The thyroid is a small butterfly shaped gland that sits low on your throat just under your Adam’s apple and produces hormones that regulate whole body systems, including your metabolism. The thyroid determines how other hormones are used, regulates the way in which your body produces heat and uses energy, and stimulates the production of proteins. When your thyroid is not functioning correctly, your metabolism is altered, growth and development is changed, and a host of ailments may be experienced.
How Halides Affect Thyroid Health and Function
The thyroid produces special hormones that influence most bodily processes. To produce those hormones, your thyroid collects nutrients from your body, including the highly important nutrient iodine. When your thyroid does not collect enough iodine, disorders can result. Unfortunately, there are common elements that block the thyroids iodine receptors and can directly cause thyroid disorders.
Halides such as chlorine, fluoride, and bromide prevent the thyroid receptors from being able to collect iodine. These elements are found in common household products and foods. Bromide is commonly found today in baked goods that are made with bromated flour. It is also found in many citrus flavored drinks, nasal sprays and inhalers, and in pesticides, hot tubs, and swimming pools.
Because fluoride has been added to some public water systems for nearly half a century, we are all exposed to this known toxin regularly. Other sources of fluoride include fluoridated tooth paste and dental tablets, and it is also used as a spray propellant.
In large amounts chlorine is toxic and can cause thyroid disorders such as hypothyroidism. Chlorine is found in the public drinking water supply, artificial sweeteners like Splenda or Sucralose, and swimming pools, hot tubs, cleaning products, and in the steam emitted from dish washers.
Avoiding Common Halides for a Healthy Thyroid
Chlorine, bromide, and fluoride, and other toxic halides are removed from the body slowly over time. To limit your exposure, increase your body’s ability to excrete these halides, and improve thyroid function, consider these methods –
- Decrease your stress, whether through exercise, yoga, meditation, or deep breathing exercise
- Increase your exposure to the sun, but be careful not to get burnt
- Increase your physical activities and start a walking or exercise routine
- Eat more green leafy vegetables
- Consider low dose iodine and selenium supplements
Eliminate the following from your diet and home –
- Avoid processed foods and refined carbohydrates like baked goods, pastas, pizza, breads and cereals.
- Eliminate harsh chemical cleaning products that have halides, instead opt for natural cleaning agents like lemon, vinegar, and baking soda.
- Choose natural personal care supplies instead of harsh chemical ones. Baking soda, coconut oil, and vinegar can take the place of deodorants, shampoos, skin lotions, toothpaste, and creams. Hydrogen peroxide is a natural mouth wash, baking soda works well for dental care, and coconut oil is simply great as a skin lotion and rash soother.
Photo credit: jonmcalister (flickr)
Dr. Jeda Boughton is a Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Registered Acupuncturist in Vancouver. She is also a Registered Herbologist and the founder of BodaHealth.