Learn about this now: IODINE. Talk to your doctor about protecting your thyroid with supplemental iodine, my friends. Taking supplemental non-radioactive iodine prevents your body from taking up radiactive iodine. You know I'm not a fear monger, so let's roll up our sleeves and talk prevention, and the role of this preventive micronutrient.
- Adults and breastfeeding women should take 130mg of potassium iodide (available at health food stores)
- kids 3-18 should take 65mg of potassium iodide
- kids 1 month to 3 years should take 32 mg
Yesterday I was on the phone with my grandfather to wish him a happy 92nd birthday, and he warned me (before it hit the news) in his entirely cogent, commanding, MIT-graduate voice that there was tremendous danger with the Japanese nuclear reactors exploding or otherwise releasing nuclear fallout into the atmosphere. Thanks, Gramps, for the heads up.
Dr. David Brownstein does not recommend starting the iodine now, he suggests we start 1-2 days before the the expected fallout. The oral potassium iodide lasts for 24-72 hours, so duration depends on how long we remain exposed. Follow the news, as he suggests, and plan accordingly. Keep checking back here to see what's next.
Non-radioactive iodine, such as the potassium iodide recommended by the CDC is relatively safe. Excess doses can cause palpitations and uncomfortable sensation of the heart beating but is usually tolerated well. Most of us are iodine deficient unless you mindfully take a supplement. You can also call my office at 510-893-3907 and check your urine iodine level if you have the luxury of time before the nuclear fallout arrives. Iodine is found naturally in sea vegetables, but you probably cannot get enough through food sources to prevent damage.
Thanks to Helayne Waldman for connecting me with Dr. David.
Share any concerns or questions you have here in the comments section, and please spread the word to your loved ones on the West Coast.