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How To Kick Your Thyroid’s Ass: Oh I Know, Let’s Kill Our Thyroids Even Faster

Post Published: 12 July 2009
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Category: Column, How To Kick Your Thyroid's Ass, Thyroid Nutrition and Health
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It’s going to come as a shock but this How To Kick Your Thyroid’s Ass will not actually involve food (at least in that direct sense).  I’m putting my nutritional extremism aside for one day because we have some other things to chat about.   (Crazy I know.) ,  Mainly, I’m referring to the various ways we can make our environments and lifestyles more conducive to thyroid health (and really, just better health in general).  In following the theme of the statement released by The Endocrine Society, it seems like an appropriate time to become more aware of the toxins we come in contact with everyday, in order to eliminate and avoid them and potentially gain better health and prevent future damage. ,  Because, really, all this stuff is just killing our thyroids even faster.   So here’s what we’ve gotta consider:

1. Avoid Non-Stick Cookware

Teflon, the major chemical used in creating non-stick cookware has been linked to all sorts of immune system dysfunction, including, among other things, obesity, thyroid disease and high cholesterol. ,  The specific chemical used to make Teflon, PFOA, has been linked to a startling array of terrible health complications including the death of the human body’s immune cells, and lower total counts of those proteins that help fight infection and bacteria.  It’s also known to affect thyroid function in otherwise healthy people and cause high cholesterol and obesity in children.  The scary thing with PFOA is that it never (never!) breaks down, so this chemical will always exist and cannot be destroyed, once created by manufacturers.  Teflon is not the only source of PFOAs but it is widely used and something we can eliminate from our homes immediately by switching our cookware. ,  Aside from pots and pans, other sources include food packaging (especially, though not limited to, the fast food variety), the inside of microwaveable popcorn bags, stain-resistant coatings on carpet and furniture and clothing, and other non-stick surfaces.   The really scary thing, however, is that food sources are also often times contaminated with PFOA.  Fruit and vegetables, fish and meat, bread, and milk were all found, in various states and supermarkets to contain the chemical.  It’s invading our systems — both our bodies and our planet’s ecology — and we should and can take precaution to remove them from our homes at the very least.

2. ,  Use Only Purified Water

Two major pollutants are being pumped into our water systems. ,  I’m pretty convinced they’re gonna end up making us all really sick: chlorine and fluoride. ,  Chlorine and fluoride are chemically related. ,  They both block iodine receptors and therefore cause a decrease in absorbed thyroid hormone. ,  This means, over a period of years and years of exposure to chlorinated and fluorinated water, thyroid dysfunction occurs. ,  Chlorine also causes an imbalance of the essential flora that covers our bodies: mouth, eyes, ears, intestines, skin, etc. When this flora is imbalanced, symptoms occur (from which you probably recall in This Is Not (Necessarily) About Vaginas). ,  Chlorine is found in most all paper products (it’s used for bleaching) — toilet paper, paper towels, etc, is used in wipes and diapers for babies (whose brilliant idea was that?), and also keeps swimming pools disinfected of course.  Every time we wash our hands, shower, or clean dishes, we’re being exposed.

Fluoride happens hidden in alot of products, or marketed to us as healthy. ,  Toothpaste is the most obvious source of fluoride, though it’s also in sodas and other drinks due to the fact that these companies use unpurified water to make their products. ,  Fluoride also contaminates our food sources: the water that farmers use to feed crops contains the chemical. ,  Great right? ,  Oh, and also, the water many foods are processed, washed, or canned with is unfiltered, which means we’re absorbing both chlorine and fluoride upon eating.  But if that weren’t enough, if not purchased organic, some foods are doused with pesticides that contain fluoride to kill bugs.  And get this: fluoride was once even used to treat hyperthyroidism — meaning, its thyroid-slowing effects are well-known even though our government approves it for use in the municipal water supply.

3. Avoid Plastics

Plastics contain a brand of man-made chemicals called xenoestrogens, which mimic the body’s natural hormones. They are known to cause hormonal disruption and have been linked to various diseases and ailments ranging from endometriosis and infertility to decreased sperm count, cancer, and androgyny in certain amphibians and other animals. ,  And, as I’ve said before, thyroid dysfunction is a hormonal imbalance.  It makes sense to me to not aggravate this condition, whether it be in the form of thyroid hormones or otherwise (in this case, estrogen). This information is especially pertinent for women because most non-organic beauty products contain xenoestrogens.  It sounds weird to think of plastic polymers in your shampoo or lipstick, but indeed, they are.  In order to avoid and eliminate plastics, the easiest places to start are the kitchen and bathroom.  Most of us cook with plastic utensils or store our food in plastic bags or containers.   Buying natural cosmetics and bath products also reduces your chances of exposure.  It’s impossible to avoid all plastics at this point, but we can at least make the effort.

So the moral of the story is that choosing a natural, from-the-ground approach to life is healthiest. ,  Avoiding manmade chemicals and toxins can better help to ensure our body’s normal processes and functions. ,  Buy organic whenever possible — for everything you purchase — and use less and less processed and pre-made goods — whether they be beauty products, food, or household items.  It’s very clear, as evidenced in the statement from The Endocrine Society, and now all of these resources (and thousands upon thousands of others) that the human body cannot tolerate the pollutants we have created in the name of invention and convenience.   Our thyroids and immune systems are proof enough.

Until Next Week,

Love Always,

Liz

Have a question, comment, story, love letter, or rant/rave to send me?: Liz@DearThyroid.com

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9 Responses to “How To Kick Your Thyroid’s Ass: Oh I Know, Let’s Kill Our Thyroids Even Faster”

  1. Amy says:

    Wow! Scary! I don’t microwave plastics but I do use teflon pans. Does this mean that I should get rid of them and their utensils as well? I am a big fan of klean kanteen water bottles! And my family does use all natural health and beauty products. This teflon thing is worrisome though. I guess we can always be doing more for better health. Thanks for the info! Much to consider.

  2. Enid says:

    I’ve had birds (my babies are feathered!) living with me for decades. One of the first things I learned was, throw out the teflon! Overheating teflon kills pet birds and often their humans never have a clue. Scary stuff!

    As the article says, non-stick surfaces are everywhere. Ugh, I hate to be so negative but I’d say we’ve done gone and poisoned the well.

    Remember the quote from the movie The Graduate in 1967?
    Mr. McGuire: I just want to say one word to you – just one word.
    Ben: Yes sir.
    Mr. McGuire: Are you listening?
    Ben: Yes I am.
    Mr. McGuire: ‘Plastics.’
    Ben: Exactly how do you mean?
    Mr. McGuire: There’s a great future in plastics. Think about it. Will you think about it?
    Ben: Yes I will.
    Mr. McGuire: Shh! Enough said. That’s a deal.

  3. Marilyn says:

    We pretty much ditched all our Teflon in the last couple of years. Except my rice cooker which doesn’t get hot enough to release toxic fumes so I’ve compromised because I can’t find one that isn’t aluminum and isn’t teflon.

    I focus on the fluoride; after my family moved to this fluoridated community from a fluoride-free zone, within 4 years I and all three of my daughters had developed thyroid disease. They were only 9, 11, and 15.

    I know we have a genetic tendency toward the disease since my grandmother had it, and HER mother had it (and I suspect my mom might be dabbling with it too) and maybe others in those generations too, given their cholesterol and heart issues at young ages. But I didn’t develop my problem till I was into my twenties, it went away for a while, then came back with full autoimmune force about 9 years ago.

    I am angry that we are forced to accept this horrid chemical that causes bone cancer and who knows what else, because of a colossal lie.

    Fluoridealert is one of the best websites you could have recommended for health info on fluoride. I also recommend people check out The Fluoride Deception by investigative journalist Christopher Bryson. It reads like a cloak-and-dagger mystery and will leave you never trusting anything the government tells you.

  4. quin browne says:

    stopped teflon long ago… and the only plastic i’m around is when i go to la, and hang in west hollywood…

  5. Clementine says:

    What kind of cookware should we be using? Is ceramic cast iron the same as enameled cast iron?

  6. Clementine says:

    Whichever types of cookware you recommend, please also list some trustworthy brand names if possible. Thanks in advance!

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