Autoimmune disorders are extremely common. With these diseases, the immune system attacks the body rather than foreign invaders. There are multiple types of autoimmune disorders, ranging from type 1 diabetes to rheumatoid arthritis. Linchitz Medical Wellness in Westbury, NY, is one of the area’s most trusted immunology and oncology providers. Here, the knowledgeable staff explains five common causes of autoimmune disorders.
5 Causes of Autoimmune Disorders
1. Leaky Gut
Approximately 70 to 80% of the immune system lies within the gut. When the gut is healthy, it detects particles and handles them appropriately. However, if the intestinal lining is compromised, undigested food particles, toxins, and microbes can escape and enter the bloodstream. The immune system recognizes those particles as foreign invaders, triggering a significant increase in inflammation. Over time, this strain on the immune system causes it to become confused and mistakenly attack your tissues, as well as those foreign invaders. Some things that cause a leaky gut include stress, food sensitivities, parasites, infections, and some drugs and antibiotics.
Stress can trigger and exacerbate numerous diseases, including autoimmune conditions. Intense anxiety triggers a flow of hormones, which results in immune system dysregulation and inflammation. Over time, these can lead to autoimmunity. Although stress doesn’t technically cause autoimmunity, studies have found up to 80% of participants reported unusually intense emotional stress right before disease onset.
Toxins from mold and heavy metals like mercury or lead are commonly found in people with autoimmune diseases. Mold toxins, also known as mycotoxins, are volatile compounds that wreak havoc on the respiratory and immune systems. You could be exposed to mold or toxins at home, at work, or in the environment without realizing it.
Infections caused by bacteria, viruses, and toxins can also cause autoimmunity. Some infections, like Epstein-Barr and herpes, don’t leave the body. When your immune system is healthy, it suppresses them. However, if stress or illness weakens the system, the infection can resurface, causing chronic inflammation and, eventually, autoimmunity.
Doctors and scientists have yet to determine why autoimmune diseases are more prevalent in women than in men. But many think it has to do with excessive estrogen production, an idea supported by the fact that about one in 12 women develop an autoimmune thyroid condition after childbirth. During pregnancy, the mother’s immune system shifts to protect the baby. After giving birth, her immune system shifts again, this time during a period of sleep deprivation and high stress, both of which put her at risk for autoimmunity.
If you or a loved one are living with an autoimmune disorder, contact the specialists at Linchitz Medical Wellness. Their experienced team utilizes state-of-the-art medical technology and innovative techniques to tackle cancer and autoimmunity at the cellular level. This, along with their holistic philosophy, guarantees you’ll receive the best care available. Call (516) 759-4200, or visit their website to learn more.