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Molecular mimicry is when you are exposed to some foreign protein, your immune system reacts to it, and there is a protein in your system that looks similar. This sets the groundwork for your immune system to then attack yourself. This is most commonly believed to occur when someone has intestinal permeability leading your immune system to attack many proteins that look foreign in your gut. Some of these proteins may look molecularly similar to proteins in your body and this results in your body mistakenly attacking itself. The key to fixing this problem is to fix the intestinal permeability. The most common offender of causing this is gluten, but other lectins from plants can induce this as well. A very interesting study found that antibodies that react with wheat germ agglutinin also have high reactivity to thyroid peroxidase. So if you have a leaky gut caused by lectin induced permeability and this results in your immune system reacting to wheat germ agglutinin in the bread products you eat, there is potential for you to develop an autoimmune response directed at your thyroid.
Viruses inducing inflammation and ultimately an autoimmune response isn’t really something within our control and I think if we are healthy a process like this should be short lived as our immune system will eventually figure it out.Ultimately, if we give our body what it needs and remove what it doesn’t, then our immune system will function at a high enough level and things like this will be a major contributor to autoimmune processes long term. Control what you can control. Unfortunately, viruses you come into contact with isn’t something you can control.
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