Highlights from Jonathan Otto's interview with Dr. Daniel Nuzum, for the Depression & Anxiety Series. 

Dr. Daniel Nuzum: 00:10 Autoimmune disorders are one of the most misunderstood conditions in medicine, in my opinion.Most of medicine is operating off of an old paradigm, an old thought process, where they are operating under the assumption that the immune system in an autoimmune disorders is actually an overactive immune system. An immune system is over aggressive and overactive and over vigilant, if you will.

Dr. Daniel Nuzum: 00:46 The truth of the matter is that's not the case. The truth of the matter is that a person dealing with an autoimmune disorders has a dysfunctional immune system. They have an immune system that's lost its ability to differentiate between who's good and who's bad. Because of that, the immune system may be attacking different tissues in their body, different types of hormones, or different aspects of different organs, and so on and so forth. The thing is the immune system is not overactive. The immune system is misguided and has lost its ability to tell what's me and what's not me.

Dr. Daniel Nuzum: 01:39 I'll give you an example. There was a heavyweight boxer some years ago. His last name, there's a chicken company with the same names, this particular boxer was ferocious. He was. They would unleash this fellow in the ring. He'd come across the ring swinging, and he didn't quit swinging until the other boxer was done. He was amazing. Amazing, amazing boxer.

Dr. Daniel Nuzum: 02:13 So, I wanna use this analogy. So, we have a boxer that is the Heavyweight Champion of the World. We have another boxer that's his opponent. Let's say the heavyweight champion has a cold, and he doesn't feel well, and he goes to the ring, and he has a round with this other fellow who's also a professional boxer. This other professional boxer just has his way with him for the first round. The first round, the champion gets beat up a little bit.

Dr. Daniel Nuzum: 02:51 Let's say we go into round two, and not only is the champion beat up a little bit, but we blindfold him. He comes into round two blindfolded so he can't see his opponent. He knows there is an opponent there, but we also put both corner men, all the judges, and all these people, we just let everybody into the ring. Now, the ring's full of people. We have the Heavyweight Champion of the World, the world's best boxer, against the contender, who's the next best boxer in the world. They both know each other's there. The heavyweight champion goes out into the ring, but he's blindfolded. He's blindfolded. He can't see so he can't tell who's his opponent, and who's not.

Dr. Daniel Nuzum: 03:45 How do we determine who he's gonna knock out first? Is he gonna knock out his opponent? Or, is he gonna knock out one of the judges? The referee? What we don't knock is who he's gonna knock out at all. He may knock out everyone. He might not knock out anyone.

Dr. Daniel Nuzum: 04:04 I'm giving you this picture because this is what's happening in an autoimmune disorders. Your immune system is the World's Heavyweight Champion. If your immune system gets beat up a little bit. It doesn't have the right nutrition. It's been exposed to toxicity, different toxins and things in the environment, and it's had to deal with different stresses, your immune system gets beat up a little bit. If it loses its ability to differentiate, it gets blindfolded. Now, we have the World's Heavyweight Champion going about trying to take out an opponent, but he's blindfolded, and he can't see, can't differentiate. That is what's going on in an autoimmune disorder.

Dr. Daniel Nuzum: 05:04 What we need to understand is how does that come about. How does that happen? How does the immune system become dysfunctional and lose its ability to differentiate between who is my body and who isn't my body? Who's my friend and who's my foe? This is what happens in autoimmune disorders. The immune system can't tell. It can't tell who's good, who's bad. It knows that there's something out there that it needs to go after, but it can't tell who's the good guys and who's the bad guys so it goes after everything.

Dr. Daniel Nuzum: 05:46 There are things that we know. We know that leaky gut ... let me explain leaky gut real quick. Leaky gut is a intestinal issue where the intestines become swollen, inflamed, as that happens, the gut wall, should be all knit together nice and tight. In leaky gut, the gut wall has become inflamed and has expanded. So, it goes from being semipermeable, where only small things can pass through the gut wall 'cause everything's knit together nice and tight, to excessively permeable. So, it goes from semipermeable to very permeable, from nice and tightly knit together like this. As it expands, it separates, and things just start to flow through the gut wall.

Dr. Daniel Nuzum: 06:52 When that happens, every time you eat, every time you drink, every time something passes through your gut, some of it just floats right into your bloodstream. If that happens, whenever you eat or drink, your immune system gets set on an alarm. You get a level five alarm every time you eat, every time you drink because whole foods, or food components, are floating directly into your bloodstream, which shouldn't ever happen. That's not supposed to happen.

Dr. Daniel Nuzum: 07:32 There's only one time in our life where that ever should happen, and that is when we're newborn babies, and we're consuming breast milk. Mothers' milk has whole proteins, and those whole proteins are too large to pass through a tightly knit gut wall. When we're babies, we have this hyper permeability of our gut so that we can absorb those whole proteins. Once we're weaned, and we're not breast feeding anymore, our gut wall should tighten up again, should come back together, should come together for the first time actually and be tightly knit.

Dr. Daniel Nuzum: 08:22 Let me give you an example, similar to cheesecloth versus a screen from a window. Cheesecloth, if you try to sift through cheesecloth, you're only gonna get very small particles coming out if you sift something through cheesecloth. If you use a screen from a window, or a screen door, or something like that, the holes are bigger and you get larger particles will come through. Correct? So, as we think of that, your gut wall should be like cheesecloth, and only small particles ever come through there. All right. When the gut wall gets inflamed, it swells up, and as it swells up, those fibers expand, now it becomes more like a screen, and bigger particles float through.

Dr. Daniel Nuzum: 09:18 Now, those undigested large particles irritate those immune system, and the more consistently the immune system gets irritated, two things happen. One, it becomes hyper sensitive to those particular particles. So, if you're eating the same thing every day, day in, day out. Let's say every morning you have oatmeal, every afternoon, you have a grilled cheese sandwich, and every night, you have chicken and pasta. Let's just say, for example. So, you have those three meals every day, and you have this leaky gut happening. What will happen is the proteins in the oatmeal, the proteins in the sandwich, and the proteins in the chicken and pasta, are things that your immune system are going to become very sensitive to, and you'll develop sensitivities to those things. When that happens those particular proteins in those particles, anytime your immune system finds those particular sequences of amino acids, or those proteins, it has an immunologic response to those proteins. When your immune system has this response to those proteins it would be like your immune system having the same response to a cold virus, or a bacteria, or some sort of foreign pathological invader, okay, only it's a food substance.

Dr. Daniel Nuzum: 01:13 When it becomes sensitive to those particular proteins, anywhere that it finds those same proteins it attacks. Not only will it attack the food when the food is floating in through the leaky gut, it starts looking for those proteins elsewhere. If they happen to be in your knee, or your shoulder, or any other joint, you end up with arthritis. If it happens to be in your heart, or your liver, or your kidneys, or any other organ, you start having these autoimmune dysfunctions of those organs, where the immune system's actually attacking those particular proteins that it's become sensitive to anywhere it finds those protein sequences in the organs.

Dr. Daniel Nuzum: 02:07 To make this real simple, when someone is suffering from leaky gut, okay that gut wall has become inflamed and we have food particles floating into the bloodstream, the immune system becomes sensitive to those particular particles that are consistently coming through the gut wall. If we're always eating the same foods every day, day in, day out, what happens is those particular foods, and the proteins in those particular foods, our immune system becomes sensitive to. Then, whenever it finds those particular proteins anywhere else in the body it will start to attack them. There's two things that have happened here. One, we've hypersensitized the immune system by only eating certain foods, only eating the same things over, and over, and over again, okay. What happens is the food we're eating becomes an irritant to the immune system, and there's a process the body goes through. Anytime it becomes irritated it inflames. Irritation causes inflammation 100% of the time.