Sunday, February 2, 2014

Thyroid Patients Are NOT The Helpless Victims Of Their Genetics

As promised, I am excited & honored to publish this article by Marina Gutner, Phd. 

Thyroid Patients Are NOT The Helpless Victims Of Their Genetics
A Guest Article written by Marina Gutner, PhD from Thyroid Blog Outsmart Disease
Many doctors tell their patients that thyroid disorders have a genetic origin. While this is true not everybody with genetic predisposition gets a thyroid disease. In fact, if some of your direct relatives (parents or grandparents) had it your chances to develop any thyroid condition and show higher than normal levels of thyroid antibodies at any point of your life are about 33%.
Thyroid disease often skips generations and women are at a significantly higher risk to develop it than men. Furthermore, if your mother had autoimmune Hashimoto’s disease you may not necessarily get the same condition but develop Grave’s or ANY other thyroid related disease instead. 
Why is this happening?
There are two main reasons for this variety of autoimmune expression:

1.    Most autoimmune diseases are thought to be polygenic, involving more than one gene. These genes can be present in different autoimmune conditions at the same time. This puts patients with autoimmune thyroid disease at a higher risk to develop either Hashimoto’s or Grave’s due to their similar etiology or other autoimmune conditions like systemic lupus, pernicious anaemia (low vitamin B12), type I diabetes or Addison disease.
2.    Genetics is only one of several factors that affect your chances of having a thyroid disease. There are two more factors in play such as different environmental triggers of autoimmunity and a specific mechanism of how the antigens activate certain genes. They mostly determine if you develop a thyroid disease or not.
Environmental Factors
There are different models and theories of how and why you can develop an autoimmune disease, however all of them agree that genetic predisposition and antigen(s) need to be present to initiate an autoimmune response. They also determine what autoimmune condition(s) you are most likely to get.
For example, people with Hashimoto’s and celiac disease have common CTLA-4, HLA-DQ2 and HLA-DQ8 genes and share gluten as a common trigger of the disease that can make both conditions be present simultaneously in the same person.
Heredity accounts for only about one-third of the risk of developing an autoimmune disease, while non-inherited environmental factors or triggers of autoimmunity account for the remaining 70%.
External environmental factors include but are not limited to viruses, hormones, bad diet, food contaminated with pesticides, mercury, too much iodine, low vitamin D, good and pathogenic bacteria, some drugs, vaccines, food allergies, toxins and infections. Environmental agents are able to amplify autoimmunity in genetically susceptible individuals but also break tolerance in people without genetic predisposition.
How Antigens Get Into Your Body?
The concept of leaky gut as a part of autoimmune mechanism is new, however it becomes more widely accepted and many holistic physicians are already familiar with it. Health of your intestines and digestive system determine the strength of your immune system and how well your body can defeat you from a constant exposure to different types of antigens.
The intestinal lining is a protective barrier and the first mechanism of defense of our immune system. If this barrier becomes vulnerable and loses its protective properties it opens the way for antigens to enter your body and trigger an autoimmune attack.
Leaky gut is also called increased intestinal permeability and it happens when the intestinal lining becomes more porous and has a widening of the openings in the intestinal walls that let the larger sized molecules, indigested food particles, toxins, molds and yeast through into the blood stream. All these forms of waste are foreign to your body outside of your digestive tract and can trigger an allergic or autoimmune response as a part of your body’s defence mechanism.
With time the weakened immune system cannot effectively protect you from viral infections and non-food related environmental toxins that can also become triggers or contributors to autoimmunty and Hashimoto’s.
It’s important to know that the causes of leaky gut vary from person to person. For example, chronic stress, overuse and misuse of some medications such as corticosteroids, antibiotics and NSAIDs could cause leaky gut in one person, while bad diet, candida overgrowth and/or toxins in food and water would be the main triggers for another.
Identifying the environmental triggers and repairing leaky gut  is an important strategy in managing autoimmunty and Hashimoto’s. Knowing why you have leaky gut can help you address the right target to restore your gut health, stop and reverse autoimmune disease. Most triggers of leaky gut are dietary and that is why what you eat, how you digest and absorb foods are absolutely detrimental for the balanced immune system and your thyroid health. 

If you have a thyroid disease running in your family don’t feel as a helpless victim of your genetics and that there is nothing you can do to prevent or stop Hashimoto’s disease. Your environment, life style and diet determine your chances to develop but also to avoid any thyroid condition.

While conventional medicine currently doesn’t offer any type of treatment for Hashimoto’s as an autoimmune condition holistic medical approach often can help you effectively manage Hashimoto’s and improve your symptoms through diet and lifestyle changes without negative effects you may experience from drugs.

About The Author

Marina Gutner, PhD is a medical writer and researcher who successfully stopped the progression of her Hashimoto’s disease, recovered from severe adrenal fatigues and fibromyalgia. She shares her knowledge and experience on her thyroid blog http://outsmartdisease.comwith people who are looking for alternative Hashimoto’s and hypothyroidism treatments.

Thank you so much, Marina. I encourage my friends, family & readers to share this article with anyone you know that is suffering with Hashimoto's disease. Marina has alot more information on her thyroid blog & I encourage you all to go give her a visit. You will certainly be glad you did.



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  1. Sorry to say, but between the two of you....proofreading is very important before posting so the public can read your article. Duplicate sentences contained in the post, sentence structure is also a little clumsy in some spots. Otherwise some good info contained in the content.

  2. Thank you for pointing this out to me. I apoligize for the mistake & have corrected it.

  3. Autoimmune disorders are nasty, nasty things some worse than others! A lot of them can be managed, but still scary. My hubby has Sarcoid I try not to keep it in the forefront of my mind, but it's very stressful. :(

    1. Yes indeed, I agree. Actually I am using more herbs & spices in my diet now and started breaking my 100mcg Levothyroxin pills in half & feeling much better. I've lost some weight & regaining my energy.

  4. A friend recently shared this video about Thyroid disorder and I found it to be overwhelmingly helpful. Consider taking a look.

    1. Stephananie, thank you for the link.

  5. Interesting article and information! Thanks for sharing on the weekend re-Treat Link Party!

    Britni @ Play. Party. Pin.

    1. Thank you, Britni but I can't take the credit for sharing it. My blog posts go out to twitter, pinterest & my Facebook page so someone else must have shared it.