Main causes of hypothyroidism: How to keep a healthy thyroid in a toxic world
If the only tool in your belt is a hammer, the world becomes a nail. As with cancer, hypothyroidism is not a disease, it is merely a symptom of things going wrong in the body. The medical treatment for hypothyroidism is often to simply manipulate the thyroid hormone levels with little or no regard to causes.
We are back to the hammer analogy; if every hypothyroid case is deemed a T-4 or a T-3 deficiency, then thyroid medications are the hammer to solve the problem. Raise the T-4 or the T-3 or both and the problem is solved… But the thyroid and its function in the cells is not a nail. All you ever succeed in doing with the hammer method is to mask the symptoms.
To properly utilize thyroid hormones in the body there are four basic and very important processes that have to occur: initial production of thyroid hormones, transport to and across the cell membrane, conversion from T-4 to T-3, and finally, transport into the cell nucleus. A breakdown in any one of these processes will cause symptoms of hypothyroidism that can lead to cancer. Two main factors that cause these interruptions are: 1) toxic accumulations of metals, chemicals and waste; 2) critical shortages of vitamins and minerals.
In order for the thyroid hormones to travel through the blood to reach the cells, a transport protein is needed. All three transport proteins are produced by the liver which is also a main detoxing organ of the body. The more heavy metals and other toxins that the liver is dealing with, the more difficult it is for the liver to manufacture transport proteins. Protein malnutrition, alcoholism and liver disease can impair the production of these carrier proteins.
While thyroid hormones are produced exclusively by the thyroid gland, the pituitary and hypothalamus glands in the brain are responsible for the regulation of how much thyroid hormone should be produced. Heavy metals attach to the pituitary and hypothalamus and cause communication problems as to how much thyroid hormone should be available.
What causes thyroid dysfunction?
Mercury, along with the other toxic metals such as lead, aluminum, cadmium, and arsenic do their damage at the enzyme level within each cell of the body. These minerals compete for mineral receptor sites on some or all of the enzymes within the cells of the organ in question. By attaching themselves to an enzyme, they either stop the enzyme from functioning altogether or severely slow its functioning to a point that when enough cells are involved, normal organ functioning becomes impaired and symptoms manifest
Shortages of essential vitamins and minerals interfere with the normal production and utilization of hormones in general. In the case of essential mineral shortages, enzymes in the hormone building and conversion process will substitute iron and other less preferred minerals in their amino acid chains to still offer limited albeit sometimes wrong effects in the cells.
The transport system in and out of the cell is done by minerals. For transport, the cell wall iodine receptor sites for transport of T-3 into the cell can become blocked with the halides bromine, fluorine and chlorine (iodine is also a halide). Lithium, sodium, and potassium are also important components in the cellular pumps that transport hormones, minerals and amino acids across cell membranes.
Selenium deficiency is one of the biggest mineral shortfalls in thyroid production. Selenium is an integral component of two important enzymes, glutathione peroxidase and iodothryonine deiodinase. Selenium is used in the body to remove mercury which, when the body is mercury toxic, further depletes selenium reserves. Notably, selenium deficiency in study rats decreased critical thyroid enzyme activity by 90%.
Vitamins are critical cofactors in all enzyme production. Without certain vitamins, the process shuts down. Taking isolated forms of vitamin supplements causes shortages in the entire vitamin complex and can affect thyroid production.
In brain development and any health battle for that matter, the thyroid needs to be functioning as best as possible. Even the immune system depends upon optimal thyroid to function. Cellular metabolism requires thyroid to perform normal duties — and double-duty in the case of disease. Cleansing the body of toxins and metals while supporting the thyroid is job one. Freedom from stress and life’s worries are also very important for the healing process in the body.
To learn about how the thyroid affects Dementia and child development read this: “Fixing the Brain Book 2, Brain structure vs function”
To learn more about the thyroid’s function in health read this link: “Thyroid Support”
See also: Basal temperature chart for the thyroid: Chart for tracking the morning body temperature readings to assess thyroid and adrenal function
Authored by Cancer Nutritionist Craig Stellpflug NDC, CNC, Dayspring Cancer Clinic Scottsdale, AZ
Copyright 2010 Craig Stellpflug© Permission is hereby granted to copy and distribute this article but only in its entirety