Oestrogen, Iodine, Thyroid Part 2. Last month I talked about how these three things work within your body. Briefly looking at what they do individually, and how they interact.
Now in part 2 I will talk about what can interfere with the processes of what Iodine, oestrogen and thyroid within your body. As well as what you can do to support their activity. Hopefully preventing any other issues related from the disruption, occurring.
What can interfere with oestrogen, iodine, and thyroid function?
There are several things that can interfere with how oestrogen iodine and the thyroid interact. Several of these can come from nutrient deficiencies, others from a sluggish liver, poor gut health and environmental toxins/chemicals.
Sometimes it is not just one source that can disrupt this interaction, it can be from several. And as you know, a lot of little bits make a ‘big bit’, which is when you begin to experience issues.
Needed to make thyroid hormones Even though you only need small amounts in your body (trace amounts), it has a major impact on how your thyroid functions and other biochemical processes that need iodine. Mainly found in sea food, seaweed and dairy products.
Poor liver function
If your liver is overburdened, due to having to breakdown too many chemicals/toxins; it won’t be able to clear out excess oestrogen and, it’s by products effectively. As well as not being able to process phytates, alkaloids and other molecules.
Adipose tissue produces oestrogen which can reduce T3 levels. And high oestrogen levels cause you to produce more histamine. Which in turn leads you to have heavier periods, cramping, etc. You can read more about this in a previous blog Histamine – PMS & Anxiety
Poor gut health
Microbiome imbalance can also cause inflammation, or make existing inflammation worse. Your digestive system isn’t able to absorb the nutrients that it needs, making any deficiencies worse.
Lithium affects iodine levels, amiodarone inhibits thyroid function.
Mercury, lead, aluminium, copper. You can do HTMA testing.
Iron, Folate, B12, B6, Selenium, Zinc, Copper. These are cofactors that are needed for various biochemical activities, for the production of other molecules. Molecules that are needed for other functions within the reproductive and thyroid processes, amongst others. This can happen from not have a well rounded diet, or due to other biochemical processes being in overdrive from stress, excess toxins, poor gut health; or, eating fruit vegetables that are grown in soil that may be depleted in certain vitamins and/or minerals such as iodine, selenium
Low protein intake
Phenylalanine is an essential amino acid that makes tyrosine, the amino acid needed to make thyroid hormones plus dopamine and, glutamine for synthesis of GABA.
When your body is in chronic stress mode, your body ‘detours’ tyrosine over to make dopamine, which keeps you focused, energised, etc to cope with the stress. But when the stress is ongoing, having too much dopamine can then cause you to become agitated, aggressive, impulsive. And if you have less tyrosine available to make T3 and T4, then your metabolism slows down. When this happens you then feel lethargic, not able to concentrate, lose motivation to do things among other things.
These are molecules that can either stimulate production of oestrogen or, they mimic oestrogen. Which at certain times, such as in peri-menopause and menopause, are beneficial. But most of the time, these are not good as they can cause other reproductive health issues – even in men!
Goitrogens – this refers to molecules that can stop cells or, other molecules, from interacting with Iodine. Putting a ‘spanner in the works’. This mainly comes from eating foods such as broccoli, cabbage, raddish, spinach, corn, strawberries, soy etc. But for these foods to interfere with iodine and thyroid function, you need to be eating a lot. Or, if you already have a slow functioning thyroid, you need to keep away from these and/or eat smaller amounts and not so often.
Chemicals – these can be from general household cleaning products. These don’t have to be heavy-duty industrial chemicals. Once you start to look at the products within your home, you’ll begin to see that many you don’t need. And some of these are hard for your liver to break down and remove from your body.
- Organophospate pesticides
- Phthalates –
- Polybrominated diphenyl ethers
- Sodium Hydroxide
- Bisphenol A
- Polychlorinated biphenyls (PBC)
- Polyhalogenated aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH)
These can be found in oven cleaners, dish washing liquids, window cleaners, multipurpose cleaners, shampoo, conditioners, nail polish, hair spray, baby clothing, insulation, computers, scented lotions/soaps, children’s toys, room deodorisers and gardening products, just to name a few items.
How to support oestrogen, Iodine, and Thyroid function
Don’t worry, it’s not all doom and gloom for you! There are lots of things that you can do to support thyroid function along with oestrogen and iodine. Some things will take a bit of time to implement and change long time habits, but once you’ve gone through the process you’ll be set up for life.
Detox your home
Look out for endocrine disruptors, which can either speed up or slow down thyroid function. This is turn will have an impact on your menstrual cycle – even if going through menopause. These things coming from chemicals that are found in general household cleaning products, and some from industrial products – which you may be exposed to, or use, at work. Look around your home and see where you can start to eliminate cleaning products. You don’t need so many. Try to find more natural alternatives, that are safer for your health, body and environment.
May need to remove vegetables from the nightshade family, for a little while. This will help to reduce the load on your liver, as they are harder to digest. Once your liver has recovered, you can reintroduce them to your meals. You have be experiencing symptoms of – bone pain, achy, rheumatoid arthritis, which could be due to poor clearance of the alkaloids produced by these vegetables, and possibly sensitivity to.
- Cayenne pepper
- Chilli powder
- Tomato sauce/paste
Increase intake of iodine rich foods and you may need to supplement with iodine if your levels are really low. But before this is done, you will need to have your iodine levels tested.
Soak beans over night to remove phytates, trisaccharides and other compounds that bind thyroid hormones. Especially if you have these more than twice a week.
You can also add Brazil Nuts to your diet, to get Selenium. Three a day should give you your daily requirement.
If you are wanting to keep grain, legumes and vegetables from the Brassicaceae family (broccoli, cauliflower, etc). There are some things that you can do to deactivate some of the molecules that can interfere with thyroid function.
- Soak legumes overnight and throw out the water
- Cook the broccoli, etc; do not eat raw
- Have your legumes with some fats, to slow down the release of glucose, helping to manage blood sugar levels
- Don’t cook fermented foods, as you will destroy benefits of pro/prebiotic in them
- Toast nuts and buckwheat, to again release those molecules that can interfere with your thyroid
Well, there you have it, the conclusion of how oestrogen, Iodine and the thyroid are interconnected. I hope that this all makes sense, and that you have gained some useful information
- Head K. A. (1998). Estriol: safety and efficacy. Alternative medicine review : a journal of clinical therapeutic, 3(2), 101–113.
- Kapil U. (2007). Health consequences of iodine deficiency. Sultan Qaboos University medical journal, 7(3), 267–272.
- Kimmo A. Michelsen, Jos Prickaerts, Harry W.M. Steinbusch (2008)The dorsal raphe nucleus and serotonin: implications for neuroplasticity linked to major depression and Alzheimer’s disease, Editor(s): Giuseppe Di Giovann, Vincenzo Di Matteo, Ennio Esposito, Progress in Brain Research, Elsevier, Volume 172, 233-264, ISSN 0079-6123, ISBN 9780444532350, https://doi.org/10.1016/S0079-6123(08)00912-6.
- Thyroid Master Class (2019), Health Masters