environmental causes of hypothyroidismYou’ve made your mind up: you’re sick of your hypothyroidism ruling your life – it’s time to change your lifestyle.

Goodbye fatigue!

See ya hair loss!

So long weight gain!

I’m proud of you – you’ve got this. Changing your diet and supplementing wisely is the best, most natural way to get a handle on your thyroid issues. But it’s worthwhile to find out more about the environmental factors that have a say in your thyroid dysfunction – just in case!

What Chemicals Cause Thyroid Problems?

Let’s not beat about the bush – you and I are exposed to far more man-made chemicals than our grandparents ever were, and this makes a huge difference to our health! Autoimmune disorders are on the rise as a direct result of the populations encountering more industrial chemicals, pesticides, and heavy metals. I find it scary how much humans have changed their natural environment without thinking about the long-term effects.

In better news, because we have more of an understanding now, you can take steps to either minimize your exposure to these chemicals, or counteract the effects. Knowledge is power! Implementing that knowledge is even more powerful!

Industrial chemicals

Industrial chemicals are bad for the environment, and bad for your thyroid. A study linked the development of thyroid disorders with living in the vicinity of a petrochemical complex. Some of these chemicals are classed as persistent organic pollutants (POPs). While POPs may sound like a cute nickname, these pollutants are a serious concern,as they are toxins that take decades to break down, are able to travel through water and air – meaning their reach is worldwide –  and can accumulate in the fatty tissue of animals up and down the food chain – including humans.

Now brace yourself – there are a lot more acronyms ahead!

Examples of industrial chemicals that contribute to hypothyroidism:

  • Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) – while no longer manufactured, PCBs are a POP, and can be found in high concentrations in larger predatory fish.
  • Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and other brominated flame retardants – flame retardants are found in soft furnishings and furniture, building materials, polyurethane foams, electronics, and plastics. Brominated flame retardants are easily inhaled in the home.
  • BPAs – Commonly found in plastics, including food-grade containers. There has been a recent movement away from uses BPA uses in the home, due to the ease in which they can be ingested. I urge you to check your kitchen cabinets for stray tupperware that contain BPAs – you should throw them away.

Pesticides

Many pesticides are also classed as persistent organic pollutants (POPs). Yes: in the last century, we were so concerned with improving crop yield that we lost sight of our relationship with nature, food – and our own bodies. As a result, pesticides are firmly entrenched in our food chain, and you’re better off eating organic produce where possible.

Pesticides that cause Hashimoto’s and other hypothyroid disorders – particularly in women:

  • Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) – The original big bad, DDT was the first major pesticide to be banned, unfortunately after it had caused major environmental damage. This pesticide is terrible for your thyroid.
  • Paraquat (herbicide) – Banned in Europe, but used widely in the US.
  • Maneb (pesticide and herbicide) – Can cause goiters and thyroid dysfunction.

Heavy metals

If you’re sensitive to toxins, you’re likely sensitive to heavy metals as well, and it’s all too easy to struggle with a build-up of metals in the body, owing to contamination of the food chain (mercury) or living in an old house (lead). Increased occurrence of metals has an effect on your immune system, causing inflammation which often leads to autoimmunity and Hashimoto’s.

Mold and EMF Sensitivity

The last two environmental toxins to watch out for are a lot sneakier than the first three. You may not even realize there’s an issue at first. But if a change in diet hasn’t helped alleviate your hypothyroid symptoms, it may be time to investigate mold in your home or workplace – and the effects of electromagnetic fields on your body.

Mold

Mold is a normal part of the natural world – a colony of organisms responsible for eating dead organic matter. Yum, right? But it’s responsible for the natural order of things. Unfortunately, it also likes to eat the dead organic matter available in your home, such as wood, paper, and drywall – given the right conditions of moisture or high humidity.

Mold becomes a threat to your health when it reproduces. Mold multiplies by releasing spores into the air which travel to new parts of your home, and stick to surfaces, or collect in dust. Mold spores are toxins, and when you breathe them in they trigger your immune system into action. If you have a one-time exposure to mold, your immune system deals with the threat and everything goes back to normal.

But if you live with mold, either at home or in the workplace, you’re constantly breathing in more spores, and your immune system has no time to stop and recover. Your immune system begins to behave irregularly, often too weak to fight a pathogen head-on – or, in the case of autoimmunity, it begins to attack your tissues. Hypothyroidism, particularly Hashimoto’s, is often the result, as your immune system is on the offense, and your thyroid becomes a prime target.

Fortunately, there are many ways in which to deal with mold. Contact a mold remedial team, and focus on fixing the things that make your home more appealing to mold, including:

  • Leaky pipes and plumbing
  • Holes in walls or the roof
  • High humidity

Making modifications and removing mold can have a positive influence on your hypothyroidism, as it allows your immune system the space to calm down, and your body the chance to heal.

Electrosmog

In much the same way humans embraced man-made industrial chemicals without considering the long term effects, we’re at a point where we’re surrounded by electric devices and wireless networks – with little thought about the impact on our health.

I know it sounds so weird to think that electromagnetic fields (EMFs) could be contributing to your hypothyroidism, but animal studies show changes to the thyroid itself, alongside increased autoimmune response to the perceived threat. Several prominent organizations have spoken out about the dangers of EMFs – resulting in little-to-no policy change. The US in particular is far behind Europe regarding cell phone sale regulations – and cell phones are linked to alterations in thyroid hormones.

Tips to build your environment and reduce exposure to electrosmog – regardless of whether you have a formal hypothyroidism diagnosis –

  1. Turn off your wifi at night.
  2. Remove all electronics from your bedroom – no laptops, TVs, tablets, cellphones, chargers, video game consoles, fans, radio alarm clocks.
  3. Lessemf.com is a great website for a variety of products to protect your home and body from electromagnetic field toxins.
  4. In the Southern California Area? EMF and RF Solutions in Encinitas Calif., will test your home and property for EMF pollution and suggest remedies.

As you spend 7-8 hours sleeping at night, a digital detox in the bedroom can make a real difference to your health – and you might get some sleep!

What Can You Do?

First, test and don’t guess. Our office can send you functional health specimen kits, where from the privacy of your own home, you can send saliva/urine specimens straight to the lab to be evaluated.

Check out the Mycotox profile by The Great Plains Laboratory, which screens for eleven different mycotoxins, from 40 species of mold, in one urine sample. Also, see the GPL-Tox profile, a toxic chemical profile that screens for the presences of 172 different toxic chemicals!

From those results, a carefully thought out plan can be initiated to slowly to rid your system of these chemicals, and get you feeling like YOU again.

Second, glutathione is an antioxidant your system usually produces t, but this process is thwarted by autoimmune issues and toxic exposures. Glutathione helps to eliminate heavy metals, and shield the body from environmental toxins. You can take liposomal glutathione liquid that is absorbed through the lining of the gut, or boost your glutathione levels with N-acetylcysteine,( NAC). Foods rich in glutathione are garlic, onions, cabbage, walnuts, and lamb.

Dampen inflammation in your body with curcmin and resveratrol, Keep your immune system strong with D3, and high quality fish oil supplements.

Third, minimize your exposure to toxins by ditching the obvious offenders: dryer sheets, candles, artificially scented body products, and pesticides. Limit usage of cell phones, tablets, microwaves, and electrical appliances. Eat organic produce, avoid food in metal containers, fish containing mercury, and have your old mercury fillings taken out.

There’s no need to read this blog from under your bed while wearing a hazmat suit! While it is impossible not to come in contact with these toxins, running labs, applying the proper functional health protocols and lifestyle are often enough to manage or prevent the effects of these harmful substances.

If you’re struggling with toxic chemical, mold, exposure or have a Hashimoto’s diagnosis, or feel that something is up with your thyroid, why not check out our Thyroid M.V.P. Program – Measurable, Verifiable, Progress™ our all-inclusive program, that includes lab work performed at a Quest lab in your hometown, so you can get to the root cause of your concerns. Book your free 30 minute consultation call today – because you owe it to yourself to get back on top!