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Environmental Toxins_Final

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>> Hey there. Thanks for being here today. In this lecture, we're going to be discussing the specific toxins that affect thyroid health and hormone production. There are a lot of toxins that exist in our environment that weren't even around 100 years ago. In fact, over 80,000 chemicals are in use today just in the United States alone. And research is showing that toxic chemicals are messing with our thyroid health. A recent study done over a five-year period estimated that the number of people being diagnosed with thyroid disease has gone up by about 35%. Some of this is certainly due to improved testing and a greater awareness of thyroid disease. But at least a portion of that increase is due to the high number of toxins now found in our environment. As you can imagine, this makes it difficult, if not impossible, to avoid exposure to these chemicals as they have become so ubiquitous in our daily lives. It's not a realistic goal for a person to avoid environmental contaminants, you'd literally have to live in a sterilized bubble. But you can help your clients reduce their exposure to the most harmful toxins. Many people make the assumption that the ingredients in their shampoo, laundry detergent, and even their sofas have been tested for safety, but this isn't correct. This is why it's super important to get a sense of how much exposure your clients might have to these toxins and help them with the lifestyle and dietary interventions that can minimize their effect because if your client is drinking a detox juice out of a plastic cup every morning, it's only going to do so much good. The thyroid is very sensitive to toxins, particularly those that impact how much iodine it has available to work with, meaning the toxins can interfere with iodine uptake or the body's ability to use the iodine it has. Since we can't stay on top of every chemical out there, it's important to focus in on the top offenders and concentrate efforts on limiting exposure to those. The eight main environmental toxins that affect the thyroid are PCBs, perchlorate, dioxins, triclosan, soy isoflavones, flame retardants, BPA and phthalates, and radiation. Most of these toxins wreak havoc on the endocrine system by disrupting its normal function. They show up in the body, acting like copycats, causing confusion. These toxins all mimic a hormone normally produced in the body disrupting the feedback system and causing the body to stop making its natural hormones. Some of them like PCBs, dioxins, triclosan, they disrupt the thyroid directly. They can cause the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis or HPT axis to slow down. And the thyroid eventually stops producing enough thyroid hormones for the body to function optimally. Others work through mimicking estrogen, which as we discussed earlier, affects the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal or HPG axis. The HPT axis and the HPG axis are so closely connected that when there's a breakdown in one, you'll find there's a breakdown in the other. Let's take a closer look at each of these eight top offenders to get a better idea of the chaos they cause and how to avoid these pesky toxins. First, we have PCBs or polychlorinated biphenyls, which reduce T4 levels. PCBs are chemicals that were previously used by industrial and manufacturing companies. They've been banned in the United States since 1979, but there's still a lot of environmental contamination, which means people are still at risk of being exposed to them. PCBs can affect the thyroid in three different ways. First, they can change the structure of the thyroid itself, making it less responsive to TSH. Second, they increase the amount of iodine that's lost through the digestive tract. And third, they make T4 break down faster in the body, making it less available. People who live in older buildings and are exposed to materials like paint and floor finishes produced before the ban in 1979, are most at risk of exposure of PCBs. Our second chemical is perchlorate, which can affect the thyroid. Perchlorate is a chemical that is found in rocket fuel, bleach, explosives, batteries, fireworks, airbags, and fertilizers. It's extremely toxic blocking the thyroid from taking up iodine, which is necessary for the thyroid to be able to produce thyroid hormones. Perchlorate toxicity can result in hypothyroidism. Perchlorate is a known pollutant and can be found in groundwater and public drinking water systems, particularly in the southwestern United States and in Chile. Perchlorate doesn't add up in the body but repeated daily exposure will cause ill effects. This is bad news for clients who live in high perchlorate areas especially if they drink or use tap water. But it is possible to detox perchlorate from the body and reverse the effects. You can recommend that your clients purchase a good whole house water filter or at the very least get a good drinking water filter. Dioxins are another chemical byproduct that are known to damage the thyroid. Dioxins function similarly to the PCBs by disrupting the HPT axis. These are highly toxic chemicals that take a long time to break down. They build up in the system and are present throughout the world. More than 90% of human exposure is through food, mainly meat and dairy products, fish, and shellfish. We may sound like a broken record but this is one great reason why you should always choose organic animal products and buy sustainably-sourced fish. Dioxins are also found in chlorine bleach, which means that it's lurking in products that have been dyed. Anything that has been bleached with chlorine bleach like conventional toilet paper, or menstrual pads, and tampons, coffee filters, and bleach-containing household cleaners should be avoided whenever possible. Unbleached alternatives can be found and purchased online and in health food stores such as Whole Foods. The fourth chemical to watch out for is triclosan, which affects the thyroid hormones and estrogen. Triclosan is a common anti-bacterial ingredient in soaps, lotions, and hand creams. In the US, it's almost impossible to buy dish soap or liquid hand soap that doesn't contain it. It disrupts both the thyroid hormones and estrogens, so it's a double hit on the endocrine system. Even though it's so prevalent, it's easier to avoid than many of the other toxins. You can recommend to your clients that they avoid buying products containing it by purchasing eco-friendly products instead. These can be found online, at Whole Foods, and even at their local health food store. Soy, particularly when broken down into isolates for processed foods, has a negative impact on the thyroid gland. There's been a lot of debate about whether soy is good for you or if it should be avoided. For your clients with thyroid imbalances, it's safe to say that it's not an ideal food for them to be eating. Soy acts in the body as an estrogen mimicker or xenoestrogen, which can either block or over-stimulate the estrogen receptors in the body. This causes the body not to make its own natural estrogen. One of the ways it does this is by disrupting the normal feedback loop, tricking it into believing it has plenty of estrogen. But because it's not natural estrogen, it doesn't work in the same way. When iodine levels in the body are low, this compounds the negative effects of soy. This is because soy interferes with thyroid peroxidase or TPO, an enzyme that's required for production of thyroid hormone. Soy contains a protein called genistein that accepts iodine molecules from TPO. Some researchers have suggested that genistein may compete with thyroid hormones for iodine or alternatively may block the action of TPO. When this is joined by iodine deficiency, this can cause low thyroid hormone level production. It may also be a factor in developing autoimmune thyroid disease. You can support your clients by encouraging them to eat a diet that's rich in iodine from natural sources like sea vegetables, potatoes, and navy beans. And if they have thyroid problems, it's best for them to avoid soy in all its forms, particularly the processed forms of soy. If you have a client who eats a diet heavy in soy, you could recommend that they start cutting back by checking food labels for added soybean oils and other soy additives and products, they can easily swap out for better alternatives while still enjoying less-processed soy products that may be staples in their diet such as miso, tempeh, and edamame. From there, you can help them crowd out these soy products little by little by experimenting with new foods. Flame retardants can negatively affect the thyroid. Flame retardants are found in upholstered furniture like sofas, and chairs, as well as some electronics. They're similar to dioxins because they act as endocrine disruptors at the HPT axis level. Additionally, they have an estrogenic effect on the body. Even more concerning is a study that suggests a connection between flame retardants and thyroid cancer. Flame retardants are long acting and accumulate in the body. Many of them are no longer allowed to be used in Europe, but they're still in the environment and probably will be for a long time to come. You can reduce your exposure by purchasing upholstered furniture and mattresses without flame retardants. Also, make sure the foam in your upholstered furniture is completely covered in protective fabric or consider replacing older foam. Finally, remove any old carpet and carpet pads to reduce exposure. BPA, and phthalates, and other plasticizers are endocrine disruptors affecting the thyroid. BPA, phthalates, and other chemicals used to soften plastic are estrogen mimickers affecting the HPG axis and causing estrogen dominance. This indirectly impacts the production of thyroid hormone. However, these chemicals have also been shown to negatively impact thyroid receptor function, so there is a double whammy effect. BPA is commonly found in water bottles, plastic food storage containers, and even canned foods. When buying these products, check for brands that clearly say BPA-free. But beware even BPA-free plastics can have some endocrine effect, so the more your clients can avoid plastic products, the better for their hormone health. Given the option, they should always choose glass as their safest bet. Finally, the thyroid is extremely sensitive to radiation. Clients who have had exposure to radiation, whether through treatment for head and neck cancer, exposure to nuclear fallout, or even excessive dental X-rays, are at increased risk of thyroid disease. The most common radiation-induced thyroid dysfunction is hypothyroidism, which affects 20% to 30% of people who have had radiation to the head and neck area. Radiation damages the DNA and the cells that are exposed to it. So the damage is passed on to each new generation of cells rather than ending when the cell dies. Often, the damage isn't even seen until much later, possibly even years after exposure. Clients who've been exposed to radiation can benefit from thyroid balancing protocols. More on that to come later on in this lecture. Your clients can reduce their exposure to radiation by using ear buds when speaking on the phone and keeping their phones away from their bodies. It's recommended to put phones on airplane mode and turning off Wi-Fi while sleeping. They may also want to avoid X-ray machines at airports and opt for the pat-down instead. Lastly, they should avoid medical or dental X-rays unless they are absolutely necessary. Okay, let's recap. The eight biggest offenders when it comes to environmental toxins that disrupt thyroid balance are PCBs, perchlorate, dioxins, triclosan, isoflavones, flame retardants, BPA, and phthalates, and radiation. As you can see, there are a number of ways that your clients may be exposed to toxins that can interfere with their thyroid health, while some of these are unavoidable, it's possible to decrease the amount of damage they do through healthy eating, mitigating the effects of stress, and limiting exposure to the chemicals that clients are most exposed to. Drinking water and processed foods are a big source of these toxins. So filtered water and a diet of fresh whole foods can really help your clients minimize the damage done by these chemicals. Also, as we already discussed, it's important that your clients have enough iodine in their diet to maintain a healthy thyroid. That wraps up our talk for today. Thank you for joining us. By now, you should know that the increasing numbers and types of toxins in the environment have a direct impact on thyroid health. You should also have some new ideas on how to help your clients limit their exposure or avoid some of these toxins completely. Have you taken steps to limit your exposure to environmental chemicals in your household cleaning or personal care regimen? If you'd like to share some of your tips, come by the Facebook group and tell us about them. What was most helpful? Your fellow students will appreciate hearing your experiences. I'll look forward to seeing you real soon.

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Duration: 13 minutes and 59 seconds
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Language: English
License: Dotsub - Standard License
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Views: 5
Posted by: ninaz on Apr 2, 2018

Environmental Toxins_Final

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