Posts tagged japan
Radiation protection, re-visited

It's been just over a year since the Nuclear meltdown in Japan.  We had a lot of concerns about radiation for a month or two, and then things sort of simmered down. However, I recently had a patient ask me what she could do to protect her young children from the effects of increased radiation in our atmosphere.  There's a lot out there on the web.  Weeding through all of it to determine an effective set of guidelines for families with little ones (or pregnant ones!) has been my pet project for the past few weeks.

Without further ado, I present "Dr. Roe's Radiation Protection Plan"

1. An apple a day.  Pectins (found in apples) are probably the most well-studied food source for radiation protection, even after exposure has occurred.  People in the Chernobyl radiation zone have been advised for years and years now to consume apples on a regular basis to help the body absorb and eliminate excess radiation.

2. Eat iodine-containing foods, and keep a source of iodine on hand for your family in the medicine cabinet.  There is no need to supplement Iodine on a regular basis, and this can, in fact, put people over the age of 40 at risk for thyroid cancer.

3. Add Spirulina to Smoothies or, even better, applesauce a few times per week.  Spirulina also shows the ability to bind radioactive isotopes so that the body can more readily eliminate them.

4. Find a reputable source for Kombucha tea, and drink it 3-6 times per week (8oz serving).  Besides, the hot-link there, I was able to easily find lots of evidence to show the anti-oxidant, free radical scavenging, radiation-busting effects of this ancient beverage.

5. Most of all, be healthy.  Eat whole foods.  Drink water.  Take a daily multivitamin (a good one!!!!)  Avoid sugar and processed foods to keep all of your organ systems intact and functioning properly.  Your body's ability to combat radiation exposure is only as strong as it is healthy.

So there you have it, the naturopathic doctor-approved, weeded-out version of Radiation Protection, 101.

Radiation, averted

Well, the good news for us here in the Pacific NW is that only miniscule amounts of radioactive iodine were detected this week.  I will maintain that everyone keep some Iodine on hand because we are not done dealing with the catastrophe in Japan.  Additionally, if you live on the West coast, you know that we are on the same techtonic plate as the one currently shifting about, causing the earthquakes in New Zealand and Japan.  Make sure you know what to do, where to go, and how to set up a plan for your family in the event of a major earthquake or tsunami here.  I like the 72 hours page, which was developed by the city of San Francisco.  It has great visuals, tips, and checklists to make sure you and your family are prepared (not scared). If you have not already done so, I urge you to help in whatever way you can for our fellow humans in Japan.  It is still devastating the nation over there. Some of my favorite donation/relief websites:

This and That from Japan

Shelterbox

Socks for Japan

Rock Out Japan

Radiation conundrum

Hi all, I have been reading the news this week regarding the devastation in Japan, watching some of the impact fall right into our laps here on the West Coast.  Quite a few patients have contacted me this week wondering if they should be taking Potassium Iodide.  The short an answer is, I don't know.

There is very little conclusive evidence available at this time to make a definitive recommendation.  However, I did come across this map that shows the likely flow of the radiation plume from the nuclear power plant.  Many people want and need a plan of action.

What I do know is that it's smart to be prepared.  As a naturopathic doctor and midwife, I can't stress that enough in any realm of health.  What I also know is that I want to protect my patients and my family.  So, for that reason I am recommending that each family get some Potassium Iodide.  I think it's wise to have it on hand at this point.

If your local stores are out of it, I have found some at Amazon.com.  We also got a shipment this afternoon at our clinic of Potassium Iodide drops.  The dosing::ONLY IN THE EVENT OF ACTUAL RADIATION EXPOSURE:: is as follows (from cdc.gov):

  • Adults should take 130 mg (one 130 mg tablet OR two 65 mg tablets OR two mL of solution).
  • Women who are breastfeeding should take the adult dose of 130 mg.
  • Children between 3 and 18 years of age should take 65 mg (one 65 mg tablet OR 1 mL of solution). Children who are adult size (greater than or equal to 150 pounds) should take the full adult dose, regardless of their age.
  • Infants and children between 1 month and 3 years of age should take 32 mg (½ of a 65 mg tablet OR ½ mL of solution). This dose is for both nursing and non-nursing infants and children.
  • Newborns from birth to 1 month of age should be given 16 mg (¼ of a 65 mg tablet or ¼ mL of solution). This dose is for both nursing and non-nursing newborn infants.
  • Pregnant women should take 130mg and immediately evacuate the radiation zone.

Many forms of Potassium Iodide that you will find in stores come in microgram dosages, so make sure to do the appropriate math.  You want to take milligram dosages should we have actual radiation exposure.

In the meantime, we should be focusing on Iodine-rich foods to build our stores up a bit.  I'll be updating this blog as the story develops. So check back.  I'll leave you with this list of yummy foods to munch on:

Asparagus

Dulse

Garlic

Kelp

Lima beans

Mushrooms

Seafood

Sea salt and fortified salt

Seaweed

Sesame seeds

Soybeans

Spinach

Summer squash

Swiss chard

Turnip greens