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Thyroid, Iodine, Flouride and Musical Chairs

So, we all grew up with the dentist giving us flouride treatments as kids. Well, we are grown now, and we do not need that anymore. Let's use the anaolgy of musical chairs to talk about a common ingredient in toothpaste and mouthwash that can disrupt your thyroid. Follow me on this.

Picture a game of musical chairs. Musical chairs is a childhood game that involves walking around a circle of chairs and pouncing into one when the music stops. Your goal is to sit down in a chair when the music stops. But sometimes you get bumped right out of your spot by someone bigger, faster or just more sneaky than you. Fluoride can mess up your thyroid by grabbing the seat meant for iodine.

Iodine acts to produce thyroid hormones T3 and T4 and thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) in the thyroid. However, fluoride from our toothpaste and mouthwash can be absorbed in the mouth or swallowed in small amounts, and it also finds its way to the iodine receptors in the thyroid!

Our thyroid allows the fluoride to sit where the iodine belongs. But fluoride does not activate thyroid hormones, it just blocks iodine from taking a seat and doing its job; this may cause the thyroid to malfunction. Yep. Sometimes another chemical can fool our bodies into accepting it in the desired chemical's "chair." When this happens, the intruding chemical or compound is taking the place of, and disrupting the function of an important vitamin or mineral, or hormone activator in our body.

If you have been diagnosed with thyroid issues, you may consider ditching your flouride toothpaste, and skipping the flouride treatments at the dentist. You are already grown, and have formed the hard enamel on your teeth years ago. (As a note, if a child gets a healthy diet with calcium and all of the recommended minerals, they may not need fluoride after age seven. But they do need to brush their teeth twice a day and floss once a day- that is another discussion for another time.)

Iodine is in many foods and also in iodized salt. An adult can get the daily recommendation of iodine ,150 mcg, with just 1/2 teaspoon of salt per day. While low sodium diets are recommended, and too much iodine is not healthy, it is essential to get the minimum daily recommendation of iodine daily. Natural sources include sea food, seaweed, yogurt, and eggs. Supplements such as potassium iodide, sodium iodide, kelp and iodine-containing herbs, such as bladderwrack, are available too.

SInce your thyroid manages your metabolism, it is prudent to ask your doctor to check your thryroid if you are experiencing unidentified health concerns. Some symptoms of thyroid issues may include, but are not limited to a drastic weight change up or down, exhaustion, skin issues, mood dysregulation, memory problems, hair loss and more. If a basic TSH test does not return results, and you want to further investigate the health and function of your thyroid, ask your doctor to measure all thyroid hormones to get a more complete story: TSH, T3, T4 and reverse T3. If your doctor says they do not do that, ask them why not! Sometimes telling them why you want a test will encourage them to put in the request for more testing. You can also go to a naturopathic doctor or hire a health coach that can point you toward out of network companies that will complete these for you. Your health is in your hands.

If you want to explore other sources of fluoride, and feel curious about avoiding common foods that may have more fluoride than you need, check out a website called Second Look at

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