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How Autoimmunity Develops: Chronic Inflammation

Autoimmunity happens when the immune system becomes overwhelmed, making antibodies that accidentally attack body tissues. Conventional medicine tells us this is purely a genetic process. However, Autoimmunity has risen 300% since 1960, suggesting it’s more influenced by lifestyle than genetics. It also suggests the only treatment is medications to suppress the immune system. However, the conventional approach ignores the underlying reason autoimmunity develops in the first place.

You can think of this like a glass of water…

Glass Of Water Analogy

Inflammatory lifestyle triggers happen regularly. Every trigger is like dropping a drop of water in a glass. If you’re at a low level of overall inflammation, a few small triggers won’t initiate symptoms. However, when you’re cup overflows, the immune system goes haywire. This occurs in the blood which runs throughout the body, so it causes a variety of seemingly disjointed symptoms.

Autoimmunity Is A Spectrum

Autoimmunity is not a black-and-white genetic diagnosis. Rather, autoimmunity presents as a spectrum. The autoimmune spectrum is correlated with the levels and ratios of inflammatory T-cells in the blood.

Lower-severity autoimmune conditions are correlated with lower overall inflammation, whereas more severe autoimmune conditions indicate higher levels of inflammation. You can move up and down that spectrum depending on your overall inflammation, which is why symptoms of autoimmune seem to mysteriously disappear and reappear. It’s also why if you receive an autoimmune diagnosis, you’re 3x more likely to receive a second (1).

Measuring Autoimmunity

Breakthrough research demonstrates autoimmunity is highly correlated with inflammatory blood markers like C-Reactive Protien, homocysteine, and sedimentation rate. The more inflammatory markers in the blood, the greater the likelihood of autoimmune symptoms. Consistently high inflammatory markers are often referred to as chronic inflammation.

Inflammatory levels in the blood naturally fluctuate and are primarily influenced by lifestyle. This means you can significantly reduce inflammatory levels and autoimmunity, even to the point of complete remission.

Lower Inflammation, Lower Autoimmunity

High levels of inflammation and dysregulation of the immune system make your immune system start attacking your body’s tissue. This is true of all 100+ autoimmune diseases. It’s not entirely clear why the immune system targets specific organs first; however, to reverse autoimmunity, it’s best to focus on reducing total inflammatory markers in the blood and support the rebalancing of the immune system.

No matter which of the 100+ autoimmune diagnoses received, addressing the underlying inflammation addresses the root cause of autoimmunity and reduces the likelihood of all symptoms.


1. Hidden Food Sensitivities

Some food allergies create immediate, intense bodily reactions such as a severe peanut allergy. However, most people live with food sensitivities that go unnoticed. These are lower-grade immune reactions that often don’t occur for hours or days after you eat, making them difficult to detect. Fortunately, we can now run advanced tests for food sensitivity if you suspect you have one.

2. Gut Dysbiosis / Bacterial Imbalance

Everything you eat is processed by your microbiome; they eat what we eat. Different strains of gut bacteria produce different chemicals, which means the makeup of your biome is almost as important, if not equally important, as what you eat. When your gut biome is out of balance, it can transform food that is usually non-inflammatory, and create excessive inflammatory chemicals sent into your blood.

3. Infections

Previous viral infections like Epstein Barr, cytomegalovirus, and herpes simplex can become reactivated leading to chronic inflammation. These infections can be identified and dealt with by your Wisdom doctor.

4. Chronic Stress

While short-term stress exposure can be healthy (think exercise), lower levels of ongoing stress can exacerbate inflammation. Chronic stress has been proven to create inflammation and is linked to nearly every major chronic health issue, including autoimmunity.

5. Toxic exposure

Long term exposure to mold, pesticides, heavy metals and other environmental toxins can contribute to inflammation. These can be tricky to identify and treat, and should be done under the care of a doctor.

6. Metabolic Dysfunction

Eating highly processed foods combined with a lack of exercise can lead to obesity which can contribute to overall inflammatory levels.

When I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis I was told that I would have to be on daily injections for the rest of my life, there was no hope. That was the scariest month of my life. Going to my doctors made me feel more scared as it was clear to me they didn’t have answers for me. Over the next year, I researched, changed my diet, and learned about all my inflammation triggers. Reversing them takes some time and effort, but I have completely reversed all my symptoms to the point of total remission.

Sarah Ervin


When I was diagnosed with PCOS in February 2017, it felt like a death sentence. I hadn’t had a period in over 8 months, which initially felt like a convenience. I visited the doctor only to be certain I wasn’t dying. The doctor was suddenly using scary words like ‘possible diabetes,’ ‘infertility’ and ‘weight struggles.’,[object Object],[object Object],I left the hospital that day and cried. Then I got to work. My diagnosis was a wake up call. Instead of accepting my condition, I started overhauling my life, making diet changes, reducing my stress, and on a deeper level changing all the priorities in my life. With help from a few amazing holistic healers, every day I started to feel better and more clear. Later that year, my period returned. But more than that, my life had changed. I felt better in every way. I was happier, healthier, and had more energy and optimism than any time in my life.,[object Object],[object Object],In 2019, I returned to the doctor and he told me I was functionally healed of my PCOS. He considered me miracle case, but I know it was just hard work in changing my foundational health habits.
Megan Cooper



  1. Mohan MP, Ramesh TC. Multiple autoimmune syndrome. Indian J Dermatol Venerol Leprol. 2003;69:298–299.
  2. Kwak, Yeunhee, Yoonjung Kim, and Kyoung Ah Baek. “Prevalence of irregular menstruation according to socioeconomic status: A population-based nationwide cross-sectional study.” PloS one 14.3 (2019): e0214071.
  3. Remission of Endocrine, Nutritional and Metabolic Diseases, and Immunity Disorders. http://noetic.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/SRB-chapter12.pdf
  4. Biancone, Livia, et al. “Treatment with biologic therapies and the risk of cancer in patients with IBD.” Nature Clinical Practice Gastroenterology & Hepatology 4.2 (2007): 78-91.
  5. Brown, E. Sherwood, et al. “Effects of chronic prednisone therapy on mood and memory.” Journal of affective disorders 99.1-3 (2007): 279-283.
  6. Puckett, Yana, Aishah Gabbar, and Abdullah A. Bokhari. “Prednisone.” (2018).
  7. Zsuzsanna, Suba . “Interplay between insulin resistance and estrogen deficiency as co- activators in carcinogenesis” (2012)
  8. Eline S. van der Valk, et al. Stress and Obesity: Are There More Susceptible Individuals?.2018.


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