Autoimmune Diseases and Toxic Chemical Exposure: Is There a Connection?

May 27, 2021
Autoimmune Diseases and Toxic Chemical Exposure

Our daily environment presents many toxic chemicals that can affect the hormones in our bodies. Since most autoimmune diseases are linked to our various hormones, most scientists believe that toxic chemicals may also trigger autoimmune diseases.

What Is An Autoimmune Disease?

It is a medical condition where your immune system attacks your body’s healthy cells by mistake. In ordinary healthy people, their immune system safeguards their body against foreign cells such as several harmful bacteria and viruses by attacking them. However, in persons with an autoimmune disease, their immune systems cannot differentiate between healthy cells and dangerous foreign cells. As a result, it attacks healthy cells by releasing autoantibodies.

What Is Chemical Sensitivity?

Chemical sensitivity, or chemical intolerance (CI), is a condition where a person experiences various complex, unspecific, recurrent symptoms due to low-level chemical exposure, which most people can tolerate without any issues.

Common Autoimmune Disease Types

There are several autoimmune diseases identified to date. Some common autoimmune disorders include.

  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
  • Myasthenia gravis
  • Psoriasis/ psoriatic arthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
  • Addison’s disease
  • Graves’ disease
  • Pernicious anemia
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Sjögren’s syndrome
  • Autoimmune vasculitis
  • Celiac disease
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)

Autoimmune Disease Symptoms

Interestingly, the initial signs and indicators of several autoimmune diseases are very similar. Some of these include:

  • Fatigue
  • Inflammation And Redness
  • Painful Muscles
  • Low-Grade Fever
  • Hair Loss
  • Skin Rashes
  • Trouble Focusing
  • Feeling numb and getting tingling sensations in the hands and feet

Additionally, specific diseases can have distinct symptoms, e.g., type 1 diabetes can cause weight loss, extreme thirst, and fatigue. Certain autoimmune diseases like psoriasis have flare-ups, i.e., a time when the symptoms occur and remission periods when the symptoms subside.

How Toxins Cause Autoimmune Disease

Several environmental factors, including toxins, diet, stress, infections, and hormones, play a huge role in triggering autoimmune disease. Research suggests that only 30% of autoimmune diseases are due to genetics, and the remaining 70% are attributed to environmental causes described above.

Autoimmune Diseases and Toxic Chemical

Many studies also suggest that toxic chemicals we encounter daily can also affect our immune system at the cellular level, which can cause autoimmune diseases or worsen their symptoms.

The specific tissues or organs being attacked by an autoimmune disease varies by condition. For example, in rheumatoid arthritis, your joints are attacked, whereas, in Graves’ disease and Hashimoto’s disease, your thyroid gland is attacked. Multiple sclerosis impacts your nerves.

3 Surprisingly Familiar Toxins Connected to Autoimmune Disease

3 common toxins linked to autoimmune disease as per researchers include:

Heavy Metals

Heavy metals like lead, mercury, arsenic, etc., when present in elevated levels in our body, can cause autoimmune diseases, especially autoimmune thyroid conditions. Unfortunately, these substances are fairly common and can be found in various places, e.g., mercury is found in fish and dental fillings.

Mold and Mycotoxins

Your immune system and nervous system can also be attacked by the mold and the toxic gasses it releases, called mycotoxins. Despite ongoing research in this area, scientists believe that mold and mycotoxins can cause chronic inflammation and trigger autoimmunity.

Pesticides

Pesticides, which are usually used to grow our food, are also among the toxic chemicals that can lead to autoimmune diseases, especially lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.

If you are looking for expert autoimmune diseases and toxic chemical exposure treatment, then call us at 843-572-1600, or feel free to schedule an appointment with our expert doctors today!