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Your Thyroid Gland And The Chemicals In Your Home

By HERWriter
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Thyroid Hormones related image Photo: Getty Images

Chemicals like bisphenol-A (BPA) and phthalates have been getting some airplay recently. These chemicals are used in plastics and other products you may have around the house.

Research has been uncovering some disturbing data about these chemicals for some time. And now, there is something more to worry about.

Turns out that research from the University of Michigan has indicated BPA and phthalates may alter your thyroid hormone levels. This is bad news because thyroid hormones affect so many aspects of your health and well-being.

Thyroid hormone system regulates your body temperature and heart rate. It maintains your digestion, your metabolism, your mood and your ability to reproduce.

BPA is used in some plastic bottles and canned-food linings. Drink the liquid from the bottles, eat the food from the cans, and you are very likely also ingesting some BPA.

Researchers saw that the more exposure to these chemicals, the lower the level of thyroid hormones. This research was reported on July 14, 2011, in an article on MedlinePlus, as well as in a July 11, 2011, Eurekalert! public release.

Ready for some more letters of the alphabet that seem to be up to no good?

According to a January 21, 2010, article on Sciencedaily.com, research from the University of Exeter and the Peninsula Medical School has found a possible connection between perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and thyroid disease.

PFOA is used in non-stick cookware and stain-resistant, water-resistant carpets and fabrics. It has become popular because it's great at repelling grease, heat, stains and water.

It's in clothing that is flame-resistant and waterproof. It's used to coat wire and is found in chemical-resistant tubing. PFOA can also show up when other chemicals break down in fast-food containers.

The presence of PFOA has spread so that PFOA is found in our blood. It is found in animals. It is speculated that we are ingesting PFOA and it is contaminating us through products in our homes.

People in the study with higher levels of PFOA in their blood also had a higher occurrence of thyroid disease.

While there is a correlation between the presence of PFOA and thyroid disease, the full equation is not a simple matter to assemble.

It is necessary to consider the possibility that people who already have thyroid disease don't handle PFOA in the same way as a person in good health.

A January 21, 2010, article from Reuters.com reports that it's possible that PFOA may actually be affecting the immune system instead of the thyroid, for instance. In cases such as an autoimmune disease, where the immune system attacks the thyroid gland, the result can be thyroid disease.

More research is needed to sort out cause and effect concerning this conundrum. Hopefully the outcome will lead to some protection of our thyroids and our overall health.


Exposure to Common Chemicals May Affect Thyroid Function

Large human study links phthalates, BPA and thyroid hormone levels

Stain Repellent Chemical Linked to Thyroid Disease in Adults

Study links thyroid disease to non-stick chemicals

Reviewed July 19, 2011
by Michele Blacksberg R.N.
Edited by Shannon Koehle

Visit Jody's website and blog at http://www.ncubator.ca and http://ncubator.ca/blogger

Add a Comment1 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

Very interesting. I am 66. Two years ago I was diagnosed with underactive thyroid. I have since put on weight despite my diet remaining the same. My bra size has gone from 34 B to 34FF. That's bigger the Jordan.I often wonder if other overweight folks have under active thyroids rather than overeating? This is seldom mentioned as a possibility in articles about obesity and diet. Since my diagnosis I have told overweight friends to get their thyroids checked. Bingo! In two cases out of three, an under active thyroid was diagnosed.

July 21, 2011 - 2:11am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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