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Autoimmunity - a perfect biochemical storm

Autoimmunity - a perfect biochemical storm. Credit: Shutterstock

To understand how Autoimmunity begins, it is first necessary to understand the design of a healthy immune system. You can get a quick immune system 101 by reading about it in my SMART IMMUNITY ebook.

Having the genetics for Autoimmunity confers the susceptibility to develop a host of diseases, it only sets the scene. These genes can remain dormant or be 'woken up' by a combination of environmental triggers such as infections, stress, foods, toxins etc. Although having said this, many people can also develop autoimmunity even without testing positive for genetic markers such as HLA B27.

Triggers can thus be physical, emotional and environmental. But genetics and triggers are not enough, you still need a disturbed intestinal lining aka 'leaky gut' and an inflammatory response that doesn't self-limit and calm down.

Solving AUTOIMMUNITY is like solving an equation with many variables. Each variable needs to be assessed, excluded and treated strategically. This root cause approach does more than suppress or manage symptoms.

Infographic explaining how autoimmune condtions develop, Nicole Dawson Cullinan @wellnessplaceint
Figure 1. Autoimmunity - a perfect biochemical storm Graphic credit: Nicole Cullinan

The graphics explain how auto-immune conditions like Hashimoto's thyroiditis, Graves disease, Lupus, Coeliac disease, Vitiligo and many others can develop due to a large number of variables all interacting with each other to cause a 'perfect storm' on a biochemical level.

The graphics also explain how the functional medicine model can decode your unique biochemical storm and reset your immune system. It is a bit like being a health detective, excluding all potential variables through biomarker testing and then applying a personalised approach to nutrition and your lifestyle.

Infographic explaining the Autoimmune equation, snow storm background, Nicole Dawson Cullinan @wellnessplaceint
Figure 2. Autoimmunity - a perfect biochemical storm Graphic credit: Nicole Cullinan

These are not my own ideas... I stand on the shoulders of autoimmune knowledge giants Dr Tom O'Bryan, Dr Alessio Fasano, Dr Terry Wahls to name a few who have influenced me. Gratitute and respect to the many autoimmune patients who put their trust in me and taught me what I know today.

Infographic depicting the autoimmune food pyramid, foods to eat, foods to avoid, Nicole Dawson Cullinan @wellnessplaceint
Figure 3. Autoimmune food pyramid Graphic credit: Nicole Cullinan

This Autoimmune food pyramid infographic shows foods that promote healing and foods to avoid. It looks different from the standard food pyramid that we were taught in school. In fact, you may notice that there are many foods missing from it: GRAINS, DAIRY and EGGS! The recommended staple foods and the base of the pyramid consists of vegetables and fruits. It is a whole food, plant based paleo approach to eating and based on a protocol developed by Dr Terry Wahls.



Junk food





Green leafy vegetables

Cruciferous vegetables (see my other blogs and recipes)

Sulphur rich or Allium family vegetables like onions and garlic

Colourful fruits especially berries

Clean ethically sourced meat


Seeds and nuts

Good fats like olive oil and avocados

For more info about a wellness care approach to solving your unique Autoimmune Equation, book a free discovery call with me.…/free-meet-greet-chat

Disclaimer: The information in this blog is for educational purposes only. It does not replace the advice of a qualified professional. If you have any concerns about your autoimmune condition please consult with an Intergrative doctor.

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