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What is Autoimmunity (really)?

Your immune system is smart. It learns from each challenge it encounters.

…Until it doesn’t…

Autoimmunity occurs when your immune system gets confused and starts reacting to healthy tissue in your body. It’s like your immune system is an army, and in the fight to protect you from an enemy, it gets confused and begins firing on the good guys.

One common symptom of this is increased inflammation.

As you already may know if you’ve been with MaxWell Clinic for a while, inflammation is a common root cause in many chronic diseases.

This creates a feedback loop, because the more inflammation we have in our body, the harder our immune system has to work.

If you are caught in this feedback loop, what can you do?

Treating autoimmune disease directly is tricky, but there are many known ways to reduce inflammation, including:


  • Remove highly inflammatory foods like gluten and dairy from your diet.
  • Take fish oil supplements to keep your Omega 3 intake high.


  • Find something you enjoy.
  • Start where you are.
  • Focus on the moment, not the “goal”.

Stress Reduction:

  • Remember that your body can feel stress even when your mind doesn’t. Even if you don’t “feel” stressed, you could benefit significantly from deep breathing and meditation exercises.

Stool Analysis:

  • Your gut contains nearly 70% of your immune system. Looking at the stools produced by your gut tells us a lot about the functioning of your immune system.
  • Your gut also contains trillions of living organisms. The health of these organisms can have a direct effect on the functioning of your immune system.


  • Smoking puts you at significant risk of autoimmune disease because the heavy metals in cigarettes get caught in your tissue.
  • Lead is another common toxin we are exposed to, as it is often found in old paint.
  • Many molds are highly toxic, and can grow in homes if not properly dealt with.
  • Plastics, like BPA and parabens found in food packaging drive up inflammation and autoimmune risks.
  • Let your doctor know what you may have been exposed to.

Remember, each of these bullet points are factors.

Don’t let the things you can’t deal with on your own cause you to lose motivation.

Identify what you can control, like diet and exercise. Then, make sure you’re doing those things as well as you possibly can. Small positive changes can kick off a cascade of improvements.

This blog is an excerpt from a group visit Mary Scalf, PA-C hosted with patients who are part of our MaxWell Care program. Our group visits (available only to our MaxWell Care patients) are designed to change your life and supercharge your health.

If you have questions about MaxWellCare and how to join, please click here to learn more or call us at 615-370-0091. We’d love to help you Maximize your Wellness!

This blog provides general information and discussions about health and related subjects. The information and other content provided in this blog, website or in any linked materials are not intended and should not be considered, or used as a substitute for, medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This blog does not constitute the practice of any medical, nursing or other professional health care advice, diagnosis or treatment. We cannot diagnose conditions, provide second opinions or make specific treatment recommendations through this blog or website.

If you or any other person has a medical concern, you should consult with your health care provider or seek other professional medical treatment immediately. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something that you have read on this blog, website or in any linked materials. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 911 or call for emergency medical help on the nearest telephone immediately.

Mary Scalf, PA-C

Mary is passionate about addressing the whole person and not just an isolated set of symptoms. Witnessing what traditional medicine has offered her mother’s chronic disease battle as well as her father’s dementia diagnosis, Mary is driven to use a science-based approach which strongly emphasizes root cause analysis and harnessing the body’s natural healing powers.