• Brianna Marie

What's your root cause?

Updated: Mar 15, 2018

Not gonna lie guys, its been effing frustrating getting to the bottom of having Hashimotos. I always have people offering their opinion "cut out gluten, dairy, and soy” The thing was, I had done that already plus tried everything the Doctors directed.

I found that changing your diet is a HUGELY important first step, but I discovered that complete remission was not happening after major dietary changes, so I had to start digging deeper.

For me, dietary changes were just the beginning.

Searching For Your Root Causes

Dr. Alessio Fasano, world-renowned gastroenterologist, Celiac disease and autoimmunity expert, describes autoimmunity as a three-legged stool that needs three things to be present to manifest:

  1. The right genes

  2. The trigger

  3. Intestinal permeability

Obviously, I am unable to change my genes, BUT I can reverse the autoimmune condition by removing triggers and intestinal permeability. (leaky gut)

Dr. Fasano uses the example of Celiac disease to explain this phenomenon. Celiac disease is a unique autoimmune condition where gluten acts as both the trigger and the cause of intestinal permeability! Once gluten is removed, the body is able to heal and regenerate itself.

Infections have been implicated as triggers in many cases of autoimmunity, and identifying and removing infections may result in a complete remission of the autoimmune condition. ( Helicobacter Pylori (the same bacteria that causes ulcers), Borrelia burgdorferi (associated with Lyme disease) and Yersinia enterocolitica.-these are only a few)

You can’t always identify and remove all of the triggers, like Epstein-Barr Virus (the virus that causes Mono), but another option is to fix the intestinal permeability. This will also allow many folks to put their condition into remission. How? The “three-legged stool” of autoimmunity will no longer be able to stand!

Let's talk about some potential root causes of intestinal permeability based on what I've learned from experts in the fields of functional, integrative and natural medicine. Actual MDs are not taught or trained in how to reverse disease...only to manage symptoms.

*You might have more than one root cause, so I highly recommend finding a medical professional trained in Functional Medicine. You can find providers in your area here: IFM.ORG

Root Cause #1: Gluten Sensitivity

Gluten sensitivity and Celiac disease have been implicated in various autoimmune conditions from Hashimoto’s, Graves’ disease to Rheumatoid Arthritis. Testing can be done to for Celiac disease/gluten sensitivity. BUT, as in a lot of tests, the condition may not always show up on. Some people don't learn of their sensitivity until they remove gluten from their diets.

Gluten sensitivity may be the sole root cause, or it may be a combination of root causes. Every person with an autoimmune thyroid condition should remove gluten from his/her diet. Even if you think you're healthy, don't have Celiac or gluten sensitivity->>>>Gluten causes intestinal permeability FOR EVERYONE! Read more about it here.

If gluten was the sole root cause, remission of thyroid antibodies and thyroid function may even return to normal within 3-6 months! If not, ya gotta dig deeper…

Treatment: Pretty straight forward… Testing for Celiac/gluten disease, and removing gluten from the diet

Root Cause #2: Gluten Sensitivity + Cross-Reactive Proteins

Along with gluten sensitivity, people with Hashimoto’s may also be reactive to multiple other proteins including grains like rice, quinoa, and corn.

Other individuals may also react to dairy, eggs, nuts, seeds, nightshades…

Treatments of Choice: Testing, elimination diet, Paleo diet, Autoimmune Paleo diet, and in some cases a rotation diet may be beneficial. Working with a nutrition coach-HI! :) can be extremely beneficial in this respect. Supplements to help restore the gut lining may be beneficial as well. Systemic enzymes may prevent reactions to new foods, and reduce reactions to current foods.

Root Cause #3: Glutamine/Zinc Depletion

Zinc and glutamine are among the two substances that are required for rebuilding intestinal lining. Whenever your body is in stress (which can be almost always, watching the news or talking to your parents), the body pulls these substances from our intestines and uses them for other things.... like the production of adrenal hormones.

In most cases, these substances become available to us through food, and things go back to normal after the stressful time is over, and the gut lining is rebuilt with new ingredients.

This is a serious issue for those under prolonged stress, those with low stomach acid, and for people following a diet low in animal protein, including vegans and vegetarians. Glutamine is primarily found in animal protein (including eggs and dairy).

Solutions for this root cause: glutamine supps, zinc supps, bone broth gelatin, well-cooked meats, Betaine with Pepsin, Vitamin D, and any of the nutrient dense diets listed above.

Most of these supplements will help for just about everyone with Hashimoto’s.

Root Cause #4: Parasites

So you think Parasites are only in third world countries?? Think again dude! 8 out of 10 Americans may be infected with parasites. Current detection methods miss many parasites, and really guys, how many of you are been routinely tested for parasites?

A parasite found in the intestines can cause a tremendous damage and has the ability to cause intestinal permeability, food sensitivities, and autoimmune disease. If you are someone who developed your condition after a period of intense stress, you need to get tested, stress makes us more susceptible to parasites.

Unfortunately, diets are a short-term fix. People with parasites have multiple food sensitivities that don’t go away no matter what they eat or don’t eat. A person may feel better initially after removing sensitizing foods, only to start feeling worse once new foods become reactive. You can be on the perfect diet, and take loads of supplements, but if you have a parasite, it doesn’t matter; you will not be able to recover fully.

There are many different types of parasites, including worms, amoebas, and protozoa. Different treatments work for different parasites, so while general parasite cleanses can sometimes help, its best to figure out the specific type of parasite through advanced testing. For parasites in autoimmune disease, I take the approach “guilty until proven innocent,” as I have seen many people with 5-10 negative tests for parasites finally come up positive on one of the above-mentioned tests.

You can order GI-MAP or GI Pathogen Screen with H. pylori Antigen (401H) tests yourself or through a functional medicine practitioner.

Temporary Fix: probiotics, low carbohydrate diets, and diets such as the Autoimmune Paleo Diet will make it easier for us to tolerate the parasite symptomatically, but will not eliminate the parasite or the autoimmune condition.

Solution: anti-parasitic herbs tailored to the parasite, specific anti-parasitic medications, certain supplements, the probiotic S. boulardii and low carbohydrate diets will help as well.

Root Cause #5 Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)

SIBO is an overgrowth of bacteria in the small bowel or small intestine. This overgrowth can be caused by antibiotic overuse, starchy foods, and more. The SIBO results in leaky gut (intestinal permiability) as the body tries to get rid of the excess bacteria.

Testing: The test I prefer is through Cyrex labs which can be self-ordered by patients and health care providers. *MANY times there are false negatives.

Treatment Options: antibiotics, antimicrobial herbs, elemental diet and diets like the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, Low FODMAPS diet, and GAPS diet are the treatments of choice for SIBO.

Root Cause #6 Fungal Infections

The fungus Candida (EEEW) can cause intestinal permeability and has been implicated in autoimmune disease and food sensitivities.

Testing: Gut testing such as the GI-MAP may help determine if there is an overgrowth of Candida in the bowels.

Treatment:  Probiotics, anti-fungal herbs, and medications, an anti-candida diet such as the Body Ecology Diet.

These are a great starting point, although there are a ton more. Be patient, healing is a process. (that't me reminding myself too, lol!)

Thank you for reading today's post!

Brianna, Holistic Healing Fit Club

#operationgutheal #holistichealingfitclub #reverseautoimmunedisease #leakygut #hashimotos #rheumatoidarthritis #autoimmunedisease #functionalmedicine #parastite #candida #SIBO #glutenfree #missionremission #reverseautoimmunediseasenaturally

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Lifestyle Interventionist

Holistic Practitioner


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