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Ep. 91: Getting to the Root of Autoimmunity with Andrea Nakayama, Functional Medicine Nutritionist

This week, Joy chats with Andrea Nakayama, a Functional Medicine Nutritionist and educator about the three root causes of autoimmunity. Her knowledge will empower you to take control of your health.
Jun 6, 2023 | Joy McCarthy

This week, Joy chats with Andrea Nakayama, a Functional Medicine Nutritionist and educator. After losing her young husband to a brain tumor in 2002, she discovered a passion for using food as personalized medicine and is now regularly consulted as the nutrition expert for the toughest clinical cases in the practices of many world-renowned doctors. Since then she has led thousands of clients, and now teaches even more coaches and clinicians around the world in a revolution reclaiming ownership of both their own and their clients’ health.

Andrea Nakayama Autoimmune Disease in Women

This episode is packed with vulnerability as Andrea shares how her husband’s life, illness, and death has inspired her work and passion for nutrition. She also outlines the three root causes of autoimmunity that she sees in her practice and how to differentiate between signs and symptoms so you can make the best decisions for your health. You will love her raw honesty and personalized approach to healing.

If you want to learn how genes, gut health, and blood sugar balance are connected to autoimmune conditions, then you won’t want to miss this episode. So settle in with a cuppa your favourite radiant tea and enjoy soaking in Andrea’s hard won wisdom.


Episode Highlights:

  • How her young husband’s brain tumour diagnosis kickstarted her health journey.
  • The long medical journey to her diagnosis with autoimmune Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.
  • How autoimmune conditions can manifest with different symptoms.
  • The importance of individualizing diet based on specific conditions.
  • How the medical system isn’t necessarily set up to investigate early stages of chronic illness.
  • The differences between a sign and a symptom.
  • Her breakdown of the triggers of autoimmunity–the three roots, many branches systems.
  • How immune cell memory impacts the management of autoimmune diseases.
  • What is functional nutrition vs. other types of nutrition.
  • The importance of a systems-based approach to managing autoimmunity.
  • Her non-negotiables for addressing any health condition.
  • Some helpful dietary recommendations for supporting gut health & managing autoimmunity.
  • How Andrea helps her patients fall in love with whole foods through education.
  • Why we need to leave the sympathetic nervous system state to heal.
  • Developing your yes, no, maybe list of foods to connect with your body’s needs.
  • How pregnancy can trigger autoimmunity.
  • How managing autoimmunity changes depending on the decade of your life.
  • Her advice for single parents trying to juggle their health and parenting needs.
  • How her late husband’s life, illness, and death inspires her work to this day.
  • The importance of finding the spaces where you feel accepted.

Andrea Nakayama Root Causes of Autoimmune Disease


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15 Minute Matrix Podcast

Functional Nutrition Alliance Website

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