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Leaky Gut, Inflammation and Autoimmune Disorders

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“According to the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, more than 27 million Americans suffer from thyroid dysfunction, half of which go undiagnosed. Of the detected cases of hypothyroidism, more than half are due to an autoimmune disorder called Hashimoto’s disease, in which the immune system attacks and destroys thyroid gland tissue.”

Have you gone to multiple doctors, only to hear everything is within range on your labs and still feel exhausted, depressed, have abdominal distention, brain fog and weight gain? According to Datis Kharrrazian in “Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms? When my Lab Tests Are Normal”, this can begin with inflammation of the gut, which is the immune system’s response to antigens from viruses, bacteria or foods. You may have heard about leaky gut syndrome, where there is excess permeability in the intestines. When a person can’t digest proteins such as gluten-grains or casein-dairy, these antigens trigger the immune response. Therefore eating triggering foods on a regular basis will lead to chronic inflammation throughout the body.

All too often patients are put on thyroid hormone supplemental medication to help them remain in functional range, although the thyroid gland still remains swollen. The symptoms of insomnia, palpitations and fatigue may remain. This is the core reason with thyroid conditions of why simply taking a thyroid medication and forgetting about Hashimoto’s thyroid has no real effect on the autoimmune disease itself. The immune system will continue to attack the thyroid more and more, year after year, leading to adjusting the thyroid medication up and as the thyroid gets destroyed it will decline. Meanwhile the body is creating autoimmunity to its own tissues. Once you get one autoimmune disease you are likely to get others for the fact that you are activating the genes to make antibodies to your own tissue and those genes don’t turn off very easily. We need to be able to reduce the inflammation and all the genes that have turned on the cytokines so that the body does not create new autoimmune diseases.

In 1999, the Gastroenterology Department of Pediatrics, University of Trieste, stated that “The prevalence of autoimmune disorders and celiac is in relation to the duration of exposure to gluten.”

The first step is to reduce the immune response and slow the attack on the thyroid gland. At TLC Acupuncture & Natural Medicine, our prescription to healing is not the easiest or the quickest, which is why we ask our patients to commit to following our suggestions for at least 6 months. Inflammation and leaky gut can be neutralized and healed with nutrition, supplements and Chinese Herbs.

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