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Addressing The Immune System Component Of Autoimmune Thyroid Disorders – Part 2

Last week I spoke about how most medical doctors neglect the immune system with patients who have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and Graves’ Disease.  Considering that these are both autoimmune thyroid disorders, I find this to be mind blowing.  And since a weakened immune system can actually cause a condition such as Hashimoto’s or Graves’, if you want any chance of restoring your health back to normal then it is essential to strengthen the immune system component before you can directly address the thyroid gland.

I concluded last week’s post by discussing that in order to strengthen your immune system, it is important to be aware of some of the common factors that can cause it to become weakened, thus leading to your autoimmune thyroid disorder.  You’ll notice that these tie in with the five factors of health I spoke about in a previous post, and so by now you should begin understanding why your condition might have developed, and what you can do restore your health back to normal.

So here are the three primary factors that can lead to a weakened immune system:

1.    Chronic stress. Many people are in a state of chronic stress, which our bodies were not designed to handle.  This chronic stress can and usually will weaken the immune system and adrenals.  And while a competent natural doctor will usually address these areas before focusing on the thyroid gland itself, it is just as important to help the person manage their stress in order to aid in their recovery.  While there is no way you will ever completely eliminate stress from your life, chances are you can do a much better job of coping with it, which will do wonders when trying to strengthen your immune system.

There are complete books written on stress management, and it would obviously be difficult to discuss this in detail in a single post.  However, I will be expanding upon this topic in future posts, and will also give you some resources you can check out to help you better manage the stress in your life.  While I don’t consider myself an expert on stress management by any means, managing my stress was a big factor in restoring my health after being diagnosed with Graves’ Disease, and I will share with you some of the things I personally did to help cope with stress.

2.    Poor nutrition. Just as is the case with stress management, I can easily dedicate a few separate posts just talking about proper nutrition, so I’ll make it brief here.  I do go into more detail about this subject in my free guide that I offer on this website, so if you haven’t received your free copy then I highly recommend you get it, as it consists of more than 40 pages of valuable content.

In any case, poor nutrition without question can weaken your immune system.  And while taking quality nutritional supplements and/or herbal remedies can definitely help strengthen your immune system, supplements are no substitute for eating well.  Just about everyone needs to eat better, but in addition to eating well, most will need to take some quality supplements so they can get the nutrients they aren’t getting from their food.  Because as you probably know, most people can’t get all of the nutrients from the foods they eat, which is why everyone should at least take quality multi-mineral vitamin and fatty acid supplements each day.

3.    Sleep deprivation. This of course can go either way, as sometimes a person has no problems getting quality sleep until they acquire an autoimmune thyroid disorder.  Then once they have the autoimmune disorder they begin having sleeping difficulties.  On the other hand, some people who are healthy will neglect sleep for a period of months, or even years, which can eventually lead to health problems.

For example, some people who work a typical 8 to 5 shift will stay up late each night, and will end up averaging only 5 or 6 hours sleep on a nightly basis.  Over time, this can definitely have a negative impact on their immune system.  On the other hand, people that work odd shifts that affect their sleep patterns can also be affected.  Then there are people with an entrepreneurial background who spend countless hours on their business, getting up early in the morning and going to sleep late.  This routine, combined with the stress of owning one’s business, will almost definitely have a profound impact on their immune system.

Once again these aren’t the only factors that can lead to a weakened immune system, as for examples, frequent exposure to certain environmental toxins can compromise your immune system.  So for example, someone can eat well, get ample sleep, and do a great job of managing stress, yet can still acquire a weakened immune system if they use household cleaners and other products that emit dangerous chemicals.  There are other types of environmental toxins as well, and while it is just about impossible to avoid them completely, most people can do a better job of reducing their exposure to such toxins.

In summary, if you have been diagnosed with an autoimmune thyroid condition, make sure you do what is necessary to strengthen your immune system.  You can of course try speaking with your endocrinologist or general practitioner about how to go about doing this, but as you know, most medical doctors don’t receive adequate training in preventative care, which is why you’ll see me constantly recommend that people with these conditions speak with a competent natural doctor.

In the next post I plan on talking about the 3 main bodily components anyone with an autoimmune disorder will want to address.