What are the toxins that affect thyroid health and hormone production? There are over 80,000 chemicals in use today, just in the U.S. alone. Research is showing that the number of people being diagnosed with thyroid disease has gone up by over 35% in recent years. Much of this is due to the high number of toxins in our environment. It is almost impossible to avoid them, but you can reduce your exposure dramatically.
The 8 main environmental toxins that affect the thyroid are:
BPA and phthalates
BPA and phthalates
PCBs are banned, but there is still a lot of environmental contamination. They can affect the thyroid in three different ways. They can make it less responsive. They and increase the amount of iodine that's lost through the digestive tract. They break down hormones faster than the body can make them, making them less available.
Perchlorate is an extremely toxic chemical used in bleach, fireworks, airbags, fertilizers, and more. It can result in hypothyroidism. It is a known contaminate and is often found in groundwater. Repeated daily exposure can cause ill effects particularly if using contaminated tap water. It is possible to detox and reverse the effects with water filters.
Dioxins are highly toxic chemicals that take a long time to break down; most human exposure is through food like, conventional animal and fish products. It is also found in chlorine bleach, anything that has been dyed with bleach like conventional toilet paper, pads, tampons, coffee filters, clorox wipes. Unbleached alternatives can easily be found.
Triclosan is a common anti-bacterial ingredient found in soaps, lotions, and hand creams. In the U.S. it's commonly found in dish soaps.
Soy isoflavones have a negative impact on the thyroid. For those with thyroid disorders, it is especially not healthy to be consuming. In the body, it acts as an estrogen mimicker. It tricks the body into thinking it has plenty of estrogen, but since it's not estrogen it doesn't work in the same way. This is especially harmful when iodine levels are low in the body and can contribute to an autoimmune thyroid disorder.
Flame retardants found in upholstered furniture and electronics are endocrine disruptors. They are long-acting and accumulate in the body. There are studies connecting them to thyroid cancer. They are outlawed in Europe, but will likely be in the environment for years to come. Purchasing furniture without flame retardants can be helpful. They are also found in carpet and carpet padding.
BPA, phthalates, and other plasticizers are used to soften plastic are also estrogen mimickers also causing estrogen dominance. This indirectly impacts the production of thyroid hormone. They also impact the thyroid receptor function, so there is a double whammy effect. These are commonly found in water bottles, food containers, and even canned foods. Even the ones labeled as BPA free can have some endocrine effect, so the more plastic can be avoided the better. Using glass whenever possible as the safest bet.
The thyroid is extremely sensitive to radiation. People who have had exposure to excessive dental x rays or medical treatments are at increased risk of thyroid disease.
As your health coach, I can help with a thyroid balancing protocol, that can be used to help support and restore your thyroid function. Since the thyroid is involved in nearly every process in the body, it greatly influences overall health and quality of life.
Balancing thyroid hormones is part of my hormone health program. There are eight pillars to this protocol. They will be approached one step at a time. When implementing this protocol together, we will be sure to tune into your bio-individuality every step of the way and adapt your intervention accordingly to meet your unique health needs. Be sure to look out for my Thyroid Protocol post including thyroid healing foods!