Seropositive versus Seronegative Arthritis: Understanding the Differences and Similarities

Arthritis is a broad term used to describe inflammation and stiffness in the joints, affecting millions of people worldwide. It encompasses various types of arthritis, including seropositive and seronegative arthritis. These terms refer to the presence or absence of certain antibodies in the blood associated with the condition. 

Understanding the differences and similarities between seropositive and seronegative arthritis is crucial for accurate diagnosis, appropriate treatment, and improved quality of life. In this blog post, we will delve into the characteristics, diagnostic markers, treatment approaches, and outlook for individuals with seropositive and seronegative arthritis.

I. Seropositive Arthritis 

Seropositive arthritis is characterized by the presence of specific autoantibodies in the blood, most commonly rheumatoid factor (RF) and anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide antibodies (anti-CCP). Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is the most prevalent form of seropositive arthritis, accounting for a significant proportion of cases. It is a chronic autoimmune disorder in which the immune system mistakenly attacks the synovial lining of joints, leading to inflammation, pain, and joint damage.

The presence of RF and anti-CCP antibodies plays a crucial role in diagnosing seropositive arthritis, aiding in differentiating it from other types of arthritis.

Early diagnosis and prompt treatment are essential to slow disease progression and preserve joint function.

II. Seronegative Arthritis 

In contrast to seropositive arthritis, seronegative arthritis lacks the presence of RF and anti-CCP antibodies. Seronegative arthritis includes several subtypes, such as psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, reactive arthritis, and enteropathic arthritis. These conditions share common features, including joint inflammation, pain, and stiffness, but the absence of specific autoantibodies makes their diagnosis more challenging.

Psoriatic arthritis-

This is a common form of seronegative arthritis that affects individuals with psoriasis. It primarily involves the joints but can also affect the skin, nails, and other organs. 

Ankylosing spondylitis-

This primarily affects the spine and sacroiliac joints, causing pain and stiffness. 

Reactive arthritis- 

This occurs as a response to an infection, typically involving the joints, urinary tract, and eyes. 

Enteropathic arthritis- 

This is associated with inflammatory bowel diseases, such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

Understanding Gut Health: 

The gut has an intricate relationship with the immune system, and imbalances in gut bacteria, intestinal permeability (leaky gut), or food sensitivities can contribute to chronic inflammation and autoimmune conditions. 

While the exact causes of these conditions are not fully understood, emerging research suggests that an imbalance in gut bacteria, known as dysbiosis, plays a crucial role in the development of both seronegative and seropositive arthritis. 

Dysbiosis refers to an imbalance in the composition and function of the gut microbiota. The gut microbiota consists of trillions of microorganisms that play a vital role in maintaining our overall health. When this delicate ecosystem is disrupted, it can lead to various health problems, including autoimmune conditions like arthritis.

Dysbiosis and Seronegative Arthritis:

Recent studies have shown that individuals with seronegative arthritis often exhibit alterations in their gut microbiota. The imbalance in gut bacteria can trigger an immune response, leading to chronic inflammation and joint damage. Additionally, dysbiosis can influence the permeability of the intestinal barrier, allowing bacteria and toxins to leak into the bloodstream, further exacerbating the inflammatory response.

Dysbiosis and Seropositive Arthritis:

Research suggests that dysbiosis may contribute to the development of seropositive arthritis by influencing the immune system. 

Imbalanced gut bacteria can stimulate an abnormal immune response, leading to the production of autoantibodies and chronic inflammation. Moreover, dysbiosis can impact the production of short-chain fatty acids, which play a crucial role in regulating immune responses and inflammation. 

Functional Medicine

Functional medicine can play a supportive role in the treatment of these chronic conditions.

Because both these conditions have similarities it makes it difficult for conventional medicine practitioners to properly diagnose and treat either in a timely manner. A highly trained functional medicine practitioner however, like Dr. Autoimmune, can differentiate the symptoms between the two, therefore fixing and reducing a patient’s inflammation and symptoms. 

As a trained functional medicine practitioner, there are several steps you can take to address dysbiosis, reduce inflammation, and alleviate symptoms in patients with seronegative and seropositive diseases.

While functional medicine alone may not provide a cure, it addresses the underlying factors contributing to the development and progression of the condition, and improves overall well-being. 

Here are some ways a well trained  functional medicine practitioner like Dr. Autoimmune does this:

Comprehensive Assessment: 

Functional medicine practitioners like Dr. Autoimmune, take a holistic approach to patient care. He would start by conducting a thorough assessment of the patient’s medical history, symptoms, and current health status. This includes reviewing any available lab results, imaging reports, and clinical notes. 

Next, Dr. Autoimmune would conduct a thorough evaluation to identify the root cause(s) such as diet, lifestyle, stress levels, medication use, environmental exposures, nutrition, stress and gut health are all taken into consideration. 

Gut Microbiome Analysis: 

As part of identifying the root cause of seronegative or seropositive arthritis, a functional medicine practitioner may also do a comprehensive analysis of the patient’s gut microbiome. 

This can be done through advanced testing methods such as stool analysis or microbial DNA sequencing to identify the presence of dysbiosis, imbalances in gut bacteria, and the specific organisms involved.

Personalized Treatment Plans: 

Based on the assessment and microbiome analysis, functional medicine practitioners then develop an individualized treatment plan tailored to the patient’s specific needs. This plan should aim to restore microbial balance, reduce inflammation, and alleviate symptoms. 

It may include the following components:

A. Inflammation Reduction: 

Chronic inflammation is a hallmark of seronegative arthritis. Functional Medicine focuses on reducing inflammation in the body through various means, including dietary interventions to promote an anti-inflammatory response. 

Recommendations may include consuming an anti-inflammatory diet rich in fruits, vegetables, healthy fats (such as omega-3 fatty acids), and minimizing processed foods, refined sugars, and trans fats.

B. Anti Inflammatory Support: 

Functional medicine practitioners may recommend specific nutrients or supplements that support joint health and reduce inflammation. These may include omega-3 fatty acids, turmeric, ginger, glucosamine, chondroitin, or other targeted supplements.

C. Probiotic and Prebiotic Supplementation:

A functional medicine practitioner may also recommend prebiotic supplements that will target the identified dysbiosis organisms, as well as foods that promote the growth of beneficial gut bacteria.

Identifying specific strains of beneficial bacteria or yeast can help restore a healthy gut microbiome. 

D. Dietary Changes

Functional medicine practitioners may recommend dietary modifications, such as eliminating potential trigger foods and supporting the gut with probiotics, prebiotics, or other gut-healing protocols.

E. Stress Management: 

Emotional and psychological stress can impact the immune system and exacerbate inflammatory conditions. Functional medicine emphasizes stress management techniques such as mindfulness, meditation, yoga, or counseling to help individuals better cope with stress and support overall well-being.

F. Lifestyle Modifications 

Encourage regular exercise, adequate sleep, and a healthy work-life balance. These lifestyle factors can promote overall well-being and support the healing process.

G. Regular Monitoring and Adjustments: 

Lastly, a well trained functional medicine practitioner will schedule follow-up appointments to assess the patient’s progress and make necessary adjustments to the care plan by monitoring symptoms, inflammatory markers, and repeat gut microbiome analysis periodically to track improvements and guide further interventions.

Dr. Autoimmune

Seronegative and seropositive arthritis are both complex conditions that need a multidisciplinary approach.

Hiring Dr. Autoimmune, a functional medicine professional, to care for your seropositive or seronegative arthritis condition can be a game-changer in your journey toward optimal health.

Traditional medicine often focuses on managing symptoms rather than addressing the root causes of autoimmune diseases, leaving patients frustrated and seeking alternative options. Dr. Autoimmune takes a more comprehensive approach by considering the interconnectedness of various bodily systems and treating the underlying imbalances.

By partnering with a Dr. Autoimmune, you gain access to a healthcare provider who specializes in autoimmune conditions and understands the complexities of seropositive and seronegative arthritis. We are well-versed in the latest research, diagnostic tools, and treatment modalities that can help you effectively manage your condition and greatly improve your quality of life.

One of the primary benefits of working with Dr. Autoimmune is our personalized approach to healthcare. We conduct a thorough assessment of your medical history, symptoms, lifestyle, and environmental factors to create an individualized care plan tailored to your unique needs. This may include the details discussed above like: dietary changes, nutritional supplementation, stress management techniques, targeted exercise programs, and other lifestyle modifications to address the underlying triggers and promote healing.

Another advantage of working with Dr. Autoimmune is our focus on patient education and empowerment. We take the time to explain the intricacies of your condition, helping you understand the factors contributing to your symptoms and teaching you how to make informed decisions regarding your health. 

By actively involving you in the healing process, we empower you to take control of your well-being and make positive changes that can have a lasting impact. 

Our integrative approach ensures that all aspects of your health are addressed, promoting a holistic healing experience.

While Dr. Autoimmune and the functional medicine practice is not a quick-fix solution, we offer a promising alternative for individuals with seropositive or seronegative arthritis. By addressing the underlying causes and promoting whole-body wellness, functional medicine aims to reduce inflammation, alleviate symptoms, and improve your overall health.

We provide you with the guidance, support, and personalized care needed to navigate your condition and work towards a healthier, more vibrant life. 

Remember, your health is in your hands, and by taking this proactive step, you are investing in your well-being and embracing a future filled with possibilities.

To get started, give us a call today at 303-882-8447. Or click here to schedule an appointment right away!

We offer 100% remote telehealth options so anyone can heal from anywhere! And we’ve set up ‘The Dr. Autoimmune Solution’ which is a comprehensive new patient special that includes everything necessary to determine the root cause of your condition and start you on the journey to getting your life back.

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, & Tik-Tok for more information and tips regarding autoimmune diseases and the functional medicine approach.

Glutathione & Autoimmune Disease Connection

There are more than 80 different types of autoimmune diseases — diseases, and fifty million Americans alone suffer from an autoimmune disease. So why does this happen? One reason is people with autoimmune disease have too much inflammation in their bodies and they don’t make enough glutathione. 


Glutathione, often referred to as the “master” antioxidant because of its capacity to enhance the utilization and recycling of other antioxidants, glutathione (GSH) is a small protein found in virtually all cells. Its primary functions within the body include supporting the immune system, providing antioxidant protection, and removing toxins.

In a nutshell, it’s a natural substance your own body makes to reduce inflammation and eliminate toxins. NAC (n-acetyl cysteine) is the precursor to glutathione, and it’s the most important building block for allowing your body to manufacture glutathione. People with autoimmune disease usually can’t make enough of it and because of this, it can make their symptoms worse and even trigger the onset of autoimmunity.

Glutathione is an antioxidant. It’s actually the most powerful antioxidant because it is made in your own body, helping to protect you from the chemicals we are all exposed to each day. 

Glutathione is made in your liver, so you need a healthy liver in order to make a sufficient amount of glutathione; but unhealthy lifestyle choices can affect how much your body makes. For example, alcohol consumption can adversely affect your liver, therefore how much glutathione your liver makes.  Excess inflammation from poor dietary choices like refined carbohydrates can sap your bodies natural ability to make enough glutathione.  If you are using the lions share of it in your gut, other areas in your body don’t have enough to protect tissues!

It’s not just alcohol that can affects the liver. Many common health conditions such as having a: fatty liver, gut problems like irritable or inflammatory bowel syndrome, food sensitivities,

chronic infections, nutrient deficiencies, and immune problems all impair glutathione production.

Pretty much, having health problems can make you deficient in glutathione which puts you at risk of developing even more health problems- it’s a vicious cycle!

What are the symptoms of low glutathione?

The following are a few of the common symptoms:

  • Brain fog
  • Aches and pains (fibromyalgia)
  • Fatigue
  • Weak immune system
  • Headaches
  • Joint pain

How to boost your body’s production of glutathione


Selenium is required for glutathione production. You probably know how important selenium is for the health of your immune system and thyroid gland. It is also a powerful antioxidant and this is largely because of its role in glutathione production. 

Many parts of the world have selenium deficient soils and very few foods are a rich source of this mineral. The best food sources of selenium include Brazil nuts, seafood, onion and garlic. 

Getting plenty of those foods in your diet is a good way of maintaining and improving your health

N-acetyl cysteine (NAC)

NAC is the precursor of glutathione and can be taken in supplement form. Studies have shown that most oral forms of glutathione are not well absorbed. The body tends to digest it to its building blocks and blood levels of glutathione don’t rise significantly. 

NAC supplements tend to be far more effective. This substance has a long history of use. 

NAC also helps to protect the kidneys from potential harm, protect your body from oxidative damage, and help to make you a more efficient detoxifier.

Methylation nutrients are important. 

Methylation is a process that assists your body’s production of glutathione. 

The main nutrients required for methylation are B vitamins, particularly B6, B9 (folate) and B12. 

B12 is found in animal foods such as meat, poultry and seafood, while plant foods are an excellent source of the other B vitamins. 

It is important to eat lots of vegetables each day, either as salads, vegetable juices, smoothies, or cooked vegetables.

Whey Protein

Whey protein has been shon to significantly bump glutathione levels.  Unfortunately some are dairy intolerant and this may not be a great way to get your glutathione fix.

Alpha Lipoic Acid

ALA is an amazing nutrient that has been utilized as a detoxification agent and has the ability to stimulate T-regulatory cells (LINK FROM WEBSITE HERE).  Its a potent stimulator of glutathione and is found in Dr. Ian’s custom formula, “Immuno Power”.  <<< SUPPLEMENT COMING IN 8 WEEKS.


Sulfur is needed for glutathione production. Sulfur is found in cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, onion, garlic, leek and eggs. If you don’t include much of these foods in your diet. 

This supplement is traditionally taken by people who want to improve their liver health, reduce joint pain and protect your body from autoimmune disease.

Get more movement

Try to get some movement each day. Exercise boosts your body’s production of glutathione. As long as you don’t exercise to complete exhaustion, exercise acts as a minor stress on your body, boosts your immune system and improves your detoxification abilities. 

It is often said that “sitting is inflammatory” because inactivity raises your body’s production of inflammation generating compounds. Exercise helps to counteract that.

Glutathione and the autoimmune disease connection

When glutathione levels drop too low this makes you more susceptible to autoimmune disease, multiple food sensitivities, chemical and heavy metal sensitivities, chronic inflammatory disorders, leaky gut, and other immune-related issues.

Study after study shows that your body’s ability to constantly take oxidized glutathione and recycle it back to reduced Glutathione is critical for managing autoimmunity.

By ensuring your glutathione levels stay at robust levels, you provide your body with an army of soldiers ready to “take a bullet” and shield your cells from the destructive forces of toxins and inflammation. 

The Takeaway

It is dangerous to walk around without glutathione. It’s not just about taking the supplements that I listed above. But you really need to focus on rebuilding and repairing your body. 

As you’ve learned from above, glutathione greatly aids in the immune system’s proper function. 

When I have someone suffering from an immune system that is out of control, glutathione is often a molecule I am worried about. 

So how do you know if your immune system is out of control? If you suffer from an autoimmune disease, allergies, asthma, rashes, chronic infections, leaky gut, or chemical sensitivity then you have inappropriate immune system activation.

To manage this your body needs to get back to being able to constantly take oxidized glutathione and recycle it back to reduced glutathione- which is critical for managing autoimmunity. 

How Dr. Autoimmune can help!

Addressing autoimmunity requires a personalized approach. At Dr. Autoimmune, we discover and address the root causes. We look at how these causes influence the autoimmune process which changes the game when it comes to caring and preventing autoimmune disease.

There is nothing like working with a practitioner who listens, acknowledges and knows how to find the answers that you seek while simplifying what can feel like a really complicated and overwhelming process of discovery and healing. 

To optimize your glutathione levels and better manage your autoimmune disease, please contact Dr. Autoimmune for guidance.

To get started, give us a call today at 303-882-8447. Or click here to schedule your appointment today! 

We offer 100% remote care so anyone can heal from anywhere! And we’ve set up ‘The Dr. Autoimmune Solution’ which is a comprehensive new patient special that includes everything necessary to determine the root cause of your condition and start you on the journey to getting your life back.

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube

Tik-Tok for more information and tips regarding autoimmune diseases and the functional medicine approach. While you’re here, take a second to check out some of Dr. Autoimmune’s testimonials.

Breathe Your Troubles Away

Breathing techniques are not just for yogis and tree huggers, and have been used for thousands of years in many cultures and practices. Almost everyone who has ever been guided through a meditation practice knows how important the rhythm of breath is. Although encouraged to breathe through our nose, for many, that is easier said than done.

You may or may not know if you are a mouth or nose breather, and, you may be saying, so what! But guess what? How you breathe and how much oxygen you take in can make life-altering changes for someone who suffers from sinus issues, snoring, sleep apnea, or emphysema. When the quality of breathing goes down, the stress on the body goes up. How you breathe can also contribute to inflammation that could trigger autoimmune disease.

Nose vs. Mouth

Mouth breathing can not only cause sleep disorders, but it can actually distort the structure of your face. As our brains grew bigger and our faces narrowed, we developed crowded teeth and the roofs of our mouths arched higher. For some, this created a series of sinus and breathing problems including snoring and sleep apnea. 

When you breathe through your nose, the hairs in your nose filters out airborne particles including allergens, pollution, and even insects (ew!). Where do you think those critters go when you breathe through your mouth? Your mouth does not have this filtering system and bacteria could be more prevalent, creating a whirlwind of health issues that can also be linked to behavioral problems and autoimmunity. Breathing through your nose also warms the oxygen which creates a moist environment for your mouth and lungs. 

So what can you do to change this lifelong, potentially life-altering habit? You can practice putting your tongue to the roof of your mouth and closing your lips, and breathing out of your nose. Bring awareness to your breath and practice nasal breathing frequently. Some tape their mouths when sleeping. There are many techniques and tapes on the market, so do your research and find one that may work best for you.

Balance is Key

Since breathing is controlled by your autonomic (automatic) nervous system, which controls unconscious bodily functions, some believe that it cannot be controlled consciously. Studies show that breathing can tap into your autonomic nervous system and you can activate your relaxing nerve responses with oxygen control. Many people with high levels of stress or chronic illness live largely in a sympathetic state of “fight or flight”. This in turn, wreaks havoc on many bodily systems including your hormones, brain health, and your immune system. 

Chinese medicine’s philosophy is to balance your yin and yang (everyone has seen the black and white logo with two tear drops hugging), which is comparable to our western terms of parasympathetic and sympathetic systems. Finding balance is paramount for our health and keeping chronic and autoimmune disorders at bay.

Immune to Inflammation

Inflammation is the root cause of all disease. This is a bold statement, but it is the one common link we find in all of our clients. Our innate immune system is what keeps us alive and well, but persistent inflammation and improper working cells can trigger tissue and organ damage, leading to autoimmune disorders. Stress is a nasty beast! When our sympathetic functions are flared, increased levels of hormones like cortisol, are not in balance and can cause a landslide of symptoms. 

Techniques to Reduce Stress

By practicing breath techniques including nostril breathing (Nadi Shadhana), breathing coordination, Buteyko, conscious breathing, carbon dioxide training, tummo, and modified techniques by acclaimed immune biohacker Wim Hof, you can reset your autonomic functions through stretch-induced signals which can synchronize the heart, lungs, limbic system and cortex. The book Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art by James Nestor follows the author’s challenges with chronic health issues and his quest to uncover the mysteries and healing stories of breath. 

Cold plunging and exposure to uncomfortable chilly temperatures can also trigger a reset, and with proper training and practice, individuals have been able to control their breathing and voluntarily influence their sympathetic nervous systems. Wim Hof himself has been injected with E. coli and after a few breaths, got up with no symptoms or effect and fetched himself a cup of coffee. Practice makes perfect, or at least can create a more balanced outcome for many chronic illnesses. 

In today’s electronic age, there are multiple biohacking devices available that track your blood sugar, tell you if you will burn more fat or carbohydrates that day, monitor your steps and calories and heart rate variability. These tools are costly and sought after by the most extreme athletes and dieters that track every detail of their consumption. Why not tap into something that costs nothing but time, with proven results dating back for thousands of years? 

When someone is hyperventilating, advice is given to breath in a bag, slowly and rhythmically. It works by putting some of the lost carbon dioxide back into your lungs and body. Next time you are feeling stressed, frustrated, or anxious, try taking slow breaths in and out of your nose for 5 counts. With practice and patience, you can tap into your parasympathetic nervous system at a time of need, and reduce or reverse those emotions. You can be the master of your own body, mind and health.

If you suspect you may be running in a state of stress, have symptoms, suspect or have been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, click the “Start Your Journey” button at the bottom of this page. We can help you get to the root cause of your imbalance.

What is Leaky Gut?

95% of the good microbes in your body are in your gut. When in balance, these tiny organisms work together with your body to support many important systems, such as your immune system. In fact, 70-80% of your immune cells are in your gut! The tiny ecosystem of microbes in your stomach and intestines is known as your “gut microbiome”.

A problem occurs when the good microbes are overpowered by bad microbes. This creates a state of imbalance known as “gut dysbiosis”. Since your gut microbiome is so essential to the proper functioning of many of your body’s systems, gut dysbiosis is linked to various diseases- even brain diseases- such as:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

What affects your gut microbiota? Stress, alcohol, certain foods, the use of antibiotics can all harm the good microbes in your gut, leading to gut dysbiosis. Gut dysbiosis can also cause inflammation, which can lead to what we call “leaky gut”.

The lining of your intestines is important for keeping most material inside your gut, while also letting things like water and nutrients be absorbed through it. In order to let certain things through the barrier, your intestine lining has to be somewhat permeable by having gaps between cells. However, when the gaps become too big due to inflammation, bigger particles can seep through. This is how leaky gut starts.

Food particles that escape your intestinal lining cause more inflammation. This is why leaky gut can is linked to inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

The backbone of our immune system lies in our gut. When we have gut dysbiosis, leaky gut, and inflammation, our immune system can become dysregulated. This leads to a loss of tolerance for certain foods, environmental substances such as chemicals, and eventually our own cells.

3 Red Flags for Leaky Gut

Food sensitivities

Environmental sensitivities

Autoimmune disease

Healing Leaky Gut With Functional Medicine

As a functional medicine office, our focus is to dig deeper and address chronic health concerns by getting to the root cause. Because leaky gut is often the root cause of most inflammatory disorders and autoimmune diseases, our care is very gut-focused.

One of the most common questions asked in the natural health community is, “How do I fix my gut?” The problem is that this is not exactly a one-size-fits-all situation! Our personalized plans are designed to find and remove your specific triggers, which are not the same for everyone.


Since gut dysbiosis is a factor contributing to leaky gut, it is beneficial to add healthy bacteria back into the gut to “take up parking spots” and out-compete bad bacteria. Dr. Ian Hollaman uses advanced GI testing to identify exactly which strains of probiotics will be most beneficial for each patient. 

Sometimes, before adding in good bacteria, the gut needs to be cleared of an infection, or overgrowth, of bad bacteria. Small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) is a difficult monster to tackle, but we have successfully helped many of our patients get it under control.


Eating a fiber-rich diet gives the good bacteria in your gut plenty of good food! This is another way to help their populations grow.


Polyphenols are antioxidants that help reduce stress on your body’s cells, therefore reducing inflammation. A recent study found that eating a polyphenol-rich diet for 8 weeks helped change the gut microbiota and therefore reduced intestinal permeability (aka leaky gut). This study used polyphenols from cocoa and green tea. 

Dr. Ian’s proprietary supplement ImmunoXym contains caffeine-free green tea extract for its polyphenol content along with a specially formulated blend of probiotics and a slew of other vitamins essential for your immune system to regulate itself. 


Glutamine supplementation has been shown to dramatically and safely reduce symptoms in IBS patients that have leaky gut.

The Dr. Autoimmune Difference

At Dr. Autoimmune, we use a functional medicine approach to address the root cause of leaky gut and all other gut issues. Our solutions are always natural, always personalized, and always backed by science. If you are ready to change your life, click the “Start Your Journey” button at the bottom of this page!

Could Your PCOS Medications “B” the Problem?

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common conditions in reproductive-aged women. It is estimated that 8-13% of all reproductive-aged women have this condition and up to 70% of those women are undiagnosed. People with PCOS have cysts on their ovaries that cause hormonal symptoms such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Irregular menstrual cycles
  • Excessive hair growth
  • Infertility
  • Weight gain and weight loss resistance
  • Scalp hair loss/thinning
  • Oily skin/acne


Often we find that PCOS patients also have insulin resistance and/or type 2 diabetes. According to some studies, nearly 70% of women with PCOS also have insulin resistance. High levels of blood insulin increase androgen levels (male hormones such as testosterone). Excess androgens in females are mostly to blame for the undesirable effects of PCOS, including acne, weight gain, facial hair, and weight loss resistance. 

Inflammation increases the risk for PCOS. Insulin resistance is just one cause of systemic inflammation. Gut health, stress levels, and weight gain can all contribute to inflammation as well.

Current Treatments

Currently, health care providers recommend weight loss as a primary approach to PCOS relief. Fat cells cause inflammation, so this makes sense. However, as many people may already know, weight loss is not always as easy as it sounds! Insulin resistance can make losing weight through exercise feel impossible.

As far as medications, health care providers often prescribe combination birth control pills to adjust hormone levels, or metformin for insulin resistance. Neither of these approaches truly address the root cause of the insulin resistance and systemic inflammation.

The B Vitamin Cycle of Doom

Just like with most medications, the common prescriptions for PCOS have side effects. Both birth control pills and metformin are known to deplete B vitamins. Metformin specifically makes it more difficult for your body to absorb B12. Birth control pills, on the other hand, are known to cause nutritional deficiencies in folate, vitamins B2, B6, B12, vitamin C and E and the minerals magnesium, selenium and zinc.

Why are B vitamin deficiencies so concerning? B12, also known as cobalamin, is a vitamin that is essential for brain health and nervous system function. It is needed for the creation of red blood cells, which help distribute oxygen to the rest of our bodies (including our brains). It is no wonder, then, that low B12 levels have been linked to dementia.


In addition to taking medications that deplete them, many people with PCOS have a specific gene mutation that makes it even more difficult to create active B vitamins. MTHFR is a gene that helps our bodies convert folate to an activated version that we need in order to use B12 (5-MTHF). Birth control pills deplete folate, B6 and B12 levels, so if you also have the MTHFR mutation then your body will really struggle to activate and utilize B12.

Some studies have suggested that women with PCOS are more likely to have a mutation on the MTHFR gene. So, due to medication side effects and/or gene mutations, people with PCOS often suffer from B vitamin deficiency (hence their association with Major depression). 

What’s interesting is how much overlap there is between B vitamin deficiency symptoms and PCOS symptoms. It begs the question: Are PCOS symptoms made worse by B vitamin deficiency, caused by the very medications meant to bring the patient relief?

The Dr. Autoimmune Difference

Our office uses a functional medicine approach to identify and address the root cause of chronic conditions such as PCOS. Rather than using medications, we know how to help you provide your body with the tools it needs to correct imbalances naturally.

For example, our office uses continuous glucose monitoring technology to help our patients identify how certain foods affect their blood sugar. Our nutritionist works one on one with patients to develop plans that help their bodies regulate blood sugar levels more effectively. Once insulin resistance is under control, weight loss becomes much easier. Loss of excess fat= less inflammation= less PCOS symptoms.

The bottom line is that PCOS is not a life sentence- lifestyle changes such as exercise, supplementation, and diet change designed to address the root cause will provide relief. If you are ready to tackle your chronic condition and change your life naturally, click the “Start Your Journey” button at the bottom of this page.

Achieve A Healthier Gut By Eating These Foods

Discover how eating these foods can get you a healthier gut!

We’ve all experienced these symptoms more than we can count! Bloating, constipation, diarrhea, indigestion, and the general feeling of blah. 

That’s a common feeling after eating a large greasy meal. Or indulging in a rich dessert. Or grabbing a bunch of convenience food when you’re running late. 

It’s easy to brush off short-term discomforts from these foods, but daily consumption can lead to long-term gut health problems. 

So how can we achieve a healthier gut?

Well, what if I told you that food is the answer to achieving a healthier  gut! It’s true, but there’s good food and bad food for your gut! 

Healthy food is nature’s medicine as it can ease digestive symptoms and prevent certain conditions. 

By adding gut-healthy foods to your diet it’s a lot easier and delicious to achieve a healthier gut than you may realize!

Let’s face it – we sometimes feel too busy to go searching for healthy food on the go.  So we settle on what’s around us. 

The problem is, a lot of those ‘quick’ foods contain high sugar, fats, and cholesterol – with limited nutritional values. This leads to inflammation and unbalanced digestive enzymes. 

Good & Bad Bacteria

Your gut health depends on the functioning of trillions of bacteria, fungi, parasites, and viruses that occupy your small and large intestines and the rest of your body. 

These organisms make up what’s called your microbiome. The microbiome is a delicate system that plays a crucial role in your digestive system, immune system, and production of serotonin. 

The microbiome can be aided or weakened by many factors. One of these factors is the food you eat.

In the following paragraphs, we’ll review foods that can restore healthy gut flora. But first, let’s go over why it’s so important that you make adjustments to your eating habits for a healthier gut.

Why we should change what we eat.

In a perfect world, we would eat whatever satisfied us. Our body would easily process the food as it passed through our gut, and then absorb the necessary nutrients while eliminating what we didn’t need through our bowel movements. 

However, we don’t live in a perfect world, and some foods can make us feel really lousy over time. Which is why many of us should adjust our diet in order to improve our gut health. 

The first step is to eliminate or reduce any processed foods, refined sugars and fats as they’re linked with a higher risk of chronic diseases that can shorten your lifespan.

Some of these chronic diseases include:

Other Issues that can be caused by poor gut health include:


Making a positive change in your diet not only benefits your gut health, it can also help lower your chances of getting any of the chronic diseases mentioned above. 

On top of that, eating with your gut in mind will also help lower your blood pressure, and reduce your risk of heart disease and diabetes.

Now that we went over the “why” we should change our eating habits, let’s dig in and go over which foods will help you achieve a much happier and healthier gut! 


A food often associated with sausage and hearty meals, sauerkraut is actually healthier than one may think. 

Due to the fermentation process and the nutritionally dense values of cabbage, sauerkraut is an awesome food for a healthy gut!

In fact, regular consumption of fermented sauerkraut helps to balance good gut bacteria and is also a beneficial treatment for inflammatory bowel diseases and other conditions.

But be careful– not all sauerkraut is the same. Some sauerkraut found in traditional supermarkets can be loaded with sodium. So make sure to check the label when purchasing.

Leafy Greens

Spinach, kale, arugula, and chard are a few examples of leafy greens that are great to achieve a healthy gut lifestyle. The variety of their use is endless, too! 

Leafy greens can be added to smoothies, soups, salads, and side dishes to satisfy cravings and appetite.

They’re low in calories, high in fiber, and packed with vitamins and minerals – it’s no wonder leafy greens are the superstars of all healthy food! 

The benefits of adding leafy greens to your diet are endless too! 

Here are 6 reasons why they are amazing for gut health- 

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Loaded with fiber for a healthy microbiota
  • Maintains healthy blood sugar
  • Promotes a healthy immune system
  • Encourages healthy digestive enzymes
  • Eliminates bloating

Dairy Free Yogurt

Yogurt is great for gut health, but not just any ol’ yogurt! For optimal health benefits, plant-based, dairy-free yogurt is best. 

There are many tasty dairy-free yogurt options available that provide a ton of probiotic gut health benefits – without the lactose issues of dairy.

When choosing a dairy-free yogurt, make sure the label contains at least one of these options:

  • almond milk
  • cashew milk
  • soy milk
  • coconut milk

Plant-based yogurt provides delicious and nutritional options for a healthy gut. Be sure the yogurt you choose isn’t loaded with sugar. 

Don’t worry, you can always sweeten it up with some fruit!

How is Yogurt a Probiotic?

Yogurt is a fermented food that increases lactobacilli (good probiotic) and decreases Enterobacteriaceae (inflammation-causing bacteria). 

In fact, studies show those who consume yogurt regularly have a healthier gut microbiota (gut habitat) than those who do not eat yogurt. 

Further studies also suggest that regular consumption of yogurt is beneficial to those with IBS and other digestive disorders.

It’s easy to see how dairy-free yogurt promotes the gut-healthy lifestyle! So make sure to add some to your next grocery list. 


A healthier gut isn’t only about probiotics – a healthy gut microbiome requires prebiotics, too.

While there are many prebiotic foods, the health benefits of garlic make it a star performer due to its high inulin (a type of dietary fiber) and non-digestive carbohydrate properties. 

These prebiotic properties promote the growth of good bacteria which helps to prevent intestinal diseases.

Garlic is also beneficial for a healthy gut microbiota (gut habitat) due to its antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and cancer prevention properties. 

Prebiotic foods, like garlic, also contain short-chain fatty acids, which promote gut-health and decrease inflammation in the colon.

You may now wonder, do I need to eat a bowl full of garlic? No, please don’t! All you need to do is add 1 – 2 cloves of raw garlic into a meal per day. In fact, many healthy recipes include garlic cloves already. 

It’s a matter of mindfulness.


Packed with protein, fiber, and polyphenols, moderate consumption of nuts is fantastic for a healthy-gut life. 

Fiber is a key player here, and adding a quarter cup of nuts per day is all that’s needed.

This goes to show a gut-healthy diet includes tasty foods, even ones you’ll go “nuts” over!


This is another one that you’ll go “bananas” for! And we mean literally, because bananas are very gut-healthy! 

The health benefits of eating bananas really stack up because they provide everything from fiber, to prebiotics, to pectin, to resistant starch- all of which promote a healthy gut! 

Not to mention there’s so many different ways to enjoy eating them! They can be used in smoothie recipes, desserts, salads and bread! Or just peel and eat it straight up! 

Bonus Tip: Add a banana to your dairy free yogurt for an extra dose of gut-healthiness!


Lentils are a plant-based source of protein and fiber, and are an easy way to add prebiotics and antioxidants to your daily nutrition.

Lentils also have resistant starch which slows the digestion of carbohydrates and reduces the risk for gastrointestinal disorders. 

Meals that contain lentils are also filling which helps to reduce overeating and indigestion.

Gut Health is Important!

Roughly three million Americans today have been diagnosed with intestinal disorders, including Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis

While factors like family history and environment can play a part in health issues, one’s lifestyle and diet play a big role too!

The key takeaway is to eat healthy fermented foods, as well as foods containing fiber, prebiotics, and probiotics. 

Remember, healthy eating doesn’t have to be confusing, complicated, or disgusting. All it takes is some education and mindful planning.

Could your gut be affecting your current health problems?

If after reading this you feel like your gut may be playing a role in your current health problems, then it’s time to make an appointment with Dr. Ian Hollaman, aka Dr. Autoimmune! 

Dr. Hollaman treats a plethora of conditions including many that we mentioned above. He addresses the root causes of your autoimmune conditions using the most modern forms of healthcare including Functional Medicine, Clinical Nutrition, and Neurofeedback.

After working with Dr. Autoimmune and our team, you will walk away with the knowledge and tips to keep your health on track for years to come.

It’s time to start your journey to better health with the right tools, therapies, and diet changes.

Contact us today to get started! We’re happy to set up a complimentary 15-minute introductory consultation with Dr. Ian Hollaman himself.