Why care about thyroid cancer? It’s about iodine.

Or more importantly about the lack of iodine and the excess availability of bromide, fluoride and perchlorate – all halides – all chemically similar enough so that the body may build thyroid hormone with them if there is a deficiency of iodine. Bromide replaced iodine in baked goods some point in time around the 1950s as an anti-caking agent in flour. Fluoride was added to water supplies and to toothpaste around the same time. Both fluoride and bromide may be used in medicines to help make a natural product able to be patented as chemically unique. They also may increase the active life of a medicine if the combination can be made to be able to enter cells with a molecule of bromide or fluoride attached then it tends to stay there longer because the molecule of the halide is so big that it is difficult for the cell to excrete  – which may make accumulation to toxic levels more of a long-term risk.

Iodine deficiency makes the risk of radioactive iodine more of a risk but it makes the use of X-ray machines with radioactive iodine more effective. Or the radioactive iodine to kill the thyroid cancer treatment more effective (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27856930). I prefer health. Iodine deficiency can make hypothyroid symptoms more likely which may include depression, easy weight gain and a reduced sex drive.

Will we ever be allowed to discuss underlying natural causes of chronic illness and cancer or do we have to simply trust that prescription pads can cure everything no matter how high the cost to individuals or society – and the problem with that plan is they can’t cure everything and the side effects of cancer treatments can be severe and may include cognitive deficits – loss of thinking ability.

Do we as a people have to be ashamed of a desire for health or for a healthy sex drive or is it now the norm to expect looking good to not be associated with feeling good? Shaming women over wanting to feel better or to wonder why they’ve lost interest in life, let alone sexual relations, is something I’ve experienced as a patient. If the standard lab test for hypothyroidism shows the presence of thyroid hormone then any symptoms are ‘crazy’ – ask for an autoimmune antibody lab test to be done. Hypothyroid symptoms may occur during autoimmune hypothyroidism while the thyroid hormone lab test shows the presence of thyroid hormone. It may be present but if it is loaded with bromide, chloride or fluoride atoms then it may simply be adding to long term cancer risk instead of performing the normal functions of regulating metabolism. Feeling cold and having easily thinning hair are also symptoms of hypothyroidism. Constipation and being sensitive to gluten containing foods may also be associated problems with hypothyroidism.

Shaming patients has not been found to be effective at helping them in the area of drug or alcohol problems:

“The results add to a body of literature suggesting that widely used shaming and humiliating methods of treating alcohol and other drug problems — such as those seen on shows like Celebrity Rehab — are not only ineffective but also may be counterproductive.” (9.156)

Patients with problems with chronic obesity or overweight issues that are actually due to hypothyroidism may try very hard to lose weight and may exercise a lot and eat very little and still not lose weight or even gain it. A severe hypothyroid problem can make a person’s metabolic needs drop far below average. An average diet for a person is recommended to not go below 1200 calories per day. Someone with hypothyroidism may be eating 800 calories per day and still not be losing weight – are they shameful over-eaters? or are they starving for iodine? I vote the latter. But society tends to look at anyone who is overweight as someone who eats too much – no it might be someone whose body gains weight too easily.

It has been made clear to me that sexual health is not to be discussed unless it is regarding men’s sexual health. Women don’t sweat, they just glow, or something like that. If men want sexual health it seems like they would want healthy partners too. We really aren’t talking about men’s sexual health either though, just take a pill and don’t worry about potential underlying cardiovascular risks that may be associated with ED (Erectile Dysfunction – yes, actually we don’t talk about that much either.)

Babies come from under cabbage leaves still I guess. Unfortunately they need iodine too. Rhubarb is a good source of iodine so maybe start looking for babies under rhubarb leaves. Or maybe just eat more rhubarb because it would not only be providing iodine, it also has a phytonutrient, parietin, that has been shown to be effective against cancer cells. A concentrated amount of the parietin was used however: https://www.express.co.uk/life-style/health/613194/Cancer-killing-drug-rhubarb-ready-within-years

Parietin is an orange pigment found in the rhubarb and in many types of lichen. I don’t happen to have an image of rhubarb handy but here’s some pretty lichen on a rock in a desert area:

Colorful lichen on a rock in the desert during early winter, with colored pieces of glass, found nearby.

The chemical left healthy cells unharmed which is unlike typical chemotherapy treatments. The parietin may be stopping cancer cell growth by blocking anaerobic metabolism – the burning of energy without oxygen. Our bodies preferentially use metabolic pathways that use oxygen (and cause oxidative stress as a byproduct). This article is longer and contains a list of many other beneficial phytonutrients and vitamins found in whole rhubarb. It contains antioxidants and a variety of beneficial things in addition to iodine:  https://www.naturalhealth365.com/rhubarb-cancer-enzyme-1820.html

While I don’t have a picture I do have a recipe for Blueberry Rhubarb Jam – the two fruits work well together in a sauce, cobbler, or jam because rhubarb is fairly tart – acidic, and blueberries are fairly mild – more alkaline. They balance each other nicely in this low sugar recipe: https://transcendingsquare.com/2012/07/21/blueberry-rhubarb-jam/

If you happen to have a patch of rhubarb or know someone who does you’ll know that when it is season there is lots and then it is out of season, the leaves get large and the usuable part – the celery like stalks become too large, less tender, less colorful and the parietin at least is in the colorful pinkish pigments on the exterior of the rhubarb leaf stalks.

A simpler recipe that I made to use up a lot of rhubarb all at once was a Rhubarb Ginger Sauce which I would freeze in batches which turned into a sorbet like frozen treat. I also would use the sauce thawed in baked goods as a substitution for part of the liquid in a recipe similar to substituting applesauce.

The recipe was roughly 12 cups of washed and chopped rhubarb stalks, about 1/2 inch long sections, simmered with 3 cups of sugar and an inch or two section of ginger root, peeled and minced fine. Some might prefer less ginger or no ginger, that amount made a fairly zingy sauce. The stalks make their own sauce as they simmer and the chunks become soft and lose their form. Simmer for about 20 minutes. I would need to try it again to check the recipe but that is the way I remember making it. Once frozen the sugary treat was easy to eat like a fruit sorbet rather than freezing into a more solid ice cube. The sugar content would be necessary for that effect, I think a sugar free sauce would freeze more solid.

So plan ahead, eat healthy now and prevent precancerous cells the natural way – with a healthy immune system and active metabolic rate. It is difficult to have a normal lifestyle let alone exercise regularly when the body is coasting on 800 calories a day due to hypothyroidism.

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.

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: http://www.newsweek.com/nearly-1-5-americans-suffer-mental-illness-each-year-230608

For comparison purposes consider this map of the locations of fracking sites, not an exact overlap but similar regions are highlighted: https://earthjustice.org/features/campaigns/fracking-across-the-united-states

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:  https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/washington/articles/2017-05-09/history-of-hanford-nuclear-waste-site-in-washington-state

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. https://www.theguardian.com/science/brain-flapping/2015/aug/09/nagasaki-anniversary-radiation-nuclear-mental-health

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: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=radioactive+iodine  “radioactive iodine therapy” gave 5307 results: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=radioactive+iodine+therapy

iodine nutrient therapy” gave 1403 results that include radioactive iodine, I’m not familiar with whether I can exclude terms from the results. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=iodine%20nutrient%20therapy

Coincidentally, or not, depression is a symptom of hypothyroidism and irritability is also mentioned here: https://www.endocrineweb.com/conditions/thyroid/hypothyroidism-too-little-thyroid-hormone

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: http://www.mdedge.com/currentpsychiatry/article/62439/identifying-hypothyroidisms-psychiatric-presentations

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” https://www.bing.com/search?q=patent+on+radioactive+iodine&form=EDGTCT&qs=PF&cvid=46f8b85d9f214ee7873433434493b545&cc=US&setlang=en-US&PC=HCTS

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./

Neuropathy can be a cause of extreme tiredness

An underlying problem affecting a main nerve or affecting many nerves can be a cause of tingling and numbness in the hands or arms and legs. An increased feeling of heaviness of the arms or legs or feeling tired from just holding the arms up in the air may be due to problems with the nerves rather than weakness of the muscles. Autoimmune disease or some nutrient deficiencies (vitamin B12 deficiency most common) can be causes of neuropathy, or nerve damage. Other common causes are mentioned later.

Autoimmune disease itself can be very tiring and a cause of muscle cramps and diffuse chronic pain and it could make it very hard to cope with a physically demanding job. Some types of nerve damage can become permanent but may be reversible if caught early enough and the underlying causes are corrected. Vitamin B12 may be poorly absorbed by elderly people or for others with digestive problems; a monthly injection of B12, bypassing the digestive system, is a common treatment.  Dissolve in the mouth supplements of B12, cobalamin, are also used sucessfully by some people. In Parkinson’s Disease neuropathy has been seen and “perhaps we should be measuring MMA levels in these patients and treating with cobalamin supplementation to reduce MMA levels and prevent neuropathy.” [4]

Recognizing when tiredness is tiredness and when it is due to underlying nerve damage may be a step that can help prevent the nerve damage from becoming more permanent paralysis or numbness. Neuropathy can also affect gland or organ function as well as affecting motion and sensation. Poor coordination can become a problem with walking or with picking up and not dropping things because they just slipped from your fingers. Symptoms may also include feeling moments of burning or stabbing pain and bowel and bladder problems may include constipation or feeling unable to urinate. [1]

Neuropathy may affect approximately 24 million people in the United States. [1]

Neuropathy is more of a risk for people with diabetes, about 30% of the cases are associated with diabetes. Heavy alcohol use and traumatic injury can also be causes. And autoimmune celiac disease, hypothyroidism and other immune system diseases and viral infections sometimes can be a cause. Some types of antibiotics, radiation and chemotherapy treatments may cause neuropathy. Some cases of neuropathy are present at birth. [1]

Since celiac disease may be a cause of neuropathy trying a gluten free diet may be worth trying, (and hypothyroidism can also be a cause of neuropathy and for some people that may also be due to or made worse by gluten sensitivity problems).

Not overeating sugars and simple starches in general may help prevent neuropathy from developing by promoting more stable blood sugar. Elevated levels of blood sugar may be part of the cause of nerve damage which would be especially important for diabetics who are more at risk for elevated levels: [3].

Hot pepper – and it’s active ingredient capsaicin may be helpful. It is available over the counter as an active ingredient in skin ointments made for pain relief for arthritis patients and others with chronic pain. Warm showers or a bath may also help circulation and muscle relaxation. Taking care with toenail health is important as numbness becomes more extreme and minor injuries may become infected and go unnoticed until they become major infections and are more visibly discolored or swollen. [1]

Of the 16 million Americans with diabetes, approximately, about 25% have foot problems due to peripheral neuropathy.  Peripheral nerves are those extending out from the brain or spinal cord to the muscles and organs and skin. Neuropathy can progress from feeling tingling sensations of ‘pins and needles’ in the fingertips to not being able to feel sensations of hot, cold or pain. [2]

Peripheral neuropathy has been known to occur with Parkinson’s disease, possibly due to treatment with L-dopa [4], or possibly as a side effect with another commonly used treatment, dopamine hydrochloride. [5] Dopamine producing cells become dysfunctional in Parkinson’s Disease. [6] Dopamine is a brain neurostransmitter involved in movement but it is also has roles in immune system function.

Adequate levels of dopamine are involved in preventing both autoimmune disease and cancer. Research that compared the lifestyles of family members with and without Parkinson’s Disease found that siblings without the disease were more likely to have been coffee drinkers (three or more cups per day) and were more likely to have smoked tobacco cigarettes. Smoking tobacco has negative health risks but it may help boost dopamine levels and may have some protective effects on the dopamine producing cells. [7]

Smoking tobacco may have protective effects for some people but not others due to underlying differences in genetics. Coffee intake has also been associated with less risk of developing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), [8] but again it may be helping those with a certain type of genetics and be a negative risk for people with other types of genes. Obesity and smoking cigarettes once a patient already has non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is associated with the disease getting progressively worse. [9] Fructose, sugar from fruit or refined in the form of high fructose corn syrup, intake has also been associated with worsening of NAFLD. [10] And non-alcoholic fatty liver disease has been associated with neuropathy risk in patients with diabetes. [15] So protecting the liver might be helping protect the nerves at the same time.

Protecting liver function may be important for protecting against cancer. The herb milk thistle has been found to have some protective affects for the liver. [12] Cirrhosis of the liver is also associated with peripheral neuropathy so protecting the liver may also help protect the nervous system and brain and help prevent neuropathy from developing. [11]

Summary of tips for protecting against neuropathy:

  1. Stable blood sugar and not developing diabetes may help protect the nerves.
  2. Regular exercise and stretching and warm baths or showers and massage and other methods for increasing circulation may help protect the nerves.
  3. Not eating excessively of fructose or simple sugars may help prevent damage caused by glycation of proteins; and by helping prevent obesity or diabetes.
  4. Moderate use of coffee may help protect the liver from non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and some types of liver disease have been associated with peripheral neuropathy.
  5. Dopamine or L-dopa when used as a medication to treat Parkinson’s Disease may be involved in development of peripheral neuropathy. Parkinson’s Disease involves dysfunctional production of dopamine so some other issue may be involved that causes peripheral neuropathy or it may be important to have adequate but not excessive levels of dopamine for health of the nerves.
  6. A deficiency of vitamin B12, also called cobalamin, can be non-reversible cause of peripheral neuropathy. [13]
  7. Smoking tobacco may have some protective affects against Parkinson’s Disease for some people but it has also been associated with worsening of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in patients who already have the disease. It is unclear at this time what genes may be involved in why some people seem less at risk from tobacco smoking than others – overall it has been found to be associated with lung cancer. Chemicals within smoke cause blood vessels to constrict and reduces circulation. It has been associated with worsening of diabetic peripheral neuropathy so quitting smoking may be more protective of nerves. While it may help boost dopamine levels there are many other healthy ways to boost dopamine naturally. [14]
  8. Following a gluten free diet may be helpful in preventing peripheral neuropathy for some people. If hypothyroidism is also a problem then trying a strict gluten free diet may be beneficial as it may be a cause of autoimmune sensitivities. Eating less gluten in that case would still be exposing the body to the autoimmune ‘allergen’ so a trial of a gluten free diet may have to be very strict and last several months to six months before significant health benefits occur (in research on autoimmune celiac disease it took six months on a very strict gluten free diet in order for the levels of autoimmune antibodies against gluten to be reduced — and (potentially) the thyroid hormone which the gluten molecule resembles.)

More information about dopamine and cancer and natural ways to raise dopamine levels are included in the group of Tweets mentioned in this Tweet, click to view the information on that site:

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.

  1. http://thelightmedia.com/posts/28389-neuropathy-12-ways-to-identify-and-manage-this-painful-disease
  2. http://www.foot.com/site/foot-conditions/neuropathy
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glycation
  4. http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/725699
  5. http://www.ehealthme.com/ds/dopamine%20hydrochloride/neuropathy%20peripheral/
  6. http://justneurology.com/
  7. https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn11568-do-coffee-and-cigarettes-protect-against-parkinsons/
  8. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/264995.php
  9. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/hep.23516/full
  10. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100427081044.htm
  11. http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/460036
  12. http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/milk-thistle
  13. http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/supplement-guide-vitamin-b12#1
  14. http://mentalhealthdaily.com/2015/04/17/how-to-increase-dopamine-levels/
  15. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28254449