By Josh Redd, DC on June 8, 2018
We know pollution from industrial life is harmful to health. But studies show “social pollution” is proving to also be very harmful. Social pollution refers to too many work hours, lack of job security, out-of-control health care costs, chronic exhaustion, getting by in a gig economy, lack of support for parents, and never ending stress that has come to characterize a work life. It is so bad it is now recognized as the fifth leading cause of death. It could also be preventing your attempts to successfully manage Hashimoto’s low thyroid.
In the his book Dying for a Paycheck, author and Stanford University professor Jeffrey Pfeffer explains the devastating toll work expectations today have on our health.
Survey studies show work stress has made 61 percent of workers sick and hospitalized another 7 percent. When you are working to manage Hashimoto’s low thyroid, social pollution from work stress makes autoimmune flares harder to recover from.
Work-based stress is a major factor in the chronic diseases currently overwhelming our health care system, including diabetes, metabolic syndrome (pre-diabetes) cardiovascular disease, circulatory diseases, and autoimmune diseases like Hashimoto’s low thyroid. Alcoholism, drug addiction, and overeating are also attributed to high stress and loss of family and social support as a result of long, exhausting hours at work.
In fact, unhealthy work demands break up marriages and families, leave insufficient time for healthy socializing, and make it difficult for single people to establish new relationships.
Consistent healthy socialization is important for good health and social isolation is as bad for you as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. In fact, if you are working to manage your Hashimoto’s low thyroid, we prescribe regular social interaction.
Workplace stress and social pollution also keeps your nervous systems stuck in fight-or-flight — you never get a chance to unwind.
This is hard on your health. It ages the brain too quickly, causes leaky gut, upsets hormone balance, and increases the risk of obesity, cardiovascular disease, and addictive habits. It also raises inflammation, which makes it harder to manage Hashimoto’s low thyroid.
How to protect yourself from social pollution and work stress
Unfortunately, we can't change unfair work expectations overnight. However, be aware of them and don't buy into shaming and unhealthy expectations. Working long days with no days off doesn't make you a better person, it makes you a sicker person. Be careful with your self-views on this when you have Hashimoto’s low thyroid.
If you can downsize your life and live more modestly that may have dramatically help improve your Hashimoto's low thyroid.
However, many are working non-stop to barely get by. Although there is no easy answer to this, be aware of your situation, don’t expect too much from yourself, and see if there are ways you can work in some positive downtime.
The more people who are aware of the situation, the more chance we have to change public perception and work policies.
Meanwhile, support your Hashimoto’s low thyroid health the best you can with an anti-inflammatory diet and go for healthy, restful, and relaxing time as much as you can.
If you have a desk job and are too exhausted or busy to go to the gym, take regular breaks to walk or do some calisthenics. Regular exercise is vital to protecting your help and will help you better manage Hashimoto’s low thyroid.
Ask my office for more ways we can help you buffer your body from the negative effects of too much stress and manage your Hashimoto’s low thyroid with functional medicine.
How to learn if you have Hashimoto’s low thyroid
Many patients are not diagnosed with hypothyroidism or Hashimoto’s until after several years and going through several doctors. It is a demoralizing journey richly illustrated in my book The Truth About Low Thyroid: Stories of Hope and Healing for Those Suffering With Hashimoto's Low Thyroid Disease
, through real-life stories from patients in my practice. Managing Hashimoto’s goes far beyond using thyroid medication as you must work to stop the immune system from attacking the thyroid. For more information on identifying and managing Hashimoto’s low thyroid, contact
About Dr. Josh Redd, Chiropractic Physician — Utah, Arizona, New Mexico functional medicine
Dr. Joshua J. Redd, DC, MS, DABFM, DAAIM, author of The Truth About Low Thyroid: Stories of Hope and Healing for Those Suffering With Hashimoto's Low Thyroid Disease
, is a chiropractic physician and the founder of RedRiver Health and Wellness Center
with practices in Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico. He sees patients from around the world who suffer from challenging thyroid disorders, Hashimoto's disease, and other autoimmune conditions. In addition to his chiropractic degree, Dr. Redd has a BS in Health and Wellness, a BS in Anatomy, and a MS in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine. He speaks across the nation, teaching physicians about functional blood chemistry, low thyroid, Hashimoto's, and autoimmunity. You can join his Facebook page here