Autoimmune v. Autoinflammatory Diseases

Based on video:

Many people do not realize that there is a category of diseases called autoinflammatory diseases, which is different from the commonly known autoimmune diseases.

An autoimmune disease is when your immune system attacks your own body: Hashimoto’s, Celiac disease, Chron’s disease, Ulcerative Collitis. Autoinflammatory diseases are different in that it is a different part of the immune system. Autoinflammatory diseases are in a part of the immune system that controls the innate immunity, while the autoimmune diseases are regulated by the part of the immune system that controls adaptive immunity.

Therefore, your immune system has two main branches: your innate immunity and adaptive immunity.  Your innate immunity is what you have already in your body (every cell in your body has it), for example natural killer cells, macrophages, mast cells, prostaglandin, complement system, and physical barriers (skin). For example, when you take ibuprofen it is trying to shut down the prostaglandin. Adaptive immunity includes things like antibody production such as B cells. Antibodies mediate autoimmune diseases, which is why most of the blood tests you take to diagnose autoimmune diseases are antibody tests. Other types of adaptive immunity cells are T cells, such as T helper cells and cytotoxic T cells.

All autoimmune diseases have a component of auto-inflammatory diseases, and vice-versa. Inflammation and autoimmune therefore trigger one other. This is called co-activation.  For example, you have STAT3, a chemical that triggers autoimmune disease, triggering Nf-kb, a chemical that produces inflammation. (Please see videos _______ for more detailed information on STAT3 and Nf-kb).   You have them both triggering and stimulating one another. Then you have both.

It is a spectrum, however. Sometimes you see people just having antibody type of autoimmune issue, not as much of the inflammatory component. Some people are just very inflamed without an autoimmune disease. When you have an autoimmune disease, you are inflamed. Period. Therefore, you always want to be addressing the inflammation. Often doctors and individuals are addressing the wrong thing when it comes to autoimmune diseases. For example, patients are often told that Hashimoto’s disease is a thyroid disease: it is not.  It is an autoimmune disease in which your immune system attacks your thyroid. Therefore, it doesn’t matter how much thyroid medicine you take, it does not stop your immune system from attacking the thyroid gland. For thyroid disease, lifestyle medicine should be the number one method: diet, nutrition, medicine, and detoxification. Thyroid hormones should be an afterthought.

When your body gets infected with bacteria or a virus, how does your body defend itself and clear out the inflammation?

NFkb is a nuclear protein that triggers the DNA to create an inflammatory cycle. An inflammasome is a protein that triggers inflammation. This protein lives inside your cell. This inflammasone is basically a collection of protein that sits there disassembled. They are basically separate parts that lay there. It requires a two-step triggering process to assemble together.

There are two processes that can trigger this. Signal 1 is something called IL1B, a cellular messenger that tells the immune system to tell the body that there is tissue damage, which locks onto the IL1B receptor cell and enters the cell. Signal 2 is when ATP, cellular energy. When the cell dies, due to inflammation, ATP pours out of the ruptured cell. ATP is only healthy living inside the cell. ATP is in your bloodstream and it also locks onto the ATC receptor on the surface of the cell.  This means that neighboring cells are dying. The body recognizes it is dangerous when cells are rupturing. Signal 1 makes it so the body is on the alert, and then Signal 2 triggers the ATP receptor to trigger the inflammasomes to protect the body against attack.

The inflammasomes assemble and triggers and activates the IL1B and IL18 messenger.  They go on to stimulate other surrounding cells. This is what is happening at a cellular level when you have an inflammation from infection, toxicity, tissue damage, stress, or autoimmune disease.

When this cycle keeps going, that is when you have chronically ill patients. You either develop an autoimmune disease or suppressed immune systems. It is common for people to have chronic viral infections, candida, parasites, and many other ongoing issues.

So how can we fix this?

First, most importantly, is to specifically identify the root cause: is it an infection, is it toxins, dietary issues, or is it candida? Mercury, for example, also triggers this antibody and anti-inflammatory diseases. Pesticides, BPA, unhealthy foods can all trigger this process as well.

A functional medicine doctor can help you understand the sequence and to tackle the issues in the right order. Besides identifying the root cause, is that there are natural things you can do to decreasing the amplifying effect of IL1B that triggers a ping-pong effect of inflammation. There are natural supplements that can suppress this effect, such as melatonin, which is a hormone that is a potent antioxidant in its own right to dampen IL1B. That is why sleep is therefore restorative, because when we sleep, we have higher levels of melatonin and it is producing a well-nourished effect. Curcurmin also has the ability to dampen IL1B activity as well as have an effect on the Nf-kb cycle within the cycle. (Please see: Tumero Potency).


It is important to be very targeted in your supplements, instead of just taking everything on the list that is good for you.  Working with a functional doctor to document history is exceptionally important, because how you got here can help identify these cellular pathways and the root causes.

Schedule a 15-minute free discovery call to learn how our virtual functional medicine consultation program can help you identify the root cause and reverse your symptoms.  Click here to schedule: https//

The above information and statements are for education and information purposes only and have not been evaluated by the FDA. The information and products mentioned above are not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease.  Please consult a qualified healthcare professional for the management of a medical condition or disease.

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