Did you know that hidden toxins in substances, foods, and even water you drink on a daily basis could be taking a toll on your thyroid health? I have talked to you before about why your body needs to detox, so today I want to really hone in on chemicals that can negatively impact your thyroid gland.
Studies have found that over 150 household chemicals can have a direct impact on your thyroid health and hormone balance. I know that doing some serious targeted detoxification was a major part of my healing journey with Hashimoto’s and a major win in my success story.
While autoimmune thyroid disorders can be caused by many different things, up to 20-30% of them can be linked to toxins. What you put on and in your body impacts your health. So it is important to know what is in not only your food, but also your beauty, personal care, and household products, too!
YOUR SKIN’S IMPACT ON THYROID HEALTH
Everyone knows that you are what you eat, but did you know your skin can act as a second mouth, putting substances directly into your bloodstream? Your skin is your largest organ, and, while it often acts as a barrier to protect you from the harmful things in your world, certain substances can penetrate that layer and enter your body. The large surface area of your skin allows for greater exposure to potentially harmful chemicals.
Additionally, if your skin is already compromised with things like eczema, psoriasis, or other conditions, it is more likely to absorb more junk from your environment.
PERSONAL CARE PRODUCTS THAT CAN ENDANGER YOUR THYROID HEALTH
1. Hair dye: The chemicals used in most hair dyes penetrate the skin and can disrupt the normal balance of your hormones.
2. Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS): This common ingredient increases the number of other potentially toxic chemicals that are able to cross your skin’s barrier.
3. Parabens: These substances are used as preservatives in many personal care products but are known hormone disruptors. They are also particularly dangerous during pregnancy because of how they affect reproductive hormones.
4. Fragrance: This is a general term that could mean many different chemicals that are known to affect the endocrine system, particularly lowering T4 and T3 levels while increasing TSH. This imbalance could bring chaos to your body!
5. Oxybenzone: Check your sunscreen for this ingredient before you lather up! Oxybenzone is common in sunscreens and other products with SPF and affects your cells’ thyroid receptors, making your body unable to put the thyroid hormones to good use.
6. Heavy Metals: Heavy metal toxicity is a leading cause of hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s because the molecules are so similar to iodine. Iodine is necessary for thyroid function, but your thyroid absorbs these harmful materials instead which keeps it from getting the nutrients it needs. It can lurk in lip gloss and other beauty products, so do your research!
HOUSEHOLD PRODUCTS THAT CAN HARM YOUR THYROID HEALTH TOO
1. Triclosan: This used to be a very common ingredient in antimicrobial soaps, hand sanitizers, and wipes. Thankfully, as research has indicated its toxicity to humans, the FDA has banned it from certain types of products. However, some manufacturers still use it, so read those labels!
2. BPA: You may find this chemical in plastic materials you have around the house or in the linings of food cans. It is important to make sure your household goods are labelled “BPA-free,” or that you opt for glass or stainless steel alternatives. This is because BPA keeps cells from being able to use the thyroid hormones effectively.
3. Nonstick Surfaces: Although they are very convenient for cooking, studies are finding that nonstick surfaces like Teflon affect your liver’s ability to make proteins and can disrupt thyroid hormone balance.
For amazing DIY solutions for your home and healthcare, be sure to check out the amazing recipes. My best-selling book is for anyone looking to gain back control of the toxins in their home and be the CEO of their own healthcare: Smart Mom’s Guide to Essential Oils.
WATER CONTAMINATION AND THYROID HEALTH
That’s right. Even that water that you are supposed to be drinking so much of could be disguising some nasty toxins. Things like perchlorate (a chemical used in industry and fertilizers), herbicides, and pesticides are lurking in groundwater supplies. These toxins can reduce your body’s ability to absorb necessary nutrients like iodine and affect how your body puts the thyroid hormone to use.
FOOD CONTAMINATION AND THYROID HEALTH
You may think you are fueling your body well with lots of fruits and vegetables, but even they are harboring hidden chemicals! Herbicide and pesticide residue is common on non-organic fruits and vegetables. These, along with preservatives like nitrates, limit your thyroid’s ability to use iodine and can slow down your thyroid’s function.
TIPS TO BETTER THYROID HEALTH
You may be looking at this list and feeling overwhelmed. There are so many things we can’t control that enter our body through our skin! This is why it is important that you take steps where you are able to help limit your body’s toxic load. Here are some places I would suggest you start:
- Drink filtered water. Do some research into what toxins are most common in your area and find a filter designed to remove those things.
- Buy whole, organic food when possible. Organic produce cannot be treated with pesticides or herbicides, so investing in these alternatives is one way to make sure those nasty chemicals aren’t in your home. Be sure to make yourself familiar with the EWG’s Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen to revamp your produce buying!
- Use natural cleaning and beauty products. This is one reason I love my essential oils! They offer so many cleansing and beauty benefits, with none of the nasty toxins. Here are some of my favorite ways to use them in my home. You can also buy natural, fragrance-free products and add your favorite oils so they not only smell great, but benefit your whole body. I also share a couple of great perfume recipes in this post that can help remove those fragrance chemicals from your home, too!
- Detox regularly. This is a big deal. No matter how careful we are about what we put in or on our bodies, we are still going to be exposed to toxins. Detox baths with essential oils are part of my self-care routine, and I dedicate certain times of the year for longer-term detox regimens. Check out these blogs if you want to learn more: Top 5 Detoxing Essential Oils to Reduce Toxic Load and Top 10 Ways to Reduce Toxic Load.
- Do Your Homework! I love going on the Environmental Working Group’s website to do check-ups on any new personal or beauty care products or just to learn more about the safety of things lurking in my products. Do a check-up on your favorite products today!
A big part of being the CEO of your health is being the guardian of what enters your body and your home. Read labels. Be picky. Invest in self-care so you can clean out your system and maintain your health. You deserve to look and feel your best, and avoiding these ingredients is a great place to start!