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Autumn 2008 issue #15

Thyroid and Iodine by Cornelis van Dalen

In the past few months I have seen a number of cases in which the activity of the thyroid has been implicated – hyperthyroidism (over activity) and hypothyroidism (under activity). There are many people mostly women who are diagnosed with under active thyroid function and medicated with thyroxin, the synthesised hormone which the thyroid gland secretes.

The Thyroid Gland is one of eight special glands known as the endocrine glands. These are the Pineal; Pituitary; Thyroid; Parathyroid; Thymus; Adrenal; Pancreas; Gonads (Ovaries and Testes).

The understood function of the endocrine glands is that each of these glands produces and secretes its own special chemical substances called hormones. These are secreted into the blood stream. The harmony of the entire body-mind organism which makes us human, the balance of functions, of hundreds of thousands of body bio-chemicals is controlled by hormones. This results in homoeostasis, the innate harmonious function of mind and body.

It is considered impossible to restore health without normalising the endocrine glands. Stress, excesses, trauma, hazards, pollution, drugs and chemicals eventually weaken and undermine the efficient functioning of the endocrine glands. The restoration process is the pathway to health and not necessarily by taking pills and potions alone. It is further suggested as the generations progress under the extremes and unnaturalness of modern living, the endocrine system is that which functions less than optimally. In other words, through the endocrine glands we are our health and happiness. 

Thyroid Gland in health
The word thyroid is (Greek; tyreos=shield + eidos =form) as this gland resembles a shield. It is found in the lower part of the front of the neck and consists of two lobes, one on either side of the windpipe. The gland secretes, stores and liberates as necessary the thyroid hormones. The thyroid hormones require iodine for their formation.

Metabolism, energy, alertness, well-being and vigour are a function of the thyroid, and also regulates the functional activity of each organ in the body. It’s mightily important. The primary hormone of the thyroid is thyroxine and by accelerating the basal metabolic rate, directly influences circulation, respiration and tissue growth and repair.

The link between thyroid and the gonads, the sex organs, is central. When boys enter manhood the voice deepens or ‘breaks’ is a clear example. Female reproductive order, too, is linked to thyroid function through thyroxine. The other principle thyroid hormone is calcitonin, which inhibits the release of calcium from bone and plays a central role in maintaining blood calcium balance and hence the strength of bones. Dr Alfred Vogel maintains thyroid disorders are a problem of calcium in the blood – its cure is not by direct calcium therapy but by iodine, magnesium, silica, phosphorous. Nothing is ever that simple in the body.

In thyroid function there are two conditions of ill health – over or under production of thyroxine.
 Hyperthyroidism, the overproduction of thyroxine, causes extreme nervousness and irritability, increased heart rate and blood pressure, sweating and weight loss.
 Hypothyroidism is underproduction of thyroxine, results in dry skin, brittle nails, and a lack of energy in adults. An enlarged thyroid called goitre is a sign of thyroid insufficiency. In infants, hypothyroidism inhibits physical development and causing irreversible mental retardation.

The Treatment
The alternative people of modern medicine have made observations and careful studies which conclude that iodine deficiency is vastly under estimated in the causation of many of prevailing diseases.

Jean Guillaume Auguste Lugol (1786 - 1851) the French doctor first used iodine for the treatment of tuberculosis. This is now known as Lugol’s Solution or Lugol’s Iodine and is a mixture of elemental iodine and potassium iodide. When iodine was identified in the treatment of goitre, the swelling of the thyroid gland, iodine was the first single chemical substance which doctors could give for a specific disorder. This was the birth of modern drug treatments – seeking one substance for a specific disease. Subsequently, this single drug therapy approach in medicine has failed in most instances.

However, iodine in the form of Lugol’s solution was used as a universal antibiotic and in the early part of the 20th century when doctors were in doubt about treatment for patients they gave iodine. “Iodine is a powerful primary nutrient with broad medicinal effects and a hundred years ago it was used universally by most doctors. From 1900 to the 1960s almost every single U.S. physician used Lugol (iodine) supplements in his or her practice for both hypo and hyperthyroid, as well as many, many other conditions all with excellent results. In fact, iodine was considered a panacea for all human ills.” [1] As a child I can still recall my mother dabbing iodine on scrapes and grazes of the skin. It stings in the beginning and colours the skin red/orange. But it worked. It is an antibacterial agent par excellence. Iodine is now unavailable (I speak of UK especially). [2]

The story of iodine is brilliant and worth researching for yourself to uncover its virtue. This issue is raised because there are some very important facts and actions each and every person who treasures their health and wellbeing ought to be doing. One comment Charlotte Gerson from the Gerson Therapy™ makes in her lectures on the nutritional therapy for chronic disease came to mind recently. [3] I pass this on to help you protect your life and also safeguard the iodine you do consume in foods.

Mrs Gerson points out iodine is displaced in the body by the other heavier elements from the halogen group. (Halogen is Greek for salt former.) These are Fluorine, Chlorine, and Bromine. This is why substances containing these elements are injurious to health – meaning displace iodine from the body. Thus, we are seeking to preserve and protect what iodine we are able to retrieve from food sources. The primary sources of iodine are sea fish, sea vegetables (Kelp included), butter, eggs, natural sea salt.
 
For Iodine preservation, for health and sanity:
1.    Use only toothpaste WITHOUT fluoride. Fluoride displaces iodine from the thyroid.
2.    Drink and cook and bathe only in UN-FLUORIDATED water. For the same reason as above but also for many other physical and mental health reasons.
3.    Avoid telfon-coated cookware (non-stick) as telfon contains fluoride.
4.    Avoid processed foods. Many preservatives contain Bromine. Iodine was once used in bread manufacture but Bromine is now used.
5.    Use natural sea salt which contains all the minerals and especially iodine. Table salt is pure sodium chloride. Additionally the added iodine in iodized salt is unstable and non-existent by the time you wish to use it.
6.    Eat widely of all foods and additional sea vegetables if you can incorporate them. Alternatively take kelp tablets as a dietary supplement.

Cornelis van Dalen 2008

Endnotes:
1. <www.health-science-spirit.com/iodine> See also <www.health-science-spirit.com/lugol> and articles by Walter Last are highly recommended.
2. Effective August 1, 2007, the Drug Enforcement Agency (USA) now regulates Lugol's solution (and, in fact, all iodine solutions containing greater than 2.2% iodine) as a List I precursor because it may potentially be used in the illicit production of methamphetamine. This information provided courtesy of Wikipedia.
3. <www.gerson.org>

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