The role of environmental factors in autoimmune thyroiditis.
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Environmental factors can play an important role in the development of autoimmune thyroiditis (AT) and other autoimmune diseases. This article reviews the role of heavy metals and infectious agents in AT. It has been found that patients with AT and other autoimmune diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, systemic lupus erythematosus and atopic eczema, show increased lymphocyte reactivity in vitro to inorganic mercury, nickel and other metals compared to healthy controls. An important source of mercury is dental amalgam. Replacement of amalgam in mercury-allergic subjects resulted in improved health in about 70% of patients.Download Full Article