Inner Vitality’s four-week, practitioner-supported, Health Reset program addresses many of the underlying drivers of poor thyroid function. Supporting your body to deal with daily toxin exposures takes the burden off of the thyroid gland allowing it to perform many important bodily functions.

Toxic exposures and thyroid dysfunction
We are often unaware of it but we are under constant exposure to toxins in our everyday life. How many of you have been buying bisphenol (BPA)-free products such as repeated use drinking bottles thinking that you have avoided a known endocrine-disrupting chemical? Yep me too, but it turns out that many of the chemical replacements are also bisphenols just in different forms and they are just as hormonally active1

The thyroid, one of our largest endocrine organs, is highly sensitive to environmental toxins. A broad range of chemicals, with structural similarity to thyroid hormone, has been shown to bind to thyroid receptors with both agonist and antagonist effects on thyroid hormone signalling2.  Toxins have also been shown to interfere with the production, transportation, and metabolism of thyroid hormones by a variety of mechanisms2.

Triclosan is a chemical ingredient used as an antibacterial and antifungal agent in over 2,000 commonly used products such as toothpaste, hand and body washes, hand sanitisers, antibacterial soaps, cosmetics and kitchenware. Some short-term animal studies have shown that exposure to high doses of triclosan is associated with a decrease in the levels of some thyroid hormones3.

Heavy metals such as fluoride (found in our tap water & toothpaste!), bromide, chloride, arsenic and mercury can inhibit the thyroid gland’s ability to absorb iodine – needed for the production of thyroid hormones – from the bloodstream.

What does the thyroid gland do?
The thyroid gland is made up of 2 lobes joined by a thin band of tissue (isthmus). The right lobe is more vascular and often larger than the left lobe. The gland is composed of closely packed spherical units called follicles and parafollicular cells that produce calcitonin. The thyroid gland is primarily concerned with the regulation of thyroid hormones.

Thyroid hormones play vital roles in regulating the body’s metabolic rate, heart and digestive functions, muscle control, brain development and maintenance of bones. There are two thyroid hormones. Thyroxine (T4) is the main hormone secreted into the bloodstream by the thyroid gland. It is the inactive form and it is converted to an active form called triiodothyronine (T3) by the deiodinase system in multiple tissues and organs, but especially in the liver, gut, skeletal muscle, brain and thyroid gland itself.

Certain conditions such as hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid), starvation, stress, trauma, liver dysfunction and infections can increase levels of reverse triiodothyronine (rT3) which is metabolically inactive. Reverse triiodothyronine (rT3) has a similar structure to T3 which allows it to bind to T3 cells receptors. This blocks the binding of T3 and slows down your metabolism.

The gut – thyroid link
The health of your gut and the function of your thyroid are interrelated. Poor gut health can suppress thyroid function, and low thyroid function can lead to an inflamed and leaky gut. I could write a book about the many ways in which the gut and thyroid are connected so I will just touch on some of the key points here.

Several trace elements and minerals such as iodine, iron, selenium and zinc are essential for normal thyroid hormone metabolism, therefore poor nutrient absorption via the digestive tract can impair thyroid function. Furthermore, hypothyroidism impairs gastric secretion and slows down motility which can lead to constipation, poor digestion, heartburn and small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO).

In the presence of healthy gut bacteria, about 20 percent of the inactive T4 thyroid hormone is converted into the active form of T3. Intestinal dysbiosis – an imbalance between harmful and beneficial bacteria in the gut – significantly reduces the conversion of T4 to T3. T4 and T3 have also been shown to protect the gut lining from stress-induced ulcer formation.

Food, if not digested properly, can become fuel for the growth of ‘bad’ (disease-causing) bacteria. These organisms produce toxic chemicals, and when they die, fragments of their cell membranes can be absorbed into the bloodstream, triggering an inflammatory response that can reduce thyroid function.

How do I know if my thyroid is working properly?
There are a number of reasons why your thyroid may be over or under functioning. The best way to know if your thyroid is working properly is to see a naturopath who can properly assess thyroid function pathology tests and your associated symptoms. If you experience some of the following symptoms a thorough review of your thyroid function is recommended;

  • Constant fatigue
  • Difficulty losing weight or gaining weight easily
  • Brain fog and more memory
  • Constipation
  • Mood swings
  • Muscle aches
  • Low libido
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Heart palpations
  • Menstrual problems
  • Goitre (a swelling at the base of your neck)
  • Decreased appetite
  • Dry skin or hair
  • Increased hair loss
  • Depression
  • Headaches
  • Confusion
  • Slow wound healing
  • Infertility
  • Miscarriage

The Health Reset program optimises liver, digestive, kidney, lymphatic and cellular pathways, restores gut health and promotes the elimination of toxins and heavy metals which supports the proper functioning of the thyroid gland. Book in today and in just four weeks you can significantly improve your health and wellbeing. Alternatively, if you require a more comprehensive treatment program then pay-as-you-go consultations would be best suited to your health needs – get started by booking your initial consultation today.

References:
1Rochester JR, Bolden AL. 2015. Bisphenol S and F: a systematic review and comparison of the hormonal activity of bisphenol A substitutes. Environ Health Perspective 123:643–650; http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1408989
2Patrick L 2009 ‘Thyroid Disruption: Mechanism and Clinical Implications in Human Health’, Alternative Medicine Review: A Journal of Clinical Therapeutic, vol.14 (4) pp 326-46
3 FDA – US Food and Drug Administration https://www.fda.gov/ForConsum…/ConsumerUpdates/ucm205999.htm