Tag Archives: autoimmune trigger

How Spirulina Triggered my Graves Disease

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After I started the AIP diet I became obsessed with explaining myself everything. Maybe because I started this healing journey that treats the root of the disease rather than the effect, so I guess this inspired me a lot in finding what made me sick in the first place.

Until 2018, my biggest health concern had been the fear of getting cancer. This was the absolute worst disease in my mind, a disease I was so afraid of. This fear was probably caused by the fact that the cruel cancer had occurred in my family, I saw it manifesting and was well aware of the grief it could cause. Whenever I heard of cancer I would remain speechless with terror.

But in my case, one fear led to another, which this time was 100% real, as in 2018 I got diagnosed with Graves disease. So my health priorities changed from obsessive cancer prevention to coping with a real autoimmune thyroid disease. I had never been seriously ill before getting the Graves diagnosis, I had only been obsessed with preventing diseases that were just in my head, not inside my body.

Now, let’s start with the beginning, with the life choices I made that triggered my autoimmune symptoms.

Unlike other Graves disease patients, I am 100% sure what triggered my disease. It was the huge amounts of spirulina I used to consume. I found out about it only after I got diagnosed with Graves, and started to look for my triggers in an obsessive way.

So knowing this for sure, with the help of my doctors who confirmed it, after I got my Graves diagnosis I even encouraged myself into thinking: “if I know what caused Graves in me and if maybe I caused it myself – the way I know it – I will certainly find a way out of it!

Before I got Graves, I used to be obsessed with staying healthy, especially given my previous fear of cancer. Used to be obsessed with keeping my immunity high and used to do all kinds of researches for it. All these studies and researches got me into buying and consuming all kinds of food supplements, some more organic than others. I used to consume A LOT of spirulina, maca powder and pollen – besides all the raw greenies I used to be crazy about. One might consider this as a pretty healthy choice, eating all organic and adding supplements to almost all the foods I prepared.

But I jumped the line.

I made two mistakes:

  1. I kind of auto-medicated myself, which I now understand is a very reckless thing to do, not having real sense of quantities or recommended combinations of supplements. I used to just add handfuls of supplements to my smoothies daily and would expect the best of my health out of doing this.
  2. I hadn’t had any blood tests done before taking supplements, so I ended up getting too much of a specific nutrient in my blood, which eventually made me sick.

And I did all of this out of a stupid fear for getting cancer.

Since I hadn’t had any blood tests done before taking the supplements, it was only after I got diagnosed with Graves disease that I started to review every action I’d done in a reversed order, to figure out what I’d done wrong. So by reviewing about everything I ate the year before, with support from two physicians who helped me reach a conclusion, I finally figured it out: the supplement that triggered my autoimmunity and that blew up my antibodies was SPIRULINA.

Here are the factors that lay at the basis of my theory:

  • I ate industrial quantities of spirulina 2 months before I got diagnosed with Graves disease. All my smoothies, shakes and desserts used to contain at least 2 tsp of this supplement, that I was seeing as the no. 1 cancer-prevention at that time.
  • Spirulina contains very high values of iodine, which in my case triggered the thyroid reactions and caused me some symptoms that were incredibly new and disturbing (extreme fatigue, headaches and muscle cramps all over my body).
  • I also consumed spirulina a couple of times after I got diagnosed with Graves, to figure out if it was really a trigger, and every time I did it, the symptoms would become worse than those of any other foods I’d eat.

So instead of acting like a superfood, in my case Spirulina brought out all its iodine into play and triggered my antibodies, making my autoimmunity speed up so much.

My advice for you would be to act very careful on what supplements you are taking and always try get an opinion from a functional doctor or at least a nutritionist.

I hope my experience with spirulina will help all the hyperthyroid and Graves patients out there!