Dr. Kirk Gair, DC, Contributor
Thyroid Nation

Autoimmune Flare-ups and Sodium

It seems like every day we hear of one more food that can impact us with our autoimmune reactions such as Hashimoto’s, Lupus, Fibromyalgia, Diabetes, MS, etc. 

Are You Using This Common, Everyday Seasoning That Actually Ramps Up Your Autoimmune Attacks, and Has Even Been Linked To MS?

But now we even have to watch out for seasonings? And I am not talking about ones contaminated with gluten.

This reaction can actually start to make sense for a lot of people who follow a strict AIP or GAPS protocol, with 100% elimination of trigger foods, yet still make progress at a snail’s pace.

With Hashimoto’s, only use non-iodized salt and keep sodium intake low so that you don't flare up TH17, which can trigger further exacerbation of your condition. Click To Tweet

So just what seasoning may be flaring people up?

Several recent studies have shown that good ole salt has a huge impact on your immune system. 

In the March 2016 edition of the journal Experimental Neurology, the researchers concluded that salt intake increased the activity of Th17. Th17 ramps up neuroinflammation, and high sodium intake increases its activity. This can be an additional source of brain fog and other neurological symptoms.

These findings support those of a study published in 2013 in the journal Nature, which concluded that “increased dietary salt intake might represent an environmental risk factor for the development of autoimmune diseases through the induction of pathogenic Th17 cells.

There are many more studies that say the same thing, and that links high sodium intake to not only the development of autoimmunity but also the exacerbation of MS, Lupus, Diabetes, and more.

So What Is the Big Deal About Th17? How Does This Impact Me and MY Autoimmunity?

Thyroid-Nation-Essentials-By-Grateful-GardenFor a great answer on this complex question, you can take a look at a study from 2014 in the International Journal of Inflammation. This study found that Th17 activity was involved in

  • Hashimoto’s
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Diabetes
  • Lupus
  • MS
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Vitiligo
  • Psoriasis
  • Gliomas
  • And more

Specific to Hashimoto’s, the study found Hashimoto’s patients have high levels of infiltrating Th17 cells and serum IL-17 levels. Th17 cells have been identified as one of the major pathogenic cell populations that cause the development of many autoimmune diseases, and they ramp up inflammation as the body starts mistakenly attacking its own tissues.

They further found that these negative effects were magnified when combined with moderately high iodine exposure.

So the take away message:

With Hashimoto’s, only use non-iodized salt and keep your sodium intake low so that you do not flare up TH17, which can trigger further exacerbation of your condition.

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About the Author

KIRKGAIRPIC300Dr Kirk Gair, DC, IDE, graduated with Honors from Southern California University of Health Sciences in 1999. He began utilizing Cold Laser Treatments in 2004 and combining them with traditional chiropractic treatments to get some amazing results. Since that time, he trained with world-renowned experts, like Dr Jeff Spencer, who worked with Olympic Champions, Professional football and baseball teams and World Series MVPs, golfers, and tennis legends. Check out his website, and follow him on Facebook.

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Questions or anything to add about autoimmune flare-ups? We want your thoughts, please. You might just help someone else in need.