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Toronto Functional Medicine View: Can Toxins Affect Your Thyroid?


Did you know that toxins could impact the state of your thyroid? According to functional medicine from Toronto, exposure to toxins could cause individual symptoms, such as insomnia, weight issues and heart palpitations – possibly triggering an autoimmune condition down the road.

A toxin is a man-made poisonous substance that can throw off the homeostasis of the body. Toxins can be in the form of bacteria, excessive doses of some medications, and even chemicals and heavy metals, like lead and cadmium.

Consequently, toxins can trigger chronic or acute health issues, especially poor thyroid health! But this isn’t news to scientists: “Environmental factors are estimated to contribute more that 40% to the risk of thyroid cancers and about 25% to the risk of autoimmune thyroiditis,” states PLOS One.

The thyroid must release hormones for metabolism, fertility, and numerous body systems. So imagine the bodily chaos if toxins attacked your thyroid! Here, the Toronto Functional Medicine Centre discusses toxin exposure, how it affects your thyroid, and removing toxins for optimal health.

How are we exposed to toxins?

Making contact with toxins is surprisingly simple. “Given that people in developed countries spend more than 90% of their time indoors, indoor environments are substantial contributors to human environmental exposures and, ultimately, population health,” says the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

Sometimes acute and chronic exposure in the workplace happens (i.e. mold, mishandling chemicals). Toxins could also be hiding in daily products, like plastic bottles – which could contain bisphenal A (BPA) – sofa flame-retardants, second-hand cigarette smoke, pesticides from fruits and vegetables, and cosmetics.

Thus, toxin exposure could instigate long-term health obstacles, especially for children. Babies are particularly vulnerable because toxins can disturb their thyroid hormones, which must be optimal for avoiding developmental issues.

Quick Facts:
– The thyroid creates the hormones: thyroxine (T4) and triidothyronine (T3)
– T4 converts into T3
– T3 supports the brain, heart, digestion and metabolism
– Hyperthyroidism is when the thyroid creates excessive amounts of hormones
– Hypothyroidism is when the thyroid does not release enough hormones into the blood

The connection between toxins and your thyroid

Removing toxins is compulsory for all ages. But in particular, toxin exposure could hinder your thyroid health.

According to a European Journal of Endocrinology article, “There is substantial evidence that polychlorinated biphenyls, dioxins and furans cause hypothyroidism in exposed animals and that environmentally occurring doses affect human thyroid homeostasis.”

Toxins can disturb thyroid hormone functions, even interfering with the metabolism of T3 and T4 (the hormones produced by the thyroid). In fact, some toxins contain a “structural resemblance” to T3 and T4, explains the European Journal of Endocrinology. These toxins can inhibit thyroid hormones from binding to cellular receptors or from transferring proteins, thus prompting a thyroid issue.

Additionally, heavy metals can enlist antibodies to tackle the thyroid; this can push you towards an autoimmune condition that hinders the thyroid, like Graves’ disease or Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. In one study, cadmium, chromium and lead exposures were shown to boost the likelihood of getting thyroid cancer and hypothyroidism. Although scientists deem that further scientific evidence is needed “to evaluate the potential toxicity mechanisms” of these metals, this highlights the fact that heavy metals influence thyroid health.

Truly, toxicities can transform your thyroid into poor shape. So can we remove toxins out of the body? As a matter of fact, yes!

How to remove toxins for long-term health

Integrative and functional medicine strategies could assist with toxin removal and prevention.

At the Toronto Functional Medicine Centre, we would first recommend suitable lab tests to see how your thyroid is holding up. A full thyroid panel would be suggested to analyze various thyroid hormones and their metabolites.

After receiving results from your functional medicine testing, a practitioner from our clinic can build a comprehensive treatment plan with a wide variety of treatment modalities. This is a personalized approach to wellness that’s catered to your needs only.

Quick Tips for Removing Toxins at Home:

– Shop for organic groceries
– Filter tap water before consumption
– Purchase soaps and detergents free of chemicals
– Avoid plastic food containers
– Avoid synthetic air fresheners

We might recommend some of the following to encourage toxin removal:

  • Dietary supplements: We have an evidence-based approach towards oral and intravenous supplementation. Iodine, for example, promotes detoxification and has been shown in studies to help manage hypothyroidism. This is because iodine encourages the production of T3 and T4 hormones.
  • Chelation therapy: Consists of ingesting a chelating agent or using IV therapy with a chelating agent to detoxify heavy metals out of the body. The chelating agent attaches to the metals in your body and then it’s eliminated through urination.
  • Metabolic reset detoxification program: We can build a personalized detox plan that revitalizes your metabolism, while promoting healthy detoxification and weight loss. Various tools will be used to restore your hormonal health and liver and kidney function.

Nourish your thyroid to stretch towards optimal wellness!

Are toxins lurking in your body? How are they affecting your thyroid? Let’s get to the root of your health issues at our Toronto private practice.

Our integrative care for patients embraces functional care and collaboration. We encourage our patients and healthcare providers to build treatment plans together, so please tell us how to personalize your clinical experience!

At the Toronto Functional Medicine Centre, we’re inviting new patients to have access to our comprehensive care. Our patients can consider a broad variety of allopathic treatments and natural treatment options, including Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupuncture, bio-identical hormone replacement therapy, naturopathic care, intravenous therapy, functional medicine blood tests, and other approaches in treatment.

Suggested Reading: Fighting Candida Overgrowth with Functional Medicine from Toronto

Are toxins triggering chronic symptoms? Let’s test your thyroid to find out. Call (416) 968-6961 or click here to book your functional medicine Toronto session. 

Disclaimer: The information in this article is designed for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. This information should not be used to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting a doctor. Consult with a health care practitioner before relying on any information in this article or on this website.



Boas, M., Feldt-Rasmussen, U., Skakkebæk, N. E., & Main, K. M. (2006). Environmental chemicals and thyroid function, European Journal of Endocrinology eur j endocrinol, 154(5), 599-611. Retrieved Jun 15, 2022, from

Ferrari, Silvia Martina et al. “Environmental Issues in Thyroid Diseases.” Frontiers in endocrinology vol. 8 50. 20 Mar. 2017, doi:10.3389/fendo.2017.00050

Pamphlett R, Doble PA, Bishop DP (2021) Mercury in the human thyroid gland: Potential implications for thyroid cancer, autoimmune thyroiditis, and hypothyroidism. PLOS ONE 16(2): e0246748.

Pearce EN, Braverman LE. Environmental pollutants and the thyroid. Best Pract Res Clin Endocrinol Metab (2009) 23:801–13. doi:10.1016/j.beem.2009.06.003

Rayman, M. (2019). Multiple nutritional factors and thyroid disease, with particular reference to autoimmune thyroid disease. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, 78(1), 34-44. doi:10.1017/S0029665118001192

Rezaei, M., Javadmoosavi, S.Y., Mansouri, B. et al. Thyroid dysfunction: how concentration of toxic and essential elements contribute to risk of hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, and thyroid cancer . Environ Sci Pollut Res 26, 35787–35796 (2019).

Zota, Ami R et al. “Reducing chemical exposures at home: opportunities for action.” Journal of epidemiology and community health, vol. 71,9 937–940. 29 Jul. 2017, doi:10.1136/jech-2016-208676


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