Could Your Water Be Making Your Thyroid Worse?

As if there was not enough to worry about, there always seems like there is one more layer to go deeper, right?

Not all water is problematic, but a study published in the 2014 edition of the Scientific World Journal found that a common additive to water has been linked to Hypothyroidism, Cognitive Impairment, Enzyme disruption, Arthritis and bone degeneration, and even cancer.

So just what is this ingredient? Well, it is one that most of us have been told is really good for us and essential for public health…Fluoride. 

For a great detail of the pros and cons of its addition to the water supply, I highly recommend that you check out the full text of the study and its references to other studies. You can click HERE to view it on PubMed.org.

While there have been studies that show that topical application of fluoride can have some benefits in cavity prevention, many studies show that ingestion of it has some serious adverse effects on many systems in the body.

This particular study concluded that the “mechanisms through which fluoride exacerbates hypothyroidism include competitive binding with iodine, as well as synthesis obstruction of T3 and T4.

And how many of you out there with Hashimoto’s have problems with low T3? (that is, if you can even get your doctor to order that test…)

So when we look at that statement, it is pretty powerful. Many patients are already low in iodine, which impairs thyroid function. However, paradoxically they cannot supplement with it because it can increase antibody activity and increase the rate of destruction of thyroid cells (click here to see Dr Kharrazian’s article for his take on the iodine controversy), and now fluoridated water can make their iodine problem even worse.

Also, many patients have trouble converting T4 to T3, and again fluoride complicates it even further.

Of important note is a study from April 2016 in the journal Biological Trace Elements Research, which found that the greatest damage to thyroid follicular epithelial cells occurred when the patient was exposed to both iodide and fluoride.

Furthermore, they found that “iodine-deficient children ingesting fluoridated water have been found to demonstrate intellectual deficits even at water fluoride levels of 0.9 ppm”.  

The study also found that fluoride can also impair the absorption of calcium and magnesium as well, while also disrupting the activity of key enzymes, like cytochrome P450, which is important for numerous biological processes, such as oxygen binding, photosynthesis, respiration, and detoxification.

When your body’s detoxification pathways are hindered, this can also have a negative impact on thyroid function,

When it comes down to children and fluoride in the water, there is some very worrisome data on Chinese populations. A 2012 study in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives found that “Children who lived in areas with high fluoride exposure had lower IQ scores than those who lived in low-exposure or control areas.”

So What Increases Our Risk of High Exposure to Fluoride?

The studies I referenced here recommend that you look at ALL sources of fluoride to get an idea of your combined total exposure. First, you can contact your local water agency to find out what the fluoride level is in your local water. You can install home filtration units to remove the fluoride from the water to minimize your exposure. The CDC states that in areas where fluoride is added to the water it averages 0.7 ppm, though other sources say it can be higher than that.

My favorite thing, drinking TEA, can increase your intake of fluoride and risks for overexposure. Boiling water can double the concentration of fluoride in the water, and many teas have high levels, which varies by brand and type. Cereals and some condiments also contain it.

Then there are the fluoridated mouthwashes and toothpastes. You have to add all these up to get an idea of your exposure. The studies I cited stated that you can get a great reduction in cavities by dietary changes, such as eliminated processed carbs and sugars, and by having good overall nutritional health and hygeine.

Again, I highly recommend that you read for yourself the studies I cited here and come to your own conclusions about what is best for you and your family.

Feel free to message me @drkirkgair, or follow me on facebook at www.Facebook.com/ThyroidInfo.

 

Is Giving UP Gluten REALLY Necessary for Hashimoto’s Patients, or Just Fad Hype?

Unless you are newly diagnosed, chances are you have heard a lot about the connection between eating gluten (a protein found in wheat, barley, rye, oats) and auto immune diseases like Hashimoto’s.

You also have probably heard from your doctor, online nutritionists, and many mainstream media outlets and late night talk show hosts saying it is a lot of BS, and that you actually NEED gluten to be healthy.

So Who Is Right?

And also, just how strict do I really need to be? Can’t I have a little cheat? What if I don’t have any gut symptoms?

To find out the answer, I searched through research articles on PubMed. I already knew my stance on the issue, but wanted to make sure there was current research that supported it.

The September 2015 edition of the journal Gastroenterology  found high “proportions of patients with NCWS or CD develop autoimmune disorders, are ANA positive, and showed DQ2/DQ8 haplotypes”. (note- NCWS is non-Celiac wheat sensitivity.)

In the March 2015 journal Cerebellumgluten was further linked to neurological disorders such as gluten ataxia, where there were no gut symptoms whatsoever, and occurred most commonly in patients with Hashimoto’s and other auto immune diseases. Check out this quote from the study:

“As with celiac disease, patients with GA (gluten ataxia) are often found to have an increased prevalence of additional autoimmune diseases the commonest of which include hypothyroidism, type 1 diabetes mellitus and pernicious anemia. Gastrointestinal symptoms are seldom prominent and are not a reliable indicator for the presence or absence of enteropathy. In this respect, gluten ataxia resembles dermatitis herpetiformis, an autoimmune dermatopathy triggered by gluten where gastrointestinal symptoms are not prominent even in the presence of an enteropathy.” (parenthesis and bold added by me for emphasis and clarification)

Wow. That is pretty powerful. How many of you with brain symptoms has ever had your doctor consider a possible gluten connection?

Did you know that a study from 3 years ago showed an increased need for T4 in patients with atypical Celiac disease?

How about that the need for increased T4 dosage reversed when the patient adopted a gluten free diet?

This study was in the March 2012 journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. Have you ever had your endocrinologist consider that this may be another reason your T4 is not working as it should, or did they ridicule you when you asked about it?

As far back as 1999, the Italian Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology   concluded the following:

The prevalence of coeliac disease in patients with autoimmune thyroid diseases is significantly increased when compared with the general population (p = 0.009) but not with patients affected by non autoimmune thyroid disorders (p = 0.18). We suggest a serological screening for coeliac disease in all patients with autoimmune thyroid disease measuring anti-endomysial antibodies, considering that early detection and treatment of coeliac disease are effective in preventing its complications.”

I could go on and on with studies that show the connection between gluten reactions, both non-celiac and celiac, and auto immune diseases, but it would quickly turn into a book.

The 2013 study in the journal Brain and Nerve by Yoneda even showed connections between Hashimoto’s encephalitis and gluten ataxia, which caused not only thyroid symptoms but neurological symptoms.  Thus gluten intake actually triggered not only reactions in the thyroid but also the brain.

Ok, so there IS a connection, but can’t I have an occasional cheat?

I remember talking to my friend Dr Datis Kharrazian about this. My wife had gotten seriously ill from her thyroid and mine was wreaking havoc on my life as well.

He asked if we were gluten free. I told him “mostly, like 95%.”

His response was that there was no such thing as mostly gluten free…just like you could not be mostly pregnant…you either ARE or ARE NOT…

It wasn’t what I wanted to hear, but it was what I needed to hear. He then told me something that the immunologists at Cyrex Labs confirmed when I had a consultation with one of their top doctors.

Just ONE exposure to gluten, one little bite of a “cheat”, could trigger an immune flare up that lasts 6 months to one year.

One year…that is HUGE.

I highly recommend that you go onto www.PubMed.org and search for yourself. The number of research studies is mind boggling.

Also check out www.CyrexLabs.com to read about the cutting edge tests that they are running for food reactions, environmental toxins, chemicals, metals, etc.

I hope this gives you some helpful info, and be sure to talk this over with your functional medicine or functional neurology practitioner for customized help.

You can follow me @drkirkgair or www.Facebook.com/ThyroidInfo

 

Anxiety? Panic Attacks? Depression? Recent Studies Showed Cold Laser Helped Patients and Had No Side Effects

So many patients come into my office complaining of “Panic Attacks”, “Anxiety”, “Depression.” For Hashimoto’s patients, these are very common to experience, and they can be extremely frustrating to manage.

Obviously optimizing thyroid function and making sure you have adequate free T3 and T3 uptake should be addressed in all depression patients. Also with panic attacks you should seek the help of a qualified psychologist and also rule out neurological problems or cardiac causes.

However, there are several recent studies that have shown Cold Laser, also known as low level laser or photobiomodulation, to be beneficial for not only mood and anxiety but also overall brain function.

In the 2009 edition of the journal Behavioral and Brain functions, they found that just 1 treatment with a cold laser to both sides of the head reduced depression and anxiety for several weeks.

“We gave one 8-minute treatment with NIR-PBM (cold laser) to 10 patients with major depression, including 7 with a history of substance abuse (6 with a past history of opiate abuse and one with a past history of alcoholism), and 9 with an anxiety disorder, including 3 with PTSD. We found significant reductions in both mean HAM-D (depression measurements) and HAM-A (anxiety measurements) rating at 2 and 4 weeks following treatment. At 2-weeks post treatment 6 of 10 of patients had a remission (a score ≤ 10) on the HAM-D and 7 of 10 on the HAM-A. We observed no side effects.” (parenthesis added by me for clarification)

Here is the link to that article: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2796659/?report=reader

This is pretty exciting news, especially when you consider the other studies I have been writing about on my facebook page, www.Facebook.com/ThyroidInfo, that have shown that cold laser can increase serotonin levels in the brain, decrease inflammation, stimulate the formation of new brain cells, modulate the activity of glial cells, and even decrease thyroid antibody levels and normalize thyroid tissue on ultrasound.

So what does this mean for you? Well, the good news is that cold laser is something you can try that is inexpensive and has no side effects and may be able to help with these conditions. The bad news is that, although lasers have been around for over 40 years, they are still relatively in their infancy in Western Medicine.

I have been using them for over 11 years, but patients may find it challenging to find a well trained provider who knows how to use the laser properly.  A good resource to find one near you can be found at www.Erchonia.com. You can use their zip code search engine. Still, be sure to question the doctor to see if they are aware of this info and have completed training.