Thyroid disorders were rarely discussed by lay people until Oprah spoke out about the topic in 2007, shedding light on a critically important issue.
The thyroid produces hormones that regulate many of the body’s metabolic functions. More and more research is surfacing that connects them to various conditions and diseases.
For instance, thyroid disorders can disrupt sleep, mood and mental sharpness, and cause weight gain or loss.
The problem is that thyroid disorders are often undiagnosed. There are a variety of reasons for that, but one problem is that environmental toxins disguise it’s malfunction.
The environmental toxin PBDEs (polybrominated diphenyl ethers), is commonly used as a flame retardant and can be found in everything from carpets to electronics.
Brenda Eskenazi, PhD led a team of researchers out of UCLA Berkeley who have published recent studies in Environmental Health Perspectives looking at the affect of PBDEs on pregnant women.
After taking the blood of 270 pregnant women involved in a reproductive health longitudinal study, they found that each 10-fold increase in the levels of five PBDE chemicals increased the odds of the women developing hyperthyroidism by 1.9%.
Why do we care?
For starters, a new study by Brian Casey, MD, in Obstetrics and Gynecology found that pregnant women with antibodies that indicate early thyroid disease were three times more likely to have a placental separation during labor.
Thyroid disease in pregnant women also increases the risk of miscarriage, premature birth and altered fetal neurodevelopment.
And these are only the health risks relating to pregnancy.
I would be here all day if I started talking about the possible risks to all other health areas, which is why I invited Mark Starr, MD, to do some of the talking for me.
Mark has done extensive research on the effects of environmental toxins on hypothyroidism, and has discussed this research in NICABM’s teleseminar series Clinical Applications of Mind-Body Medicine: New Thinking About Stress and the Remarkable Power of Psychoneuroimmunology.
You can hear a preview of his interview below:
Here are just a few of the topics we covered in the full presentation:
- Why thyroid function is so critical to optimal health and mental health
- Type 1 vs. type 2 hypothryoidism – why it matters
- The body’s energy factory
- The effects of environmental toxins on patients with hypothyroidism
- Why a malfunctioning thyroid can lead to chronic pain
- State-of-the-art treatment for hypothyroidism
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