Chronic viruses linked to autoimmune diseases like Hashimoto’s
The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) affects more than 90 percent of people in the US by age 20, with at least a quarter of those developing mononucleosis, or "mono." Recent studies show it can also trigger autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease, Type 1 diabetes, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, and Hashimoto’s low thyroid.Other viruses are also associated with autoimmunity. Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is linked to Sjögren's syndrome, upper respiratory viral infections and human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) have been linked to multiple sclerosis (MS), and EBV has previously been linked to lupus.
Chronic viruses can trigger autoimmune diseases like Hashimoto’s low thyroid
When a chronic virus triggers autoimmunity like Hashimoto's low thyroid, this creates a vicious cycle of infection and illness that weakens the immune system while making it at the same time over reactive and pro-inflammatory. Many autoimmune patients test positive for multiple bacterial, viral, parasitic and/or fungal infections, worsening their Hashimoto's.
Scientists believe a virus alone doesn't trigger autoimmunity like Hashimoto's, but that other predisposing factors must be present first. These include:
Poor sleep habits
The virus essentially acts as the straw that broke the camel’s back in a person already at risk of developing autoimmunity.
Chronic viral infections can hinder autoimmune management
Managing low thyroid is possible through diet and lifestyle strategies. However, a chronic virus can prevent reducing symptoms and stopping progression of thyroid damage. A chronic virus is a deal-breaker in recovery for patients.
If you have low thyroid and your symptoms don’t get better through basic functional medicine strategies, contact my office about testing for viruses.
Viruses can occur years before developing autoimmunity
Viral infections usually occur long before autoimmune symptoms develop so it can be difficult to connect the dots. However, if you have these viruses in the past and have unexplained low thyroid symptoms it's worth getting tested for low thyroid and a chronic virus.
For more information on low thyroid and chronic viral infections and how to test and treat them, please contact my office.
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RedRiver chiropractic physicians are great advocates for prescribing physicians and endocrinologists. In fact, many of our patients see their prescribing physician(s) more frequently while under our care than they would otherwise. Our goal is not to replace our patients’ primary care physicians and specialists, but to complement their care by providing patients with nutrition, diet, lifestyle and educational support and strategies. This way, patients can learn to manage their symptoms more efficiently. We have developed rewarding relationships with many prescribing physicians across the country, and we strive to continue to building relationships with MDs, DOs, NPs, and NMDs. When health professionals can work together for the benefit of the patient’s health, it becomes a win/win situation for the one who matters most—the patient.