How to Make Your Home Thyroid-Friendly
Advice for boosting thyroid function or reversing thyroid disease tends to focus on diet and supplement factors only. However, the thyroid is incredibly sensitive to all external factors as well as diet. Making a home thyroid-friendly can help to reduce stressors that lead to thyroid dysfunction.
Why is the thyroid so sensitive? All endocrine organs rely on messengers to communicate when and how much hormone to produce. These messengers respond to stress — including emotional, mental, physical, or environmental stress — and can over- or underproduce hormones as a result.
The thyroid produces two hormones: thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). TSH, or thyroid-stimulating hormone, is produced by the pituitary gland in the brain to instruct the thyroid when more hormones need to be made. When TSH signals are sent, the thyroid makes T4 (the inactive form of thyroid hormone). T3, the active thyroid hormone, is then produced when cells in the body activate it from the inactive form.
Thyroid dysfunction is a common problem, and 7 out of 8 people who suffer from it are women. The thyroid can either produce too little or too much hormone, resulting in unpleasant symptoms on both ends of the spectrum. When the immune system becomes involved, the thyroid disorder is an autoimmune disease that responds to the immune production of antibodies aimed at targeting the thyroid.
The thyroid regulates metabolism and energy levels, so when thyroid hormone is low, energy levels are low and weight gain often occurs. When thyroid levels are excessively high, weight loss may occur, along with heart palpitations and bouts of anxiety.
Your thyroid is also sensitive to toxins which are absorbed through dietary, lifestyle, and environmental sources. These toxins can overwhelm the liver and other detox organs, and remain within the body, exerting an influence over hormone production. Toxins that have this effect within the body are known as endocrine disruptors, and there are several that research has shown interfere with thyroid hormones
BPA (bisphenol A)
Phthalates are often found in anything with a scent or fragrance, but very often don’t even have to be disclosed on product labels. BPA is notoriously found in plastic items. Recent awareness has led to a whole slew of products marketed as “BPA-free,” but what isn’t disclosed on labels or as common knowledge is that most of those products contain BPS (bisphenol S), and when BPS enters the body it behaves in much the same way as BPA. Flame retardants are often found in furniture and carpets, as well as many children’s products like car seats, mattresses, and even pajamas, and their health impact goes way beyond the thyroid — even to cognitive performance and abilities! Perfluorinated chemicals can be found anywhere from the public water supply to carpets to food items and even breast milk.
As you can see, toxins seem to be everywhere around us, but in most cases, there are toxin-free alternatives. For the sake of thyroid health, we need to go beyond our diets to improve wellness and hormone production from the outside and the inside.
Bottom line: The thyroid is temperamental and even if food sources are clean, lifestyle factors need to be addressed.
Cleaning up the home starts with the kitchen. Paleo is thyroid-friendly because it reduces food toxin sources. But let’s take it beyond that. Within our kitchens there can be numerous sources of toxins right under our noses. Plastic mixing bowls or food storage dishes. Nonstick skillets. Single-brew coffee makers.
When plastics get heated, they release toxins. When nonstick pans are heated over high heat, they can release chemicals that can cause flu-like symptoms in some cases. The dangers of single-brew coffee makers have made the rounds, pointing out the high heat going through cheap plastic cups that contain the coffee or other beverages.
There are safe alternatives to each of these things. However, I understand that most people can’t throw out all of their plasticware and nonstick pans. The factors to keep in mind are these:
Don’t use the “heated dry” setting on your dishwasher if you put plastic or nonstick pans in there.
Don’t preheat nonstick pans on medium-high or high heat.
Don’t microwave plastic containers, ever.
When replacing plastic items, opt for glass or stainless steel.
When replacing nonstick pans, opt for stainless steel or cast iron.
Choose a coffee brewing system that avoids use of plastic, such as a single-brew, pour-over option in stainless. Source:paleohacks