Maps of the United States & mental illness

A map of the rate of mental illness in the United States suggests some geographic patterns however the reason for the pattern is not speculated about in the following article:

For comparison purposes consider this map of the locations of fracking sites, not an exact overlap but similar regions are highlighted:

And then add in the many decade struggle with radioactive waste in Hanford Washington. The article doesn’t have a map but Washington state is in the upper left corner of the contiguous United States:

Radiation exposure has been associated with an increase in PTSD, depression and anxiety but that was when the exposure was known and could be worried about.

Residents of the Washington State and surrounding regions have not been warned about any potential for increased radiation exposure or potential benefit of assuring adequate iodine intake to protect their thyroid and other glands from radioactive iodine. More of the opposite reaction has occurred in the U.S. health care system. Radioactive iodine is considered a therapy and scanning tests that use radioactive iodine do not work as well when the individual has plenty of iodine.

A simple search of the Pub Med site for “radioactive iodine” gives 13,171 search results:  “radioactive iodine therapy” gave 5307 results:

iodine nutrient therapy” gave 1403 results that include radioactive iodine, I’m not familiar with whether I can exclude terms from the results.

Coincidentally, or not, depression is a symptom of hypothyroidism and irritability is also mentioned here:

Both hypo- and hyperthyroidism is associated in psychiatric circles with panic levels of anxiety including PTSD. Other psychiatric conditions found more often in patients who also have thyroid conditions include bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder and psychotic disorder/paranoid psychosis:

Iodine is an essential nutrient that helps prevent or treat congenital and other types of hypothyroidism and the main U.S. medical database has fewer than 1403 entries using non-radioactive iodine in therapeutic ways – it can’t be patented.

A general search engine gave 9,210,000 results for “patent for radioactive iodine”

I’m only slightly surprised by the vast number of results for patents on a poison that is produced as a waste product of nuclear reactions.

A for-profit health care system is an oxymoron that may be harming more than helping our population and likely is harming our ground water supply as well, in my opinion at least.

/Disclosure: This information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes./

Why did the USDA remove iodine from its Food Composition Database?

If you wait for someone else or for your government to hand you a survival kit, then you may be waiting a while and sometimes people are already too sick to be able to wait much longer. For some hard to understand reason a life saving tool was taken away from the U.S. public that had been available for a long time.

We in the U.S. used to have life saving information available to us which was removed – if that happened in North Korea would we be concerned? Food sources of iodine were included in the USDA Food Composition Database in 2010 and 2011 and now the information is no longer included even though many, many other chemicals are included that aren’t even considered essential vitamins or minerals. Iodine is a trace mineral that is considered essential and it helps prevent neurological deficits in children, may have to do with risk of autism, obesity and apathy. (

The current nutrient guideline for iodine is based on a goal to prevent goiter which is a physical symptom of very severe iodine deficiency. Patients who are treated with a short term loading dose of extra iodine, a dose that would be too much if continued long term, report on average a significant reduction in symptoms including pain from Fibrocystic Breast Disease, migraines and fibromyalgia. Fibrocystic Breast Disease – painful breasts that may cycle with the monthly hormonal changes, used to be very uncommon for U.S. women and is now very common:

“The incidence of fibrocystic breast disease in American women
was 3 percent in the 1920s. Today, 90 percent of women have this

I am familiar with the condition, it hurt, taking a high dose iodine supplement did help relieve me of the cyclic breast pain and coincidentally also may have helped resolve a severe migraine problem that I had and undiagnosed fibromyalgia type pain – the insurance requirements for a diagnosis of fibromyalgia are very specific and my set of muscle knots didn’t match the criteria at the time I was having pain. A gluten free diet seemed to help me feel better so I just followed that on my own initiative. I have since learned that chemically the gluten molecule is quite similar to the thyroid hormone and for some people an autoimmune reaction may be causing the body to become over-sensitized to both gluten and the thyroid hormone. Strictly avoiding the dietary allergen (gluten in this example) can help the body to become less over-reactive to the body’s natural chemicals (thyroid hormone in this example). Molecular mimicry is the term used to describe this phenomenon if interested in reading more about it.

A randomized clinical trial with patients reporting breast pain also termed Benign Breast Disease or cyclic mastalglia or Fibrocystic Breast Disease found that pain was reduced for patients treated with double the current RDA of iodine or greater but that relief was not provided for the group who received a dose equal to the current U.S. nutrient guideline.

Benign Breast Disease or Fibrocystic Breast Disease has not generally been found to be directly a risk for later breast cancer however for some patients (~ 5%-20%) it may be an early indicator of later risk.  Abstract available, full text paywall, so I’m not sure of the details regarding the results:

An overview of a variety of research on the topic of breast health and iodine and halide toxicity, bromine, perchlorates, and fluoride, is available here:

Excess perchlorate, especially in combination with low iodine, may increase risk to fetal brain development.

PTSD outbursts is about a domino pattern of behavior that is triggered by the first domino being bumped. Being offended is something that has nothing to do with PTSD. A few tips for helping reduce symptoms of PTSD, a physical brain issue involving overactive fear response, is available here:

Prenatal care is important to think about once the infant is conceived but it can be even better to think about before trying to conceive. An evaluation for iodine level and thyroid antibodies can be a good idea for anyone but may also be helpful for a future infant’s brain development.

This image has nothing to do with being offended or being triggered – it is about potentially health and life saving information being withheld from the U.S. population. Why withhold it? What is the USDA goal in removing a large amount of data from a health professional’s and individual’s toolkit for providing accurate preventative health education? Why take away information from a toolkit when it had been available?

Where’s the iodine?

Iodine food sources include:

  • anything made with iodized salt,
  • many types of seaweed including kelp and nori, (used in sushi rolls),
  • coconut and any other produce that is grown very near to ocean waters (Iodine is released into the air by coastal water microbes – so killing coral reeves may affect our nutrient supply – that is also how we get selenium.)
  • cranberries, organic yogurt, and navy beans and other types of dry beans are also mentioned as good sources of iodine in this article: (

It is good to have adequate selenium when increasing intake of iodine as occasionally the body can overreact and start over producing thyroid hormone and selenium is necessary for the enzyme that is needed to breakdown excess amounts of thyroid hormone. It is involved in metabolism and too little can cause depression and feeling cold and too much can cause a racing heart and feeling jittery and manic.

Two hundred micrograms per day is the recommended amount and is generally available in a one-a-day type supplement, otherwise approximately two Brazil nuts per day is a good natural source – there aren’t many natural sources because it is released into the atmosphere by coastal ocean water microbes and the rainforest Brazil nut trees seem to be good at collecting the mineral – we live in a miracle – we should treat it like a miracle – I like to call the miracle Mother Earth – she birthed us all.

Disclaimer: Opinions are my own and the information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes.

A reminder to count your blessings

Audrey Hepburn, the actress, also worked in humanitarian roles with the UNICEF non-profit organization that helps refugees and other children and people in need around the world. (UNICEF emergency relief hurricane fund)

A magazine article in People from August 28, 2017 shares more detail about the actresses early childhood experiences where she survived Nazi occupation in the Netherlands by hiding in a basement. She became very thin and survived on whatever she could find that was edible – including “nettles and tulip bulbs” (People)- when in the Netherlands remember that tulip bulbs are similar to onions – note to self. Caution with the stinging nettles – but they are a superfood with health benefits for the respiratory system and other systems of the body. The herb can be purchased in prepared capsules – avoiding the stinging nettle part of the nettles. (Stinging nettle)

An excerpt:

“She often quoted a humanitarian worker who asked a child, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” and the child said, “Alive.”

  •  – “per Robert Wolders her partner from 1980 to her death.” People magazine, page 46, Aug. 28, 2017 (People)

Audrey Hepburn survived and Anne Frank, who was the same age didn’t – the article mentions that Audrey Hepburn was very aware of that fact and that it impacted her life as she felt some sense of survivor guilt – why did she Audrey survive when Anne didn’t, a girl who was the same age as Audrey at the time but who happened to have been Jewish.

We all have blessings that we may not realize others are lacking.

What do most children want to be when they grow up? a doctor, a lawyer, or an football star? or alive?

Regarding survivor’s guilt – tips suggest remembering that it is a common reaction for anyone surviving a traumatic event.  Not worrying too much about “Why” or asking “Why did I survive, when so-and-so didn’t” is recommended and embracing life is recommended instead in an article on the website (Understanding Survivor Guilt)

Keeping a gratitude journal with entries about the big or little things that make your life a more wonderful experience, can help with depression and other mood issues. (Benefits of a Gratitude Journal)

  • Disclaimer: Opinions are my own and the information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes.