WARNING: Thyroid medication increases your risk of breast cancer
(NaturalHealth365) Today roughly 27 million Americans, 80% of them women, suffer from “thyroid disease” (a.k.a. hypothyroidism), 14 million in the form of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, which is also an autoimmune condition. In addition, an estimated 43,800 new thyroid cancer cases were diagnosed in 2022.
Exactly why there is an epidemic of hypothyroidism in this country can span many subject areas, including public policy. What doesn’t get enough air time, however, is what happens to most individuals after they receive a diagnosis of thyroid disease. The truth is that most are prescribed thyroid medication with dire consequences.
Conventionally-trained doctors continue to push prescription medication without a solution
Sometimes when a thyroid imbalance is severe, taking a synthetic medication for a certain period of time can help stabilize a dangerous situation. However, this should always be viewed as a short-term solution.
Synthetic drugs should never replace natural ways of regulating the thyroid, including nutrition, stress management, and supplementation – especially the use of iodine. Unfortunately, most doctors are all too happy to write a prescription for the most common thyroid medication out there – Synthroid. Plus, the biggest mistake, most physicians never test for common underlying issues, such as iodine deficiency.
Thyroid medication becomes a “best-seller” drug
It is no wonder that Synthroid, produced by AbbVie, is the most prescribed medication in the nation, with millions of people currently using it. Proponents of the drug say that it mimics the body’s natural production of thyroxine (T4).
A further look, however, suggests that Synthroid (i.e. levothyroxine) may not be all it’s cracked up to be. First of all, there are the known side effects, which include:
- Weight loss
- Menstrual cycle changes
- Temporary hair loss
- Chest pain
- Rapid or irregular heartbeat
In addition, Synthroid is not the same as thyroxine (T4) – a hormone that is produced naturally in your body; in terms of structure and function, the two are vastly different. After all, if they were “identical,” as proponents of the drug claim, how could it be patented?
Plus, Synthroid’s synthetically-produced T4 may actually be blocking the body’s natural use of thyroxine. The synthetic version competes with natural T4 hormones for cellular receptor sites. This may be one reason why most people who are prescribed Synthroid will be on it for life.
Finally, Synthroid only replaces T4 hormones. Your body has to convert T4 to T3, or triiodothyronine, which is the biologically-active form of the hormone. Many people have a hard time converting the synthetically-produced T4 hormone to T3. T3 conversion can also be hampered by factors such as selenium deficiency, low omega-3 fatty acids, low zinc levels, environmental toxins, and mental/emotional stress.
Difficulties with synthetic T4 to T3 conversion are also one of the reasons why it is so difficult to find the right dose for the drug.
The Synthroid-Iodine deficiency connection to breast cancer
The worst consequence of long-term thyroid medication use, however, is its direct link to cancer, especially breast cancer.
“Nearly every physician in the United States will reach for a prescription pad to order thyroid hormone when he sees a patient with goiter or symptoms of hypothyroidism,” says Dr. Jim Howenstine, MD, an internal medicine specialist. “This can be exactly the wrong thing to do if the patient has deficient stores of iodine.”
A study conducted by Ferdinand-Sauerbruch Hospital in Wuppertal, Germany, found that women taking thyroid medication were twice as likely to develop breast cancer as women who were not taking synthetic thyroid hormone replacement. What’s more, 20% of the women who had taken this medication for 15 years or more had developed breast cancer. Those who had taken it for 5 years had only a 10% incidence of breast cancer.
The reason for the discrepancy is simple. Western medicine is treating the wrong thing when it comes to thyroid issues. This same study compared the results of iodine therapy to that of Synthroid for individuals who had goiter.
Concerned about breast cancer? Don’t become iodine deficient
After 8 months, both treatments led to a reduction in goiter size. Both treatments were then suspended. After four months, the iodine-therapy group had normal-sized thyroid glands, while the Synthroid group saw their goiters return to pre-treatment levels.
There is a direct link between low iodine levels, hypothyroidism, and breast cancer. This is because the mammary glands have a “trapping system” for iodine, just like the thyroid gland does. Glands in the breasts compete with the thyroid gland for needed iodine.
90% of the world’s population is iodine deficient. Less iodine in the body equals less iodine for hormonal distribution in both the breast area and the thyroid. It was once commonplace for bread manufacturers in the United States to supplement their dough with iodine.
In the 1960s, that practice was eliminated, and bromide, a highly toxic substance that is known to directly affect the thyroid gland, was substituted instead. Is it any wonder that the incidences of thyroid-related conditions, especially Hashimoto’s, have skyrocketed over the last fifty years and that the rates of breast cancer in the U.S. also went from 1 in 20 to 1 in 8 during this same time period?
The first step: Get tested to protect yourself from breast cancer
The good news is that when your body is receiving enough iodine to do its job, depleted systems can become vibrant and healthy again in a relatively short period of time. The first step, however, is to get tested to check for both iodine deficiency and the existence of bromide in your system.
Work with a qualified integrative healthcare provider to improve your thyroid function and get ready for much better health outcomes.
Sources for this article include:
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