Viruses that may Trigger Hashimoto’s

Some viruses have been shown to cause more serious conditions, including Hashimoto's disease, rubella, mumps, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), parvovirus, and enterovirus. 

Currently, there is no scientific data on the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on patients with thyroid disease and Hashimoto's disease. People with coronavirus, hypertension (high blood pressure), diabetes, and coronary heart disease increase the risk of health complications. 

Viral infections are one of the most common causes of thyroid problems and Hashimoto's. However, not all patients have thyroid problems.

We know that autoimmune diseases like Hashimoto's need three things to occur and persist.

  • Genetic predisposition
  • Triggers (e.g., food intolerance, infection)
  • Intestinal permeability (leaky gut)

It should be a "three-legged stool". Otherwise, you won't have an autoimmune disease like Hashimoto's. 

The good news is that removing the trigger or intestinal block can help.


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How do infections act as triggers?

The infection can hide anywhere on the body. They can be found in the gums, sinuses, intestines, and even the thyroid gland. 

They can contribute to autoimmunity in three different ways, depending on where a particular infection lives (and remember that most people have multiple infections, so multiple things can happen).

Infection outside the Thyroid gland

If the infection is outside the thyroid gland, the infection can trigger thyroid autoimmunity through a mechanism called molecular mimicry. If this infection contains thyroid-like proteins, when the immune system begins to attack the infection, it also attacks the thyroid gland. Many infectious agents have thyroid-like protein sequences. 

Note that a person must have a genetic predisposition to develop autoimmune diseases such as Hashimoto's disease and intestinal permeability problems.


Infection inside the Thyroid gland

If the infection is in the thyroid gland, The infection can trigger thyroid autoimmunity through a mechanism called the bystander effect. At this point, the immune system tries to attack the thyroid gland because that is where the infection lives.

It's like destroying the enemy's house, hoping to destroy the enemies that live there. Many viruses that we will talk about today belong to this activation mechanism.

Antibodies against these viruses have been found in the thyroid gland, and blood tests can also confirm their presence.

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Infection in the gut, gums, or sinuses

If the infection lives in the gut, gums, or sinuses, In this case, the infection causes intestinal permeability (leaking in the gut). 

Remember that this is an important part of the three-legged stool necessary for the development of autoimmune diseases such as Hashimoto's disease. 

Oral (and dental) infections, intestinal infections, and even food poisoning fall into this category.

Remember, more than one infection can be discovered in the process of finding its own root cause. Because it takes a long time to clear the infection.

gut infection

Chronic Infections

Chronic infection is a trigger that many people overlook when looking for the underlying cause, but identifying and treating it can often lead to the complete remission of Hashimoto's disease. That's why it's important to determine what the problem is. 

Some infections are also progressive and can cause more symptoms if left untreated. 

There are different types of infections that we see in Hashimoto's disease. 

These include oral infections, intestinal bacterial overgrowth, bacterial infections, and parasitic and viral infections.

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Dental or mouth infections 

In functional medicine, you may have heard that the gut is central to autoimmune disease. Gut-related triggers trigger autoimmunity, leading to intestinal permeability problems that are always present in Hashimoto's disease. But what you may not realize is that the mouth is part of the gut along with the stomach and intestines.

What happens in the mouth is very important in causing problems. Examples of triggers include fluoridation procedures, amalgam fillings, X-rays, root canals, abscesses, and gum disease (periodontitis).

Gut Infections

Gut infections can result from food poisoning or be related to bacterial overgrowth (not actually an infection, but a bacterial component such as yeast or SIBO), an actual bacterial infection (Yersinia, H. pylori, Lyme disease), or a parasite. (Blastocystis hominins).

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Studies have shown that more than 50% of people with hypothyroidism have small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), which can cause a leaky gut. This overgrowth can often be caused by low stomach acidity and the use of acid-blocking medications, common in Hashimoto's disease.

Candida or other forms of yeast growth

Yeast grows in the gut and suppresses immune function. They acidify the digestive environment and interfere with the absorption of nutrients that support immunity. 

Candida, a type of yeast, can cause leaky gut and cause food sensitivities, autoimmune disease flare-ups, and other problems. When filling out your health care record, think about antibiotics, birth control pills, steroids, pregnancy, and a history of recurrent vaginal yeast infections.

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Bacterial infections

Common bacterial infections in people with Hashimoto's disease include Yersinia, H. pylori, Borrelia burgdorferi (associated with Lyme disease), and Streptococcus pyogenes (Streptococcus). Anti-yersinia antibodies are 14 times more common in people with Hashimoto's than in people without Hashimoto's.


Blastocystis hominis is a common parasite found in patients with Hashimoto's disease. Many studies have linked it to IBS and hives, two conditions commonly associated with Hashimoto's disease.


Therefore, identifying the root cause is like peeling an onion. The more layers and the deeper you go, the harder it is to pinpoint exactly what's going on. It may take some time to completely eliminate the cause of the symptoms. 

Finding the root cause is a journey that requires several stops along the way. 

The good news is that many of these stops will help you feel better if you identify and address your triggers. 

Creating a health chart is the first step here. It will help you decide where to look next. Knowing "what happened before you started getting sick" can tell you some tests you can do for a particular infection, for example. 

Or maybe stress management is the next step to focus on.


Suffering from a chronic disease like thyroid, gut problems, weight issues, autoimmune issues, etc... is not easy. Dr. Gupta is a certified Functional Medicine Physician and his personalized plans have helped thousands of people to reclaim their health back.

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