Tuesday, March 29, 2011

More practical advice for radiation exposure

In the years between 1981 and 2000, 50 people from around the world died from radiation exposure through local accidents of various causes, most of them not from nuclear reactors. Some were workers and some were from the public. In these accidents, hundreds of others were often exposed and became sick. In Spain, 11 people died from a linear accelorator accident. In Brazil, 4 died and hundreds were exposed from an abandoned medical test machine. I haven't been able to find records to see if these exposures caused further deaths from cancers, etc.

So in preparing for disasters, besides earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, etc., it is good to be prepared for a radiation exposure. We have talked about possible supplements to take in previous blogs. Listed here are some practical things to do if exposed acutely to radiation.

1. Account for family members and loved ones. Remember that often even when cell phone networks may not be working, texting will.

2. Take shelter. Find a place where windows and doors were not open during the exposure.

3. Remove clothing. After reaching a non-contaminated place immediately remove your clothes and put them in a plastic bag and place them outside. This will remove 90% of the contamination. You can later have authorities dispose of the bag safely.

4. Take a shower. Gently wash rather than scrub so there is not danger of breaking skin and gettting contamination inside. Use plenty of soap and water. Gently blow your nose and wipe your eyes with a gentle cloth. Pay special attention to feet, especially if there was any contact with radioactive water. Put anything used for cleaning in a plastic bag for disposal.

5. Seal out contaminants. Use plastic sheeting and duct tape to seal windows and doors, or if that is not possible, to create a sealed room of plastic walls. Close vents and flues, and anything else with the possibility of bringing outside air inside. If you have one, use a HEPA air filter to remove contaminants inside. This is a good product to have for your home anyway.

6. Consider respirator face masks. Regular face masks are not effective as they are not tight enough and some smaller particles can get through. However, respirator masks are quite protective. For more information go to www.cdc.gov/niosh/npptl/topics/respirators/factsheets/respfact.html.

7. Take potassium iodide and other supplements. See previous blogs for more information on these.

8. Consider taking Prussian Blue. In severe, acute exposure, there is a prescription medication called Prussian Blue that reduces the half life of Cesium and Thallium, allowing them to leave the body more quickly and thus reducing exposure damage. It must be prescribed by a doctor, so be sure and have access to your physician and a pharmacy. For more information on Prussian Blue go to http://www.bt.cdc.gov/radiation/prussianblue.asp.

9. Have other emergency supplies on hand. Things you would need in any emergency, such as a battery powered or hand crank radio, flashlight, etc., food, clean water, etc.

10. Be psychologically ready for disasters. The most difficult tole taken in disasters is psychological. Lives are disrupted and there is much fear about what is going to happen in the next days, months and years. Chronic fear and anxiety are often more harmful to the body than the things the body may be exposed to. Preparation reduces the fear, but if there is undue anxiety over the future and possible disasters, work through these with a trusted counselor.

Of course, none of us want to face the possibilities of going through what the Japanese are currently going through. But simple preparations and knowledge of what to do in any disaster reduces fear and risk.

Until we meet again,

Dr. Judi

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Baking Soda for Radiation?

I have had connections with some excellent physicians, and learned of another simple remedy for radiation exposure that the army recommends: baking soda. Oral baking soda diminishes the severity of the changes that uranium creates in the kidneys. Bathing in baking soda (1-3 pounds per bath, depending on severity of exposure) and in magnesium salts (magnesium chloride or epsom salts) binds to uranium on the skin and some soaks into the body. Sodium bicarbinate has been used to clean soil contaminated with uranium. You can also boil baking soda in water and breathe the steam (carefully!) as a nebulizer to bind with any uranium breathed into the lungs. So keeping 10 or more pounds of baking soda on hand is an inexpensive preparation.
Other home remedies that have been shown to help:
High dose vitamin C
Chlorella and spirulina
Miso soup and seaweed
Internal consumption of edible clay and clay baths
Sulphur-rich foods like broccoli, cabbage and mustard greens
Chlorophyll and chlorophyll-rich foods such as wheat and barley grass
Pine bark extract, green tea extract, grape seed extract, dandelion root extract
Gingko biloba
Aloe vera and curcumin (tumeric) for skin damage
Some of these things may be good to use after CT scans and other diagnostic and treatment radiation exposure as well.
Until we meet again,
Dr. Judi

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

How much potassium iodide should I take?

This is written as a post-script to the previous blog. Again, there is little likelihood that we will get this kind of radiaton exposure at this time, so this is written for information for future reference, something to keep in our emergency supply of food.

The following is the FDA recommendations for dosages of potassium iodide if there is radiation exposure:

Exposures greater than 5 cGy:

Birth through 1 mo. - 16 mg.

1 mo. through 3 yrs. - 32 mg.

3 yrs. through 18 yrs. - 65 mg. (adolescents > 150 lbs. use adult dose)

Exposures greater than 10 cGy:

18 yrs. through 40 yrs. - 130 mg.

Exposures greater than 500 cGy:

Adults over 40 yrs. - 130 mg.

Potassium iodide protects for approximately 24 hours, and should be dosed daily until the risk no longer exists. First dose priority should be given to pregnant females and neonates, but a repeat dose should be given only if there is not proper evacuation and sheltering for them.

Persons with known iodine sensitivity should avoid potassium iodide, as should individuals with dermtitis herpetiformis, hypocomplementemic vaculitis, extremely rare conditions associated with an increased risk of ioding hypersensitivity. Individuals with multinodular goiter, Graves' disease, and autoimmune thyroiditis should be treated with caution -- especially if dosing extends beyond a few days.

Do not take ACE inhibitor blood pressure medication such as captropril, enalapril or lisinapril, or potassium sparing diuretics with the potassium iodide or the levels of potassium may go too high causing heart arrhythmias.

DO NOT take this amount of potassium iodide as a preventative measure. It will not serve the body and may harm it without the radiation to replace. If you want to use iodine and/or potassium iodide to reduce the affects of future exposure, take 500 mcg to 1 mg a day (MUCH less than the recommended dose for exposure) for at least 2 weeks to make sure the body has adequate iodine for all of its needs. You can continue to take 250 - 500 mcg. after the first two weeks to keep you level stable.

Until we meet again,

Dr. Judi

Friday, March 18, 2011

What to do for radiation exposure

With all of the fears of the Japanese nuclear reactor meltdown, potassium iodide is becoming hard to find. I personally don't believe that here in Utah we will have a large exposure, but there may be higher levels of radiation to deal with than normal.

Potassium iodide is going to be helpful, but for larger exposures it is not enough. First of all, the potassium iodide will help protect the thyroid, which is very susceptible to radiation, which can cause thyroid cancer. However, if you have low iodine levels in your body as many Americans do (in testing levels in my own patients up to 75% have low levels), just starting potassium iodide will not give you enough iodine to protect you. It takes several weeks on iodine supplements for the levels to rise to adequate levels to protect your thyroid. Iodine is also important for your breasts and other organs. So you may want to ask your doctor to check your blood iodine levels. If exposure is imminent and you don't have time to check your levels, a week or two of exta iodine will not hurt you.

Iodine and iodide work differently in different organs in the body. A better supplement would be one that uses both iodide and iodine, such as Iodoral or Lugol's solution.

The potassium in potassium iodide is also supposed to protect the body from cesium. However, you would have to overload on potassium iodide to get enough potassium, and that wouldn't be healthy for your thyroid. So it would be important to take extra potassium as well as the potassium iodide. Most supplements only contain 99 mg of potassium, so during radiation exposure you should take at least 5 a day (500 mg). If your kidneys are normal your body will handle that much well. If you have kidney failure your body already stores potassium.

Multiple trace minerals also have very important functions in the body. Taking adequate amounts of trace minerals will reduce the amount of radioactive minerals taking hold in the body.

Potassium and potassium iodide/iodine are not enough to protect from the heavier metals such as uranium and strontium90. Strontium90 and other heavy metals can be removed by EDTA chelation (IV if acute exposure), but the uranium molecule is too large for EDTA. By taking a humic/fulvic acid supplement, the uranium molecule is reduced and more easily removed from the body.

A good detox formula to assist the glutathione pathway used by the cells to remove toxins includes:
Alpha Lipoic Acid 100-300 mg.
N-acetyl cysteine 500 mg three times a day
Selenium 200 mcg
Vitamin C 4,000-6,000 mg.
Vitamin E (preferably mixed toxopherols) 800-1200 IU
Anti-oxidants to reduce the damage caused by toxins

Taking 12-15 capsules of chorella a day will also help remove heavy metals.

I would love to say that I have all of these supplements available on my www.springtreehealth.com website, but alas, as yet I do not. But they are all available on the internet and many in health food stores. Our SuperMulti Plus does have adequate amounts of trace minerals and selenium, along with good levels of vitamin E (tocotrienols) and anti-oxidants. If you are taking or needing the Glucose Balance, it also contains Alpha Lipoic Acid.

We all pray that there will be no need for radiation exposure treatment. But there are already many toxins and even radiation in the environment, and utlizing some of this may be important for many of us, whether the Japanese reactor has a meltdown or not.

My heart, like all of us, goes out to the Japanese people in this time of tragedy and suffering. I do pray that angels are surrounding and assisting in the cooling down, and pray for the men and women working on it to save and protect the Japanese and the world.

Until we meet again,
Dr. Judi