My uncle in Silicon Valley died of thyroid cancer.
Take action about your health and find out how:
- Thyroid harming toxins in your water
- Makeup products that are harming your health
- How to determine if you’re mercury sensitive
- How to detoxify your body
- How chronic infections affect thyroid health
- How leaky gut can lead to thyroid disorder
- Brain fog or decreased concentration.
- Frequent headaches.
- Ataxia (decreased control over muscular movements such as with walking or picking up objects)
- Sleep disturbance in children
- Autoimmune disease
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Toxins are present in our environment, and there’s very little we can do to eliminate all of them. We can, however, limit our exposure to toxic compounds, reducing the likelihood of experiencing issues with our thyroid. Supplementing with iodine is also an important step toward protecting your thyroid from toxic compounds. Learn these 6 toxins that can destroy your thyroid so you can prepare yourself.
As an endocrine disruptor, BPA can affect hormone levels and throw thyroid function out of whack. While there are many studies documenting BPA’s effects on the thyroid in adults and children, a recent one took a different approach. By looking at newborns and their mothers, the study suggested higher levels of BPA cause a decrease in thyroid function in women. All of the baby boys, though, had an increase in thyroid function from the higher levels of BPA. The theory here is that the women—while pregnant—saw a drop in thyroid function and the sons’ thyroids overcompensated. While the trend did not carry over to newborn girls, avoiding BPA while pregnant just makes sense.
Bromine is toxic to the thyroid, but with it in everything from pool cleaner to pasta, finding something without the endocrine disruptor can be tricky.  Often, even healthy patients can have high levels of the flame-retardant substance in their bodies. Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are even finding their way into the breast milk of American women.  One common source of bromine is brominated vegetable oil—which is still found in many drinks—so remember, it pays to read those labels!
Studies suggest low thyroid function in mothers is linked to neurodevelopmental problems in children. While BPA—as mentioned in number 1—or any score of nasty toxins could be the cause of an unhealthy thyroid, perchlorate is definitely one of the usual suspects.   But while there are numerous studies linking it with thyroid problems, the FDA still approved it for use as an anti-static agent in food packaging, making avoiding it a lot more difficult.
When it comes to maintaining a healthy thyroid, avoiding pesticides could also be key. In India, thyroid disorders are on the rise, but there are measures in place to make sure much of the population has sufficient access to iodine, something essential for thyroid function. One recent study suggested this spike is due to pesticide and other chemical exposure, with experts noting almost 60 percent of cases aren’t connected to iodine-deficiency. While the idea of pesticide exposure and thyroid problems is nothing new, maintaining iodine levels and avoiding pesticides could be the perfect combination.
There’s a report that a higher level of perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) in the blood could affect thyroid function in women. Used in the manufacturing of lots of common things, PFCs can even be found in pizza boxes and takeout containers; your mattress might even contain them! Even though the use of the chemicals is being phased out in the U.S., imported products could still be a concern. Endocrine disruptors like PFCs take a long time to break down in the body, so this study is disturbing, to say the least.
Almost 70 percent of the U.S. water supply is fluoridated to help prevent cavities. Many people don’t know, however, that fluoride was actually prescribed as a remedy for an overactive thyroid during the first half of the 20th century. According to some reports, 2 to 5 mg of fluoride per day over a period of months was all it took to lower thyroid function; this becomes a problem when you realize that’s about the same amount people drinking fluoridated water are exposed to daily.
Molecular Mimicry—An Autoimmune Theory
Molecular mimicry is the theory that bacterial cells or other microbial “triggers” have a similar appearance to the cells that make up parts of our physiology or “self” antigens.
When an infection occurs, these infectious cells are recognized as foreign. This is really great for getting rid of the infections, but sometimes the immune system targets proteins in the infectious cells that resemble the proteins in our own cells. This inadvertently causes a cross-reaction with our “self” antigens, i.e., our own cells. This case of mistaken identity is thought to trigger the start of autoimmunity.
One example is Streptococcus pyogenes. This is the bacteria that causes the common throat infection known as “strep throat”. In some cases, especially when the infection is not treated with antibiotics within two to three weeks, the immune system will start launching an attack against the Streptococcus bacteria.
Unfortunately, a component of the bacteria’s cell wall resembles that of the human heart valves, and this results in the immune system attacking the human heart valves in a case of mistaken identity. This reaction is known as rheumatic fever and can be deadly and often necessitates heart valve transplants. Arnold Schwarzenegger is probably the most well known person who was affected with this condition and has had to have heart valve transplants as a result.
Which bacteria have been associated with triggering Hashimoto’s?
A variety of bacterial infections have been implicated in triggering autoimmune thyroiditis, including Helicobacter Pylori (the same bacteria that causes ulcers), Borrelia burgdorferi (associated with Lyme disease) and Yersinia enterocolitica.
Antibodies to Yersinia (indicating exposure) in people with Hashimoto’s were found fourteen times more often than in people without Hashimoto’s. Yersinia membranes contain a site that binds TSH, making it a prime suspect based on the molecular mimicry theory. Infection with this bacteria can induce antibodies against sites that recognize and stimulate TSH receptors, like the thyroid peroxidase enzyme or thyroglobulin.
People can contract a Yersinia enterocolitica infection from contaminated meat, poultry, dairy products, and seafood (especially oysters). In 2012, a consumer group found that 67% of pork sold in the U.S. was contaminated with Yersinia!!
Physicians can run blood tests, stool antigen or breath tests for H. pylori. If you cannot find a physician that will run the test for you, you can also order your own labs tests via direct to patient lab testing that we have set up through our shopping cart and third-party links on thyroidpharmacistconsulting.com/tests.
Borrelia is available as a blood test, while presence of Yersinia can be tested by a comprehensive stool analysis by requesting Yersinia to be added to the test panel.
New autoimmune theories have established that once the antigen (trigger) is removed, the antibody production goes away and the innocent part of our bodies (in the case of Hashimoto’s, the TPO enzyme) is no longer a target.
In the case of infections, once the infection is removed, the TPO should no longer be a trigger once the immune system recognizes that the infection is gone. Thus, treating infections may help to heal Hashimoto’s. In other cases, the infection may be gone and the immune system may need a reboot.
Antibiotics for Autoimmune Conditions?
Some individuals have reported the normalization of thyroid peroxidase antibodies following taking the antibiotic doxycycline, which is effective for Yersinia enterocolitica and borellia burgdorferi as well as other bacteria.
Work with your doctor to test for infections, and use antibiotics judiciously, as they can be incredibly dangerous when used incorrectly and lead to multi-drug resistance, an elimination of the beneficial bacterial flora and numerous side effects. There is a multitude of different antibiotics, each with a different group of bacteria they target, and each with their own set of side effects. Blindly taking antibiotics without knowing the cause of your infection may end up inadvertently destroying the beneficial bacteria while letting pathogenic and opportunistic bacteria thrive.
Be sure to supplement with probiotics during courses of antibiotic therapy, but at different times throughout the day so that the beneficial bacteria in the probiotics are not killed by the antibiotics. Work with your pharmacist to find out the half-life of your antibiotics and to find an optimal time to take probiotics.
Treatments for H. Pylori
H. pylori is a stubborn infection. Standard medical treatments for H. pylori include:
Triple therapy: Two antibiotics: Amoxicillin or Metronidazole plus Clarithromycin with a Proton Pump Inhibitor (While Proton Pump Inhibitors can make us more susceptible to H. Pylori by themselves, they work in synergy with antibiotics to reduce H. Pylori)
Quadruple therapy: Pepto Bismol + tetracycline + metronidazole + Proton Pump Inhibitor
Some individuals may be hesitant to try antibiotics… integrative clinicians have reported much success with using natural remedies like the ones listed below…
Natural Substances That Can Help Overcome Infections
- Probiotics and fermented foods like lacto-fermented sauerkraut
- Extra-virgin coconut oil
- Whole cloves of garlic
- Fermented foods
- Glycyrrhizin (Licorice)
- Coenzyme Q10
- Oil of oregano
- Aloe vera juice
- Mastic gum