Tag Archives: thyroid function

What can Harmful Environmental Chemicals Do to Thyroid Function and Body Weight?

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Several factors are known to influence thyroid function and health. Thyroid disorders tend to run in families, low iodine intake can depress thyroid activity, and exposure to radiation harms the thyroid.

 

However in addition to these established risk factors ongoing research reveals toxic environmental chemicals pose a serious threat to your thyroid function and health.

 

Could daily exposure to harmful environmental chemicals have negative effects on your thyroid?

 

Like it or not widespread global industrialisation over the last few decades has flooded the planet with a cocktail of dangerous environmental chemicals.

 

Contamination is widespread, and poses a serious threat to the quality of the food we eat, the water we drink and the air we breathe.

 

Environmental health experts warn exposure to even very small concentrations or a complex mixture can interfere with reproduction, immune health and nervous system function.

 

Over time exposure to risky environmental chemicals can lead to a diverse range of health problems such as hypothyroidism, chemical sensitivities, nervous system disorders, even some cancers.

 

Environmental chemicals and thyroid function

 

The thyroid is extremely vulnerable to the effects of hazardous environmental chemicals. It should therefore come as little surprise that thyroid problems are escalating as we become increasingly exposed to environmental pollution.

 

The incidence of thyroid disease, most notably thyroid cancer and thyroid autoimmune disease is increasing substantially.

 

There is a wide array of environmental chemicals that harm thyroid health. Termed ‘thyroid-disrupting chemicals’ these pollutants have the ability to change the way thyroid hormones act in the body.

 

They can also directly attack the thyroid, block uptake of iodine in the thyroid, trigger thyroid antibody production leading to an autoimmune thyroid disorder and increase the risk for serious thyroid conditions.

 

Watch this Video Here from Dr. Justin Marchegiani – Thyroid Toxins Causing Hypothyroidism | Low Thyroid Symptoms

 

Does Daily Exposure to Environmental Chemicals Cause Weight Gain, and Even Obesity?

 

Emerging research also reveals that everyday exposure to toxins can contribute to weight gain. Termed ‘obesogens’, these potent environmental chemicals have the potential to cause weight gain, even obesity.

 

Dietary, pharmaceutical, and industrial compounds alter a range of processes within the body which in turn can increase the risk of being overweight and obese. According to a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association even children are at risk.

 

Researchers found children exposed to high levels of bisphenol A (BPA) are five times more likely to be obese than children with low levels. BPA mimics oestrogen, the main female hormone. This means this compound is capable of having effects similar to oestrogen in the body. In excess oestrogen activity is harmful to both the male and female body.

 

Exposure to BPA is widespread as this toxic chemical is used in the lining of aluminium cans, baby bottles, printed store receipts, plastic containers and medical devices.

 

Sure an unhealthy diet and a sedentary lifestyle are certainly risk factors for obesity but studies such as this add to the evidence of a possible link between environmental chemicals and spiralling obesity rates.

 

Watch this Video Here from Dr. Brad Shook – How BPA, Latex and fire retardants affect Thyroid Function

The following list of the most hazardous thyroid disrupting chemicals is a little daunting but gives you an idea of what we are up against. These chemicals are all around us so we need to look at minimising our exposure as much as possible for proper thyroid function.

 

  • pesticides found in the food and water supply
  • polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) found in older paints, electrical equipment and building materials
  • heavy metals such as cadmium, lead and mercury
  • dioxins and dioxin-like compounds from the environment
  • phthalates found in vinyl and plastic products
  • polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) flame retardants present in carpets, clothing, soft furnishings, electronics and plastics
  • polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) present in air pollution
  • bisphenol A (BPA) found in a variety of food and beverage packaging
  • bromides used in oils to stabilise citrus flavoured soft drinks, commercial bakery products, some flours and is also found in pesticides
  • halogens which include fluoride, chlorine, perchlorate and bromide. Halogens compete for the same receptor sites as iodine with excessive intake crowding out optimal iodine activity.

 

Read the following related articles:

 

Warnings: 4 Types of Toxic Cookware to Avoid & Why

 

What is really The Best Cooking Oil for Thyroid Health?

 

5 Important Steps for Hypothyroidism Treatment Success

 

Hormone Problem? Here’s Your Hormone Imbalance Checklist

 

Are Iodine Supplements For Thyroid Health Really Safe?

 

What is Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis?

 

5 Best Ways to Protect Yourself from Iodine Toxicity

 

Is It Safe To Take Iodine When You Have Hashimotos Disease?

 

Why these Top 5 Thyroid Blood Tests are Essential?

 

What Causes High Reverse T3 (RT3) – a Major Driver of an Underactive Thyroid?

 

Why Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Symptoms are Strikingly Similar to Hypothyroidism Symptoms?

 

Why Testing for Viral Infections Can Solve Your Thyroid Disorder?

 

Author Bio:

 

Louise O’ Connor, the author of The Natural Thyroid Diet –The 4-Week Plan to Living Well, Living Vibrantly, who is a specialist in Thyroid Health. She is a highly regarded Australian Naturopath and founder of Wellnesswork.

 

The Natural Thyroid Diet goes beyond diet advice and offers practical and effective ways to achieve healthy thyroid levels within just a short period of time. For more details, Click on The-Natural-Thyroid-Diet.com

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Are Iodine Supplements For Thyroid Health Really Safe?

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It’s well accepted iodine supplements are effective for preventing and treating an iodine deficiency. They are generally considered safe when taken as recommended.

 

Iodine Is Essential For Proper Thyroid Function

 

Nutrient deficiencies are a common issue for those with hypothyroidism. Iodine is one nutrient you don’t want to get low in as the thyroid uses iodine to make your thyroid hormones. This makes iodine important for ongoing thyroid health.

 

Iodine deficiency can lead to iodine induced hypothyroidism, enlargement of the thyroid, and a reduced ability of the thyroid to produce thyroid hormones.

 

Are Iodine Supplements For Thyroid Safe?

 

It turns out there is a vast amount of research in this area including how much iodine is safe to take.

 

There is one guiding rule that I would like everyone to know.

 

It’s about balanced intake. Not too much, not too little!

 

Iodine is normally only required in very small amounts. In fact iodine supplements normally supply trace, or microgram quantities.

 

When you research iodine supplements online, or thyroid health formulas with iodine, it’s important to know that 1 milligram equals 1,000 micrograms. You may see a microgram measurement abbreviated as ‘mcg’ or ‘µg’ on a label.

 

Iodine Supplements in Australia Are Strictly Regulated

 

In Australia all nutritional products are closely regulated by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), a division of the Department of Health and Ageing.

 

Nutritional supplements must be approved before being released for sale. Approved products state their individual AUST L or AUST R number on the front of the label.

 

The active ingredients contained in a product and the recommendations on the label are also closely controlled. The recommended daily intake of iodine from an iodine supplement must not exceed 300 micrograms per day. For example, when a nutritional supplement contains 130 micrograms of iodine it’s recommended that an adult does not take more than two capsules per day.

 

If an iodine supplement was to contain milligram amounts it would not be approved for sale here in Australia. Even if one tablet, or capsule was recommended per day the recommended intake would be set too high.

 

In addition to dosing guidelines the TGA provides strict guidelines on the type of iodine that can be used. Iodine is an approved ingredient for use in a nutritional supplement when it is a component of a specific herbal preparation or is in the form of potassium iodide.

 

For example an iodine supplement can contain Bladderwrack (Fucus vesiculosus), a type of seaweed which is known to naturally contain iodine and is traditionally used to help maintain healthy thyroid function.

 

Another popular form of iodine featured in thyroid health products is potassium iodide. No other single form of iodine is approved for use in an iodine supplement in Australia.

 

It’s Vital to Know the Safe Upper Level of Intake

 

You should avoid taking high doses of iodine for prolonged periods unless you are doing this in consultation with a trusted healthcare practitioner.

 

Taking iodine in mega doses can pose problems. Taking multiple milligram amounts can saturate your thyroid which can irritate and inflame the gland.

 

The documented side effects of taking too much iodine include; a metallic taste, sore gums, a burning sensation in the mouth and throat, increased saliva, digestive upset, mood changes and skin problems.

 

Population studies have also shown excessive iodine intake may trigger autoimmune thyroid disorders.

 

Watch this Video Below Here – Iodine Supplements Warnings

The Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and the US National Institutes of Health have both set the recommended safe upper level of intake at 1,100 micrograms per day.

 

Are USA Iodine Supplements Safe To Buy Online?

 

When you do a quick search of iodine supplements online you will soon discover there is certainly conflicting opinions and information about how much iodine is safe to take.

 

For Australian consumers it’s important to know that iodine products available on USA websites are not regulated by the TGA. This government organisation only has jurisdiction within Australia.

 

It is possible iodine supplements available on USA websites can contain excessive amounts of iodine.

 

The TGA advises consumers to refrain from ordering nutritional products over the internet unless they know exactly what is in the product, have checked that the ingredients are suitable for them, and the products they are purchasing meet the legal requirements for importation and use in Australia.

 

Read the following related articles:

 

Warnings: 4 Types of Toxic Cookware to Avoid & Why

 

What is really The Best Cooking Oil for Thyroid Health?

 

5 Important Steps for Hypothyroidism Treatment Success

 

Author Bio:

 

Louise O’ Connor, the author of The Natural Thyroid Diet –The 4-Week Plan to Living Well, Living Vibrantly, who is a specialist in Thyroid Health. She is a highly regarded Australian Naturopath and founder of Wellnesswork.

 

The Natural Thyroid Diet goes beyond diet advice and offers practical and effective ways to achieve healthy thyroid levels within just a short period of time. For more details, Click on The-Natural-Thyroid-Diet.com

 

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Why All Thyroid Function Tests Suck?

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I hate to be the bearer of bad news. But if I don’t tell you, then no one else will. Often times you look to your doctor for answers and you’ve been raised to believe that your doctors knows exactly what is going on with your health and exactly what to do about it.

 

But, I’m here to tell you that your doctor and the medical profession in general is more confused than ever regarding hypothyroidism, healthy thyroid function, and thyroid testing.

 

For what it’s worth, it’s not entirely your doctor’s fault.

 

Your doctor is really only as good as the thyroid function tests or tools he has available to diagnose you with. And, the TRUTH is that there really is NO perfect test for hypothyroidism.

 

Don’t get me wrong!

 

The hypothyroidism testing that takes place today is really abysmal. There is so much more the medical profession could be doing to improve their practices but they simply don’t for a number of social and economic reasons. Unfortunately today, improvements in medical science and testing are only considered if they can generate more profit.

 

All thyroid tests have their pluses and minuses, which can be expected. But today we’re so far off the mark when it comes to testing and diagnosing hypothyroidism that it really brings into question whose best interests are at mind here?

 

Bad Tests for Thyroid Function

 

The issue of thyroid function testing has been a hot debate for more than a century. If we can learn anything from history (which we rarely do) we should learn that thyroid tests come and go with the wind.

 

There have been a number of previous tests that have been “accepted” and used as the gold standard in diagnosing hypothyroid for years or decades only to eventually be discredited and deemed useless.

 

So, it’s important to take our current methods of thyroid function testing with a grain of salt because it’s likely that they too will follow suit at some point in time and be deemed unreliable.

 

Below are some of the commonly used hypothyroidism testing methods and why they are unreliable.

 

  1. TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) Testing

 

Odds are, if you’ve been diagnosed as hypothyroid by your doctor then you’ve had your TSH levels measured and they have likely been above “normal” (at least their interpretation of normal that is).

 

This is currently the standard test that medical doctors use to diagnose hypothyroidism. And it’s the ONLY test they typically run.

 

If you’re not familiar with human physiology, TSH is a hormone that tells the thyroid gland that more thyroid hormone is needed and to release more thyroid hormone into your bloodstream.

 

So, if TSH is high then this is thought to mean that your thyroid gland is not able to produce adequate thyroid hormone, thus you must be hypothyroid.

 

Extraneous Influences on TSH

 

One of the biggest problems with TSH testing is that it can be influenced by a number of extraneous factors unrelated to the direct function or health of the thyroid gland including:

 

  • Aging
  • Stress
  • Infection
  • Blood Sugar
  • Excessive T4

 

It’s important to understand that any thyroid function test is merely giving you a snapshot of your hormone levels at one single moment in time. And any factor, including the list above, can cause an immediate or drastic change in your hormone levels.

 

So, let’s say you’re under a considerable amount of stress, you’ve caught a cold, or you didn’t have time to eat before your doctor’s appointment… these variables can affect the outcome of your test.

 

It’s also important to note that doctors typically prescribe T4 only medications like Synthroid, which can easily lower TSH without actually improving your thyroid function.

 

Illogical Reference Ranges

 

 

Any lab test is only as accurate to the degree that its reference ranges are accurate. And there is a lot of evidence surrounding the illogical reference ranges that have been established for TSH.

 

The original TSH reference ranges were based on the results of the Protein Bound Iodine test, which was one of the many tests that were deemed unreliable. Basing TSH reference ranges on a test that was proven to be unreliable makes the results of the TSH test… unreliable at best!

 

Watch this Video – Why TSH is the wrong test for Thyroid Function.

 

  1. Free T3 Testing

 

Triiodothyronine (a.k.a. T3) is typically referred to as the “active” thyroid hormone because it is far more metabolically active in your cells than T4, or the “inactive” thyroid hormone. Because of this, we know that T3 is the primary thyroid hormone that your cells use to produce energy.

 

When thyroid hormone exists in the bloodstream, it relies on carrier proteins to move it within your bloodstream and delivery it to your cells where it is used to produce energy.

 

One of the biggest arguments today regarding hypothyroidism is that of the Free Hormone Hypothesis. This hypothesis speculates that only “free” or non-bound T3 thyroid hormone can enter your cells and produce energy and that any T3 that is bound to a carrier protein is unavailable to your cells.

 

However, there have been many studies that have disproven this theory and demonstrated that bound hormones can enter not only cells, but cell mitochondria and cell nuclei.

 

This pretty much deflates the entire idea that only “free” T3 can be used by your cells.

 

Since free T3 accounts for less than five percent of your total T3, testing for free T3 is practically useless for diagnosing hypothyroidism.

 

  1. Basal Metabolic Rate Tests

 

BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) Tests were extensively used in the early to mid-1900’s before blood tests were developed. This same BMR test is still being used today and is becoming more and more popular in recent years.

 

The BMR test works by precisely measuring the amount of oxygen that you consume when your body is basal, or completely at rest. Your rate of oxygen consumption can then be used to determine your metabolism and therefore thyroid function.

 

However, there are a number of factors that make this test unreliable.

 

For starters, it requires that your body be in a completely basal state which is practically impossible with this method of testing. The only time your body is truly in a basal state is when you first open your eyes in the morning and before you start moving and get out of bed.

 

By the time you wake up, get dressed, drive through traffic to your doctor’s office, check in, etc., your body is no longer in a truly basal state.

 

So, how accurate can measuring your “basal” metabolism be if you’re not even in a basal state?

 

In order to make this test truly relevant, you would have to have your doctor come to your home while you sleep, and then administer the test upon waking.

 

Even in this scenario, the idea of having your doctor in your home and putting some sort of mask over your mouth upon waking would elicit enough of a stress response to alter the test results.

 

  1. Thyroid Blood Tests

 

There are a number of blood tests available for measuring various factors related to the thyroid hormone pathway including TSH, T4, T3, reverse T3, T3 Resin Uptake, Thyroglobulin, etc.

 

If you understand the physiology and roles that all of these play within the human body, then you can begin to gain some insight into what the potential problems are that are disrupting your thyroid.

 

However, they do not answer the one single question that continues to elude medicine even today, which is how much thyroid hormones are actually getting to and being used by your cells.

 

There are a number of physiological and dietary factors that can stop thyroid hormone from actually being used by your cells. Thyroid hormone can be blocked in your bloodstream and it can be blocked at the cellular level.

 

There is No Perfect Thyroid Function Test

 

You MUST understand that you can take all of the thyroid hormone you want, you can run labs showing you have more than enough thyroid hormone in your blood, but if that thyroid hormone is not being used by your cells then you are still hypothyroid.

 

The perfect test for thyroid function would be to directly measure the amount of thyroid hormone being utilized by every cell of your body. But with billions of cells, this is easier said than done.

 

I think it’s safe to say that we’re not going to see any “perfect” thyroid test any time soon.

 

What Is the Best Option for Thyroid Function Testing Then?

 

We’ve already established that measuring various levels of hormones in your blood can provide some useful insight, but fails to tell you the most important thing you need to know, which is how much thyroid hormone your cells are actually using.

 

Today, this can only truly be estimated through measuring your Basal Metabolic Rate, which has been problematic because it’s impossible to walk into your doctor’s office in a truly basal condition.

 

Believe it, or not, there is a simple and highly effective thyroid test that can measure your thyroid function in a truly basal state.

 

By simply taking your temperature upon waking, you can quite reliably determine if your thyroid is able to keep up with the metabolic demands of your body, or if you truly are hypothyroid.

 

This is exactly how I work with my clients. We don’t rely on misguiding thyroid function tests. We use basal temperature and pulse as well as temperature and pulse throughout the day to determine the metabolic state of the body.

 

By knowing this information, you can begin to use your diet therapeutically to supply your thyroid and cells with the nutrients they need to keep them running in their optimal state, which is essential for the body and thyroid to heal.

 

Watch this Video Here – How to Test Your Thyroid – Simple Self-Test

 

Author Bio:

 

Tom Brimeyer – The author of Hypothyroidism Revolution – is a practitioner of functional medicine, health researcher and author on nutrition, hormones and hypothyroidism.

 

His personal mission is to inspire and educate people to take control and achieve true health by correcting their hypothyroidism and underlying causes of their health problems instead of being stuck relying on doctors and drugs that merely cover up their symptoms while their health continues to suffer.

 

For more details on his program, click on HypothyroidismRevolution.com