autoimmune & thyroid disease: here’s the cause and effect

When do you think your thyroid disease or autoimmune disease really started? Sure, date of diagnosis is one thing but when did the illness really begin? For me, a lifetime of “normal” childhood illnesses and antibiotics use, followed by stressors and dental surgery eventually was the nail in the coffin for my Hashimoto’s disease diagnosis. It took a few years to get a formal diagnosis of Hashimoto’s. The statistic is that it takes on average nearly 10 years for a person to receive a proper diagnosis for the symptoms they present to their doctor. Nearly 10 years for the illness to progress!

Until 8 years ago, I was under the impression that getting sick for good was either an act of God, fate, or bad genes. And depending on your beliefs, you may still find that to be the case (and that’s okay). But I want to challenge you to think about getting sick as a very slow progression of a number of factors coming together to work against us. Some of these are things we have control over and some we don’t: environmental chemicals, personal beauty/hygiene chemicals, stressors, certain medications with side effects, past trauma, vitamin deficiencies, gene mutations expressing themselves, infections, food allergies, Leaky Gut Syndrome, and more.

Conversely, BEING HEALTHY is something we can control to a large extent. Instead of feeling bad and helpless upon diagnosis of a chronic illness, we can see it as a chance to undo the the things that led to the illness in the first place. It doesn’t have to be fate, chance, bad luck, or any other out-of-our-control factor. What if it indeed is WITHIN our control? What if we can begin to look at illness as a *cause and effect* sequence of events?

The good news is that research backs this up. Our choices alter the expression of our genes. It’s better to not dwell on what one could have done differently. I could have gone without the years and years of artificial sweetener and bread-and-pasta-heavy diet of my teens and twenties. I could have recognized childhood trauma better. I could have added live cultures back into my gut after 5+ rounds of antibiotics every year. No — be forward-thinking: “What can I start doing today to help me reach my health goal?” “Which choices can I make today that will change the course of my disease? How can I turn on disease-fighting genes?” Every action and effort counts.

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