WHAT IS AN AUTO IMMUNE DISEASE?
Auto immune disease occurs when a body does not recognize self and non-self. The process of the body identifying what is non-self occurs by B (matured in the bone marrow) cells. Activated B-cells transform into plasma cells that release antibodies into the blood. Antibodies are proteins that circulate throughout the bloodstream and then bind themselves to what they identify as foreign – covering them, coating them and neutralizing them or marking them for destruction by macrophages (connective tissue monocytes1.) When the immune system’s target organ is the thyroid, it is called Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis (HT).
WHAT CAN HELP AUTO IMMUNE ISSUES?
The first thing to check when you have signs of auto-immunity, or the body attacking itself (auto), is to make sure your vitamin D levels are up. Symptoms of autoimmunity usually will not occur if you have sufficient vitamin D!
There are 2700+ receptor sites in your body for vitamin D. When they are not filled, your immune system cannot tell what is you, and what is enemy – that’s why it can attack you! Getting vitamin D up is relatively simple. Go out in the sun between ten and two with fair parts of your skin exposed. If that is not possible, consider vitamin D3 plus K2 in a supplement.
HOW MUCH VITAMIN D DO WE NEED?
At one time the US RDA was only 200 IU. Recently the US upped the requirements to 800IU. It is interesting that the government realized we needed more vitamin D as a nation, after all, not just autoimmune problems, but cancers and osteoporosis rates go up as vitamin D goes down.
My friend took 2000IU of vitamin D for a year and a half and her low levels never came up.
This video is from 2008, so Dr. Mercola has altered his opinion on oral vitamin D . He used to prefer sunshine to taking vitamin D as a supplement, but because he has seen far more problems from deficiency than from excess, he now recommends supplementation.
A new research study shows that 10,000IU vitamin D is not toxic over the long term when taken in conjunction with vitamin K2.
ENVIRONMENTAL TOXINS & STRESS
There is increasing belief that, just like CVD and other ailments, there is not one cause. The varying factors involved in HT may include environmental toxins (such as fluoride, radiation, pesticides), intestinal parasites (yersinia enterocolitica), viruses like parvovirus B19, (hepatitis C, EBV and HTLV-12 are thought to possibly be implicated in this as well), or even stress alone may be powerful enough to cause such an immune dysfunction.
HELPING THE LIVER TO FUNCTION:
The liver is the organ that clears excess hormones and chemicals that we are exposed to from our body. To work properly it needs antioxidants such as from brightly colored fruits and berries and leafy greens. There are herbs that can help the liver do its job as well. #MilkThistle is a powerful liver protectant and can actually help the liver to regenerate itself! I have found milk thistle to work best when in combination with #DandelionRoot and #ArtichokeLeaf.
Vitamin D has been shown to have a critical role in helping the body make this distinction between what is self and what is enemy. Scientists do not fully agree on exactly how this is done. One review of the literature said in its results and conclusion, “Some of the authors suggested that Vitamin D3 carryout its immunosuppressive and immune modulatory action, through its actions on antigen presenting cells and activated T [cells that complete their development in the thymus] and B-cells with the help of Vitamin D receptors (VDR) present on each of these cells…by making qualitative and quantitative changes in the immune system (down-regulation of Th1 and up-regulations of Th2 cells.)3
CONCLUSION & HEALTH HACKS:
If Vitamin D is involved in the “regulation and proliferation of the Th1 and Th17 lymphocyte”3 and we don’t understand exactly how it does this, why not make sure you have #optimalVitaminD levels in cases of immune and auto immune issues? (How to optimize Vitamin D levels and what level is optimal will be in an upcoming newsletter. Sign up on the side to keep informed!)This is certainly not the only answer to the immune dysfunction of HT and other autoimmune issues, but any practical step we can take to address the causes may well be worth it. #Reducing exposure to radiation, #HelpingtheLiverDetox and #ReducingStress; finding ways to help yourself #Relax as anxiety and depression are known to have deleterious effects on immune balance”4 and finding restoring activities such as #exercise and #SlowStretching may be factors that contribute to a more normally functioning immune system.
A great resource for more information on helping reduce your symptoms of Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis – or really a great start for anyone with immune issues can be found in Isabella Wentz’ Book, Hashimoto’s Protocol:
I love how she starts with a Liver Protocol or ways to help your liver get rid of toxins more efficiently! This is another topic I will link to this page as I have seen results by addressing the liver first as well. There are many ways of doing this, but clearing the liver has really made a difference for me in my blood sugar issues. Of course, it wasn’t the only change I made, but I do believe getting the liver to function properly is foundational to getting your body to work right.
Start with the above book or click on the home page for personal help or to #FindYourHealthHack!
Questions? email me at Cynthia@SoCalGardenHealth.com
- Human Biology by Daniel Chiras, Eighth edition, publ by Jones and Bartlett Learning
- Viral Immunol.2008 Sep;21(3):379-83. doi: 10.1089/vim.2008.0001. Association of parvovirus B19 infection and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis in children. Lehmann HW1, Lutterbüse N, Plentz A, Akkurt I, Albers N, Hauffa BP, Hiort O, Schoenau E, Modrow S
- Scand J Immunol.2016 Nov 29. doi: 10.1111/sji.12512. [Epub ahead of print] Immunomodulatory and Immunosuppressive roles of 1α,25(OH)2D3 In Autoimmune Alhassan Mohammed H1, Saboor-Yaraghi AA1, Mirshafiey A1, Vahedi H2, Shiri-Shahsavar MR3, Mousavi Nasl Khameneh A3
For more details consider:
- Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol.2014 Feb;112(2):154-62. doi: 10.1016/j.anai.2013.11.015. Epub 2013 Dec 10. Effect of vitamin D on T-helper type 9 polarized human memory cells in chronic persistent asthma. Keating P1, Munim A2, Hartmann JX2
- Am J Physiol Renal Physiol.2014 Dec 15;307(12):F1412-26. doi: 10.1152/ajprenal.00024.2014. Epub 2014 Oct 22. Mesenchymal stem cells and a vitamin D receptor agonist additively suppress T helper 17 cells and the related inflammatory response in the kidney. Duffy MM1, McNicholas BA1, Monaghan DA2, Hanley SA1, McMahon JM2, Pindjakova J1, Alagesan S1, Fearnhead HO3, Griffin MD4