Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (HT) is an autoimmune disease that attributes to most cases of low-thyroid symptoms in the US.
Whether you have been diagnosed or think you have HT, it’s critical you recognize the risks associated with low thyroid and thyroid autoimmunity.
Many different factors cause multifactorial autoimmune diseases like HT. Even though there is no one source responsible for perpetuating these diseases, there are certain factors that are common among those suffering from autoimmunity:
The top 3 risk factors for Hashimoto’s
You may have been born with a unique DNA code, but it doesn’t mean you are destined to suffer from certain diseases. Mainstream medicine blames a lot on genetics, but it’s essential to understand that you have the tools to promote or discourage these genes from activating. Research in epigenetics has also suggested that while our DNA may be more susceptible to developing certain diseases, we can also turn off these specific genes that make us more vulnerable to disease. Nutrition, exercise, stress, toxins, and the like are all tools that can be used to prevent certain health risks.
2. Environmental Triggers
You may be familiar with the commonly known environmental triggers such as smoking, stress, and heavy metals that negatively impact our genetic health and bodily functions, but did you know other seemingly minor triggers make a big impact on our health?
- food allergies
- lack of sleep
- low-calorie diets
- nutrition deficiency
- sedentary lifestyle
have all been shown to affect our immune system and train it to react to certain molecules. Depriving the body of these vital needs will activate a type of survival mode within the system, taking resources from other mechanisms less critical.
3. Leaky Gut
“Leaky gut,” also known as intestinal permeability, is common among those with autoimmune disease. Leaky gut occurs when digestive cells begin to break apart, breaking down the usually tightly bound barrier. When these barriers called “tight junctions” are broken down, it allows foreign particles to enter the bloodstream, leaving the intestines vulnerable to constant immune response and chronic inflammation.
Your digestive tract is continuously screening foreign molecules from food, contaminants, bacteria, viruses, and fungi throughout each day, so it’s no surprise that approximately 70% of the immune system originates in the gut. Immune cells have the very tough job of identifying which molecules are a friend or foe to your body.
Your genetic code does not mean you are destined to struggle with health issues. By promoting a healthy gut and reducing environmental triggers, you can live a healthier, more vital life.
A qualified functional medicine doctor can get you started by helping you assess your environmental triggers for autoimmunity and create an effective treatment plan to heal your gut and reverse your disease.