Can BPA and BPS Cause Thyroid Disruption?

Can BPA and BPS Cause Thyroid Disruption?According to new research done by UCLA, BPS (Bisphenol S), a replacement for BPA (especially in can linings and dollar bills), speeds up embryonic development and disrupts the reproductive system in Zebrafish. But that’s not the most shocking part of their research findings…it turns out that BPA and BPS cause thyroid disruption too (and at very low levels)!

Most people think of BPA as mimicking the effects of estrogen. But our work shows that it also mimics the actions of thyroid hormone. Because of thyroid hormone’s important influence on brain development during gestation, our work holds important implications for general embryonic and fetal development, including in humans.

My Personal Struggle with Thyroid Dysfunction

I’ve been studying BPA and its close relative, BPS, for years and this revelation floored me!

Have I ever told you about my own personal journey with thyroid dysfunction? I was originally diagnosed with Hashimoto’s about 15 years ago after several bouts of severe thyroiditis that seemed to come out of nowhere after my second baby was born. My thyroid basically quit working and I’ve struggled to find the cause ever since.

Through trial and error, I finally figured out that gluten causes an autoimmune response for me, so removing it from my diet has allowed me to be free of those random thyroiditis flare ups. The bummer though is that I’ve never been able to tolerate T4 medications (like Synthroid) without suffering heart palpitations and migraines. I never understood why until recently when I began working with a doctor here in Kansas City who specializes in tracking down answers to strange hormone problems like mine. Through extensive testing, he’s figured out that I am unable to properly convert T4 to T3 and that I actually convert much of the T4 in my system to Reverse T3 (an inactive form of T3 that is incapable of delivering oxygen and energy to the cells like T3 does).  According to Dr. Kent Holtorf, reverse T3 is actually an “antithyroid.” T3 is the active thyroid that goes to the cells and stimulates energy and metabolism, while reverse T3 is a mirror image and actually goes to the receptors, sticks there, and nothing happens. So in other words, it blocks the thyroid effect.

So maybe that’s why I’ve been having so much thyroid trouble all these years! I started taking bioidentical T3 a few months ago and am beginning to feel better overall, but this news about BPA really makes me wonder if early exposure to endocrine and thyroid disrupting chemicals in my baby bottle, formula container and canned baby food may have started me on the road to thyroid dysfunction.  I guess we may never know…

How to Avoid BPA and BPS

This study makes it clear that some of the alternative chemicals used in the manufacture of BPA-free products are not necessarily safer, so be sure to keep an eye out for BPS and other unlabeled endocrine disrupting chemicals hiding in #7 plastics and in the linings of canned food.

It just so happens that we recently published a comprehensive guide to decoding the mystery of plastics that will help you do just that!

Navigate Plastics Like a Ninja

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  • stephanie

    Hi, Alicia,
    Would you be willing to share the name of the doctor you have worked with in Kansas City? My son and I both have Hashimoto’s (he is 16 and has been battling severe metabolic syndrome and weight issues that I feel must be linked to the thyroid problem). We live in Des Moines and I would gladly drive to Kansas City to meet with a doctor like yours! Thank you so much!
    Stephanie

    • I’d be happy to share his info with you Stephanie! Please email me at alicia (at) thesoftlanding.com and I’ll get get right back to you. ~Alicia

  • Is there anything terrible problem BPA/ BPS isn’t linked to?? Thyroid issues run in my family as well. I have a sister on thyroid meds… Hope your condition improves soon.

  • I am not surprised if more and more people have thyroid issues down the road. So many people use plastics and eat canned food. I hope you are getting better.

  • Lori Popkewitz Alper

    Thanks for sharing your story Alicia. Unfortunately there are so many dealing with similar symptoms due to thyroid dysfunction. I’m glad you were able to find a doctor who was willing to work with you to find a solution.

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