Dr. David Clark, DC-Center for Low Thyroid Solutions in Durham, NC- talks about the common causes, or “triggers,” of Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis–the most common cause of low thyroid in the United States.
One of the most common questions asked by women suffering Low Thyroid symptoms is this one:
“What Causes Hashimoto’s Low Thyroid?”
It’s a simple but complex answer. What it boils down to is genetics and environment. It’s kind of the old argument of nature versus nurture, if you’ve ever heard that.
What I mean is that there are known genes that make you at risk for developing an autoimmune attack on your thyroid gland. However, just because you have those genes doesn’t mean they’re going to turn on and actually make you have the autoimmune attack. See, what causes the attack are triggers.
Now there’s a whole bunch of environmental triggers, but the ones I want to tell you about were just discussed recently at a meeting in May of the American Thyroid Association. There was a presentation where the presenter proved that environmental compounds, things that you find in your environment, can trigger your autoimmune thyroid.
And here they are. I’ll make sure I don’t miss any of them.
BPA… BPA is short for a nasty chemical called bisphenol A, used in a lot of plastics. It’s kind of being phased out but it is in almost every one of the canned foods that you’re buying; almost every one of them. BPA is bad for thyroid health and it can trigger Hashimoto’s.
Rocket Fuel….You hear ‘rocket fuel’ you think, well, what the heck is that? How am I getting exposed to rocket fuel? The studies have shown that around 30 to 40 percent of women in American have remnants of rocket fuel in their body. (that’s a very scary fact)
Cigarette Smoke…. Chemicals in cigarettes can trigger Hashimoto’s. So, guess what one of the risk factors for developing autoimmune thyroid disease is….smoking. Smoking is stupid anyway.
One of the other things the presenter talked about, and this usually causes a tremendous amount of controversy, so I can’t wait to see the comments I get from this…
Iodine…. Iodine can trigger your Hashimoto’s autoimmune attack. Iodine can set it off. You may think, well gosh, I saw my naturopath or my nutritionist or my alternative medical practitioner and they said I had low thyroid function and that I need iodine. —-> Wrong!
If you want to give yourself Hashimoto’s autoimmune thyroid, start taking some iodine.
Remember, the number one cause of low thyroid in America is Hashimoto’s.
This next part is extremely important for you to understand…
Iodine (and not just excessive iodine) is a trigger to turn on those genes that will give you Hashimoto’s. That should take your breath away. If you’re taking iodine right now because you had low thyroid symptoms or you had elevated TSH, you might want to consider getting off of it and talking to someone who understands what I’m telling you about.
In many parts of the world—Sri Lanka, Turkey, China–where people had goiters, when they were given iodine supplementation….it cured their goiter and….gave them Hashimoto’s!
What that has proven is that iodine is a trigger for Hashimoto’s (and I know I’m going to get a bunch of comments about this) But that idea that everybody that has low thyroid needs iodine is bogus. It’s from 50 years ago. And forget the iodine skin absorption test. There’s new scientific information that should not be ignored. Environmental triggers will set off Hashimoto’s. Iodine is one of these triggers.
So we’ve got BPA, cigarette smoking, rocket fuel, and iodine. There are other triggers, but these for were specifically mentioned at this meeting in May. This is good news for women suffering low thyroid symptoms such as hair loss, depression, fatigue and constipation. Here’s a scientist talking to a group of mainstream medical doctors about autoimmune thyroid triggers.
It will be interesting to see how many of these doctors actually put any of this new information into their practice. I’m kind of cynical…but I will tell you very few of them probably will, even though this data was presented to them at a thyroid meeting.
What most of them are going to do, they’re still just going to give you thyroid hormones. If you show up with Hashimoto’s, you’re getting thyroid hormone. They’ll totally ignore any of these environmental triggers. They’ll totally ignore your immune system.
That’s why a lot of women reading right now still have thyroid symptoms, even though they’re taking thyroid hormones and their labs are normal.
© 2010 Dr. David Clark