The Roots of Rheumatoid Arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis, Lupus, and Other Autoimmune Illnesses

You have countless immune cells in every corner of your body that are constantly working to keep you healthy by identifying, packaging, and eliminating harmful substances that have made their way into your blood.

If your immune system falters and begins to identify some of your own tissues as being harmful or unnecessary, it will work to attack and eliminate these tissues through an inflammatory response that can cause pain and discomfort in many forms – this is how autoimmune illness develops.

The specific tissue or groups of tissues (organs) that your immune system decides to attack is determined by your genetics. (more…)

The Growing Epidemic of Thyroid Disease and What To Do About It

It is estimated that over 200 million people globally (about 35 million people in North America) suffer from at least one of the many forms of thyroid disease. In fact, thyroid problems are increasing so much in frequency that scientists are calling it an epidemic. The incidence of thyroid illness occurs about seven times more frequently in women than men, and it is thought that at least 50% of the cases are undiagnosed or misdiagnosed.

It was recently reported that the radioactive fallout in Japan during 2011 has now caused thyroid disease in the farthest corners of the world. Children born in Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washing-ton within one to sixteen weeks after the nuclear accident in Japan were 28% more likely to suffer from congenital hypothyroidism than in the preceding year.

There is also a dramatic increase in the rates of thyroid cancer, which is the fastest growing cancer in North America today. In 2010, the American Cancer Society reported 45,000 new cases. They now predict that in 2013 there will be about 60,220 new cases of thyroid cancer, and this number is expected to grow rapidly in the next decade. (more…)

The Key How To Heal And Prevent Autoimmune Disease

In conventional medicine autoimmune disease is a chronic life-long health condition that is considered to be incurable. This is what we are led to believe. However, a new discovery in the field of autoimmunity gives not only hope but opens new treatment opportunities.

During last decades different models such as molecular mimicry, “bystander effect” and viral persistence were proposed as possible mechanisms that initiate the overreaction of the immune system and lead to an autoimmune disease.

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Paleo for Autoimmune Illness

I have always been interested in holistic medicine. Even as a teenager, I read and studied many different healing modalities. Given my love of medicine and my participation in competitive sports, it was no surprise to anyone that I became a Certified Athletic Trainer and physical therapist. Over the past 20 years in my healthcare career, I have worked in many different settings. The constants in my career have been interacting with people in pain and using all of my knowledge/skills to assist them in restoring maximum function.

I have a special interest in working with people who experience chronic pain. As happens with many people, it took my own experience to propel me to study and learn more about how to best help this patient population. In 2007, I became very ill with what was later diagnosed as Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. This is an autoimmune illness (AI) caused by the body mounting an attack on the thyroid gland in an attempt to destroy it. For those who have not heard of this illness, the thyroid is a major part of the endocrine system. It is a gland that makes and stores hormones that help regulate the heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, and the rate at which food is converted into energy. Thyroid hormones are essential for the function of every cell in the body. They help regulate growth and the rate of chemical reactions (metabolism) in the body.

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Selenium – The missing link for treating hypothyroidism?

A healthy thyroid is a critical component of one’s overall health, and many people are struggling with thyroid disorders such as hypothyroidism, specifically Hashimoto’s autoimmune thyroiditis. In this autoimmune condition, the immune system attacks the thyroid gland, with the resulting inflammation leading to an underactive thyroid gland or hypothyroidism. Hashimoto’s disease is the most common form of hypothyroidism and was the first condition ever to be classified as an autoimmune disease. (more…)

Selenium – The missing link for treating hypothyroidism?

A healthy thyroid is a critical component of one’s overall health, and many people are struggling with thyroid disorders such as hypothyroidism, specifically Hashimoto’s autoimmune thyroiditis. In this autoimmune condition, the immune system attacks the thyroid gland, with the resulting inflammation leading to an underactive thyroid gland or hypothyroidism. Hashimoto’s disease is the most common form of hypothyroidism and was the first condition ever to be classified as an autoimmune disease. (more…)

Selenium for Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis

Susan has Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, an autoimmune thyroid disorder causing fatigue, puffy face and muscle weakness.  For the past year, she had been under the care of other doctors who started thyroid medication (Synthroid), and tested her thyroid antibody levels.  The disturbing thing was that her antibodies kept climbing higher on each follow up lab test.  The doctors had no explanation, so she asked me if there was something else that could be done.

Selenium Can Decrease Antibody Levels

As it turns out, there is a trace mineral called selenium that plays an important role in thyroid biochemistry.  Selenium deficiency has been implicated in the etiology of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, and selenium supplementation has been found beneficial.  (more…)

Hashimotos, Selenium and Iodine, Part Two

Iodized Salt Hashimotos Selenium Hashmotos, Selenium and Iodine, Part TwoA previous article (Part One) discussed Selenium for Hashimoto’s thyroiditis with four clinical studies showing antibody levels decreasing after selenium supplementation.   This article is Part Two of this series, further discussing the role of Iodine in Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, a.k.a. “The Iodine Controversy”. (more…)