“Autoimmunity occurs when an individual’s immune system no longer recognizes its own tissues as ‘self’. The result is the production of antibodies directed against host tissues and organs, rather than only against ‘foreign’ compounds such as invading microorganisms. Auto-immune diseases include all disorders in which this abnormal immune response occurs. Some examples include diabetes (type 1), celiac disease, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Hashimoto’s or Grave’s disease, and multiple sclerosis. Some possible contributing factors to autoimmune reactions are listed below.” From Genova Diagnostics website, http://www.gdx.net.
Tests from Genova Diagnostics cover the following possible causes of autoimmune disorders: (the following are quotes from www.gdx.net.)
- Intestinal Permeability: ‘Leaky gut’ encourages systemic absorption of toxins and the inflammation that damages host tissue.
- Nutrition: Low levels of key nutrients for immune function, such as vitamin D, can exacerbate symptoms and prevent healing.
- Digestive Function: Intestinal flora imbalances (bacteria, parasites, or yeast) contribute to the development of many auto-immune diseases.
- Fatty Acids: Essential fatty acid imbalances can promote inflammatory reactions associated with autoimmune disease.
- Thyroid Function: Autoantibodies directed against the thyroid gland are responsible for some cases of hyper- and hypothyroidism.
- Female Hormones: By directly modulating immune cells, estrogens may stimulate or limit autoimmune reactions in the body.
- Viral Infection: Some viruses are able to induce the production of autoantibodies that promote damage to host tissue.
- Male Hormones: Imbalances in testosterone or estrogen can modulate immune function, exacerbating autoimmune reactions.
- Bone Health: Progressive bone loss is common and often-ignored byproduct of chronic autoimmune disease.