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Posts Tagged ‘thyroid’

Why is it that so many of us are so stressed?  It is the minority of patients who come to me and say, “My stress level is very low.”  Most feel overwhelmed juggling the responsibilities of work, family, finances, relationships and home.  Especially the most caring and giving folks tend to overextend themselves and put themselves last.

Our adrenal glands do lots of things, and one is to react to stress.  Our bodies are supposed to react to stress- that’s a good thing.  But when it is daily or almost daily for years, we just wear out.  This process, termed the General Adaptation Syndrome, happens in three phases over time.

  • In the first, we are “wired” or “high-strung”.  We have adrenaline (you know- fight or flight) pumping into our blood stream, which leaves less stored up.   During this phase, you might be underweight/undernourished, develop ulcers, experience insomnia, anxiety, or have frequent colds due to decreased immune function.  You might start to see problems with female hormones, thyroid and blood sugar because stress hormones directly interfere with these.
  • In the second, you seem to adapt to the stress.  You make more reserves of adrenaline and the other adrenal hormones and seem to coast through.  You may gain weight during this time.
  • In the third, you become exhausted.  Your adrenal glands don’t react like they used to, and fatigue is extreme.  You may find yourself to be more irritable and jumpy, depressed, anxious, less able to handle conflict, unpredictable things, or even daily responsibilities.  You may have insomnia even though you are exhausted.  You may find that you have gained weight over the years that the body was in survival mode.  “This is an emergency.  Better store all the fat possible,” says the lizard brain.

What do I do? (more…)

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POTASSIUM IODIDE (KI)

What about the effects of taking potassium iodide? Who needs to take it? How soon after direct exposure should one take KI? Considering that iodine -131 needs to be inhaled directly or eaten to be exposed to our thyroids, I don’t consider potassium iodide a necessary supplement for continental US residents. The amount we inhale is very slight, detected radiation levels on the west coast are very small, and the side effects of KI are high at that large of a dose. The best solution I see is to decrease exposure through the foods that you eat, such as small fish from the pacific ocean and dairy products for the next few months until the iodine -131 is no longer radioactive.

High iodine intake can cause hyperthyroidism caused by Grave’s Disease or a toxic multinodular goiter. This is not to be taken lightly. We do not live in an iodine deficient location, and iodine is added into many products including our table salt. KI will only replete your thyroid gland until it is full, increasing the production of thyroid hormones. If the thyroid receives too much iodine it will stop hormone production entirely temporarily. The average American receives more iodine than their thyroid can use, and this is measured in micrograms, not milligrams. So taking a high milligram dose of iodine is a lot of iodine for your body! So if you really want to decrease your exposure, avoid dairy products and pacific ocean (except for deep ocean fish) seafood.

Here’s a great article on how much iodine supplementation the thyroid needs:

http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=18119

Here’s what the CDC has to say about KI

http://www.bt.cdc.gov/radiation/ki.asp

Here’s what the FDA has to say:

http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/EmergencyPreparedness/BioterrorismandDrugPreparedness/ucm072265.htm

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