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by Lorraine Marie
Make sure your drinking water is not a thyroid antagonist.
It’s pretty basic: Iodine is essential to the function of the thyroid. The thyroid is essential to the function of your body. That said, the thyroid is under threat not only from iodine deficiency, but from unprecedented levels of industrial pollutants. Some of those toxins are in municipally treated as well as untreated drinking water.
Chemicals that may impact your thyroid include:
Fluorine and chlorine, commonly used to treat water, and bromines, found in pesticides.
Dioxins; the EPA says it can find its way into water from smelting, chemical manufacturing and use of burn barrels.
Heavy metals. Notably, mercury toxicity can impact the thyroid’s T3 and T4 conversion.
Perchlorate can disrupt the thyroid’s hormone production process, and is found in fertilizers, some varieties of bleach -- and most people’s blood. EPA calls it a likely carcinogen.
Pesticides. Figures show at least 1 billion pounds used annually in the U.S., and 5.6 billion pounds worldwide.
PCBs can mess with thyroid hormones. They were outlawed but linger in the environment from use in paints, electrical equipment, flame retardants, pesticides, hydraulic fluids, etc.
BPA, from plastics, is another hormone-disrupting chemical, associated with low-sperm count. It can survive wastewater treatment.
Flame retardants (think clothing and furniture, from PBDE), are now found in natural water sources.
PFOA, used in stain-resistant carpeting and non-stick cookware, can be found in water sources.
Anti-bacterial products; the ingredient triclosan has been found in fish and in freshwater streams. It is associated with anti-biotic resistance as well as hormone disruption.
Radiation exposure can come from nuclear fallout (that can invade your water) and medical radiation.
UV filters; rat studies show they can decrease the circulation of thyroid hormones. Found in sunscreens and cosmetics, they also increasingly show up in water, and can mimic hormones.
A quick thyroid refresher course: Unhealthy thyroid function can manifest as hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, thyroid disease or thyroid cancer (the latter has more than doubled since the 1970’s). Thyroid hormones also influence mental function. And if the body has too-high levels of calcium in the blood, the thyroid produces calcitonin, which arranges either storage in bones or flushing out the excess.
An underactive (hypoactive) thyroid can affect every organ: think fatigue, cold hands and feet, infertility problems, muscle cramps, weakness, constipation, thinning and or brittle hair. There can also be an impact on speech, reflexes and memory. Untreated thyroid issues in infants can cause cretinism -- stunted growth, pale skin, mental impairment, and observable goiters.
A hypoactive thyroid manifesting as a goiter can increase the risk for heart failure and heart attack, and cause weight gain, water retention, and premature death -- an overgrown goiter can squeeze the trachea and cause choking and suffocation.
Hyperthyroidism triggers too many thyroid hormones, which can cause increased mental and physical activity, and may also manifest as sweating, nervousness, insomnia, diarrhea, and even bulging eyes.
So yes, your thyroid is important. Whether or not your thyroid currently has a problem, your body will thank you for keeping thyroid antagonists out of your water by adopting an appropriate water filtration system. Dodge those ingredients the body was never designed to handle.
Sources: 11 everyday toxins that are harming your thyroid, by Wm. C. Cole, D.C. Functional Medicine Practitioner; Six toxins that destroy your thyroid, by Dr. Edward Group, DC, NP; The chemicals that can affect your metabolism, 10-8-15, Huffington Post; Undoctored, by William Davis, MD; The trouble with ingredients in sunscreen, by the Environmental Working Group. For more thyroid information, check out undoctoredehealth.com or stopthethyroidmadness.com .
At Highwater Filters, we've got a large selection of water filters that reduce and remove contaminants that could affect your health. Look for a wide spectrum or multi-stage filter system in tandem with bone char for fluoride for the best protection. We've also got filters for radiation.
Click here for a wide selection of kitchen water filters.
Feel free to contact us at email@example.com or call 509-685-0933 for help deciding on the right filter for your water.
Thanks for reading!