I talked last time about Mercury being a trigger for Hashimoto’s. I have also talked numerous occasions about gluten being a trigger as well, so I won’t bore you talking about Gluten again. You can read about that here if you want.
Those aren’t the only triggers.
There are many.
- Poor food choices
- Infections – Pathogens
- Chemical toxicity
- Metal toxicity beyond mercury
As a reminder, triggers alone can’t act alone in the creation of an autoimmune disease. You also need to have leaky gut which you can read more about here, and a genetic propensity. All three of these are required to have kick-off autoimmune disease.
Let’s dive into the triggers a little more that I have listed above.
Stress is tough on the body.
Our lives are so stressful and in many cases it has become chronic. When it becomes chronic it becomes burned in. The body will be unable to get back to a normal state without supplemental support and it might be required permanently. However, stress does need to be managed, both internal and external. When thinking about external stressors, what can you do to help reduce the effects of stress on your body. Of course, medication and yoga probably come to mind. They are excellent choices but there are others. Massage therapy, chiropractic care can also help to reduce physical stress on the body. Being out in nature is a great way to change the level of stress as well. A body can’t be healthy without managing the stress. It is important to find out what works for you and make sure it becomes part of your schedule every week.
Poor food choices are something I have talked about over and over. And with Autoimmune, it is imperative to move to a significantly more restricted diet to allow for a reduction in inflammation so the gut can heal. Food sensitivities must also be eliminated to reduce the inflammation. Again, the body cannot heal without elimination of all foods that cause inflammation and boost the immune system.
Pathogens are referred to as infections.
They are things like parasites, bacteria, and fungus. If you are struggling with dysfunction and an imbalance of bacteria, the environment can be ripe for parasites, bad bacteria and fungus to grow. The good bacteria can also be too little to do what is necessary to control the bad bacteria. Fungus like yeast is very opportunistic and lives on other parasites in the body. Some of the nasty parasites live in the walls of the small intestine making it impossible to heal the gut. And some migrate up into the gallbladder also making them difficult to eradicate. The medical community prefers to use antibiotics. The Functional Medicine community prefers to use supplements to kill the pathogens for a couple of reasons. Some of the pathogens have become super bugs and are resistant to the antibiotics. And the antibiotics also contribute to the dysfunction. The supplements may require a couple of rounds, but they are in most cases much more successful at getting rid of the pathogens. And we also provide support to the good bacteria while working to kill the bad.
Chemical toxicity is similar to metal toxicity. They can hang out in the body in your organs and tissues, particularly if your body is overloaded or struggling with detox. It will cause inflammation in the body and while it is still hiding in your body, it cannot heal.
Antibiotics are interesting because sometimes they are very necessary.
When you take them, they don’t just kill the bad bacteria, they kill the good as well. When you have a round of antibiotics, it can take up to a year for the good bacteria in your gut to recover. That is a long time. When I was 16, I had severe tonsillitis. They were unable to clear it up long enough to have the surgery to remove them, so they kept me on antibiotics for 6 months. I now understand how much this contributed to the beginning of the dysfunction my body developed. They can absolutely play as a trigger.
Metal in general is a problem. Anybody that works with metals or has exposure to them has the potential to build up levels in the body that are toxic. If your body is struggling to detox in any of the phases, the metals will sit in your system, wreaking havoc, essentially poisoning you from the inside.
Because there are so many possible triggers, it is important to test to determine which ones are playing a role in your autoimmune illness.