thyroid disease, hashimotos disease, hypothyroid, thyroid health, women's health

9 Things You Don’t Realize May Be Causing Your Thyroid Disease


An estimated 27 million Americans alone have thyroid disease.  An additional 13 million are undiagnosed or misdiagnosed, and those numbers are on the rise.  Chances are, one out of five people you know have some sort of thyroid disease, are you one of them?

The thyroid is a butterfly shaped gland sitting just above the trachea in the throat.  Three of the major hormones it secretes are Thyroxine (T4), Triiodothyronine (T3) and Calcitonin.  Aside from vitamin D, the thyroid hormones are the only hormones in the body that affect every cell in the body.  It’s no wonder why under or overproduction of its hormones lend to so many symptoms, including weight gain/decreased metabolism, fatigue/insomnia, elevated cholesterol, intolerance to cold, poor concentration/mental fog, digestive issues, constipation, infertility, aches & pains, and much more.

In the modern world you live in, there are so many factors that could not only negatively influence your thyroid’s ability to function properly, but also affect how your cells utilize its hormones.  Some of these influencers can actually create additional issues which further influence function, creating somewhat of a snowball effect.  Below are some of the factors that affect the thyroid’s ability to perform as intended.

Nutrition & Nutrient Deficiencies

There are several nutrients that are necessary for the thyroid gland to function.  The minerals iodine, selenium, chromium and zinc, as well as tyrosine (an amino acid) are required for T4 production.  Selenium and zinc are also required for the conversion of T4 to the more active hormone, T3. If any of these nutrients are depleted, the thyroid will not function properly.

There are many factors that can cause any or all of these nutrients to be depleted.  First and foremost, a diet high in processed or refined foods is these nutrients because they’re destroyed in the refining process.  Also, eating conventionally grown fruits & veggies are missing many of these nutrients.

Studies have shown that conventionally grown produce contains less than half the nutrient quantity of organically grown produce.  In addition, genetically modified crops (GMO’s) contain chelating agents that leach to the minerals making them unable to be absorbed when ingested.  So, even if you’re eating a bunch of fresh fruits and veggies, if they’re not organic, you may not even be obtaining the nutrients that otherwise should be inherently available.

In addition, all medications prescribed by your doctor deplete the body of certain vitamins and minerals.  So, if you’re like most Americans who are taking medications, prescription or OTC, they may be causing nutrient deficiencies, and our bodies run on nutrients, not drugs.  Aside from medications, there are many other toxins in our homes and environment that also use up these nutrients, which will be discussed shortly.

Food Sensitivities

Not to be mistaken by food allergies, food sensitivities can have a huge impact on thyroid function.  When your immune system is compromised (if you’re having a thyroid problem, it likely is), the mucosal lining of the intestinal tract can become overly permeable, allowing partially undigested food particles to seep through into the blood.

Eating certain foods, whether “healthy” or not, can trigger an immune response, where the immune system will begin to attack those undigested amino acid strands. This can not only create further permeability, but also overwhelm the liver and use up many the nutrients needed for thyroid function like glutathione and selenium.

The immune system has a fantastic memory, so it remembers those undigested amino strands, which can resemble proteins elsewhere in the body, like the thyroid.  Then, the immune system may begin attacking the thyroid gland, causing autoimmune hypothyroid or Hashimoto’s.

Bowel Terrain

To piggyback off what was mentioned about food sensitivities, intestinal health can influence thyroid function in several ways. Aside from an overly permeable intestinal lining, a compromised immune system can also prevent the body from properly dealing with parasites, bacteria or fungus.  These pathogens emit toxins that cause further dysbiosis (imbalance in friendly bacteria) and further intestinal permeability.

An example is yeast.  When a dysbiosis is present, yeast can build up within the intestines.  Yeast emits very toxic compounds called exotoxins.  These exotoxins not only feed the bad bacteria like e. coli or enterobacter, but can also bind with cell receptor sites, making them think they’ve bound to a hormone (hormone masking).

Thyroid hormone receptor sites are extremely vulnerable to this type of masking.  Because the cells think they’ve received the thyroid hormone, a negative feedback loop is created, alerting the thyroid gland that it’s received the hormone, causing the thyroid to slow its production.  However, the cells never actually received the hormone, so hypothyroid symptoms appear even though the labs your doctor has run indicate your thyroid is functioning properly.

As the yeast emits endotoxins, more good bacteria is killed off, allowing the yeast to further thrive, potentially leading to yeast toxicity.  Ironically, symptoms of yeast toxicity are very similar to those of hypothyroidism, like weight gain, decreased body temperature, fatigue, constipation, decreased mental focus, and dry skin, nails and hair.

Enzyme Production

When we think of enzymes, we most often think of those necessary to break down food, like lipase, protease and amylase, but enzymes are catalysts in almost every metabolic pathway in the body.  Within the cells, enzymes bind with substrates, initiating changes in cellular metabolism.

Aside from assisting in the breakdown of food particles for proper absorption, enzymes also regulate cellular respiration, converting broken down food into molecules to be used as energy by the cells.  Enzymes are also required for the conversion of EFA’s to prostaglandins and act as messengers to help deliver hormones to the target cells.

Unfortunately, enzymes can be easily destroyed by different toxic substances; like heavy metals, drugs, household chemicals, personal hygiene products, pesticides, etc. Once destroyed or denatured, they cannot deliver the hormone “messages” to the cells, yet another reason why your thyroid panel may appear “normal”, but you still feel like garbage.

Two enzymes that are all too often destroyed are cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) and iodothyronine deiodinase.  cAMP aids in the production of TSH, LH, FSH, ADH and calcitonin, so when destroyed or denatured, it’s going to affect the release of TSH, which will then affect the production of T4.
Iodothyronine deiodinase assists in the conversion of T4 to T3, and is very susceptible to destruction by mercury.  Are you one of every two Americans who have amalgam dental fillings, or have been bombarded with mercury containing vaccines?  If so, then this could partly be the reason for low T3 levels.

Well, we can’t leave out thyroid peroxidase, which is also affected by heavy metals; may also partly explain your Hashimoto’s disease.

Stress

Chronic stress not only affects the adrenal glands but also the thyroid. When under stress, the pituitary signals the release of ACTH, which instructs the adrenal glands to produce cortisol.  Cortisol requires tyrosine to be produced.

When that stress becomes chronic, and excess cortisol is produced, it depletes tyrosine levels, making it unavailable to the thyroid gland for production of its hormones.  Elevated cortisol also inhibits the conversion of T4 to T3.

Increased ACTH production also prevents the pituitary from releasing TSH.  In addition, chronic stress depletes chromium and zinc, both of which are needed for T4 production.

Mercury / Fluoride / Chlorine

Above we discussed mercury’s effect on Iodothyronine deiodinase and TPO.  Aside from this, mercury also directly affects thyroid function at a glandular level by over-stimulating the thyroid then decreasing its uptake of iodine, interfering with the synthesis of the hormones themselves.

Contrary to what your dentist may have told you, if you have amalgam fillings, every time you chew, it mercury vapors to be released from the filling, which is extremely toxic to not only the lungs, but easily crosses the blood brain barrier and can be catastrophic to the nervous system.

Another myth told by the ADA is that fluoride is needed to prevent cavities; not true.  Fluoride is also an enzyme inhibitor, replacing iodine in the thyroid gland as well as calcium in the bones.  Here’s a thought, if fluoride displaces calcium in the bones, how can that lead to healthy teeth?
Fluoride also is a neurotoxin and decreases melatonin secretion.  Question, do you also have trouble sleeping?  This may be one of the factors.

Chlorine is another chemical added to our water supply (like fluoride), as well as white flour and other food products.  Chlorine is also an enzyme inhibitor and displaces iodine from the thyroid gland.

Bromine/bromide is another highly toxic chemical that displaces iodine from the thyroid gland.  Bromine is used in bread making, as it helps the bread to rise.  Ironically, iodine used to be used for that purpose, but our government thought that people might get too much iodine, so they passed a law requiring bakers to use bromine instead.

Personal Hygiene Products

Most retail personal hygiene products are nothing more than chemical compositions that have catastrophic implications on your health, including your thyroid.  Whether it’s toothpaste/mouthwash, deodorant, shampoo/conditioner, perfume or even makeup, they’re all full of toxic chemicals that completely overwhelm the liver, are toxic to the nervous system and inhibit enzymes.

Many of them, like your contact lens solution and makeup you apply to your face contain mercury, which we’ve already addressed above.

Medications / Birth Control Pills

All medications, whether it’s Aleve or Advil for your migraines and joint pain, Statins for your elevated cholesterol, birth control pills to regulate your cycle or act as a contraceptive, antacids for your indigestion, allergy meds or any other drug in your medicine cabinet, they’re all highly toxic, inhibit enzymes and deplete essential nutrients.

Oral contraceptives are one of the biggest offenders, yet most Ob GYN’s will use scare tactics to force you into using them, like “They prevent breast cancer.”  In fact, the opposite is true, research suggests that they lead to breast and other female cancers.  As if your body is birth control pill deficient.

Oral contraceptives also deplete many of your anti-stress vitamins like vitamins B2, 6 & 12, and vitamin C, as well as tyrosine and zinc, which as stated earlier, are necessary for thyroid function, as is vitamin B6, and magnesium.

Medication Nutrients Depleted
Oral contraceptives Vitamins B2, B6, B12, vitamin C, tyrosine and zinc
Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) Magnesium, vitamin B6 and zinc
Antidepressants Vitamin B2 and CoQ10 (a very powerful antioxidant)
Tylenol Glutathione (the most powerful antioxidant, required for liver and thyroid function)
Anti-Inflammatories Folic acid, iron, potassium, sodium and vitamin C
Corticosteroids Calcium, folic acid, magnesium, potassium, selenium, vitamins C & D and zinc
Antibiotics Biotin, inositol, lactobacillus acidophilus & bifidobacteria bifidum (both healthy gut flora), vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, B12 & K

Copper

Excess copper can be very inflammatory, affecting the joints, liver and even the thyroid.  Copper tends to build up in the thyroid gland, which can lead to a multitude of thyroid problems.

Copper is essential for the formation of the nervous system of a fetus.  Because an expecting mother’s need for copper is increased, most doctors prescribe prenatal vitamins that contain more than twice the copper of other multivitamins.  That sounds logical, right?

Here lies the problem.  When a woman becomes pregnant, her body’s ability to absorb copper also increases.  Adding additional copper to her multivitamin can cause toxic levels to be circulating through her system, causing increased oxidation and leading to a slue of health problems like emotional & mental illness, brain fog, allergies, pain and inflammation, fibroids, ovarian cysts, endometriosis, PCOS and amenorrhea, as well as liver and thyroid disorders and miscarriages.
If you’re using a copper IUD, you may want to reconsider.

What should I do?

As you can see from above, there are so many factors that can affect thyroid function, so the question is, “where should I start?”

You can start by incorporating some of the below.

  • Reduce stress.  Easier said than done, I know.  Try avoiding people who drain your energy, are negative, or just stress you out.  You can also try meditating, praying, etc.
  • If you’re on medications prescribed by your doctor, we cannot recommend you stop their use.  You can, however, talk to your doctor about potentially reducing your dose, and eventually weaning off if possible, including your birth control pill.  If this is not an option, you can try adding in the nutrients that the medication is depleting.  Always consult with your medical practitioner before doing so, however.
  • Remove all chemicals from your environment. Switch to natural household cleaners, including detergents, cleansers, etc.  Also switch to natural cosmetic products that are derived from oils, minerals, and herbs/flowers.  Throw out your synthetic fragrances like perfumes.
  • Filter both your drinking water and your shower to remove all chlorine and fluoride.
  • Avoid all processed foods.  You may also try eliminating foods you notice create inflammation within your body.
  • If you have amalgam fillings, you may want to consider having them removed. You may want to build your health before having them removed in order to better deal with the removal of mercury from your system.  If you have cancer, do not attempt to remove your amalgam fillings, as removal can be very toxic, which your system may not be equipped to deal with.

Figuring out for sure what’s causing your thyroid disease requires a great deal of detective work. Because your cause(s) are likely different than someone else’s, a truly bio-individualized approach is usually needed.

Unfortunately, not many practitioners, natural or conventional, fully understand all the factors that affect thyroid function in order to effectively reverse a thyroid, autoimmune and metabolic health imbalance naturally.

These are just some of the things we teach through our E3 Energy Evolved System  to our private online e3 Restore Members, that most doctors and natural practitioners aren’t considering. Restoring thyroid, autoimmune and metabolic health naturally is a bio-individual journey for everyone, that involves multiple applied sciences including experienced human body change leadership utilizing functional nutrition, and integrative mind-body-spirit work. 

If you’re in need of help, feel free to reach out to our team for information on how to schedule a Functional Nutrition & Metabolic Restoration Consultation + Labs Review.

We’ve personally & professionally corrected these health imbalances naturally, we’ve worked with 100’s of clients online, we accept a limited number of private e3 Restore Members each year during our open enrollment periods, and we would love to help you to restore your best thyroid, autoimmune and metabolic wellness to get your life back.

Our free guide is full of helpful information (and recipes!) that can get you started with healing your thyroid naturally. Download the guide here.

Damian Dubé

Functional Medicine & Functional Nutrition Practitioner at e3 Energy Evolved
Damian Dubé, BS, FMP, CNC, FDN-P, CES, CPT is a Functional Medicine Practitioner, Certified Nutritional Consultant, Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner, Corrective Exercise Specialist, Certified Personal Trainer, NPC Bodybuilding Athlete & Expert Magazine Writer with 30 years of experience.
Damian Dubé

Related Articles

Opt In Image

Enter your info to grab our FREE Guide & join our community of 30,000+ thyroid & fatigue freedom seekers that already enjoy our newsletter!

Comments 17

  1. Hello,

    I’m confused about the copper. I have learned:

    “Boron, vitamin C, selenium, manganese and molybdenum can affect levels of copper in the body. Zinc can lower copper stores, so it is often recommended to take supplemental copper (at a ratio of 1 to 10) if you take supplemental zinc.”

    So I take extra boron, camucamu vitamin C, 200mcg selenium and extra zinc because they are essential and therefore I take 3mg bisglycinate chelate copper. Is that so bad?

    Kind regards,

    Kevin z.

    1. Hi Kevin,

      Thanks for the comment. You are correct in that vitamin C, selenium, manganese and molybdenum act as antagonists to copper, as do most of the B-Complex vitamins, chromium, zinc and iron, perhaps boron, but that’s questionable.

      I cannot make recommendations on supplementation without doing a full analysis of the individual, but in my experience most people have copper imbalances in today’s world, much of the reason being congenital due to copper imbalances in the mother, as well as zinc deficiencies (which can be depleted due to stress), hormone therapies, and the copper added to vitamin supplements. Stress and taxed adrenals can also cause copper imbalances as it depletes certain proteins that help to transport and utilize the copper, leading to bio-unavailable copper which then becomes deposited in bodily tissue.

      Should you need bio-individualized functional nutrition advisement related to personal health, you can contact our support team at hello@e3EnergyEvolved.com for information regarding scheduling a consultation. – Damian, e3ee

  2. Any thoughts on why my thyroid would swell and give me a hoarse voice? Scary really. Dr does not know and I just did blood work, will get it back tomorrow. I am hypothyroid and using Armour.

    1. We can help you save yourself a lot of needless time, money and wasted energy in the world you’re looking for leadership in right now that doesn’t have it to offer you because our work in nutrition, psychology & human body change programs development that has produced our client transformations on our Work With Us page is not in doctors & most natural practitioners scope of work, but we cannot legally advise you in a clinical health manner on our website. If you would like our companies professional clinical assessment and recommendations, please contact our company using the contact form to purchase & schedule a Functional & Diagnostic Nutritionist Consultation & we will be more than happy to review your individual labs, explain what we are seeing that your doctor is still missing, why your thyroid health is struggling, and what needs to be done next in key core areas of functional & metabolic restoration to correct it, if you genuinely want to get on a committed path to your mind, body & spirit that will exponentially improve your thyroid & autoimmune function naturally and move away from having to live on products such as Armour or synthroid, such as our private online members. Please note our bio-individualized lab-based clinical nutrition private programs have very limited availability due to the highly individualized nature of our work, and that we have members from around the world that our team serves, so we are on wait list for private clients during certain times during the year until new private members spots become available from our current members. Thanks for reading. We hope our article was insightful as to just scratching the surface of the multitude of factors doctors and natural practitioners miss over and over for patients costing them 10-15+ years, needless surgeries & medications, thousands of dollars, and wasted sub-par quality of life, among other things. Wishing you great restoration.

  3. I’ve had hashimotos for 30 years, and experienced a 80 lb weight gain. I recently had my thyroid scanned and was told it was 95% gone. I take replacement but now what? If it’s gone, how can I regenerate it, or will diet, nutrients enable me to lose weight? Frustrated.

    1. Hi Karen, what you’re asking is not as simple as answering on a 1 inch online thread. It is absolutely possible to regenerate human body function so there is no need to be frustrated, what creates frustration is when we go to resources for leadership they have no education or experience with creating results in, and they cannot offer us. What you need is professional leadership that has produced the results in the human body you’re after working as a Functional Nutritionist professional employing a high level of science in order to get you what your exact body needs (no one else’s), but to do so you will need to contact our company for personalized lab-based programming & clinical assessment & advisement. Please use the contact form on our website if you’d like more information.

  4. Too bad you didn’t mention that gluten is implicated in almost all Hashimotos Thyroiditis and 90% of hypothyroidism in Hashimoto’s. Wish someone had spelled this out for me 10 years ago when I first started feeling sick. Gluten gluten gluten folks. Yes only 7% are ceiac, but everyone has gluten sensitivity to some degree.

    1. Hi Gwen, If you have been following our companies work for awhile, you’d note that we teach about removal of gluten regularly as Diagnostic & Functional Nutritionists. Most doctors and practitioners are aware of the need to remove gluten. This article was about the non-obvious factors that need to be removed that doctors and practitioners are NOT talking about or teaching patients which will get them more effective transformation in the human body, as achieving complete restoration of thyroid, autoimmune and metabolic function just isn’t as simple as removing gluten, or just removing generally functionally offending foods. Thanks for reading our work. Best to you.

  5. WOW!! What a great super well written article! I have Hashimotos as of 2/2013 & it’s been a struggle & voyage. I was as inflamed as Heather ( but overweight as well- still working on that) crying endlessly. I came across you great team couple via a webinar & REALLY enjoyed the webinar you put on- learned so much!! Thanks to folks like you… Inching my way to not only health but I believe the best health I ever had since birth! BTW my dads name is also Damian just as caring & supportive of his wife( my mom) both have passed , dad in1998& mom 2012 – being 44 at her time of passing feeling very alone despite a brother & boyfriend in my life. You guys help in so many ways beyond thyroid but soul as well!! Thanks for being you!!! Much love , Stefi in Clev OH

    1. Hi Stefi,

      Thank you so much for your kind words. We’re so happy to hear that our mission and teachings have helped to bring you better health and restoration! If you are ever looking to continue your restoration even further naturally we would love to offer you more information on our Private e3 Energy Evolved Member Group Programming. If you have any questions please feel free to send us a note HERE. Wishing you great restoration. -Lauren, e3ee

  6. Hi, thank you for your article. I found out today that my thyroid count is at 14, and my doctor wants to see me next week to talk about options…As I was reading your article, I felt many of my questions were answered…I’ve experienced weight gain, fatigue, depression, anxiety along with other problems…my question has always been, does having an IUD have anything to do with my health issues? I’ve had my para guard copper IUD for 10 yrs now. I am do for a removal next week and now that I’ve read about the results of copper effecting the thyroid, I am hesitant to replace it. I’d appreciate your suggestions? Thank you, Grace, Chicago Il

  7. How do you work with patients that require prescriptions (NDT, T3)? I have dialed in pretty much everything I can as far as lifestyle and supplements, have read and read about thyroid dysfunction, but need a practitioner able to find the right rx’s and doses for me. 27 year old male, 10+ year history of raging bulimia. Very low T3, rock bottom testosterone, decreasing (out of range) WBCs, I have improved my ferritin (was 7 now 49). Mindblowing fatigue/lethargy, weight gain (still normal but not comfortable), sleep issues, and a myriad of other symptoms. I know you can’t give medical advice but I’m at a loss at this point. I truly do not have the money to see someone for $1000 an hour plus labs, etc. Any advice?

    1. Hi Josh, What I’d encourage you on reading your note, is that what you “can’t afford” is to continue living in the depleted, concerning state of health you’re reporting. Have you worked under the direction of a Functional Nutritionist employing labs to bio-individualize nutrients to advance your healing? Your long history with ED (eating disorder) means you have a unique need for a practitioner of our nature who has a scope of work in understanding what your ED communicated to your body in the area of “energy deregulation & nutrient deficiencies” in order to address that effectively in your programming recommendations to correct those imbalances, all part of why you’re still in “mindblowing fatigue”. You are correct, we cannot advise legally on individual health matters, although you’re incorrect that our professional Nutritionist rates at e3 Energy Evolved where we employ energy art & science are not what you shared. Although we are aware of thyroid colleagues of ours who do charge that as their standard billable professional rate, we do not. Although it may feel as if you have done “everything you can” which is commonly reported, what you’ve done is everything you can within your own understanding & capabilities, and those are two very different things (even if you’re a professional in some area of the human body – still different capabilities). I share that so you open your mind to forms of work you haven’t experienced yet in your lifespan. For example, I can guarantee based on how you’re body is speaking, what you’re doing as a lay person with no training in supplementation is not effective, or giving your body what it needs. You’re still taking a general approach to a bio-individual body, lifespan, and dis-ease, which for some of us often will not be successful to get to the goals we want for ourselves and our life. As to how we work with our private distance clients through the journey of adjusting, reducing and/or eliminating their medications we review that in depth during the assessment for you. As you can see on our Success Stories page, we have many online clients who have come to us on thyroid, autoimmune and other medications that were able to reduce and/or eliminate in very reasonable timeframes, where their former in-person and/or online leadership was unable to. There is still more investigation that has to happen to direct you than only what you’ve included above. Please reach out to our customer service team to request a Functional Health Assessment for professional evaluation so we can begin the process of recreating balance in your overall wellness, energy and weight. Also, download our free guide by joining our newsletter at the box at the bottom of the article, to receive updates on our upcoming e3 Energy Evolved offerings that will also help you.

  8. Pingback: Young Living Toothpaste & DIY Homemade Toothpaste - Anointed By Abba

  9. The best article ever on causes of hypothyroidism. I know for a fact it is systemic candida that does it when immune system is down due to emotional or physical stress of some kind as all pathogens are opportunistic. Defeating candida and fixing the hut are absolutely key in curing thyroid or autoimmune. When these are healed, the body can handle foods which were once problematic. Thank you for this insightfully accurate and informative piece of work. Namaste

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.