Uncovering what causes a thyroid problem can save years of suffering and heartache. WHY is that?
As a Naturopath I believe it’s vital to uncover, then treat the root causes rather than simply trying to treat the symptoms.
With this in mind, here is a list of the main factors that put you at risk of developing a thyroid disorder.
What Causes a Thyroid Problem May Surprise You!
Low intake of thyroid-supporting nutrients
Your thyroid struggles when there is low intake of essential thyroid-supporting nutrients. For example, selenium, iodine, zinc, and healthy dietary fats are critical for day to day thyroid function.
An autoimmune attack triggers inflammation and ongoing destruction of the thyroid tissue. Over time this interferes with day to day function of the thyroid and subsequently leads to a range of hypothyroid symptoms.
Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is the most common autoimmune thyroid disease, especially among women.
Chronic active infections
Researchers have established a clear link between chronic infections and autoimmune thyroid disorders. The main viruses that establish life-long infection and those commonly associated with chronic health issues include:
- Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) antibodies.
- Cytomegalovirus (CMV) antibodies.
- Hepatitis B virus (HBV)) antibodies.
- Hepatitis C virus (HCV) antibodies.
- Herpes simplex virus (HSV) antibodies.
- Varicella Zoster virus antibodies.
Coexisting Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is a tick-borne infection caused by spirochete bacteria known as Borrelia burgdorferi. It’s well-recognized that some people experience lingering symptoms well after the initial infection, and a subset suffer significant functional impairment. Future research may establish that borrelia proteins are capable of triggering autoimmune thyroid disease.
A candida overgrowth in the digestive tract is usually associated with a systemic yeast infection in the rest of the body. This type of infection can weaken your immunity and undermine your overall health and vitality.
Thyroid disrupting chemicals
The thyroid is extremely vulnerable to the effects of toxic environmental chemicals. Thyroid problems are therefore becoming more common. These days we are exposed to a range of thyroid disrupting chemicals as they end up in our food, water and in the air we breathe.
Thyroid damaging foods
The highly processed, nutrient deficient foods that now fill our supermarkets are extremely damaging to the thyroid. You may already know the biggest threats are sugar, soy, artificial sweeteners, and processed vegetable oils.
Consuming raw cruciferous vegetables
These veggies have thyroid-suppressing properties because they contain plant compounds known as goitrogens. One example is kale. This vegetable is widely promoted as a nutritional powerhouse but the truth is adding this cruciferous veggie to your daily green juice can potentially shut down healthy thyroid activity. This is the dark side of consuming too much kale.
Strong family history
It seems genetics do matter. An inherited weakness can make you susceptible to developing a thyroid disorder. That’s why a family history of thyroid disease, or any type of autoimmune illness puts you at greater risk of developing a thyroid problem.
Faulty MTHFR gene mutation
The methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene contains the genetic code to produce the MTHFR enzyme. This enzyme sparks activity within all cells, and plays an integral role in activating folate.
In turn, folate supports proper methylation processes. Methylation pathways regulate cell turnover, energy metabolism, neurological function, liver detoxification, and immune function.
Poor liver function
Your liver plays an important role in thyroid hormone metabolism. The liver is one of the main sites where conversion of thyroxine (T4) to triiodothyronine (T3) takes place. Your liver also plays an important role in supporting ongoing detoxification.
Poor digestive function
The gut microbiome describes the complex ecosystem within the digestive system. It’s inextricably linked to our overall health. For this reason, a gut microbiome imbalance can trigger all types of problems. This can include food cravings, depression and even an increased risk of developing an autoimmune disorder.
The most common food triggers are gluten, soy and dairy. If you have a leaky gut food components can enter the bloodstream triggering a systemic reaction. This is the reason avoiding gluten is particularly important if you have been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.
Physical trauma to the thyroid or pituitary glands
Whiplash, concussion, or other traumatic injuries can damage the thyroid, pituitary and/or hypothalamus. This type of injury can interfere with normal function of the glands.
This syndrome is also known as post-pregnancy hypopituitarism. Sheehan’s syndrome affects women who lose a life threatening amount of blood, or suffer dangerously low blood pressure during childbirth. This lack of oxygen flow to the pituitary causes permanent damage.
Healthy gums, and teeth are vital to your overall health. Dental cavities, amalgam fillings that contain mercury, and low grade infections associated with root canals can trigger a thyroid problem.
Exposure to electromagnetic radiation during medical testing
The thyroid is extremely sensitive to radiation, and excessive radiation exposure is a known risk.
Exposure to electromagnetic radiation in the environment
Electromagnetic radiation from mobile phones towers, mobile phones, microwave ovens, and Wi-Fi devices can zap your thyroid. Research has already established that the electromagnetic fields emitted by mobile phones may cause detrimental effects on thyroid function.
Emotional and physical stress
Too much stress affects your body’s natural balance and has a serious impact on your digestion, mood, immunity, and nervous system function.
Adrenal fatigue due to long term stress
Adrenal fatigue often goes hand-in-hand with hypothyroidism. It’s therefore next to impossible to successfully recover from a thyroid disorder when you have a co-existing adrenal problem.
This is an extensive list, and many of these factors are not considered within the conventional medical approach. Do you think anything is missing? Please let me know in the comments box below as I would love to hear from you!