Dr. Daniel Pompa

What Causes Psoriasis

What Causes Psoriasis – And What Can Be Done About It

As with other autoimmune conditions, exactly what causes psoriasis hasn’t been identified by the medical establishment. Psoriasis is an autoimmune disorder that leads to an increase in the production of skin cells which causes patches of inflamed, red, and scaly skin. Certain triggers can cause flare-ups, such as stress, certain medications, and even skin injuries.

Risk Factors For Developing Psoriasis

Psoriasis affects about 2% of the United States population. While it can occur at any age, it is more common in adults. Several factors can increase the risk of developing psoriasis. People who have family members with psoriasis have an increased risk of developing it.1

Certain infections, such as strep throat, can trigger psoriasis. Stress can cause psoriasis to manifest in susceptible individuals. Smoking can increase the risk of developing and worsening psoriasis. Some medications, including lithium, beta-blockers, and antimalarial medications, can make psoriasis worse. Hormone-related issues can affect the immune system, which may increase the risk of developing psoriasis.

Trauma or injury to the skin, such as a cut or scrape, can trigger the development of psoriasis in some people. Exposure to cold temperatures and dry climates may increase the risk of developing psoriasis. People who experience sunburns are more likely to develop psoriasis. People who are obese or overweight have an increased risk of developing psoriasis. Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol can increase the risk of developing and worsening psoriasis.2

The Root Of Autoimmune Conditions Like Psoriasis

Chronic inflammation is the root of many autoimmune conditions. Chronic inflammation is an ongoing, low-level inflammatory response that can damage the body’s tissues over time and lead to progressive health decline. This type of inflammation can be caused by a variety of factors, including infections, toxins, allergens, or stress. Inflammation can also be triggered by an imbalance of gut bacteria or a poor diet.

When chronic inflammation is left unchecked, it can lead to the development of autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and lupus. In these cases, the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks its own healthy cells and tissue because it perceives them as foreign invaders.3

If we wish to treat psoriasis, we must remove the factors that are causing chronic inflammation.

Read more about how to stop inflammation.

What Causes Psoriasis – Genetics

The GRHL3 gene is involved in the development of psoriasis. This gene is located on chromosome 17 and codes for a protein with roles in skin cell differentiation and apoptosis, as well as other functions. Mutations in this gene have been linked to both severe and mild forms of psoriasis. Additionally, GRHL3 expression is increased in psoriatic lesions, defining the genetic role in the pathogenesis of the disease.4

What Causes Psoriasis - Genetics

Psoriasis And Stress

Stress plays an important role in the development and exacerbation of psoriasis symptoms due to its ability to trigger a hormonal response that activates the immune system. This is why it’s important to learn how to recognize and manage stress in order to reduce the likelihood of psoriasis flare-ups.5

To deal with stress head-on, we need to pinpoint its cause. Taking small steps towards alleviating stress can make a big difference in reducing overall levels of anxiety. This might mean taking a break from work, exercising regularly, spending time with family and friends, or seeking professional help if necessary.

What Causes Psoriasis – Heavy Metals

Underlying factors like heavy metal toxicity can be directly responsible for an overwhelming stress response. Exposure to heavy metals can result in a range of health problems, including neurological disorders, cancer, and organ damage. The presence of these metals in the body also increases stress load, as they interfere with our normal metabolic functions. Chronic exposure to high levels of heavy metals can lead to an increased risk of mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and fatigue.6

Furthermore, heavy metal toxicity is responsible for chronic inflammation and is therefore linked to most autoimmune conditions.

Read more about toxic heavy metals.

Psoriasis – The Connection Between The Nervous System And The Immune System

Recent research has shown a connection between the nervous system and the immune system by way of the gut microbiota in those with psoriasis. Studies have also found that inflammation of the skin can be triggered by psychological stress or physical trauma, indicating a link between the two systems.

The nervous system is responsible for sending signals to the immune system in response to stress or other outside stimuli. The immune system then responds by releasing proteins called cytokines, which can lead to inflammation and an increased risk of psoriasis flare-ups.7

Stress can play a major role in triggering psoriasis flare-ups and worsening existing symptoms. Those with psoriasis may benefit from stress reduction techniques such as yoga, meditation, or mindfulness, which can help to reduce inflammation and improve overall skin health.

What Causes Psoriasis - Stress

What Causes Psoriasis – Hormonal Imbalances

Hormonal imbalances can play a role in the development and exacerbation of psoriasis. Fluctuations in hormones, such as those that occur during puberty or menopause, may trigger psoriasis flare-ups.8 Additionally, certain medical conditions, such as thyroid disease, metabolic syndrome, and other forms of hormone dysregulation may lead to a greater likelihood of developing psoriasis.9

Read more about thyroid dysfunction.

What Causes Psoriasis – Air Pollution

The link between air pollution and psoriasis has been studied for some time now. Studies have shown that exposure to air pollutants can increase the chances of developing psoriasis, particularly in those who suffer from atopic dermatitis or allergies. In particular, studies have suggested that exposure to ozone, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrous oxide may increase the risk of psoriasis.10

What Causes Psoriasis – Cigarettes And Alcohol

Smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol can both be detrimental to a person’s health, especially for those living with psoriasis. Studies have shown that there is a strong correlation between smoking and an increased risk of developing psoriasis, as well as experiencing more severe flare-ups. Additionally, even light to moderate alcohol consumption has been linked to an increased risk of psoriasis.11

Effective Psoriasis Treatments – Climatotherapy

Climatotherapy is a type of psoriasis treatment that involves exposing patients to certain climates or weather conditions. This exposure can be done in different ways, such as taking a vacation to a climate that is beneficial for psoriasis, using home-based treatment, or having a stay at an inpatient treatment center for psoriasis. 

Dead Sea climatotherapy (DSC) is a therapeutic approach that has been used for centuries to treat various skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, vitiligo, and alopecia areata. It consists of sun exposure and Dead Sea bathing, which has been found to be very effective in improving psoriasis.12

The combination of exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet radiation, combined with the high salt content and mineral content of the Dead Sea, works to reduce inflammation, accelerate healing, and improve skin health overall. Additionally, DSC has psychological benefits such as stress reduction and improved mood.13

Effective Psoriasis Treatments - Climatotherapy

Effective Psoriasis Treatments – Phototherapy

Phototherapy is another type of psoriasis treatment that uses ultraviolet light from either natural or artificial sources to treat skin lesions caused by psoriasis. Phototherapy helps reduce inflammation, itching, and scaling of the skin without the use of medications. It can be done in either a medical office or at home with specialized equipment.14

Effective Psoriasis Treatments – Vitamin D

Vitamin D cream is a topical treatment that can help relieve the symptoms of psoriasis. Vitamin D cream works by slowing down skin cell growth, reducing inflammation, and regulating the immune system. It can also help to reduce itching and scaling.

Oral vitamin D consumption, ideally in the form of vitamin D-rich food, is a popular treatment option for psoriasis and other autoimmune conditions due to its ability to help regulate the immune system. Vitamin D works by reducing inflammation and slowing down the production of skin cells, which can reduce redness, itching, and scaling associated with psoriasis. Research has shown that vitamin D can reduce symptoms of mild to moderate psoriasis.15

Cause Of Inflammation

The chronic inflammation behind psoriasis is caused by a variety of factors, including exposure to environmental toxins, infections, stress, and genetic conditions. Permanently eradicating psoriasis requires that we put an end to whatever is triggering chronic inflammation.

Read more about what is behind inflammation and how to stop it.

Inflammation And Genetic Expression

Genetic expression is the way in which genes are interpreted by the body, allowing for different outcomes depending on a myriad of environmental factors. In some cases, changes in gene expression can be beneficial, such as in the case of exercise, where increased gene expression of certain proteins can help to improve physical performance and build healthy muscles. In other cases, changes in gene expression can be detrimental and can lead to diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and cardiovascular disease.

Recent research suggests that inflammation is linked to genetic expression, meaning that chronic inflammation may be associated with an increased risk of certain diseases like psoriasis due to altered gene expression.16 

This is why psoriasis has both genetic and environmental factors.

Read more about optimizing genetic expression.

What Causes Psoriasis - And How To Treat It

What Causes Psoriasis – And How To Treat It

Having the genetic disposition along with stressors from the environment is what causes psoriasis. If we target the root cause of inflammation, we can battle back against all autoimmune conditions including psoriasis.

Read more about autoimmune conditions.


1 Director, N. G. D. (2022, March 3). New Insights Into How Psoriasis Arises and How It Heals. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. https://archive.niams.nih.gov/newsroom/spotlight-on-research/new-insights-how-psoriasis-arises

2 Naldi, L. Risk Factors for Psoriasis. Curr Derm Rep 2, 58–65 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13671-012-0034-6

3 Branch, N. S. C. a. O. (2023, January 20). Autoinflammatory Diseases. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. https://www.niams.nih.gov/health-topics/autoinflammatory-diseases

4 A GRHL3-regulated repair pathway suppresses immune-mediated epidermal hyperplasia. Gordon WM, Zeller MD, Klein RH, Swindell WR, Ho H, Espetia F, Gudjonsson JE, Baldi PF, Andersen B. J Clin Invest. 2014 Oct 27. pii: 77138. [Epub ahead of print] doi: 10.1172/JCI77138. PMID: 25347468

5 Rousset L, Halioua B. Stress and psoriasis. Int J Dermatol. 2018 Oct;57(10):1165-1172. doi: 10.1111/ijd.14032. Epub 2018 May 4. PMID: 29729012.

6 Kern JK, Geier DA, Bjørklund G, King PG, Homme KG, Haley BE, Sykes LK, Geier MR. Evidence supporting a link between dental amalgams and chronic illness, fatigue, depression, anxiety, and suicide. Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 2014;35(7):537-52. PMID: 25617876.

7 Chen G, Chen ZM, Fan XY, Jin YL, Li X, Wu SR, Ge WW, Lv CH, Wang YK, Chen JG. Gut-Brain-Skin Axis in Psoriasis: A Review. Dermatol Ther (Heidelb). 2021 Feb;11(1):25-38. doi: 10.1007/s13555-020-00466-9. Epub 2020 Nov 18. PMID: 33206326; PMCID: PMC7859123.

8 Marek-Jozefowicz L, Czajkowski R, Borkowska A, Nedoszytko B, Żmijewski MA, Cubała WJ, Slominski AT. The Brain-Skin Axis in Psoriasis-Psychological, Psychiatric, Hormonal, and Dermatological Aspects. Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Jan 8;23(2):669. doi: 10.3390/ijms23020669. PMID: 35054853; PMCID: PMC8776235.

9 Ishak RS, Piliang MP. Association between alopecia areata, psoriasis vulgaris, thyroid disease, and metabolic syndrome. J Investig Dermatol Symp Proc. 2013 Dec;16(1):S56-7. doi: 10.1038/jidsymp.2013.22. PMID: 24326560.

10 Abolhasani R, Araghi F, Tabary M, Aryannejad A, Mashinchi B, Robati RM. The impact of air pollution on skin and related disorders: A comprehensive review. Dermatol Ther. 2021 Mar;34(2):e14840. doi: 10.1111/dth.14840. Epub 2021 Feb 12. PMID: 33527709.

11 Salihbegovic EM, Kurtalic N, Omerkic E. Smoking Cigarettes and Consuming Alcohol in Patients with Psoriasis. Mater Sociomed. 2021 Mar;33(1):30-33. doi: 10.5455/msm.2021.33.30-33. PMID: 34012347; PMCID: PMC8116091.

12 Emmanuel T, Petersen A, Houborg HI, Rønsholdt AB, Lybaek D, Steiniche T, Bregnhøj A, Iversen L, Johansen C. Climatotherapy at the Dead Sea for psoriasis is a highly effective anti-inflammatory treatment in the short term: An immunohistochemical study. Exp Dermatol. 2022 Aug;31(8):1136-1144. doi: 10.1111/exd.14549. Epub 2022 Feb 27. PMID: 35196397; PMCID: PMC9541097.

13 Emmanuel T, Lybæk D, Johansen C, Iversen L. Effect of Dead Sea Climatotherapy on Psoriasis; A Prospective Cohort Study. Front Med (Lausanne). 2020 Mar 18;7:83. doi: 10.3389/fmed.2020.00083. PMID: 32258044; PMCID: PMC7093374.

14 Zhang P, Wu MX. A clinical review of phototherapy for psoriasis. Lasers Med Sci. 2018 Jan;33(1):173-180. doi: 10.1007/s10103-017-2360-1. Epub 2017 Oct 24. PMID: 29067616; PMCID: PMC5756569.

15 Stanescu AMA, Simionescu AA, Diaconu CC. Oral Vitamin D Therapy in Patients with Psoriasis. Nutrients. 2021 Jan 6;13(1):163. doi: 10.3390/nu13010163. PMID: 33419149; PMCID: PMC7825555.

16 Phillips, T. (2008) The role of methylation in gene expression. Nature Education 1(1):116

Vitamin D And Autoimmune Conditions

The Connection Between A Deficiency Of Vitamin D And Autoimmune Conditions

Recent research suggests that there is a strong link between a deficiency of vitamin D and autoimmune conditions. Studies indicate that vitamin D can reduce chronic inflammation, which is the underlying cause of autoimmune diseases.

What Is Vitamin D?

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that helps your body absorb calcium and phosphorus. It is important for proper growth, development, immune system health, and strong bones.

Vitamin D has been shown to have various immunomodulatory, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-fibrotic effects. This is important in the context of autoimmune diseases, which are characterized by abnormal activation of the immune system that causes it to attack its own harmless antigens.1

How Do We Get Vitamin D?

Vitamin D is naturally produced by the body when exposed to sunlight and can also be obtained from food sources such as fatty fish, egg yolks, mushrooms, fortified foods, and supplements. To get the most out of vitamin D, receive regular sun exposure, even as little as 15 minutes a day. Additionally, make sure your diet includes adequate amounts of vitamin D, ideally in the form of food.

Vitamin D And Autoimmune Conditions

Vitamin D helps to regulate the body’s immune system, which is key in preventing or reducing autoimmune disease flare-ups. It does this by activating certain cells in the immune system, such as T cells and B cells, which help to eliminate foreign substances that could cause inflammation or an autoimmune response.

Vitamin D helps regulate the production of cytokines, which are small proteins released by various cells that help regulate the body’s response to infection and inflammation. Research suggests that high levels of certain cytokines, such as interleukin-17 (IL-17) can contribute to autoimmune diseases.2

Even though excessive vitamin D supplementation can create imbalances in other important vitamins, many studies show that supplementing with vitamin D improves symptoms of autoimmune conditions. For example, a recent systematic review found that vitamin D supplementation can reduce inflammation and pain in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Taking a vitamin D supplement (2,000 IU per day) has been demonstrated to decrease the likelihood of developing autoimmune disorders by 22%.3

Vitamin D And Autoimmune Conditions

Vitamin D And Tuberculosis

Vitamin D has been used as a treatment for tuberculosis since before the introduction of antibiotics. In the past, patients suffering from tuberculosis were confined to sanatoriums and exposed to sunlight in order to kill the bacteria. Cod liver oil, which is an excellent source of vitamin D, was also prescribed as an additional means of protecting against tuberculosis and other infections.4

Vitamin D And Immunity

In a study on 800 military recruits in Finland, those with lower levels of vitamin D were found to miss significantly more days from active duty due to upper respiratory infections than those whose levels of vitamin D were higher.5 

There have also been a number of other cross-sectional studies exploring the relationship between vitamin D levels and the rate of influenza, bacterial vaginosis, and HIV.6 7 8 In fact, sufficient vitamin D levels are associated with a 42% reduction in cases of influenza.9 All of these studies have found a link between lower vitamin D levels and increased rates of infection.

Vitamin D And Autoimmune Conditions – A Look At The Research

There is a strong correlation between lower levels of vitamin D and the development of several autoimmune diseases such as lupus, thyrotoxicosis, type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis (MS), iridocyclitis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, psoriasis vulgaris, rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and polymyalgia rheumatica.1

Vitamin D And Autoimmune Conditions – Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

Recent research suggests that people with low vitamin D levels are at an increased risk of developing multiple sclerosis (MS). A study on 7 million Army and Navy personnel has found a correlation between lower vitamin D levels and greater severity of MS symptoms.10

Vitamin D is a key component of T cell homeostasis in patients with multiple sclerosis. T cell homeostasis helps ensure that the body’s immune system is able to efficiently detect and respond to threats. To maintain homeostasis, the T cells must be able to recognize self-antigens and ignore non-self antigens. Failure of this process can result in autoimmunity or immunological disorders like MS.11

Read more about what causes Mulitple Sclerosis.

Vitamin D And Autoimmune Conditions – Type 1 Diabetes

Vitamin D has been linked to type 1 diabetes in several studies. One study found that a deficiency of vitamin D was associated with an increased risk of type 1 diabetes onset in children and adolescents.12

Vitamin D And Autoimmune Conditions – Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

Studies have shown that people with RA tend to have lower levels of vitamin D in their blood than those without the condition. Low vitamin D levels can make it harder to fight off inflammation, which is a key factor in RA. Supplementing with vitamin D has been found to reduce the severity of RA symptoms and slow the progress of the disease.13

Read more about what causes RA.

Vitamin D And Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

Vitamin D And Autoimmune Conditions – Lupus

Vitamin D supplementation has been shown to reduce symptoms of lupus. One study found that after 3 months of supplementation with high doses of vitamin D3, lupus patients experienced a significant reduction in fatigue and joint pain. Other studies have shown that supplementation can reduce the levels of inflammatory markers and improve the quality of life for people with lupus.14

Read more about what causes lupus.

Vitamin D And Autoimmune Conditions – Thyrotoxicosis

Thyrotoxicosis is an autoimmune condition that occurs when the body produces too much thyroid hormone. Studies have suggested that low levels of vitamin D may be a risk factor for this condition. Taking a supplement containing both vitamin D and calcium may reduce the risk of developing thyrotoxicosis.15

Read more about thyroid disorders.

Vitamin D And Autoimmune Conditions – Iridocyclitis

Iridocyclitis, an autoimmune condition of the eye, has been linked to vitamin D levels. Research suggests that having a low level of vitamin D may increase your risk of getting iridocyclitis.1

Vitamin D And Autoimmune Conditions – Crohn’s Disease

Crohn’s Disease is an autoimmune disorder that affects the digestive system. It can cause painful and uncomfortable symptoms such as diarrhea, abdominal pain, fatigue, and weight loss. Vitamin D has been found to be beneficial in reducing inflammation associated with Crohn’s Disease and may also play a role in preventing flare-ups of the condition. Studies have found that lower levels of vitamin D in the blood are associated with increased severity of Crohn’s disease symptoms.16

Vitamin D And Crohn's Disease

Vitamin D And Autoimmune Conditions – Ulcerative Colitis

Recent research suggests that vitamin D could play an important role in the treatment of ulcerative colitis (UC), an autoimmune digestive disorder. In people with UC, their own immune system mistakenly attacks their healthy intestinal tissue and causes inflammation. 

This can result in abdominal pain, frequent diarrhea, weight loss, and fatigue. Studies have shown that supplementing with vitamin D can help reduce inflammation and associated symptoms of UC. Additionally, low levels of vitamin D have been linked to a higher risk of developing ulcerative colitis. Therefore, it is important for individuals with this condition to ensure they are receiving adequate amounts of vitamin D, ideally through their diet or sun exposure.17

Vitamin D And Autoimmune Conditions – Psoriasis Vulgaris

Low vitamin D levels can lead to an overactive immune system, which can contribute to the development of psoriasis vulgaris. Studies have shown that supplementing with vitamin D3 or taking a calcium-vitamin D supplement may be beneficial for those with psoriasis vulgaris. Vitamin D3 specifically has been found to reduce symptoms of psoriasis vulgaris and improve the skin’s appearance. Vitamin D can also help prevent flare-ups of psoriasis vulgaris, as well as aid in wound healing.18

Vitamin D And Autoimmune Conditions – Polymyalgia Rheumatica

Polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) is an autoimmune disorder that is characterized by inflammation of the muscles and joints. Recent evidence suggests that vitamin D deficiency may be a contributing factor to this condition. Low levels of vitamin D can lead to decreased immune function which can make individuals more susceptible to autoimmune diseases such as PMR.

Studies have shown that vitamin D supplementation can reduce the symptoms of PMR, improve joint mobility, and even reduce inflammation in some cases. Additionally, vitamin D may also help to decrease the number of medications required for the effective treatment of PMR.19

How To Get Enough Vitamin D

In addition to foods that contain high levels of vitamin D, increasing your exposure to natural sunlight is an effective way to boost vitamin D levels. Just 15 minutes of exposure to sunlight can increase your body’s vitamin D levels significantly. Therefore, it is important to get some sun exposure daily, even during the winter months. 

Supplementing with vitamin D comes with some risks, especially if consumed excessively. For starters, high doses of vitamin D increase the amount of calcium in the blood that in turn results in blood vessel calcification.20 Secondly, high doses of vitamin D are linked to a vitamin K deficiency.21 While many people consume vitamin D with vitamin K to prevent this issue, obtaining both vitamins from natural means is a better option.

Reduce The Progression Of Autoimmune Diseases With Vitamin D

The body requires adequate vitamin D to maintain a healthy immune system and regulate inflammation. A vitamin D deficiency is especially pronounced in individuals with autoimmune diseases. The highest correlation between vitamin D and autoimmune conditions is noted in rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and lupus.

Read more about what causes autoimmune conditions.


1 Murdaca G, Tonacci A, Negrini S, Greco M, Borro M, Puppo F, Gangemi S. Emerging role of vitamin D in autoimmune diseases: An update on evidence and therapeutic implications. Autoimmun Rev. 2019 Sep;18(9):102350. doi: 10.1016/j.autrev.2019.102350. Epub 2019 Jul 16. PMID: 31323357.

2 Almerighi C, Sinistro A, Cavazza A, Ciaprini C, Rocchi G, Bergamini A. 1Alpha,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 inhibits CD40L-induced pro-inflammatory and immunomodulatory activity in human monocytes. Cytokine. 2009 Mar;45(3):190-7. doi: 10.1016/j.cyto.2008.12.009. Epub 2009 Jan 30. PMID: 19186073.

3 Bridger, H. (2022, January 27). Vitamin D reduced rate of autoimmune diseases by 22%. Harvard Gazette. https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2022/01/vitamin-d-reduced-rate-of-autoimmune-diseases-by-22/

4 Williams, C. J. B. (1849). 7.–On the Use and Administration of Cod-Liver Oil in Pulmonary Consumption. The Ohio Medical and Surgical Journal (1848-1878), 2(1), 50.

5 Laaksi I, et al. An association of serum vitamin D concentrations < 40 nmol/L with acute respiratory tract infection in young Finnish men. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007;86(3):714–7.

6 Cannell JJ, et al. Epidemic influenza and vitamin D. Epidemiol Infect. 2006;134(6):1129–40.

7 Bodnar LM, Krohn MA, Simhan HN. Maternal vitamin D deficiency is associated with bacterial vaginosis in the first trimester of pregnancy. J Nutr. 2009;139(6):1157–61.

8 Villamor E. A potential role for vitamin D on HIV infection? Nutr Rev. 2006;64(5 Pt 1):226–33.

9 Urashima M, et al. Randomized trial of vitamin D supplementation to prevent seasonal influenza A in schoolchildren. Am J Clin Nutr. 2010;91(5):1255–60.

10 Munger KL, Levin LI, Hollis BW, Howard NS, Ascherio A. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels and risk of multiple sclerosis. JAMA. 2006 Dec 20;296(23):2832-8. doi: 10.1001/jama.296.23.2832. PMID: 17179460.

11 Correale J, Ysrraelit MC, Gaitán MI. Immunomodulatory effects of Vitamin D in multiple sclerosis. Brain. 2009 May;132(Pt 5):1146-60. doi: 10.1093/brain/awp033. Epub 2009 Mar 24. PMID: 19321461.

12 Littorin B, Blom P, Schölin A, Arnqvist HJ, Blohmé G, Bolinder J, Ekbom-Schnell A, Eriksson JW, Gudbjörnsdottir S, Nyström L, Ostman J, Sundkvist G. Lower levels of plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D among young adults at diagnosis of autoimmune type 1 diabetes compared with control subjects: results from the nationwide Diabetes Incidence Study in Sweden (DISS). Diabetologia. 2006 Dec;49(12):2847-52. doi: 10.1007/s00125-006-0426-x. Epub 2006 Oct 27. PMID: 17072585.

13 Merlino LA, Curtis J, Mikuls TR, Cerhan JR, Criswell LA, Saag KG; Iowa Women’s Health Study. Vitamin D intake is inversely associated with rheumatoid arthritis: results from the Iowa Women’s Health Study. Arthritis Rheum. 2004 Jan;50(1):72-7. doi: 10.1002/art.11434. PMID: 14730601.

14 Kamen D, Aranow C. Vitamin D in systemic lupus erythematosus. Curr Opin Rheumatol. 2008 Sep;20(5):532-7. doi: 10.1097/BOR.0b013e32830a991b. PMID: 18698173.

15 Taheriniya, S., Arab, A., Hadi, A. et al. Vitamin D and thyroid disorders: a systematic review and Meta-analysis of observational studies. BMC Endocr Disord 21, 171 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12902-021-00831-5

16 White JH. Vitamin D deficiency and the pathogenesis of Crohn’s disease. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2018 Jan;175:23-28. doi: 10.1016/j.jsbmb.2016.12.015. Epub 2016 Dec 23. PMID: 28025175.

17 Wang H, He X, Liang S, Chen X. Role of vitamin D in ulcerative colitis: an update on basic research and therapeutic applications. Expert Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2022 Mar;16(3):251-264. doi: 10.1080/17474124.2022.2048817. Epub 2022 Mar 8. PMID: 35236213.

18 Rucević I, Barisić-Drusko V, Glavas-Obrovac L, Stefanić M. Vitamin D endocrine system and psoriasis vulgaris–review of the literature. Acta Dermatovenerol Croat. 2009;17(3):187-92. PMID: 19818218.

19 Acharya S, Musa R. Polymyalgia Rheumatica. [Updated 2022 Jun 21]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK537274/

20 Pérez-Barrios C, Hernández-Álvarez E, Blanco-Navarro I, Pérez-Sacristán B, Granado-Lorencio F. Prevalence of hypercalcemia related to hypervitaminosis D in clinical practice. Clin Nutr. 2016 Dec;35(6):1354-1358. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2016.02.017. Epub 2016 Mar 8. PMID: 26995293.

21 Masterjohn C. Vitamin D toxicity redefined: vitamin K and the molecular mechanism. Med Hypotheses. 2007;68(5):1026-34. doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2006.09.051. Epub 2006 Dec 4. PMID: 17145139.

The Link Between Glyphosate And Disease

The Link Between Glyphosate And Disease – How Toxic Is Roundup?

There is an established link between glyphosate and disease. Studies have shown that glyphosate can disrupt the body’s natural balance of bacteria, resulting in gut dysbiosis which can lead to changes in the immune system and the development of autoimmune diseases. 

Additionally, research has suggested that glyphosate acts as an endocrine disruptor, meaning it can interfere with hormone levels and cause inflammation throughout the body. Both chronic inflammation and endocrine disruption can contribute to the development of autoimmune diseases.

What Is Glyphosate?

Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, is an herbicide that is widely used in agriculture and has been found to be effective in controlling a wide variety of weeds. It works by inhibiting the growth of certain enzymes that are necessary for plants’ survival and growth, ultimately killing them. Glyphosate can be applied as a foliar spray or incorporated into the soil prior to planting. Additionally, it can be used as a pre-emergent herbicide, which means that it is applied before weeds begin to emerge from the soil.

Glyphosate Health Concerns

Glyphosate has been linked to numerous health concerns including reproductive and developmental issues, cancer, and endocrine disruption, among others. It has been banned in several countries and is the subject of ongoing legal battles. Despite this, glyphosate continues to be used in many places around the world, raising serious questions about our approach to regulating potentially dangerous chemicals.1

There have been growing calls for tighter restrictions on glyphosate use, with some suggesting that it should be completely phased out due to its potential risks. In addition to its negative effects on human health, glyphosate has been found to be highly toxic to beneficial insects and soil organisms, which in turn can cause further damage to the environment. Glyphosate has been detected in water sources around the world and has been linked to declining populations of amphibians, birds, fish, and other aquatic life.2

Glyphosate And Autoimmune Conditions

Several studies have indicated that exposure to glyphosate can increase inflammation in the body and disrupt gut bacteria balance.3 It appears that these disruptive effects may trigger or worsen autoimmune diseases like celiac disease, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and multiple sclerosis.

In addition to the human studies examining glyphosate’s effects on autoimmune conditions, there is also evidence that animals exposed to glyphosate are more susceptible to developing these conditions. Animal studies have demonstrated numerous health problems in subjects exposed to glyphosate, including skin inflammation, thyroid hormone disruption, and reproductive issues.4

Glyphosate And Disease

How Does Glyphosate Cause Inflammation?

Glyphosate has been linked to inflammation in humans. Glyphosate works by disrupting the shikimate pathway, which is an important metabolic process found in plants and microorganisms. When this pathway is disrupted, it leads to oxidative stress and damage to cells, which can ultimately cause inflammation in our bodies.5 Glyphosate has been found to increase the production of pro-inflammatory compounds, such as cytokines and prostaglandins, which are known to trigger inflammation.6

How Does Glyphosate Cause Gut Bacteria Imbalance?

Studies have shown that glyphosate can affect the gut microbiome. The reason for this is that many species of our microbiome utilize the shikimate pathway.7 When glyphosate disrupts the microbiome, it works as an antibiotic, killing off beneficial bacteria and leading to an increase in inflammation. Additionally, glyphosate has been shown to interfere with the activity of certain enzymes and proteins that are involved in immune cell activation. These disruptions can lead to an overactive immune response, which can cause further inflammation.8

Glyphosate Inhibits The Cytochrome P450 Enzymes

The Cytochrome P450 Enzymes are a family of heme-thiolate proteins which are involved in the metabolic breakdown of xenobiotics, including drugs, pesticides, and other toxins. They catalyze several reactions needed for drug metabolism, including hydroxylation, dealkylation, and oxidation. In addition, they also play a role in activating certain vitamins, such as vitamin D and vitamin A, as well as synthesizing cholesterol and other steroid hormones.

Glyphosate has been found to inhibit the activity of the Cytochrome P450 Enzymes (CYP). By inhibiting these enzymes, glyphosate increases the toxicity and bioavailability of the xenobiotics in the environment, leading to negative health effects. Studies have shown that glyphosate can reduce CYP activity in a variety of organisms, including fish, birds, and humans.9

Glyphosate And Disease – Celiac Disease

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that is characterized by an intolerance to gluten. Glyphosate is known to damage the intestinal lining, leading to an increased risk of developing celiac disease. Glyphosate has been found in high concentrations in wheat, which contains gluten, meaning people with celiac disease are at an even greater risk of being exposed to this herbicide.10

Glyphosate And Disease - Celiac Disease

Glyphosate And Disease – Autism

Studies have suggested that glyphosate may interfere with the body’s ability to produce and utilize serotonin, a hormone known to be essential for healthy neurological functioning. This interference could potentially lead to an increased risk of developing autism.11

Glyphosate And Disease – Rheumatoid Arthritis

Recent studies have suggested a possible link between glyphosate and the development of rheumatoid arthritis. Farmers who have more exposure to glyphosate are more likely to develop RA.

The results showed that there was a higher prevalence of rheumatoid arthritis among those exposed to glyphosate when compared to those who had not been exposed. The longer an individual was exposed to the herbicide, the greater their risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis.12

Glyphosate And Disease – Fatty Liver Disease

Recent studies suggest that glyphosate is linked with fatty liver disease. One study found that mice exposed to glyphosate experienced changes in their metabolism and increased fat accumulation in the liver, a key indicator of fatty liver disease. The study showed that glyphosate reduces the production of sirtuin proteins which are involved in regulating metabolic processes. This reduction causes an increase in fat storage in the liver and other organs, leading to obesity and fatty liver disease.13

Glyphosate And Fatty Liver Disease

Glyphosate And Thyroid Hormone Disruption

Glyphosate has been found to disrupt thyroid hormone production and regulation. Studies have shown that glyphosate binds to the active site of the enzymes responsible for producing and regulating thyroid hormones, resulting in decreased levels of these hormones within the body. This can lead to a wide range of health issues such as impaired growth, mental health issues, fertility problems, and obesity.14

Read more about thyroid dysfunction.

Glyphosate And Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease is a neurological disorder that affects movement and can cause tremors, stiffness, and balance issues. A recent study found that people with high levels of glyphosate in their bodies were more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease than those with lower levels.15

Glyphosate And Hormone Dysfunction

Glyphosate has been linked to hormone dysfunction. Studies have found that glyphosate disrupts endocrine function and can lead to estrogenic activity. This is especially concerning since it means that exposure to glyphosate could affect various hormones responsible for regulating metabolism, fertility, and other bodily functions.

In one study, rats exposed to low levels of glyphosate experienced changes in their reproductive hormones and a decrease in fertility. The researchers also noted that glyphosate had an effect on genes related to hormone production and regulation. This indicates that glyphosate can interfere with the body’s natural hormonal processes and cause long-term damage.16

Glyphosate And Reproductive Issues

Glyphosate has been linked to reproductive issues in humans and animals. Studies have suggested that glyphosate can interfere with hormonal balance, leading to lower sperm counts and infertility in both men and women. Additionally, several studies have shown a correlation between glyphosate exposure and an increase in birth defects, miscarriages, stillbirths, and premature births.17 18

Glyphosate And DNA Damage

Glyphosate has been linked to DNA damage in both laboratory and epidemiological studies. Studies have found that glyphosate can cause breaks in the strands of genetic material, which can lead to mutations or cancer. In addition, it has been shown to interfere with the normal repair mechanisms of damaged DNA, further exacerbating the potential for damage.

In laboratory studies, glyphosate has been found to induce oxidative stress, which can lead to DNA damage, inhibit cell replication and cause apoptosis (programmed cell death). In addition, some researchers have suggested that glyphosate could interfere with gene expression and epigenetic mechanisms.19

Glyphosate And Disease

Glyphosate And Cancer

The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified glyphosate as “Probably Carcinogenic” in 2015 due to the evidence linking it to Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The IARC also found that people exposed to glyphosate were at an increased risk of developing other forms of cancer, including bladder cancer and kidney cancer.20

Glyphosate And Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

Research has indicated that people exposed to high levels of glyphosate could be at an increased risk for developing Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a type of cancer that affects the body’s immune system. Symptoms of this type of cancer include swollen lymph nodes, fever, and weight loss.21

Glyphosate And Disease – How To Avoid This Chemical

Avoid glyphosate by buying organic produce whenever possible. For the most part, all conventionally grown grain products are loaded with glyphosate. Consider following a diet like my Cellular Healing Diet which focuses on consuming natural foods that improve cellular function.

Cellular healing diet

Read more about detoxing the body and improving cellular function.


1 Schulte, C. (2021, May 24). United States Should Ban Use of Glyphosate on Food Crops. Human Rights Watch. https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/07/13/united-states-should-ban-use-glyphosate-food-crops

2 Glyphosate | US EPA. (2022, September 23). US EPA. https://www.epa.gov/ingredients-used-pesticide-products/glyphosate

3 Tang Q, Tang J, Ren X, Li C. Glyphosate exposure induces inflammatory responses in the small intestine and alters gut microbial composition in rats. Environ Pollut. 2020 Jun;261:114129. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2020.114129. Epub 2020 Feb 3. PMID: 32045792.

4 Levine SL, Webb EG, Saltmiras DA. Review and analysis of the potential for glyphosate to interact with the estrogen, androgen and thyroid pathways. Pest Manag Sci. 2020 Sep;76(9):2886-2906. doi: 10.1002/ps.5983. Epub 2020 Jul 17. PMID: 32608552.

5 Martinelli R, Rufino LR Jr, de Melo AC, Alcántara-de la Cruz R, da Silva MFDGF, da Silva JR, Boaretto RM, Monquero PA, Mattos D Jr, de Azevedo FA. Glyphosate excessive use chronically disrupts the shikimate pathway and can affect photosynthesis and yield in citrus trees. Chemosphere. 2022 Dec;308(Pt 3):136468. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2022.136468. Epub 2022 Sep 15. PMID: 36116622.

6 Pandey A, Dhabade P, Kumarasamy A. Inflammatory Effects of Subacute Exposure of Roundup in Rat Liver and Adipose Tissue. Dose Response. 2019 May 23;17(2):1559325819843380. doi: 10.1177/1559325819843380. Erratum in: Dose Response. 2020 Sep 29;18(3):1559325820965928. PMID: 31205454; PMCID: PMC6537504.

7 Pitchandi P, Hopper W, Rao R. Comprehensive database of Chorismate synthase enzyme from shikimate pathway in pathogenic bacteria. BMC Pharmacol Toxicol. 2013 May 22;14:29. doi: 10.1186/2050-6511-14-29. PMID: 23697663; PMCID: PMC3670998.

8 Maddalon A, Galbiati V, Colosio C, Mandić-Rajčević S, Corsini E. Glyphosate-based herbicides: Evidence of immune-endocrine alteration. Toxicology. 2021 Jul;459:152851. doi: 10.1016/j.tox.2021.152851. Epub 2021 Jul 8. PMID: 34246717.

9 Fathi MA, Han G, Kang R, Shen D, Shen J, Li C. Disruption of cytochrome P450 enzymes in the liver and small intestine in chicken embryos in ovo exposed to glyphosate. Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2020 May;27(14):16865-16875. doi: 10.1007/s11356-020-08269-3. Epub 2020 Mar 6. PMID: 32144705.

10 Samsel A, Seneff S. Glyphosate, pathways to modern diseases II: Celiac sprue and gluten intolerance. Interdiscip Toxicol. 2013 Dec;6(4):159-84. doi: 10.2478/intox-2013-0026. PMID: 24678255; PMCID: PMC3945755.

11 Pu Y, Ma L, Shan J, Wan X, Hammock BD, Hashimoto K. Autism-like Behaviors in Male Juvenile Offspring after Maternal Glyphosate Exposure. Clin Psychopharmacol Neurosci. 2021 Aug 31;19(3):554-558. doi: 10.9758/cpn.2021.19.3.554. PMID: 34294625; PMCID: PMC8316667.

12 Parks CG, Hoppin JA, De Roos AJ, Costenbader KH, Alavanja MC, Sandler DP. Rheumatoid Arthritis in Agricultural Health Study Spouses: Associations with Pesticides and Other Farm Exposures. Environ Health Perspect. 2016 Nov;124(11):1728-1734. doi: 10.1289/EHP129. Epub 2016 Jun 10. PMID: 27285288; PMCID: PMC5089872.

13 Mills PJ, Caussy C, Loomba R. Glyphosate Excretion is Associated With Steatohepatitis and Advanced Liver Fibrosis in Patients With Fatty Liver Disease. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2020 Mar;18(3):741-743. doi: 10.1016/j.cgh.2019.03.045. Epub 2019 Apr 4. PMID: 30954713; PMCID: PMC6776714.

14 Romano RM, de Oliveira JM, de Oliveira VM, de Oliveira IM, Torres YR, Bargi-Souza P, Martino Andrade AJ, Romano MA. Could Glyphosate and Glyphosate-Based Herbicides Be Associated With Increased Thyroid Diseases Worldwide? Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2021 Mar 19;12:627167. doi: 10.3389/fendo.2021.627167. PMID: 33815286; PMCID: PMC8018287.

15 Eriguchi M, Iida K, Ikeda S, Osoegawa M, Nishioka K, Hattori N, Nagayama H, Hara H. Parkinsonism Relating to Intoxication with Glyphosate. Intern Med. 2019 Jul 1;58(13):1935-1938. doi: 10.2169/internalmedicine.2028-18. Epub 2019 Feb 25. PMID: 30799335; PMCID: PMC6663540.

16 Levine SL, Webb EG, Saltmiras DA. Review and analysis of the potential for glyphosate to interact with the estrogen, androgen and thyroid pathways. Pest Manag Sci. 2020 Sep;76(9):2886-2906. doi: 10.1002/ps.5983. Epub 2020 Jul 17. PMID: 32608552.

17 Milesi MM, Lorenz V, Durando M, Rossetti MF, Varayoud J. Glyphosate Herbicide: Reproductive Outcomes and Multigenerational Effects. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2021 Jul 7;12:672532. doi: 10.3389/fendo.2021.672532. PMID: 34305812; PMCID: PMC8293380.

18 Akça A, Kocabaş M, Kutluyer F. Glyphosate disrupts sperm quality and induced DNA damage of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) sperm. J Environ Sci Health C Toxicol Carcinog. 2021;39(4):413-422. doi: 10.1080/26896583.2021.1969180. Epub 2021 Sep 1. PMID: 35895946.

19 Marino M, Mele E, Viggiano A, Nori SL, Meccariello R, Santoro A. Pleiotropic Outcomes of Glyphosate Exposure: From Organ Damage to Effects on Inflammation, Cancer, Reproduction and Development. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Nov 22;22(22):12606. doi: 10.3390/ijms222212606. PMID: 34830483; PMCID: PMC8618927.

20 Tarazona JV, Court-Marques D, Tiramani M, Reich H, Pfeil R, Istace F, Crivellente F. Glyphosate toxicity and carcinogenicity: a review of the scientific basis of the European Union assessment and its differences with IARC. Arch Toxicol. 2017 Aug;91(8):2723-2743. doi: 10.1007/s00204-017-1962-5. Epub 2017 Apr 3. PMID: 28374158; PMCID: PMC5515989.

21 Zhang L, Rana I, Shaffer RM, Taioli E, Sheppard L. Exposure to glyphosate-based herbicides and risk for non-Hodgkin lymphoma: A meta-analysis and supporting evidence. Mutat Res Rev Mutat Res. 2019 Jul-Sep;781:186-206. doi: 10.1016/j.mrrev.2019.02.001. Epub 2019 Feb 10. PMID: 31342895; PMCID: PMC6706269.

What Causes Celiac Disease

What Causes Celiac Disease – The Connection Between Gluten, Genetics, Antibiotics, POPs, And Glyphosate

If you want to know what causes celiac disease, the answer is simple, it’s an autoimmune disorder that is triggered by ingesting gluten. However, the cause of gluten sensitivity is a bit more complex, as you will soon see. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley that can harm the small intestine of people with celiac disease. When someone with celiac disease eats even a small amount of gluten, their body reacts by damaging the villi, the tiny finger-like projections in the small intestine, which prevents the absorption of food and nutrients.1

Symptoms of celiac disease include chronic diarrhea, abdominal pain, weight loss, anemia, fatigue, bloating, and gas. These symptoms can vary from person to person. Some people with celiac may experience only mild discomfort while others may have severe reactions. It’s important to note that celiac disease can affect people of any age, including children, although it is more commonly diagnosed in adults. 

Over the last five decades, there has been a dramatic increase in cases of celiac disease. In the United States alone, it is estimated that approximately 1 in 133 people suffer from this autoimmune disorder, with roughly 3 million Americans having been diagnosed with it.2

Treatment for celiac disease involves following a strict gluten-free diet, avoiding any foods that contain even trace amounts of gluten. This includes wheat, barley, rye, and oats. Other grains including corn and rice can be consumed safely as long as they are certified gluten-free.

What Causes Celiac Disease – Autoimmune Conditions

Celiac disease is an autoimmune condition. The body’s immune system mistakenly attacks itself, in this case targeting the lining of the small intestine, when exposed to gluten. This damages the villi resulting in the inability to absorb the nutrients from their food as effectively, leading to malnourishment and other health problems.3

What Causes Celiac Disease – Autoimmune Conditions And The Three-Legged Stool

Celiac disease, like all other autoimmune conditions, is the result of three different factors that I have named the three-legged stool. The legs of the stool are stressors, microbiome health, and DNA methylation.

What Causes Celiac Disease – Genetic Factors

Celiac disease often runs in families, suggesting a hereditary component. However, simply having the genetic disposition for developing celiac disease doesn’t necessarily mean that you will get it. 

Genetics is complicated and even more complicated when considering epigenetics. In short, epigenetic methylation determines which genes are turned on and off. With adequate methyl groups to dictate epigenetic methylation, coding for undesirable phenotypes like celiac disease may be turned off.4

One leg of the three-legged stool is DNA methylation. Methylation is a process by which our genes are turned “on” or “off.” When methylation is not functioning properly, it can further contribute to immune system dysfunction and increased risk of autoimmune conditions.5

Methylation has been linked to a number of health maladies, including disease risk and aging. One example, the agouti gene, may be turned on or off depending on epigenetic methylation. When there aren’t enough methyl groups, the agouti gene expresses itself, leading to an obese and unhealthy mouse that in turn produces obese offspring as well.6

What Causes Celiac Disease – Environmental Factors

Another leg of the three-legged stool is environmental factors like toxins. Environmental factors and certain foods can act as triggers for celiac disease. Gluten is the major trigger. When people with celiac disease consume gluten, it causes their bodies to mount an immune response leading to small intestine damage. However, there are a number of stressors that contribute to developing celiac.

What Causes Celiac Disease - Gluten and villi

What Causes Celiac Disease – Toxins

People with celiac disease are often exposed to toxins, allergens, and other substances that trigger an autoimmune response. These can include antibiotics, hormones, food additives and preservatives, as well as chemicals like persistent organic pollutants and glyphosate.

This is why in addition to avoiding gluten-containing foods, people with celiac disease should also take steps to reduce their exposure to environmental toxins, allergens, and other substances that may trigger an autoimmune response.

What Causes Celiac Disease – Antibiotics

Recent research has suggested that antibiotic use is linked to an increased risk of developing celiac disease.7

Studies have demonstrated that antibiotics can alter the composition of bacteria in the digestive system, resulting in a decrease in beneficial bacteria and an increase in harmful ones. This can lead to increased permeability of the intestinal lining, allowing larger-than-normal amounts of gluten proteins to enter the bloodstream. This autoimmune reaction can trigger celiac disease.8

In addition, antibiotics can also affect vitamin D levels, which is a crucial vitamin for digestive health and the development of a healthy immune system. Low levels of vitamin D have been associated with an increased risk of celiac disease.9

178 Chemicals Associated With Developing Celiac Disease

Recent research has shown that 178 chemicals are associated with developing celiac disease, including some trace metals, food additives, persistent organic pollutants, and glyphosate.10

Certain food additives and preservatives can trigger an adverse reaction in those with celiac disease, so it is important to check labels for any potentially problematic ingredients. 

Pesticides have also been linked to an increased risk of developing celiac disease. Exposure to these chemicals can be avoided by buying organic produce and avoiding contact with pesticide-treated areas. By understanding the chemicals associated with celiac disease, individuals can better manage their condition and reduce their risk of serious complications.

What Causes Celiac Disease

What Causes Celiac Disease – Food Additives And Preservatives

Food additives and preservatives are another trigger for celiac disease. Additives and preservatives are chemicals that are added to foods or beverages to extend shelf life and improve flavor, texture, or color. Many of these substances contain gluten, which may be overlooked as an ingredient on labels. Therefore, people with celiac disease must carefully read product labels and avoid foods containing additives and preservatives.11

Common food additives and preservatives that may contain gluten include malt, hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP), modified food starch, and monosodium glutamate (MSG). These chemicals are found in many processed foods including cereals, bread, condiments, sauces, margarine, and even candy. Avoiding these products is essential for people with celiac disease as even trace amounts of gluten can cause symptoms.

What Causes Celiac Disease – Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)

Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) like dichlorodiphenyldichlorethylenes, perflouoroalkyls, and polybrominated diphenyl ethers, are a group of chemical compounds that have been linked to celiac disease and the onset of autoimmune disorders. POPs can be found in everyday items like plastic, food packaging, pesticides, flame retardants, and other products. They can also enter the body through air pollution or contaminated water.

Studies suggest that people who are exposed to higher levels of these chemicals may be at a greater risk of developing celiac disease. Additionally, some research has shown that people with celiac disease have a higher level of these chemicals in their blood compared to those without the condition.12

What Causes Celiac Disease – Glyphosate

Glyphosate has been linked to the development of celiac disease. Glyphosate is a broad-spectrum herbicide used to kill weeds and grasses that compete with crops for nutrients and water. It is the major component of Roundup, a popular weed killer used by many home gardeners and commercial farmers.

Recent studies have linked glyphosate to the development of celiac disease. In one study, researchers found that rats exposed to glyphosate had significantly higher levels of antibodies associated with celiac disease compared to control animals. The researchers also observed changes in the structure of the intestine that are similar to those seen in people with celiac disease.

Celiac disease is associated with impairments in the cytochrome P450 enzymes responsible for detoxifying environmental toxins, activating vitamin D3, catabolizing vitamin A, and maintaining both bile acid production and sulfate supplies to the gut. 

This impairment of the cytochrome P450 enzymes is likely caused by glyphosate, as this herbicide is known to inhibit the same enzymes. Furthermore, glyphosate has a strong ability to chelate certain elements like iron, cobalt, molybdenum, and copper. Coincidentally, deficiencies in these minerals are commonly associated with celiac disease. 

Glyphosate is known to deplete certain essential amino acids such as tryptophan, tyrosine, methionine, and selenomethionine. A lack of these amino acids has also been linked to celiac disease. Finally, glyphosate exposure may be a contributing factor to increasing rates of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in individuals with celiac disease.13

What Causes Celiac Disease - Glyphosate

Microbiome Health

Another leg of the three-legged stool is microbiome health. A healthy gut microbiome is key for warding off autoimmune conditions. Having a diverse and plentiful array of beneficial bacteria in the gut helps to reprogram our immune system to distinguish between self-antigens and foreign invaders. When this bacterial ecosystem is compromised, autoimmune disease often occurs.

What Causes Celiac Disease At The Core?

By addressing all three legs of the stool, stressors, microbiome health, and DNA methylation, we can effectively reduce our risk of developing autoimmune diseases like celiac disease. Exactly what causes celiac disease comes down to genetic factors and toxins like persistent organic pollutants, glyphosate, antibiotics, and other chemicals that manipulate microbiome function.

Read more about the core cause of autoimmune conditions.


1 Celiac Disease. (2023). Johns Hopkins Medicine. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/celiac-disease

2 Al-Toma, A., Volta, U., Auricchio, R., Castillejo, G., Sanders, D. S., Cellier, C., Mulder, C. J., & Lundin, K. E. A. (2019). European Society for the Study of Coeliac Disease (ESsCD) guideline for coeliac disease and other gluten-related disorders. United European gastroenterology journal, 7(5), 583–613. https://doi.org/10.1177/2050640619844125

3 Caio, G., Volta, U., Sapone, A. et al. Celiac disease: a comprehensive current review. BMC Med 17, 142 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12916-019-1380-z

4 Gnodi, E., Meneveri, R., & Barisani, D. (2022). Celiac disease: From genetics to epigenetics. World journal of gastroenterology, 28(4), 449–463. https://doi.org/10.3748/wjg.v28.i4.449

5 Quintero-Ronderos, P., & Montoya-Ortiz, G. (2012). Epigenetics and autoimmune diseases. Autoimmune diseases, 2012, 593720. https://doi.org/10.1155/2012/593720

6 Neuroepic. (2022, June). BPA: Not A-gouti Thing for You –. https://neuroepic.mcdb.lsa.umich.edu/wp/14-bpa-not-a-gouti-thing-for-you/

7 Jiang, H. Y., Zhang, X., Zhou, Y. Y., Jiang, C. M., & Shi, Y. D. (2020). Infection, antibiotic exposure, and risk of celiac disease: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of gastroenterology and hepatology, 35(4), 557–566. https://doi.org/10.1111/jgh.14928

8 Olshan, K. L., Leonard, M. M., Serena, G., Zomorrodi, A. R., & Fasano, A. (2020). Gut microbiota in Celiac Disease: microbes, metabolites, pathways and therapeutics. Expert review of clinical immunology, 16(11), 1075–1092. https://doi.org/10.1080/1744666X.2021.1840354

9 Vici, G., Camilletti, D., & Polzonetti, V. (2020). Possible Role of Vitamin D in Celiac Disease Onset. Nutrients, 12(4), 1051. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12041051

10 Lu, M., Feng, R., Liu, Y., Qin, Y., Deng, H., Xiao, Y., & Yin, C. (2022). Identifying celiac disease-related chemicals by transcriptome-wide association study and chemical-gene interaction analyses. Frontiers in genetics, 13, 990483. https://doi.org/10.3389/fgene.2022.990483

11 Mancuso, C., & Barisani, D. (2019). Food additives can act as triggering factors in celiac disease: Current knowledge based on a critical review of the literature. World journal of clinical cases, 7(8), 917–927. https://doi.org/10.12998/wjcc.v7.i8.917

12 Abigail Gaylord, Leonardo Trasande, Kurunthachalam Kannan, Kristen M. Thomas, Sunmi Lee, Mengling Liu, Jeremiah Levine, Persistent organic pollutant exposure and celiac disease: A pilot study, Environmental Research, Volume 186, 2020, 109439, ISSN 0013-9351, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2020.109439.

13 Samsel, A., & Seneff, S. (2013). Glyphosate, pathways to modern diseases II: Celiac sprue and gluten intolerance. Interdisciplinary toxicology, 6(4), 159–184. https://doi.org/10.2478/intox-2013-0026

What Causes Multiple Sclerosis

What Causes Multiple Sclerosis – And Is There Any Way To Reverse It?

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune condition where the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the protective coating around nerve cells, leading to serious physical and cognitive impairments. If you want to know what causes multiple sclerosis, realize that there are many factors that can contribute to its development. Genetics plays a role, as certain genetic mutations have been linked to MS and people with a family history of MS are more likely to develop the condition.

Environmental triggers such as exposure to certain toxins or viruses may also play a role in triggering the autoimmune response associated with MS. Additionally, lifestyle factors such as smoking and lack of physical activity can contribute to the development of MS. Finally, changes in the immune system due to hormonal imbalances or a weakened immune system may also be associated with MS.

What Causes Multiple Sclerosis – Genetics

The chances of developing MS increase if the disease runs in the family. Studies have found that having a close relative with MS increases your risk for the condition compared to someone without such a family history.1

While genetics are linked to MS, it’s usually attributed to a combination of genetic and environmental factors. This means that something in the environment triggers an autoimmune response in people with a specific genetic predisposition.

What Causes Multiple Sclerosis – Lifestyle Factors

Lifestyle factors play a role in the development of multiple sclerosis. People who smoke, consume an unhealthy diet, are obese, or don’t get enough physical activity are at greater risk for developing MS.23 4

Additionally, research suggests that people exposed to certain environmental triggers such as Epstein-Barr viral infections, air pollution, and electromagnetic fields may also be at greater risk.5 6 7 It is important to lead a healthy lifestyle and minimize exposure to environmental triggers in order to lower the risk of developing multiple sclerosis.

What Causes Multiple Sclerosis

What Causes Multiple Sclerosis – Hormonal Imbalances

Women are more susceptible to MS than men, and this may be due to the effects of female hormones on the immune system. Hormone imbalances can play a role in the development of multiple sclerosis. Hormonal imbalances are thought to weaken the body’s ability to regulate the immune system and make it more susceptible to inflammation, which can damage the myelin sheath that insulates nerve fibers in the central nervous system.8

Hormonal imbalances can affect MS by disrupting the body’s ability to produce adequate amounts of steroids and other hormones necessary for healthy immune system regulation. Low levels of steroid hormones, such as cortisol and testosterone, may contribute to higher rates of inflammation in the body.9

Other hormonal imbalances that have been linked to an increased risk of developing MS include thyroid hormone deficiencies, vitamin D deficiency, and prolactin deficiency.1011 12

What Causes Multiple Sclerosis – Air Pollution

One environmental factor that has been linked to an increased risk of developing MS is air pollution. These pollutants enter the body through the nose or mouth and travel to the lungs, where they cause inflammation.13 This inflammation may contribute to an increased risk of developing MS by damaging nerve cells in the brain or interfering with signals between nerves and muscles.6

Studies have found that people who live in areas with higher levels of air pollution are more likely to develop MS than those living in less polluted environments. This link is especially pronounced among people exposed to air pollution during childhood or adolescence. The risk of developing MS appears to be greatest when high levels of air pollution occur on a regular basis over an extended period of time.14

What Causes Multiple Sclerosis – Electromagnetic Fields

Some studies have associated higher levels of EMF exposure with an increased risk of developing multiple sclerosis. For example, one study found that mice exposed to an EMF frequency of 835 MHz for 5 hours a day, that mimicked cellular phone use, suffered from myelin sheath damage after only 12 weeks.15

Some ways to reduce exposure to EMFs include limiting time spent around electrical appliances such as computers, cell phones, tablets, and televisions. Additionally, one can use shielding devices or window films to reduce the amount of EMF radiation entering the home. Finally, it’s important to be aware of the potential health risks of EMFs and take whatever steps necessary to limit your exposure as much as possible.

What Causes Multiple Sclerosis - Electromagnetic Fields

What Causes Multiple Sclerosis – Heavy Metals

While there are many theories about what causes multiple sclerosis, one potential culprit may be heavy metals. Heavy metals such as cadmium and arsenic can trigger the development of chronic inflammation, which can lead to autoimmunity and create an environment where MS can develop.16

Exposure to heavy metals may come from a variety of sources including long-term occupational exposure, contaminated drinking water, and certain household products as well as cosmetics that contain traces of heavy metals. It is also possible for heavy metal poisoning to occur due to accidental ingestion, poor oral hygiene and dental work, or contaminated soil.

Read more about common toxins we take for granted.

Research suggests that a combination of environmental factors including exposure to heavy metals can increase the risk of MS. For example, studies have found that individuals who have higher levels of lead in their blood are more likely to develop MS than those with lower levels. Additionally, individuals who have been exposed to higher concentrations of mercury, arsenic, and other heavy metals appear to be more likely to develop MS than those who haven’t been exposed.17

Although the exact link between heavy metal exposure and MS is still not fully understood, it is clear that there is an association between the two. It is important to be aware of the potential sources of heavy metal exposure and take steps to reduce your risk, such as avoiding certain types of fish or seafood, using protective gear during occupational exposure, and staying away from contaminated tap water.

What Causes Multiple Sclerosis – Mold Exposure

Mold exposure has been linked to multiple sclerosis as a potential environmental trigger. Mold is found in both indoor and outdoor environments, and research has found that the accumulation of mold spores in the air can cause an allergic response that could lead to MS symptoms. Symptoms of mold allergies include sneezing, coughing, wheezing, headaches, asthma, and fatigue.18

Read more about how mold is linked to many health conditions.

What Causes MS

Toxins Cause Chronic Inflammation And Result In Autoimmune Conditions

Continuous exposure to toxins results in chronic inflammation and are what causes multiple sclerosis. When the body is overburdened with toxins, it begins to mount an overly aggressive immune response that can lead to chronic inflammation. This type of inflammation is characterized by low-grade persistent inflammation that occurs over a long period of time.

When toxins continually overwhelm the body, it can lead to autoimmune conditions, meaning the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy cells and tissues instead of foreign invaders. The resulting chronic inflammation leads to an array of symptoms such as fatigue, joint pain, skin issues, digestive disturbances, and even MS. This is why it’s important to reduce exposure to toxins and focus on the body’s ability to detoxify in order to minimize inflammation.

Read more about autoimmune conditions.

How Inflammation Manipulates Epigenetic Expression

Inflammatory cytokines not only cause physical changes in the body, but they can also affect gene expression by altering epigenetic mechanisms that regulate gene transcription associated with MS.19 Epigenetics is the study of how genes are expressed without changing their underlying DNA sequence. The way these processes work together is called “epigenetic regulation.”

When the body is inflamed, cytokines can bind to epigenetic factors, including DNA methylation and histone acetylation, and cause changes in gene expression that are not present before the inflammation. For example, certain inflammatory cytokines have been shown to reduce levels of histone acetyltransferase (HAT), an enzyme that helps activate gene transcription. In other cases, inflammatory cytokines can increase DNA methylation in certain areas of the genome.20

These changes in epigenetic expression can have a profound effect on many cellular functions, including metabolism, growth and differentiation, and immune response. For instance, changes in histone acetylation due to inflammation can lead to increased expression of pro-inflammatory genes and decreased expression of anti-inflammatory genes. This in turn can lead to a heightened immune response and the production of too many inflammatory cytokines, which can cause excessive damage.21

The fact that inflammation can affect gene expression through epigenetic regulation explains how autoimmune conditions like MS stem from a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

Removing Toxins From Your Life And Optimizing Epigenetic Expression

A key part of optimizing epigenetic expression is reducing your exposure to toxins. You can reduce your exposure to toxins by avoiding products with known harmful substances, switching to non-toxic alternatives, and reducing your consumption of processed foods.

It’s also important to pay attention to the air you breathe. Air pollution is one of the most pervasive forms of toxicity in modern life, as it contains a wide variety of chemical pollutants that can damage your health over time. To reduce your exposure to air pollution, you can take steps such as avoiding areas with high levels of traffic or industrial activity, using an indoor air purifier and opting for more natural cleaning products.

Stress is another major source of epigenetic disruption. Chronic stress can cause a cascade of physiological changes that lead to alterations in gene expression and increase your risk for a variety of health problems. To reduce the impact stress has on your body, it’s important to prioritize self-care and make time for activities that help you relax and unwind. Taking up yoga or mindfulness practices can be beneficial in this regard, as they can help you learn how to better manage stressful situations and cultivate inner peace.

Finally, it’s important to make sure you’re getting the vitamins and minerals your body needs for optimal epigenetic expression. In the cases of MS, taking a vitamin D supplement is a good idea, as low vitamin D levels are common among people with MS.22 

Eating a nutritious diet and supplementing accordingly can help ensure that your cells are receiving all of the necessary nutrients for healthy gene expression.

Vitamin D and MS

What Causes Multiple Sclerosis – And How You Can Reduce Your Risk

By making conscious decisions about lifestyle choices, you can target what causes multiple sclerosis and reduce your risk of epigenetic disruption by optimizing your body’s ability to express the genes it needs for optimal health. By removing toxins from your environment, managing stress levels, and providing your cells with the nutrients they need like vitamin D, you can help ensure that your body is able to express its genetic potential in the most beneficial ways.

Read more about autoimmune conditions.


1 Canto, E., & Oksenberg, J. R. (2018). Multiple sclerosis genetics. Multiple sclerosis (Houndmills, Basingstoke, England), 24(1), 75–79. https://doi.org/10.1177/1352458517737371

2 Koch, M.W., Mostert, J., Repovic, P. et al. Smoking, obesity, and disability worsening in PPMS: an analysis of the INFORMS original trial dataset. J Neurol 269, 1663–1669 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00415-021-10750-z

3 Esposito, S., Bonavita, S., Sparaco, M., Gallo, A., & Tedeschi, G. (2018). The role of diet in multiple sclerosis: A review. Nutritional neuroscience, 21(6), 377–390. https://doi.org/10.1080/1028415X.2017.1303016

4 Motl R. W. (2020). Exercise and Multiple Sclerosis. Advances in experimental medicine and biology, 1228, 333–343. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-15-1792-1_22

5 Bjornevik, K., Cortese, M., Healy, B. C., Kuhle, J., Mina, M. J., Leng, Y., Elledge, S. J., Niebuhr, D. W., Scher, A. I., Munger, K. L., & Ascherio, A. (2022). Longitudinal analysis reveals high prevalence of Epstein-Barr virus associated with multiple sclerosis. Science (New York, N.Y.), 375(6578), 296–301. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.abj8222

6 Farahmandfard, M. A., Naghibzadeh-Tahami, A., & Khanjani, N. (2021). Ambient air pollution and multiple sclerosis: a systematic review. Reviews on environmental health, 36(4), 535–544. https://doi.org/10.1515/reveh-2020-0079

7 Redmayne, M., & Johansson, O. (2014). Could myelin damage from radiofrequency electromagnetic field exposure help explain the functional impairment electrohypersensitivity? A review of the evidence. Journal of toxicology and environmental health. Part B, Critical reviews, 17(5), 247–258. https://doi.org/10.1080/10937404.2014.923356

8 Karagkouni, A., Alevizos, M., & Theoharides, T. C. (2013). Effect of stress on brain inflammation and multiple sclerosis. Autoimmunity reviews, 12(10), 947–953. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.autrev.2013.02.006

9 Avila, M., Bansal, A., Culberson, J., & Peiris, A. N. (2018). The Role of Sex Hormones in Multiple Sclerosis. European neurology, 80(1-2), 93–99. https://doi.org/10.1159/000494262

10 Wooliscroft, L., Altowaijri, G., Hildebrand, A., Samuels, M., Oken, B., Bourdette, D., & Cameron, M. (2020). Phase I randomized trial of liothyronine for remyelination in multiple sclerosis: A dose-ranging study with assessment of reliability of visual outcomes. Multiple sclerosis and related disorders, 41, 102015. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.msard.2020.102015

11 Shuster E. A. (2008). Hormonal influences in multiple sclerosis. Current topics in microbiology and immunology, 318, 267–311. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-540-73677-6_11

12 Zhornitsky, S., Yong, V. W., Weiss, S., & Metz, L. M. (2013). Prolactin in multiple sclerosis. Multiple sclerosis (Houndmills, Basingstoke, England), 19(1), 15–23. https://doi.org/10.1177/1352458512458555

13 Chen, X., Han, Y., Chen, W., Wang, Y., Qiu, X., Li, W., Hu, M., Wu, Y., Wang, Q., Zhang, H., & Zhu, T. (2020). Respiratory Inflammation and Short-Term Ambient Air Pollution Exposures in Adult Beijing Residents with and without Prediabetes: A Panel Study. Environmental health perspectives, 128(6), 67004. https://doi.org/10.1289/EHP4906

14 Noorimotlagh, Z., Azizi, M., Pan, H. F., Mami, S., & Mirzaee, S. A. (2021). Association between air pollution and Multiple Sclerosis: A systematic review. Environmental research, 196, 110386. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2020.110386

15 Kim, J. H., Yu, D. H., Huh, Y. H., Lee, E. H., Kim, H. G., & Kim, H. R. (2017). Long-term exposure to 835 MHz RF-EMF induces hyperactivity, autophagy and demyelination in the cortical neurons of mice. Scientific reports, 7, 41129. https://doi.org/10.1038/srep41129

16 Sarihi, S., Niknam, M., Mahjour, S., Hosseini-Bensenjan, M., Moazzen, F., Soltanabadi, S., & Akbari, H. (2021). Toxic heavy metal concentrations in multiple sclerosis patients: A systematic review and meta-analysis. EXCLI journal, 20, 1571–1584. https://doi.org/10.17179/excli2021-3484

17 Napier, M. D., Poole, C., Satten, G. A., Ashley-Koch, A., Marrie, R. A., & Williamson, D. M. (2016). Heavy metals, organic solvents, and multiple sclerosis: An exploratory look at gene-environment interactions. Archives of environmental & occupational health, 71(1), 26–34. https://doi.org/10.1080/19338244.2014.937381

18 Purzycki, C. B., & Shain, D. H. (2010). Fungal toxins and multiple sclerosis: a compelling connection. Brain research bulletin, 82(1-2), 4–6. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.brainresbull.2010.02.012

19 Hasheminia, S. J., Tolouei, S., Zarkesh-Esfahani, S. H., Shaygannejad, V., Shirzad, H. A., Torabi, R., & Hashem Zadeh Chaloshtory, M. (2015). Cytokines gene expression in newly diagnosed multiple sclerosis patients. Iranian journal of allergy, asthma, and immunology, 14(2), 208–216.

20 Feng, D., Sangster-Guity, N., Stone, R., Korczeniewska, J., Mancl, M. E., Fitzgerald-Bocarsly, P., & Barnes, B. J. (2010). Differential requirement of histone acetylase and deacetylase activities for IRF5-mediated proinflammatory cytokine expression. Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950), 185(10), 6003–6012. https://doi.org/10.4049/jimmunol.1000482

21 Rahman, I., Marwick, J., & Kirkham, P. (2004). Redox modulation of chromatin remodeling: impact on histone acetylation and deacetylation, NF-kappaB and pro-inflammatory gene expression. Biochemical pharmacology, 68(6), 1255–1267. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bcp.2004.05.042

22 Ascherio, A., Munger, K. L., White, R., Köchert, K., Simon, K. C., Polman, C. H., Freedman, M. S., Hartung, H. P., Miller, D. H., Montalbán, X., Edan, G., Barkhof, F., Pleimes, D., Radü, E. W., Sandbrink, R., Kappos, L., & Pohl, C. (2014). Vitamin D as an early predictor of multiple sclerosis activity and progression. JAMA neurology, 71(3), 306–314. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamaneurol.2013.5993

What Causes Hormone Problems

What Causes Hormone Problems – And What You Can Do To Regain Endocrine Function

If you want to know what causes hormone problems, realize that a variety of factors, such as age, lifestyle, diet, and environmental exposures are all to blame. Age-related hormonal changes are common. For example, menopause in women and andropause in men often cause hormone imbalances. Poor lifestyle choices, such as smoking, inadequate exercise, or poor dietary habits, can also cause hormonal imbalances. 

Additionally, environmental factors such as exposure to toxins, certain medications, and EMF radiation can disrupt hormone balance. Hormonal imbalance causes the endocrine glands to function improperly, leading to a wide range of problems such as infertility, weight gain, fatigue, and depression. 

Medical conditions can also contribute to hormonal imbalances, such as diabetes or thyroid disorders. Additionally, some women may experience changes in their hormones during pregnancy or menopause that can cause hormone problems. 

Treating the underlying cause of hormonal imbalances is key to managing and resolving any associated symptoms.

What Causes Hormone Problems

What Causes Hormone Problems – Age-Related Hormonal Changes

As we age, our hormones often change.1 This can be due to a variety of different factors, such as reductions in the production of a variety of different hormones that the body produces, such as testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, and cortisol.2 When this happens, it can lead to a variety of symptoms. Some common symptoms that can occur include hot flashes and night sweats, weight gain, mood changes, reduced libido, sleep problems, depression, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, and memory problems.3

What Causes Hormone Problems – Poor Lifestyle Choices

Poor lifestyle choices can contribute to hormone problems. Too little sleep, excessive caffeine and alcohol consumption, tobacco use, and unhealthy eating habits can play a role in disrupting hormones and causing health issues.4 5 6 7

A sedentary lifestyle can cause hormonal imbalances. Regular physical activity helps to keep hormones balanced, but staying inactive for too long can contribute to problems like low testosterone, obesity, and chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.8

What Causes Hormone Problems – Stress

When not managed properly, stress can cause hormonal imbalances and health problems. Stress triggers the body to release hormones such as cortisol, which can create an imbalance in other hormones like testosterone or estrogen. Over time, this can lead to symptoms such as fatigue, difficulty concentrating, anxiety, depression, weight gain, sleeping troubles, and more.9

What Causes Hormone Problems - Stress

What Causes Hormone Problems – Medications

Hormone problems can be caused by a number of different medications. Birth control pills or other hormone-based contraceptives can disrupt the body’s natural balance of hormones, leading to depression and other symptoms.10 

Certain cancer medications can also interfere with hormone production or cause an imbalance in hormones. This is especially true for medications like aromatase inhibitors, which are commonly used to treat breast cancer. Aromatase inhibitors can block the production of estrogen, resulting in an imbalance of hormones that can cause a wide range of side effects. These side effects include hot flashes, joint pain, and insomnia.11

What Causes Hormone Problems – Exposure To Toxins

Exposure to certain environmental toxins causes hormone problems. Toxins such as persistent organic pollutants (POPs), heavy metals, and chemicals used in manufacturing or agricultural processes can all disrupt the endocrine system, as well as cause cancer. POPs include dioxins, PCBs, DDT, and many other compounds that are used in industry or are released as by-products of combustion.12 13 Heavy metals such as cadmium, lead, and mercury can also cause problems for the endocrine system.14

Exposure to these toxins is often linked to conditions such as thyroid disorders, infertility, and some forms of cancer. Research indicates that exposure to environmental contaminants may have an effect on hormones in the body, leading to hormone imbalances. In addition, some environmental toxins can disrupt the development of the reproductive system in children, causing potential problems later on in life.15 16

Heavy metal accumulation also causes chronic inflammation, the root cause of hormone dysfunction and autoimmune conditions.17

What Causes Hormone Problems - Exposure To Toxins

What Causes Hormone Problems – EMF Radiation

Electromagnetic Field (EMF) radiation is becoming increasingly pervasive in our environment, with sources such as cell phone towers, smart meters, and WiFi networks. Studies have linked EMF radiation to a wide range of health concerns, including hormone problems.

Exposure to EMF radiation has been found to affect the body’s production of hormones. It has been shown to disrupt melatonin production, which is responsible for regulating sleep patterns and maintaining healthy circadian rhythms.18 Studies also suggest that EMF radiation can have an effect on the brain’s ability to produce serotonin, dopamine, and other mood-regulating hormones.19

In addition, EMF radiation has been linked to the disruption of thyroid hormones, which can cause mood swings and other symptoms.20 Studies have found that exposure to EMF radiation can also lead to an increase in cortisol levels, the hormone responsible for stress responses.21

EMF radiation manipulates calcium channels within the cellular membranes to remain open, allowing far more calcium to enter the cells, leading to chronic inflammation.22 23

To reduce your exposure to EMF radiation, consider turning off WiFi when it is not in use or installing a protective shielding device in your home. 

Thyroid Hormone Problems

Thyroid hormone problems can have a range of symptoms and signs. Commonly, people with thyroid hormone problems experience fatigue or weakness, weight changes, dry skin or hair, feelings of anxiety or depression, constipation, and facial puffiness. Some people may also have trouble sleeping or difficulty concentrating.24

Diabetes Hormone Problems

Diabetes hormone problems often stem from insulin resistance, meaning insulin can’t bind to cellular receptors due to cell membrane inflammation.25

In addition to insulin resistance, diabetes hormone problems can also be caused by an overproduction of certain hormones such as cortisol.26 Cortisol is released in response to stress and can cause elevated blood sugar levels if they are overproduced.

Toxins And Hormone Resistance

Hormone resistance results when our hormones are not able to work effectively due to the presence of toxins that cause systemic inflammation. This can affect many different areas including fertility, metabolism, energy levels, and overall health. 

Endocrine-disrupting chemicals and toxic heavy metals are responsible for hormone resistance. Hormone resistance can be broken down into thyroid hormone resistance, weight loss resistance, and diabetes.27 28 In the presence of these toxins, the cellular membrane becomes inflamed and therefore, hormones are unable to efficiently dock at hormone receptors.29 If hormones are unable to bind to their receptors, they are unable to communicate with the cells, leading to chaos throughout the endocrine system.

Identifying And Removing Toxins Is The Key To Counteracting Hormone Problems

Our bodies are constantly exposed to toxins from the environment, food, and everyday products. The chemicals and pollutants that we encounter on a daily basis can disrupt our hormones and lead to a variety of health problems. In order to counteract this, it is important to identify and remove as many toxins as possible from your life. This includes avoiding processed foods, reducing exposure to plastics and other chemicals, properly disposing of any hazardous materials, and eating organic foods whenever possible.

Heavy metals such as lead, arsenic, mercury, and cadmium can enter the body through food, water, or air and accumulate in various tissues. These metals pose a serious health risk and can interfere with normal hormonal function. Heavy metal toxicity has been linked to numerous hormone-related problems including infertility, endocrine disruption, and reproductive disorders.30

To address heavy metal toxicity, it is important to identify sources of exposure and take steps to minimize them. Eating organic food whenever possible and avoiding contaminated water supplies are key to reducing exposure.

Eat organic food

Chelating Heavy Metals Out Of The Body

Chelation therapy is a powerful treatment for removing heavy metals from the body. It involves administering a true chelator like DMSA or DMPS, which are able to bind to and eliminate heavy metals from the body. Chelation has been used effectively in treating people with elevated levels of lead, mercury, arsenic, and other heavy metals.31

DMSA is an organic compound that has been used for many years as a chelating agent to help remove heavy metals from the body. It works by binding to heavy metals and other toxic substances, such as mercury and lead, and allowing them to be eliminated through the kidneys. DMSA can be taken orally or intravenously.32 However, it must be consumed regularly to remove heavy metals lodged in deep tissues.

When taking DMSA orally, it is important to consume it at regular intervals so heavy metals are properly excreted from the body instead of being reabsorbed. Consuming DMSA at its half-life, every 4 hours for 4 days straight, and then taking 10 days off is the typical cycle.33 Repeat this cycle as long as necessary, in most cases years, as it took years for toxic heavy metals to accumulate in the body.

Read more about removing heavy metals from the body.

What Causes Hormone Problems

Exactly what causes hormone problems can be varied, making it important to identify and address any potential triggers. Reducing toxic load, improving lifestyle, and reducing stress can all improve hormone-related issues.

Read more about thyroid hormone dysfunction or counteracting diabetes here.


1 Leifke, E., Gorenoi, V., Wichers, C., Von Zur Mühlen , A., Von Büren , E., & Brabant, G. (2000). Age-related changes of serum sex hormones, insulin-like growth factor-1 and sex-hormone binding globulin levels in men: cross-sectional data from a healthy male cohort. Clinical endocrinology, 53(6), 689–695. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-2265.2000.01159.x

2 Noth, R. H., & Mazzaferri, E. L. (1985). Age and the endocrine system. Clinics in geriatric medicine, 1(1), 223–250.

3 Hormones as You Age. (2023). Rush System. https://www.rush.edu/news/hormones-you-age

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5 Steiner JL, Crowell KT, Lang CH. Impact of Alcohol on Glycemic Control and Insulin Action. Biomolecules. 2015;5(4):2223–2246. doi:10.3390/biom5042223

6 Marom-Haham, L., & Shulman, A. (2016). Cigarette smoking and hormones. Current opinion in obstetrics & gynecology, 28(4), 230–235. https://doi.org/10.1097/GCO.0000000000000283

7 Marks V. (1985). How our food affects our hormones. Clinical biochemistry, 18(3), 149–153. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0009-9120(85)80099-0

8 Marks V. (1985). How our food affects our hormones. Clinical biochemistry, 18(3), 149–153. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0009-9120(85)80099-0

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10 Skovlund, C. W., Mørch, L. S., Kessing, L. V., & Lidegaard, Ø. (2016). Association of Hormonal Contraception With Depression. JAMA psychiatry, 73(11), 1154–1162. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2016.2387

11 Ernst, A., Flynn, K. E., Weil, E. M., Crotty, B. H., Kamaraju, S., Fergestrom, N., & Neuner, J. (2021). Aromatase Inhibitor Symptom Management Practices: A Retrospective Study. Clinical breast cancer, 21(1), e38–e47. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clbc.2020.07.008

12 Zhang, J., Jiang, Y., Zhou, J., Wu, B., Liang, Y., Peng, Z., Fang, D., Liu, B., Huang, H., He, C., Wang, C., & Lu, F. (2010). Elevated body burdens of PBDEs, dioxins, and PCBs on thyroid hormone homeostasis at an electronic waste recycling site in China. Environmental science & technology, 44(10), 3956–3962. https://doi.org/10.1021/es902883a

13 Alawi, M., Masaad, M., & Al-Hussaini, M. (2018). Comparative study of persistent organic pollutant (POP) (chlorinated pesticides, PCBs, and dioxins/furans) concentrations in cancer-affected human organs with those of healthy organs. Environmental monitoring and assessment, 190(8), 470. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10661-018-6856-3

14 Wang, X., Ding, N., Harlow, S. D., Randolph, J. F., Jr, Mukherjee, B., Gold, E. B., & Park, S. K. (2023). Exposure to heavy metals and hormone levels in midlife women: The Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation (SWAN). Environmental pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987), 317, 120740. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2022.120740

15 Rami, Y., Ebrahimpour, K., Maghami, M. et al. The Association Between Heavy Metals Exposure and Sex Hormones: a Systematic Review on Current Evidence. Biol Trace Elem Res 200, 3491–3510 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12011-021-02947-0

16 Sun, X., Liu, W., Zhang, B., Shen, X., Hu, C., Chen, X., Jin, S., Jiang, Y., Liu, H., Cao, Z., Xia, W., Xu, S., & Li, Y. (2019). Maternal Heavy Metal Exposure, Thyroid Hormones, and Birth Outcomes: A Prospective Cohort Study. The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism, 104(11), 5043–5052. https://doi.org/10.1210/jc.2018-02492

17 Cortés, S., Zúñiga-Venegas, L., Pancetti, F., Covarrubias, A., Ramírez-Santana, M., Adaros, H., & Muñoz, L. (2021). A Positive Relationship between Exposure to Heavy Metals and Development of Chronic Diseases: A Case Study from Chile. International journal of environmental research and public health, 18(4), 1419. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18041419

18 Halgamuge M. N. (2013). Pineal melatonin level disruption in humans due to electromagnetic fields and ICNIRP limits. Radiation protection dosimetry, 154(4), 405–416. https://doi.org/10.1093/rpd/ncs255

19 Aboul Ezz, H. S., Khadrawy, Y. A., Ahmed, N. A., Radwan, N. M., & El Bakry, M. M. (2013). The effect of pulsed electromagnetic radiation from mobile phone on the levels of monoamine neurotransmitters in four different areas of rat brain. European review for medical and pharmacological sciences, 17(13), 1782–1788.

20 Koyu, A., Cesur, G., Ozguner, F., Akdogan, M., Mollaoglu, H., & Ozen, S. (2005). Effects of 900 MHz electromagnetic field on TSH and thyroid hormones in rats. Toxicology letters, 157(3), 257–262. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.toxlet.2005.03.006

21 Touitou, Y., Selmaoui, B., & Lambrozo, J. (2022). Assessment of cortisol secretory pattern in workers chronically exposed to ELF-EMF generated by high voltage transmission lines and substations. Environment international, 161, 107103. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2022.107103

22 Pall ML. Electromagnetic fields act via activation of voltage-gated calcium channels to produce beneficial or adverse effects. J Cell Mol Med. 2013 Aug;17(8):958-65. doi: 10.1111/jcmm.12088. Epub 2013 Jun 26. PMID: 23802593; PMCID: PMC3780531.

23 Pesce M, Patruno A, Speranza L, Reale M. Extremely low frequency electromagnetic field and wound healing: implication of cytokines as biological mediators. Eur Cytokine Netw. 2013 Mar;24(1):1-10. doi: 10.1684/ecn.2013.0332. PMID: 23674517.

24 Thyroid Disorders. (2022, October 28). Johns Hopkins Medicine. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/disorders-of-the-thyroid

25 Donath, M. Y., & Shoelson, S. E. (2011). Type 2 diabetes as an inflammatory disease. Nature reviews. Immunology, 11(2), 98–107. https://doi.org/10.1038/nri2925

26 Chiodini, I., Adda, G., Scillitani, A., Coletti, F., Morelli, V., Di Lembo, S., Epaminonda, P., Masserini, B., Beck-Peccoz, P., Orsi, E., Ambrosi, B., & Arosio, M. (2007). Cortisol secretion in patients with type 2 diabetes: relationship with chronic complications. Diabetes care, 30(1), 83–88. https://doi.org/10.2337/dc06-1267

27 Yilmaz, B., Terekeci, H., Sandal, S., & Kelestimur, F. (2020). Endocrine disrupting chemicals: exposure, effects on human health, mechanism of action, models for testing and strategies for prevention. Reviews in endocrine & metabolic disorders, 21(1), 127–147. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11154-019-09521-z

28 Rana S. V. (2014). Perspectives in endocrine toxicity of heavy metals–a review. Biological trace element research, 160(1), 1–14. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12011-014-0023-7

29  Foulkes E. C. (2000). Transport of toxic heavy metals across cell membranes. Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine. Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine (New York, N.Y.), 223(3), 234–240. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1525-1373.2000.22334.x

30 Balali-Mood, M., Naseri, K., Tahergorabi, Z., Khazdair, M. R., & Sadeghi, M. (2021). Toxic Mechanisms of Five Heavy Metals: Mercury, Lead, Chromium, Cadmium, and Arsenic. Frontiers in pharmacology, 12, 643972. https://doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2021.643972

31 Zalups RK, Bridges CC. Relationships between the renal handling of DMPS and DMSA and the renal handling of mercury. Chem Res Toxicol. 2012 Sep 17;25(9):1825-38. doi: 10.1021/tx3001847. Epub 2012 Jun 15. PMID: 22667351; PMCID: PMC4640686.

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