Autoimmune Disease

The Five Triggers of Autoimmune Disease

The Five Triggers of Autoimmune Disease

Have you ever felt fatigued or achy? Had reoccurring fevers, abdominal pain, digestive problems, or joint pain? You’ve seen multiple doctors, been diagnosed with different conditions, and have grown confused as to what is exactly wrong with your body. Unfortunately, all of these symptoms are indications of autoimmune disease(s). According to an article published by John Hopkins Medicine, “Autoimmune disease affects 23.5 million Americans, and nearly 80% of those are women¹.” Furthermore, the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA) explained that autoimmunity is the number two cause of chronic illnesses in the United States². Autoimmune disease occurs when the body’s immune system can’t tell the difference between foreign bodies and healthy cells, which causes it to attack itself. This can lead to about 80 different types of conditions that can affect the system.

At LifeWorks Wellness Center, we treat many patients who suffer from different variations of autoimmune disease such as rheumatoid arthritis, Hashimoto’s, lupus, Crohn’s disease, and many more. While each case is different, one thing that all autoimmune disease patients ask is, “Where did this come from?” In truth, the answer to that question could be many things, which is why there is no official cause of the condition(s). Below is a list of five of the most common triggers of autoimmune disease.

1. Nutritional Deficiencies/Leaky Gut

Nutritional deficiencies and leaky gut can trigger autoimmune deficiency.

A lack of certain nutrients can play a significant role in the development of autoimmune disease. Like how the perfect cake needs the right ingredients for it to taste right, the body needs the right vitamins and nutrients to be able to function properly. A healthy immune system requires a balanced source of nutrients to stay strong otherwise it will become vulnerable to different bacteria, antibodies, pesticides, and toxins to weaken it or confuse it. Furthermore, a lack of proper nutrients can lead to a bacterial imbalance, cause damage to the gut lining and allow bad bacteria and undigested food particles to seep in, thus causing leaky gut. Proteins produced by gut bacteria can induce several types of autoimmune diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s and many more. It’s essential for patients to receive annual bloodwork, maintain a healthy diet and address any deficiencies that they may have that could potentially lead to autoimmune disease.

2. Environmental Toxins

BPA plastic is an environmental toxin that can trigger autoimmune disease.

Studies conducted by the United States National Library of Medicine (USNLM) states that exposure to certain environmental toxins can be a factor in the development of autoimmunity. One specific toxin called Bisphenol A (BPA) revealed to have a “potential link” to certain autoimmune diseases. BPA, a chemical normally found in plastics and epoxy resins, can disrupt the endocrine system, and can alter the development in young children before their born. Since hormones are closely linked with autoimmune diseases, it is likely that toxic chemicals such as BPA can play a role in the development of conditions such as lupus, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. Environmental toxins can also cause inflammation in various areas of the body, which can also lead to autoimmunity within the gut, muscles, and skin.

3. Genetics

Genetics can play a role in autoimmune disease.

An individual’s DNA and bloodline plays a significant role in the inheritance of autoimmune diseases. Studies show that many autoimmune disease cases occur within the same family. While an autoimmune gene doesn’t exist, there is an increase of risk among those born from parents who suffer from autoimmune conditions. Certain inherited autoimmune diseases include Type 1 Diabetes, Addison’s disease, gluten intolerance, Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism, and Grave’s disease. These types of conditions may not be curable, however they can be managed with proper treatment.

4. Injuries/Inflammation

Injuries and inflammation can contribute to autoimmune disease.

Athletes who constantly stretch, jump, or overly use their muscles and joints are at a higher risk of developing critical injuries in their ankles, wrists, spine, neck, or shins. While the body has a natural ability to heal itself from these injuries, inflammation in the damaged area still lingers. Inflammation is a normal defense mechanism to protect against infections or tissue damage, however if it continues to grow, it can lead to future chronic conditions. The United States National Library of Medicine (USNLM) states that abnormal inflammatory responses are closely related with various autoimmune diseases such as fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), gout, lupus, and osteoarthritis³.

5. Pharmaceutical Drugs

Autoimmune disease can be induced by medications.

Autoimmune diseases induced by medications have been actively studied and recognized since 1945. Specifically, the condition Lupus Erythematosus is the most common autoimmune disease that is caused by the overuse of antibiotics, additives, or conventional medications that treat hypertension. Pharmacy Times reports that drug-induced lupus erythematosus (DILE) can develop from one month to a decade after exposure to certain conventional medications4 such as procainamide and hydralazine.

Naturally Treat Autoimmune Disease

LifeWorks Wellness Center is known to be one of Florida’s top autoimmune disease clinics and has successfully treated those with chronic conditions using non-invasive natural treatments. While most conventional facilities will prescribe antibiotics, pain medication etc. to treat symptoms, we analyze the patient to find the root cause and strengthen the immune system by supplying it with the nutrients that it needs.

If you or someone that you know is currently suffering from an autoimmune disease or other chronic conditions, please call to schedule an appointment with one of our practitioners at 727-466-6789.

author-avatar

About Dr. Minkoff

Dr. David Minkoff graduated from the University of Wisconsin Medical School in 1974 and was elected to the “Phi Beta Kappa” of medical schools, the prestigious Alpha Omega Alpha Honors Medical Fraternity for very high academic achievement. He then completed both a Pediatric Residency and a Fellowship in Infectious Disease at the University of California at San Diego. He worked at the University of California and Children’s Hospitals in San Diego as an attending physician in infectious disease while conducting original research on Ribaviron, a broad spectrum anti-viral agent to fight disease. He also co-directed a neo-natal intensive care unit and worked in emergency medicine. In 1992, Dr. Minkoff’s attended a lecture by Dr. Jeffrey Bland, widely considered the father of functional medicine, during which he had a eureka moment, and began pursuing the alternative health field with a vengeance, studying under the most accomplished thought leaders on natural & integrative healing. In 1997 Dr. Minkoff and his wife set up a small clinic to help friends with their medical problems. What began as an experiment blossomed into LifeWorks Wellness Center, one of the most successful clinics for complementary medicine in the United States.