Why is thyroid disease such an epidemic?
With approximately ¼ of the female population, and maybe even more, experiencing thyroid disease or dysfunction, we have to ask ourselves “what’s going on??”
Unfortunately no one really knows for sure. Autoimmune disease in general is on a rise in our country, and many thyroid patients have an autoimmune component to their thyroid disease. Practitioners have identified some root causes for thyroid disease, each patient has his or her own root cause, and may have a combination of many factors going on with their own health. We could spend an entire month focusing on each of these categories alone! These are some of the most common root causes, dozens have been identified.
TOO MUCH STRESS
Stress is one of the #1 enemies to the thyroid gland. We live in an era where many of us are constantly stressed & living in fight or flight mode. This places an enormous burden on the thyroid and wreaks havoc in our entire bodies.
Recent estimates state that a newborn baby is exposed to more toxins in its first week of life than its parent’s great-grandparents were exposed to in their entire lives. Infants are even being born with thyroid disease and an overloaded system! We live in a toxic world. Our bodies aren’t holding up to all the toxins very well. Additionally, the thyroid often stores toxins, heavy metals and chemicals. Not to mention mold concerns and EMFs which have both been shown to cause issues with the thyroid and our toxic load.
Parasitic infestations have been linked to thyroid dysfunction. While we think of parasites as affecting the gut, parasites can also reside in the thyroid further perpetuating the autoimmune attack and damage to this precious gland!
Other chronic diseases often go hand-in-hand with thyroid disease. It’s not uncommon for people to have multiple autoimmune diseases at once.
A growing field of research is showing dental procedures may be linked to thyroid disease. Everything from fillings to fluoride in dental products to metals in braces and other “hardware.” Those of us who had braces in the late ‘90s/early 2000s spent years with metal, BPA containing plastics, and chemicals in our mouths 24/7. This is not only a source of obvious toxin concerns but EMF concerns as well. Additionally research is showing root canals and wisdom tooth removal may have an effect on thyroid health.
Many thyroid patients report a significant decrease in symptoms when gluten is removed from the diet. The suspicion is that the genetic modification of gluten is playing a part in this
Poor Gut Health
All of the above lead to gut health and digestive issues. It’s kind of a vicious circle, really. Leaky gut can lead to immune system dysfunction and autoimmune diseases. This leads the body to attack itself and perpetuate the entire cycle. SIBO, candida, and other gut imbalances can all play into this cycle as well.
The Standard American Diet (SAD), our indoor lifestyle, and decreased health of soil, are a handful of factors that are leading to nutrient deficiencies. The thyroid, and the entire body, need certain nutrients to survive. Many practitioners will draw labs for specific nutrients when working with thyroid disease.
Additional root causes believed to be involved in thyroid disease include: having one’s voice ignored, mercury & other heavy metal toxicity, adrenal fatigue, infections- including chronic EBV, hormonal imbalance, pituitary dysfunction, and more
Modern life certainly has its benefits. However, many aspects of modern life are taxing on our thyroid. Knowing and treating the root cause of thyroid disease has proven to be beneficial for many thyroid patients.