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We all know that an underactive thyroid can lead to fatigue, cold hands and feet, muscle aches and of course the biggie… weight gain.
And, if you live with thyroid problems, you know the struggle it is to get in shape when your own body is fighting against you.
The good and the bad news is that you’re not alone.
Thyroid disorders have become an epidemic in our country, yet doctors seem to write them off as a problem caused by not enough prescription medication — since that’s about all the help you’ll get when you go to your doctor for help — and completely ignore the underlying cause behind these thyroid problems.
So, what is that’s actually destroying your thyroid levels? Were you just unlucky in the genetic lottery? Or, is it something more?
Two chemicals bringing your thyroid levels down
That question was answered by research at the University of Michigan.
They started with a theory based on previous research that BPA found in certain plastic water bottles and in the linings of canned foods was altering our thyroid hormone levels. Then, they expanded their research to include other phthalates (chemicals like BPA) used in plastic.
And, guess what…
They were right.
After analyzing urine sample of over 1,660 people for both urinary phthalate metabolites and BPA and comparing them to the thyroid hormone levels in their blood, they discovered that the more BPA and phthalates in their body, the lower their thyroid levels.
In other words, the more of these chemicals — phthalates and BPA — you have in your body, the less likely your thyroid will work properly… and the more likely you are to feel tired and cold all the time and end up overweight.
Basically, these compounds are conducting chemical warfare against your thyroid… And, winning.
Avoiding BPA and phthalates for a healthier thyroid
This means that if you want to improve your thyroid levels and function, your first step is to avoid as much BPA and phthalate exposure as you can.
#1 – Avoid canned food
The first way to do this is to decrease the amount of canned food you eat since research shows that eating just one canned food in the previous 24 hours increases your BPA levels by 24 percent.
And, some canned foods are worse offenders than others. Eating canned soup increased the amount of BPA in your body by a whopping 229 percent versus eating no canned foods.
#2 – Watch your plastics
If the plastic water bottle, bowl or other dinnerware you’re using has a recycling code 3 or 7, throw it out since that indicates it is made using phthalates. Codes that are safe are 1, 2 and 5.
#3 – Read your labels
Phthalates are found in cosmetics and personal care products too, usually disguised under the terms “fragrance” or “parfum.” Look for products that make the claim to be “phthalate-free” or have “no synthetic fragrances.”
#4 – Go organic
Phthalates can also be found in pesticides used on the produce you buy and, in the feed, given to animals, so it’s important to stick to organic food if at all possible.
Thyroid supporting supplements
In addition to avoiding damage to your thyroid with further BPA and phthalate exposure, you’ll also want to help restore and optimize its function.
The best way to do this is by adding in thyroid-supporting supplements. These include:
- Iodine – Iodine provides your thyroid the fuel it needs to create the critical T3 and T4 hormones. And, the best source of iodine is kelp.
- L-Tyrosine – This powerful amino acid partners with iodine to create T3 and T4 hormones needed to help efficiently metabolize your calories for to lose or maintain your weight.
- Selenium – This naturally-occurring trace mineral helps convert relatively inactive T4s to the active thyroid hormone T3 so your body can use it.
- Zinc – Zinc is an essential mineral that also helps convert the T4 hormone to the more active T3, to support a healthy metabolism. And, as an added bonus, it also releases the vitamin A stored in your liver to help to improve the health of your thyroid levels.
- Copper – This trace mineral helps stimulate your thyroid and protect your body from too much thyroxine building up in the blood.
- Ashwagandha Root – A strong antioxidant, ashwagandha helps protect your thyroid, allowing it to function better and produce more T4. Plus, it works as an immune modulator to help regulate autoimmune inflammation (like Hashimoto’s thyroiditis) that can cause under-active thyroid.
A healthy thyroid equals a healthier you. See your doctor if you suspect thyroid problems and protect your thyroid from the damage caused by BPA and phthalates.
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- Large human study links phthalates, BPA and thyroid hormone levels — University of Michigan
- Canned foods linked to BPA risk in new study %mdash; CNN
- How to Avoid Phthalates (Even Though You Can’t Avoid Phthalates) — Huffington Post