While some thyroid conditions are genetic, you may be surprised to find out that there are environmental toxins that can lead to thyroid dysfunction. Fortunately, there are things that you can do that will help cleanse the toxins from your body. This short article will help you understand some of the most destructive toxins and what you can do to fight against them.
Environmental Toxins to Beware
Environmental toxins are toxins in our world that are known to interrupt normal biological functioning. (1) These include bromine, chlorine, and fluoride which all block the iodine receptors in the thyroid causing thyroid dysfunction. The thyroid needs adequate iodine levels in order to produce thyroid hormones. If fluorine, chlorine, and bromine are displacing iodine, your thyroid won’t have enough iodine to produce thyroid hormones, which can lead to thyroid disorders like hypothyroidism and goiters. (2)
You may not have heard of bromine before, but this is something that you will likely come across every day. Bromine is a common additive that you can find in your food and in the products that you use around your home. It can be found in enriched flour, baked goods, citrus-flavored sodas, plastics, and pesticides. It is also used as a sanitizer if you have a hot tub and in any flame-retardant upholstery and furniture. Bromine can be stored in the thyroid’s iodine receptors, which can displace the necessary iodine. (3) The bromine can become concentrated in the thyroid, and it will interfere with its iodine uptake. It could also lead to alterations in the body’s cellular architecture and blood supply, as well as lead to a reduction in your levels of T4 and T3. (4)
Every time that your skin comes into contact with chlorine, it absorbs this chemical. You may not have thought of this as a big deal except that the chlorine can be stored in your thyroid. As the chlorine enters the body, it will displace the iodine. When chlorine lowers the levels of iodine in the body, this will hurt your body’s ability to produce the necessary thyroid hormones. The more chlorine that is absorbed in your body, the lower the iodine levels, leading to such issues as hypothyroidism and low thyroid levels. (5)
Fluoride was added to the American public water systems back in the 50s as a means to help with dental health. The problem is that this may not be as effective as you were told it was. Some studies show that fluoride may not be very effective at all. There is some evidence that it can increase cavities in children. (6) Even worse, there are plenty of studies that show fluoride is an endocrine disruptor. As such, it impacts not only your thyroid function but also your other glands that produce hormones. (7)
In the past, fluoride was used as a treatment for an overactive thyroid—hyperthyroidism. This treatment was due to fluoride’s ability to reduce hormone production in the thyroid. (8) Some studies show hypothyroidism is more prevalent—twice as much—in areas where fluoride is added to the water supply when compared to areas where it is not. (9)