Autoimmune disease is a complex and wide reaching category of disorders, spanning more than 100 known diseases.  All organs can be involved in some type of autoimmune disease and can include disorders such as Hashimoto’s, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Systemic Lupus, Sjogrens, Celiac, Multiple Sclerosis, Crohn’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis- to just name a few.

To have a healthy immune system you need a balance between B and T cells which are both key types of immune cells.  These cells have to be able to differentiate between self and non-self. When they don’t function properly your own cells (“self”) are seen as foreign invaders (“non-self”) and autoimmunity ensues.  Basically, your body starts to attack itself, either isolated to one organ set or more universally. These cells are essential for controlled inflammation, but when things go wrong – they can go very wrong – causing out of control inflammation.

In order for an Autoimmune (AI) disease to develop you need both a genetic predisposition to AI disease and a trigger.  Any of the following can be triggers:


  • Gluten: All of the conventional wheat crops in the U.S. (not organic or non-gmo) are treated with Round Up or glyphosate; this toxin causes a leaky gut barrier which leads to large particles passing through that membrane and potentially triggering a “non-self” reaction.
  • Food intolerance: Any food intolerance can cause the same reaction as gluten listen above.
  • Toxins & Heavy Metals: Again, just like the glyphosate, toxins and heavy metals can cause a leaky gut and cause “non-self” reactions to occur.  Remember this can include mold and household chemicals as well as chemicals in our food and water supplies.
  • Stress: It is not always emotional stress as disease itself, pain, over-exercising  or poor sleep, among other stress inducing concerns can alter homeostasis, contribute to leaky gut, and cause “non-self” reactions.
  • Infections: Think bacterial, viral, parasitic or fungal infections. All of these can be triggers for autoimmune disease and out of balance inflammation.


If you are suffering from AI disease Highlands Health and Wellness can help! We offer a functional medicine approach including a detailed assessment, exam and functional medicine testing.  We will work hard to figure out the root cause of your imbalance, fix your gut, balance your hormones, guide you on a therapeutic and healing diet, and assist with helpful nutraceuticals if needed.