Hamburger Thyrotoxicosis and Hyperthyroidism – What You Eat Can Kill You


Can your Burgers become a Thyroid Danger? Is it possible that your hyperthyroidism is caused by eating hamburgers?

Hyperthyroidism is the result of excess thyroid hormone production, causing an overactive metabolism and increased speed of all the body’s processes.

Thyroid hormone generally controls the pace of all of the processes in the body. This pace is called your metabolism. If there is too much thyroid hormone, every function of the body tends to speed up. The thyroid gland regulates the body temperature by secreting two hormones that control how quickly the body burns calories and energy. If the thyroid produces too much hormone, the condition is called hyperthyroidism, but if too little is produced the result is hypothyroidism.

Thyroid hormones are orally active, which means that consumption of thyroid gland tissue can cause thyrotoxicosis, a type of hyperthyroidism. Several outbreaks of thyrotoxicosis have been attributed to a practice, now banned in the US, called “gullet trimming”, where meat in the neck region of slaughtered animals is ground into hamburger. Because thyroid glands are reddish in color and located in the neck, it’s not unusual for gullet trimmers to get thyroid glands into hamburger or sausage.

People, and presumably pets, that eat such hamburger can get dose of thyroid hormone sufficient to induce disease.

Interestingly, community-wide outbreaks of thyrotoxicosis were caused by eating cow thyroid in ground beef in Minnesota, South Dakota and Iowa in 1984 and 1985. These outbreaks resulted in the prohibition of gullet trimming in all plants that slaughter cattle and pigs. When inexplicable thyrotoxicosis occurs, the possibility of exposure to animal thyroid, via access to meat from slaughtered farm animals or hunting game should be considered.

Bottom line- watch out what you eat, because this can be the cause for your Hyperthyroidism, not only Graves’ disease.

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