Safeguard Your Thyroid: The Hidden Household Toxins You Need to Evade

If you’ve been feeling increasingly fatigued, experiencing weight gain, and just generally feeling sluggish, your thyroid function may be the culprit, and common household items may be to blame. It’s time to face the issue and clean those hazardous items out of your home.

The culprits are chemicals called perfluorinated chemicals or PFCs, which are used to manufacture a variety of products such as fabrics, carpets, cosmetics, and paper coatings. The National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences states that all of us have traces of PFCs in our blood. The troubling thing about them is that they break down incredibly slowly, meaning it takes them a long time to leave our bodies.

Imagine a study with more than 1,100 Americans, where researchers examined blood levels of four different PFCs alongside their impact on thyroid function. The results showed that women exposed to more PFCs experienced a decline in thyroid function.

Chien-Yu Lin, a researcher, said, “Although some PFCs such as PFOS have been phased out of production by major manufacturers, these endocrine-disrupting chemicals remain a concern because they linger in the body for extended periods. Too little information is available about the possible long-term effects these chemicals could have on human health.”

Tips to protect your thyroid from harmful chemicals

Now that you know the potentially harmful effects of PFCs on your thyroid function, the Washington Toxics Coalition offers several tips to protect yourself:

1. Avoid Teflon®-coated pans

Teflon® is made using PFCs, so to reduce your exposure, consider using alternative cookware such as stainless steel, ceramic, or cast iron.

2. Watch out for grease-resistant paper products

Grease-resistant paper products, such as pizza boxes and microwave popcorn bags, often contain PFCs. Opt for alternatives like making popcorn on the stovetop or transferring pizza to a plate before consuming.

3. Check your cosmetics and personal care products

Many cosmetics and personal care products contain PFCs, particularly those made with Teflon® or ingredients containing the words “perfluoro” or “fluoro.” These products may include moisturizers, eye makeup, and dental floss. Always check the labels and look for safer alternatives.

Other toxins that can affect your thyroid

In addition to PFCs, there are other harmful chemicals lurking in your home that may be negatively impacting your thyroid function. Some of the typical offenders are:

1. Bisphenol A (BPA)

This chemical is typically found in plastics and can leach into your food and beverages. BPA can interfere with thyroid function, so choose BPA-free containers and avoid heating plastic containers in the microwave, as that can increase the chance of BPA leaching into your food.

2. Phthalates

Phthalates are chemicals commonly found in cosmetics, personal care products, food packaging, and even children’s toys, and they can disrupt thyroid function. Look for products that claim to be phthalate-free and use glass or stainless steel for food storage whenever possible.

3. Heavy metals

Lead and mercury can also affect your thyroid function. Make sure your home is free of sources of lead, such as lead-based paint, and limit your consumption of certain types of fish that can carry high levels of mercury.

Maintaining a thyroid-friendly lifestyle

In addition to removing these harmful chemicals from your home, there are other ways you can support a healthy thyroid function:

1. Opt for a healthy diet

A balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains will support overall health, including thyroid function. Aim for a mix of colorful produce as well as nutrient-dense foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals that support thyroid function.

2. Stay hydrated

Drink plenty of water to help flush toxins from your body and support overall well-being. Aim for at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day, or more if you’re active or pregnant.

3. Exercise regularly

Physical activity can help support healthy thyroid function, as well as promote a healthy weight, which is essential if you have a thyroid issue. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week, such as brisk walking or dancing.

4. Manage stress

Stress can impact thyroid health, so practice stress reduction techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, yoga, or journaling to help keep your thyroid functioning optimally.

By being aware of the potential toxins within your environment and actively removing them, while also maintaining a thyroid-friendly lifestyle, you can support your thyroid function and feel your best. The key is to be proactive and make simple changes that can have a lasting, positive impact on your health.