fatigue, stubborn weight, and hair loss for the rest of my life. 

After all, the western medical system would have you believe autoimmune disease is incurable. 

Yet here I am, living proof that that’s just not true. 5 years after my diagnosis I got the incredible news… I was in remission. 

What did I do to get there? I healed my gut. 

See in the functional nutrition world we know that 3 things have to be present for autoimmunity to rear its ugly head: a genetic predisposition, a stressor (mental or physical), and you guessed it, gut dysbiosis.

So when you go upstream and address the latter 2 root causes, you can get your immune system working for you again, instead of against you. 

Dealing with the stressor may come in many forms. For me it was breaking up with my toxic, narcissistic boyfriend and getting therapy for the damage he caused. For others it may be going to a chiropractor to work on the physical trauma from a car wreck. It just depends what the Big Thing was for you.

Dealing with the gut side of things is a bit more straightforward. This is where the 5R Protocol for restoring gut health comes in:

  1. Remove - We remove the foods and toxins that damage the gut lining, as well as the pathogenic bacteria we find on your stool test via an eradication phase.
  2. Restore - We need to restore the nutrients that have been depleted because of the damage to your gut. No nutrients = no fuel for healing.
  3. Repair and Reinoculate - We have to repair the damage to the gut lining caused by the pathogens in your gut and then reinoculate with good bacteria to hold the line against future pathogens. 
  4. Rebalance - We help restore balance to the gut and the rest of the body by optimizing your diet, rest, exercise, stress management, and supplements (so we D.R.E.S.S. for success!)

Now if you’re like me, it isn’t enough to know how to fix your gut. You want to know why damage to your gut would cause autoimmunity in the first place. 

You may have heard 80% of your immune system lives in your gut. What this actually means is an immunoglobulin called SIgA is produced in your gut and its main job is to distinguish friend from foe. 

If it’s a friend, no problem. If it’s a foe, the immune system attacks. 

But imagine SIgA is like a bar bouncer, and when there are too many people trying to get in he gets overwhelmed and can’t make calm, rational choices about who’s good and bad. 

He starts making mistakes, allowing some bad guys to get through (ie pathogens and toxins) and tagging some good guys as troublemakers causing your body to turn against its own tissue - cue autoimmune disease. 

By healing your gut it’s like you’re putting a wall of defense around the bar bouncer, preventing him from getting overwhelmed and allowing him to properly assess the situation again. 

And while I can’t make any claims about healing autoimmunity, I can tell you as a soon-to-be functional nutritionist we’ll use powerful labs to uncover what kind of trouble your gut is in, what bacteria are present that may be potential autoimmune triggers, and then follow the 5R Healing Protocol to get you back into balance, giving your body the best shot at healing. 

Click here to jump on the waitlist! Or if you're seeing this after July 14th, 2023, click here to book a free consultation!


"I am so excited... I have Graves disease which is a form of hyperthyroidism. I have been listening to Kat and following her advice. I just came from my doctor and she said I'm a new woman. I lost 11 pounds and my thyroid levels are back to normal. I cannot say thank you enough to Kat! She's changed my life." -Monica


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