The majority of people with thyroid conditions also have an autoimmune disorder. This means that the thyroid itself is not the cause of your thyroid drama; it is your immune system that is attacking your thyroid. It has been found that most people with thyroid conditions also have high toxicity levels in their body.
Where is so much toxicity coming from? Learn the 7 key sources of toxicity known today that have a huge impact on the thyroid:
#1: Food We Eat
The food we eat today is vastly different than that of 100 years ago. Instead of the pure, unadulterated food we used to eat, we now consume highly processed products with all sorts of additives and preservatives. The processing of the food changes the structure and nutritional value of the food. Things like pasteurization, homogenization and the refining of foods changes its form. Many of these processed foods are not things that our bodies are built to ingest and digest. And that shows in how many digestive issues and food sensitivities people have today. Let’s not forget the low-fat trend, or should I say obsession, which has caused loads of food products to contain low fat, but high levels of sugars and other added ingredients, to make the food taste better. If you notice, the rate of disease has also increased significantly from what it used to be. The goal here is to revamp your diet to be the healthiest it can be without breaking the bank or causing anxiety for you and your family. This should be a fun and exciting change!
#2: Water We Drink
Tap water contains fluoride that is added in order to insure good dental hygiene. The United States is one of the few countries that adds this chemical to its drinking water. Fluoride is banned from drinking water in most European countries because its safety is a highly controversial topic. Speaking of safety, we are now realizing that fluoride blocks the ability of iodine to bind with the thyroid gland, which is essential in T4 production and consequently, T3 (the active hormone) production, and could possibly be responsible for slowing down the conversion of T4 to T3 (hence not feeling well even though you may be on Synthroid medication).
#3: Household Cleaning Items
There are a multitude of chemicals found in household cleaning products, some which might be a shock to some people. BPAs in plastics and parabens in cosmetics and food products are two that may be starting to be well known. Other chemicals are highly toxic as well, such as PFOAs in nonstick pans and Triclosan in anti-bacterial soaps. And these are just a few. These chemicals are endocrine disruptors; they are synthetic estrogens or xenestrogens that parade around as estrogens in your body but don’t actually act as estrogens in terms of doing the appropriate hormonal work. This is important because estrogen, same as your thyroid hormone, are directly dependent on each other and they balance each other out.
#4: Skincare Products
Did you know that your skin is the largest exposed organ of your body? And it is also one that we very often put chemical-laden soaps, lotions, cosmetics, and perfumes on. Do you see how this can be a huge issue? These skincare products very often contain parabens and phthalates that cause cancer and many act as endocrine disruptors as well. Think twice next time before you spray that perfume bottle on your way out the door.
#5: Antibiotics and Drugs
Doctors way over prescribe antibiotics and other medications these days for the smallest of things. So many people go for meds the minute they are not feeling well to avoid a little discomfort. But in the long run, they are causing themselves even more. Antibiotics will kill the bad bacteria that are causing you to be sick for sure, but they will also kill the good bacteria, the ones that help keep your immune system healthy and functioning properly. It is therefore key to introduce probiotics if we have to take antibiotics (note the “have to”).
#6: Parasites and Infections
Parasites are much more common than we think. Common parasites include ringworms, pinworms, hookworms, roundworms, tapeworms and liver flukes. These things strip us of nutrients and create even more toxic load in our bodies.
Another cause of Hashimoto’s or Graves’ disease can be H. Pylori, a pathogenic bacterium. It causes chronic gastritis and peptic ulcers, which cause a pro-inflammatory response in the body and leads to such autoimmune disorders and just mentioned.
#7: Negative Emotions and Stress
You may think negative emotions and stress are just a part of daily life and something that you just need to get through or deal with. But it is much more than that. Our adrenal glands play a huge role in stress. When we experience stress, they produce cortisol, a hormone that gives us focus and energy, as well as stimulates our immune system. This used to be the fight or flight response. We would experience danger, produce cortisol, and either have the strength to run away or fight. Either way, our bodies made use of the cortisol produced. Nowadays, stress comes in the form of work stress, low self-esteem, uncertainty with finances, romantic relationships, over-committing oneself, and many other scenarios. Do we physically run away or fight in those cases? No. When our bodies consistently produce cortisol, our adrenal glands get tired. This leads them to stop producing enough cortisol and both our immune system and thyroid are affected.
Although you cannot always eliminate stressful situations from your life, there are ways in which you can reframe these situations and respond to them differently so as to save your adrenals and thyroid.