--lack of sunlight/vitamin D/indoor habitation --mental stress --more mental stress --sleep deprivation... (excessive mochas/lattes at Berkeley cafes) --excessive 'social' calendar --inherent family history of autoimmune disorders (who doesn't??) --wheat, wheat, and more wheat ingestion ('comfort foods' craved in times of high cortisol/stress, right? how did I know the carbs were killing me?) --lack of nutritious food containing EPA DHA, vitamin A, sat fats, minerals, iodine, etc --lack of play, exercise, movement (or ?overtraining perhaps for Oprah's case) --weight gain -- which begins an endless self-perpetuating vicous cycle of all the above (Is it stressful to balloon out for no apparent reason? YES)
If you haven't done so already, take a look at Animal Pharm you will get a real kick out of Dr. BG's quick-witted take on things.
We are systematically looking for low thyroid (hypothyroidism) in everyone and findings oodles of it, far more than I ever expected.
Much of the low thyroid phenomena is due to active or previous Hashimoto's thyroiditis, the inflammatory process that exerts destructive effects on the delicate thyroid gland. It is presently unclear how much is due to iodine deficiency in this area, though iodine supplementation by itself (i.e., without thyroid hormone replacement) has not been yielding improved thyroid measures.
I find this bothersome: Is low thyroid function the consequence of direct thyroid toxins (flame retardants like polybrominated diphenyl ethers, pesticide residues in vegetables and fruits, bisphenol A from polycarbonate plastics) or indirect toxins such as wheat via an autoimmune process (similar to that seen in celiac disease)?
I don't know, but we've got to deal with the thyroid-destructive aftermath: Look for thyroid dysfunction, even in those without symptoms, and correct it. This has become a basic tenet of the Track Your Plaque approach for intensive reduction of coronary risk.