How Can Infections Impact Your Thyroid

How Can Infections Impact Your Thyroid

We now know that autoimmune diseases such as Graves and Hashimoto’s trigger thyroid disease. There is new research covering theories that explain why infections can cause autoimmune disease leading to thyroid issues. Below is some information on how infections affect your thyroid.

Molecular Mimicry

The infection is similar to your thyroid tissue and your immune system tries to attack the infection but accidentally attacks the thyroid. You may be familiar with this as it happens to many people that are sensitive to gluten.

Bystander Activation

Bacteria or a virus raids the thyroid gland and your immune system sends cells to your thyroid to kill the infection. When the cells start to attack the bacteria or virus, it mistakenly damages some of your thyroid tissue. This causes the body to build up inflammation. The inflammation causes more cells to attack the thyroid gland further damaging it.

Cryptic Antigens

The infection or virus takes over the DNA of your thyroid cells to hide from your immune system. But your immune system still locates the virus and attacks it including the thyroid cells.

Infections That Cause Thyroid Disease


This causes mononucleosis and is considered to be in the herpes family. It is known as the “kissing disease” and can be in the body without any symptoms. Epstein-Barr is linked to diseases like Hashimoto’s, Graves, Lupus, Sjögren’s. and Fibromyalgia


All viruses under the herpes family cause autoimmune disease. Once you catch the virus, it remains in your body for the rest of your life. Just because it is in the body doesn’t mean it is active. Its trigger is stress.  It causes your stress hormones to suppress your immune system leading to thyroid issues. It’s also believed to cause the hijacking effect or bystander activation effect discussed earlier.

Yersinia enterocolitica

This is a bacteria that can come from undercooked meat (mostly pork), milk, contaminated water, and more. It causes symptoms that can feel like you have food poisoning. The amino acids in this bacteria are very similar to your thyroid receptors. This causes your body to attack your thyroid. Research proves that the antibodies from Hashimotos and Graves disease correlate with this bacteria.

Helicobacter pylori

Helicobacter pylori, or H. pylori, is a bacteria that causes ulcers by attacking the stomach lining. This allows stomach acid to squeeze into the gut and damage the gut lining. This infection can come without any symptoms and is very common. Getting tested is so important for your thyroid journey because you can have this and not know it at all.

Hepatitis C

This virus is very common and attacks the liver. It affects over 70 percent of the population and is easy to miss as some people do not have symptoms. When the virus is active in the body, it can cause an autoimmune response. The autoimmune response leads to a thyroid condition.

How To Know If You Have Any Of These Triggers?

If you feel you may have any of these listed above, you should get tested.

  • Herpes appears in a blood test
  • Epstein-Barr appears in a blood test
  • Hepatitis C appears in a blood test
  • Yersinia appears from a stool test
  • H. pylori appears from a breath test, stool test, or blood test (although the blood test will only tell you if you’ve had H. Pylori, not if it’s still active)

Treating The Root Cause of Infections

Viral Infections

If you have Herpes, Epstein-Barr, or Hepatitis C you can treat it with coconut oil and humic acid. Coconut oil is great because it is high in fatty acids. It shown to be antiviral and destroys the infected cells. Humic acid is great for the reactivation of the virus as it prevents a new virus from reappearing.

Bacterial Infections

As of right now Yersinia and H. Pylori are only treated with antibiotics. If you are taking antibiotics make sure you are supporting your gut as well. Antibiotics can damage the gut lining causing health issues. Make sure you are taking a good probiotic and eating healthy.

Kara Stavish

Kara is a teacher, coach, online course instructor and the founder of Concepts Of Life & Wellness. She received a bachelors degree in psychology from Penn State University and not long after was diagnosed with Hashimoto's Autoimmune Disease in 2015. As she struggled to feel better, she began an intense search to find healing. After immersing herself into the learning process, she removed her medication and healed her body. From this experience, she now dedicates her life to helping others learn how to feel better and live a healthier life. Her enthusiasm for healing has helped so many people and continues to do so.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. SherryRueter

    So I had herpes as a kid-young adult.. It seemed when I started improving my diet and using whey protein powder 10 years ago, I quit having issues. A few years ago I did keto and used a ton of coconut oil …. I’ve kept using coconut oil as my oil of choice. But not keto … keto lasted about 6 months. So, would my herpes be healed or is it just inactive.?

    1. Kara Stavish

      It can be inactive because herpes once in the body don’t go away.

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