Iodine deficiency is most common in parts of the world farther from large water bodies. Therefore, people living in inland areas and those in arid regions are usually iodine deficient because they do not eat marine foods.
According to a WHO (World Health Organization) statement made in 2007, about 2 billion of the world’s population do not get sufficient iodine from their diets. The WHO called iodine deficiency the single, most important but preventable cause of mental retardation.
Besides those who live too far away from marine life and so do not get enough iodine in their diet, other groups of people who are prone to iodine deficiency include:
- Pregnant women
- People exposed to radiation
- People with selenium deficiency
Iodine deficiency can also be caused by chemicals such as perchlorates, thiocyanates and also goitrogens such as calcium. In addition, tobacco and alcohol intake may increase the risk of this deficiency.
In addition, women are more likely than men to develop iodine deficiency.
A 24-hour urine iodine collection is the most common medical test for diagnosing iodine deficiency. The body eliminates 90% of the iodine ingested daily in the urine, therefore, the level of iodine in urine is a good indication of the amount of iodine found in the body.
Iodine deficiency causes a number of medical disorders including goiter and cretinism.
Other symptoms of iodine deficiency include depression, fatigue, hair loss, weight gain, impaired memory and mental abilities, slow heartbeats and increased sensitivity to cold.
Goiter is the medical term for the enlargement of the thyroid gland. When this gland swells, it can also cause the swelling of the larynx and neck.
Goiter can form when the production of T4 falls sharply. To renew the production, TSH is secreted in large amounts from the pituitary gland.
However, if the low production of T4 is caused by iodine deficiency, the increased secretion of TSH does not translate into an increased synthesis of T4. Instead, TSH needlessly stimulates the growth of new cells in the thyroid gland, and this causes the enlargement of the gland.
In mild cases, which are the most common, a mild iodine deficiency may lead to increased production of T3 in the thyroid gland. However, since most of the body’s store of T3 is made from the available T4 which are not being replenished, T4 is rapidly depleted.
Goiter is a big public health problem not only in poor countries but in some affluent nations of Europe and in Australia and New Zealand. The treatment is, however, simple. By supplying iodine supplements, goiter cases can be quickly resolved.
The easiest way to provide iodine supplementation to any population is by mandating that sale of only iodized salts.
© 2012 iScience Times All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
The 9 Very Best Essential Oils For Treating Colds And Flu
Image source: essentialhealth.com
You know the feeling. It may start with a scratchy throat or with a few more aches and pains than normal. Or it could begin with a runny nose and a feeling of exhaustion. Yes, it’s a cold coming on — or maybe worse — the flu. Before you reach for the antihistamine, however, why not try an effective natural remedy instead?
Essential oils have been used for centuries to fight the symptoms of the common cold. You can add them to your bathwater, diffuse them in the air you breathe or even apply them directly to your skin. Essential oils help the body fight off infection and serve to strengthen the immune system. In her book The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils, Julia Lawless explains that essential oils can boost the body’s defense system against bacteria, fungi and infections.
Here is our list of essential oils and essential oil blends that will help you stay healthy this cold and flu season. If you are unfamiliar with essential oils, please seek the advice of a qualified aromatherapist before using them. Be sure to use in moderation and to dilute or blend the essential oils correctly. Also, realize that some oils are contraindicated in certain conditions.
1. Tea Tree Essential Oil
Extracted from the tea tree (Melaleuca), which is native to Southeast Queensland and New South Wales, Australia, tea tree oil has antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiseptic and antiviral properties.
Used in an inhaler or in a bath, tea tree oil helps you fight the congestion and the resulting discomfort caused by the cold or the flu.
2. Pine Essential Oil
Pine essential oil, derived from the pine tree (Pinus Sylvestris), helps to clear the nasal passages. It also can be helpful in relieving sore throat pain.
3. Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender essential oil (Lavandula Angustifolia) has antiseptic and antimicrobial properties, and it is gentle enough for use with children.
As for the Swine Flu there have been 33 confirmed cases of the Swine Flu Virus in the following counties (1):
*County/# of cases
-Bexar County (2) Comal County (2) Dallas County Guadalupe County Harris County (2) Johnson County (2) Nueces County Tarrant County (22
Current outbreaks/ cases globally (with incidence):
Avian Influenza is an infection caused by avian bird influenza viruses. These influenza viruses occur naturally among birds (10). Wild birds worldwide carry the viruses in their intestines but usually do not get sick from them. However, Avian influenza is very contagious among birds and can make some domesticated birds, including chickens, ducks, and turkeys, very sick and kill them. Infected birds shed influenza virus in their saliva, nasal secretions, and feces (10). Most cases of Avian influenza infection in humans have resulted from contact with infected poultry (example: domesticated chickens, ducks, and turkeys) or surfaces contaminated with secretion/excretions from infected birds (10).
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) in the year 2009 Avian Influenza outbreaks occurred in the following countries:
-As of May 6, 2009, Of the 111 cases confirmed to date in Viet Nam, 56 have been fatal(13).
-As of May 6, 2009, Of the 68 cases confirmed to date in Egypt, 23 have been fatal(13).
-As of May 6, 2009, Of the 141 cases confirmed to date in Indonesia, 115 have been fatal(13).
3. “Influenza.” MayoClinic.com. 20 Sept, 2008
4. “Influenza Virus Vaccine 2008-2009.” U.S Food and Drug Administration. 12 Jan, 2009
5. “Inactivated Influenza Vaccines 2008-2009 What I Need to Know.” Department of Health and Human Services, CDC. 24 July, 2008
6. “Influenza (flu).” Center of Disease Control (CDC). 26 Aug, 2008
7. “Flu (Influenza)” National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases. 14 Oct, 2008
10. “Key Facts About Avian Influenza (Bird Flu) and Avian Influenza A (H5N1) Virus” Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 7May, 2007.http://www.cdc.gov/flu/avian/gen-info/facts.htm
There are many different flu viruses. Each year, a new flu vaccine is developed. It is designed to fight 4 flu viruses that scientists expect to be most common that year. This yearly vaccine is also called the "seasonal flu vaccine" or the "annual flu vaccine." "Seasonal" doesn't mean you need to get a flu vaccine every spring, summer, fall, and winter. You only need it once a year.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not recommend the nasal spray this flu season. Studies found the nasal spray offered little or no protection for children ages 2 through 17 last flu season.
The flu vaccine works most of the time. Each year's flu vaccine fights the 4 most common flu viruses for that year. If they come in contact with a different flu virus, they could still get the flu. But getting the flu vaccine is always better than not getting it.
The inactive flu viruses in the vaccine trick the body into thinking it is being infected, so the body builds immunity against the flu. Then, if a real flu virus tries to infect that person, their body is ready to fight against it.
Can you still get the flu after you get a flu shot?
Yes, but even if you get the flu, the vaccine can help lessen the symptoms. The flu vaccine takes about two weeks to work.
No, a flu shot cannot cause flu illness.
Someone I know didn't feel well after getting the flu vaccine. Why?
Flu vaccines have been given since the 1940's, hundreds of millions of times. Almost all people who get one have no serious problems. Sometimes people get sore at the spot where they get a vaccine. Very rarely, some people get a fever, pain or weakness after getting the flu shot. In both cases, this usually goes away in a day or two.
A vaccine, like any medicine, may cause serious allergic reactions in very rare cases. Get medical help right away if hoarseness or wheezing, hives, paleness, weakness, a fast heartbeat, or dizziness occur after getting the shot. Also, about 1 person in a million can get an illness called Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) following the flu vaccine.
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Over-the-counter remedies: Some antihistamines (the sedating varieties) can help cut down on the sneeze reflex. But most experts advise you to leave this fairly innocuous symptom untreated.
The symptom: Chills and fever
What it means: Chills are the way the body generates heat when it feels cold. They usually precede a fever, the body's method for defending itself by raising its temperature to fight a virus.
When to worry: Call your doctor if your temperature rises above 102 degrees, if a fever persists for 72 hours without breaking, or if you also have shortness of breath or dizziness.
Home remedies: To stay hydrated, sip your favorite liquids. Sponging off with warm water may also give you relief.
Over-the-counter remedies: Acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), or naproxen (Aleve) can lower a fever that's making you uncomfortable.
The symptom: Sore throat
What it means: Mucus is dripping into the back of your throat, causing irritation and inflammation.
When to worry: If you have severe difficulty swallowing or breathing, call your doctor to rule out a more serious illness, such as a bacterial infection.
Home remedies: Gargle with warm salt water. Soothe a scratchy throat with liquids, such as caffeine-free tea and broth, or cool down a fiery one with an ice pop.
Over-the-counter remedies: Acetaminophen or ibuprofen will help decrease inflammation.
The symptom: Runny nose