Autoimmune thyroid diseases (AITDs) include Graves’ disease and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and are the most common form of thyroid dysfunction, affecting women more than men.
These conditions are the outcome of complex interactions between environmental and genetic factors resulting in reactivity to self-thyroid antigens causing inflammation and affecting the secretion of thyroid hormones.
In the case of Graves’ disease, autoantibodies bind to TSH receptors typically leading to stimulation of the thyroid gland and hyperthyroidism. On the other hand, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is characterised by lymphocytic infiltration, inflammation and hypothyroidism.
Major environmental triggers of AITD include medications, infection, smoking, stress and iodine. There is also growing evidence showing a role for diet in preventing, delaying or reversing the expression of genetically determined autoimmune diseases.
Numerous nutritional deficiencies have been identified as contributing factors to the cause of thyroid disorders and include vitamin D, selenium, magnesium, coenzyme Q10 and alpha-lipoic acid.
In this infographic we take a closer look at thyroid function, the pathogenesis of AITDs and nutritional support for this condition.
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