What is fluoride and why should you know about it? Learn about 4 negative effects of fluoride on the body and how you can prevent it happening to you.
Fluoride was originally added to water as a purifying agent after researchers discovered that people living in areas with high fluoride levels had less tooth decay.
It’s well-known to be a decay-prevention agent, but at what cost? Here are some of the other, less known effects that too much fluoride can have on your health.
1. Skeletal Fluorosis
Skeletal fluorosis is a bone disease that can result from high amounts of fluoride. It often comes from drinking a lot of water over a long period of time.
As fluoride accumulates in the bones over the years, the bone structure begins to change. In the early stages, symptoms include joint pain and stiffness.
In later stages, it can also cause calcification of the ligaments. This can compromise how your muscles work, leading to pain.
It’s very difficult to diagnose skeletal fluorosis, as the symptoms are very similar to conditions like osteoarthritis, spondylosis, and renal osteodystrophy.
2. Thyroid Issues
Research has shown that high fluoride exposure disrupts the functioning of the thyroid gland. This causes the thyroid hormones to go haywire, leading to hypothyroidism. Not only that, but it can also lead to problems with the levels of calcium in the body.
You may end up with higher-than-normal levels of calcium in the blood. Alternatively, you could have lower-than-normal calcium levels in the bones. Both can make you more susceptible to fractures.
3. Cognitive Decline
New studies have raised concerns about how fluoride affects the developing human brain. Children exposed to high fluoride levels may have lower intelligence levels, according to these kinds of studies.
It’s accepted that extremely high levels of fluoride cause neurotoxicity. Interestingly, this could be as hazardous as chemicals like lead, arsenic, or methylmercury.
Studies also show that there’s a link between prolonged exposure to fluoride and cognitive decline in adults. This can impact your memory and capacity to learn, or lead to neurobehavioural deficits, such as impaired visual-spatial organisation.
4. Cardiovascular Disease
It’s well known that fluoride accumulates in your teeth and bones. A lesser known fact is that fluoride can build up in the cardiovascular system.
Fluoride affects numerous enzyme systems in the body, which can lead to oxidative stress. This can cause damage to the heart and other major organs of the body.
Some effects of high levels of fluoride include an increase in blood pressure, myocardial damage, arterial calcifications, and arteriosclerosis.
Interestingly, a study also showed that patients with cardiac failure who were being treated at a hospital in a fluoridated area had extremely high levels of fluoride in their blood.
Fluoride can be helpful for strengthening teeth. But for the rest of the body, it has no good effects. In fact, there are more negative effects of fluoride on the body than positive ones!
While not everyone who drinks raw tap water will have these negative health problems, why take the risk? Installing a water filter is an easy way of making sure your family stays safe from potentially harmful effects that added chemicals like fluoride can have on their health.
Get in touch today to find out more about installing one of these health-promoting devices!