Autoimmune thyroid disorder is a result of a complex interaction between both environmental and genetic factors. Pollutants and toxins can hinder your immune system’s ability to protect you from disease invaders. In addition, there are other factors that can directly affect your thyroid. What are these lifestyle triggers that may affect your immune system or cause the disruption of your autoimmune thyroid?Smoking You already know that smoking is not a healthy habit for anyone. There are innumerable studies that show the effects of smoking, including autoimmune thyroid disorder. One particular study observed the increase of autoimmune hypothyroidism for women and the other one showed an increase in Graves’ disease for smokers. Stress Stress may also be one of the triggers that affect your autoimmune thyroid. Several research studies have connected stress to thyroid issues; stress is a powerfully toxic feeling that, when persistent and sustained, can cause a wide range of health issues or disorders. Infections Fungal, parasitic, yeast and bacterial infections are also associated with autoimmune conditions since most of your immune system is found in the microbiome. It triggers autoimmune thyroid disorder when microbial antigens cross-react with the antigens that trigger inflammatory responses. Diet The functions of the thyroid gland are also compromised by some dietary factors. The most severe dysfunction is reported from patients who have celiac disease, where a permanent intolerance for dietary gluten can cause mucosal damage and inflammation to the intestinal lining. Pollutants Environmental pollutants such as synthetic chemicals, heavy metals, smoke, and solvents have been some of the more recent causes identified that affect thyroid function and autoimmune and inflammation response. The threats for heavy metals are associated with your exposure to cadmium, arsenic, lead, and mercury. These can cause a higher level of thyroid antibodies as well as trigger Hashimoto’s disease. Artificial sweeteners Sweeteners such as sucralose, saccharine and aspartame are found in many zero- calorie and diet foods and drinks. Eliminating diet soda and artificial sweeteners can reverse Hashimoto’s. How to protect yourself? Protecting yourself from these triggers can help you to lessen the risk for autoimmune thyroid disease. One way is by reducing the use of toxic products and replacing them with non-toxic ones. Make sure that you check the ingredients and chemicals used for processing that product. Eat all-natural, nourishing foods that can help you boost your immune system. Proper foods in the proper amount can be an effective way to maintain your immune system. And lastly, avoid letting stress build up. Try to be as positive as possible and learn ways to help your body and mind relax. Take a break and breathe a little when you feel you are being suffocated by daily problems and stress.