Knowing the root causes of thyroid disease or autoimmunity can be very helpful to figure out what your road to recovery needs to look like.
Despite what some may say, there are many different root causes of thyroid disease and some are more complicated to reverse than others. It’s easy to focus on just one root cause such as gut issues, toxicity, a virus, etc. but it’s good to remember that there are almost always multiple root causes.
The good news is that there is always something that can be done to reduce your symptoms and feel better!
Let’s walk through the many root causes of thyroid disease or autoimmunity:
1. Stress – Before you jump past this one, please know that everyone has varied levels of stress in their lives and it is always something to consider when you have thyroid disease.
Here are different kinds of stressors:
Mental stress – being overworked, having too much on your plate, trying to take on too many things at once, etc.
Emotional stress – depression, anxiety, anger, irritability, feeling overwhelmed, lack of enjoyable activities
Physical stress – exercising too much, lack of sleep, staying up too late, a physical injury like a concussion, broken bone, or sprain
Chronic illness – constantly getting sick with things like bronchitis, the cold or flu, sinus infections, allergies, etc.
Chronic disease – autoimmunity, heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease, respiratory disease, etc.
Surgery – any kind
A poor diet – processed foods, an abundance of sugars, using foods and drinks as stimulants when tired.
Environmental – synthetic chemicals in the environment, extreme hot or cold temperatures, pollution, unfiltered water, etc.
Synthetic ingredients – those in body care and skincare products, house cleaners, etc.
Medications – some medications can cause nutrient deficiencies or other side effects that put stress on the body.
A change in your regular schedule or routine – a new baby, starting a new job or school, night shift work, etc.
Other kinds of stressful situations or events: car accident, a death in the family, being in an abusive relationship, a cross-country move or just moving into a new home
2. A viral or bacterial infection – this could be a myriad of different things like hepatitis, EBV, HIV, herpes, etc.
3. Digestion issues and/or gut dysbiosis – this includes leaky gut, candida, SIBO, low stomach acid (which cause symptoms like heartburn, indigestion, gas, bloating, etc.), IBS, Colitis
4. Heavy metal toxicity – this could be from exposure in the environment, in the water, air or food, from amalgam fillings or an amalgam filling removal, medications, etc.
5. Mold exposure – from your home or workplace, food, in the air, etc.
6. Radiation – from wifi, cell phone towers, smart meters, bluetooth, baby monitors, security systems, wiring errors in the home, magnetic fields, power lines, dirty electricity, artificial lighting, etc.
7. Dental work – including amalgam fillings or amalgam filling removal, root canal infections, or other dental infections.
8. Nutrient Deficiencies – these are often brought on by stress or a diet of processed foods. Nutrients such as Vitamin A, Vitamin D, B Vitamins, essential fatty acids, iodine, tyrosine, selenium, iron, etc. all play a part in a healthy thyroid and immune system.
How to figure out your root causes:
I recommend sitting down and chronologically writing down your health history. This may take a week or two, but it’s important to really think back over the events of your life. It can be helpful if you also include the dates as you write everything out.
Then, circle any events that stand out to you and ask yourself questions like, “how did I feel when this happened?” And “did my disease happen after this event in my life?”.
When you’re able to figure out some key events, take that timeline to your practitioner so they can help you come up with the right protocol for your situation.
If you need help finding a practitioner here are some resources:
To book a Nutritional Therapy consult at Our Well House (the practice I work for), click here.
To find a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner in your area click here.
To find a functional medicine doctor in your area click here www.ifm.org
If you’d like to learn from first steps you can take to help support your thyroid, check out my class, “3 Keys to Thyroid Hormone Balance”. It’s just 45 minutes and I promise you’ll learn something new!
Note: The purpose of this post is to give an overview of some common root causes of autoimmunity and thyroid disease from a holistic perspective. Due to biochemical individuality there can be many various reasons for the root causes of thyroid disease or autoimmunity. This information is not intended to take the place of your doctor’s advice.