We spend a lot of time thinking about our immune systems these days—and how we can support it.
But there’s another system that works together with your immune system to keep our bodies running smoothly. And believe me, when things are out of whack in this department, you’re definitely going to feel it.
I’m talking about the endocrine system.
This system consists of glands that produce and secrete hormones. In fact, when it isn’t running properly, many of us face the question of hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
But there’s a specific organ within this system that’s under constant attack… from the womb until death.
And when it fails to function properly, it can lead to a number of short- and long-term health problems—from tiredness and weight gain to infertility and heart disease.
Your thyroid is under fire
Pesticides and flame retardants are both notorious chemical endocrine disrupters. And research shows that they can hijack thyroid function before a child is even born—with very grave consequences.
In fact, studies have revealed cognitive impairment among children exposed to higher levels of pesticides in utero—and MRIs show corresponding brain changes. Plus, flame retardants have links to papillary thyroid cancer in young children.
Then there are perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).These chemicals have been used for decades in non-stick cookware, water-resistant clothing, fast food wrappers, and carpet/furniture treatments. And they have links to lower thyroid hormone levels in adults—often severe enough to require HRT.
In addition, phthalates hide in a lot of personal care products and makeup. And bisphenols—like bisphenol A (BPA)—around found in plastics, can linings, and thermal paper receipts.
Among other well-known risks, these chemicals can also mess with thyroid hormone production and function—which may be one major factor behind low bone density in older women.
Another chemical, perchlorate, is found in rocket fuel, missiles, fireworks, flares, and other explosives. Manufacturers also use it to prevent static cling on plastic and paper packaging.
And, you guessed it: Perchlorate can also interfere with thyroid hormone production, by blocking iodine uptake. As can compounds like thiocyanate, which is found in cigarette smoke and some chemical fertilizers.
No level of exposure is safe
For some reason, our government thinks that a little exposure to any toxic chemical is okay. But I don’t know how much research needs to come out before they can acknowledge that just isn’t the case.
The fact is, even LOW levels of exposure to these chemicals can have a dramatic impact, especially if it happens at critical points during brain development. And given what we know, it’s really no wonder that thyroid disease is so common among older adults.
So, what can you do to minimize your own personal risk—and help protect your thyroid? Here are a few tips to rid your spaces of any chemical that may potentially contribute to low thyroid function:
- Open your windows regularly to air out your home (and car).
- Use a wet mop to clean. This will help trap any toxic chemicals that accumulate in household dust, especially.
- Toss nonstick cookware and replace it with stainless steel or cast iron. (The convenience of that Teflon coating clearly isn’t worth the risk.) Then, choose macadamia nut oil or avocado oil to grease your pans (rather than non-stick sprays).
- Eat organic to immediately lower your intake of pesticides. (Remember, pesticides spell trouble for more than just your thyroid.)
- Avoid canned foods. (Fresh, whole food is always a better choice anyway. It’s tastier, much more nutritious, and comes without a dose of bisphenols.)
- Stop using plastic. (And NEVER microwave your food in plastic.) Stick with stainless steel or glass for eating, drinking, and food storage instead.
- Eat more iodine-rich foods (like seaweed, tuna, shrimp, and eggs) to help boost your thyroid function.
Here’s the bottom line: If your thyroid isn’t operating up to par, it can wreak havoc on your entire body. And avoiding chemical saboteurs is one clear way to ward off future problems.
Of course, proper diagnosis and treatment of thyroid disorders is just as important. But this can also be a real challenge.
I explain why too many patients slip through the cracks in the May 2019 issue of my monthly Logical Health Alternatives newsletter (“The chronic fatigue culprit that most doctors are missing”). I also reveal proper testing and ideal treatment. So if you haven’t already, consider becoming a subscriber today. Click here now!
“Thyroid-Disrupting Chemicals in the Home and How to Avoid Them.” Medscape Medical News, 09/14/2021. (medscape.com/viewarticle/958150)