Autoimmune disease is complex, and while diet and lifestyle are powerful factors in improving health, sometimes they aren’t enough on their own. Below, I offer insights from both conventional and functional medical approaches. It’s not always an either/or choice. If you have a specific question, you can also browse this category by topic: Diagnosis Spotlights, Medication Decisions, Medical Tests, Functional Medicine, Supplements, Digestive Health, Hormone Health, Overall Health, Research, and COVID-19,

Episode 38: Hormones and Autoimmune Disease with Dr. Justin Marchegiani

I think every woman with autoimmune disease knows how strongly our hormones can impact autoimmune symptoms. Some women flare around their periods. Some go into remission during pregnancy and then flare after delivery (or vice versa). Others find their symptoms start to increase during the hormone fluctuations of perimenopause. And others actually develop autoimmune disease after menopause. So clearly hormone balance is a topic near and dear to us all. In this podcast, I interview Dr. Justin Marchegiani, a functional medicine practitioner who specializes in hormone balance. He’ll teach us what’s at the root of hormone problems at all stages of a woman’s life, and how to correct them. For my male listeners, today’s podcast focuses mostly on women, but at the end of the podcast, Justin talks about hormone balance for men as well.

Episode 36: Histamine Intolerance with Alison Vickery

Do you have unexplained skin rashes, headaches, digestive upset, mood issues and brain fog, even though you are following the paleo autoimmune diet and lifestyle perfectly? This might be a piece in your healing puzzle. Histamine is a natural component in both our food and our bodies, but certain things can make it overproduce, causing myriad symptoms that keep our body in a hypersensitive state. In this podcast, I talk with histamine expert, Alison Vickery, on what causes histamine intolerance and what we can do about it.

Episode 33: Medical Marijuana and Autoimmune Disease

Medical Marijuana is now legal in 28 states in the US, and over a million people are using it to treat a wide variety of diagnoses, including autoimmune disease. Research shows it can help regulate the immune system, reduce inflammation, relieve pain, suppress muscle spasms, reduce anxiety, treat psoriasis, aid digestion, and much more. In this podcast, we delve into the science behind this controversial herb and talk with a number of people who are using it as part of their autoimmune disease treatment.

Episode 32: Celiac Disease, Gluten Sensitivity & Leaky Gut with Dr. Alessio Fasano

This episode of the Phoenix Helix podcast interviews world-renowned expert on leaky gut and autoimmunity: Dr. Alessio Fasano. We cover a wide range of topics: (1) The difference between celiac disease and gluten sensitivity; (2) Gluten cross-contamination vs. gluten cross-reaction; (3) The connection between leaky gut and autoimmune disease; (4) The causes of leaky gut and whether or not it can be cured; (5) Leaky gut testing and medication research; (6) The role of the microbiome in autoimmune disease; (7) Probiotics vs. fermented foods; (8) and much more. It’s an information-packed hour!

Episode 29: SIBO with Dr. Melanie Keller

SIBO stands for Small Intestine Bacteria Overgrowth. Having bacteria in our bodies is a normal state of being. In fact, 90% of our body is made up of microbes. So what’s the problem with finding them in the small intestine? Well, they don’t belong there, at least not in high numbers. Whereas the large intestine is the natural home for billions of microbes, a healthy small intestine only has about 100,000. So, basically, they’ve migrated. Have you ever dealt with invasive plants in your yard? They tend to take over and cause all sorts of problems. The same thing happens in the small intestine. In this podcast, we discuss why this happens, how it relates to autoimmune disease, and the most effective tests and treatments. My guest, Dr. Melanie Keller, has battled SIBO herself and now specializes in its treatment professionally.

Episode 27: Hashimoto’s with Andrea Nakayama

This episode of the Phoenix Helix podcast delves into all things Hashimoto’s with functional nutritionist and educator, Andrea Nakayama. What tests are included in a complete thyroid panel? How do you find a good doctor? How do you manage ever-changing symptoms in a way that feels empowering, rather than disheartening? Even if you don’t have thyroid issues, this show is worth a listen. A surprising number of symptoms can have undiagnosed thyroid issues at their root.

a spiky desert plant covered in thready tangles

Navigating Setbacks

You’ve embraced the paleo diet and lifestyle, noticed a reduction in your autoimmune symptoms, and overall you’ve been feeling great and grateful. Suddenly, out of nowhere, your autoimmune symptoms flare and remind you of where you started. What’s happening, and how can you return to feeling better? Today, I share my best 10 tips for overcoming a healing setback.

Do Paleo-Friendly Autoimmune Specialist MDs Exist?

Yes, but they are a rare breed! I searched long and hard, scouring websites and directories, polling my readers and fellow autoimmune bloggers, and created this list. While the vast majority of autoimmune specialist MDs believe diet makes no difference and we are fooling ourselves to think otherwise, I found over 40 doctors who are open to the paleo lifestyle. This doesn’t mean that they prescribe a paleo diet. It means they understand that diet can be powerful complementary medicine and respect those patients who take steps to maximize their autoimmune health. My hope is that they are the pioneers of a growing movement in medicine, where doctors will embrace the simple truth that what we eat, and how we live, affects how we feel.

Episode 19: Fecal Microbiota Transplants

How does our microbiome affect our health? Is it possible that a “poop transplant” could reverse autoimmune disease? While that sounds a little crazy, if you listen to this podcast, it might start to make sense. Right now, FMTs are being used in the United States to cure life-threatening C. difficile infections, where medication has failed. Internationally, clinics are doing research into FMTs in the treatment of autoimmune disease. In this episode, I interview Glenn Taylor, director of the Taymount Clinic in the UK. He describes the science behind the transplants. Then, we hear from two patients who have received the procedure: one for C. difficile and one for multiple sclerosis.

Episode 15: Adrenal Fatigue with Christopher Kelly

This episode of the Phoenix Helix podcast delves into the connection between adrenal fatigue and autoimmunity. Our guest, Christopher Kelly, has recovered from adrenal fatigue himself and helped hundreds of others do the same. The classic symptom of adrenal fatigue is feeling tired but wired. What causes it? How is it connected to autoimmunity? And how is it healed? Chris answers these questions and also shares his personal healing story.

The Difference Between Reversing Autoimmune Disease and a Cure

My 2 year healing diet anniversary brought with it feelings I didn’t expect. It got me thinking about the language of healing, and the difference between reversal and cure. What do these words mean? What’s really possible? In this post, I take an honest and thorough look at healing autoimmunity.

Where Supplements Fit on a Healing Diet

When is food enough, and when do you need something more? What is supplement fraud? Do supplements contain allergens that can set off an autoimmune flare? How do you know which supplements will help you? I answer these questions and more in this blog post. 

Paleo Functional Medicine Practitioner Directories

Finding a healthcare team that understands “food is medicine” can be as hard as finding Waldo in the famous children’s book series. Thankfully, there are a growing number of directories to help, and I’ve linked to them in this blog post. If you aren’t getting better independently on a healing diet and lifestyle, troubleshooting with an expert can make a world of difference! Many of these practitioners work with patients around the world, so you aren’t limited to local offices. And if you’re interested in becoming a healthcare practitioner yourself, I share my favorite training programs in this article as well. 

When Painkillers are GOOD for You

When Painkillers are GOOD for You

Did you think that NSAIDs weren’t allowed on the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol? Here’s my opinion on this controversial issue. It’s time to bring some balance to the discussion of pain in the alternative and real food communities.

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