As a health care practicioner, I am amazed at how often I hear about thyroid malfunction. It is estimated that 10% of the US population suffers with thyroid problems with 95% of those being hypothyroid, where there is too little thyroid hormone being produced. The other 5% of diagnosed thyroid disorders are hyperthyroid, as in excessive thyroid hormone production.
Thyroid hormone stokes our metabolic furnaces causing increased heat production and energy formation. When thyroid production is low, energy levels as well as body heat are also low. This also causes the heart to function at a reduced level of efficiency, resulting in low oxygen state within our tissues and cells. This creates an environment prone to cancer development. In addition, low thyroid is linked to high cholesterol, blood pressure abnormalities, other hormone dysregulations, etc.
People with low thyroid levels often have a higher level of inertia and need a larger push to get up, get moving, and take proactive steps in their life. This is clearly evidenced in older people who move so slowly that it seems like every action is a huge chore. On the flip side, hyperthyroidism creates too much energy, leaving the individual hot, wired, and over anxious/stressed.
In response to several factors (cold weather, adrenal hormone release, and low thyroid hormone) the hypothalamus secretes thyroid releasing hormone which penetrates the pituitary gland and causes it to secrete thyroid stimulating hormone, which activates thyroid hormone. Thyroid hormone consists of T3 (triiodothyronine) and T-4 (thyroxine). 98.5% of circulating thyroid hormone is the T-4 version. T-3 is produced in the thyroid (small amount), converted to T-4 which circulates in the blood stream until it reaches the tissues to which it is then converted to T-3 which affects the metabolism of tissue cells.
The thyroid gland, like any other organ of the body becomes sick when it is: Toxic, Deficient, or both Toxic & Deficient. The thyroid is an extremely sensitive organ that
1. Fluoride that is in our water, toothpaste, & many pesticides.
According to the National Research Council (2006), "Fluoride exposure in humans is associated with elevated TSH concentrations, increased goiter prevalence, and altered T4 and T3 concentrations; similar effects on T4 and T3 are reported in experimental animals...In summary, evidence of several types indicates that fluoride affects normal endocrine function or response; the effects of the fluoride-induced changes vary in degree and kind in different individuals. Fluoride is therefore an endocrine disruptor in the broad sense of altering normal endocrine function or response
2. Soy Products
Three factors within soy that combine to block the production of thyroid hormone are Goitrogens, Genistein, and Phytates.
- Goitrogens, substances that can block the production of thyroid hormone as well as cause goiter formation.
- Phytates (phytic acids) found in soy bind up zinc and copper, leaving little of these critical minerals available to make thyroid hormone.
- Genistein, an isoflavone found in soybeans, blocks thyroid production.
- It shuts down a critical transport protein, GLUT1, which sendsglucose into the cells to be used to generate energy. Slowing the transport of glucose means less energy production not only of thyroid hormone, but of every other action in the body.
- Inhibits tyrosine kinases, enzymes involved in the transfer of energy from one molecule to another.These enzymes are also critical for cell division, memory consolidation, tissue repair, & blood vessel formation.
3) Pesticides, Hydrocarbons, & Ionizing Radiation: All affect hormone function.
a. Hydrocarbon molecules have a high affinity to thyroid transport proteins
b. PCBs, DDT and its metabolites, and several organochlorine pesticides (acetochlor, alachlor and methoprene) bind to human thyroid hormone receptors and thyroid hormone transport proteins.
c. Hydroxylated PCBs bound to the human thyroid receptor, but had a great binding affinity to the thyroid transport protein, transthyretin
d. Brominated flame retardants are very potent competitors for T4 binding sites and may have effects on thyroid hormone homeostasis.
4) High Omega 6 Oils:
a. A disproportioned omega 6:3 ratio blocks thyroid hormone secretion, its movement in the circulatory system, and the response of tissues to the hormone.
b.When the thyroid hormone is deficient, the body is generally exposed to increased levels of estrogen.
c.The thyroid hormone is essential for making the 'protective hormones' progesterone and pregnenolone, so these hormones are lowered when anything interferes with the function of the thyroid.
d.The thyroid hormone is required for using and eliminating cholesterol, so cholesterol is likely to be raised by anything that blocks the thyroid function.
5) Heavy Metal Toxicity:
- Heavy metals such as mercury (vaccines, amalgum fillings, fish, high fructose corn syrup, etc.) cross the blood brain barrier & have a high affinity for the hypothalmus.
- If the hypothalamus is "plugged" with mercury, TRH release is affected, causing disproportionate release and thyroid disruption.
- Iodine: A necessary ingredient (raw materials) to produce T3 & T4.
- Zinc: Zinc is usually high in hyperthyroid disorders & low in hypothyroid disorders.
- Selenium: Selenium is an active part of an enzyme needed for the thyroid gland to effectively produce the T3 & T4 hormones.
- Copper: Copper stimulates the production of the thyroxine hormone (T4), and prevents over-absorption of T4 in the blood cells by controlling the body's calcium levels (Calcium is required for the stabilization of cell membranes and reduces cell permeability).
- Nerve Supply: A deficiency in proper C7 (the nerve that brings life, healing, & function to the thyroid) nerve supply, forward head posture, and advanced spinal degeneration leads to an accumulation of abnormal thyroid cells that function poorly.
- EPA & DHA are necessary for healthy cell membrane function
- Vitamin D deficiency: Vit D and thyroid hormones both bind to similar steroid receptors Vit D has a pro-hormone function, enhancing the bodies entire endocrine response.
- Dehydration causes a lowered thyroid metabolism and energy efficiency.
Thyroid hormone abnormalities are a common day epidemic that is growing to extraordinary levels. The great news is that God created our bodies with an incredible ability to heal. Learn how to prevent or reverse thyroid problems and stoke your metabolism, your hormone function, and your ability to maximize energy production and maintain a healthy weight.