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Leone Wilson, Naturopath - Harvesting Health
One of the most important gifts to health is water. Both water and blood are the conduits through which chemical messages are sent to all our cells. Quite often, the simplest yet most important health change we can make is to “drink more water”, BUT unless you know what you are drinking you could be doing more harm than good!
If you were an ‘ancestral man’ wandering in the wild and drinking from natural streams, rivers and course-ways you could rest assured that your drinking water would be of the best quality. In modern days, where industrialisation, modern farming practices and sterilisation reign, you need to be far more discerning about exactly where you are getting this ‘life-giving liquid’ from.
It is quite difficult now to find naturally healthy water sources. The contamination of drinking water consumed by people is a global problem; one significant problem caused by contaminated drinking water is altered thyroid function. Now, given that this gland is in charge of all your metabolic processes, this has far-reaching implications.
The thyroid gland is located at the front of the throat, below your Adam’s Apple (your larynx). It is made of two lobes that lie on either side of the windpipe, resembling the wings of a butterfly. This is why many thyroid associations and groups use the blue butterfly as their symbol. Your thyroid gland is part of the Endocrine System and it secretes hormones that regulate many metabolic processes. The thyroid regulates heartbeat, respiration, bone density, fertility, energy, weight, periods, sleep, cognition and mood, to name a few of the more obvious symptoms one might show when their thyroid is feeling a little ‘blue’.
Thyroid function is measured by Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH). This hormone is ‘stimulated’ or released by the brain when the thyroid is not working as it should. Thus, a higher TSH means a slower thyroid. Many doctors will say that your thyroid is ‘within range’ and ‘totally fine’ when you well know you don’t feel fine! A Naturopath works with an OPTIMAL RANGE rather than a normal range to ensure you are feeling like your old self again.
There are many things in our modern world that will affect the thyroid, but one very important one you can take responsibility for right now is – YOUR WATER.
Most of you well know that our tap water has fluoride and chloride added. Theses guys are ‘halogens’ on the chemical table and the weight of these two halogens will displace iodide. A more reactive halogen can displace a less reactive halogen from a solution of its salts. For example, chlorine is more reactive than iodine. A solution of chlorine can displace iodine from potassium iodide solution.
In fact, for fluoride poisoning, some people suggest and use Iodine. The most common cause of underactive thyroid is ‘iodine deficiency’ – you don’t have to be Einstein to ‘join the dots’ here.
Perchlorate is often present in drinking water as it is a degradation product from chemicals and compounds used in modern-day water treatment. Nitrates are also found in our drinking water. According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, nitrates are harmless UNLESS the individual has certain pre-existing conditions before ingestion. The Agency bases its recommendations on subjects with a fully functioning optimal digestive tract. Well, this Naturopath hasn’t seen one of them in a very long time! This, then implies that what is apparently harmless, could well be very harmful to the average human being as Cengiz et al. 2022 also suggests. Both Perchlorate and Nitrate are known Iodine Inhibitors and therein lies the problem. Iodine deficiency is the most common cause of hypothyroidism worldwide.
So, now that we have ‘joined the dots’ so to speak, we can create an informed and educated ‘guess’ as to why there are such high rates of hypothyroidism globally. However, it is not as simple as just supplementing with Iodine, as some would have you believe. Supplementing comes with its own unique issues. In the case of hypothyroidism, the thyroid is ‘struggling’ and quite often those with hypothyroidism have an auto-immune presentation. In these instances, simply supplementing with Iodine on its own can cause greater health problems and cause the thyroid gland to ‘flip’ out. Adding a few drops of Iodine to your glass of water will NOT rectify the problem, rather you could be causing more harm than good.
Being a Naturopath, I choose to work with the body. The body can get about the work of repairing itself when given a suitable environment to do so. Let’s look at how we can provide ‘the correct environment’ for thyroid repair. Quite simply, choose your water wisely. Stop ‘improving your health’ with more poisonous water – this clearly does the opposite. Give tap water a wide berth and choose fluoride free, perchlorate free and nitrate free water. It is no coincidence that almost every second person I see in clinic has a thyroid problem, whether it is merely a higher than optimal TSH, or an auto-immune thyroid condition.
Providing the correct environment for the body to heal means nutritious food, healthy movement, emotional intelligence, a spiritual belief and above all – LIFE GIVING, TOXIC FREE WATER SOURCES.
Written by Leone Wilson of Harvesting Health. Leone is a Naturopath, Nutritionist & Holistic Life Coach based in QLD, Australia. She has a Health Science degree in Naturopathy, Honours degree in Herbal Medicine, Post-Graduate degree in Clinical Nutrition and a Diploma in Holistic Counselling.