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How To Kick Your Thyroid’s Ass: Is Good Health Free? And, The Chemical-Free-Life Challenge!

Post Published: 11 April 2010
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Category: Column, How To Kick Your Thyroid's Ass, thyroid nutrition and health column
This post currently has 14 responses. Leave a comment

For me, an important part of gaining more wellness has been examining my health and medicine paradigm and dissecting it for what it is. I have come face to face with the reality that many of the things I accept(ed) as truth and many of the things I never before consciously recognized were actually contributing to my illness. And this is a given, taken the fact that those in power above us (those who dictate what is safe for our bodies, and what is best for our health) are often at the mercy of the financial interests of huge corporations. Sometimes the bottom line is not about our health; sometimes the bottom line is about other people making money. Only since I have realized the financial incentives linking “safe” foods, “safe” chemicals, and “safe” pharmaceuticals, have I been able to reject the idea that the big men in charge are looking out for the best interests of the public health and safety; indeed, they are out to make money.

To elaborate: it is not in the financial interest of a doctor to cure a disease. A chronically-ill patient will make a physician and a drug company considerably more money over a lifetime of treatment, scripts, and appointments. I do not think your doctor is purposefully keeping you sick. However, it is clear (via our own firsthand experiences) that many mainstream physicians would never be interested in thinking “outside the box” and coming up with non-traditional therapies — even those that have been PROVEN to be effective (hello gluten intolerance! Hello food allergies! Hello vitamin and mineral therapy! Hello probiotics!). This is why so many chronically-ill people seek alternative care, and indeed, find relief.

More elaboration?

The United States is the only country (along with New Zealand) that allows direct-to-consumer drug advertising. By the time we get to the doctor’s office, we’re begging the doctor for the drugs ourselves because the people on TV seem so happy and carefree now that they’re on medication.   Where is the open dialogue about simple and FREE lifestyle changes?

In the United States, the government does not do independent testing of pharmaceuticals. Instead, it relies on internal studies from drug manufacturers. The same is true for food companies. Is for-profit self-regulation safe for public welfare? Or, better yet, is for-profit self-regulation safe for public welfare when the product in question is being ingested?

If a doctor in the U.S. cures an individual of a disease using non-pharmaceutical methods (an indeed goes public with this information), he will be sued by the FDA (or FTC) because, in this country, only drugs are allowed to prevent, treat, or cure an illness. Just how many diseases have a non-pharmaceutical cure that is deemed illegal due to FDA protocol?

The Environmental Protection Agency has set safe limits for known carcinogens and known endocrine disruptors.   Safe limits for cancer-causing, people-killing, obesity-producing, infertility-creating chemicals. Safe limits.

These statements are not about specific politics or choosing party lines. This is about the idea that the people in charge are not looking out for our safety. This is about the idea that we need to be very specific and choosy about whom we allow to influence and control our health. YOU are the BEST person to be in control of it because you will always have your own best interests in mind (and don’t let people scare you of yourself; don’t let someone create a fear of your own health decisions in yourself. Just why is you being in charge of your body so damn dangerous? Stop letting people instill fear of your own choices. Why can’t you have sovereignty over your body?). Notice whom and what influences your health choices. Notice who says something is safe, normal, or routine, and WHY — is it because a company told them so? More over, this is about the basic human right to good health. Good health isn’t something we should have to buy or something that is advertised on television.

It’s taken a while but I’ve rejected synthetic cleaners, hygiene products, and over-the-counter medications. I do not consume chemicals (processed/industrial food), I do not store my food in contact with chemicals (plastics), I do not cook on chemicals (Teflon), I do not bathe in or slather on chemicals. Of course, this is all to the best of my knowledge — even as much as we try, it would be impossible to avoid everything because we simply never know, and in addition, many environmental factors are too transient to eliminate.

So for the next two weeks, I’m challenging you to a chemical-free life — an attempt at doing something “dangerous” and taking control away from companies and corporations and into your own hands. Can you reject synthetics and chemicals in shampoo, toothpaste, food, cleaning products, laundry detergent, plastics, pots and pans, and unfiltered water? If those with endocrine disease or cancer did, what sort of health gains would we incur? What would the result be? At this point, if we have a disease, what harm could a chemical-free life do? It won’t be easy, but what harm could returning to the way people have always lived really do us? HTKYTA and I will be on hiatus this upcoming Sunday, but will return the following week to hear how you all fared. Just know that I’m in this with you.

Some chemical/synthetic-free suggestions:

  • store food and drinks in glass
  • drink truly filtered water (chlorine- and fluoride-free)
  • use natural hygiene and beauty products that are free of chemicals and heavy metals (deodorant, toothpaste, shampoo, dental floss)
  • go without make-up if yours is synthetic
  • baking soda can clean anything — from your teeth to your kitchen sink, no joke (make sure to buy the aluminum-free variety)
  • coconut oil is a natural moisturizer and conditioner (though, any light-scented oils work here)
  • chemical-free bars of soap at the health food store cost under $2.00
  • re-heat foods on the stove top, not in the microwave

Let me leave you today with a thought from a book I’m reading, the quote reminding me of what disease steals from us: “Consequently, what was once man’s confident expectation of suitable treatment and surroundings is now so frustrated that a person often thinks himself lucky if he is not actually homeless or in pain. But even as he is saying, ‘I’m all right,’ there is in him a sense of loss, a longing for something he cannot name, a feeling of being off-center, of something missing. Asked point blank, he will seldom deny it.

See you in two weeks,

Love Always,

Liz

Question or comment? Email me at Liz@DearThyroid.ORG; I’d love to chat. And if you’ve emailed me within the last few weeks and I haven’t responded, please re-send; I’ve been having some email problems. Thanks!

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14 Responses to “How To Kick Your Thyroid’s Ass: Is Good Health Free? And, The Chemical-Free-Life Challenge!

  1. amy says:

    Well, I am, almost there! I do not eat processed foods, I have been storing in glass, I have used natural hygiene for ages but, the one thing I am still working on switching over is my pots and pans. I have one stainless steel pressure cooker and a few cast irons and the rest are teflon. This last week I have felt so convicted about using them I have mostly got by w/the non teflons. I am going off island this next weekend and I am planning on buying some even if I have to do it on credit. My husband understands most of my health-related decisions but he thinks the teflon is fine b/c we do not get it that hot and they are in good condition. I do not feel the same way.
    We have to control what we can!!! So, I will try to use the other pots and pans and be creative until I get new cookware. How interesting that you point out something that I have really been wanting to change! Good advice and article, Liz!

  2. Lolly says:

    Liz another great article from you and so true, we do have to examaine our life style admittidly it isn;t always easy when youy have adertisement saying how great a food us or a product we don’t advertise percription drugs here in the UK.

    and you know you have a point about it being a money making thing how many doctors really want to get you back to good health by offering you alternative advice or diet changes or pointing you in the right direction no because they need the costume if they pass you to someone lese they lose out because you would be better off in many respects.

    How cvan you change this way of thinking because it’s patients lives they are messing with.

    BTW I changed my pots years ago from teflon long before it became the trend I still know many people who use them and have told them about the chemical changes and usng plastic in microwaves.

    Food for thought

    Lollyx

  3. AWESOME… I accept the challenge!

    A few remarks about the reading:

    Many mainstream physicians would never be interested in thinking “outside the box” :: very true. It has been my experience medical school are interested in student that can be indoctrinated just looking at various friends who have applied to medical school. And by that I mean those that do not do their own research and basically study ONLY material given to them by professors and books. This is why MDs are usually more skeptical than PhDs :: And no… Not all MDs are like this.

    Good point about the drug advertisements. If doctors are trained to know what drugs to prescibe (and for good reason – drugs are toxic/lethal) why in the world should we (laymen) be entrsuted with that information? :: A friend of mine took his little girl to 22 different doctors until one prescribed what he asked the previous 21. Those others said that it wasn’t necessary. He called them incompitent because they were not up-to-date on available medications.

    Just how many diseases have a non-pharmaceutical cure that is deemed illegal due to FDA protocol? :: Lemons and scurvy, water and dehydration, etc. Here’s the technical aspect. These don’t cure the conditions. But the condition/illness will present itself in their absence.

    Safe limits for cancer-causing, people-killing, obesity-producing, infertility-creating chemicals. Safe limits. :: impossible to predict! Those non-stick pans, for example… Those were sold on shelves without being tested. When they did get tested, bahm… thyroid issues. There are plenty of examples, this just happens to be a fairly recent one that you will appreciate.

    As you said, it is impossible to get away from the mess this world is. Microwave signals for information, wifi, electromagnetic waves from power cables, and on and on. I’ve been asked, “why do you eat so healthy at home if according to you you are bombarded with junk anyways”. My response, “I will not betray my body on purpose. There are a lot of things I cannot do anything about. But there are also a lot of things that I can. And by doing those things right, I have an better chance agains damage from what I don’t have control over.”

    Can you reject synthetics and chemicals in shampoo, toothpaste, food, cleaning products, laundry detergent, plastics, pots and pans, and unfiltered water? :: deodorants … I admit that when I go out I do have to put deodorant on.. I sweat a ton. But when I get home, shower and put nothing. Weekends, when I don’t have to leave the house, nothing. But outside of that, biodegradable and organic soaps, cleaners, and toothpastes all over the house.

    Kevin :: Glyco Trainer
    On Twitter: @glycotrainer

  4. Lolly says:

    Kevin,

    You put it so well what we can’t change we can certainly do something about the things we can.

    I love this bit.

    As you said, it is impossible to get away from the mess this world is. Microwave signals for information, wifi, electromagnetic waves from power cables, and on and on. I’ve been asked, “why do you eat so healthy at home if according to you you are bombarded with junk anyways”. My response, “I will not betray my body on purpose. There are a lot of things I cannot do anything about. But there are also a lot of things that I can. And by doing those things right, I have an better chance agains damage from what I don’t have control over…

    I couldn’t have put better myself, but that is just what I was getting at well trying too.

    Lolly

  5. Liz says:

    Amy, good for you for being so attentive to stuff like this! What I found, when I tossed my plastics and Teflon from the kitchen is going to thrift stores is a very cheap and easy way to replace any toxic cookware. There are always tons of non non-stick (just metal) pots and pans at my local thrift stores. Not only is it cheap, but it’s eco-friendly, and body-friendly (especially for the thyroid!)!! :)

  6. Liz says:

    Lolly, good points! Yes, you’re so right. It is really difficult to get out of this frame of thinking. But, imagine all the good that could be done if docs didn’t just settle for a prescription, but actively worked to find lifestyle solutions that were FREE (or very cheap) to help us gain more wellness! It would be absolutely REVOLUTIONARY!

  7. Liz says:

    Kevin, very poignant information as always! I love what you said here: “Here’s the technical aspect. These don’t cure the conditions. But the condition/illness will present itself in their absence.” Hmm… so if we begin to think along these lines, we can continue to find logical natural methods to ease symptoms; ie: a symptom is a request by the body for something, is essentially what you’re saying, right? Very poignant stuff.

    And about the hygiene products… health food stores carry so many, even deodorant like you mentioned, and for cheap… under $5.00, and it’ll be free of chemicals and heavy metals.

  8. lori says:

    i’ve always thought a big downfall was when they started doing drug commercials. i’ve always hated commercials but the drug ones are the worst. doctors don’t generally know that much about drugs, even the ones they prescribe the most. they get their information from the good old drug rep they get all their samples and goodies from. there is always the exception doc who does his own research but there are not enough of them to go around. i have always wondered if the food and drug manufacturers are in each others pockets. i do believe most of them do not even see us as human beings, we are a commodity, a means to the almighty dollar.

    unfortunately, i cannot be 100% free, as much as i would prefer that, but i’ve made many improvements such as cleaning products, toothpaste, cooking utensils, etc. Several I was already doing.

    i fear what illnesses the next couple of generations will be dealing with because of all the pollutants being passed on. i hope it’s not too late.

    thanks, Liz, as always you bring light to important issues.

  9. Lori.. I see two mayor problems with drug commercials:

    1) They are educating an otherwise uneducated public. Someone hears “If you have frequent urges to urinate, you have leakyurineitis (fake name, obviously), ask your doctor for leaknomorin”. As Liz mentioned, patients many times walk in DEMANDING medications. And many times a non-compliant doctor is labeled as someone who doesn’t know what he/she is talking about (as was the case w/ my friend when he took his 10 month old to 22 different doctors).

    2) Look at most (or at least some) of the commercials. They have songs, they have neat little animations, or use cute animals/logos. I know they say they are not targeting kids… But I haven’t seen a cartoon on TV in a long time (at least not willingly). So I know they aren’t trying to market at me.

    Liz… sortta. A symptom is very different than an underlying problem. For example, bleeding gums. This can come from MANY different illnesses, on of which happens to be scurvy (sticking with my previous example). But let’s say you get bleeding gums and you eat lemons thinking it’s from scurvy because you read somewhere this was a symptom of scurvy. But if the symptom presents itself because you just don’t brush your teeth and you have plaque build up, the lemon will do little for it.

    So more than the symptom, I’d say have to say that an illness is a request by the body for something. This does not apply to acute conditions like a heart attack or diabetic shock, for example. These are things that need to be taken care of at the hospital right away. At this point, medical care is the only way.

    My comment was more directed to initial symptoms, prevention, and even to help with recovery.

    Again, thank you for the article, Liz.

  10. Robyn says:

    Liz,
    I’m with you all the way. I have already been thinking about water filtering. I have a Britta, but that doesn’t get the halogen twins, so I’ve been loosely researching other options. I already comply with pretty much all the rest of it–I mostly reheat stuff on a small pizza stone type plate in my toaster oven instead of the microwave. I haven’t found a good natural deodorant, though–Whew!

    Have fun in Key West!

  11. M says:

    I know of a situation where woman who went to various doctor’s for a chronic condition and none of them were able to help her. After a lot of looking around, she found one guy who was willing to treat her with herbs and nutrients. She soon got better and was so irate that none of the other doctor’s were willing to help her when what she needed had been rather straight forward. So she wrote a letter to the American Medical Association telling them what her doc. had done for her. You want to know what happened? They revoked his licence!

  12. Krystina says:

    If you’re trying to reduce your exposure to the unnatural and potentially harmful, keep in mind that 77% of the antibiotics produced in the U.S. are given to farm animals, along with pesticide-covered GMO grains, and growth hormones. These accumulate in the animals’ bodies like mercury in fish! Eating animal products, including dairy and eggs, means ingesting a LOT of unlabeled junk second-hand. We really are what we eat.

    Do you mind if I ask what book you’re reading? I love that quote, and would like to hear more from the author.

  13. Em says:

    Wow . . . okay this is the kick in the butt that I needed to move myself along!

    I’ve been toying with a diet change to less meat (no red meat) and mostly plant based proteins, but cutting out soy and processed sugars. I didn’t know about the non-stick coating! Cast iron here I come!!

    I need to print this out and read it more closely!

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