Removing Autoimmune Triggers

I have said this before, but we need to consider potentially removable triggers for a patient with autoimmune disease before just condemning them to a life of immune suppressing therapies.  Discerning the root cause may avoid a lot of unnecessary therapy and prevent a lot of damage.  I just don’t understand why conventional medicine ignores the impact of toxins on autoimmune disease.  A functional MD like myself can’t settle for symptom therapy unless we have exhausted the possible triggers whose removal might benefit our patients.

I have provided a short list of articles addressing various autoimmune triggers if you want to read or share with your rheumatologist.  The potential triggers include:










Adulterated cooking oil (rapeseed oil)



Gut Metabolites (modulation up or down)

Gut Bacteria


In helping our patients live healthier more abundant lives, we work through these possibilities and help you remove any triggers before they cause more harm.  Even if you never come to our clinic, at least you can know there is more to autoimmune therapy than just immune suppressing drugs.


Primary Article:

Toxicology of autoimmune diseases.  Pollard KM(1), Hultman P, Kono DH.  Chem Res Toxicol. 2010 Mar 15;23(3):455-66. doi: 10.1021/tx9003787.




Drug Induced Autoimmunity

Drug-induced autoimmunity. Olsen NJ. Best Pract Res Clin Rheumatol. 2004 Oct;18(5):677-88. Review.

PMID:   15454126

Vaccines and autoimmunity.

Agmon-Levin N, Paz Z, Israeli E, Shoenfeld Y. Nat Rev Rheumatol. 2009 Nov;5(11):648-52. doi: 10.1038/nrrheum.2009.196. Review. PMID:    19865091


Various Substances:

Gender differences in autoimmunity associated with exposure to environmental factors.  Pollard KM.J Autoimmune. 2012 May;38(2-3):J177-86. doi: 10.1016/j.jaut.2011.11.007. Epub 2011 Dec 3. Review.  PMID:    22137891



Holsapple MP. Autoimmunity by pesticides: a critical review of the state of the science. Toxicol Lett. 2002 Feb 28;127(1-3):101-9. Review. PubMed PMID: 12052647.


Effects of Gut Metabolites:

Mariño E, Richards JL, McLeod KH, Stanley D, Yap YA, Knight J, McKenzie C, Kranich J, Oliveira AC, Rossello FJ, Krishnamurthy B, Nefzger CM, Macia L, Thorburn A, Baxter AG, Morahan G, Wong LH, Polo JM, Moore RJ, Lockett TJ, Clarke  JM, Topping DL, Harrison LC, Mackay CR. Gut microbial metabolites limit the frequency of autoimmune T cells and protect against type 1 diabetes. Nat Immunol. 2017 May;18(5):552-562. doi: 10.1038/ni.3713. Epub 2017 Mar 27. Erratum in: Nat Immunol. 2017 Jul 19;18(8):951. Erratum in: Nat Immunol. 2017 Oct 18;18(11):1271. PubMed PMID: 28346408.

Gut Bacteria:

Li B, Selmi C, Tang R, Gershwin ME, Ma X. The microbiome and autoimmunity: a paradigm from the gut-liver axis. Cell Mol Immunol. 2018 Jun;15(6):595-609. doi:  10.1038/cmi.2018.7. Epub 2018 Apr 30. Review. PubMed PMID: 29706647; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6079090.



Sollid LM, Jabri B. Triggers and drivers of autoimmunity: lessons from coeliac disease. Nat Rev Immunol. 2013 Apr;13(4):294-302. doi: 10.1038/nri3407. Epub 2013 Mar 15. Review. PubMed PMID: 23493116; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3818716.

Sanctuary Functional Medicine, under the direction of Dr Eric Potter, IFMCP MD, provides functional medicine services to Nashville, Middle Tennessee and beyond. We frequently treat patients from Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Ohio, Indiana, and more... offering the hope of healthier more abundant lives to those with chronic illness.

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