Your hypothalamus in your brain stimulates your pituitary gland to release TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone). When your thyroid gland receives this hormone, it increases T4 production (inactive hormone), thus increasing T3 (active hormone) in the process. T4 is converted to T3 in the liver, gut and peripheral tissues. It then goes to the cell receptors to stimulate the cells. As a result, cell metabolism increases and efficiency in vital cell function improves.
Halides are atoms that have a negative charge. Because of this, they can be interchanged with each other. Bromide, chloride and fluoride can all be used instead of iodide. This can cause problems because iodine is an important substance that plays a role in the making of thyroid hormone.
Bromide is found in several forms. One of them is methyl bromide. Methyl bromide is used as a pesticide for strawberries. Citrus-based beverages and other soda drinks use brominated vegetable oil as an emulsifier, which keeps the flavor suspended in these drinks. Potassium bromide is a dough conditioner found in commercial bakery products.
A British study found a correlation between the amount of fluoride in public drinking water and hypothyroidism. Interestingly, fluoride was used as a prescription drug for hyperthyroidism until the 1950s.
In China, researchers discovered that when fluoride exposure and iodine deficiency go hand in hand, the combination can jeopardize brain development. This is in contrast with just iodine deficiency. Fluoride is so similar to iodine that it can easily replace iodine and cause thyroid hormone problems. This, in turn, can create hypothyroid issues.
Most cities add fluoride to your drinking water and you don’t have an option to opt out. My entire house is filtered and I suggest you do the same because of fluoride’s harmful effects.
In a study that the Environmental Working Group and Commonweal spearheaded, two researchers based in prestigious laboratories discovered an average of 200 types of pollutants and industrial chemicals. They found these substances in umbilical cord blood drawn from 10 babies who were born between August 2004 and September of 2004 in US hospitals.
Perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) are considered the breakdown products or active ingredients of household items like Scotchguard, Teflon, carpet protector, fabric protector, and food wrap coating. These are strongly associated with cancer and birth defects. Repeated use of items with PFCs will eventually result in the substance’s accumulation in the food chain. As a result, all levels of the food chain may get fluoride-related problems.
According to the US Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, drinking water sources have higher levels of PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid) or similar chemicals than what’s normally acceptable. Therefore, people should consider having activated carbon water filters installed or drink bottled water. The problem is, EPA (Environmental Protection Authority) doesn’t regulate PFOA levels.
Based on the results of studies related to PFOAs, the Scientific Advisory Board of the EPA suggested that there is evidence of carcinogenicity. However, the board agreed that this was not considered significant enough to check PFOA’s potential to cause cancer in humans. Thus, they will consider new studies and evidence as they become available. Given these premises, it’s still highly advisable to be cautious of these materials just the same.
Furans and PBCD (polychlorinated dibenzodioxins) are regarded as PVC production byproducts. These are carcinogenic in nature as well. DDT chlorine, organochloride pesticides, and other types of pesticides are already banned in the United States in 1972. Despite the prohibition of these substances, the byproducts still persist in the environment. Thus, the risk of having cancer because of these remains.
Polybrominated diphenyl esters are found in flame retardants, furniture, furniture foam, computers, and televisions. Polychlorinated naphthalene is found in wood preservatives, machine lubricating oils, varnishes, and waste incinerations. Both chemicals are found in the umbilical cord blood of babies.
Can you imagine what we have been exposed to over time? Many chemicals have been banned or not in use since the 70s, and we still are seeing them in our current exposures. Not only are these chemicals toxic but are also endocrine disruptors. As disruptors, they can affect how your thyroid gland produces thyroid hormone.
Most people don’t know they have issues with metal until all other options are ruled out. The worst part about metals is that once they build up in your body, they can cause irreversible damage over time. The sad part is, most doctors don’t even know how to deal with metal toxicity.
Metals can be a contributor to autoimmune issues. However, trying to remove them when autoimmunities are already flared up can exacerbate the condition even worse. The flare-up can then lead to yet another set of autoimmune diseases.
Dental amalgam may be made up of 50% of mercury and they’re putting this toxin in your mouth. When it falls on the floor of a dentist’s office, it’s considered a hazardous material. When they put in your mouth, it’s okay. If you do have amalgam fillings, it’s important to get them removed the correct way. Otherwise, you may experience other problems not only in your body but also in the environment.
Fish can also be another source of mercury toxicity. The larger the fish, the greater its potential to accumulate heavy metals. If you’re planning to consume fish oil, make sure that the fish oil is from a small fish species that haven’t had time to accumulate this toxin.
Vaccines use mercury in the form of thimerosal as a preservative. You can also have mercury in contaminated water, which can be a byproduct of vaccines or industrial manufacturing.
Lead is another heavy metal that we have to be concerned about. We can get this from lead-based paints, leaded gasoline, contaminated water, lead batteries, rubber products, glass, and lead oxide fumes from the demolition of industrial buildings.
Aluminum comes from contaminated water, aluminum cooking pans, aluminum foil, antiperspirants, medications, some vaccines and flu shots, aluminum baking powder, and processed foods.
The obvious medications that can affect thyroid hormone functions are lithium, amiodarone, sulfonamides, ethionamide, anticonvulsants, iodine, interferon, high-dose glucocorticoids, cholecystographic agents, tyrosine kinase inhibitors, proton pump inhibitors, and angiogenesis inhibitors. I’m sure there are others as well.
Take, for example, birth control pills. You have a different amount of estrogen and progesterone in your body. Usually, it’s estrogen-dominant. Also, BPA (Bispehnol A) was used as a synthetic estrogen until the 1930s. Scientists found out that if they mixed BPA with phosgene, it produced a clear, shatter-resistant plastic. When these plastics get heated, BPA is released as a synthetic estrogen.
Canada and France have banned BPA in products that may get in contact with food. On the other hand, it is still used in the US and is regulated by each state.
Estrogen creams can also cause conversion issues. As a woman gets older, her progesterone level drops, which can lead to estrogen dominance. This can also cause hypothyroid issues.
Gluten can cause autoimmune diseases, and as a result, thyroid issues. Even just a small amount of gluten, for certain individuals, can trigger a cascade that increases permeability of the digestive system. This then lets in undigested amino acid sequences which the immune system later mistakes for thyroid tissue, resulting in an autoimmune thyroid condition.
Soy is also a goitrogen which can interfere with the uptake of iodine. It eventually causes a problem with thyroid peroxidase, an enzyme responsible for incorporating iodine during thyroid hormone production.
I wouldn’t be too concerned about eating miso soup or tofu as they are fermented and don’t exhibit the same issues. However, if you want to play it safe because you are at risk of having hypothyroid issues, you might want to moderate your soy product intake.
Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, and cabbage can also interfere with thyroid hormone because they are goitrogens. But if you cook them, this lessens the goitrogenic effect. They have great anti-cancer properties. Just make sure to eat them in moderation.
Sugar and Processed Foods
Sugar and processed foods cause inflammation in the body. This inflammation causes a problem with conversion from T4 to T3.
As you can see, there are a lot of toxins that can affect thyroid function. That means you need to keep the exposure as low as you can. You have to make sure to stay away from exogenous chemicals, food allergies or sensitivities. You also need to minimize your nutritional deficiencies and also ensure that your detoxification system is strong so it can keep up with the stresses.
At this point, I hope you have learned some things about thyroid care. For more information regarding your thyroid health, just visit my official website to know more about your health.
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