Monday, June 27, 2011

The Thyroid and City Water

Photo from WaterWatch USA

For some of you who have been following this blog a long time, you may remember I have a hypothyroid condition. Last year with a change in diet, I managed to get off the meds, but I have backslid on that diet for months now, with a noticeable drop in energy.

I wrote about the importance of iodine and the thyroid in several posts on this blog recently regarding radiation fallout, and possible contaminated vegetables. I just recently came across something that really made sense to me about iodine, city water and my own thyroid.

"Iodine is an essential trace mineral the body depends on for production of thyroid hormones and normal metabolism of cells. According to Oregon State University, iodine deficiency is a significant problem worldwide. The iodine content of foods produced in the ground depends heavily upon the iodine content of the soil it developed in." (Source)

Photo Source

It turns out iodine is part of the Halogen group, along with fluorine, bromine and chlorine. (I did not take chemistry in school, which I now regret.)  Each chemical has a known atomic weight, listed here:
Fluorine 9
Chlorine 17
Bromine 35
Iodine 53

Now here's the catch: 
"The critical activity of any one of these four halogens is in inverse proportion to its atomic weight. This means that any one of the four can displace the element with a higher atomic weight, but cannot displace an element with a lower atomic weight. For example, fluorine can displace chlorine, bromine and iodine because fluorine has a lower atomic weight than the other three. Similarly, chlorine can displace bromine and iodine because they both have a higher atomic weight. Likewise, bromine can displace iodine from the body because iodine has a higher atomic weight. But a reverse order is not possible. 

A knowledge of this well-known chemical law brings us to a consideration of the addition of chlorine to our drinking water as a purifying agent. We secure a drinking water that is harmful to the body not because of its harmful germ content, but because the chlorine content now causes the body to lose the much-needed iodine." (Source)

While my first source (quoted above) was an old-time Vermont country medical doctor who sometimes urged a few home remedies in favor of more expensive prescription medicines, I did some double-checking and found a lot of full corroboration from online medical sites about the thyroid, and also found many sites verifying the action of the atomic weights of the Halogen group that contains chlorine, fluoride and iodine regarding replacement of one for another.

What it all really means to me is that no matter the condition of my thyroid, nor how much iodine I consume in iodine-rich foods like seafood, dairy products from grass-fed cows, kelp, other seaweeds or even iodized salt (which the government instituted years ago to counteract the lack of iodine in our foods), or taking iodine tablets as protection against nuclear fallout, it is all for nothing if I drink chlorine-containing city water. Chlorine blocks the iodine receptors in the body... and besides, chlorine is not healthy anyway! (The same blocking of iodine holds true for fluoride added to toothpaste and mouthwash.)

"The addition of chlorine to our water began in the late 1800's and by 1904 was the standard in water treatment and for the most part remains that way today.

Chlorine is not used because its the safest or even the most effective means of treatment, its used because it is the cheapest means of treatment. In spite of all our technological advances over the 100 years we still essentially pour bleach into our water before we drink it. The long term effects of chlorinated drinking water have just recently been documented. It is not uncommon to find more chlorine in tap water than is recommended safe for a swimming pool." (Source)

It poses a problem for me because I have sworn off bottled water (for the most part) due to the enormous strain of millions of bottles on our landfills. I was buying Aquafina, which is processed by reverse osmosis, which filters out most things including chlorine. What kind of water do you drink, even if you don't have a thyroid problem?


  1. Insane isn't it? We are actually hoping to get a grant to help my sister get a water filtration system for her house. She's battling stage 4 pancreatic cancer.. and the effects of "city water" is huge. You not only absorb it when you consume it.. but also bathing in it. Right now all the water she uses is distilled.. ALL the water.. for washing anything, bathing, drinking, etc.

    A lot of this stuff isn't in the forefront of one's attention, until something goes wrong. Then it is a big wake up call and you realize how polluted our environment really is.

    Good luck with your thyroid.. now maybe your efforts to be healthier will be more fruitful!

  2. Thanks, Anne. Yes, it's one of those 'overlooked' facts that affect us all. Some areas are now using chloramine instead of chlorine because it's cheaper. It doesn't air out after sitting for 24 hours (or forever) like chlorine.

    I wrote about chlorinated shower water in the early days of this blog. Might be under 'Potable Water' label.

  3. Yep. After me and hubby moved to Philadelphia and drank the city water there for a couple of years we both 'mysteriously' became hypothyroid. We were getting the double whammy of chlorine and fluoride. Now we don't use fluoridated toothpaste, have a shower filter that removes the chlorine, and drink reverse osmosis water.

  4. I have to thank you again for your thoughtful and well-written articles. Thank you for making this type of information available and "consumable" by your readers. As I am also hypothyrodic and trying to manage my condition without medication, this has given me a lot to think about. Keep up the good work!

  5. Thanks. I'm always pleased if anyone else gets something from my posts!


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