3 Major Causes of Thyroid Imbalance
Lately it seems that too many people I know are struggling with thyroid disease, meaning either hypothyroidism, or hyperthyroidism. With either an over or under active thyroid, this is a symptom and your body's way of telling you that something is not right within, specifically within your endocrine system. The most important thing to understand with the thyroid, is that the issue is in your gut - in your digestive system and that is the best way to start helping your body to balance itself out.
The 3 Main Causes of Thyroid Problems are:
- Our Water Supply
You might be wondering what this is all about. So let's break it down a little more.
Food: a poor diet that has inhibited proper digestion will eventually lead to issues with absorption, digestion and assimilation of the nutrients. People with thyroid imbalances often have dry hair and brittle nails, both of which are signals that your body is not absorbing the nutrients it needs. This can be because you aren't eating proper nutrients and/or the ones you do eat are not being absorbed and able to be used by the body. Secondly, foods that are processed and non-organic foods contain and have been exposed to many pesticides and chemicals that will disrupt the function.
Water: tap water is not advisable for anyone to drink because of the chemicals within it. Specifically, fluorine and chlorine, these two chemicals inhibit your ability to absorb iodine. Iodine is a trace mineral that was once the most frequent cause of hypothyroidism.
The function of the thyroid gland is to take iodine, found in many foods, and convert it into thyroid hormones: thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3).Thyroid cells are the only cells in the body which can absorb iodine. If you have too much fluorine and chlorine in your body, you cannot properly absorb iodine and therefore your thyroid gland cannot properly make T4 and T3.
These cells combine iodine and the amino acid tyrosine to make T3 and T4. T3 and T4 are then released into the blood stream and are transported throughout the body where they control metabolism (conversion of oxygen and calories to energy).
Toothpaste: The fluoride in toothpaste again, will block absorption of iodine. Doctors used to give people with over-active thyroid fluoride on purpose to slow down its function. This was going on until the 1970s.
How much fluoride does it take cause a problem and how much are you getting from toothpaste?
Let's break this down further.
First, find your body weight in kilograms: take what you weigh in pounds and divide it by 2.2
As little as 0.05 - 0.1 mg/kg/day can have an impact on your thyroid health. Multiple your weight in kg
The National Research Council (NRC) found that as little as 0.07 - 0.13 mg/kg/day increased the prevalence of goiters.
That means if you weigh 150 lbs/2.2 = 68 kg
Multiple 68 kg x 0.05 = 3.4 and Multiple 68 kg x 0.1 = 6.8
The range of fluoride that would cause an impact is 3.4 - 6.8 mg per day
So how much is in your toothpaste? A 6.4 oz tube contains 192 mg of fluoride and a 4.6 oz tube contains 152 mg. A large tube therefore contains 56 exposures of 3.4 mg of Fluoride. And if you weigh 150 lbs, that's 56 exposures that can influence your thyroid.
If you want to read any interesting article by a dentist who did an experiment to find out about how much fluoride is in a pea sized amount vs. a stripe. Check it out here!
All of this to say that I don't use fluoridated toothpaste. There are a number of options out there but I personally use Tom's.
To give my body the best chance of proper regulation, I drink alkaline water that has passed through a treatment process to change its chemistry, I use a fluoride free toothpaste, and I eat in such a way that my digestive system has proper function, elimination and absorption.
There is so much to understand about thyroid health, but understand the everything in the body is connected and we can do many things to heal the digestive tract and use food, herbs and lifestyle to make a difference. Let me know what you do if you have a thyroid condition below!