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Swimming - Is It a Thyroid Threat?
How can swimming threaten your thyroid health?  Here's how, and also what to do...The Nourishing Company
                              The Nourishing Company

Volume VII # 109        Copyright 2015       All Rights Reserved

Swimming has so many benefits; in fact it's hard to find an activity that's better for overall conditioning - and just plain fun!  How could it possibly be bad for your thyroid?

Here's how:  If you've been swimming in a pool, that pool requires certain measures to keep it clean.  While many pools  are now using salt water as part of their cleaning strategy,that's insufficient by itself.   So even if the pool uses salt water, it's still also using chlorine.  And all the while you're swimming in a chlorinated pool, your skin is not only exposed to that chlorine, it's also absorbing it.  Plus, as you breathe in or near that water, you also breathe in the chlorine that's evaporating from the water.

That's bad news for your thyroid, because chlorine knocks iodine out of your thyroid.  In short, insufficient iodine, and you can't make thyroxin, the primary hormone your thyroide manufactures.

Here's a summary of some of the functions your body won't be able to carry out if chlorine has knocked iodine out:

1. Your thyroid won't function properly;

2. Your reproductive glands and tissues functioning diminishes (this includes breasts, ovaries, endometrium and prostate);

3. You'll tend toward sore breasts, possibly developing fibrocystic breast disease;

4. You'll have reduced cancer suppression

5. Your estrogen levels will tend to be unbalanced;

6. Your heart beat can destabilize more easily, losing its normal rhythm more easily

7. Your cholesterol levels can become more easily unbalanced;

8. Your glucose levels (blood sugar levels) can deteriorate due to iodine's role in attaching to insulin receptors);

9. Your body's ability to take out heavy metals is diminished.

Does Your Body Need Iodine?
(Note: Do not do this test if you are allergic to iodine or if you have the type of Hashimoto's thyroiditis that worsens with iodine.)
Apply about a 2 inch square of iodine tincture (that orange-colored stuff you get at the drugstore) to your skin in the morning after your shower or bath, noting the time you put it on, and then monitoring how it changes over the next 24 hours., noting how the color changes.

The sooner it lightens, the more likely you need a supplement containing protein-bound iodine. If the color remains about the same as when you put it on, or has lightened only slightly by the same time the next day, your body has no need of the iodine, and so left it where you put it. In that case, likely you need no iodine supplementation.

What You Can Do:
Assuming you're not allergic to iodine and that you don't have the type of Hashimoto's thyroiditis that worsens with iodine, you can get your iodine levels up. The best food sources of iodine are two seaweeds - kelp and Kombu. (which is why low iodine levels are almost unheard of in Japan, where their diet includes lots of these seaweeds.)

Next, if you are going to take an iodine supplement, start slowly and increase gradually. That's because when the receptor sites on your cells are not used to picking up iodine, they often act like they've gone to sleep on the job. They require a little exposure to the circulating iodine to 'wake up' and start absorbing it into your cells. During that time if you have too much iodine circulating, you might feel anxious, nervous and have a higher pulse rate, almost as if you had a temporarily overactive thyroid.

Also use a protein-bound iodine for best absorption. Why? Because iodine can be toxic due to its tendency to combine with protein. That's why it works so well to put iodine on a cut: iodine destroys the protein in bacteria, thus destroying the bacteria. To avoid this, take an iodine product that's already bound with protein (called protein-bound iodine).

According to Dr. Guy Abraham, a researcher and an authority on the safe use of iodine, the daily dose of iodine should be 12.5mg to 37.5mg per day. But you can monitor your own iodine levels. To do so simply repeat the above patch test every week or two. When the patch no longer fades and has only faded slightly in 24 hours, you can cut back.

If you are a woman suffering from reproductive system symptoms, topical iodine has been shown to be successful to assist your healing. Use 10 drops of Lugol's solution (a strong iodine solution available in most pharmacies). Apply it to an organic, cotton tampon and insert once per month for 3-4 hours or up to overnight. (Thanks to Australian herbalist Angela Hywood for this information.)
Portions of this article were excerpted from the Natural Female Hormone Care online lesson series.  For more information, and to receive a complementary self-questionnaire you can use to assess female hormone balance, go to

                                                                  Pamela Levin, R.N., T.S.T.A

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Tags: symptoms of thyroid problems thyroid problems symptoms swim workouts hypothyroidism symptoms checklist thyroid function test health benefits of swimming symptoms hypothyroidism chlorine skin

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Tags: symptoms of thyroid problems thyroid problems symptoms swim workouts hypothyroidism symptoms checklist thyroid function test health benefits of swimming symptoms hypothyroidism chlorine skin


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