It has been estimated that nearly 27 million Americans suffer with a thyroid condition that negatively impacts overall health. Such conditions may cause unexpected weight gain, fatigue, hair loss, depression, or dozens of other side effects. A reported 50% of individuals who have a thyroid condition are undiagnosed, creating the concern for greater awareness for thyroid health, function, and disease prevention.
To promote awareness for this growing health issue, Assure A Smile has created this special health report to provide an overview of what causes thyroid disorders as well as the most effective ways to keep the thyroid gland healthy.
What Causes Thyroid Disease?
Thyroid disease can be caused by a number of different things. Some individuals experience thyroid disease after medical treatments, like radiation therapy. For others, a thyroid condition may develop after years of bad nutrition. Below is a list of the most common ways in which the thyroid gland can be damaged (i):
1. Fluoride exposure.
Fluoride in water, toothpastes, mouth rinses, and other food items can cause thyroid disease by restricting the production, distribution, and “uptake” of thyroid hormone (ii).
2. Mercury exposure.
Medical research published as early as 1984 has shown patients with dental amalgam (silver fillings) are at a high risk for thyroid disorders. As noted by researchers at Colorado State University in 1990, mercury toxicity from dental amalgams seems to be a prime contributor to thyroid disease (iii).
3. Too little iodine.
Iodine helps the thyroid gland produce a normal level of thyroid hormone. Without it, the thyroid becomes unable to regulate healthy hormone production.
4. Poor diet.
Diets that are low in vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients may contribute to thyroid disease.
5. Prescription medications.
Prescription medications may also cause a thyroid condition. Lithium, a medication used to treat a number of mood disorders, is perhaps the most common example (iv). Other examples include:
- Medications for heart conditions
- Immune system medicines
- Hormone treatments (including those that treat Hypothyroidism or Hyperthyroidism)
6. Family history.
The risk of developing a thyroid disease is higher for individuals whose families have a history of pituitary disorders, endocrine disease, autoimmune disease, or other thyroid disorders.
What Can I Do About It?
Eat Better. The foods we eat have a profound affect on overall health. Eating well is essential in looking, feeling, and operating at our absolute best. To protect yourself from developing a thyroid condition, focus on eating foods that contain iodine like diary products, watercress, whole eggs, and iodized salt. Foods rich in selenium, zinc, copper, omega-3 fatty acids, coconut oil, and B vitamins are also very helpful in promoting healthy thyroid function.
Re-Train Your Thyroid, Naturally. Increasingly, health professionals are recommending that natural remedies be used to treat thyroid disorders. Whereas prescription medications introduce a synthetic form of thyroid hormone that may actually contribute to disease, natural remedies help to “re-train” the thyroid so it produces its own hormone again (v). The most common natural remedies include iron, multi-mineral, and ginseng supplements. For a full list, readers are invited to visit our article titled Improving Thyroid Health with Natural Remedies.
Find a Local Holistic Dentist. A growing body of medical research is beginning to show that fluoride and mercury are two prime contributors to thyroid disease. What many do not know, however, is that these elements are a big part of “traditional” dental practices. The fluoride content of tap water can be up to 1ppm (part per million), and traditional dental amalgams (silver fillings) may contain a mercury concentration of 50% or more.
To protect yourself from these two dangerous materials, find a local holistic dental practice that understands the health risks associated with fluoride and mercury exposure. These practices use neither fluoride nor mercury in any procedures, so you may rest assured knowing that your trips to the dental office will never expose you to toxic chemicals that may adversely affect thyroid health.
This special health report has been produced by Assure A Smile, South Florida’s Home of Holistic Dentistry. For more information, readers are invited to visit the URLs in the Sources section below. Readers may also schedule an appointment with a holistic Miami dentist online, or call our front desk directly at 305-274-0047.
Sources for this report include:
(i) Shomon, Mary. Thyroid Disease 101. About.com.
(ii) Dr. Durrant-Peatfield, Barry M.D. The Effects of Fluoride on the Thyroid Gland.
(iii) Sci Total Environ. 1990 Dec 1;99(1-2):23-35. The relationship between mercury from dental amalgam and the cardiovascular system. Siblerud RL.
(iv) Drug-Induced Hypothyroidism. Health.nytimes.com
(v) Cohen, Suzy R.Ph. (2011). Improve Your Thyroid Health – Naturally. Pg. 4.