8 Feb 2015

Fluoride and Hypothyroidism


water_faucetFeeling tired all the time? Cold intolerant? Depressed? Constipated? Losing your hair? Do you gain weight easily, or have muscle or joint pain, or are you forgetful and unable to concentrate? These are some of the major symptoms of hypothyroidism, a condition in which your thyroid gland is not producing enough thyroid hormone or not enough hormone is getting into your cells to do its job.
If hypothyroidism is a problem for you, you may be surprised to learn that fluoride, which is dumped by the ton into much of our public water, was once used as a medication for deliberately suppressing thyroid function in cases of overactive thyroid.
Why are we dumping a thyroid-suppressing drug into our public water?  Good question!
Even the government’s National Research Council voiced concern about fluoride’s effects on the thyroid in a 2006 report. They found “clear evidence” that amounts of fluoride at or near levels added to US water present potential risks to the thyroid gland.
Nationally known thyroid experts Richard L. Shames, MD and his wife Karilee H. Shames, PhD, RN, authors of three books on thyroid health, became concerned about water fluoridation as they did the research for their first book, Thyroid Power.
Like most medical health professionals, they had been taught that fluoridation provided significant benefits with negligible risk.  But as they poured through hundreds of scientific studies, they became convinced that fluoride, together with other environmental toxins, was a major factor driving the epidemic of hypothyroidism they saw as clinicians, particularly affecting middle-aged women.
They discovered that fluoride, in amounts commonly ingested in the US:
  1.  is an endocrine disruptor that alters the function of thyroid, parathyroid, pineal, adrenal and pituitary glands;
  2. disrupts enzymes, including enzymes necessary for synthesizing thyroid hormones; and
  3.  progressively destroys G proteins. G proteins control the entrance of hormones into cells, where hormones do their work. When G proteins are damaged and destroyed, thyroid and other hormones can’t get into the cells. So you can have enough thyroid hormone circulating in your blood, but still have hypothyroid symptoms.
Thyroid hormone is made by combining iodine with the amino acid tyrosine. Another problem with fluoride is that it has a similar chemical structure to iodine, and because it is more chemically active, it tends to replace it, creating iodine deficiencies. Iodine status is already marginal in a lot of Americans, especially women of child-bearing age.
Since fluoride accumulates in your body, most Americans are in fluoride overload. If your water is fluoridated, it would be wise to purchase a reverse osmosis or distillation system to remove it (other types of filters do not remove fluoride).  Be sure to use fluoride-free toothpaste, and avoid bottled water and other bottled drinks. Tea is a significant source of fluoride unless it is certified to be low in fluoride.  Make sure you are iodine sufficient. The mineral boron helps rid the body of fluoride. And support your detox pathways with a good supplement program and regular infrared saunas.

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