4 Common Underlying Causes of Thyroid Disorders

Thyroid disorders seem to becoming more common in this country. In fact, according to the American Thyroid Association (ATA), an estimated 20 million Americans have a thyroid disorder, and of those, 60% may be completely unaware they have it. The ATA also warns that undiagnosed thyroid disease puts thousands of people at risk for serious conditions such as infertility, heart disease and osteoporosis.

There is no one underlying cause of thyroid disorders, rather many variables and causes. Let’s take a look at some of the most common ones:

1. Medications
Certain medications, such as beta blockers, steroids, barbiturates and cholesterol-lowering drugs, can disrupt thyroid function. In these cases, treating with thyroid hormones may not be the best option.

2. Endocrine-Disruptors

Most of us are affected by an array of endocrine disruptors like lead, mercury, phthalates, and the biggie bisphenol-A (BPA). These disruptors have been linked to thyroid problems.

3. Estrogen Dominance

Many women do not experience thyroid issues until the middle of life and ignore the symptoms, assuming things like weight gain and sluggishness are a normal part of aging. But hypothyroidism can often be related to an underlying estrogen dominance, in which case treating with thyroid hormones neglects to address the root cause of the problem.

4. Fluoride

Are you scratching your head wondering how something as ‘beneficial’ as fluoride can be bad for your thyroid health? After all, fluoride has routinely been added to municipal water supplies and toothpastes for decades.

Studies have linked fluoride to thyroid disruption. In fact, fluoride was often used in Europe to reduce thyroid activity in hyperthyroid patients.

A 2006 report by the National Research Council of the National Academies suggests fluoride is “an endocrine disruptor in the broad sense of altering normal endocrine function.”
Fluoride is actually able to mimic thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), disrupt conversion from the inactive form of the thyroid hormone (T4) to the active form (T3), and damage the cells of your thyroid gland.

If you believe you may be experiencing a thyroid disorder, the best thing to do is speak with your doctor so he or she can order the correct tests and begin you on the right protocol.