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 diet
- Poor sleep habits
- Leaky gut
- Environmental toxins
- Dietary triggers
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.
How to learn if you have Hashimoto’s low thyroid
Many patients are not diagnosed with hypothyroidism or Hashimoto’s until after several years and going through several doctors. It is a demoralizing journey richly illustrated in my book The Truth About Low Thyroid: Stories of Hope and Healing for Those Suffering With Hashimoto's Low Thyroid Disease
, through real-life stories from patients in my practice. Managing Hashimoto’s goes far beyond using thyroid medication as you must work to stop the immune system from attacking the thyroid. For more information on identifying and managing Hashimoto’s low thyroid, contact
About Dr. Josh Redd — Utah, Arizona, New Mexico functional medicine
Dr. Joshua J. Redd, DC, MS, DABFM, DAAIM, author of The Truth About Low Thyroid: Stories of Hope and Healing for Those Suffering With Hashimoto's Low Thyroid Disease
, is a chiropractic physician and the founder of RedRiver Health and Wellness Center
with practices in Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico. He sees patients from around the world who suffer from challenging thyroid disorders, Hashimoto's disease, and other autoimmune conditions. In addition to his chiropractic degree, Dr. Redd has a BS in Health and Wellness, a BS in Anatomy, and a MS in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine. He speaks across the nation, teaching physicians about functional blood chemistry, low thyroid, Hashimoto's, and autoimmunity. You can join his Facebook page here