Reposted from DearThyroid.org
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Toxins Muckin' with My Thyroid
A kind gesture from my dentist today - she graciously offers plastic bottles of water in her waiting room - turns out to be a disaster for your thyroid. My daughter eagerly grabbed a bottle and started drinking. I love my dentist, but those bottle contain bis-phenol A (BPA) and they slow down our thyroid receptors. My TSH may not reveal the injury, but my weight does, as does my sluggish morning energy.
You’ve heard the dire news on environmental pollution. I used to pitch it into the file of “things I can’t worry about right now,” but then I realized that I too was affected. Turns out my lazy thyroid was rooted in mercury toxicity and too much BPA. What I thought 5 years ago was a healthy lunch once/week of brown rice/tuna sushi rolls from Whole Foods was slowly poisoning my system as mercury mounted and shut down my thyroid hormone production. My hair fell out, I gained weight despite an aggressive exercise campaign and I was tired most of the time.
Second-hand smoke has also been shown to impair your thyroid, particularly in younger kids and infants.
If your bod can’t keep up with the steady diet of toxins that we encounter, your liver metabolism takes a hit. Leptin rises. You become cranky, irritable and tired. You develop dark circles under your eyes. The main organ tasked with detoxification is your liver, and toxic backlog is a common diagnosis in my integrative medical practice. This is well-summarized by integrative nutritionist Byron Richards:
“It is like pouring sand into the gas tank of a car, It does not matter whether the car is old or new, when the engine gets clogged, it will not run correctly. The liver must be clear all such chemicals.”
There is a definite correlation between the severity of hypothyroid symptoms and toxic exposure. Being overweight is especially complex, because toxins are stored in fat. Toxic folks have tremendous difficulty losing weight, and here’s the worst part: when you manage to lose a few pounds of fat, you get re-exposed to the toxins stored in the fat you’re burning. So unfair!
What’s a thyroidista to do?
1. Reduce exposure – you know that it’s best to drink from glass or stainless steel containers. Use them exclusively. Read Time Magazine’s recent review of what toxins do to your endocrine system and how to limit your risk. Recent data also shows that probiotics limit your absorption of BPA. Cracks in your metal dental fillings are another source of mercury – if you have metal amalgams, consider replacement with your dentist. http://tinyurl.com/GCtoxins
2. Cleanse your liver – I recommend to my patients a 30-day cleanse every 6 months. Check out our website for more information. http://gottfriedcenter.com/
3. See if you have mercury toxicity – there are many tests available commercially. I recommend a provoked test with a chelator such as DMPS. Testing is available for $79-100. Contact my staff for more info and to order your test at 510.893.3907.
For more info, check out the NRDC's excellent article on BPA-free water containers.
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- Dr. Sara Gottfried, MD
- I'm an organic gynecologist, yoga teacher + writer. I earn a living partnering with women to get them vital and self-realized again. We're born that way, but often fall off the path. Let's take your lousy mood and fatigue, and transform it into something sacred and useful.