The Autoimmune Wellness Podcast Episode #3: Step 1: In-Depth with Sarah Ballantyne, Ph.D.

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Welcome to The Autoimmune Wellness Podcast Season 1! We’ve created this podcast as a free resource to accompany our upcoming book, The Autoimmune Wellness Handbook: A DIY Guide to Living Well with Chronic Illness. 

Episode #3: Step 1: In-Depth with Sarah Ballantyne, Ph.D. is a conversation with the AIP expert covering everything from the basics of immune system function to prevention, testing, and treatment for autoimmune disease. In this great discussion, Sarah talks specifics about who is at risk for developing autoimmune disease, including the “accidents” of antibody formation. Very interestingly, she spoke with us about how our immune systems are “nutrient hogs” and how that applies to the healing approach of AIP. And yes, we all shared a little emotional moment to reflect on the ripple effect of Sarah’s work. This is a great episode for taking those first steps in truly informing yourself about autoimmune disease.

If you’d like to go more in-depth on Step 1: Inform, check out the “Confirmed, Suspected, and Related-Autoimmune Diseases” list or the “Learn About Your Disease” section, both in Chapter 1. These sections add detail to the information shared by Sarah in this episode.

How to listen:

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Show Notes:

  • 0:00 Introduction
  • 1:50 Introducing Sarah
  • 3:00 How the immune system works and autoimmune disease develops
  • 6:20 How many autoimmune diseases are there?
  • 7:50 Sarah’s experience with informing herself about her autoimmune diagnoses
  • 9:42 Who is at risk for autoimmune disease?
  • 10:55 The risk for developing multiple autoimmune diseases and the role of antibody formation
  • 14:09 Common primary autoimmune diseases
  • 14:30 The role of nutrient deficiency in autoimmune disease
  • 15:50 Prevention of autoimmune disease
  • 23:25 Testing and treatment for autoimmune disease in the conventional and alternative system
  • 28:00 Sarah talks about how to have a conversation with your doctor
  • 30:30 Sarah’s unique research background and how she used it to create AIP as it stands today
  • 34:12 Our gratitude for Sarah’s work and sharing a few heartfelt tears
  • 36:54 Outro

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The Autoimmune Wellness Podcast is a complimentary resource to our forthcoming book, The Autoimmune Wellness Handbook: A DIY Guide to Living Well with Chronic Illness. Support us in our mission to revolutionize how autoimmune disease is viewed and treated by pre-ordering your copy today, using the links provided below!

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Check out the previous episode, Episode #2: Step 1: Inform – Our Stories, and the next episode, Episode #4: Step 2: Collaborate – Our Stories. For the full podcast archive, click here.

About Mickey Trescott

Mickey Trescott is a co-founder here at Autoimmune Wellness and a co-teacher of AIP Certified Coach. After recovering from her own struggle with both Celiac and Hashimoto’s disease, adrenal fatigue, and multiple vitamin deficiencies, Mickey started to write about her experience to share with others and help them realize they are not alone in their struggles. She has a Master's degree in Human Nutrition and Functional Nutrition, and is the author of three best-selling books--The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook, The Autoimmune Wellness Handbook, and The Nutrient-Dense Kitchen. You can watch her AIP cooking demos by following her on Instagram.


  • Traci says

    Hi Mickey and Angie,
    thank you so much for putting together these podcasts, I have so enjoyed listening to them and have found myself nodding along and relating to so much of what you have said and loved listening to Sarah Ballentyne.
    Please keep them coming as in a world where it is so hard to find anyone (typically medical doctors) who understand and who have answers this really helps me keep going in the right direction to getting my health and energy back again.
    Much gratitude

    • Angie Alt says

      You are so welcome Traci!! Thanks for listening.

  • Jessie says

    Though I’ve seen and had access to dietary and lifestyle modifications for autoimmunity for a couple years now, where I’ve listened to podcasts and felt like I could relate, read books and articles, where I’ve found valuable information, I’ve not yet felt like a part of something bigger. However with these few episodes, you ladies have managed to make clear that your mission is to help the larger community of people with autoimmune disease. You’ve made your plights, really-real and therefore, my story too, becomes real. I’ve been “connected” but I have not yet felt emotionally so. This episode made me feel like I’m not alone. I’m not crazy or complaining, I’m living with a troublesome partner, and there is hope. Angie, your emotion brought this home for me. Thank you!

    • Angie Alt says

      You are so welcome Jessie!! We are fired up to grow this movement & so glad you are a part of it w/ us.

  • Pat Martin says

    Angie, you made me cry! 39 days AIP and couldn’t have done it without you three awesome people. Thank you!

    • Angie Alt says

      You are so welcome Pat!!! We are on a mission to get this information out there & help folks feel less lonely. It’s an honor!

  • […] the previous episode, Episode #1: What is the Autoimmune Wellness Journey?, and the next episode, Episode #3: Sarah Ballantyne, PhD on Getting Informed. For the full podcast archive, click […]

  • […] out the previous episode, Episode #3: Sarah Ballantyne, PhD on Getting Informed, and the next episode, Episode #5: Titus Chiu, DC on Practitioner Collaboration. For the full […]

  • maxine says

    Oh, what Dr Sarah just said toward the end(paraphrased, of course)…when we see improvement resulting from diet, we want to know what else might help…major!

  • Shanna S. says

    What are your thoughts on the effects of trauma/high ACE scores contributing to development of autoimmune disease? I don’t see a lot in the autoimmune literature.

    As a mental health therapist, and someone with two autoimmune diseases who experienced a childhood rife with poverty, oppression, and several traumatic experiences, I’ve witnessed personally and professionally the impact of trauma on the mind & body and a high correlation between trauma and subsequent development of symtomology later in life .

    Autoimmune disease disproportionately affects women, and of course, hormones play a key role. But I wonder how much of this is also due to trauma and social disparities (inequitable access, poverty, oppression), especially in terms of women of color which we know certain autoimmune diseases disproportionately affect.

    When I visit a functional medicine practitioner I’m asked about symptoms, diet, and lifestyle factors, but I’m not asked about lifetime traumatic experiences, whether my marriage is good, whether I have my basic needs met, questions about emotional/spiritual health or whether I experience or have experienced adversity, conflict, or oppression. There’s a nebulous affect of trauma on the mind/body/spirit connection. I’ve experienced this and see this in my practice. It would be nice if there was greater awareness of this in the autoimmune community.

    • Angie Alt says

      Shanna, we definitely know there is a connection between trauma, high ACE scores, & autoimmune disease. I think this is in general something only be recently recognized though, so it is not addressed often in the literature. I talk about it some on my individual Instagram account & there are more & more people in our space addressing it, but I also think many people do this cautiously, as they may feel like I do that w/out a mental health background they should be careful in how they present the information. We would LOVE to have more people w/ your training join the autoimmune movement to address this area of holistic healing.

  • TANYA says

    I have sjorden’s syndrome I have not heard you mention that. Will AIP work for me?

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