What Leads To The Development Of An Autoimmune Thyroid Condition?
What are some of the main factors that determine whether someone will have a “typical” hyperthyroid or hypothyroid condition, or go on to develop an autoimmune thyroid condition, such as Graves’ Disease or Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis? After all, there doesn’t seem to be any set “pattern”, as some people first develop a “basic” thyroid condition, and then this may eventually lead to an autoimmune thyroid disorder. On the other hand, it seems that other people are initially diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder.
So for example, it’s not as if there is a “set pattern” and that someone first is diagnosed with hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidsm, and then a few months or a few years later develops an autoimmune thyroid disorder. While some people do follow such a “pattern”, other people never are diagnosed with a “basic” thyroid condition, but instead are diagnosed right off the bat with Graves’ Disease or Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.
This is important to understand for both the person with an autoimmune thyroid condition, as well as for the person who has a thyroid disorder with no autoimmune component. For the person with Graves’ Disease or Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, understanding how such a condition develops can help to restore their health back to normal, and prevent other autoimmune conditions from developing. For the person who has a thyroid condition that currently doesn’t have an accompanying autoimmune component, this knowledge can not only help to prevent them from developing an autoimmune condition in the future, but potentially can also help to cure their thyroid condition.
It Takes Time To Develop An Autoimmune Thyroid Condition
You need to realize that whatever “pattern” one follows when they develop an autoimmune thyroid condition, such a process takes a great deal of time to develop. It usually takes years for Graves’ Disease and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis to develop, even if this doesn’t seem like this is the case. For example, when I was first diagnosed with Graves’ Disease, I was symptomatic only for a few months before I was diagnosed. However, this doesn’t mean that it only took a few months to develop Graves’ Disease, as in actuality it took years for my body to reach the point where it became symptomatic.
So six months before I was diagnosed with Graves’ Disease I actually felt pretty good, as I didn’t have an increased heart rate, there weren’t any palpitations, shakiness, etc. But what you need to understand is that this is the pattern with most serious conditions, as they take months and usually years to develop. This is why autoimmune thyroid conditions, cancers, and other serious conditions also take a decent amount of time to cure, whenever this is possible of course.
After all, one can’t expect to cure a condition in a few weeks when it took a few years for that condition to develop. The good news is that it usually doesn’t take years to correct these problems. While many people who follow a natural treatment protocol actually see a noticeable decrease in their symptoms after a few weeks of treatment, it usually takes a few months to fully restore the health of someone with an autoimmune thyroid condition, and sometimes longer than this.
These Are The Primary Factors That Lead To A Weakened Immune System
If you’ve read some of my other articles and blog posts, then the following factors will look familiar to you. These factors can not only compromise the immune system and lead to the development of an autoimmune thyroid disorder, but they also can lead to other conditions as well.
1. Lifestyle Factors. Eating poorly, not getting sufficient sleep, dealing with chronic stress, and other lifestyle factors can lead to a weakened immune system. Once again, this is not an overnight phenomenon, as if you eat well most of the time, then eating some refined foods every now and then most likely won’t cause any problems.
On the other hand, someone who eats refined foods and sugars frequently will in all likelihood eventually develop problems with their blood sugar levels, which will affect the adrenal glands. This in turn weakens the immune system, and can lead to the development of an autoimmune thyroid condition. Similarly, someone who deals with chronic stress and does a poor job of handling it will in all likelihood also develop immune system problems. While it can be challenging to modify the lifestyle factors, doing so is essential not only to avoid an autoimmune thyroid condition, but for your overall health as well.
2. Environmental Factors. Environmental factors can also compromise the immune system and lead to the development of a condition such as Graves’ Disease or Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. There are thousands of different environmental toxins out there, and while our bodies do an amazing job of fending off these toxins, there is only so much it can take. And while we can greatly control the problems caused by lifestyle factors simply by eating well and taking quality nutritional supplements, getting sufficient sleep, exercising regularly, and doing a good job of managing stress, we don’t have as much control over environmental toxins.
However, this doesn’t mean that we don’t have any control over such toxins. Much of our exposure actually takes place in our own homes, and therefore one needs to become educated about all of the different household products used, and when possible, change to natural products that don’t have a negative impact on our bodies. Don’t underestimate the potential damaging effects of household cleaners, cosmetics, soaps and shampoos, and other products.
I’m not suggesting that using name brand soaps and shampoos alone will lead to an autoimmune thyroid condition. However, all of these toxins have a cumulative effect, which means while one or two of these products might not do you much harm, using dozens of these products can have a negative effect.
The water we drink and bathe in is also an area of concern, as the chlorine we absorb while taking a shower or while drinking tap water can also lead to many health problems over a period of months or years. Even drinking purified water has its risks, as many of the plastics used can release xenohormones into the water we drink, which can also lead to many health problems. As a result, having a basic water filter installed in your shower and installing a reverse osmosis water filter or purchasing a distiller for drinking purposes can solve these problems.
3. Genetics. While genetics does play a role in the development of thyroid conditions, including autoimmune thyroid disorders, the good news is that in most cases, genetics is not the primary factor behind these conditions. There is still a great deal of controversy over this, but more and more research does seem to show that lifestyle and environmental factors are primarily responsible for these conditions. Some research even shows that genetic factors can be modified through lifestyle and environmental factors. Either way, I wouldn’t worry too much about genetics, as in my opinion you should focus your efforts on improving the other factors that you without question do have control over.
So these are the primary factors that can lead to the development of an autoimmune thyroid condition. If you currently have Graves’ Disease or Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, then the way to begin restoring your health back to normal is to modify these factors. While changing these alone might not cure your condition, making such changes will definitely lead to better health. For those with a thyroid condition who don’t have an immune system problem (at least not a known one), it is also important to look at these factors so that you will minimize your chances of developing an autoimmune condition in the future.
Other Articles You Might Like To Read:
Thyroid Antibodies & Autoimmune Thyroid Conditions
The Link Between Adrenal Fatigue & Thyroid Conditions
Using Bioidentical Hormones To Restore Thyroid Health
Why You Can’t Rely Solely On Thyroid Blood Tests
5 Herbs To Help Overcome Your Thyroid Condition