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Is Your Job Hazardous To Your Thyroid Health?

Many people with thyroid conditions work in jobs that make it extremely difficult to restore their health back to normal when following a natural thyroid treatment protocol.  In fact, some people’s jobs can actually lead to the development of such a condition.  I realize that most people aren’t just going to quit their job based on what I write here, and I’m not suggesting that you should find another job, even if it is affecting your health.  In some situations there are things you can try to do to improve your health while keeping your current job, but in some cases, changing positions really is the only way you will be able to restore your health back to normal.

Let’s look at three different examples as to how one’s job can be hazardous to their thyroid health:

Hazardous Scenario #1: Rotating Shifts.  A person who is on rotating shifts will usually find it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to recover from their thyroid condition.  The reason for this is because if you rotate shifts on a weekly basis, or even every few weeks, this will put a lot of stress on your adrenal glands.  To understand why, one must look at the circadian rhythm one has with regards to their cortisol levels.  For someone who sleeps at night, upon waking up their cortisol levels should be the highest, and then lowest upon going to sleep.  In fact, having a healthy cortisol level in the morning will help give you the energy you need to get through your day, while the lowering of the cortisol levels at night will help you to fall asleep.

But for someone who works the first shift for a few days or weeks, and then has to work the third shift, this will eventually create havoc with their adrenal glands.  Sure, since the body does a great job of adapting, the person on a rotating shift might not notice any changes in their health for the first few months, or even a few years after initially beginning such a rotation.  But sooner or later it will weaken their adrenal glands.  And as I’ve stated numerous times in different blog posts and articles, stressed out adrenals can lead to the development of a thyroid condition.  And until this adrenal problem is addressed, there is little chance of curing the thyroid disorder through a natural treatment protocol.

With this scenario, trying to stay on a single shift is critical to your long-term health.  So even if you aren’t on a rotating shift, if you know someone who is currently on one, you might want to have them read this article.  Because even if they currently aren’t experiencing any health issues, there is a good chance they will develop some health problems in the future as a result of working such a shift.  And so having them read this may very well help them prevent a future thyroid condition from developing.

Hazardous Scenario #2: Frequent Exposure To Toxins.  Some work environments require the employees to be exposed to certain toxins.  Sometimes these toxins are known to everyone, while other times the workers are completely unaware of the toxins they’re being exposed to.  For example, many workplaces use harmful pesticides, which most employees aren’t aware of, yet they can have some harsh consequences.  There are many other chemicals companies use that their employees are unaware of.  Usually the employees aren’t made aware simply because most business owners don’t think about these chemicals as being toxic to their employee’s health, although many of these chemicals aren’t even tested, while others have been shown to cause health problems, but for some reason are still being used.

Obviously it can be difficult, if not impossible to change the work environment with regards to any toxic chemicals you’re routinely exposed to.  Assuming your main job duties don’t require directly working with these toxins, you might be able to speak with your manager or supervisor to see if there is any way to modify the work environment to eliminate some of the toxins.  Of course this can be difficult if you aren’t sure which toxins you are being exposed to at the workplace, and most employees would understandingly feel weird asking the supervisor whether the company uses pesticides, or any other potentially harmful chemicals.

As a result, sometimes the only realistic option is to look for a new job.  This without question is an extreme measure that many people will choose not to take, but if your work environment is aggravating your thyroid condition, and/or has contributed to its development in the first place, then getting a new job, and sometimes switching careers may be the best choice in order for you to fully recover.  It’s at least something you need to seriously think about if you’re concerned about your long term health. 

Hazardous Scenario #3: Dealing With A Lot Of Stress On A Frequent Basis.  Like the first scenario I discussed, dealing with chronic stress on a regular basis will affect the adrenal glands, which as mentioned above, can lead to the development of a thyroid condition.  It’s really amazing how much stress can affect our health, and many people have jobs that are very stressful.  Sometimes there isn’t much that can be done to change a stressful job environment, with the exception of finding another position, which I realize isn’t practical for most people, especially in this tough economy.  Part of the problem is that many people have jobs they don’t enjoy doing, which makes it even more stressful.  Others have to deal with a harsh boss, irate customers, and other factors which can make their work environment very stressful.

Even if you can’t completely eliminate the stressful environment, most people can do a much better job of handling the stress when they work.  Simply eating well, getting quality sleep at night, and exercising regularly will help you to better manage the stress when you work.  Taking certain nutritional supplements can also help as well.  But a lot of this is emotional in nature, meaning that many people simply need to develop better stress handling skills.  In other words, while you of course want to take your work seriously, it’s important to remember that getting stressed out isn’t going to help you accomplish more while on the job, and most of the time it will have an opposite effect.

I know I’m making it sound easier than it actually is to manage stress.  But most of the time, proper stress management skills at work simply comes down to continue working as hard as you can to get the job done, but realizing that there is only so much you can do, and not getting stressed out over those things you can’t do.  Once again, I realize that every position is unique, and that some jobs are more stressful than others.  But when you think about it, stressing out isn’t going to benefit you in any way.  For example, when one has to deal with a “mean” boss, getting stressed out isn’t going to help.  On the other hand, trying to have a good attitude regardless and giving it “your all” can definitely help.  The same concept applies when dealing with irate customers or clients, as a lot of it comes down to trying to keep as positive an attitude as you can, and realizing that as long as you work hard and continue doing a good job, then there’s really not much more you can do.

In summary, there are numerous factors in one’s job that can stress out their body, and eventually lead to the development of a thyroid condition.  And while one can’t completely control all three of these scenarios I’ve presented, there definitely are some things you can do to improve your overall health, and at the same time prevent the development of other conditions.  So if your job is affecting your health, then hopefully the information I’ve given here will help to reduce the negative impact it has, and help you better cope with stress, toxins, and other factors.