Updated: Jan 17
In functional medicine we say you need 3 things in order to develop autoimmunity.
✔️You must have hit the GENETIC lotto (thanks mom and dad). But remember, your genes do not necessarily determine your fate.
✔️Your gut will be LEAKY! (Picture a microscopic basketball net in your gut that lets what should be INSIDE the gut, OUT. Not ideal, as one would imagine.
✔️Here we go, the straw that broke the camels back. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT OF THE 3! This can consist of anything from you have EBV or Lyme Disease to you have food sensitivities that are still in your diet or you have a parasitic infection to you just went through a way too extended and dragged out break up with a significant other.
SOME POSSIBLE TRIGGERS TO LOOK OUT FOR/CHECK FOR:
-viral infections such as mycoplasma, ebstein-barr, lyme disease, lyme co-infections
-gut infections: candida, SIBO, parasites, dysbiosis
-food allergens and sensitivities
-overuse of certain medications: PPIs, antibiotics, NSAIDs
-chronic stressors: overworking at your job, poor and unresolved relationships, negative self talk
-environmental toxins: mold, glyphosate, heavy metals
◾️Your job is to tell your story.
◾️Your practitioners job is to identify those triggers, guide you on how to remove or lessen them and then tighten up the leaking gut, baby.
It can be easy (mainly due to marketing geniuses) when you’re newly diagnosed with autoimmunity to get to #2 (possibly dabble in a few of the triggers) and then stop and think you’re resolving the gut issue. It's an overwhelming feat to complete on your own. You can’t truly fix leaky gut if you haven’t figured out what is causing it in the first place- THIS is why it’s so worth your time to work with a trained functional medicine provider. If you aren’t sure where to start- look into http://IFM.org and click on ‘Find a Practitioner’ on the top right to get your journey started.
Katie Morra MS, RD, LDN, IFMCP is an Institute for Functional Medicine Certified Practitioner and Registered Dietitian specializing in gut health, the microbiome, and nutrition. Her functional medicine nutrition practice is based in Maryland, just outside of Washington, D.C.
Katie focuses on the root causes of inflammation, autoimmune disease, irritable bowel syndrome, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, candida overgrowth, food sensitivities and leaky gut, amongst other chronic disease states.