This image is a good synopsis of both low and high thyroid conditions. There are multiple environmental and genetic conditions that disturb our thyroid function. I hope to shed some light on the factors that affect your thyroid. Thyroid conditions have become epidemic everywhere and it's no wonder because of several environmental exposures that disrupt the thyroid. There are several good support groups on Facebook devoted to helping individuals with thyroid conditions. People post their labs, trash their doctors who are not listening, fight amongst each other during flares and seek supportive answers in their fluctuating hormonal worlds.
Which chemicals disrupt the thyroid?
BPA in all of our flexible plastic products.
BPA disturbs our thyroid function by reducing our bioactive T3 binding to nuclear thyroid receptors. This creates a transciptional inhibition error.
Halides like fluoride in water and dentistry, bromide in processed grain products, chlorine in antiseptics and bleach and perchlorate in dry cleaning all block normal thyroid function.
High mercury exposures are twice as likely to be associated with elevated thyroid antibodies. Data from 4047 women collected between 2007 and 2008 compared mercury in serum blood and auto-antibodies that indicate autoimmune disease and they found that women with high blood mercury levels were twice as likely to have elevated thyroglobulin levels. Lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, MS are conditions that I see with high mercury levels on a weekly basis.
Which foods disrupt the thyroid?
Soybeans, peaches, strawberries, peanuts, radishes, spinach, millet and cruciferous vegetables. Cruciferous family contains: broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, cabbage, mustard greens, rutabagas, kohlrabi, kale and turnips. Isoflavones in soy reduce thyroid hormone by blocking the activity of thyroid peroxidase which is the enzyme that adds iodine to the thyroid hormones. If you cook these foods you can inactivate the chemicals that inhibit the thyroid.
Gluten and gluten sensitivity has been linked to Hashimoto's thyroiditis and autoimmune thyroid disease.
The molecular structure of gluten or gliadin's (proteins in gluten) are similar to thyroid tissue.This can cause cross-reactive damage to the thyroid. Genetically engineered wheat in the US has been found to contain up to 40 times more gluten than European wheat. The increased gluten is linked to intestinal permeability or leaky gut. Gluten-free and grain-free is important when you have a thyroid disease and or undergoing environmental detoxification.
Medications affect thyroid hormone production.
Dopamine, levodopa, bromocriptine, glucocorticoids, dexamethasone, hydrocortisone, octreotide, and amphetamines decrease TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone). Check with your doctor about all medications. I have a more extensive list if you contact me.
Pesticides increase the incidence of thyroid conditions.
Exposure to organochlorine pesticides like: Aldrin, chlordance, DDT, lindane and fungicides, benomyl, captan, maneb and methybromide caused higher rates of thyroid problems. Even if you drink wine it must be organic.
Good thyroid function is linked to better cognition so it makes sense to run full thyroid panels every year. We do that and we test for iodine, selenium and iron deficiencies.