Thyroid Toxins Hidden in Plain Sight

April 10, 2018
Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Award-winning nutritionist and New York Times bestselling author.

Detox your thyroid to recharge your energy and boost your metabolism.

Thyroid is a big deal. In fact, the latest issue of Woman’s World magazine ran this eye-catching headline: “THYROID DETOX, Boost Metabolism 53%! Lose 15 lbs in 14 days!”

So, it’s clear that thyroid is linked to weight loss and a whole host of other issues. Let’s take a closer look.

Over 21 billion pounds of toxic chemicals are released into our air, land, and water every year, with over 4.5 billion pounds of this being known carcinogens. With this level of environmental assault, it’s no wonder our thyroid glands are struggling under the weight of all these toxins. The result of this struggle is weight that won’t come off, fatigue that isn’t relieved by sleeping, depression, constipation, dry skin and hair, loss of appetite, fluid retention, insomnia, muscle stiffness, and so much more.

If you are experiencing these symptoms, you’re in good company. It’s estimated 20 million Americans have thyroid disease, and this is only an estimate because up to 60 percent of people with thyroid disease don’t even know they have it. I believe this number is actually substantially higher, due to misdiagnosis and symptoms being written off as menopause or “a normal part of the aging process.” There is nothing normal about feeling tired all the time – it’s often your thyroid sending you signals it’s overloaded with a toxic burden.

The thyroid is a small butterfly-shaped gland that sits at the base of the neck. Despite its small size it packs a big punch – it produces hormones that affect every cell in your body. Your thyroid regulates your body temperature, determines how fast or slow you metabolize the food you eat, and supports your immune, nervous and digestive systems. The thyroid is sensitive to your environment, so identifying these toxins and removing them goes a long way toward restoring health to this overworked gland.

The Top Threats to Your Thyroid

1. Avoid Iodine Disruptors

Iodine is essential to proper thyroid function, and deficiency is the most common cause of hypothyroidism. The thyroid hormone T3 is formally called triiodothyronine, which means each molecule of T3 contains 3 iodine ions. Iodine is part of the halide family, which includes fluoride, bromide, and chlorine. Because these 3 chemicals are so abundant through fluoridated water and toothpaste, brominated flour and processed foods, and chlorinated tap water, the little bit of iodine we get in our diets is often out-competed by these sister chemicals , blocking iodine absorption, so hormones like T3 are made with fluoride or bromide instead of the essential iodine.

This incorrectly produced hormone is not biologically active and can’t be used properly by the body. In some cases, the level of TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) increases to try to increase the production of thyroid hormones, and when your doctor sees this on a blood test you’re diagnosed with hypothyroidism. In most cases, however, the blood levels actually look normal because our testing can’t differentiate between a thyroid hormone made with iodine and one made with fluoride or bromide. This results in you leaving your doctor’s office frustrated because you have all the symptoms of a thyroid problem even though your tests look normal.

Fortunately, there are answers that go beyond testing. The first is to eliminate common sources of fluoride – filter your tap water, use non-fluoride toothpaste, and become a “tea-totaler” – eliminate black tea, green tea, and Kombucha from your diet. Second, avoid sources of bromide – processed foods, white flour, saltwater pools and hot tubs, pesticides (commonly used on strawberries), plastics, fire retardants (used in carpets, mattresses, furniture, and clothing), citrus-flavored sodas, and certain medications.

Finally, avoid chlorine by filtering your water, including shower and tub filters. The issue isn’t only municipal water supplies that are chlorinated, but also the presence of perchlorate, a chemical used in rocket fuel, fireworks, and pesticides, which is now ubiquitous in our water supply. I recommend and personally use the water filters from UNI KEY Health. Once you’ve removed these halide sources from your environment, supplement least 3mg of Boron daily to detox fluoride and bromide from the thyroid.

2. Mind Your Metals

Numerous heavy metals affect the health of the thyroid, with the worst offender being mercury. Unfortunately for your thyroid, mercury is chemically similar to iodine, so it’s easily fooled and quickly uptakes and stores this toxic heavy metal, once again blocking iodine absorption. But worse than halides, mercury is a neurotoxin and through an unknown mechanism doubles the risk of autoimmune thyroid disease in women. Mercury is abundant in cosmetics, fish, dental fillings, vaccines, pesticides, and water contaminated with the emissions from coal-burning power plants.

Other heavy metal thyrotoxins include aluminum, arsenic, beryllium, cadmium, lead, thallium, tin, and uranium. Not sure if you’ve been exposed? I recommend Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis (HTMA or TMA), available through UNI KEY Health. This test measures your levels of both beneficial and heavy metals present in a small hair sample. In my Inner Circle this month, I am going through each member’s results and giving a detailed analysis with recommendations for optimal health. It’s not too late to join us!

3. Say Goodbye to Gluten

Gluten intolerance is not limited to digestion alone. Once the body sees gluten as its enemy, it goes on a search and destroy mission to attack any gluten in the body. The molecular structure of gliadin, a component of gluten, so closely resembles the structure of thyroid tissue that your body attacks that, too. Gluten actually causes you to attack your own thyroid. You must completely eliminate all sources of gluten – no cheating – in order for your body to begin to heal completely.

4. Eliminate Electropollution

A staggering 95 percent of Americans own a cell phone today, including the Amish! With 75 percent also owning a laptop, wireless devices are everywhere these days. Even if you aren’t using your cell phone or WiFi right now, you’re in range of someone else’s. It’s getting harder and harder to unplug completely and avoid EMFs (electromagnetic fields), and it’s costing us our health.

EMF exposure affects both the structure and function of your thyroid, even low-level EMFs. After a tremendous amount of research, I’ve discovered that EMFs cause the cells in the body to go on “lock-down mode,” trapping this radiation inside while impairing detox processes. Electropollution has exploded in recent years and will likely only get worse as technologies like 5G loom on the horizon (read more about this here).

While I’ve drastically limited my cell phone use, I won’t be giving it up and I don’t think you will, either. This is why I wrote Zapped with over 1000 ways to defend yourself from the harmful effects of EMFs. A good place to start is with the antioxidant superstar glutathione to protect and detoxify all of your cells. I recommend Fat Flush Whey Protein Powder as a rich source of glutathione’s building blocks, with an added benefit of increased weight loss and lower cholesterol. I also recommend a Shungite necklace, worn close to the base of the throat where the thyroid gland sits. This natural stone neutralizes the harmful effects of EMFs. You can read more about this wonderful stone here.

Despite these common thyroid threats, IT IS possible to lose weight and get your energy back!
I’ve created my QuickStart plan (featured in the Woman’s World Cover story) with your thyroid health in mind and included several elements to help you achieve healthy weight loss while detoxing your tired thyroid. I hope you’ll join us for the next QuickStart challenge beginning April 23rd. Learn more and get your QuickStart Guide here.

Related Articles and Podcasts

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS, is an award-winning New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty books including The Fat Flush Plan series and her latest book, Radical Metabolism. She’s been rewriting the rules of nutrition for more than 40 years and is internationally recognized as a pioneer in the field of diet, detox and women’s health issues. 

For a FREE daily dose of tips and strategies for maintaining healthy weight, conquering insomnia, and much more…check out my Radical Health Tips.

I’d like to meet and greet you on my Facebook groups, so won’t you check us out at the Radical Metabolism RevolutionFat Flush Nation, or my Inner Circle!


  1. Kim

    My husband was just diagnosed with Hyperthyroidism. Can he go on this diet with me? He lost a lot of weight due to this condition? I thought doing the Quick Start might kick his thyroid back into balance?


    • Team ALG

      Kim, yes he can go on this diet with you. Since he is hyperthyroid he needs more food, especially carbohydrates. He can add a serving of starchy veggies like sweet potato, white potato or squash at every meal. He can also add better or cream. To help slow the thyroid he can take 5-10 mg of lithium orotate per day.

  2. Angelik Alexander

    I was diagnosed with hypothyrodism and always felt tired after work. I could have enough energy at work, but when home it was hard to make dinner and do more. I was just tired. I had done the Fat Flush Diet years ago to lose weight, but then follow the Fat Flush Nation, Ann Louise Gittleman’s following of other Fat Flushers and then learned about her new Quick Start. Since I was familiar with the Fat Flush Diet and hormone changes and thyroid had gained weight. I was not following Phase 3 or the lifetime either. The Quick Start challenge worked great for me. I was able to lose some weight then transitioned to Phase 1 after the 2 week Quick start and had started losing more. I was losing inches though and lost 14 Lbs in about 4 weeks. I recommend it to anybody struggling with metabolism problems and thyroid and weight gain. I felt really good til end of night. Had to even make myself go to bed.

  3. Cindy Sauthoff

    I would like to start using this detox program and was wondering if I can use something other than coffee for the energy boosting breakfast. I have never liked coffee, it makes me nauseous. I am going to try to find the dandelion tea root, but I don’t particularly care for tea either. Please help. Thank you.

    • Team ALG

      Cindy, the roasted dandelion root tea is available at health food stores and now at many markets. When you add the other ingredients in the Energy Blaster it has a lot of flavor!

  4. Shawna

    Hi – I am allergic to coconut. Is there a replacement I can use in the morning drink? Thank you for the great information – I own all of the Fat Flush books and am so grateful for them!

    • Team ALG

      Shawna, there isn’t a replacement for the coconut milk. You can just have it without it.

  5. Luis Ferro

    Thank you for the tips regarding iodine. Do you recommend using supplements to correct a possible iodine deficiency?


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