I am a longtime fan of Dr. Joseph Mercola. I’ve been a reader of the Mercola.com health website for years. So you can imagine my surprise when the Mercola group contacted me about writing this article for Hypothyroid Mom. I nearly fell off my chair in shock. It is an honor to include health experts who have made such a difference in people’s lives, including mine.
Written by Elaine Rosales, a writer for Mercola
Thyroid dysfunction is one of the most prevalent endocrine diseases in the United States today. At least 4.6 percent of the U.S. population age 12 and older has hypothyroidism (a sluggish or underactive thyroid). According to PubMed Health, women over age 50 are at the highest risk of developing this condition.
There are numerous risk factors for hypothyroidism, but there’s one found in so many homes that many people aren’t aware of. Chances are you could even be drinking it right now – it’s none other than fluoridated water.
How Fluoride Affects Your Thyroid Function
Water fluoridation is an unnatural industrial process that was once heralded as “the solution to dental caries.” But now, this practice is under scrutiny, as ingesting fluoride – a poisonous industrial waste product – has been linked to many health problems, including hypothyroidism.
According to a 2006 report by the National Research Council of the National Academies, fluoride is an endocrine disruptor that can alter normal endocrine function and mess up your:
- Thyroid glands
- Parathyroid glands
- Pineal glands
- Adrenal glands
- Pancreatic glands
- Pituitary glands
Studies found that fluoride intake as low as 0.05 to 0.1 milligrams per kilogram per day (mg/kg/day) can lead to altered thyroid function. This is disturbing, considering that the latest estimates of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) say that an average American consumes almost three milligrams of fluoride daily, with some ingesting as much as six milligrams of fluoride per day.
Even more alarming are the effects on children, as their frail bodies are more at risk of fluoride side effects. According to the EPA, children weighing 14 kilograms (30 pounds) who consume more than 0.7 milligrams of fluoride per day are at risk of endocrine dysfunction. However, children in this weight range, usually one- to three-year-olds, are consuming over 1.5 milligrams of fluoride daily – that’s more than twice the amount necessary to alter thyroid function!
There are also many studies that confirm the link between fluoride ingestion and reduced IQ in children, as well as a high risk for dental fluorosis – the very problem that fluoride is supposed to be preventing in the first place.
Despite these strong evidence linking fluoride to altered endocrine function and other health problems, many local government agencies and “health experts” refuse to listen, and continue to promote fluoridation.
Hypothyroidism Can Have a Significant Impact on Your Health
Your thyroid gland produces the master metabolism hormones that influence every function in your body. It’s found in front of your neck and is part of your endocrine, or hormonal, system. The thyroid gland is responsible for maintaining your body’s overall metabolic rate, as well as for regulating normal growth and development.
Your thyroid hormones interact with all your other hormones, including cortisol, insulin, and sex hormones like progesterone, testosterone, and insulin. Since almost all active cells need the thyroid hormones to function properly, there’s no doubt that a dysfunctional thyroid can have a severe impact on your health.
Aside from exposure to fluoridated water, other lifestyle factors that can cause hypothyroidism include consuming a diet composed mostly of processed foods, having frequently elevated stress levels, and insufficient iodine in your diet. Gluten and food sensitivities, which cause inflammation, are also a common cause of thyroid dysfunction. Consuming unfermented, genetically modified soy, which is high in isoflavones (potent anti-thyroid agents), is also damaging to your thyroid gland.
Stand Up for Your Right to Fluoride-Free Water!
Fluoride has been classified as a “chemical having substantial evidence of developmental neurotoxicity,” according to scientists from the EPA’s National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory. Clearly, it is NOT meant to be ingested.
To protect yourself from hypothyroidism and other forms of thyroid dysfunction, make sure that you only drink fluoride-free water by installing a water filter that can effectively filter fluoride and other contaminants. You should also opt for fluoride-free toothpaste and mouthwash. Although these are not made to be ingested, they can be accidentally swallowed, especially by children.
You can also help end the practice of water fluoridation by supporting the anti-fluoride movement in your community and around the country. Many people are now standing up for their right to fluoride-free water, and one significant victory was seen last May 21, 2013, in Portland, Oregon, where residents successfully voted to keep fluoride out of its pristine water supply – making it the largest non-fluoridated city in the US.
About the Author
Elaine Rosales is a writer for Mercola, one of the top natural health websites in the world. She is researching the damaging effects of water fluoridation on human health, such as hypothyroidism and dental fluorosis. She hopes to share this information with people who do not have access to fluoride-free water, so that they may protect themselves and their families from this damaging neurotoxin.