The Autoimmune Effect
I’ve been diagnosed.
I’m properly medicated.
…but I still want to know why this happened to me.
If you are like the vast majority of underactive thyroid sufferers, you have been told that the cause is genetic, the onset is unknown, and there is nothing you can do to prevent or treat it, other than take your Synthroid every morning.
As you may have guessed, there is not a lot of truth in this statement.
Our immune system has a very difficult job. It must identify the substances in our body, determine which ones shouldn’t be there, and eliminate them. Our bodies are well-oiled machines and our immune systems are pretty good at this, but there is only so much they can take.
Over time, as we abuse our bodies with stress, lack of rest, lack of optimal nourishment, accumulation of waste products, and excessive toxins, our body will tuck the excess away in our healthy cells. Our immune system then identifies these cells as toxic and sends antibodies out to destroy them. That is the “autoimmune” element – our body is attacking itself. Which part of the body is attacked is the “hereditary” component: if your family is genetically predisposed to thyroid disease, you may get the disease that I have, which is called Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis; if your family tree has a tendency toward joint problems, Rheumatoid Arthritis may be the autoimmune disease you acquire. Dr. Ben Kim, whom I follow closely, wrote an excellent, easy-to-understand article about this process.
After a couple of decades of eating processed foods, drinking too much alcohol, five years of chain-smoking cigarettes, taking diet pills, and living a drama-filled lifestyle, I rock & rolled my body into a free radical fiesta. While it’s easy enough to see what I’ve done wrong, what is not so easy to see is what looked right, but was as bad for my body as smoking a cigarette, but we’ll get into that on another page.