Common chemicals in new disease link

PFCs are known as "everywhere chemicals" because, well, they're everywhere -- in everything from clothing to carpets to cosmetics to cookware.

And that's just the letter "C."

But do your best to make sure these "everywhere" chemicals are nowhere near you and your family, because they don't stay in clothing, carpets, cosmetics and cookware.

They can get inside your body -- and once inside, they can do serious damage, with one new study of hypothyroidism symptoms in women showing how common PFCs can target your thyroid.

That's a gland you need to produce essential hormones.

But PFCs can change how the thyroid functions and even slow it down -- and in women, these chemicals can slow it down so much that it can cause mild hypothyroidism symptoms in women, according to the new study of more than 1,100 people.

That's not just a reduction in thyroid hormones. That's when levels fall far enough to affect how you feel -- and it doesn't feel good. Hypothyroidism symptoms in women-- even mild hypothyroidism -- include  fatigue, depression, weight gain, menstrual problems and more.

Unfortunately, I'm seeing an increasing number of thyroid patients in my own clinic -- both men and women alike -- and exposure to toxins such as PFCs is a big part of the problem.

If there's any good news here, it's that all is not lost. A holistic physician can work with you on a detox regimen that can help restore function to the thyroid.

But realize that your doctor can only do so much here -- because if you keep exposing yourself to these chemicals at home every day, then all the detox in the world won't make much of a difference in the long run.

That's why it's critical to limit your exposure to PFCs during and after your detoxification.

Start by replacing your nonstick cookware with an old-fashioned cast-iron skillet. In addition, wear clothing made from natural fibers that haven't been treated with anything to make them wrinkle-free, flameproof or stain-resistant.

Yes, this means you might have to go back to ironing your clothes and maybe even cooking a little differently. But since PFCs have been linked to everything from cancer to early menopause, I'd say it's a tradeoff worth making.