Do you feel toxic chemicals are out to get you? Studies link many chronic health conditions, including Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism, with toxic chemicals in our everyday environment. Man-made chemicals, pesticides, pollution, plastics, and heavy metals are a normal part of life for us all. Even radiation fallout from the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan is now on the list of health concerns for many Americans.
Toxic chemicals are associated with such conditions as autoimmune disease, including Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism, obesity and insulin resistance, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, cancer, migraines, depression, and hormonal imbalances.
Although we can minimize our exposure to toxic chemicals, we cannot completely escape them. So, short of wearing a non-toxic spacesuit (living in a plastic bubble is out because it will off-gas toxic chemicals), how can we protect ourselves?
Good toxic chemical defense starts with the diet
A variety of herbs and nutrients have been shown to protect the body from toxic chemicals and boost the liver's detoxification abilities. However, those compounds can't do their job if your diet is even more toxic than your environment. You can kick-start your defense system with an anti-inflammatory diet that cuts out sweet, starchy, and pro-inflammatory foods. Also, ditching food intolerances is vital for boosting your defenses against toxic chemicals, so take this issue seriously. Going gluten-free is necessary for many, especially those with Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism, and you may find you need to eliminate other foods as well.
Beyond that, studies have found a number of natural compounds that buffer the damage caused by environmental chemicals. These compounds work to tame inflammation, boost our antioxidant status, and support liver detoxification.
Resveratrol and curcumin for toxic inflammation
Toxins do their damage by setting off inflammatory cascades throughout the body that can be difficult to unwind. Studies have shown high doses of trans-resveratrol and curcumin, especially when taken together, can put the brakes on toxin-induced inflammation. Ask my office about a high-dose, liposomal form of these compounds, which have been shown to be highly effective, including for taming thyroid symptoms related to Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism.
Boost your body’s defenses against toxic chemicals
Glutathione is our master antioxidant, taking the bullet from toxins to protect cells. When your glutathione levels drop, you open yourself up to toxin-induced health problems, including Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism. Nutrients that boost glutathione levels in your cells include n-acetyl-cysteine, cordyceps, Gotu Kola, milk thistle, L-glutamine, and alpha lipoic acid.
Turn your body into a detox machine
Another defense is to turn your body into an efficient detoxing machine. Although the liver was not designed to process many man-made chemicals, it still needs support in the face of toxic chemicals. When toxic chemicals overburden the body, they create inflammation and damage, which taxes the liver. As a result, it may not be able to properly metabolize many compounds from both inside and outside the body. This adds to the body's toxic load and makes it more vulnerable to environmental chemicals.
In addition to taming inflammation and boosting your antioxidant status, you may also need to support the different detoxification pathways in your liver. Nutrients that support these pathways include methyl B12, selenium, molybdenum, dandelion root, milk thistle, trimethylglycine, Panax ginseng, and MSM. Be sure to also ask my office about effective liver support.